British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa


Family history research is a key component of BIFHSGO's mission. Under the leadership of the Director of Research our goal is to preserve, research and disseminate Canadian and British Isles family history.
Our members devote thousands of volunteer hours researching and transcribing data to create indexes that will help our members and the public explore their family history. We work in collaboration with Library and Archives Canada on a number of research projects.
If you have a suggestion for a project or are interested in volunteering, please contact the Director of Research and Projects.
We do not conduct family research on behalf of our members or the public, but if you would like help in finding a new or different direction for solving a specific research puzzle, send us a query.
Our Resources
We encourage you to explore our databases — all researched by our volunteers.
Canada’s Home Children
About Home Children The British Isles has had a long history of child migration to its former colonies. This  page provides an introduction to the history of Home Children in Canada and describes BIFHSGO's efforts to research their names and build indexes. This is a useful page to read to familiarize yourself with the topic and what information is available for your research
Barnardo's Ups and Downs This page provides an index of more than 58,000 names of Home Children and other identifying information mentioned in Barnardo’s Ups and Downs magazine published between August 1895 and December 1949. Dr. Barnardo’s organization brought more Home Children to Canada than any other group.
British Home Children: Their Stories This is a collection of stories and images by Home Children descendants. BIFHSGO launched this commemorative book in December 2010 to celebrate Ontario’s Year of the British Home Child.
Fegan Homes Index Between 1885 and 1939, Fegan Homes brought more than 3,200 boys to Canada. This page provides an index of 3,530 Home Children's names, extracted from original papers of Fegan Homes, currently held in private hands. This is a subset of the Home Children index maintained by Library and Archives Canada.
Guide to the Middlemore Index and Sources This document is integral to understanding the Middlemore Index. As none of the Middlemore source files are available on-line, the Middlemore Index contains and cross-references all references to about 5,200 children brought to Canada by the Middlemore Children’s Emigration Homes. The Guide describes what the source documents contain, how the information is laid out, and how to interpret the information.
Home Children Deaths This page provides an index recording information on the deaths of more than 4,500 Home Children. It will help researchers see where these children lived and is intended to complement memorials such as the Barnardo Girl’s Memorial in Peterborough, Ontario.
Middlemore Index *NEW* As we commence this 25th anniversary year of BIFHSGO, we are pleased to present a revised and extended version of the Middlemore Index. The Index is temporarily in a format similar to that of an Excel spreadsheet pending a major revision of our website. The Index includes not only the surnames of all children the Middlemore agency brought to Canada, but also all legible references to them found in the microfilmed Middlemore records deposited at Library and Archives Canada. Be sure to read the Guide to the Middlemore Index and Sources.
Foreign-Born Canadian Militia, 1907 This page contains an index of almost 2,000 Canadian militia personnel in the permanent or volunteer force in 1907 who were not born in Canada. Most were of British origin. 
No. 1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, WW I This is an index of the names and a growing collection of biographies of the 879 soldiers who died at No. 1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station near the Front during WWI.
Ottawa Sharp Shooters Company List, 1885 In late March 1885, in reaction to the proclamation of a Provisional Government by Louis Riel, thousands of volunteer militia soldiers set off for North West Canada to suppress the rebellion. This page includes the names of fifty-three men who served in the Ottawa Company of Sharpshooters.
Rideau Canal Soldiers, 1831 This is a nominal list of non-commissioned officers, privates and buglers of the Companies of Royal Sappers and Miners disbanded at the Rideau Canal in December 1831.
Women's Emigration *NEW* This is an index of 687 women assisted by the British Women's Emigration Association (BWEA), headed by the Hon. Mrs. Ellen Joyce from 1901 to 1919. The BWEA’s aim was to encourage middle class women to emigrate to the colonies because of a perceived surplus of women in England and Wales.
WWII Child Evacs *NEW*  In 1940 with the threat of a Nazi invasion looming, certain more affluent parents in Britain decided to evacuate their children to Canada. This database lists the names of 1,834 of these children and where they were accommodated.
Lancashire Diaries 1772-1910  With more than 1,000 surnames mentioned, these diaries provide insight into local life in Bury/Boston, Preston and Burnley in east-central Lancashire.
Other Resources
Library Browse the titles in the collection of books BIFHSGO donated to the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. These are ordered by topic.
Links to Online Resources  This page links to dozens of free genealogical resources.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Ottawa Baptism, Marriage and Death Records This is a book published by BIFHSGO containing information about the early British Isles settlers in Bytown, Ottawa, and Hull.
Surname Research This page links to an index which allows you to interact with BIFHSGO members who may share your ancestral surnames. You must be a BIFHSGO member to add names to the index, but anyone can use the index.