Fegan Index Background Information

The founder of Fegan Homes, James William Condell Fegan, was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in April 1852. By 1870 he was working in London where he became aware of the terrible living conditions of the poor, particularly of the children living on the streets. Over the years Mr. Fegan opened several homes to train boys to live a better life, one with promise, and his two main homes were at Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire and a training farm at Goudhurst, Kent.
 
In 1884 he came to Canada to check out the prospects for boys in this country and was very pleased with the opportunities available on farms. He brought ten boys out on his first visit and sent out another 50 later in 1884; there is no record at this time of who those 60 boys were nor where they were settled, although it is believed to have been Manitoba.
 
In 1885 he established a home in Toronto, Ontario, at 295 George Street, where boys were sent from 1885 until 1939, when the last party of ten boys arrived.
 
Over those years it is believed that 3,226 boys came to Canada and were settled primarily in southern Ontario. In 1925 thirteen Armenian boys came to Canada through the Fegan Homes, otherwise most of the boys came from south-east England, particularly London.
 
Although James Fegan came from a Plymouth Brethren background, his religious views appear to have been more Evangelical Christian and his Home in Canada was considered to be of a Methodist persuasion.
 
Mr. Fegan died at Goudhurst, Kent in December 1925 but his wife carried on his work until her death, also at Goudhurst, in a bombing raid in October 1943.
 
The Fegan Homes are still in operation as of March 2014 and hold additional records relating to boys who were brought to Canada. Fegan Homes may be contacted at:
 
Mr. Fegan's Homes Inc.
160 St. James Road
Tunbridge Wells,
Kent, TN1 2HE
England
email: info@fegans.org.uk
 
If you find a name in the database that interests you and would like to see the Fegan Homes record concerning a particular child, please send an email to queries@bifhsgo.ca; you can also write to us at P.O. Box 38026, Ottawa, Ontario K2C 3Y7. Please put the child's surname in the subject line of your email or letter. Note that it may take us a few weeks to reply to your inquiry.