Research and Projects
The encouragement and dissemination of family history research by people with ancestry in the British Isles is a key component of BIFHSGO's mission. Under the leadership of the Director of Research and Projects our goal is to facilitate, preserve and share British Isles and Canadian family history research.
Our members devote thousands of volunteer hours researching and transcribing data to create indexes/databases that provide invaluable help to researchers in exploring their family history. We continue to work in collaboration with Library and Archives Canada on a number of research projects.
We do not provide a family history research service, but if you would like tips in finding a new or different direction for solving a specific research puzzle, send us a query.
We inviite you to explore our resources — which provide information researched by BIFHSGO volunteers
Important note: Many of the resource pages are PDF files and are intended to open in a window or tab using a web browser's PDF Viewer. However, you may be prompted to download them to your computer or they may open using Adobe Reader. The action taken is controlled by a browser setting and differs depending on the browser you use. More information can be found here
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 index includes more than 58,000 names of Home Children together with other identifying information mentioned in Barnardo’s Ups and Downs
magazine and published between August 1895 and December 1949. Dr. Barnardo’s organization brought more Home Children to Canada than any other group.
Father Hudson's photos
is the result of a research project to digitize an album of photos compiled by Father George Vincent Hudson, a Catholic priest who founded St George's Home for homeless children on Wellington Street in Ottawa. The photos are indexed and many of the subjects are named.
Fegan Homes Index
Between 1885 and 1939, Fegan Homes brought more than 3,200 boys to Canada. This index provides a list 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.
Home Children Deaths
This database gives information on the deaths of more than 4,500 Home Children. It allows researchers to see where these children lived and is intended to complement memorials such as the Barnardo Girl’s Memorial in Peterborough, Ontario.
This is a revised and extended version of the Middlemore Index.The Index now 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. More information is available in the Guide to the Middlemore Index and Sources
This database contains over 14,000 entries, being the names of children brought to Canada by various agencies from the UK during the years 1869-1892. It was transcribed by BIFHSGO volunteers from Canadian Department of Agriculture records which have not been microfilmed and are only available by special request and only in hard copy form.
Canadian War Brides of World War II
2021 is the 75th Anniversary of the year (1946) when most war brides arrived at Halifax. This page introduces BIFHSGO's Canadian War Brides project and publishes stories of war brides with BIFHSGO connections.
Women's Emigration 1903-1906
This is a list 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.
World War II Unaccompanied Child Evacuees
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.
Foreign-Born Canadian Militia 1907
This is 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.
Ottawa Sharp Shooters
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 database includes the names of fifty-three men who served in the Ottawa Company of Sharpshooters.
Rideau Canal Soldiers
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.
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.
is a searchable database of surnames that members are researching.