Home Children

“Home Children” was the name of a child migration scheme under which more than 100,000 poor or orphaned girls and boys were sent from the United Kingdom to British settler colonies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. My recent research profiles three child migrants sent out of the London-area of England. See the post below for a description of how one Home Girl was sent through the Liverpool Sheltering Homes to the Marchmont Home in Belleville, Ontario. Other posts describe the migration of two Home Children who were sent from an orphanage or a work house through Dr. Barnardo’s organization to Hazelbrae in Peterborough, Ontario and to the Jarvis Street Home in Toronto, Ontario. All of these children found employment with the Mellow family in Uxbridge, Ontario. See my article on Dr. Frank Mellow in this blog. By all accounts, the Mellows were excellent employers who provided each of the girls with a very good living and working situation. This information is based on reports filed by the Home Children organizations who made check-up visits to the Mellow house every 6-8 months to assess the character of the home, the child’s health, the level of satisfaction, and the child’s character. The sites I have used to document this research include heritage.canadiana.ca, familysearch.org, ancestry.ca, findmypast.com and findagrave.com.

A Barnardo Home Child

This is a profile of British Home Child Dorothy Hizzey (1902-1970). She came to Canada as a “Barnardo Girl” and found acceptance and love with her employers, the Mellow family in Uxbridge, Ontario. The following post outlines her life using facts and details from the census, baptism/death registrations, and ship manifests that were researched on the following genealogical websites: Ancestry, Find My Past and Family Search. Special thanks to Elizabeth M. for sharing her family’s memories and photograph album.

Dorothy Hizzey, who was born May 22nd 1902, was baptised July 13th 1902 in Church Alley, Chertsey, Surrey. (See the Baptisms Registry below — the information about Dorothy Hizzey can be found in the first entry on the second page). The town of Chertsey, located on the right bank of the River Thames, is now considered part of the Greater London area.

Her parents had two other children. Her father Matthew was a gardener. Her mother Lucy Eliza Hizzey died about one month after Dorothy was born. (See the announcement of Lucy’s death in the 3rd entry below.)

Dorothy’s brother Percy died in 1905 (age five). Around this time, Dorothy’s father Matthew Hizzey remarried. In the 1911 Census of England, he has started a new family. The 1911 Census also indicates that Dorothy’s sister Lucy Hizzey (born 1898) is living elsewhere (in an institution) and is described as being deaf.

Dorothy herself is eight years old in 1911 and living with a farming family called the Priors. Her status in the family is “boarder” — more than likely, Dorothy and the other six-year old girl living with the Priors are being sponsored by an organization like the Barnardo Homes.

The following year, the nine-year old Dorothy Hizzey is listed as a Barnardo child and is on a ship departing from London, England to Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

She travelled on the Allan Line with many other British Home Children. Dorothy Hizzey arrived at Hazelbrae, Dr. Barnardo’s Distribution Home for Girls, in 1912.

Hazelbrae operated from 1883 until it closed in the early 1920s. By 1930 it had been torn down.

The first image depicting the Hazelbrae home for girls in Peterborough. Until 1924 immigrant children lived at the home until they were adopted out.

Click here for a link to a recent newspaper article about Hazelbrae published in myKawartha.com. Barnardo’s still exists today as a UK-based children’s charity and adoption service.

The memorial for the Barnardo Home Children outside Activity Haven on Barnardo Ave., and the grave marker for children who died in the home at Little Lake Cemetery in Peterborough.

Dorothy’s last name is misspelled on the Hazelbrae memorial as Huzzey.

Another possible misspelling of her last name may be found in the 1921 Census of Canada. The 5th name on the list below is Dorothy Hazes, a “domestic” who is residing with a lot of other people in Ancaster, Wentworth, Ontario. On this Census form, her father’s race is described as Scottish, her mother’s Irish, and Dorothy herself is English, and Anglican.

Dorothy Hizzey arrived at the Mellow home in Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada sometime in the late 1920s or early 1930s.

She was employed as the “domestic” — housemaid– but she also doubled as Dr. Mellow’s assistant. Click here for my blog post on Dr. Frank Mellow.

Dr. Frank Mellow

In her over-sized white lab coat, Dorothy would help Dr. Mellow operate his legendary medical deviceā€”a one-tonne solid oak electrostatic generating machine, about the size of an upright piano. The Waite & Bartlett medical generator had arrived in Uxbridge via train and wagon from Long Island, New York about a decade before Dorothy. Her job was to crank that wheel at the end of the machine (see the photo below). Once the wheel was cranked, two glass disks inside the case rotated, moving some copper brushes, creating pale blue sparks, and an ozone reek. The generated electricity was either applied directly to a patient or the charge could be stored up in condenser jars, and then used to power several medical therapies and procedures, including early x-rays.

Image from Museum of Health Care, Kingston, Ontario.

The electrostatic machine in the picture (left) is from Dr. Mellow’s Uxbridge home. In about 2010, it was boomed over the 2nd floor balcony by a crane, swung into the back of a moving truck, and gently taken to the Museum of Health Care in Kingston, Ontario.


Pictured above are Dr. Mellow’s wife Daisy and Dorothy Hizzey by the fountain in the back garden of the house in Uxbridge, Ontario.

Dorothy did not marry or have children. She did talk about a cousin who lived in the Maritimes. There are two other Huzzeys on the 1911 Census of Canada: Amelia Huzzey (age 15) and Mary Huzzey (age 12). They both emigrated to Canada in 1910 and may have been Home Children too.

Dorothy Hizzey lived in Uxbridge until her death in 1970. She is buried in the Mellow family plot in Port Perry, Ontario.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at linda.revie@gmail.com