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.
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.
In her over-sized white lab coat, Dorothy would help Dr. Mellow operate his legendary medical device—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.
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.
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.
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