“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.
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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Amelia Lilian Sharp (1907-1928) was part of a group of children brought out of a British workhouse and sent to Canada through the Liverpool Sheltering Homes. After she arrived at the Marchmont Home in Belleville, Ontario, she was placed with at least one family before she found employment in the Mellow household in Uxbridge, Ontario. This profile of one of Canada’s Home Children builds on the memorial posted on Find a Grave. Click here for that memorial. My information is based on documents researched on the following sites: Ancestry, Find My Past and Family Search. Thanks also to Elizabeth M. who allowed me to scan the Mellow family photo album and to Brian G. who sent me an inquiry, along with the death certificate, for Amelia Sharp.
Amelia Lilian Sharp was born May 25th, 1907 and baptised on the 10th of September 1907 at St Michael and All Angels, Walthamstow, Essex, England. Her parents were Charles Sharp and Amelia (Scally) Sharp.
Amelia Sharp’s Family
Charles Sharp, born abt. 1882 in Walthamstow, Essex, was a bricklayer. He married Amelia Scally in 1906. Charles likely died July 17th 1915.
Amelia Scally, born 1887 in Walthamstow, Essex, England, was christened on the 9th of May 1888 at St. Michaels and All Angels, Walthamstow, Essex. By the time Amelia (Scally) Sharp reached her mid-20s, she had given birth to six children. She seems to have died in 1926 in West Ham, England.
On the 1911 Census of England, the Sharp family lived at 15 Hervey Park Road, Walthamstow, West Ham. The total children born to Charles and Amelia Sharp: 5. The total children who had died: 2. The 3 living children listed on the Census are the four-year old Amelia (born 1907), the three-year old Elsie (born 1908) and the one-year old Doris (born 1910). While there was also a son, George Sharp — born December 28th, 1910 — he is not included on this 1911 Census.
The Limehouse Union
Amelia Lilian Sharp became an inmate of Limehouse Union, London sometime before 1923.
Limehouse was a workhouse that included a Childrens Establishment. The Stepney Union was in charge of this London-based workhouse. The children placed in the Union houses were wards of the state. The boys were taught and expected to do shoemaking, tailoring, carpentering and farming and the girls laundry, housework, cooking, sewing and knitting. When Limehouse was closed temporarily in 1923, the Liverpool Sheltering Homes took the children under their care.
The Liverpool Sheltering Home
Amelia Sharp departed from Liverpool on 23rd February 1923 and arrived in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada on March 5th 1923. She travelled 3rd class with 29 other children aboard the SS Montcalm. The 29 children all emigrated under the authority of the Sheltering Home for Orphan and Destitute Children, Myrtle Street, Liverpool. Notice on the document above how the ship’s manifest includes Amelia’s brother George Sharp, also from Limehouse Union, London who was supposed to depart at the same time, but for some reason had been crossed off the register.
The Marchmont Home
The Canadian destination of the 29 children was the Marchmont Distribution Home at 193 Moira Street, Belleville, Ontario.
Click here for information about this British Home Children institution.
On her declaration form, Amelia Sharp indicates she is 15 ½ years old, her present and intended occupation is “Domestic,” and she has come to Canada for “Self-improvement.”
On the list of children arriving at the Marchmont Home, Amelia Sharp’s first placement is with a Mrs. E. L. Newton.
After eight months in Hastings, Amelia returned to the Marchmont Home then she was sent out to a placement in Belleville. After another eight months in this house, she was sent to Uxbridge.
As you can see in the report card above, Amelia was checked on every 6-8 months by someone from the Home Child organization. The boxes checked off indicate the following categories of assessment: character of the home, child’s health, satisfaction and child’s character. As indicated, each placement scored a “g” for good on all accounts. Mrs. Dr. Mellow is the final employer on the report card and the inspector has summed up the situation in Uxbridge by writing: “Amelia is in a very good home where she is likely to get every attention.” The report card also mentions that here term of indenture has been “completed” in February 1926. This happened after Amelia turned 18 and was no longer a ward of the Homes. Yet even after her binding contract with the Marchmont Home discharged her from service, she chose to remain in the employ of the Mellows. Click here for information about the terms of indenture for British Home Children.
Dr. Mellow’s House
Amelia Sharp arrived at Dr. Frank Mellow’s house in Uxbridge, Ontario December 1925.
She worked in the Mellow home as a domestic until her sudden death June 15th 1928. Notice on the death certificate below that Amelia is described as a “Barnardo Home girl.” Perhaps Dr. Mellow identifies her as such because the Marchmont Homes had been taken over by Dr. Barnardo in 1926.
On the official death certificate issued by the Province of Ontario her name is typed: AMELIA SHARPE. The addition of an “e” in her surname has been corrected by hand (see the first row, middle column above).
The Mellow family called her Millie. Millie was much loved by Dr. Frank Mellow, his wife Daisy and their son Ross who were all devasted by her untimely death. For my research about the Mellows from Uxbridge, see the blog post here.
MILLIE SHARPE (with an “e”), 1907-1928, was buried in the Methodist section of the Uxbridge Cemetery. Her flat marker #189 is no longer visible at this point in time (July, 2020).
Amelia’s brother George Sharp
George Sharp (1910-1978) was supposed to travel to Canada on an earlier ship with his sister, but for some reason had been crossed off that list.
Instead, George Sharp emigrated to Canada a few months after his sister. His ship was the SS Regina, and it left Liverpool on May 25th, 1923 and arrived in Quebec City in June 1923. George Sharp was also sent as a child labourer through the Liverpool Sheltering Home. His declaration indicates he is destined for the Marchmont House, Belleville, Ontario. He is 12 years old, his intended occupation is farming and his object for coming to Canada is “Self-improvement.”
George Sharp worked on a farm near Enterprise, Ontario for many years.
After the farm was sold, he moved to Kingston and then to Napanee. George Sharp did not marry. He died late April 1978.
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