The Quarrier Children

Everyone here in UK knows the name of Dr Barnardo’s but there were several other Victorian and Edwardian era charities with similar philosophies and aims. One was the Orphan Homes of Scotland, which had been set up in Glasgow by one William Quarrier in the 1870s and became known simply as “Quarriers”. One of the first BT27 passenger lists from 1891 to be transcribed included an appended three-page list made up entirely of boys, given in order of descending age from 18 to 6 years old.

At the top of the first page “Quarriers party” was written in large letters and in such a way as to make it clear that the name would be familiar to anyone reading the document at that time. The boys were travelling together from Glasgow to Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada, one of many such parties of impoverished or orphaned boys sent by the charity to start a new life in Canada.

From Halifax they would have been dispersed across Canada in farms and homesteads. To find out more about the Quarriers, go to their website at or to the family history society created by descendants of the original children



One Response to The Quarrier Children

  1. it will be fascinating for my my family and no doubt others to see their migrant ship records for the post war years and experience the homesickness for britain that most of us experience when we think of that dear country

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