If you believe your ancestor was looked after by Barnardo’s in the UK, or sent to Australia or Canada as a Home Child then the charity may hold information about them. Allan struck gold here, as Barnardo’s held records of inspectors’ visits to the farms on which Thomas and Oliver had been placed, plus a photo of the two boys upon their arrival at the charity. To find out if Barnardo’s holds records on your ancestors, go to bit.ly/barnardosFHS.
CANADIAN ARMY SERVICE RECORDS
Scans of First World War service records for soldiers in the Canadian forces can be accessed on Library and Archives Canada free of charge at ( bit.ly/LAcanada). Allan was able to access Thomas and Oliver’s digital files, which included Thomas’s attestation papers, medical reports, pay records and discharge certificate.
CANADIAN CENSUS RECORDS
Trace the movements of your Canadian ancestors using the country’s censuses available to search for free on the Library and Archives Canada website ( bit.ly/LAcanadadata). Those searchable on the website date from 1825 to 1916 (from 1851 to 1901, the census was taken every 10 years) with the 1921 available on Ancestry.ca. Early Canadian censuses were little more than a list of names but later ones include more detailed information such as year of birth and whether an individual could read and write.
Forums are a great way to tap into the huge pool of knowledge. Allan put a message on a forum asking for help tracking the Arnolds in Canada and received help that allowed him to take their story further. Besides WDYTYA? Magazine’s ( whodoyou thinkyouaremagazine.com/ forum), useful forums for family historians include Genesreunited ( www.genesreunited.co.uk/ boards) and Rootsweb ( home. rootsweb.ancestry.com).