Make your own free website on

British Home Children
Press Release


Neither Waif Nor Stray: The Search For a Stolen Identity
Volunteer Center
RootsWeb Mailing List
Press Release
Why Yahoo?
Contact Us

Want to tell someone about the BHC exprience? Copy the press release and spread the word!

Perry Snow BA(Hon) MA, Clinical Psychologist
325 Market Mall Executive Professional Centre
4935 40th Avenue N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Phone: 403-288-4777 Email:


NEITHER WAIF NOR STRAY: The Search For A Stolen Identity
ISBN 1-58112-758-8
There is a harrowing chapter missing from Canadian history books about Canada's Invisible Immigrants.

Between 1870 and 1940, more than fifty childcare organizations deported 100,000 alleged orphaned, abandoned, illegitimate, and impoverished children to Canada ostensibly to 'provide them with better lives than they would have had in England.' Thousands of six-to-15-year-old children were transported without their parents' knowledge or consent to work as indentured farm labourers and domestic servants until they were 18 years old.

Currently, there are an estimated four million Canadian descendants of British Home Children, many desperately seeking their unknown 20 million British relatives. They are not alone: millions of Americans and Australians, possibly comprising 10% of their population, are also unaware of the existence of family members in the United Kingdom. Could you be one of them? Is there a 'British Orphan' in your family tree?

For Calgary author and Clinical Psychologist, Perry Snow, examining the psychological traumas experienced by British Home Children is very close to home: the child profiled in his book is his father - Frederick Snow.
Neither Waif Nor Stray: The Search For A Stolen Identity provides a personal and professional investigation of one British Home Child's life in Canada. The author has documented his father's persistent lifelong efforts to obtain vital information that would have reunited him with his family in England, and the continuing search he inherited after his father?eath. His father's search was typical of thousands of British Home Children - and their descendants.

According to Snow, some children were fortunate and were treated as members of Canadian families. But more than half suffered from abuse and neglect. Neither the Canadian government nor the British agencies assumed responsibility for their welfare. Many were not allowed to go to school, nor provided with adequate food, clothing, or shelter. They suffered a unique form of prejudice in Canada because of their presumed 'tainted' origins. They were ostracized and accused of being carriers of syphilis. They were unwanted in England and unwelcome in Canada.

'My father became a ward of the Waifs and Strays Society when he was four years old. He never saw his family again,' Perry said. 'When he was no longer in care, he wrote letters, pleading with them to ?p one who has been in darkness, and ignorant as to who he is,'' Perry said. For 50 years his father wrote to the Waifs and Strays Society trying to get information about himself and his family.

'He never had a birth certificate. He had nothing to verify who he was for the first 33 years of his life,' Perry said. 'For the next 15 years, he carried a tattered To Whom It May Concern letter stating his name and identifying him as 'of British nationality.''

According to Perry, his father received his baptism certificate when he was 48 years old, but was still unable to identify his parents or locate his family at the time of his death on his still-unconfirmed 85th birthday in 1994.

It took a year for Perry to obtain his father?ase file from the Children?ociety: 'I discovered they withheld from my father the information he so desperately sought all his life and they didn't readily give it to me,' Perry said. 'They denied they had information, presented false information, and lied to my father and me,' he added. After four more years of searching, Perry finally identified his grandparents and located four uncles and aunts.

Perry wonders why this organization didn't want his father to know who he was, and was intrigued by the lengths to which the agency went to irrevocably sever family ties. He can't understand why many of the sending agencies continue to withhold information that would allow millions to reunite with their families.

'I hope the successful conclusion of my search will inspire others to persist until they re-establish their familial ties,' Perry said. 'No one should live their lives without knowing who they are and to whom they belong -- it is your birthright to know your heritage,' he concluded.
Neither Waif Nor Stray: The Search For A Stolen Identity is published-on-demand on the Internet. A free sample download of the first 25 pages, an electronic edition of the entire 284 pages, or a paperback edition of the book are available at Further information about the book and the author are available at For publication details, and information about discounts for multiple purchases, contact

"??searchers with Home Children in their family trees should devour and savour Neither Waif Nor Stray ??nealogists in search of the backgrounds and records of Home Children will benefit from the insights, direct contacts and avenues discussed by the author. Both the bibliography and the appendix are handbooks in themselves, full of useful information and encouraging sidebars."

"...Snow makes strong and unmistakable political statements denouncing both the past and current attitudes of government officials towards young 'waifs and strays' shipped like cattle to Canada" (Global Gazette, 2000)

Snow developed a website that now has the names of +3,000 British Home Children listed at He created an email list that now has +300 international subscribers who help each other with their searches.