Thursday, November 8, 2007

Orphan Trains: The Illinois Apprenticeship Agent

The idea put forth, justifying the shipping the children across the country on so-called Orphan Trains, was for children without family and without means to be placed in the protective care of an adoptive family. Many of the children ended up as indentured laborers in a forced labor situation, in which there was really no escape until they became of age. In her article, "Orphan Trains: The Illinois Apprenticeship Agent," Judy Rosella Edwards give a brief history of the New York Juvenile Asylum and recounts the placement of children "apprenticed" through the organization's Chicago branch, some 4, 557 children.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Orphan homes played important role in times past

Those with Indiana ancestry might find interesting a column on orphanages in Vigo County,"Genealogy: Orphanages play important role in history." Although orphans’ homes are now a thing of the past in today’s society, they played an important role in earlier centuries, the article states. For genealogists, finding an ancestor or relative who was placed in an orphanage can be a challenge. But in Indiana, one local woman, herself an adoptee, has spent the past three years building some impressive Web sites to honor Vigo County’s three orphanages and their past residents. Jennifer Krockenberger has built sites that tell the history of each institution, feature a variety of pictures and photos, offer a place for former residents to post queries or reminisce, and provide links to the federal censuses for each institution. Visit these sites at,, and

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