Real stories about real people





How to research childhoods spent in former children's homes, 

orphanages, cottage homes and other children's institutions   


 If you are trying to find information about

 a relative or distant ancestor who spent time in any form of children's home or orphanage, this is the essential guide to where to look for records and how to access them.


Includes useful sources, glossary, hints and tips and much more.


ISBN 978-1-903210-29-1

ONLY £8.99 plus postage


Price with postage


Also available for Kindle 



Victorian orphanages


The Victorian era and early twentieth century saw a phenomenal rise in the number of orphanages for children in England.  This remarkable period of philanthropy arose from religious leaders and businessmen wanting to do something to help children living on the streets or in workhouses—but was it always a positive move?


This illustrated short history runs through the story of the orphanages and tells what life was like for the children who lived in them. Revealed is an unexpected legacy of the orphanage era which still plays in social welfare in the twenty-first century.



ISBN 978-1-903210-26-0

JUST £8.99 plus postage
for this mini-encyclopedia of orphanages

Price with postage



The Children of the Homes:

 a century of Erdington Cottage Homes


The story of Erdington Cottage Homes, one of the largest and longest-lasting children's homes in the UK, told in the words of

the people who spent all or part of their childhoods there.

A moving and inspirational collection of memories and a detailed history of this institution from its beginnings as part of the workhouse to the 1990s.




ISBN: 978-1-903210-28-4

 £12.99 plus postage


Price with postage




Family Fragments:
A childhood spent in care



Joan had little idea of the

details of her childhood. She had few

memories of her mother, none of her father

and she had no idea why she had spent her

childhood in care. Without even a birth certificate

to go on, her son Alan set about trying to find some answers

for his mother. He uncovered a fragmented family

and a history which included time at both

Marston Green and Erdington Cottage Homes.

Includes previously unpublished photos of Marston Green


ISBN: 978 0 993143 20 5

WAS £9.99 + postage
Now only £4.45 + P&P


Price with postage



Deeds of Love: The story of 

Mason's Orphanage in Birmingham 


This orphanage was started by the industrialist, Sir Josiah Mason, as an act of charity. The enormous building was demolished in the 1960s leaving virtually no trace of the hundreds of children who once lived there.


This books identifies names, for the first time, of the children who were buried in the grounds and who have since been cremated with Sir Josiah Mason


  ISBN: 978-1-903210-24-6

£12.99 + postage


Price with postage




The Homes on the Hill:

  the story of Cosham Cottage Homes, Portsmouth


 A comprehensive history of Cosham Cottage Homes

 based on the memories of people who lived there as children and contemporary news reports. Includes never-seen-

before photos. A genuinely fascinating story.


  ISBN: 978-1-903210-22-2

 £11.99 plus postage


Price with postage



 Inside the gates of

Children's Cottage Homes


The encylopedia of all things related to

cottage homes in England and Wales

- exploring what life was like for the children who lived in them.






To be the first to receive news of this book's

publication - and get a discount on the cover price -

please email with GATES DISCOUNT

as the subject.


The Cottage Homes, Moor Street, Kirkham


A booklet filled with memories and reminiscences of former residents of the Fylde Union Cottage Homes in Kirkham.


ISBN: 1898062172

£2.50 (free postage)




While we try to get all the orders out within two weeks, please allow up to 28 days for delivery. Thank you.



These books are also available through:





The website gets no external funding

even though thousands of people find it essential for researching their own past

or learning about the lives of their ancestors.


Every purchase you make - of books or photos - and every click on one of the Google adverts

helps to keep the

site going a little longer.


Thank you.