1912 Arthur LANKSHEAR - Home Child to Canada

A study of how genealogy works. How to find people. How more records have come on line. How Google searches.
How cousins find my web site and contact me.
Here is a Arthur all I knew 2006 was this. So probably born 1900 same year as my father.
BUT who is he.
All I originally knew about Arthur

LANKSHEAR , Arthur Age: 12  Departure Date: 5 Apr 1912 Arrival Date: 13 Apr 1912 
Microfilm reel: T-4826 
Ship: SS Empress of Ireland Port of departure: Liverpool Port of arrival: St John Party: Fegan's  
Destination: Toronto, Ont 
Comments: See also C-4726 
Note: The child's age was illegible, difficult to decipher or not given.

Some attempts 1900 looking for birth of Arthur Henry Lankshear

I put him on my web site and his descendants contacted me. Did not know much about his life in London etc.
So I looked around and with the Canadians we established who he was.
And wow I make new cousins and good friends

194xarthur.jpg (206322 bytes)


Up to 2009 - Arthur was a whole mystery - now we know he must a grandson of Thomas Sylvester Lankshear
in fact Ron's half-first cousin

Plenty of discussion below and it was great to meet up with his descendants Doug and Sandra and Cam. 

And we now have links with the family of my Aunt Flora. And we have an idea of who Arthur's parents ............. 

Arthur LANKSHEAR and family in Canada

Photo of Arthur in Canadian Military also on Dating Photographs by Ron Lankshear


To read more about Home Children, you may wish to visit the Young Immigrants to Canada web site.
There you will find information about various homes and organizations, reunions, titles of books on the subject and some lists of children's names.

Google Books on the Ramsgate Homes 

I cannot find a birth registration for him and have looked at other Lankshear boys born around 1900 and all those appear to have some kind of service record in British Army in WW1 and none have names like Arthur. 

Also where he is in 1901 census is a mystery


Dec 2008 following information kindly supplied by Douglas Lankshear

It's my understanding that he was an orphan in London (but in those days that could mean illegitimate). My mother says he sang in the Westminster boys choir. He is supposed to have lied about his age and served in WW1. He is buried in the veterans section of Mount Hope cemetery in Brantford, Ontario.

He was married and had 3 children (2 girls 1 boy) Dawn, Birdie, and Joyce Charles Martin - my dad. My dad and mom (Francis) had 6 kids, 4 boys and 2 girls. I'm the oldest then Jeffery, Jay, Cameron, Sandra, and Pam.

My aunt Dawn married Alex Catherwood and they had 4 kids. My aunt Birdie married Steve Melnyk and they has 4 kids.


Then the next week Ron found at
May take a while to appear but 2021 it was working

6631-24 (Brant Co) Arthur Henry LANKSHEAR, 23, salesman, London England, 176 Dalhousie St Brantford, s/o William LANKSHEAR (b. London England) & Florence unknown, married Alice Beulah DARKE, 19, housekeeper, Hailebury, 176 Dalhousie St Brantford, d/o Harry DARKE (b. Hailebury) & Henrietta WILLOUGHBY, witn: Mr. J.C. STEVENS & Mrs. J.C. STEVENS both of Brantford, 16 July 1924 at Grace Church Brantford

Here is Arthur at marriage saying his parents are Wm and Florence

At first I thought this must mean 1898 William LANKSHEAR marriage Florence Elizabeth Tasker and birth William Murray Lankshear - Florence had brothers named Arthur and Henry but why would they put Arthur into a home.

The other Florence who married into Lankshear do not seem to fit. They married their Lankshear after birth of Arthur and I had a quick survey of possible Arthur's born in their maiden names and could not find any. 

Then Doug's sister Sandra obtained firm data from Fegan Homes - they said that Arthur's Aunt "Mrs Norcutt" used to visit him and this must mean Ron's Aunt see 1909 Florrie Elizabeth LANKSHEAR Marriage to George NORCUTT. Florrie is a Flora not a Florence and Arthur's family know that an Aunt Elizabeth used to send him money. Florrie was 38 when she married George Norcutt and had been a domestic servant for some time. So likely if she was looking after Arthur she just had to place him in care as I suppose she was no longer working. It is possible her younger sister Ada was involved and I cannot trace her past 1901 census. The Home have been asked if they have more data. Why oh why I cannot find a GRO birth or 1901 or 1911 census for Arthur

July 2009 and Sandra has obtained from Fegan Homes the 1910 application documents when Flora placed Arthur into Fegan Homes.

Flora said that it was not known if his parents were living and that his father was a commercial traveller and mother a domestic servant and said "Aunt unable to support him since marriage".

Please note Flora was a Domestic servant and her own father Thomas was a commercial traveller see Thomas Sylvester Lankshear Family. (Note: Possible that Flora did not know if Thomas was alive as her mother Caroline said he was deceased when reporting Dorothy's death in 1889.) So did Flora just use her father's occupation or had there been a commercial traveller called William as Arthur thought his father was a William. 


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Fegan homes confirm they typically asked for the birth certificate from the parents or guardian at the time of admission. They also typically gave them back to the parents or the children when they emigrated so strange they didn't do this.

So they had a birth certificate but it is not for Arthur  it is for Hector son of 1885 George Henry  Lankshear marriage Sarah ABRAHAMS  at Chertsey - Hector was not in Fegan Homes and most decidely was at home with his mother Sarah in 1911 census.


Note: Hector was born 12 Dec 1899 and Arthur on admission form was shown as 17 Jan 1900. Hector's father was an indoor servant in a country house and Arthur's was said to be a commercial traveller. 

If we suppose Arthur was Flora's son there is no sign of him with her in 1901 census but as she says she has been looking after him until her marriage in 1909. Did he not get on well with George Norcutt - a mystery as to what happened. It looks like Arthur's birth was not registered and Flora needed a birth certificate and went to Somerset House and in those days you could look at documents and she found one for Hector nearly the same age. Plus Hector's father was a George and Flora had a brother George so did she mean that Arthur was her brother's son - anyhow in 1901 her brother was at home with his mother Caroline. George did go to Wales and married in Neath but I have not found him in 1911 census.   Then Mark found him

District Thanet Subdistrict Ramsgate

at least we have him at Home 

Well a sad start to the story - Flora's parents had a marriage breakdown and I suppose Flora had to fend for herself from a young age. Flora must have worked hard to look after Arthur. Then marriage to George NORCUTT and did she tell George about Arthur - anyhow she did look to Arthur's future and placed him in a good organisation and he went on to do very well in Canada and a very successful family. Flora had two children with George and we know their daughter Lydia also had a successful family too. 

I've started a page 1911 Ada Lankshear 

I suppose Arthur's actual father will remain a mystery and we can only assume scenario's about events back in 1900. 

And Mark and Rosemary have been discussing and here is a gracious comment they have made

"After speaking to Rosemary today (Flora's granddaughter), I strongly think that Flora had Arthur whilst working for George W Welham as a medical assistant in 1900/1901 and always kept it a secret. The name given as William for Arthur's father could quite easily be 'Welham', or indeed William (George's middle name). One reason I think this is plausible is that George Welham was a surgeon in 1901 and widowed. Flora was living there in 1901 and probably as a surgeon/doctor he obviously wouldn't want his reputation tarnished by an illegitimate child. Being a surgeon he'd have been more the capable of delivering the baby himself and keeping it a secret. The fact he was Flora's employer too means he could have helped her hide it also. Not sure when George W Welham died or his movements past 1901 though! Perhaps we can look into this? I've also no idea how his wife died before 1901 and if he re-married after 1901.

Rosemary remembers Flora talking about living with a family and being an assistant to a doctor/surgeon. She remembers Flora telling her stories about the family pet parrot that ripped up leather sofa's, etc. Perhaps Flora later marrying another George and calling her son WiIliam are pointers to a fond memory of Mr Welham? I'm just guessing really but it's quite a likely explanation."

Please review 1901 census - Florrie Larkshear and we now have a google maps link and an almost photo of 365 Brixton Rd. 

Welcome to my new cousins in Canada and also to Rosemary who has also provided a lovely photo of Florrie Elizabeth and George NORCUTT and to Mark who has found so many records that I missed. 


Picture of Fegan boys but we do not know which is Arthur and the copy is not very clear

1910arthur-photo.jpg (330350 bytes)

I tried to compare to Arthur's adult photo - indeed several boys could be him but their photo is too low resolution to show enough detail of faces 






And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age