Orphan Train Research Sources

Orphan Train Heritage Society of America Inc OTHSA
http://www.orphantraindepot.com/
The legacy of the famed Orphan Trains that began during the first days of the Children’s Aid Society in New York lives on today. An estimated 150,000 children took part in the Orphan Train Movement from 1854 to 1929, giving them new lives and a bright future by removing them from the poverty and danger of the city streets.

Victor Remer Historical Archives

http://www.childrensaidsociety.org/about/history/victor-remer-historical-archives

Important historical records can be accessed via The Guide to the Records of The Children’s Aid Society (1853-1947). This guide contains materials pertaining to emigration programs such as the Orphan Train, foster care and adoption programs operating between 1853-1947, annual reports to 2006, a small collection of materials from 1948-1951, and The Children’s Aid Society lodging houses, industrial schools, convalescent homes, health centers and farm schools.

Guide to the Records of the Children’s Aid Society 1836-2006 (bulk 1853-1947)  MS 111

http://dlib.nyu.edu/findingaids/html/nyhs/childrensaidsociety_at.html

A solid collection of records and references, but primarily focused on New York or the point of departure.

Although the emigration program became known as the “orphan train,” many of the children were not orphans. They were children whose guardians could not care for them, or who hoped they would find a better life, and who signed surrender documents releasing them to the care of the Children’s Aid Society. Many others were adolescents without known guardians who were seeking their own fortunes by heading west.

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