Quarrier's Fairknowe Home 1888 - 


The Canadian reports of the child's progress in their new home were accidentally destroyed. This was done due to a misunderstanding when the Canadian end of the organisation closed down and thought that there was a copy retained in Scotland while the Scottish end thought the same and destroyed many of the reports. The page from the history book shows these reports by reference number but without detail. 

Quarriers charge £25 in order to offset some of the cost involved in retention and provision of the records. No charge is made for checking to see if someone was a former resident.

There are admission records for every child admitted to the Orphan Homes of Scotland (As Quarriers used to be known) At a minimum the enquirer will receive will be an entry from one of the large history books currently in Quarriers archives . This will give everything that is known about the family at the time and the reasons why the child had to come into care. In addition there may be copies of the scroll or desk diary of the receiving home in Glasgow which give some fascinating historical details, an entry from the admission register to the homes and in some cases, original birth certificates. These are sent by air mail to the enquirer with a covering letter . If an e mail address is provided then a reply with links to on line resources is sent. If known, photographs of the Cottage the child was in is sent as an attachment.

The Quarrier records can be accessed by contacting Josie Bell at josie.bell@quarriers.org.uk

or though their web site at:

Bridge of Weir
Renfrewshire, Scotland
PA11 3SX

e-mail: einquiries@quarriers.org.uk

web site: www.quarriers.org.uk

William Quarrier

Fairknowe Home, Brockville 


Glasgow shoemaker William Quarrier, founder of the Orphan Homes of Scotland at Bridge of Weir, opens his own Canadian receiving home, 'Fairknowe', at Brockville, Ontario. Quarriers Homes sends more than 7,000 Scottish children to Canada from 1871-1938. Quarrier’s first shipment of children left in 1872 for Annie MacPherson’s Homes. In 1888 William Quarrier purchased the home in Brockville, Ontario to be used as the receiving Home for his children. Prior to 1888 his children who came through Marchmount are often mistakenly thought to be MacPherson children. 

In 1897 an Act of Parliament was passed which was enacted to protect Canadian's from certain classes of children. Members of Parliament were concerned that ""Canada was being made a dumping ground for a very undesirable class of immigrants" and proposed a "vigorous immigration policy" that would limit immigration "to the right class — of good character and not destitute". William Quarrier took offence to this legislation and discontinued bringing children to Canada.

William Quarrier himself would never bring children to Canada again, he passed away in 1903. After his death, his daughters Agnes Quarrier Burges and Mary Quarrier began sending children once again to Fairknowe in Brockville. Immigration ceased in 1938.

Information on Quarriers including photos and free downloads of their newsletters (often containing the immigration photos of the parties of children) is found at:


The History of Fairknowe by Melanie Robertson King

Brockville today - photo credit: Lori Oschefski