Records of Orphans and Half-Orphans  

If you are looking for records of orphanages, Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE) may be able to help—but don’t count on it! It can be difficult to access records of orphans/adoptees: those records may well be sealed depending on the state of interest and the time period involved.

To find these records in Ancestry LE, do this:

Search—Card Catalog—Keyword(s) orphan

That search returns 8 results. Content of records varies widely, but may include the following information:

·         Name of child
·         Age
·         Date of birth
·         Place of birth
·         Arrived in US (if foreign-born)
·         Admission date
·         Discharge date
·         Nature of discharge
·         Father’s name
·         Mother’s name
·         Father’s age/year of birth
·         Mother’s age/year of birth
·         Father’s year of arrival in US (if foreign-born)
·         Mother’s year of arrival in US (if foreign-born)
·         Father’s occupation
·         Mother’s occupation
·         Parents living or dead?
·         Address of living parent
·         Remarks

In answer to the question you may or may not have asked, a half-orphan is a child with one living parent. Such children were sometimes consigned to orphanages if the living parent was unable to provide care due to illness, extreme poverty, or incarceration.

You can use Ancestry LE at Central Library and our branches.

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