Thursday, April 22, 2010

Orphan Train Children

From the mid 1850s to 1929 between 150,000 to 200,000 orphaned or abandoned children made their way west from the U.S. East Coast to be adopted into new homes and families in the Midwest, West and Canada. Because they moved primarily via trains they were commonly known as orphan train children.

Kansas played a role in this movement as a final destination for many children and continues to remember them, their families of origin, adoptive families and their life changing experiences with a museum and research center in Concordia.

The links below connect you to the tragic and triumphant stories of the children and adults who were involved in this great social experiment. We've emphasized information resources for Kansas but have included other related sources as well.

National Orphan Train Complex
(Located in Concordia, Kansas, the Complex has a museum and research center. The website includes a history of the orphan trains and personal stories by adoptees)
---Museum Virtual Tour
---Orphan Train History
---Orphan Train Rider Stories
---Website Archives
---Links to Primary Resource Facilities

Orphan Trains of Kansas
(History, stories, newspaper accounts, graphics and references provided on the Kansas Collection website)

Bibliography of Printed Material on Orphan Train Children
(prepared by the Kansas Collection and State Library of Kansas)

Library Holdings at the State Library of Kansas, Kansas State Historical Society and Washburn University (ATLAS online catalog)

The Orphan Trains
(website for a PBS special TV program)

The Orphan Trains/Children's Aid Society

Orphan Trains of Nebraska

Orphan Trains
(Nebraska State Historical Society)

Orphan Train
(Iowa GenWeb Project)

Some Orphan Trains Genealogy Links

Orphan Trains (Cyndi's Genealogy List)

Orphan Train (song) written by Utah Phillips
---The Song Lyrics
---The Song on YouTube (performed by Dry Branch Fire Squad)

Article contact: Bill Sowers

1 comment:

  1. Great information! Where would I begin to find information on my great-grandmother?