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Thread: Orphanages

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    Hi Jim

    Never thought to ask............any idea how long I should give the Diagrama Foundation to answer my query, if indeed they answer at all, before I send another query?

    Diane

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    Quote Originally Posted by diane dillon View Post
    Hi Jim

    Never thought to ask............any idea how long I should give the Diagrama Foundation to answer my query, if indeed they answer at all, before I send another query?

    Diane
    I have no personal knowledge of how this organisation works, I was just able to find to find its contact details for you. That said, I would leave it a month from when you sent the note and then send a note again. You can 'wonder' if your original message got lost somewhere and then repeat your query with the information.

    Some email programs allow you to request an acknowledgement of receipt. I am not sure how this is done, as I don't use the option. If your email program does have this facility, then you must be aware that whilst you ask for a receipt, it is still dependent on the addressee being willing to acknowledge.

    Sorry not to be more help,

    Jim Lancaster (Bury, Lancs.)

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to lancaster.jim For This Useful Post:

    diane dillon (05-03-2016)

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    Its been 5 months since I sent an email to Diagrama inquiring about the case records for my grandfather and his 3 brothers, and I have never received a reply. Before I sent in another email I decided to send for birth certificates for the 4 boys and a death certificate for their father. I am now in possession of these 5 certificates and 8 days ago (Mon. Aug. 8) I sent another email off to Diagrama. I have not heard from them yet, but I will wait for a month and then send another email wondering if they received all my information with my request. Don't know what I'll do next if they don't bother to answer my email.

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    Update on the emails I sent to Diagrama:
    I did send another email to Diagrama in early Sep. and finally heard from them in early Oct. Don't know why, but they apparently had never received the first couple of emails I sent. They could not conduct a search at the present time for my ancestors because they were in the process of moving. I was informed my name was now on file and they would contact me when the move was completed. I waited 2 months, then sent another email asking if they could give me a timeline when I could expect to acquire the information about my ancestors. This lady told me she had passed on my email to the person who handles these requests and I could expect to hear from her early the following week. That was over a week ago and I haven't heard anything yet. This process has been going on for almost a year, so I have made some progress but its such a slow process. Hopefully, I will receive the information about my grandfather and his brothers soon. It would make a wonderful Christmas gift.

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    After 16 months of waiting and much frustration with the Diagrama Foundation the news I finally received on 14 June 2017 was very disappointing. All they sent was a copy of the index cards for Joseph O'Neill and Patrick O'Neill which has very little useful information on it except the sail dates, if they are correct. The dates of birth are wrong for both boys so maybe the sail dates are wrong too. That remains to be seen. There was nothing about my grandfather, Peter or the oldest brother, John. In a cover letter they did say the boys were in the care of the Southwark Local Authority and suggested I contact their Post Adoption Team. I'm giving myself a little time to recover from this disppointment before I reach out to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diane dillon View Post
    After 16 months of waiting and much frustration with the Diagrama Foundation the news I finally received on 14 June 2017 was very disappointing. All they sent was a copy of the index cards for Joseph O'Neill and Patrick O'Neill which has very little useful information on it except the sail dates, if they are correct. The dates of birth are wrong for both boys so maybe the sail dates are wrong too. That remains to be seen. There was nothing about my grandfather, Peter or the oldest brother, John. In a cover letter they did say the boys were in the care of the Southwark Local Authority and suggested I contact their Post Adoption Team. I'm giving myself a little time to recover from this disppointment before I reach out to them.
    Hi Diane...Please don't be disheartened. I had a similar response when researching a relative under similar circumstances. Unfortunately I think it is unlikely you will find any information for the boys when they were in care in the UK. As Joseph and Patrick were 'Home Children' have you checked www.bac-lac.gc.ca to see if they are listed on there. Also (if you haven't already) worth checking Ancestry for Canadian passenger lists and census records. Do you know if your grandfather Peter, and his brother John were Home Children? Just from my experience, are you sure you have the correct Joseph and Patrick if the dates of birth are wrong. Does the info you were given mention the name of the ship they sailed on?

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    Hi, Diane,

    Thanks for the update. It must have been very disappointing and frustrating to get the reply eventually and for it to contain so little information. Pat has made some suggestions about sources that may prove useful. I have written some notes below to help explain why the records you seek may not be available.

    Around 1900 the accepted philosophy of child care was that children in need would be best helped by being removed from their difficult environment and given a completely fresh start. Further, the fresh start should have no connection with the previous life. One consequence of this was that often records necessary for the administration of the organisation responsible for the child would be maintained. The clean break with the past was enshrined in the legislation about adoption in 1927. This prevented contact between the child and its birth parents.

    We are hoping that any records generated would be useful and would have survived. Since 1900 we have had two World Wars when there was emphasis on recycling paper to reduce the load on the merchant navy. Old records that had not been consulted for a long time were prime candidates for re-cycling. After the Second War, society's view about child care slowly changed. Large orphanages were closed. This meant that storage space for old records was lost, and so records were lost. By the mid 1960s, society was beginning to recognise the need for children who had been adopted or taken into care, to be able to learn about their background. This led to the recognition of the need to find surviving records. In the Catholic community, such records tended to be collected by the diocesan social service unit. In recent years some legislative changes have been contrary to the teaching of the Church and many diocesan bodies have opted out of adoption and fostering services, passing their responsibilities to other organisations such as Diagrama. Again, someone has to make a decision about what records must be kept and what can be discarded.

    Over the years there has been a steady change in our local authority structures, a recent major one occurring in 1974 and there have been others since then. At each of these, it is possible that 'old' records were culled - "that storage space will make a good office!"

    The retailers slogan "When its gone, its gone!" is true of these old records.

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