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Neither Waif Nor Stray: The Search for a Stolen Identity Paperback – February 15, 2000
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From the Publisher
My Father never had a Birth Certificate. He had nothing to verify who he was for the first 33 years of his life. For the next 15 years, he carried a tattered To Whom it May Concern letter that stated his name and identified him as of British nationality. For the first half of his life, he had serious doubts if his surname was really Snow. He wondered if someone had simply invented it for him. When he was 48 years old, he obtained a Baptism Certificate that confirmed his name, identified his Mother, but not his Father. For the next 16 years, this was all he had for identification. When he was 64 years old, he received his Canadian Citizenship. He wrote to the Waifs and Strays Society for 55 years, but they withheld from him the vital information he so desperately sought. Why did they not want him to know who he was? I resumed his lifelong search following his death on his unconfirmed birthday in 1994. The Children's Society reluctantly released his 82-year-old case file to me. It took me four years to identify his Parents and locate his Family.
Your ancestors may have been British Home Children. You may be one of the four million of Canada's "Invisible Immigrants." Your ancestor's stories do not appear in Canadian school curricula. The British childcare organizations deliberately severed the Home Children's familial ties. The four million descendants have a potential 20 million British relatives. If one purpose of the scheme was to simply rid Britain of an unwanted element of their society, they only partially succeeded. They underestimated the strength of needing to know who you are - to have an identity. I hope the successful conclusion of my search will inspire others to persist until they re-establish their familial ties. No one should live their lives without knowing who they are and to whom they belong. It is your birthright to know your heritage.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was awed by the courage and resilience of Mr. Snow. I was moved by this story and the impact it has had on many Canadians. Well worth a read. Liz J.
My Grandfather was at St. Augustine with Perry's father. I have been in contact with Perry via email.
I can now understand why my Grandfater cried when he was telling me about his experiences as a boy. I am sure my Grandfather purposely left a lot out of his stories, things he was trying to forget. I did a paper on his life story when I was in highschool, it makes me sad to know that so many of these children were treated so cruely.
My Grandfather did eventually find his family, he was one of the lucky ones as many families are still looking for their roots.
Thank you Perry!!!