Boston Female Asylum

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Date: 19 Oct 2018 [unknown]
Location: Boston, Massachusettsmap
Surnames/tags: orphanages transcripts
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The Boston Female Asylum was originally founded in 1800 care for orphaned and destitute girls in Boston. At the time, the only public charities were in existence were the Humane Society, the Marine Society, and the Dispensary. Even more unusual, the Boston Female Asylum was run by women; men were not allowed to become board members, though "donations from gentlemen will be gladly received". (Speech at the 100th Anniversary Meeting, October 1900)

Hannah Stillman served as the first director and the original board was made up by Sarah Bowdoin, Elizabeth Perkins, Elizabeth Thurston, Mary Hubbard, Sarah Parkman, Hannah Smith, Mary Gray, Abigail May, Margaret Whitwell, Elizabeth Dorr, Mary Grew, Ann Green, Margaret Cooper and Elizabeth Goodwin.

The Asylum outgrew its first official location on 62 Essex St. in 1844, and moved to Washington St., Boston. In 1896 they purchased a second residence in Lexington, Mass., which served as a home for about 20 girls, as well as a summer residence for the ones who remained chiefly in Boston.

By the early 1900s, public opinion was shifting away from the wisdom of using institutions for children and believed they should be raised in families. In 1907, the asylum was closed and family home care was used instead. The organization was renamed the Boston Society for the Care of Girls in 1910, to better describe its new role. The society merged with the Boston Children's Aid Society in 1923 to form the Children’s Aid Association, later to become the Boston Children's Service Association.


Transcripts of Managers Meetings records, 1877-1888

Please note: Errors may have been made in the transcribing of the original handwritten records. The originals are available online at Original spelling and capitalization maintained where possible. Many facts of the girls under the care of the Asylum are mentioned, making these records a treasure trove for historians and genealogists.

Transcripts of Managers Meetings records, 1900-1912

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