• Archival Collection

Records of Methodist Children's Home/Lentara

To access these records

Please contact the General Manager Services, Uniting Communities:

Postal Address: GPO Box 2534, Adelaide SA 5001

Phone: (08) 8202 5111

Email: enquiries@unitingcommunities.org

Website: https://www.unitingcommunities.org/

Records Location

These records are held by Uniting Communities (2012 - current).


The collection of records relating to Methodist Children’s Homes & Lentara is held by Uniting Communities. The records date 1905 when it was known as the Methodist Children’s Home(s) up until its decentralisation into a series of Cottage Homes in the 1970s-80s. The collection includes one large bound Admission register covering the period 1905-1976, Annual reports, correspondence, financial records, newsletters, miscellaneous documents and photographs. The majority of photographs of children are unidentified. A number of files relate specifically to Aboriginal children brought to the Home from Croker Island in the Northern Territory in the 1950s.

Access Conditions

All personal information held by Uniting Communities is accessible upon request and is only limited in special circumstances. Proof of identity is required. Information affecting the privacy of others will be deleted from copies of documents made accessible. Contact Uniting Communities for further information.


Records of Methodist Children’s Homes/Lentara held by Uniting Communities include:

Register of Admissions to the Methodist Home, Largs Bay (1905 – 1976)
The Register of Admissions to the Methodist Home, Largs Bay contains records of children who were admitted to the Methodist Home for Children (1905-1923), Methodist Children’s Homes (1924-1960) and Lentara (1960-1977). An entry in this Register typically contains information about a child’s name, date of birth, parents and dates of admission and discharge.

The register records the following information: Left hand page: (1) Number, (2) Name, (3) Age, (4) Date of birth, (5) Last place of residence, (6) What relative in the state, where living, earnings, occupation. Right hand page: (7) Court of committal, (8) Reasons for admission, (9) Date of admission, (10) Date of leaving, (11) Where gone to.

Notes on contents – Changes in handwriting indicate different record keepers. Amount of information depends on record keeper. Pages 1-32 cover 1905-1965. At page 33 the title at the top of the page changes to ‘1921 Boys Home’ and numbers start from 1 again. Page 28 includes information about children from Croker Island Mission.
(5) Last place of residence entries can include the name(s) of other homes from which child has been transferred. (
6) What relative: Parent’s names are given if available. Also records whether parents are living or dead and gives information on their personal and employment situations. In rare cases, the entry identifies parent(s) as ‘Aboriginal’.
(7) Court of committal gives Department reference number. Sometimes records duration of admission such as ‘until things are settled’, ‘for 9 months’ ‘until such time as mother can provide a home’ or ‘indefinite’.
(8) Reasons for admission: Sometimes gives reasons and sometimes records parents’ maintenance payments. Information about adoption sometimes provided. Very occasionally an indication of ‘Aboriginality’ is given.
(11) Where gone to: sometimes gives names of foster parents or location, or records when a child was returned to parents or to the Welfare Department. Includes information about transfers to other institutions such as Tanderra.

Indigenous Children, Lentara (Magill Children’s Home) (1950s – 1970s)
Four packets primarily containing black and white photographs of children at Lentara. Packets also include clippings and photocopies of the Mission newsletter, Transmission with photos and information about Aboriginal children. One packet contains an unidentified news clipping dated 1957/8 relating to children from Croker Island.

Aboriginal Children sent from Croker Island to Southern Institutions (1905? – 1976?)
A manila folder with plastic sleeves containing loose paper documents and letters relating to transfers of children from the Northern Territory, particularly Croker Island.

Magill Children’s Home/Lentara [Photographs] (1905? – 1976?)
A range of photographs relating to Lentara including photographs of buildings and of children, mostly unidentified.

Annual reports of the Adelaide Central Methodist Mission (1910 – 1952)
These annual reports regularly include a section on the Children’s Home, providing an update of developments during the year. Includes information about building, staff, events and outings for children. Photographs of the home and of children are often included.

Accounts Book – Magill Children’s Home/Lentara (1905? 1976?)
The account book contains information for payments made to Lentara for children.

  • From

    c. 1905

  • To



Contact Find & Connect

Save page