• Archival Collection

Records of St Joseph's Orphanage Largs Bay, Professional Standards Office Records Service of the Catholic Church

To access these records

Please contact the Professional Standards Office Records Service of the Catholic Church:

Postal Address: Catholic Diocesan Centre, 39 Wakefield Street, Adelaide SA 5000

Phone: (08) 8210 8275 or 1800 139 020

Email: receptionprofstandards@adelaide.catholic.org.au

Website: https://adelaide.catholic.org.au/our-people/professional-standards/records-service


Records of St Joseph’s Orphanage Largs Bay is an archival collection with records dated from 1903 to 1980. It is held by the Professional Standards Office Records Service of the Catholic Church. The collection includes Admission books and registers, and correspondence documents for St Joseph’s Orphanage.

Access Conditions

Please contact the Professional Standards Office Records Service for an application form and information regarding procedures and conditions with regard to accessing information from records held or managed by this office.

Information is open to former residents or family members who can prove their relationship to the resident.

The Professional Standards Office does not charge any fees to former residents of Catholic Homes seeking their records.


Admission Books (1956-1967 & 1966 – 1970)
The Admission Books contain records of children who were admitted to St Joseph’s Orphanage in Largs Bay (from 1969, also known as St Joseph’s Children’s Home). Names of children are listed alphabetically in sections with letter tabs. The pages are divided into hand drawn columns, with each child’s entry crossing two pages. Left hand page: (1) Admission, (2) Child’s name, (3) Mother, (4) Father. Right hand page: (5) Address, (6) Birth, (7) Place, (8) Source, (9) Discharge, (10) Destination.

Admission Register (1906 – 1980)
This Admission Register contains records of children who were admitted to St Joseph’s Orphanage in Largs Bay (from 1969, St Joseph’s Children’s Home). The Register begins with an alphabetical list of names with page references. A number of pages follow with information on ‘first communion’, baptisms and confirmations, 1906-1940s. Alphabetical listings of names and details in letter tabbed sections follow.

The ledger is then divided into columns over two pages. Left hand page (date at top): (1) Number, (2) Child’s name, (3) Age/Date of birth,(4) Male, (5) Female, (6) Date of Admission, (7) Date of Leaving. Right hand page: (8) Parent’s name, (9) Address, (10) Religion, (11) Remarks.

Notes on contents – Different handwriting indicates different record keeper. Amount and type of information dependent on record keeper. Date range runs 1906-1958 then gap of missing pages (p.133-143). Entries begin again 1969. Two loose pages at back titled ‘Record of parents and children’s ages 1925’ give admission date, family name, father’s and mother’s names, children’s names and birth dates, address. (4&5) Male/Female: In 1943 M and F columns changed to Place of birth and Religion respectively. (8) Parent’s names often absent in earlier years. Later entries have more information. (10) Religion from 1950s also includes ‘Sacraments’. (11) Remarks include: discharge from home – who with, when and where to; whether parents are alive or dead; baptism; holidays; readmissions and transfers to other homes; character and other information re parents; circumstances of child’s admission; adoption or fostering of child; health of child. Only one 1950s entry identified as Aboriginal. Not all entries have remarks.

Miscellaneous Correspondence and Documents (1903 – 1980)
Four folders containing correspondence relating to the land and buildings, maintenance and repairs, children, staff, fundraising, legacies left to the home, and the closure of the home. One document dated 1930s-1940s concerns Child Endowment and provides a handwritten list of names of children, noting whether or not a subsidy is claimed for them. Another document titled Children, 1930s onwards provides another list of children’s names. Folders contain a small number of letters requesting admission or related to the cases of individual children. There are also some news clippings relating to the history of the home.

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