to 'Orphan Train Riders to Iowa' website! Children 'placed out'
during the Orphan Train Era (1853-1929) and their descendants
have particular research problems. We hope to educate you a bit
on this subject and help you further your research on any
ancestors you may have that came to Iowa on one of the infamous
This website is here for you to tell the story of your
family's Orphan Train Rider, as well as to try and help you find
information that may add to your research. If you
have questions or comments please
email me and I will do my best to help you.
Beginning sometime during 1853,
charitable institutions in New York City began sending orphans
on trains to the west to find new families, hoping the children
would fare better out west than on the streets of New York.
Orphan trains began arriving in Iowa during 1854 ending about
1930. During this time over 5000 children were placed in