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I was brought up in the highland orphanage Inverness now closed,is there anybody out there know of this place



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Hi Both Harolds

I too am a Douglas descendant and I have worked with disabled teenagers for the last ten years. I drove down Island Bank road in Inverness two weeks ago, admiring some of the big houses there. Didn't realise the sad memories one of them held.

Dear Harold, in reply to your question, my mother and her sisters came to the Highland orphange in 1939 from Germany as part of the Kindertransport. The Liebmann girls were pictured upon their arrival by a local newspaper collecting a few toys from a local toy shop as they arrived in the UK with very little to their names.  Their youngest sister joined them some months later at only 6 months old, she lived with Mrs Ritchie in her private accomadation.  Apart from the names you have mentioned and the weekly walk to the church not much more was mentioned with the exception of mum's friend Flora McDonald who sadly died whilst in residence at the home.  I would love to learn more about the home from this time and would appreciate any information you are able to pass on. 

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Best wishes


Moira Hodges

I'm fascinated to read about the Highland Orphanage after all these years and it was by chance that I found this website when I Googled the Orphanage!  My aunt, Mrs Eva MacDonald,  was working at the Orphanage during the Second World War when I was a little girl.  She had married Peter MacDonald who, if my memory serves me correctly, worked at the Orphanage too and he may even have been an "old boy" from there.  At that time I believe there were about 100 children staying there.  I have lots of memories of the place as my mother and I would go and stay there from time to time and somewhere I have pictures of myself with Dagmar Liebmann, Mrs Ritchie, my Mum and my Auntie Eva taken in the grounds of the Orphanage.  Hope I can find them!  Because Dagmar was just a baby when she came and not, I believe, in very good health, my aunt had a lot to do with looking after her.  Mrs Richie' had a sister, Mrs Alexander, who lived in the US, and she was very good to the orphanage during the war years sending items which couldn't be had in the UK.  I was born in 1938 so I'm a little older than Dagmar.  Mrs Richie legally adopted Dagmar at some point but I don't recall when that took place exactly.

Dagmar was almost considered part of our family and used to spend part of the summer holidays with another of my Mum's sisters, my uncle and three girl cousins in Macduff, Banffshire, as we grew up, when I would also be there, so we knew each other pretty well in those days.  As is often the case we lost touch many years ago.  I know Dagmar married some time after I did, perhaps to a Norwegian?

Hi Audrey,

I can't believe I have only just seen your response from 5 years ago. Dagmar is my aunt and yes living in Norway, in fact I'm going to visit her in May. Would love to hear more and look at any photos you may have.

Look forward to hearing from you soon .

Hello Moira,

I would love to get in touch with Dagmar if at all possible (I don't know if you saw my previous message?)

All the best,


Hi Fiona,

Apologies for not responding sooner as I've been away. As I'm sure you will appreciate before I can pass on any  information relating to Dagmar I will need to get her permission. Before I do so I would be grateful if you could give me more info regarding your family, such as your dad and uncles name. I'm also happy to pass on any messages to her in the meantime.

Hello Moira, thanks for your reply, I'm only seeing it now!  It would be amazing if you could ask Dagmar.  How can I PM you?  I'm new to this site so will try and add you to my email contacts?


we would love to hear from you Moira.  We have as strong Highland orphanage alumni dating from the Carrol Children's home era.  Our knowledge of the old place is very limited

Hello Moira,

I came across your messages here when searching for Highland Orphanage info as myself and my family have been attempting to find Dagmar for a number of years now on behalf of my father and uncles who were in the Orphanage at the same time.  My dad in particular had incredibly fond memories of her and we've always wanted to find her to say thank you.  She probably didn't realise what a hugely positive impact she had made.  I am overjoyed to hear your are her niece and that she is still alive?  Would there be any way you could put me in touch with her or pass on a message?  Thanks. Fiona.x

Hi there,

I know it has been a while since anyone posted on this thread but I have only just found this forum.

I have a friend looking for information on one of her relatives that she has never met.

Ada, was born in 1940 in the Northern Infirmary in Inverness. I don't know if she ever lived her mum but when her mum left Scotland, Ada definitely didn't go with her.  Ada wasn't left with a family member (as had happened with Ada's sibling) and I haven't found a marriage or death certificate for her. There was no notes on her birth certificate to say she had been adopted and so I wondered if she may have ended up at the orphanage.

There is no one within the family that knows anything helpful and my friend did not know of Ada's existence until last year.

If anyone can remember her or if anyone knows where I can find out if she was there, I would really appreciate it.

Many thanks

INVERNESS HIGHLAND ORPHANAGE REPORT from 1895 was being offered for sale on ebay - it may still be available: 

Anyone recognise the two little boys in this video?


Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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