The 3,000 Family Scheme

After his service in the British Artillery, Herbert Hunt and his wife, Jessica, moved to the English countryside to establish themselves as farmers. Failing in this endeavour, the couple applied to the 3,000 Family Scheme to try their luck in Canada. This joint program by the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom facilitated the immigration of over 18,000 individuals between 1924 and 1930.[i] The Hunts set sail for their new home on May 31, 1926, arriving at a settlement in Saskatchewan that was north of Spruce Lake and east of St. Walburg. Correspondence between Hunt, emigration agents and other officials gives context to the government interventions that facilitated his immigration and enabled him to purchase a farm, Hedgerows.

Additional scanned correspondence relating to Hunt’s participation in the 3,000 Family Scheme can be found in the York University Libraries Digital Repository

[i] Rebecca J. Manusco. “Three Thousand Families: English Canada’s Colonizing Vision and British Family Settlement, 1919-39,” Journal of Canadian Studies 45 (2011): 5, doi: 10.1353/jcs.2011.0030.

Empire settlement act - 1922

Empire settlement act - 1922

Conditions for application to the scheme. The annotation by an employee from the Empire Settlement Bureau in London traces the time when the Hunts were preparing their bid.

Approval certificate - 27 March 1926

Approval certificate - 27 March 1926

Following an interview process, the Hunts were approved to the scheme on March 27, 1926. This letter highlights the probationary period that required settlers to work on others’ farms for at least one year, under the supervision of Canada's Soldier Settlement Board. 

Letter from Oversea Settlement Department - 7 May 1926

 Letter from Oversea Settlement Department - 7 May 1926

This letter from the United Kingdom’s Oversea Settlement Department, dated May 7, 1926, outlines community supports that were available to settlers. It also highlights the drive to grow the program. 

Statement of account - 1928

Statement of account - 1928

The Soldier Settlement Board provided settlers with furniture, livestock, and farming equipment under a financing agreement. Here is Hunt’s 1928 loan record. 

News clipping, Emigrants return back home to seek prosperity - between 1926 and 1936

News clipping, Emigrants return back home to seek prosperity - between 1926 and 1936

Detailing the exultant homecoming of former 3,000 Family Scheme participants, this annotated newspaper clipping speaks to Hunt’s desire to return to England. 

The 3,000 Family Scheme