Mystery of ‘baby Arthur’ left on doorsteps of Victoria orphanage in 1925 solved by daughters

Watch it's a mystery going back to nineteen-twenty-five. a baby boy dropped off at an orphanage. Now, almost a hundred years later, that baby's daughters reunited with their biological family for the first time. Luisa Alvarez reports

Sharing a meal over stories and laughs has been a long time coming for a family who just a few months ago had no idea each other existed.

“My sister about three months ago discovered our birth grandmother, I’m getting goosebumps just telling you about it it’s surreal,” said Andrew Sievers, of North Carolina.

For over four decades Sievers and her sister Laurie Smith, who lives in Arizona, had been searching for their fathers birth parents and after years of dead ends, they recently had a breakthrough using a genealogy website.

“When came out I used DNA which changed everything and that is when I started finding out about the Erauts,” said Smith.

Born Lucy Isabel Eraut in 1899, and who died in 1990 as Lucy Goodrich.

The Eraut’s as Smith quickly found out was her birth grandmother’s family, Lucy Isabel Eraut born in 1899 and died in 1990 as Lucy Goodrich was their father’s birth mother.

Through the website, they also learned they had a first cousin Claire Eraut who lived in Victoria, B.C..

“This was a huge surprise and it was a welcome surprise very, very interesting,”  said Claire.

“He is the spitting image of our older brother William junior,” said Sievers.

Nobody in the Eraut family knew Lucy ever had a child. It wasn’t until they got a phone call from their newfound relatives, Laurie and Andrea, that they found out.

“To get the information that aunt Lucy had a child was mind-blowing,” said Nola Mcmullan.

On top of finding out Lucy had a child, the sisters had quite the tale about their father, Lucy’s son.

At two weeks old their father was left on the steps of the Protestant Orphans’ Home in a basket with five dollars, a warm bottle of milk and a note asking the orphanage to take care of the baby until her return.

“She wrote Arthur on a piece of paper tore it in half, left half in the basket and wrote you’ll know it’s me when I come back cause I’ll have the other half of the note,” said Sievers.

At the time the story made headlines “Mother’s Last Dollar Left With Foundling” read the Daily Colonist newspaper in 1925.

Sievers and Smith along with their two brothers didn’t even know their father was adopted until they were adults. Smith was in college researching an assignment on her family tree.

“I went home and asked my mother to tell me about her family and she said well let me tell you about your father’s and she did that and I was in shock,” said Smith.

Now, after speaking with the Eraut’s they know at the time Lucy was going through a divorce and hoping to make it on her own first was unable to care for her baby.

It’s still unknown why Lucy never returned for her son Arthur but they know he had a good life at the orphanage now known as the Cridge Centre for the Family.

“The Cridge meant a lot to him, he always had fond memories,” said Sievers.

Baby Arthur was adopted at four years old by a New York Couple who raised him as William Arthur Holmes.

Holmes wanted to find his birth parents and in 1990 went back to the Cridge Centre looking for answers.

“Unfortunately there was no information so he came out with tears in his eyes,”  said Sievers.

“Without the internet and without the DNA it was just impossible really for him,” said Smith.

Holmes passed away before getting the answers he craved but his daughters didn’t stop looking and now they are now able to sit across from their new relatives trading memories and filling in the many blanks still left of their family’s history.



Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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