And today, I give you a challenge….

4 October 2013

Sometimes, no matter how experienced a team of researchers are, they are still unable to crack a problem. And this is a problem in my own family tree which has eluded me and everyone I have handed it to over the years…. and so, I share it with my blog followers…. can you succeed where all others have failed?

Doris Kathleen Maud Balderstone was born 15 February 1900 in Surbiton, daughter of Emma Balderstone, a domestic cook. On the family tree produced by my paternal grandfather back in the 1970’s (if not earlier), he notes Doris as the first born child of Whitby George William Baynham – there are not many of them around I can tell you. Well, one actually! He married Emma’s sister, Charlotte Balderstone in June qtr 1900 in Bedford RD and the couple take Doris in if she was their own daughter. However, they marry as John Ford and Charlotte Balderstone. All the documentation we have from the ‘Doris archives’ shows any reference to the Ford family by initials only but all of John and Charlotte’s children are born as Ford and live their lives with the surname. Doris dies as Doris Kathleen Baynham, a spinster, and is utterly accepted by the Baynham family, indeed paying for her ‘aunt’s’ care in the Salvation Army residential home and caring for another (childless) aunt before she died.

Now, here is the question: why did Whitby George William Baynham move from Islington, London to Bedford between 1891 and 1900 and change his name so drastically?

[For information: census references have been located for Whitby in 1881, George in 1891 and John in both 1901 and 1911. John died in December 1945 in Bedford.]

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