Regular readers of my #52Ancestors posts will know that I am lucky enough to have – in the family archives – a letter to my great-grandmother from her mother regarding our family history, written back in 1924. That letter includes many snippets of information which I have painstakingly researched over the years to work out the connections and find out more. One particular piece of information bemused me for many years:
Writing about photographs, Ellen Laura Gosling (born Baynham) writes that ‘the old lady …. was G. Baynham’s Aunt Dunt = her mothers sister‘. Hm…. Well, G. was more than likely going to be Granny Baynham, i.e. Ellen’s mother, who was born as Maria Jaycock Steer and became a Baynham in 1863 when she married William Baynham.
Photographed here at 103 The Grove, Ealing in around 1915, ‘Granny Baynham’ is pictured on the right and Ellen Laura Gosling (nee Baynham), the letter writer, is sat at the bottom of the steps.
All we knew from my grandfather’s tree was that Granny Baynham’s mother was called Sarah Delamore and became Sarah Steer on marriage to Joshua Steer. But he had no idea where, or when….. Well, we do now! Holborn St Andrew on Boxing Day in 1814 (Source: Guildhall, St Andrew Holborn, Register of marriages, 1813 – 1815, P69/AND2/A/01/Ms 6672/1):
Delamore is an unusual name and, although Sarah (as Steer) was recorded in both the 1851 and 1861 censuses (where her birth place was recorded as ‘Harrow, Middlesex’), searching the parish registers for the 1790s in Harrow, there were no Delamore baptisms. But, there was a Sarah DOLIMORE (Source: London Metropolitan Archives, St Mary, Harrow, Composite register: baptisms Apr 1735 – Dec 1812, DRO/003/A/01/005):
Other children born of James and Mary included James (bp. 1785), Elizabeth (bp. 1787), Anne (bp. 1796) and John (bp. 1799) with the surname consistently written as DOLIMORE. So, the key was to find which of Sarah’s sister’s was ‘Aunt Dunt’. Using a whole pile of wildcards (*) in the Ancestry London marriages and Banns collection, up popped Elizabeth DOLLIMORE marrying Charles DUNT!
And so, the mystery was solved…. Have to love those surnames which are never written the same way twice. Mind you – if Shakespeare couldn’t manage it, what chance did the rest of them have?