This week’s theme for #52 Ancestors is Overlooked. My subject this week is one that those of you who are researching your own family history may understand. Do you have a part of your family tree research that isn’t as well researched by yourself as other parts of the tree? I have! My Baldwin side of the family has been sorely under researched. There are various reasons why we might favour a certain part of our tree, it may be more contacts, it’s easier to find ancestors, or perhaps we prefer them.
For me the Baldwins have proved more difficult, I can find very few people who are also researching this part of my family tree. My DNA results back this up, so far I have found no matches with my Baldwin part of the family. The Pilbeam side are extremely well represented. The Pilbeams were also based in Sussex, I know the area, the records offices are close by and there are loads of sources of Sussex records online. The Baldwins, came from Hackney and other parts of London and Middlesex, an area I don’t know at all and records have been more difficult to find. Also the fact that Corles Baldwin, my Great x 4 Grandfather came from Ireland which is much more difficult to research is a large brickwall to my research.
However that is not to say that the Baldwin family are not interesting. They are! Much better travelled than the Pilbeams and coming from the City of London as they did, into which people moved from all parts of the country, the families that married into the Baldwins come from Devon, Norfolk, Ireland and Lincolnshire. Part of the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century when poor agricultural families moved to cities for the chance of a better life. Although sadly the parts my family were found in, I’m not sure they found a better or more prosperous life! I have only found one family so far, the Turners who were in London in the 18th century, living and working not far from the tower of London. My Baldwins were dockers working on the River Thames, working with tea and sugar and I need to learn more about where and how and what this involved.
During 2023 I would like to spend more time on the Baldwins. Meeting Dad’s cousin for the first time has spurred me on to find out more information to share with her, the family she never knew she had. Particularly the 20th century Baldwins, another area of research I often overlook, preferring to look further back in time. Sometimes this is easier than 20th century research which is often hampered by lack of resources because of records being closed for up to 100 years like the census.
Thrulines on my Ancestry DNA results is interesting, they come up with potential ancestors based on the research where available for your matches, the couple of Baldwin matches I have, suggest a mother for Corles Baldwin, I don’t know how correct it is but it is definitely worth checking out.
I will also continue to search the British Newspaper Archive for useful and interesting articles that mention my Baldwins like the one I related a few weeks ago about my Dad’s uncle, William who died in an accident at Green Brothers Factory in Hailsham in 1950. It is amazing what nuggets of information about our ancestors lives can be found from newspapers.
Next week’s blog I am writing about the research I have carried out on Thomas, eldest son of Corles and Hester whose family didn’t stay in England but travelled the Atlantic and settled in Canada. I have found at least one of his grandsons who has his name on the Menin Gate memorial in Ypres. But more of that next week.