This morning, while wondering once again about who the father of Walter Fordham Cox (previously discussed here) might be, the thought struck me about another illegitimate child born on another branch of the family tree.
That other child being William Owen Bibby, the son of William Owen and Ruth Glover. You will note from the names, that the younger William appears to have been named after his dad.
Could this also be the case with Walter Fordham Cox? It’s certainly possible.
I decided first to do a search for anyone called Walter Fordham born within about 2 years of Louisa Cox (mother of Walter Fordham Cox), assuming that the father would be a similar age to Louisa of course, it might not be the case.
As you can see, there were surprisingly few of them, 3 in total.
I also did a search for the deaths of any of these to check whether any had died at a young age. It seems that one of them did, Walter Charles Fordham’s death was registered in the Hendon registration district in the September quarter of 1875.
So, that leaves me with 2 possibilities, Walter Harry Fordham, who would have been about 14 years old at the birth of Walter Fordham Cox, or Walter James, who would have been approximately the same age as Louisa Cox (about 16 years old).
I decided to look a bit more at Walter James, if similar ages are a factor as to who the dad is, then he looked like a definite possibility.
It seems that this Walter was the son of a Charles Fordham and Eliza Howell. I found him on each of the 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 census. Also, his marriage in London to a Clara Elverstone in 1899.
I then also traced Charles Fordham born about 1853 in Hadstock, Essex back through the census, his parents were William Fordham and Martha Casbolt. Some family trees on Ancestry show this family.
I thought Casbolt might be a unique enough name to do a surname search of my dna matches. A search for “Fordham” doesn’t show up anything particularly inspiring at the moment.
However, a search for Casbolt brought up only one result. A Mary Ann Casbolt shows up in a DNA match’s family tree, born 1812 in Linton, Cambridgeshire.
Interesting, considering Martha Casbolt, mentioned above, wife of William Fordham was also born in Linton, Cambridgeshire (in about 1833). Was there a link between the 2? If so, then this distant dna match (sharing just 10.5 centimorgans across 1 dna segment) could have provided the key to resolving who is Walter Fordham Cox’s dad?
After a lot of searching I discovered a link.
It seems their common ancestors are the great grandparents of Martha Casbolt – John Casbolt and Mary Webb, through John and Mary’s son, John. While Mary Ann is the grand daughter of John and Mary’s son, William.
So, what about Walter Harry Fordham, the 2nd possible dad of Walter Fordham Cox? His mother’s maiden name was apparently Pledger.
I searched for the marriage of a Fordham and a Pledger and found a William Henry Fordham married an Emma Pledger in Cambridge in 1858, so now I had a family to look out for in the census.
Following this Walter through the census, he doesn’t appear to leave the Cambridge area.
Doing a search of my DNA matches for the surname Pledger, there are Pledgers in the family trees of about 6 DNA matches, 2 of them with Pledgers from Cambridgeshire. At present it cannot be confirmed whether those link to Emma Pledger who married William Henry Fordham.
Conclusions from the above – 2 Walter Fordhams have been identified who are potential partners of Louisa Cox, and father of Walter Fordham Cox, based on similar age to Louisa.
The 2 Walter Fordhams were both born in Cambridgeshire, one would have been about 16 at the time of the birth of Walter Fordham Cox, while the other would have been about 14.
Walter James Fordham can be shown to have moved away from the Cambridgeshire area, and into London, while it cannot be shown that Walter Harry did so, he appeared to remain in Cambridgeshire.
A DNA match has been identified who links in to the grandmother of Walter James Fordham, Martha Casbolt.
DNA matches have also been identified to Pledgers in Cambridgeshire (maiden name of Walter Harry Fordham’s mum), but with no link as yet proven to Emma Pledger.
If there are other descendants out there somewhere of the likely father, then I believe that them doing a dna test will prove more helpful in identifying who that father may be.