Blencowe Families’ Association Newsletter Vol. 18 No. 3 September 2003

Brother and sister re-united after seventy-five years!

Martin Aldridge and his father find six new relatives.

The story started with an e-mail from Martin Aldridge seeking information about his grandmother Hilda Rose Blencowe who had been born in 1906. Martin's father had been born Arthur Blencowe in 1928 and given for adoption. His adoptive parents renamed him Anthony Aldridge.

Martin had traced the family to Bicester and had been helped by Jo Delaforce, the most active researcher of Bicester Blencowes in U.K. Jo and I were able to give Martin Hilda's ancestry back through seven generations to William Blincow who had died in Launton in 1781 and whose son William (1735-1806) had married Anne Allum as his second wife in Bicester in 1763. Martin lived quite close by in High Wycombe, where his adoptive grandfather had worked in the furniture industry, and we encouraged him to go to Bicester and start searching around.

Martin takes up the story:

'Last week I was on holiday so we planned to spend the Friday morning in Bicester looking at where my Dad thought he had been born and lived, and the afternoon in Oxford looking at the records.

With Dad, Mum and my wife we went first to 38 North Street, to find that most of the houses had recently been knocked down. From there we went to Market End Lane to find a new estate and a playground. Not very lucky so far!

After lunch in Bicester I thought the best idea would be to have a look around the graveyard where we found three Blencowes. After about 20 minutes we met Ron Haynes tending some graves who said he knew a few Blencowes and mentioned a friend of his knew a Marjorie. We realised instantly that this must be my Dad's sister. Ron knew roughly where she lived and we decided to go along to the area, which was just up the road. Not wanting to give a 78-year old lady too much of a shock, we decided that Dad should go to the door alone while the rest of us waited outside. My Dad knocked on the door and told that he was looking for Marjorie May Blencowe. She cautiously decided that my dad wasn't a con-man and eventually let us in.

Marjorie already knew a lot about my dad and that he had been sent to the Aldridges of High Wycombe. Hilda's family had never allowed her to marry her sweetheart, but she still had two children; she gave away my Dad for adoption and hopefully a better life. She kept Marjorie who even remembers playing with my dad when she was three and he was just a few months old. We are hoping to meet again soon, maybe we could have a mini reunion!

We also found that grandfather had first been named Anthhony, then Arthur and finally Anthony Aldridge!

Martin Aldridge, High Wycombe, September 2003

updated: 6 February 2009