View Full Version : How do you find out if someone changed their name?

29-01-2006, 9:04 PM
At this point I'm really confused!

I ordered the birth and marriage certs for my 2xgrandfather and now I have received them I don't know what to make of them.....

From Census records, we found that William Bentley Hancock was born in 1852, and was shown as son of Job and Fanny Hancock. From later records, we established that he married a 'Harriet'.

I only found 2 records for William Bentley Hancock which match everything, right years, area, names, etc.

Now that I have received them, what doesn't add up is the parents of William.

The birth cert shows his father as William Estwick and his mother as Louisa Hancock, and the marriage cert shows his father as William Hancock.

Doing some digging, I have uncovered on the 1851 census an William Estwick, born in Hitchin, who was at that time married to Ann and living in Shoreditch (right kind of area). I have also found a Louisa Hancock who was listed as 'Widow' who was a visitor to the house on that day (looks like she was doing some needlework for the occupants of the house).

I have also found a birth record for a William Bentley ESTWICK in the same place/date as William Bentley HANCOCK so it looks like it could have been re-reigstered - would you find 2 separate records in this case? Would it be worth ordering that certificate too?

I can find no mention of William Estwick (elder) after the 1851 census, and there seems to be no other mention of William Bentley Estwick either.

I'm wondering whether William Estwick changed his name to William Hancock? How would we find out that information?

This of course doesn't answer why William is shown on the 1861 census as being son of Job and Fanny, assuming of course that that is the correct William (can o'worms!)

Any suggestions????

Edited to add: Just logged on to FreeBMD and have found more records for Wiliam Estwick - a marriage in Hackney (where William B Hancock was born), and also a death in Hitchin (where W Estwick was born) in 1862. So perhaps (purely speculation at this point) something happened to Louisa and William and Job and Fanny took William on as his own?

29-01-2006, 9:30 PM
although it is jumping to conclusions at this point.

I have found a marriage of a Louisa Hancock to a William Estwick in 1856 in Hackney, where William Hancock was born.

I have found potential death records of both Louisa and William E - Louisa in 1856, and William E in 1866.

So I am thinking that as they had both died, William Hancock went to live with Job and Fanny as their 'son' (according to the census). What I haven't yet worked out is Louisa's connection to Job....

29-01-2006, 10:30 PM
the marriage certificate of Louisa Hancock to William E will show her father's name, let's hope it's Job


30-01-2006, 9:15 AM
the marriage certificate of Louisa Hancock to William E will show her father's name, let's hope it's Job


Well, the confusing thing is that there IS a Louisa listed in the household of Job in 1851, but she was only 3 (according to that anyway). Which would make her around 4 or 5 at the time of William's birth.

I am going to order Louisa & William E's marriage certificate anyway, as I think it should shed a lot of light on the matter.