A while back I found a lovely old photograph postcard, as below, of three boys, possibly brothers, with the names T BLANDFORD, Alf BLANDFORD and H BLANDFORD on the back and today decided to start trying to research it further.
I decided to set a Bank Holiday challenge on Twitter to see if anyone could make a family connection before I could and within minutes a Twitter follower Allie Nickell @alliethinks came back with the possible match of Thomas, Henry and Alfred BLANDFORD in Risca in Monmouthshire in the 1901 Census records born c.1880-1885 and they appeared to be the three eldest sons of Thomas and Ellen BLANDFORD.
After receiving this super information from Allie I studied the 1901 census record, as below, in more detail and could see that Thomas was aged 21, Henry was aged 18 and Alfred was aged 16, meaning that if this was a match to my old photograph it must have been taken before 1901 – their father Thomas BLANDFORD aged 44 was an Assurance Assistance Supervisor and their son Thomas was an Assurance Agent, whilst both Henry and Alfred were Coal Miners working underground.
Source Citation: Class: RG13; Piece: 4964; Folio: 81; Page: 38 Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1901 Wales Census
They also had other siblings including Nellie, James, Herbert, Phyllis and Mary.
I also found the BLANDFORD family on the 1911 census living at 11 Oak, The Cross Keys in Newport Mons in Wales and Thomas and Ellen had been married for 32 years and they had had ten children in total, seven of whom were still living – the male family members were all now shown as Coal Miners and Thomas was the only son from the old photograph shown living at home on this census.
Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 32014; Schedule Number: 91 Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1911 Wales Census
Thomas BLANDFORD senior married Ellen PARSONS in the January quarter of 1879 in the Newport Wales Registration District and Thomas was born in 1879, Henry in 1882 and Alfred in 1884.
I therefore wondered seeing the ages of the BLANDFORD brothers if any of them had been killed during World War 1, but thankfully they all survived and died in later life – however their brother James, born in 1889, had a son called Ernest Arthur BLANDFORD who was sadly killed on 6th May 1944 during World War 2, which I found very poignant with the 75th Anniversary of V.E Day approaching tomorrow.
Ernest was the son of James and Minnie BLANDFORD and the husband of Edith Irene BLANDFORD (nee LEAMAN) and they had two daughters Edwina and Christine and a son called Colin.
Ernest served as a Lance Bombardier in the Royal Artillery with Service No. 14248182 – his funeral took place on 10th May 1944 and he was buried in Danygraig Cemetery in Risca in Monmouthshire – more information here Commonwealth War Graves Commission information
I also found more information about Risca in Monmouthshire and its history which can be read here Risca Monmouthshire
If anyone has a proven family link to the BLANDFORD family or any other old family photographs that could be used to compare to my photograph, it would be great to hear from you – please email me as if possible I would love to reunite this lovely old photograph with a family member if possible.
Many thanks and a big thank you to Allie Nickell for her very prompt reply and for setting the BLANDFORD research ball rolling………