Since my last post, I’ve been collaborating with other family members in our quest for the truth. Some of my relatives have official documents, though he’s still missing. My great-aunt had some facts confused, but the mystery remains. Here is what I’ve learned so far:
~ I know when and where he was born, when he got married, and the year of his disappearance.
~ William may have had a gambling problem and had people looking for him as a result. His wife, my granny, was a staunch Methodist (her father was a minister) and may or may not have chosen to leave him until he straightened out his act. She had hoped for a reconciliation, but it never came about.
~ William was served with papers naming him as a defendant, charged with abandoning his wife and children. He was found guilty and ordered to pay child support. He never did. It didn’t sound like he was present for the proceedings, and I wonder if he was personally served, or if a family member received it on his behalf. At any rate, we never heard from him again.
~ This would, of course, explain why the torn wedding photos were sent to my granny. It could also explain why we never heard from his family again. Still, it seems cold to cut William’s children off from the family entirely. Of course, Diana’s theory that the family didn’t want financial responsibility for the children would explain this. The fact that the family was wealthy makes this kind of heinous.
~ From our research so far, there are so many Barrons in that area that you can’t exhale without breathing on one. “William” is an especially common name, and we know it was a family name; his father was named William, and my grandfather was named William. I’m sure there were more Williams further back. Yet when contacted, all of the Barrons there claim that we are not related. I suspect that after the divorce, when granny and William’s children were cut off, we were stricken from the family tree. Perhaps this generation doesn’t know we exist, and/or they refuse to acknowledge us. Sketchy.
Ultimately, as of this moment, we have no idea where he went or what happened to him. There is no record of his death in England, nor does he appear to have remarried there. He simply dropped off the map or, in modern jargon, went off the grid. We’re still searching abroad. A cousin has signed up with the international database of ancestry.com and we all continue to look.