This is complicated and very perplexing.
Joseph BELLENGER was born according to his birth certificate on 08 Feb 1865 at South Cerny in Gloucestershire. His parents were Joseph Arthur BELLENGER and Emily Sarah BELLENGER (née JEWELL or JOEL).
He was baptised on 07 May 1865 as Joseph Arthur BALLINGER at Siddington in Gloucestershire.
The 1871 census finds Arthur BELLENGER aged 5 living with his parents in Siddington.
By the 1881 census his parents have split for reasons unknown. His father is still living in the Cirencester area, but his mother has moved to Wandsworth and is living with another man, having taken the younger children with her. Emily Sarah is now calling herself Emily PARSONS and is living with a James PARSONS. Amongst the children is an Arthur PARSONS aged 15, b South Cerny. For reasons far too complicated to outline I am confident that this PARSONS family living at Crofton Street in Wandsworth is the same family that in 1871 was living in Siddington.
After the 1881 census I lose track of Joseph or Arthur. The family, however, turn up without Arthur, in the 1891 census living in Worplesdon Road, Stoke near Guildford in Surrey, under yet another name, this time they are called BERRY. Once again for reasons far too complicated to go into, but partly due to pass down family information and army attestations of younger sons, I am sure that this is the same family. James PARSONS is now James BERRY and Emily Sarah is for some reason calling herself Jane BERRY, although she was soon back to calling herself Emily BERRY as shown by local newspaper reports.. I have no idea why the family felt the need to resort to such name changes. By 1901, they were back in the Cirencester area under the name PARSONS.
Anyway what I am trying to find out is what happened to Josep Arthur after 1881. To summarise although born and baptised as Joseph after his father, he seems to have been referred to as simply Arthur. At least that is the first name used on both the 1871 and 1881 censuses. As for his surname, he might have used his real family name of BELLENGER with various spellings, or the adopted family name still used today of BERRY. He might even have used his step-father's name of PARSONS, although James was never really his step father as there is no evidence of a marriage.
In short, if you can manage to take my word on the various name changes, an you help figure out what happened to this young man. I suspect that he might have joined the Army, but have not managed to track him down. So any suggestions or better still revelations would be welcome.
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