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Ada Brown born 1889 living in Mexborough


I'd be really grateful if anyone could help me with my family tree which I've been researching on and off for several years and keep hitting dead ends.

My grandfather Thomas Edward Law born 1920 in Mexborough was put into a Barnardo's home when he was about 4 with his younger brother Jack.

I requested my grandfather's birth certificate and his mother is named as Ada Brown working as a domestic servant. No father is given on the birth certificate.

I requested information from Barnardo's about the circumstances surrounding my grandfather's admittance and the paperwork that came back showed that after several warnings the children were taken into care because of neglect. It says they were first put into a workhouse - Doncaster/Sheffield? It also emerged that Ada Brown was living with a man named Thomas Cox and three other children - Joseph, Lily and Dorothy. Dorothy had died in the workhouse.

I've struggled finding any of them on censuses and I'm confused as to why the children have the surname Law. Could she have been married before meeting Thomas Cox? But why does her surname appear as Brown on my grandfather's certificate?

I'd really appreciate any help anyone can offer with this? I'd just like to put all the missing pieces together to know what happened to my grandfather's family.

Thank you!
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