View Full Version : Abraham SEWELL aka Joseph ALEXANDER

17th September 2019, 04:23 PM
This is becoming a life's work! I have an Abraham SEWELL born 1848 in Gilling West, North Yorkshire, illegitimate son of Ann SEWELL. This Abraham enlisted 1867 into, I think, the 72nd Highlanders. When he enlisted however, he changed his name to Joseph ALEXANDER and remained as such for the rest of his life. (His enlistment papers state that he was born in Hampshire and not Gilling West, but it has been proven beyond doubt that the two are definitely the same person.)

He served in India for a number of years and had exemplary service. On his return to England, he lived in Stokesley for many years and was a Drill Sergeant-Major with the North Yorks Volunteer Rifles, eventually retiring and moving to Darlington. In his latter years he was Mace-Bearer for the Mayor of Darlington - (I have tried to attach a photo of him below but not sure if it will work!)
The mystery then, is why did he change his name? There have been a number of hypotheses put forward over the years, but I am yet to find anything concrete, and realise I may never uncover the real reason. I am ever-hopeful and so throw myself on the mercy of the many experts on this site.

ANY help or information gratefully accepted!