Carnforth family history is a mystery

A lady from Tasmania is trying to trace her grandfather from Carnforth to help solve a family mystery.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 12:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th July 2020, 12:38 pm
Gerald Pedersen was half Norwegian and hailed from Carnforth.
Gerald Pedersen was half Norwegian and hailed from Carnforth.

Deborah Fleming said: “My mother Valerie Pedersen, who is now 90, is seriously ill . Because of Covid-19 I’m unable to visit her. But we are chatting on the phone about family history.

"While there is still time I would love to try to shed some light on an enduring mystery that has blighted her life from early childhood.

"Her father was half Norwegian and he hailed from Carnforth. He had the somewhat unusual name of Pedersen, Gerald Pedersen.

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From left: Derek Pedersen and Valerie Pedersen.

“I don’t have a date of birth but simple mathematics would suggest he was probably born around 1900 - 1905.

“My mother was only four when her mother, Olive Pedersen (nee Baker) left Gerald Pedersen and fled back to her family of origin in Sussex with a baby son and my three- year- old mother in tow.

“Gerald Pedersen was never spoken of in the Baker family. Olive Baker Pedersen died in her mid-nineties having never spoken of him again. My mother only saw him another two or three times; the last time at a railway station when she was about 17.

“Apparently he did make efforts to reclaim his daughter during her childhood but was thwarted by the Baker family.

Valerie Pedersen on her 85th birthday.

“She did learn that he remarried and that his new wife was anxious to ensure there was no contact with his first family.

"All contact was then lost. In an era when divorce was unusual, my mother was never given any explanation for the events which so drastically upended her life.

“The only other information my mother has about her father, Gerald Pedersen is that he ran a Carnforth haulage company.

“His parents lived in Carnforth and at age 10 Valerie was sent to live with them but she became homesick for Sussex and was returned to the care of the extended Baker family.

“I would be most grateful if someone in the local history society might be able to at least point me in the right direction to try to uncover more about my grandfather.” I

If you can help email [email protected]