Blandford Forum, commonly Blandford, is a market town on the River Stour in Dorset, England. The town is noted for its Georgian architecture. In the 2011 census the town had a population of 11,694. Blandford is the administrative headquarters of North Dorset District Council. Blandford Camp, a military base, is sited on the hills two miles to the north east of the town.
Blandford has been a fording point since Anglo-Saxon times, when it was recorded as Blaen-y-ford and as Blaneford in the Domesday Book. The name Blandford derives from the Old English blǣge, and probably means ford where gudgeon or blay are found. By the 13th century it had become an important market town with a livestock market serving the nearby Blackmore Vale with its many dairy farms. The Latin word Forum, meaning market, was recorded in 1540. It was an important break on the journey between the port of Weymouth and the capital London. There is still a weekly outdoor market and a bi-weekly indoor market held in the Corn Exchange
Dorset Research Tips
One of the many maps available on the website A Vision of Britain through Time is one from the Ordnance Survey Series of 1900 illustrating the parish boundaries of Dorset at the turn of the 20th century. This map blows up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. The internal boundaries on this map are the rural districts which are indicated in the "See Also" box for the place concerned (unless it is an urban parish).
The following websites have pages explaining their provisions in WeRelate's Repository Section. Some provide free online databases. Some are linked to Ancestry.