Why Bailey Jones

I was born as “Tim Jones”, and always had identity conflicts with other people (esp. on LinkedIn) with that name. Also, sometime in the mid-1990s, my Florida drivers' license was suspended because someone named "Tom Jones" in Miami didn't show up to traffic court, and the Clerk of Court erroneously tagged me for his punishment, based on nearly identical names and Driver License number (clue: FL DL numbers are programmatically generated in part from your name, so OF COURSE the DL# was going to be similar. I even met a "Tim O. Jones" in a recruiters' office because the staff invited each of us to come in to interview for a PeopleSoft job. (Guess what? I've never worked with that software in my life. It was the specialty of the other Tim Jones who showed up that day.).

Even in the narrow world of Linux programming, there is an author named M. Tim Jones who wrote a book on my favorite topic. With all the stuff out there about #personal-branding, it seemed that I'd never get anywhere with my birth name.

So fast forward to 2014. My wife of 17 years (together 20) passed away of multiple chronic health issues. The next year (2015) I met my new wife, and her name was “Mary Smith”. We wanted to get married, but she didn't want to be “Mary Jones”.

Our compromise was inventing a new surname “Bailey-Jones” and we both did a legal name change. Bailey was her birth surname. Her first husband (the infamous Mr. Smith) had been pretty rotten to her, and so she was eager to drop his name. Bailey-Jones has been a great tool for “personal disambiguation”. I've been able to get timbaileyjones as my preferred user ID on every single social media site I care about.

Mary still has a daughter who is a Smith, and my son Adam is still a Jones.