Elizabeth Barrett was born March 6, 1806, and was the eldest child of Edward and Mary Moulton, who later took the last name of Barrett. Elizabeth’s father, Edward, was the namesake of his maternal grandfather, Edward Barrett (1734–1798). Edward’s grandfather was how he had derived his wealth. Because this was the origin of their fortune, Elizabeth’s father desired to adopt and hand down the family’s patronymic (along with its wealth). Also, the original Edward Barrett’s sons had already died, making his two grandsons his heirs. The original Edward Barrett made them heirs only on the condition that each of the grandsons took on the surname of Barrett when they turned twenty-one.
Elizabeth’s full name was Elizabeth Barrett Moulton Barrett, and “The Cry of the Children” was published in 1943, while she was still unwed. She used the name Moulton for legal documents and would sometimes use “Elizabeth Barrett Barrett” as well. The eNotes study guide references her original family name that she was first known by when single. In 1946, Elizabeth Barrett married the poet Robert Browning, and she then became known as Elizabeth Barrett Browning.