Mary Ann Barnes:

Born 1874 ~ Married 1894 ~ Died ????:

I first found Mary Ann on the 1881 census for Riseley Wood where she was living with Elizabeth Barnes - a widow aged 70 and John Barnes aged 36. The census described Mary's relationship to the head of the household as granddaughter and John's relationship to Elizabeth as son. I assumed that Mary Ann was John's daughter. Mary Ann was shown as being born in London and I speculated that John had once lived in London and had returned to Hampshire with his daughter but perhaps without his wife.

However, Mary Ann's birth certificate told a different story, I found that her parents were Thomas and Jane Barnes (my great great grandfather and great great grandmother) and she was born at 9 Southampton Road East, Nine Elms on the 5th October 1874. In 1881 Mary Ann was just 6 years old and had been sent back to Riseley to live with her grandmother and Uncle John. I have been told by my father that my great grandfather went to school in Swallowfield (just over the border between Hampshire and Berkshire) and it is likely that Mary Ann was sent to Riseley for the same reason.

However, Mary Ann was still living in Hampshire in 1891 at the age of 16 - the 1891 census records her as living at the Turnpike, Heckfield where she was employed as a servant. The rest of Mary Ann's family - her parents and brothers and sisters are living at 9 Henry Street, Lambeth. We have no way of knowing if Mary Ann returned to London between 1881 and 1891, but it is likely that she spent all her time in Riseley and Heckfield.

Mary Ann married a William James Tocock on the 28th April 1894 at St. John's, Farley Hill (near Swallowfield). Oddly, the marriage certificate records a Henry Barnes as Mary Ann's father - not Thomas. Henry is probably Mary Ann's Uncle Henry - her father's younger brother (born Heckfield 1847). William and Mary had two children (that I know of), William James, baptised on the 14th April 1895 and Mary Ann, baptised on the 27th September 1896.

An interesting addition to this story is the witnesses to the marriage - Mary Barnes, Mary Ann's aunt and a spinster aged 40 in 1894 and Francis Munn. Two years later Francis marries Mary and the following year 1897, Mary, now 43 gives birth to daughter Miriam Mary at School Farm, Heckfield. All three appear on the 1901 census and are living at Hound Green (a short distance from Heckfield).