Saturday, 21 August 2010

Mary Ann Price

I have an admiration for Mary Ann who seems to have flown in the face of convention! She had 11 children, only 3 of whom were born legitimate. We shouldn't judge the lives of our ancestors whose circumstances were very different to ours.

Mary Ann's mother Mary Ann Holmes is the sister of my GG grandmother Jane Holmes.

Mary Ann Holmes married Joseph Price in 1843 in St Peter's, Wolverhampton and by 1850 they were living in Dalry in Ayrshire. They were, as far as I can see, the first of the Black Country miners in my family to move to Scotland.

In 1851 Joseph is an ironstone miner in Dalry. In 1861 he is an ironstone miner in Beith and they have 3 children Joseph Price junior, Mary (Ann) and Margaret Price. Sometime in the next decade Jane Holmes Rolinson's family and Joseph and Mary Ann Price all move to Cumnock.

In February 1871 Mary Ann aged 16 is married to her cousin Matthew Rolinson age 24. They have 3 children Jean/Jane Rolinson, Margaret Rolinson and John Dudley Rolinson. Neither Matthew nor Mary Ann can write so their surname is spelt various ways according to how it is interpreted by others. Mary Ann has a fourth child in 1876 recorded as Aaron Price or Rollison. On his birth certificate she states that her husband is not the father and that they have been apart since 1875. This must have been pretty scandalous and no doubt caused some family strife since their mothers were sisters.

In 1881 Mary Ann is with her parents in Auchinleck and the children with her are Jean, 9, John, 4 and Aron Robinson, 3. She is 26 and working in a woollen factory. I don't know where daughter Margaret is. She dies in 1883 but I can't find her in the 1881 census. Husband Matthew is living with his parents.

I find a birth for an Agnes Rollison in 1881 born in Crookedholm near Kilmarnock (as Rorison!). Payment of about £1 to scotlandspeople shows the mother to be Mary Ann Price and Matthew Rolinson the father. But there is a note in the margin. Matthew is not the father and Mary Ann is brought to the Sheriff Court in Kilmarnock to explain herself. (I wonder who told on her!) She claims ignorance, which can hardly be the case after Aaron's birth certificate. However the Sheriff takes pity on her and she is admonished. I found the report in the Cumnock Chronicle. Sadly baby Agnes dies a few months later as does daughter Margaret. Another fatherless child James is born and dies at 8 months in 1885. Her parents die in 1884 and 1885 so she is alone with the children. Or is she?

Later in December 1885 Catherine Ross is born in Cronberry to Mary Ann and James Ross, a coal miner. The family move to Kirkintilloch and have 3 more children Hugh Ross 1887, Mary Ann Ross 1889 and Elizabeth Ross 1895.

In 1904 James Ross and Mary Ann Price undergo an irregular marriage in Glasgow witnessed by her sister Fanny Price and husband Charles Dickens. An irregular marriage is one sworn in front of witnesses usually after the couple has been living together for some time rather than being married by a minister. In it Mary Ann states that she is a widow.

However I checked up on her husband/cousin Matthew. He does not die until 1923. So she has lied again. It's hard to believe that she did not know he was alive but maybe there was no contact between the the Price and Rolinson families after the parents died.

When son Aaron Price marries, he gives his father as Joseph Price (his grandfather) and his mother's maiden name as Rolinson, which is no doubt what he has been told!

Link to Mary Ann here

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