Mary Ann Smith

Author: Christine Gambles
Date published: 16/10/2020
© Christine Gambles

Mary Ann Smith



Mary Ann was born in Maidenhead Berkshire she was the daughter of Richard and Rebecca Barker (nee Thatcher).

Her father Richard was born c1804 in Oxfordshire he was baptised on the 10th October 1804 at St Mary Magdalen Oxford and was the son of James (c1784-1847) and Martha Barker (nee Cooper c1780-1837) who were married on the 18th April 1802 in North Hinksey Oxfordshire, both were recorded as lodgers in the parish at this time, witnesses were Charles Cooper and Catherine Templeman. James and Martha also had another son, James born 31st May 1809, baptised on the 4th June 1809 at St Michael Oxford and three daughters, Mary born 26th January 1803, baptised on the 30th January 1803 at St Mary Magdalen Oxfordshire, Martha born c1811 and Mary born c1816, the younger two  girls were born in Longton Staffordshire.

Her mother Rebecca was born c1797 she married (as Rebekah) Samuel Shorter on the 27th March 1812 in Cookham. Samuel and Rebecca had a daughter Eleanor (aka Ellen) baptised on the 19th June 1825 in Cookham, Samuel died aged 35 in 1828, he was buried on the 24th February at Bray St Michael.

Richard and Rebecca “married” between 1828-1830, (no marriage found yet!),they also had two sons, Richard born c1830, baptised 22nd August 1830 in Cookham and Charles born c1838 both boys were born in Maidenhead. (The birth registration for Charles records his mother’s maiden name as Thatcher)

In 1841 Mary (5) was recorded living with her grandfather James Barker  and her aunts, Martha and Mary (James was a successful China & Glass Dealer with premises at 32 Broad Street Reading) in Broad Street Reading. Her parents and brothers were recorded living at Folley Hill Cookham Berkshire also recorded in the household was Ellen Shorter aged 15.

Mary Ann’s mother died aged 45 in 1842 she was buried on the 15th August at Bray St Michael

Mary’s grandfather James died aged 63 in 1847 he was buried at Reading St Mary

In 1851 Mary (14) was recorded living with her Aunt, Martha Barker (40) at 32 Broad Street Reading, Martha was recorded as a Glass and China Dealer. Mary’s father Richard was recorded as an Agricultural Labourer living in Fur Court in the parish of St Mary Reading with his sons Richard (20), Bricklayer’s Labourer, Charles (13), Baker’s Labourer and a housekeeper Elizabeth Lovegrove (32).

Mary’s father married his housekeeper Elizabeth Lovegrove in 1854 he died aged 54 in 1859 and was buried on the 28th March in the London Road Cemetery Reading.

Mary Ann married in 1859

Marriage details:

Place: St Laurence Reading Berkshire

Date: 27th September 1859

Groom; Benjamin Smith, Full Age, Abode: Newbury, Occupation: Corn Dealer

Bride: Mary Ann Barker, Full Age, Abode: Broad Street Reading

Fathers: Benjamin Smith, Occupation: Tailor and Richard Barker, Occupation: China Dealer

Witnesses: Charles and Mary Lucas (witnesses were Mary Ann’s aunt and uncle)


Benjamin and Mary Ann had the following children (all born in Newbury):

Annie 1861

Ellen 1862

Jessie 1863

Clara 1865

Ada 1867

Emily 1869

Charlie Ben c1871

Kate 1873


In 1861 Mary Ann (24) and her daughter Annie, (aged 3 months) were recorded as visitors at 32 Broad Street Reading.  Her husband Benjamin (26) was recorded living in Bartholomew Street Newbury, his brother Joseph (22) was recorded living with him.

Benjamin was recorded on census records as a Corn Dealer/ Miller/Mealman living at 81 Bartholomew Street Newbury with his family.

In the 1901 census Mary was recorded suffering with Bells Paralysis.  She died aged 67 in 1903 and was laid to rest in the Newtown Road Cemetery on the 11th December.

Benjamin died aged 77 in 1912 he was laid to rest in the Newtown Road Cemetery on the 20th August.

Sources:as above

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