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Ann 1825 to 1896 

Ann was born in 1823 or 25, probably a twin to brother John. She married William Henry Austin on the 6th October 1851 at St George the Martyr,  London SE1.

William Henry Austin was from Brenchley in Kent, born in 1823 - although there is some question as dates from 1820 to 1825 reference his birth and Baptism. Later census records record him as a carpenter.

In 1851  the Banns record that both were members of the Parish of St George the Martyr - the rector J Horton records this in the banms on 14, 21 and 28 September; However, I think, as with other members of the family, this was a temporary arrangement. The marriage record states they both lived in White Street, and their fathers were James Austin and William Mitchenall. The witnesses were Amos Mitchenall and Laura Martin, whom Amos married not long after in April 1852.

In 1861 Ann and William  Austin are living with Ann's brother George, just after the death of Georges first wife Elizabeth. Mary Mitchenall, Ann and George's mother, is also at 12, Southend, Lewisham village. Also present is Sophia Mills, Elizabeth Penfold's mother, validating Elizabeth's lineage. All seem to helping with George's 5 children.

In 1871 they have moved to 12 Caroline Cottages, and nephew William Mitchenall (aged 10) is living with them. Edward Daniels and William Wade are lodging at 12 Caroline Cottages as well. William declares he is a Carpenter, Ann a shopkeeper. Caroline Cottages are in the parish of St Mary, Lambeth, in the ecclesiastical district of St Lukes, Norwood. This is an area is around Hamilton Road, London SE27.


Ann seemed to stay in this area for the rest of her life. Her brother George had opened a shop (Ironmongers) in Gyspy Road in the 1850, and her relations continued to visit. 

In the 1881 Ann is stated to be a widow, and still living at 12 Caroline Cottages, but with her are Louisa Jeffrey, her neice, and two nephews, William (16)(born Edenbridge) and William (21)(born Brixton). Next in the register at no 9  Oak Terrace Hamilton Road are Robert and Rebecca Kempshaw - Anns sister.

Charles Mitchenall, a plumber, another nephew (brother George's son) lodges at no 10 Oak Terrace, on the other side of 12 Caroline Cottages,

Nearby is Herbert Folwell, a Widower of 54, living with his three children at 2, Paxton Yard. Herbert is a Job Master and Corn dealer from Kent.

The William's staying with Ann can be confusing, but are, as best as can be ascertained, 

  • in 1871, William James Mitchenall,(10) son of James, Ann's nephew born in Brixton.

  • In 1881, William James (21, born Brixton) is still living with Ann

  • In 1881, William Jonathan (16, born Edenbridge) is living with Ann. He is the eldest son of her brother William Mitchenall and another of Ann's nephews.

  • in 1881 her neice Louisa, sister Kezia's daughter, is also at Caroline Cottages,

William Henry Austin died in 1881 as best as can be determined, apparently before the census, as Ann is stated to be a widow of 55. By 1883, however Ann was married again.

The FreeBMD Marriage index records a marriage of Herbert Folwell and Ann Austen in the third quarter 1883. Ann definitely married a Mr Folwell, and this was almost certainly the widower living round the corner from Caroline Cottages - but why marry in Lewes?

The marriage didn't last very long, for Mr Folwell died in 1887. Thomas Lawson, of 150 Hamilton Road was one of his executors.

On the 11th November 1890, Ann married again, and this time at St George the Martyr. Her new husband was Thomas Lawson - presumably the same as her second husbands executor, as they lived at the Hamilton Road address.

Thomas Lawson had a daughter, Martha Jane, and some researchers have suggest she is Ann's daughter. However, Thomas Lawson appears to have been living with a wife Ann in the 1871 census, at the same time as Ann is with William Austin. Ann was 45 or 46 in 1871, and Martha Jane is recorded as being born in either 1858 or 1872 (there is some confusion; there appear to be 2 Martha Jane Lawsons born in Bury Lancashire to parents Ann and Thomas Lawson - but the younger date of birth would imply a London birth.) Either way, Ann was very old to be having her first child, seemingly as part of an affair outside of her marriage, at the same time as her nephew was living with her! I have recorded her as a step-daughter.

Thomas Lawson and Ann Folwell's marriage record, on 11th November 1890, confirm's Anns marital history  Her father is confirmed as William Mitchenall and her name at marriage confirms she was not Austen.

Thomas Lawson died 6 months after the wedding, on 23rd April 1891. The 1891 Census must have been prior, as 150 Hamilton Road is recorded as the home of Thomas and Ann, daughter Martha Jane and Sarah Young.


(Note that Thomas and Martha are both declared born in Bury, Lancashire. Thomas and Ann (first wife) are recorded with a daughter Martha Jane in 1871 census at 5 Dagman Villas Gipsy Hill. All three are declared born in Bury.)


Thomas left £500 4s and 3d to Ann Lawson, of Elder Villa, Gipsy Road, West Norwood. 


When Ann died 5 years later on 17th December 1896, her address is recorded as 105 Gipsy Road. She left £117, 13s 2d to John Mitchenall, Shoemaker - her twin brother, living in Edenbridge, who survived her by only 2 years.

Caroline Cottages - enumeration district
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