Mary Ann 

1858 to 1943

Mary was George Mitchenalls first daughter, and wife Elizabeth's only daughter. Born in 1858, probably at Lewisham Southend, she had three elder brothers, and a fourth, younger brother, before her mother died when she was barely 3 years old. 

Her story seems to have been a lonely one, but also confused, as Uncle James also had a daughter he christened Mary Ann, who was 5 years younger, and Uncle Amos called his daughter Elizabeth Mary Ann. Common thread was grandmother Mary (Winter).

To confuse things further, her step mothers first daughter, born in 1864, was called Jane Mary, presumably after her mother Mary (Kidman). And Jane Mary is often called Mary Jane. Only the 1871 census seems to have the two half sisters together, and for some reason the census only uses the first initials. M (daur) is 13, J (daur) is 7. By the age of 23, Mary Ann has left the family home and only Jane (17) is present. The 1891 census records Mary J still at home, with no sign of Mary Ann.

This confusion leads many family researches to conclude that Mary died in Eastbourne in 1927, but there is one string of evidence that disproves this. The baptism records for St Lukes, West Norward, show that on the 4th October 1910, three adult baptisms took place; William Dubber, his wife Sarah and his wife's sister Mary Ann. Although Mary and and Sarah have different mothers, both are given the mother Mary - Georges second wife. And both record their father as George Reginald - the only reference to George (1832 - 1906) having a second name I have found.

At her Baptism, Mary Ann is stated to live at Egerton Terrace, Brompton Road (Kensington), and her sister and brother in law at 179 Auckland Hill (West Norwood).

By 1929, and then in repeated elector registers, Sarah and her husband accomodate Mary Ann Mitchenall. The census of 1939 confirms this Mary was born on 13th November 1858 and is a retired ladies maid. She is single.

So it would appear that before she was 23 she left home to work as a ladies maid, perhaps confirming the Kensington address given at the 1910 Baptism. When she retired, she went to live (by 1929) with her sister. All her subsequent electoral registrations are from a shared address of 84 Auckland Hill.

 

Finally she spent some time between 1939 and 1943 in Eastbourne, and her probate records her address as Heatherleigh, 3 Cambridge Road, Eastbourne. She died, however, in St Francis Hospital, East Dulwich, and left all her assets to her sister, Sarah Ann Dubber. - still in Auckland Hill. Why did she move to Eastbourne; why, of all her brothers and sisters, did she live in retirement with Sarah. And what took her to live with her other sisters at 3 Cambridge Road, a house they had long ran as a lodging house together? Possibly her sister had to take in lodgers to make ends meet once her husband had become ill and then died?

Sarah's husband, William Dubber, died in December 1942. In 1946 Sarah was still at 84 Auckland Hill, but had an Eliza Kirby at the house. Later Sarah also ended up in St Francis Hospital (1951 to 1954 electoral registers, Constance Road).

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