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Looking for Mary Sarah Nowell

Hi everyone. I am hoping someone out there can help me with a puzzle of my family tree. Mary Sarah Nowell married William Sutcliffe Sagar and on her marriage cert John Nowell (deceased) is named. On checking her birth in 1855 her mother's maiden name is listed as Nowell, and there is no father named on her birth cert. Her mother is Ann Nowell. Ann Nowell married John Dean is 1857, 2 years after Mary's birth. I have searched and searched and cannot find a marriage between John Nowell and Ann Proctor. On checking the marriage cert for Ann Procter and John Dean it shows Ann as Widow and her father was Robert Procter (deceased). Ann and John Dean had a daughter Martha Ann, on Martha's birth certificate is shows her mother as Ann Dean, late Nowell, formerly Procter. I have been through all the census returns prior to Ann's marriage to John Dean, and cannot find any trace of John & Ann Nowell. If, as I originally thought, Mary Sarah was born illegitimately to Ann Nowell, where does the name Procter come in? If Ann Procter had an illegitimate daughter surely her name would have been Mary Sarah Procter? I am so confused.. Can anyone throw any light on this puzzle?