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problem Grandma!


Valued Member
Hi All,

I am still stuck at the wall, with my 3xGt Grandmother, Mary Ann Pawson. My cousin and I are going around in circles with her! We can't order any certificates as we are not really sure who she was pre-marriage and it's only in the one census (1861) that we are sure it's her, as she is listed with her 3 children one of whom is my 2xGt Grandmother Betsey Holmes. (we do have her marriage cetificate to William Holmes, (father listed on cerificate is John Pawson) and we have a birth certificate for her youngest daughter Mary Ann Holmes.

There is nothing that really adds up with this Grandma. She is listed as a servant on her marriage certificate and yet the Pawson's in and around Green Hammerton where she said she was born are quite prosperous farmers (150 acres). She never appears on the census with William Holmes and he never appears anywhere obvious again and neither does son Joseph or daughter Mary Ann (no death listings). It's possible that Granddad Edward Holmes might have sent Joseph his Grandson to boarding school although the boy listed in the census at school is 4 years younger. One of his Granddaughters Rachel Holmes is listed in boarding school, the daughter of Charles Holmes, in the 1881 census.

My cousin has poured through parish records for about 2 months and the most likely candidate for our Grandma is Mary Pawson, born illegitimately to Ann Pawson, a servant in 1829 in Green Hammerton. In 1831 Ann married William Fawcett and this Mary shows up on the 1841 census as Mary Fawcett (same DoB and PoB that our Mary Ann has listed in 1861 census). Puzzle is this would mean she had lied on her marriage certificate about her Father's name! Does anyone know if there was a requirement to prove the information given to the Parish when one got married? The witnesses at the wedding were clerks of the Parish a William Holmes (no idea if related) and Ephraim Smith.

The only next step I can think of, is to try and find a will that Edward Holmes might have left which may explain a little more, but I have no idea what step to take first to do that! Edward was a sawyer and I read somewhere that this was quite a prosperous job. We are really stuck with this family line. All help gratefully accepted.

Kind regards,

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