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Holley mystery

Holley mystery

Posted: 1330665884000
Classification: Query
Surnames: HOLLEY, TIMS
I was wondering if anyone can help solve my mystery or at least point me in the right direction. Just when I think I have got it sorted out only to open the door and find it's bricked up.
My great grandmother is Mary Ann Holley, b 1858 Reading Berkshire, who married William James Gee. I have their marriage certificate (1875) and it states Mary Ann's father is Benjamin Holley and looking on the 1861 Census it has Mary Ann's mother as a Mary Ann b abt 1822 Surrey, and on another census it has her born in Reading, Berkshire.
I looked on FreeBMD for their marriage and see that there is a Mary Ann Gearing on the same page so I assumed she was her mother sent away for Benjamins Marriage certificate only to get a email back saying even though they are on the same page they are not married to each other. So I re submitted for the marriage certificate leaving out the spouse name Benjamin married in 1849. I got it today and found he married a Sarah Tims (Spinster) Benjamin batchelor. I thought great now I can carry on...WRONG.
In 1851 it has Sarah Holley at her parents house I can't find Benjamin on the 1851 Census, I looked on the 1861 Census it had Benjamins wife as Mary Ann, and I can't find any death of a Sarah Holley. On the National Burial Index 3rd edition it has two Sarah Holley's after 1851 and before 1861 but the ages do not fit with "mine" So I thought I will send away for Mary Ann Holley (my great grandmother) birth certificate to find who her mother was yet can't find a birth record for her, every census and also according to her age on her marriage certificate it says her birth is 1858, but the nearest I can find is a Martha Holley 1857 Wokingham. Is this her? Is there Parish Records for Wokingham?
So my real problem is did Sarah die? and Benjamin remarried? although I can't find any records to either.
Also it has on the 1861 census two children born before Benjamin and Sarah married a Thomas Holley b 1840 Corsley Wiltshire and Frank Holley 1846 Reading Berkshire in 1861 census it has them as son's. Are these Benjamins wife on 1861 census Mary Ann's sons? Or were they visiting and they just said they were sons?. Are the death records for Berkshire all transcribed? does anyone have any idea's where to look?
Thank you all in advance for any help and or direction
you may give me.

Re: Holley mystery

Posted: 1330681440000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1330699125000
It looks as if Benjamin and Mary might not have actually married. And the two older children in 1861, Thomas and Frank, are Marys by a marriage to a Mr Evans.
She is in Reading St Lawrence in 1851 by the looks of it -
Piece 1692 Folio 304 Pages 20 and 21
Mary A Evans Head Widow 32 Charwoman born Kent Canterbury
Thomas Evans Son 11 born Wilts Corsley?
Alfred Evans 9 Son Wilts Corsley
Francis Evans Son 5 Wilts Corsley

And the son John B Holley age 6 1861 in Early is probably registered as John Benjamin Evans in Dec qtr 1854 Reading (sub-district of St Mary on local indexes online)

So your Mary Ann Holley is possibly registered as Mary Ann Evans June qtr 1857 Reading (again in sub-district St Mary in local indexes, although there is another one 1856 St Giles)


Re: Holley mystery

Posted: 1330704834000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1330704872000
From FreeReg
Baptisms at Corsley Methodist
10 February 1842
Thomas Evans (age 2 years?)
Alfred Evans (age 6 weeks?)
Parents Alfred + Mary Ann Evans

Death registration June 1842 Warminster RD of an Alfred Evans
Burial, 5 June 1842 Corsley, Wilts
Alfred Evans age 25

So he is not the father of Francis/Frank.
Baptisms in St Mary Reading, to go with the registrations as Evans -
John Benjamin Holley 7 January 1855 parents Benjamin + Mary Ann
Mary Ann Holly 2 Aug 1857 parents Benjamin + Louisa!

Not really apparent what happened to Sarah Holley/Tims after 1851.

Re: Holley mystery

Posted: 1330714696000
Classification: Query
Hello John

Thank you so much for your two replies to my mystery.
Well it certainly seems possible that this Mary Ann Evans is the Mary Ann in question. So if this Mary Ann Evans is with Benjamin in 1861 she is more likley to be my gt grandmothers mother and not Sarah, if John Benjamin's b 1855 parents are Benjamin and Mary Ann.

I have the St Giles Parish Records and on their it has the Mary Ann Evans b 1857 Jun qtr and it has her parents as Edward and Mary Holley so I think maybe we can eliminate this one. I didn't see any marriage of a Mary Ann Evans (w) on it either. There wasn't any other Holleys that could fit either on the Reading St Giles PR.

I wonder what happened to young Alfred Evans?

So really still have a mystery as to when and who my Gt grandmother is and was born, is she the one Mary Ann Evans born 1856? or the Martha Holley b 1857 Wokingham? (in the 1861 census they are living in the registration district of Wokingham) I'm kind of leaning to Martha being the one.
If it was Mary Ann Evans b 1856 did/would she have just take the name Holley?

Still you have given me info to look into.

If Mary Ann Evans is living with Benjamin and they never married say would she just use the surname Holley? or in those days could she have just changed her surname legally? what about when she died would her death certificate be Holley or Evans? if they were just living together.

Thank you again and now I have more to look into

Re: Holley mystery

Posted: 1330817481000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1330817638000
Going back to your marriage registered in Sep 1849 Reading 6/339 -
As you know marriage was at Reading Register Office
Benjamin Holley + Sarah Tims (local ref RG/3/129)
also on same page, 339, and of course married at same place
William Holley + Mary Ann Gearing (local ref RG/3/128, so the marriage before Benjamin in the register)

I think Martha may be the daughter of William + Mary Ann Holley and is with her Gearing grandparents in 1861, transcribed Halley (RG9 piece 739 folio 10 page 13)- they also have a daughter Martha.

So the birth registrations in Wokingham, some are Williams children and Harriett Elizabeth is daughter of Benjamin?
Looked up the baps in St Mary Reading -
7 Jany 1855 John Benjamin, parents Benjamin + Mary Ann Holley, abode Coley Street, occupation Baker, perf by
S W Yates, Vicar
2 August 1857 Mary Ann, parents Benjamin + Louisa Holly, abode Coley Place, occupation Bricklayer, perf by S W Yates, Vicar
1 April 1860 Harriett Elizabeth, parents Benjamin + Mary Ann Holley, abode Hazel Court, occupation Baker, perf by H C Calverley, Curate
5 January 1862 Ellen, parents Benjamin + Mary Ann Holly, abode Leopold Road St Giles's Parish, occupation Labourer, perf by George Frederic Noad D.C.L. Officiating Minister
1 May 1864 James, parents Benjamin + Mary Ann Holly, abode Hazel Court, occupation Labourer, perf by Wm Jeth Few?, Curate


Re: Holley mystery

Posted: 1330821705000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1330821730000
Surnames: HOLLEY
Hello John
Thank you so much, You have been busy I really apprieciate all your help. I had originally thought Mary Ann Gearing was Benjamins wife but did realise that after sending for Benjamins marrriage certificate Mary Ann wasn't his wife but William's.
Yes I have just looked at the 1861 census and can see this Martha with her Gearing grandparents.
I wonder if the Mary Ann that has her parents as Benjamin and Lousia is my Mary Ann although, it seems odd that he went from a baker to a bricklayer then back to a baker and have maybe 2 Mary Ann's as parents to his other children.

The children I have down for Benjamin & Mary Ann is :

Thomas Holley b 1840 Corsley Wiltshire ( Maybe Evans)
Frank Holley b 1846 Corlsey Wiltshire or Reading Berkshire
John B Holley b 1855 Reading, Berkshire
Mary Ann Holley b 1858 Reading, Berkshire
Harriet Holley b 1860 Reading, Berkshire
Eliza Holley b 1862 Reading, Berksire
James Holley b 1864 Reading, Berksire

On the 1871 Census it says Mary A b 1858
On the 1881 census it has Mary Ann Holley birth as 1860 and has her name as Ellen M Gee Nee Holley, (Mary has a daughter called Ellen M and also Mary A so think it was just a typo)
on the 1891 it says 1856 (Mary A Gee Nee Holley)
on the 1901 it says 1858 (Mary A I Gee Nee Holley)
on the 1911 it says 1856 (Mary Ann Gee Nee Holley)
Still doesn't help finding a birth record for her.
On her marriage certificate it says she married 1st Feb 1875 Mary Ann Holley was a spinster aged 18 yrs lived at 37 Albert Road Newtown Reading. Her father Benjamin Holley Labourer. Witnesses was John Holley and Francis Emily Snow? looks like Snow. So going by her age on her marriage certificate she was born 1857.

Still more researching to do

Thank you again
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