Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Monday, 22 March 2021

James Prescott and Mary Ann Stone

St Peter's Church, Tivertonnoted for the first performance of the
organ arrangement of Mendelssohn’s ‘Wedding March’.

Mary Ann Stone, fourth child and eldest daughter of Henry and Mary Stone, a pair of my 2nd great-grandparents, was born in Ashbrittle, Somerset in around 1860. She is, of course, at home with her parents and older brothers at Court Place, Ashbrittle, in 1861 and, at 12, becomes the oldest child still living at home - address merely listed as Cottage, Ashbrittle - in 1871. 

However, by 1881, Mary Ann (21) has left home and at that date is working, as a General Domestic Servant, for Alfred T Gregory, Newspaper Proprietor, in Gold Street, Tiverton. Alfred Gregory was publishing titles such as the Tiverton Gazette and East Devon Herald, Western Observer and affiliated papers for South Molton and Crediton. (The Tiverton and District Directory for 1894-5 lists their proprietors as, Gregory, Son, and Tozer.)

In 1882, Mary Ann Stone married James Prescott, at their parish church of St Peter's, Tiverton. Banns were published on 5th, 12th and 19th of Feb.

John Prescott, born in Washfield, Devon, in 1858, was living at home in 1881, at Middle Marsh, Tiverton, with his parents, John Prescott from Luxborough, Somerset, and his wife, Jane Gage (m. 1852). James Prescott (23), at that time was a "Labourer on Railway", as were James' father, John, his younger brother, Robert (18) and the family's lodger, James Parker (20). 

However, this couple were married for little more than a year, when Mary Ann Prescott died, tragically aged just 23, on 14 Apr 1883, in Chapel Street, Tiverton. The cause of her death was Acute Phthisis Pulmonalis (The old name for Tuberculosis (TB) 18 days - I had suspected this might be the case when reading that Mary Ann had been present at the death of her brother, John Stone, when he had died from Phthisis, in the August of 1882. 

Her mother-in-law, Jane Prescott, was present at Mary Ann's death. 

Tiverton : Gold Street
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke -

Not unsurprisingly, James Prescott remarried quite quickly, to a Jane Davey in the 1st quarter of 1884, also in Tiverton. Then, in the 3rd quarter of 1884, they had a son Charles, who, it appears was their only child. 

My connection, of course, was broken once Mary Ann had died, but one can't help being curious and it's what they did next that was surprising. In 1891, James Prescott (32), Labourer, wife Jane and son Charles were living in Eglwysilan, Glamorganshire, Wales; in 1901, we find the trio - with James working as a Navvy Ganger - in Staines, Middlesex and then, in 1911 - with James employed as a Dock Labourer - in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Son Charles, living in Portsmouth and a Railway Labourer, was by then married. You wouldn't expect labourers to have moved around so much or so far.

James' parents, John and Jane Prescott, meanwhile, then aged 78 and 83, respectively, were still alive and still living in Tiverton in 1911.

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