Research: Mary Ann Hunter (nee Wright)

My 2x great grandmother, Mary Ann Wright was born in Burton Pidsea on 5th November 1879. She was one of 4 children: Timothy (1878-1950), Mary Ann (1879-1966), Thomas (1881-1937) and Charles (1885-1960). Their parents were Thomas and Isabella Wright (nee Thompson).

Mary Ann was baptised on 15th January 1880 in Burton Pidsea, East Yorkshire. I have included her baptism record, that I found online, below.

Zoom_Mary Ann Wright Baptism.PNG

On the 1881 Census, 1 year old Mary Ann was living somewhere between Nancy Row and Elm Tree Farm, which are located on Carr Road in Burton Pidsea. She was living there with her parents, and 2 of her brothers Timothy (3) and Thomas (under 12 months). A 33 year old nurse called Francis Borrel was living with the family too.

The following photograph shows Mary Ann’s father, Thomas Wright, stood on the side of the road in Burton Pidsea. Thomas, sometimes referred to as Carrier Wright, was a Market Carrier. It used to take Thomas 5 hours to travel to Hull, from Burton Pidsea! The church and also The Nancy Inn are just visible on the left hand side and the post office can be seen on the right. Although the visual quality of the photograph is quite low, you can still make out a young Mary Ann, sat in her father’s cart in a white dress. I believe that the young boy is one of her brothers.

In 1891, Mary Ann was 11 years old and living in Burton Pidsea with her parents and her 3 brothers. Her father, Thomas Wright was a market carrier at the time and was recorded as “Neither Employer or Employed”. This meant that Thomas did not employ any other workers, but didn’t work for anyone else. Effectively, Thomas ran his own business and was the only worker. The business was passed down a few generations and was still in business until my grandmother’s 2nd cousin retired a few years ago.

Whilst searching online, I also found the Banns of Marriage between Henry Hunter and Mary Ann Wright. I have included it below.

Zoom_Marriage Banns of Henry Hunter and Mary Ann Wright 1898.PNG

But the record I was most excited about was this marriage record below. This shows the handwriting of Henry, Mary Ann and Timothy Wright (Mary Ann’s brother). On the same page of marriage records that I obtained the record of Mary Ann and Henry’s, there was also the marriage record of  Thomas Thompson and Ada Elizabeth Hunter, who was Henry Hunter’s younger sister. I have her handwriting and also her father’s. John Hunter was my 4x great-grandfather.

Zoom_Marriage Record of Henry Hunter and Mary Ann Wright.PNG

The marriage record shows that they were married at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church in Burton Pidsea, East Yorkshire on 17th May 1899. I know for definite that this is the correct record as it has included a few of the couples’ family members which we as a family know of.

In 1901, Mary Ann and her husband, Henry, were living in Burton Pidsea with 2 of their children, Lily (1) and Isabella (under 1 month). 30-year-old Henry was working as an “Ordinary Agricultural Labourer” and 21-year-old Mary Ann may have felt like she was struggling a little at this point in time, as she had two young children to look after as well as all of the domestic duties to cope with, such as cooking and cleaning. Being the only girl of 4 siblings, Mary Ann would have helped and learnt from her mother when she was living at home. This would have prepared her to some degree for a life of lots of children and lots of housework!

All of the housework did not stop Mary Ann from having any more children as 10 years later, in 1911, Mary Ann was 31 and was living at 15 Clarence Avenue, Exchange Street in Hull with 6 out of 7 of her children: Lily (11), Charles Henry (7), Thomas Wright (6), my great grandfather William (5), Amy (3) and Harold (5 months). There is a space at the top of the Census where Henry should be written, but I am unsure why he is not present.

Henry and Mary Ann Hunter (nee Wright) and one of their sons

The 1939 Register states that Mary Ann was living in Hedon with Henry and 3 of her sons: Thomas Wright Hunter, John (Jack) and Ronald. Mary Ann’s occupation was recorded as Unpaid Domestic Duties, and Henry was a Retired Sewerage Pump. The Register doesn’t state the name or number of the house, but it does show that Mary Ann living next door to William Hunter, her son, and his family in the St. Augustine’s Gate area of Hedon. At this time William would have been living at either 10 St. Augustine’s Gate or 36 Fletcher Gate meaning that Mary Ann was living at Courtyard House. This house was at the back of the Hedon Men’s Recreational Club which was also located on St. Augustine’s Gate. My grandmother remembers visiting Mary Ann (her grandmother) there, as when she was a young girl, she used to live in the Fish Shop House, which through the back door, was practically next door – it shared the same courtyard area.

My grandmother recalls two small whitewashed stable-like buildings opposite the back door of Courtyard House. Mary Ann’s husband Henry used to breed pigs and they were probably kept in there. My grandmother remembers Mary Ann washing her clothing and bright white bed sheets and hanging them over the washing lines that were in these buildings. The washing lines were positioned in a zigzag pattern, which would have saved a lot of space. Mary Ann also had a dolly tub, a large metal bath/boiler, a washboard, a wringer and large wooden clothes horses in the stable buildings. She would do the washing every Monday, early in the morning.

The photograph below shows 34a Fletcher Gate, Hedon, which is Courtyard House, in which Mary Ann and Henry lived. It is located down at the bottom, between the gap of the two houses and shares a wall with the Clubhouse, which I previously mentioned. The house on the left, is the house that my great grandparents lived in (known to our family as Fish Shop House).

I have family still around that remember her, such as my grandmother, two of her brothers and a few distant cousins. A few of these, excluding my grandmother, remember her mother, Isabella, as she came to stay at Courtyard House with Mary Ann for a little while before she passed away on 14th January 1947, at the age of 95. One of my great grandfather’s cousins told me that she used to bike from Burton Pidsea with her father (Mary Ann’s brother), in order to visit “Aunt Mary Ann”.

This photograph that I received from a distant cousin shows a group of the family, where at the present time, a few of them are still alive. This proves the links between each of these generations because people have memories of their elders. The photo is, in fact, a diamond wedding anniversary of Thomas and Isabella Wright, my 3x great grandparents. They are sat in the centre of the photograph. Mary Ann is to the left of them.

1937 Diamond Wedding Ann. of Thomas and Isabella.jpg

On 17th March 1949 Mary Ann and Henry celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary (50 years). The following photograph was taken on that day. Mary Ann was 69 years old and Henry was 79.

About a year and a half later, on 19th August 1950, Mary Ann’s husband, Henry sadly passed away in his Hedon home, Courtyard House. He is said to have been sitting in his chair with a cup of tea and a newspaper when he passed away silently. Mary Ann returned and found that he had died. He was 80 years old.

A few years passed by after Henry’s death, and Mary Ann she moved into 10 Lambert Park Road, which is a street down Sheriff’s Highway in Hedon. She lived there with three of her sons, Thomas Wright Hunter, John (Jack) Hunter and Ronald Hunter (Ronnie). The photo below shows the house in 2009. It is the house with the green door. The house to the left of the house is number 12. Mary Ann’s grandson George Hunter lived there with his wife Marie Hunter (nee Osbourne).

10 Lambert Park, Hedon. (Where grandma Hunter lived).PNG

My great uncle told me that Mary Ann’s father, Thomas Wright, used to bring a large hamper of food for her, once a week. Thomas was a Market carrier from Burton Pidsea, so would have had access to food and other necessities on a regular basis, and also had the means of travelling.

My grandmother told me that she always remembers going to visit her grandmother, Mary Ann. She referred to her as Grandma Hunter and didn’t actually know her first and middle name until I found it out. My grandmother told me that Mary Ann’s bathroom always smelled of Lifebuoy soap.

My grandmother remembers Mary Ann lying down in her bed, that had been brought downstairs after she had fallen down the stairs in her home. She had broken her hip and was consequently bedridden. Mary Ann sadly passed away on 5th January 1966 in Hedon, East Yorkshire, aged 86. The story goes that she passed away because of the Pneumonia she had caught, a little while after her accident. I will not know this for definite until I purchase her death record. My great uncle said that after her accident, she was taken to the hospital. It was cold when she came out of there, and that is when she caught the Pneumonia.

Mary Ann is now buried in Hedon Town Cemetery, East Yorkshire, with her husband Henry Hunter and one of their sons, Harold Hunter. She was buried there on 10th January 1966. Sadly there is no gravestone for the couple and their son, but I am trying to sort something out for their resting place, despite Hedon Town Council, unfortunately, deciding to ignore my emails since 2018!

If anyone could share more information about Mary Ann, Henry and their family, I would love to know. Please feel free to contact me! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more local history, as well as family history.

Thank you for reading,

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jude Cowell says:

    Reblogged this on Jude's Threshold and commented:
    Thank You Tony such thorough research!

    Liked by 1 person

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