Mary Jane Speed was the fourth child of Robert Speed & Christiana Farish (Price) born June 22nd, 1864 at Springwell Terrace, Hetton-le-Hole, Co Durham.
Mary Jane, her 2 sisters & 2 brothers & her parents were living at Brick Garth, Hetton-le-Hole in 1871 where her father was a coal miner.
The family were still living at Brick Garth in 1881 & Mary Jane was now working as a general servant.
Mary Jane married William Fairless in 1885 in Houghton-le-Spring. William was born at Haswell & christened November 25th, 1859 at South Hetton, Co Durham, the son of Mary Ann Fairless.
In 1891 Mary Jane & William were living at Foster St, Haswell, South Hetton with their 2 sons, Ernest (2) & Robert S (7 months). William was a coal miner.
By 1901 William & Mary Jane had moved to 1 Gothay St, Wingate, Co Durham & William was described as a coal miner hewer. Ernest & Robert were scholars as were their brothers Ralph (8) & James (6). There were 2 younger children, Christiana (3) & William (1).
The family were living at 7 York St, Wheatley Hill, Co Durham by 1911 & William was now a stoneman in the coal mine. Family at home were Ralph, a coal trimmer underground, James, an incline breaker in coal mine, Christiana & William, both at school & new addition Aaron (4). It was noted on the census that Mary Jane had had 8 children, 7 of whom were still living.
Son Ralph who was serving with the Royal Army Service Corps was accidentally killed on February 20th, 1921 & was buried at the Haidar Pasha Cemetry, Istanbul, Turkey.
William, aged 78, died in November 1937 at 1 Aged Miners Cottages, Wheatley Hill, Co Durham. The Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail of November 11th carried an obituary that stated that William was the head of a well-known Wheatley Hill family. He retired in 1925 after working at the colliery for 37 years. Widowed Mary Jane was one of the mourners.
Mary Jane was living alone at 13 Aged Miners Homes, Easington at the time of the 1939 register.
There is a death for Mary Jane Fairless in April-June 1946 in East Durham.
The children of Mary Jane Speed & William Fairless were:
sp.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Robert Speed Fairless born Oct-December 1886 at Houghton-le-Spring; died May 29th & buried June 1st, 1890 at South Hetton
sp.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Ernest Fairless born September 19th, 1888 at Easington
sp.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Robert Speed Fairless christened October 5th, 1890 at South Hetton; died April-June 1941 in Durham south east
sp.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Ralph Fairless born July-September 1892 at Haswell; died February 20th, 1921 in Istanbul, Turkey
sp.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 James Fairless born January 27th, 1895 at Haswell
sp.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Christiana Fairless born September 8th, 1897 at Haswell
sp.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 William Fairless born May 3rd, 1900 at Haswell(m. May J)
sp.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Aaron Fairless born July-September at Wheatley Hill; died Oct-December 1913 in Easington
sp.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Winston Fairless born January 21st, 1912 at Easington; died Jan-March 1988 in Durham Central