Mary Ann Speed was the ninth child of Robert Speed & the fourth child of Robert & his second wife, Ann Fletcher. Mary Ann was christened December 2nd, 1835 at Chester-le-Street, Co Durham.
Mary Ann was living at Breckon Hill, Little Lumley, Co Durham in 1841 where her father was a pitman. Living with them was Mary’s half-brother Robert from her father’s first marriage, also a pitman, & 2 sisters & 2 brothers.
Sadly Mary Ann’s father Robert died in 1844.
At the time of the 1851 census Mary Ann was visiting Sarah & Benjamin Dodds, a coal miner, & his family at Little Lumley. Her widowed mother Ann was living at Harraton Square, Harraton, Co Durham & was described as a mangle keeper. With her were Mary’s sisters Margaret, a field labourer, Ann & Hannah (10).
In April-June 1860 Mary Ann married Edward Willis at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Edward was born at Breckon Hill, Lumley & christened April 11th, 1841 at Chester-le-Street, the son of Jane & Andrew Willis, a coal miner.
In 1861 Mary & Edward, a coal miner, were living with her widowed mother at Fatfield Square, Harraton. They had a 5 month old son, Robert.
Mary & Edward were still living at Fatfield Square, Harraton in 1871 & Edward continued to be a coal miner. As well as son Robert, a scholar, they now had another son, Andrew (7) & daughter Jane (9). Mary’s mother Ann was living with them & described as ‘keeps mangle’.
Mary, aged 40, died in Jan-March 1875 at Chester-le-Street.
The children of Mary Ann Speed & Edward Willis were:
sp.220.127.116.11.9.1 Robert Willis born Oct-December 1860 at Fatfield, Co Durham
sp.18.104.22.168.9.2 Jane Willis born April-June 1862 at Fatfield, Co Durham
sp.22.214.171.124.9.3 Andrew Willis born June 17th, 1864 at Fatfield, Co Durham
sp.126.96.36.199.9.4 Margaret Ann Willis born April-June 1868 at Fatfield, Co Durham; died Oct-December 1869 at Fatfield
sp.188.8.131.52.9.5 Margaret Willis born July-September 1870 at Fatfield, Co Durham; died July-September 1879 at Fatfield
In 1879 daughter Jane married John Pattinson, a coal miner, at Fatfield, Co Durham.
Widowed Edward was still working as a coal miner in 1881 & living at Fatfield, Harraton. Sons Robert & Andrew were still at home & both working as blacksmiths. Mother-in-law Ann Speed was still living with them.
Edward married again in Oct-December 1885 in Houghton-le-Spring, Co Durham. His second wife was widow Ann Duff. Ann, born Ann Robson c1844 in Wingate, Co Durham married Isaac Berriman. In 1871 she and Isaac Berriman, a coal miner, were listed at Downs Lane, Hetton-le-Hole with 3 children – Margaret (4), Mary Ann (3) & William (7 months). Isaac died in 1873 & Ann married again in 1874, her second husband being John Duff. John died in 1877 & in 1881 Ann was listed in the Houghton-le-Spring Union Workhouse as widowed with 3 children –Mary Ann, William & Matthew.
In 1891 Edward, still a miner, & Ann were living at 26 Jane St, Hetton Downs, Hetton-le-Hole. With them were 3 step sons – William Berriman (20), John Duff (16), both coal miners, & Matthew Duff (12). Edward & Ann had 2 daughters by this time – Elizabeth A (5) & Thomasin R (2).
The family were still living at Jane St in 1901 & Edward was described as a shifter below ground. Living at home were Matthew, also a shifter, & daughters (Elizabeth) Ann & Thomasine.
In 1911 Edward was living with daughter Thomasina Robson & her husband Paul Airson & their 1 year old daughter at West Row, Portobello, Birtley. He was described as a retired miner & married. Ann was living with the Gray Family at Hedley Terrace, Haswell & described as mother.
There is a death for Edward Willis aged 75 in April-June 1916 registered in Chester-le-Street.