|Mary Ann was baptised in Long Sutton, Somerset on 7th July 1822. Her parents were Stephen Rue and Mary (nee Austin). She was|
their first child. They went on to have three more.
In the 1841 census, the 20 year old Mary is living in Pitney with her parents and her younger brother, Jacob. No occupation is listed
In 1842, Mary had an illegitamate daughter, Elizabeth Jane. When Elizabeth was later baptised, aged 5 on 20th June 1847, her name was given as Elizabeth Jane Classey Rue, which suggests that James Classey, Mary's husband at the time was giving her his name, however there is still no fathers name given on the register, which further suggests that she was not James's daughter.
On 25th March 1844 Mary Ann Rue married James Classey in Pitney. He was the son of Edward Classey.
James and Mary Ann had a 2nd daughter, baptised Mary Ann on 2nd March 1845 in Pitney.
James Classey was buried in Pitney St John the Baptist Church on 31st August 1845 - he was just 42 years old, and left his wife who was just 23 with her first daughter who was then aged 3 and their baby just 5 or 6 months old.
On 22nd May 1848 the widowed Mary Ann Classey, marries a bachelor called George Classey. He was born in Pitney in 1826, his
father was George Classey a shoemaker. George was a Baker. This marriage took place in Bridgewater, where they were both said
to be resident.
George Classey, Mary Ann's second husband, was a nephew to James Classey, her first husband.
Mary Ann and George went on to have five children. John born in 1849, George in 1851, Alice Mary in 1857, Edward William in 1860
and Amelia in 1863.
On 26th March 1850 both George and Mary Ann Classey were put to Trial at Wells on a count of "Larceny" (theft). It appears that both were acquitted (found not guilty) however I have not seen the actual records yet. What I do know is that they were accused of taking a brush - the property of one John Parsons! I plan to review this further on my next visit to Somerset Record Office.
In the 1851 census of High Ham we can find George Classey (25 a baker), his wife Mary Ann (28 a straw bonnet maker) and their
children Elizabeth Jane Rue Classey (8), Mary Ann (6) and John (2). The 3 children are all shown as offspring of both George and Mary Ann.
In the 1861 census they were residing in High Ham on Pic Hill. George was 39 a fishmonger, Mary Ann was 38 a finshmongers wife, their children were Mary Ann aged 16, John aged 11, George aged 9, Alice Mary aged 4 and Edward William aged 3 months.
In the 1871 census we find George (46 a general dealer), his wife Mary Ann (48) and their children George (19), Alice Mary (14), Edmund William (10) and Amelia (7) all living in Pitney.
In the 1881 census George (55 a general dealer), his wife Mary Ann (58) and one of their sons, Edward William (21 a dealer) are all
living in Pitney.
Mary died on 13th January 1888 in Pitney.
She wrote a will on 27th April 1887 at her Solicitors in Bridgewater in which she left £10 to her son George and the rest of her property to be divided equally between her three children (George, Edward William and Amelia - I know her daughter Alice had died in 1881 but have no record of what happened to eldest son John - this suggests he either died was estranged from the family).
She mentions "real or long leasehold estates" of which I am possessed which suggests that she was a "landowner".
There is no mention of her husband, George, but Mary Ann is shown in the proving as a widow, however her husband, George, is living in Pitney aged 65, with their sone Edward William in the 1891 cenus and I believe he did not die until 1906! So I am puzzled!
It was, at that time, very unusual for a married woman to make a will. Something had obviously happened between Mary Ann and her husband George!
There is no probate value attached to this will, although it was proved at Taunton on 18th February 1888.
I do have some further information on what her children did (not included on this site as they were not "Rue"'s.)