Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mary Reed Farncombe

This photo is of Mary Reed Farncombe---Annie Reed Maupin's grandmother, William Reed/Farncombe's mother. We have so many stories about her. . .some are true and some probably aren't.

We think she was born in Malta in 1801 and believe her father was probably in the military, too. We are pretty sure she was Irish---she visited siblings in Ireland and William Reed/Farncombe (when he first arrive in the United States) stated he was from Ireland.

According to a family story, Mary Reed married young (15 years old)--May 1, 1816 to William Farncombe who was in 35th Regiment. Although we thought she was married in St. Thomas Virgin Islands, an English cousin saw the marriage records.

According to Pauline Reid, an English cousin: "As promised, here's the marriage information from Hampshire Record Office about the marriage of William Farncombe and Mary Reed:

Marriage at St Thomas Church Winchester in the County of Southampton in the year 1818 William Farncombe of this parish, bachelor, sergeant in 35th Regt of Foot and Mary Reed, a spinster of this parish were married in this church by banns this 5th day of January in the year 1818."

William signed his name, Mary made her mark. The 2 witnesses were Thomas McCord and John Flight (who according to the records I saw witnessed many marriages for soldiers of different regiments so was probably a church verger or parish clerk or something like that).

St Thomas's Church is the nearest church to the barracks where William was stationed. The fact that both William and Mary are described as being 'of this parish' just means that they had been living there for the last 6 weeks when the banns were read."

We still think she and her husband lived in the Caribbean and one story says she bore four children there who also died there (the mortality rate was very high for military in the Caribbean in the early 1800's).
Above is William Farncombe's discharge papers after 20 years in the military in 1825. One story says he suffered from sun stroke in the Caribbean but his military record says "he was ruptured". They came back to England, after his discharge, where Mary bore 9 more children including William Reed/Farncombe and Mary Farncombe DiVall who immigrated to the United States. William and Mary (the parents) lived near Pyecombe, Sussex, England for the rest of their lives. Mary died at 69 years old.

The next post will have two more "Family Stories" which were handed down in Mary Farncombe DiVall's family.

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