Friday, June 22, 2012

Mary Ann Ray

Mary Ann Ray was born to Giles Bartholemew Smith and Mary Ann Mears Ray on April 4, 1846 in Whitstable, Kent, England.

Mary Ann Mears Ray in 1905 at 90.

She was the fifth child of nine. Her father was a mariner and oyster dredger and provided well for his family. Her mother taught her how to be a lady in manner and speech. Mary Ann, with her mother and 4 sisters, would wash their clothes by rubbing them together, instead of using a washboard, and did their cooking in a public oven.

Mary Ann joined the Church in 1860, a few years after her mother. Her brother, William, was baptized in 1865. A year later, Mary Ann left for America with her brother and his wife. (Mary Ann's father died in 1864 and her mother decided to stay in England and eventually remarried.)

They set sail from England on 6 May 1866 on the ship Caroline and were at sea for 6 weeks. They landed in Castle Gardens, New York. After a few days they left for New Haven, Connecticut by steamboat. They traveled by train on there way to the Missouri River. While on the train, eleven train cars fell on their sides in an accident. They train car that Mary Ann was traveling in as well as the one directly in front of them did not turn over and no one was seriously injured. They sailed up the Missouri River to Wyoming, where they were met by by ox teams from Utah sent to the Missouri River to help the Saints who were traveling to Utah. Richard Rowley was called to serve in one of these groups.

The couple became aquainted during the journey back to Utah. They were married October 1, 1866 in the home of George A. Smith in Salt Lake City, UT and made their way together to Southern Utah.

Their first home was in Paragonah. Richard took the covered wagon that he had used to guide the company across the plains from its wheels and placed it on the ground. This was their “home” until after their first child, William Giles, was born (1867). Soon after, Richard built a small adobe home in Parowan. Over the years, Richard added two wings onto the existing home. It became one of the finest homes in town. Friends, relatives and even strangers were welcome in the Rowley home. In fact, Willford Woodruff and his wife stayed in the home and went to Parowan Canyon with the family.

Richard and Mary Ann in 1890. Ages 45 and 44.

Their second child, Mary Ann Elizabeth, died before her second birthday. The rest of Mary Ann’s children lived to adulthood. The remaining eight were: Frances Louisa, Richard Edward, Thomas Henry, Mary Jane, Emily Charlotte, Astella Sarah, and George Samuel.

Richard Rowley Family, 1906.
Back: Richard Edward, Frances, William, Thomas, Mary Jane.
Center: Mary Ann and Richard.
Front: Emily, George, Sarah

Mary Ann was a proper, English woman and kept a tightly home. A portrait of Queen Victoria was a focal point in her home and she would point at it and say, “That’s my Queen.”

Richard and Mary Ann in about 1925.

In her later years, Mary Ann developed problems with her feet. This made walking difficult. She died March 22, 1927 in Parowan, Utah.

Check out Find A Grave to see Mary Ann's headstone.

See Richard's post for additional photos and information.

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