Mary Ann BARBER (1829 - 1872)

       Born: 1829
       Died: 11 May 1872 - Brighton, Tasmania, Australia

     Father: BARBER, David (1786-1843)
     Mother: FAULKNER, Mary ( - 1852)

    Husband: Thomas Arthur BAILEY  (1826 - 1920)
        AKA: Thomas ARTHUR 
    Married: 24 Mar 1847 - Green Ponds, Tasmania, Australia
   Children: 11

Mary Ann BARBER c1829-1872

Establishing the origins of my great-great grandmother Mary Ann Barber has been difficult. I had no leads as to when or where Mary Ann was born, nor any parent’s details. One family which may hold the key to Mary Ann’s origins is the family of David Barber who lived at Constitution Hill.
The only details I have gleaned came from her marriage to my great-great grandfather Thomas Arthur (aka Bailey). The young couple were married at the Church of England Church at Green Ponds, (now Kempton) on 24th March 1847. Thomas was described as a 22 year old blacksmith and Mary Ann was recorded as 18 years old.
The young couple were married by George Otter in the presence of James Barber and Wm. Potter. Thomas made his mark x and Mary Ann signed the register.
Mary Ann’s year of birth is based upon her age at marriage.

Thomas and Mary Ann lived at Broadmarsh near Mount Dromedary in the district of Brighton. Mary Ann gave birth to their first child, Elizabeth in 1847.
In 1846 William Gunn a former lieutenant was granted 445 acres of land at Broadmarsh and later donated three acres of land for a church. The stone church was completed in 1847 and the first service was held at St Augustine’s Church in June the same year. Thomas and Mary Ann’s daughter was baptised Elizabeth Bailey at St Augustine’s Church on 15th August 1847. This is the first recorded evidence Thomas changed his surname to that of his step-father Edward Bailey.
Two years later a son was born on 4th April at Black Brush and baptised James. Mary Ann gave birth to their third child at Broadmarsh on the 5th August 1851. The infant was named Alfred and at five months of age he suffered a convulsion and died. Their baby son was buried in the St Augustine’s church yard on 29th January 1852.

A few years later Thomas followed his trade to Pontville. The township of Pontville (meaning bridge town) is on the main road between Hobart and Launceston and became the main military post and administrative centre in the Brighton district. In it’s hey day Pontville was a busy town. Convicts and military personnel were housed there during the construction of the road and the bridging of the Jordan River. Coaching inns were built along the main route to service the stage coaches and skilled blacksmiths were kept busy carrying out repairs on the coaches and re-shoeing the horses. Life was difficult for these pioneering families but Thomas managed to build a successful business and by 1866 the family lived in a cottage with a smithy attached on 5½ acres of land at Pontville. Thomas had also purchased a 50 acre property at Dromedary. The family continued to grow and over a period of twenty-two years Mary Ann bore Thomas eleven children, my great grandfather Edwin was their fifth child.
On the 11th May 1872 Mary Ann closed her eyes and breathed her last breath. Mary Ann had been suffering for sometime and died as a result of a collapsed womb brought about by years of constant child bearing. Mary Ann was laid to rest in the Anglican burial ground at Pontville on 14th May 1872, and her age was recorded as 41 years. (1)

  1. HTG 1866, Assessment Roll, Municipal District of Brighton 1866 (11 March 1866), p741

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