Mary Ann Snowden

Mary Ann Snowden

William Lane

The following story was drafted by Vicki Smith and edited by Grahame Thom in December 2010. If you are interested in the Snowden family please contact Vicki by clicking on the email address above.

Mary Ann Snowden

Mary Ann Snowden was born on 20 February 1820, the fifth child of Andrew Snowden and Sarah Darke. She was baptised on 25 May 1822 by Rev Thos Hassall in St John’s Church of England in Parramatta. Her parents were both former convicts. Andrew came from London having arrived in February 1792 on the ship Pitt, while Sarah came from Gloucestershire having arrived in March 1796 on the ship Indispensible. Click on links below to read about Mary Ann’s parents.

For some reason young Mary lived in Parramatta with her sister Sarah and her husband John Dean from the time Sarah and John were married in 1826 to at least 1831. Mary stated this at the inquest, see below, on the body of Cornelius Rooke in August 1831 when she gave evidence. At the trial in November, John and Andrew Snowden were charged with murder but found not guilty for lack of clear evidence.

‘Mary Ann Snowden having been duly sworn states I have lived with my brother-in-law John Deane ever since he was married. I heard in the afternoon of a quarrel between Kelly and Rookes. They wanted to fight in Deane’s yard – this I heard from my sister Mrs Deane. They afterwards went to the Riverside as I was told by my sister. I saw Rooke some time afterwards brought home on a man’s back
Signed “X” (her mark) Mary Ann Snowden’

When she was aged 18 Mary married John Smith on 4 July 1837 at the Church of England, Castlereagh. He was aged 25.

Mary Ann and John had two children – Mary Ann born in 1838 and Susannah born in 1840. John was a publican in Parramatta at the time of their baptisms.

It is most likely that John died in 1840 – there is a record of a John Smith who died in 1840 at Pitt Town (Church of England). Further investigation is needed in this matter.

According to the Parramatta & District Historical Society – Inns of Parramatta, the Smiths were granted licences in 1840 and 1842 for the ‘Kings Arms’ at Western Road, District of Parramatta, – John Smith, LH 153 dated 16 June 1840, and Mary Ann Smith, LH 419 dated 30 June 1842.
On 13 July 1842 their daughter Mary Ann married William Lane. It is thought that William had been born in Dublin in about 1820 and came to Sydney on the ship England in 1826 with his parents and family.

Between 1842 and 1862 William and Mary Ann had nine children :-

Elizabeth Sarah, born 1842, NSW
Louisa, born 11 April 1845, Pitt Town, NSW
Ellen, born 11 April 1845, Pitt Town, NSW
Frances, born 29 May 1847, Pitt Town, NSW
William James, born 2 July 1849, Pitt Town, NSW
Amelia, born 5 June 1851, Windsor, NSW
Henrietta, born 19 June 1856, Windsor, NSW
Alice Snowden, born 7 January 1859, Windsor, NSW
Sydney Horatio, born 11 January 1862, Windsor, NSW

They lost three young children; Amelia died aged only 3 years in 1854, Alice lived only 9 years, dying in Sydney in 1868, while Sydney was accidentally run over in December 1870 by a cart at his home in Sydney when he was only eight – details from headstones at Windsor and the online NSW BDM index.

Mary and her family were living at 11 Junction St, Surry Hills when she died on 14 December 1873 of heart disease. Mary’s son-in-law, Isaac Aarons, was informant on her death certificate. Isaac was a squatter on the Clarence River, NSW, having married Mary and William’s oldest daughter Elizabeth Sarah on 11 June 1864 in Windsor. The Parish Register at the time contained the written notation that Elizabeth was ‘aged 19’ – (Information from Bronwyn Russell).

The newspaper ‘Windsor Richmond & Hawkesbury Advertiser’ reported on Saturday 20 December 1873 on page 2 : –

Town Talk – Death from Disease of Heart shortly after 9 o’clock on Sunday evening last, Mary Lane, wife of William Lane, of 11 Junction St, Surry Hills, died suddenly in Albion St. The body was afterwards removed to her husband’s residence. Deceased had been under the treatment of Dr Renwell for heart disease and recently was professionally attended by Dr Day for the same complaint. The last name gentleman signed the death Certificate. A funeral train left at 8am for Windsor where she was buried, aged 52.

William died on 21 December 1902 aged 82 years at Petersham in Sydney.

Note – In an obituary about William a second given name ‘Owner’ is used for William and his father. The origin of this given name is unknown and was not used by either William during their lifetimes.

Willam and Sarah Lane

Return to the story of William and Sarah Lane

Andrew Snowden

The story of Mary Ann’s father

Sarah Darke

The story of Mary Ann’s mother