Painting The Past – Mary Ann Mumford

Recently I have commissioned a few sketches depicting a moment in time from my family history. Here is the second piece of artwork.

A quick sketch of my 2x great-grandmother, Mary Ann Mumford (1854 – 1916). Sadly she was placed in Braintree Union Workhouse alongside some of her siblings as small children after their mother Lydia Mumford fell on hard times and her relationship with Charles Gray ended. Charles went onto marry Esther Ann Sorrell in 1857 and Lydia moved from one relationship to the next and from place to place simply to survive.

Only one child remained in the care of Gray, his eldest son’ Charles Mumford. Could this signify that the remaining children were not of his kin, or was a court hearing from 1848 regarding the Bastardy of this child the reason he continued to care for him. Or perhaps the remaining children were too young for him to take of.

Whatever the case maybe, perhaps DNA will eventually answer this.

Mary Ann Mumford - 1859 - Braintree Union Workhouse. Artist: Anje Yoo

Mary Ann Mumford – 1859 – Braintree Union Workhouse.
Artist: Anje Yoo


10 thoughts on “Painting The Past – Mary Ann Mumford

    • Hi Amy, I haven’t started using DNA as a tool yet, but in regards to Mary Ann Mumford I am hoping that DNA will help answer her correct paternal lineage. I am pretty much sure that Charles Gray is her father. As he didnt move on and marry until Lydia’s first four children were born. At which point they both moved on.
      There is an older child born before the Bastardy court hearing (likely a different father) and five children born after Charles married a different woman. If he is not the father, then Lydia would have had children by possibly five or more different men.
      I dont think thats possible, even with todays standards.
      Its entirely possible that they lived unlawfully together (I believe that is more likely the case).
      So DNA hopefully will be a valuable tool, i just need to find matches within his Gray family.

      • Thank you, DNA is not right at the top of my list as im still working through my tree, making sure sources etc… Are in order. Its a slow process, a yr and a half so far. I have stumbled upon new research along the way and corrected information. Im hoping to finish this job by the end of the year. Then I will look at DNA plus concentrate on direct ancestors in more depth and write more for my blog.
        Hope your plans for your trip are coming together. 🙂

  1. Stephen I wouldn’t wait on the DNA, especially if you have older family members who might test for you. It wasn’t even an option when my grandparents were alive, but I sadly wish I could have tested them.

    • Hi, Thank you for the message.
      My grandfather is still alive, both parents and a great uncle, all of whom I would ask for a DNA sample. So thank you for the push to get it done sooner then later. I might have trouble getting a sample from my grandfather as he can be a little awkward. But if I don’t ask, then I will never know. 🙂

    • I thought she did a grand job too. I advertised for artists on Deviant Art, in my ‘job post’, I mentioned my budget for each illustration and I was overwhelmed by the response. A lot of the artists are still building portfolios etc… so they jumped at the chance.

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