Person:Mary Swallow (9)

m. 12 Oct 1795
  1. Elizabeth Swallow1799 - 1816
  2. Sarah Swallow1801 - 1870
  3. Mary Swallow1803 - 1857
  4. Hannah Swallow1804 - 1807
  5. William Swallow1808 - 1883
  6. Susannah Swallow1811 - 1896
  7. Hannah Swallow1814 - 1884
  8. George Swallow1816 - 1818
m. 7 Feb 1824
  1. John Hornet1823 - 1824
  2. Mary Ann HornetAbt 1825 - 1903
  3. John Hornet1827 - 1828
  4. William Hornet1829 -
  5. Maria Hornet1832 - 1906
m. 19 Feb 1834
  1. Susan WarnerAbt 1835 - 1871
  2. Sarah Warner1838 - 1866
  3. Thomas Warner1842 - 1842
  4. Sophia Warner1842 - 1844
m. 22 Nov 1851
Facts and Events
Name Mary Swallow
Gender Female
Birth[1] 22 Jan 1803 Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, England
Christening[1] 3 Apr 1803 Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, England
Marriage 7 Feb 1824 Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, Englandto Joseph Hornet
Marriage 19 Feb 1834 Harpenden, Hertfordshire, Englandto Francis Warner
Census[2] 6 Jun 1841 Harpenden, Hertfordshire, EnglandCold Harbour
Census[3] 30 Mar 1851 Harpenden, Hertfordshire, EnglandUpper Top Street
Marriage 22 Nov 1851 Luton, Bedfordshire, Englandto William Myers
Death[5] 15 May 1857 Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, EnglandNear The Folly
Burial[6] 19 May 1857 Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, England



Mary Swallow was born on 22nd January 1803 at Wheathampstead in Hertfordshire, daughter of Sarah Swallow, formerly Hopkins, and her husband William Swallow, a labourer. She was the third of nine children, although two of her younger siblings died young, and her older sister Elizabeth died aged 16. The baptisms of some of her younger siblings record that from at least 1814 onwards the family lived at Hollybush, a row of cottages near the hamlet of Mackerye End to the west of Wheathampstead.


On 20th September 1823, a bastardy order was issued for Mary's unborn child by a labourer named Joseph Hornet, and a warrant for Joseph's apprehension was issued. The baby, a boy named John, was born on 8th December 1823. Joseph was presumably apprehended and persuaded to marry Mary - they married on 7th February 1824. Baby John was baptised a month later.

Sadly, John died young, being buried at neighbouring Kimpton on 4th May 1824.

Joseph and Mary went on to have another son named John in 1827, but he too died young, being buried when just over a year old.

Joseph and Mary then had three children who lived to adulthood, although baptisms have only been found for two of them: William in 1829 and Maria in 1832. There was also a daughter Mary Ann, whose existence is known from the fact that her marriage in 1846 said she was daughter of Joseph Hornet and who appears in the 1881 census living with her sister Maria's daughter, who was described as her niece.

Joseph did not live to see the children grow up. He died in 1833, just a few days after Maria's first birthday. He was 32 when he died. Mary was left with three children aged under five to look after. At the time of Joseph's death the family was living at Batford Mills on the River Lea, right on the border between Wheathampstead and the neighbouring parish of Harpenden.

Second marriage

Less than a year after Joseph's death, Mary remarried. Her second husband was Francis Warner, another agricultural labourer. They married at Harpenden. Francis was about ten years older than Mary and was a widower with several children from his first marriage. Mary and Francis had four children together between about 1835 and 1842: Susan, Sarah and twins called Thomas and Sophia. Both twins died young; Thomas shortly after birth and Sophia aged one.

In 1835, when Mary was 32 years old, her father William died. He had been living at Hollybush where Mary had grown up. After his death, Mary's mother Sarah moved to Gustard Wood just north of Wheathampstead, living next door to Mary's brother William.

The 1841 census finds Mary living with Francis and six children (two from his first marriage, two from her first marriage and two that they had had together) at Coldharbour in Harpenden, with Mary working as a plaiter, plaiting straw to be used in the local straw hat making industry. Coldharbour is only a mile or so from Hollybush, and just along the river from Batford Mills.

Francis died in 1844, aged 50. Mary therefore found herself a widow for the second time at the age of 41. Just three months after Francis's death Mary's youngest daughter, Sophia, died aged just under two years old.

Over in Gustard Wood, Mary's mother Sarah died in 1848.

The 1851 census finds Mary living with three of her children and a lodger at Upper Top Street in Harpenden. She was again described as a plaiter.

Third marriage

Later in 1851 Mary moved to the nearby town of Luton. On 22nd November that year she was married for the third time, this time to a labourer named William Myers. He was originally from Kimpton, just north of Wheathampstead. Unlike Mary, who was twice widowed, William was a bachelor. He was also twelve years her junior - when they married he was 36 and she was 48. At the time of their marriage, Mary and William were both living in Luton, but they later returned to Wheathampstead, where they lived near The Folly, a hamlet to the west of the parish.

Mary died on 15th May 1857 near The Folly. She was 54 years old. William remarried the following year, and was still living at The Folly in the 1861 census.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Church of England. Wheathampstead Parish Registers. (Hertford: Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies).

    SWALLOW Mary daughter of Will[ia]m & Sarah his wife (late Hopkins) Born Jan[uar]y 22d Bapt April 3d

    This baptism has been linked to the Mary Swallow who married Joseph Hornet, Francis Warner and William Myers on the basis of her third marriage certificate, which says she was the daughter of William Swallow, and the 1851 census, which says she was born in Wheathampstead around 1804.

  2. England. General Register Office. The National Archives (abbreviated TNA): 1841 Census Schedules for England and Wales, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. (Kew, Richmond, Greater London TW9 4DU, United Kingdom)
    Class HO107; Piece 441; Book 4; Folio 32; Page 17, 6 Jun 1841.

    Address: Cold Harbour, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
    Francis Warner, male, 45 [1791-6], Ag Lab, b. Hertfordshire
    Mary Warner, female, 35 [1801-6], Pl[aiter], b. Hertfordshire
    Mary Warner jun., female, 15 [1821-6], Pl[aiter], b. Hertfordshire
    Elizabeth Warner, female, 15 [1821-6], Pl[aiter], b. Hertfordshire
    Susan Warner, female, 5 [1835/6], Pl[aiter], b. Hertfordshire
    Sarah Warner, female, 3 [1837/8], b. Hertfordshire
    William Hornet, male, 10 [1830/1], Pl[aiter], b. Hertfordshire
    Maria Hornet, female, 9 [1831/2], Pl[aiter], b. Hertfordshire

  3. General Register Office. The National Archives (abbreviated TNA). England and Wales. 1851 Census Schedules. (Kew, Richmond, Greater London TW9 4DU, United Kingdom)
    Class HO107; Piece 1713; Folio 73; Page 10, 30 Mar 1851.

    Address: Upper Top Street, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
    Mary Warner, head, widow, female, 46 [1804/5], Pl[aiter], b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Susan Warner, dau, unmarried, female, 16 [1834/5], Pl[aiter], b. Harpenden, Hertfordshire
    William Hornet, son, unmarried, male, 21 [1829/30], Ag Lab, b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Maria Hornet, daur, unmarried, female, 18 [1832/3], Pl[aiter], b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    William Innance?, lodger, married, male, 41 [1809/10], Carpenter, b. Harpenden, Hertfordshire

  4.   Bastardy, in Church of England. Wheathampstead Parish Registers. (Hertford: Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies).

    SWALLOW unborn of My by HORNUTT Jos, both W'stead Warrant for Apprhsn HORNUTT issued to PICKERING Jn Oversr 20 Sep 1823

  5. Death certificate, in General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration. (London: General Register Office).

    1857 DEATH in the Sub-district of Harpenden in the County of Hertford
    No. 385
    When and where died: Fifteenth May 1857 near the Folly Wheathamstead
    Name and surname: Mary Myas
    Sex: Female
    Age: 50 years
    Occupation: Wife of William Myas Agricultural Laborer
    Cause of death: Heart Disease years Dropsy 2 years Certified
    Signature, description and residence of informant: X The Mark of Ann Adams Present at the Death near the Folly Wheathamstead
    When registered: Seventeenth May 1857
    Signature of registrar: G. Gifkins Registrar

  6. Burials register, in Church of England. Wheathampstead Parish Registers. (Hertford: Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies).
    BURIALS in the Parish of Wheathampstead in the County of Hertford in the Year 1857
    No.NameAbodeWhen buriedAgeBy whom the Ceremony was performed
    1290Mary MyasThe FollyMay 1950Charles Smith, Curate