Like her husband William ASH, some of what we know about Anna Maria is based on histories compiled long ago by Stilson ASHE, Jr. (1918-) and shared by our third cousins David H. and Carolyn F. This was written by Stilson’s aunt, Esther ASHE, granddaughter of Anna Maria:
- "Maria Marks (Father’s Mother) was born at Haysburg, Devonshire, England (Date unknown) An englishman thought it (Haysburg) near the center of Devonshire, not far from the Doons’ in the story of “Lorna Doone”. Maria Marks’ parents died. She being the oldest, emigrated to Toronto with her brothers and sisters. One brother, William Marks, became a Methodist Minister in Toronto. She had a sister Lizzie I think. Maria Marks was apparently a young lady when she left England. She told of lacing her corset so tight one day, when she went to church, everything turned black. When she came too she was lying on the church steps and the red feather in her hat was broken."
Anna Maria was known as Maria. She was the eldest daughter of Uriah MARKS and Susanna DIX of Heytesbury, Wiltshire, England born 13 November 1817. She immigrated with her siblings to Toronto, Ontario before 1838. She married William ASH on 12 May 1838 in Toronto and they settled in Uxbridge, Ontario.
William and Maria had at least 5 children: Maria SCHEFFER, Elizabeth PATTERSON, William ASH, James ASHE and Jane OTWELL (our ancestor). William died in 1847 when Maria was about 3 months pregnant with Jane. After his death, Maria returned to Toronto where her siblings resided. She gave birth there to Jane.
On 30 April 1848, Maria next married farmer John ATWELL (1818 - 1903) of Pennsylvania. This blended family settled on a farm near St. Mary’s, West Nissouri, Middlesex, Ontario. They lived in a log cabin and had at least 4 additional children: Hannah ROSS, George, Ellen and Levi. There was also a son named John born in 1848; he may be Maria’s or he may have been John’s from a previous marriage. The family appears on the 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1891 West Nissouri censuses. The family was Episcopalian in the 1851 census and Canadian Methodist in 1861, 1871 and 1891.
In January 2017, cousin David H. found one of the ATWELL descendants, cousin Gayle J. of Ailsa Craig, Ontario. She was not able to tell us anything new about William ASH, but she did have some information on Maria. The following is from David's email:
- "After we established that Anna Maria was our mutual ancestor, she said that every year her mother would place flowers at the ATWELL gravesite in North Nissouri Cemetery where we visited. When she and her mother ever talked about family history together, they would wonder what happened to the ASH siblings--nobody in the ATWELL family knew."
- "Gayle told me a little about great-great-grandmother Anna Maria. She was greatly respected and loved in the community, and people would rather go see her than a doctor.. She delivered a large number of the babies born in the area. What a wonderful reputation."
|Anna Maria's Obit, 11 May 1899|
From St. Mary's Museum