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Mary Ann Dickinson's marriage to Joseph Proctor

Updated: Jul 16, 2022

Mary Ann Dickinson was born May 22, 1857, in Wadsley Bridge, Yorkshire, England. She was my 2nd great-grandaunt, a sister of my 2nd great-grandfather, Harry Dickinson, so her children were cousins to Harry's children, one of whom was William Henry Dickinson, my great-grandfather - not to be confused with Mary Ann's brother, William Henry Dickinson, who was baptized the same day as Mary Ann, in Sheffield, England, back in 1859. You can see the baptismal register here...but I'll try to stay on track.

In 1861, Mary Ann was counted on the census with her parents on Portland Street in Nether Hallam, Yorkshire, England. She was 3 years old. (See that census here). Ten years later, in 1871, the family was counted on the census on Langsett Road in Nether Hallam. She was 17 years old. (See that census here).

Mary Ann Dickinson's first marriage occurred at the age of 23. She married Joseph Proctor, of Walkley, Yorkshire, England. He was a son of William Proctor, a mason by trade. They were married on April 29, 1880, at St. Mary, Walkley, Yorkshire, England. (Ecclesall Bierlow Dist, Vol 9C, p. 38). See the marriage record, below.

Use this interactive map to take a look around as if you're visiting the place the Dickinsons and Proctors gathered together to join Mary Ann and Joseph in Holy matrimony, 142 years ago.

The marriage of Joseph Proctor and Mary Ann Dickinson is shown here, along with a few photos her brother, Harry's children have kept and shared:

The following are two family photos sent to me by James Dickinson, great-grandnephew of Mary Ann. The photos were taken during a visit between Harry Dickinson and his sister Mary Ann, in the 1920s:

A family portrait of John & Elizabeth Dickinson and their three grown children, is another treasure for all their descendants to save and cherish.

Mary Ann and Joseph left England five months after their marriage. A different immigration year is given on each census Mary Ann was counted on, ranging from 1880 to 1884, but a ship manifest for the ship "Wyoming", dated October 12, 1880, lists Mr. Joseph Proctor and Mrs. Mary Ann Proctor, traveling on board. They weren't counted on the 1880 U.S. census, because the census was taken four months prior to their arrival. On the 1920 census it is reported that she became a naturalized citizen in 1890.

Joseph Proctor was a steel worker in Pittsburgh, like Mary Ann's father, uncle, and brothers, and many others who found opportunities in the city's booming steel mills. Joseph and Mary Ann had seven known children between 1882 and 1890, although on the 1900 census, Mary reported having 11 total, six of whom were still living at the time. The deaths of three of their sons who died in infancy is documented and included among her descendants below.

Known descendants of Mary Ann (Dickinson) and Joseph Proctor, according to the clues I've found in old family photos and census records, are shown here:

  1. Mary Elizabeth Proctor, born Jan. 17, 1881, at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She married Charles Orville Brown at Pittsburgh on Apr. 9, 1903 and lived 67 years, until August 31, 1948. She died in North Irwin, Pennsylvania. The cause of death was Carcinoma of the Left Lung which she suffered with for one year prior to her death. She is buried in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park in North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania (Findagrave). Her husband was living with their daughter Ethel in North Irwin when the 1950 census was taken and he died seven years later, on June 15, 1957, at the age of 82. Charles and Mary had two known children, both born in North Irwin, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania:

    1. Howard D. Brown, born Mar. 12, 1909, in North Irwin, Pennsylvania. He was a steelworker who never married or had any known children. He died on Sept. 22, 1964, after being struck by a car in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He was 55 years old. He is buried in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park, like his mother, who predeceased him by nine years. (Findagrave).

    2. Ethel Mae Brown was born Sept. 7, 1910, in North Irwin, Pennsylvania. She married Raymond Burchill in 1931, and had four or more children: Richard, Barbara, Mary, and Kathy.

  2. Henry Proctor, born August 3, 1882, at Pittsburgh, died from "Idiopathic Tetanus" six days later, on August 9, 1882. He is buried in Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh. (Findagrave)

  3. John William Proctor, born June 7, 1883, at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the age of 29, he married at Easton, Pennsylvania, to Miss Lena Bertha Hartman, age 24, of Brooklyn, New York. The following year, on May 10, 1913, the young couple suffered a great loss when Lena gave birth to a stillborn child, a son. When John registered for the WWI draft on Sept. 12, 1918, he was living at 610 E. Elm St., Titusville, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. He was tall and slender, had gray eyes and light hair, and he worked for Cyclops Steel Company as a Hammerman. Immigration records show him crossing the border into Canada on Dec. 29, 1919, and Lena arrived three days later, on Jan. 1, 1920, to "join husband". Ten months later, on October 4, 1920, their daughter Amelia Zoe Proctor was born. In 1921, the family was counted on the Canadian census in Welland, Ontario, Canada, but returned to the U.S. within five years. Lena died from breast cancer on December 15, 1926, in Philadelphia. She was 38 years old and is buried in Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. John married again within four years to Ethel (French) Cornish (1889-1954), widow of Richard H. Cornish. Richard had also died, almost six months before Lena, on June 25, 1926, at Pittsburgh. John and Ethel lived in Pittsburgh in 1930.

    1. Amelia Zoe Proctor, born October 4, 1920, in Ontario, Canada. She never married or had children. She died at the age of 77 on August 15, 1998, and is buried in Pittsburgh in Allegheny Cemetery, surrounded by many other family members and ancestors. (Findagrave)

  4. Joseph Proctor, born July 3, 1886, lost his father at the age of five. He lived with his mother on Gross Street in Pittsburgh when the 1900 census was taken. In 1910 they all lived on Cypress Street and Joseph worked as a laborer. In 1920 he was at the same place, but working as a chauffer. He was a Private in the Army during World War I and worked as a truck driver afterwards. In 1925, he married Florence Vorndran, a seamstress and daughter of Victor and Ida Vorndran, both immigrants from Germany. Joseph and Ida had a daughter named Ida May Proctor born July 5, 1927, in Pittsburgh. When the census was taken in May of 1930, his wife and daughter were living with her parents on South Millvale Avenue in Pittsburgh and he was a patient in a South Fayette hospital. He died four months later in the same town, and perhaps the same place, on Sept. 20, 1930. The cause of death was "General Paralysis of the Insane". General paresis, also known as general paralysis of the insane, paralytic dementia, or syphilitic paresis, is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder that took the life of this 44 year old man. He may still have descendants today:

    1. Ida May Proctor, born July 5, 1927, in Pittsburgh, married Louis B. Hildebrand on Sept. 21, 1950. She was employed as a telephone operator at the time. Louis died in 1980 and Ida died April 19, 2013, leaving at least five children including Valerie (Hildebrand) Kafka, Victor Hildebrand, Jeffrey Hildebrand, Christopher Hildebrand, and Louis Hildebrand.

  5. Joseph Proctor, born July 24, 1889, died just four days later, on July 28, from convulsions. The family lived at 34 1/2 Long Alley in the 17th Ward of Pittsburgh at the time. It seems odd that they named this son Joseph since we can see there was a boy named Joseph Proctor in Mary Ann's home in 1900, born July 1886, but the death certificate clearly states the names.

  6. Martin Proctor, born July 25, 1889, died the following day, on July 26, from Eclampsia. He was buried July 27, 1889, at Allegheny Cemetery.

  7. Harry D Proctor, born Aug. 13, 1891, in Pittsburgh. At the age of 19, he was counted on the census in his mother and stepfather's home in Pittsburgh (1910) and worked as a bookkeeper. He married Dorothy Wareham in West Virginia in 1913 and they went back to Pittsburgh, where he would spend the remainder of his life. By the time of the 1920 census, they had three children in the home - Mary, Beatrice, and Lois Proctor. He was working as a car salesman at the time. When the 1930 census was taken, he was a truck driver for a bakery and they had a new daughter in the home, June Proctor. In 1940, he was working as a truck driver for a construction company. His daughter Beatrice's new husband was added to the family, along with her two children. When the 1950 census was taken, only his wife and daughter, June, remained in the home and he was working as a shipping clerk at a lumber supply company. He was still working there at the time of his death, which occurred the following year, on July 9, 1951, at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. He was 59 years old and the cause of death was Broncho-Pneumonia, with Coronary Artery Disease and Exhaustion contributing. He is buried in Sunset View Cemetery in Penn Hills, Allegheny, Pennsylvania. (Findagrave) Known children of Harry and Dorothy were four daughters:

    1. Mary Ruth Proctor, born Nov. 2, 1913. She married Louis D. Uselman and had at least two children, both daughters, named Valerie and Mary Lou (Uselman) Eber. Mary Ruth (Proctor) Uselman died October 30, 1984, and is buried in Pittsburgh at Saint Mary Catholic Cemetery.

    2. Beatrice P. Proctor, born Nov. 23, 1915, at Pittsburgh. She married Frederick Vetter and had at least two children: Nancy and Deloris P. Vetter.

Note: Corrections and updates are welcomed and encouraged, but please be mindful of sharing sensitive or personal information about living individuals. Also, if you have any old photos to share, as so many have, please use the Dickinson Genealogy Forum.

Sadly, Mary Ann's husband, Joseph Proctor, died at the young age of 35, on April 2, 1891. Mary Ann had three young children at the time and was pregnant with his son, Harry, who was born four months after his father's death, on August 13, 1891. The cause of death was Apoplexy. She remarried three years later, in 1894, to Samuel Lewis, a Stone Mason born in South Wales. She was 37 and he was 33. It was his first marriage and Mary Ann bore him at least three children.

In my next blog, I'll finish the story of Mary Ann's life. In the meantime, have a tour around Cypress Street in Pittsburgh, where Mary Ann and her descendants lived for decades.

These Dickinson finds wouldn't be possible without the help of FindMyPast! Try a search for one of your brick walls, especially if they're in England! We may receive a small commission for purchases made and we thank you for your support, but the recommendation is made because FindMyPast is a great resource! Give it a try!


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