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Mary Polly Brown on the Census 1900-1915

Mary Polly Brown married Charles Russell Leonard before 1854 and together they had at least 11 children. They were counted on the census together until 1880, which you can see in my previous blog. There you'll also find Mary's entry on the 1892 New York State census when she was living in Locke with two of her sons, Arthur and Irving Leonard. She and Charles had split up around 1888.

Meanwhile, in February of 1892, Mariette Wilson, wife of Joseph Wilson, died at the age of 68. Eight years later, when the 1900 census was taken, Mary was still living in Locke, but she was reported as the wife of Joseph Wilson. We know this is our Mary for a few reasons. First, our family genealogies report she married Joseph Wilson, second, because she is buried in the same plot with Joseph Wilson, and finally, the most obvious reason - because her son, Irving Leonard was living in the home and his relationship to Joseph Wilson was "step-son".

Joseph died on January 10, 1905 and later that year Mary was counted on the census, still in Locke, with only one other person in the home. It was her grandson, Victor Raymond, a son of Frank and Lydia (Leonard) Raymond. (Census shown above).

Mary would go on to marry Peter Welch (or Walsh) on March 17, 1906, but the marriage would later be annulled when Mr. Welch discovered that Charles Leonard and Mary (or "Polly") had never been legally divorced. Click here for that story.

Nevertheless, Mary kept Walsh's name until death. Her name was written "Polly Walsh" on the 1915 census, when she was still living in Locke, with a granddaughter, Bertha Leonard, in the home. She died two years later in 1917. Her name is written "Mary Walsh" on her death certificate, and "Mary Welch" in Bird Cemetery's burial records, although she is buried in the same section with Joseph Wilson. Read about the settling of her estate here.


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