Mary Parker was the eldest child of John and Alice Parker. Her father was a weaver, having inherited the business from his father. She had two sisters and a brother, but only her sister Ann would live to adulthood. Sarah died at the age of four and John at the age of three. Within months of John’s death, their father also died.
The three surviving members of the family were probably able to make a living from their inheritance. Mary and her sister lived at home until Mary was 26 and Ann, as I believe, almost the same age.
It’s easy to project your own feelings onto people and events that happened almost 270 years ago, but I think these sisters lived closely harmonious lives. They married within a week of each other, Ann becoming Mrs Samuel Tompson and Mary, of course, Mrs Barnes.
Each named their first child after the other. Both named their second daughter Sarah, and their first son John; after the sister, brother and father they had lost. Their husbands were both colliers, living and working in the village of Gleadless and I imagine the two families were close neighbours and friends.
Mary’s eight children and Ann’s six were all born between the years 1754 and 1770. These fourteen cousins must have grown up together in a tight-knit clan, no doubt ruled and spoiled by their grandmother. Only the three youngest did not know her. She died before Alice, her namesake and our ancestor, Susannah and cousin Lidea were born.
And when Mary died at the age of 48 her youngest children would be cared for by Aunt Ann. Two years later Ann herself died aged 47. The two brothers-in-law, Thomas and Samuel both passed away within the next five years.
Mother of Alice Barnes, daughter of John and Alice Parker
Baptised on 13 August 1728 at Handsworth, near Sheffield, Yorkshire
Married Thomas Barnes on 16 October 1752
Buried 17 November 1776