Ari’s 5x great-grandmother Mary Henrietta Smith was born in 1811 in the village of Chilbolton in Hampshire.

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The River Test between Chilbolton and Wherwell

She was the fifth child of Thomas Smith and Jane Day, and was baptised on the 2nd of June at the church of St Mary the Less.

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There are no other records for Mary until 1832, when she married Charles Mitchener.

They lived in Goodworth Clatford, where they had four children. Their first daughter, Frances Mary Edith (known as Fanny), had two daughters, Emma and Eliza, before she married Gabriel Wild, a shepherd. She lived until 1907.

Mary Henrietta’s first son, Henry, was born in 1838 and went into the army in 1857, signing up to the Rifle Brigade. He served in China, Malta, Gibraltar, India and the East Indies. He was discharged in 1870 with heart disease, and became a Chelsea Pensioner.

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Henry went to live with his sister Frances (Fanny), and then to the workhouse in Andover, where he died at the age of 44 in 1882.

The second daughter was Elizabeth, who married John Tarrant and became Ari’s 4x great-grandmother.

The second son, Walter, married Mary Alexander in 1866. They had two children who both died as babies, and then Walter himself died in 1869 at the age of 26.

By the time of the 1851 census, Charles had died and Mary Henrietta was a widow. She was working as a laundress and living in Goodworth Clatford with the three youngest children and also her mother Mary.

By 1861 she was working as a charwoman. Her son Walter was with her in the census, and a granddaughter, Emma (2), the daughter of Frances.

1871 saw Mary Henrietta living at the Post Office in the village and working as a housekeeper in the home of William Downs.

In 1881 Mary was living with her son-in-law, John Tarrant, no doubt helping to bring up the four children after the early death of her daughter Elizabeth.

Mary died on 30 December 1885 and was buried on January 3rd.

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Hampshire Chronicle, 2 Jan 1886

Ari, this is how you are related to Mary:

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