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Mary Ann Challis (heretofore Bodman, spinster)

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Mary Ann Challis (heretofore Bodman, spinster)

Postby woodchal » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:17 pm

Probate index says the above, but then goes onto say Widow ... proved by her daughter.

Can any tell me what this form of words means. Image attached
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Re: Mary Ann Challis (heretofore Bodman, spinster)

Postby Sylcec » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:13 am

On the face of it, I read that Mary Ann Bodman (her maiden name) married a Mr Challis and died a widow; her daughter Lucy Cooke, the executrix, was also a widow.
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Re: Mary Ann Challis (heretofore Bodman, spinster)

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:56 am

Sylvia's suggestion sounds reasonable - maybe the odd spinster reference was to emphasise that it was previously Miss Bodman, not Mrs B.

What's odd to me is that the probate should mention the maiden name. It's not a formula that I particularly remember seeing in England. Maybe the will mentioned her maiden name for some reason....?


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Re: Mary Ann Challis (heretofore Bodman, spinster)

Postby MayHam » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:24 am

It appears Mary Ann Bodman was a spinster (meaning never been married) at the time of her marriage to Thomas Walton Challis on 23 Feb 1837 at Saint George, Middlesex, England.
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NJWX-WZ7

They apparently left for South Africa, perhaps to join his parents' family, shortly afterwards.
http://www.southafricansettlers.com/?p=11363
and
http://www.southafricansettlers.com/?p=4215

Thomas W. & Mary A. Challis' son, George, was baptised in Cape Town in 1849.
http://search.ancestry.ca/cgi-bin/sse.d ... &ml_rpos=1

Their son, Walton Thomas, was married in Cape Town in 1873 shortly after his father drowned at sea. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XKHG-LZ6

Mary Ann Challis (Widow), her daughter, Lucy Cooke (Widow), and granddaughter, Lucy E. Cooke, returned to West Ham, Essex before the 1881 census.
http://search.findmypast.com/record?id= ... 0008019821

Hope this helps.
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Re: Mary Ann Challis (heretofore Bodman, spinster)

Postby woodchal » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:26 am

Mayhem - you may be right. BUT as this would be true for the probate for all married women, why was this form of words used in this instance is the question - I have never seen this before - any ideas?


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Re: Mary Ann Challis (heretofore Bodman, spinster)

Postby lojo41 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:24 am

Mary Ann may have been a spinster when she wrote her will and might have changed it when she married mr Challis


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Re: Mary Ann Challis (heretofore Bodman, spinster)

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:33 am

The question of why those words intrigues me, as I indicated above. I can only think that the solution to that will be clear with the will in hand, which must surely include the maiden name.

But it occurs to me that, according to "common knowledge", any will made when she was a spinster becomes invalid on marriage. I did wonder if the codicil was there to record her change of name without replacing the whole will. I've no idea if that is possible.

But if it was a new will after her marriage - why mention her maiden name?

We're just speculating without the will to hand.

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Re: Mary Ann Challis (heretofore Bodman, spinster)

Postby woodchal » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:23 pm

Following mayhem info, the executor would have been daughter after marriage, so will must have been written after marriage.

I will wait to see if anyone else has come across this form of words before


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Re: Mary Ann Challis (heretofore Bodman, spinster)

Postby ianbee » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:57 pm

woodchal wrote:I will wait to see if anyone else has come across this form of words before

It's not unique at all, even in the National Probate Calendar. Including some administrations.
I agree with Adrian that it is likely that this comes from the will, in which she may have described herself as formerly Mary Ann Bodman, Spinster.
One possible reason might be because of some settlement made upon her before her marriage, and still relevant to her own estate.
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Re: Mary Ann Challis (heretofore Bodman, spinster)

Postby woodchal » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:03 pm

Thanks Ian.


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