Mary Ann Arnold
- Born: 1 Mar 1857, Beech Farm, Glascoed, Monmouthshire 17
- Marriage: Henry James Pitt on 3 Nov 1879 in St. Mary Street Chapel, Newport, Monmouthshire 4
- Died: 8 Jun 1935, 5, Groveside Villas, Pontnewynydd, Monmouthshire aged 78 6
- Buried: 12 Jun 1935, Mount Zion Baptist Chapel, Glascoed, Monmouthshire 41
Another name for Mary was Mary Ann Williams.
NOTES FROM CONVERSATION WITH EDITH CLYDE PURNELL (nee Brown): 19/03/1994
Clyde was brought up by James & Mary Ann Pitt, of Pontnewynydd.
She was sent to them originally, as a baby, because she had a medical condition, that required treatment at Pontypool Hospital. After she recovered, she was wanted back by her parents (Fred & Annie Brown - Annie was James & Mary Ann's eldest child) - at this point I believe her parents lived in the Rhondda valley. There was a disagreement about this - eventually James & Mary Ann won the day and brought Clyde up themselves.
Clyde remembers working in her grandparents' grocery shop.
She remembers her Grandparents with great affection & love.
She described the Pitt family as a very GOOD family.
She idolised James Pitt - he was described as a lovely, good man - she recalled how in his work as an Insurance Agent, he had to go to Weston-Super-Mare every Wednesday on the "Steamer" - and took Clyde with him every week. She kept telling me how Mary Ann was "the most beautiful girl in the Glascoed" - and a very kind, good woman.
She recalled that her Great-Grandfather, Richard Arnold, was in fact a farmer in his own right, and NOT a Labourer - he had to give up the Farm after going blind. She remembers visiting him - every time he met her, he would beckon her over, feel her head, face & shoulders and say "My, how you've grown", and comment on the rate of her growth. She commented how everyone in Glascoed seemed to be related to each other!
Other things she said to me were that Mary Ann's sister, Aunt Nell (Ellen), lived at the first farm on the way into Glascoed - she married Reg Perrott - they were buried next to James & Mary Ann - also that Mary Ann's (four) sisters were buried in a vault by Mary Ann's grave at Glascoed.
She remembered Hilda Jenkins as a light, bubbly sort of personality - commenting how sad it was that she died. She was a teacher - Clyde confirmed that Hilda & Ernie used to go swimming together. She also said that Hilda is buried at Trevethin Parish Church.
She said that Ernie was a lovely man - very well-educated - I think she said that he helped to bring Clyde up - he was 10 years older than her. She said that he would have been Head of Caerleon College, if he had lived - he apparently died sitting on his wife Cerrie's lap.
Cerrie was described as a lovely person, as well - another ex-teacher.
On seeing a photo of Alexandra Louisa Watson, she said that Alexandra's husband was the preacher of Mount Zion Chapel - that he often used to come for lunch with James & Mary Ann - living away from the church - is this right ? - Clyde seemed a little unsure who Alexandra was and may have mistaken her for someone else.
Apparently, William Pitt got to know his wife-to-be, Edith Alice, through her being a servant at James & Mary Ann's house.
NOTES FROM CONVERSATION re HENRY JAMES PITT
JAMES PITT owned and ran a Grocer's shop on St. Luke's Road, Pontnewynydd.
The goods sold included, Minerals (Soft Drinks), Sweets, Fruit and Vegetables, Bread, and other general Groceries.
Mrs Sharp recalled that someone from the family (not immediate family?), used to help out at shop - she was apparently well-thought of by James Pitt. (N.b. this would have been Edith Clyde Brown, who came to live with James and Mary Ann).
N.B. These notes were taken after conversation with Mrs Gwladys May Sharp (older sister of Catherine Ceridwen Davies (who became the Second wife of Alfred Ernest Pitt).
The conversation took place on 01/09/1992 at Mrs Sharp's home - 78 Oakfield Rd, Cwmbran.
Mrs Sharp had lived at Pontnewynydd from approx 1910.
Noted events in her life were:
• Adoption: By Richard Arnold (informally). It is possible that he was the natural father, but he married Mary Ann's mother 6 weeks after Mary Ann's birth and was not named on the birth certificate - this inclines me to believe that he was not the natural father and instead adopted Mary Ann. On each census, before marrying, she was living with her grandparents - again this would avoid the awkward question of Mary Ann's "relationship to head" (ie Richard Arnold) on the census.
• Occupation: Shopkeeper Grocer. 18
• Census: 1861, 7 Apr 1861, Beech Farm, Glascoed, Monmouthshire. 42
• Census: 1871, 2 Apr 1871, Beech Farm, Glascoed, Monmouthshire. 43
Mary married Henry James Pitt, son of John Pitt and Sarah Davies, on 3 Nov 1879 in St. Mary Street Chapel, Newport, Monmouthshire.4 (Henry James Pitt was born on 5 Sep 1856 in Glascoed, Monmouthshire,17 died on 29 May 1929 in Pontypool & District Hospital, Pontypool 11 and was buried in 1929 in Mount Zion Baptist Chapel, Glascoed, Monmouthshire.)