Mary Ann Snelling was born in Woolpit, Suffolk, England, on the 3rd of April 1809. Her parents were Stephen and Deliah Snelling nee Frost. Her mother was known as Dilly.
Mary had a sister Sarah born in 1805, and brothers Francis born in 1806, Stephen born in 1814, Robert born about 1820 and Barnard born about 1822.
On the 21st of October 1834, at Chesterton, Cambridge, England, Mary married Thomas Jolly.
Their first daughter, Mary Ann, was born in 1835. She was followed by William in 1837.
Son Benjamin was born in 1839 and died in 1841. In 1842, Thomas Benjamin was born and died within a month.
Thomas was born in 1843, Emily in 1846, Sarah Ann in 1849, Martha in 1851 and Benjamin in 1854.
Prior to 1857, their oldest daughter Mary Ann came to New Zealand. On the 25th of May 1857, aged 22, she married Thomas Hayward at Lower Hutt. Thomas Hayward farmed what is now known as Haywards Hill near Silverstream. They were to have no children of their own.
In 1858 son William married Jane Holding in Lancashire and by 1860 they were rearing their family in New York, U.S.A.
In 1864 Thomas and Mary and their four youngest children (Emily, Sarah, Martha and Benjamin) came to New Zealand. It cost Thomas Jolly 82 pounds to bring his family out. The ship was the Asterope. It sailed from London on 26 June 1864, and arrived in Wellington on 7 October 1864. On the trip out a severe SW gale, when they were just off Kerguelen Island, blew away the jib, split the foresail, and washed away the poop ladders and port bulwarks on both sides. For the rest of the journey there were light winds, although they were becalmed off Tasmania for 7 days. They sighted Cape Farewell, New Zealand, on the 1st of October, only to contend with a strong SE gale for 3 days.
Son Thomas came out to New Zealand at some stage, either before or after his parents. In 1875 in Wellington he married Janet Nutteing. Thomas died in Australia in 1883 aged 40.
Thomas and Mary Ann Jolly and family set up home in the Hutt Valley.
On the 26th of August 1866, 17 year old daughter Sarah had a baby girl, whom she named Mary Jolly. The baby was subsequently adopted by Sarah's oldest sister, Mary Ann Hayward. The baby's name became Mary Jolly Hayward. Sarah may have later returned to Cambridge, England. Daughter Mary Ann Hayward and her husband were to adopt another child, called Willie White. Willie died in 1877 aged 9.
On the 19th of December 1866, daughter Emily married James Thomas in Blenheim, New Zealand. The marriage lasted only a few weeks as Emily was found to be pregnant to her brother-in-law Thomas Hayward. Emily then lived with Elijah Bythell and had another child, but that relationship did not last very long either.
At some stage, Mary Ann, became a Roman Catholic.
On Friday 22 August 1873, Mary Ann, died in the Hutt Valley, aged 64 years. Her Death Certificate states that she died of paralysis, which was possibly a stroke. Her son Thomas registered her death. She was buried at the Catholic Cemetery at Petone. The bodies in this cemetery were subsequently exhumed and buried in a common grave to make room for the Hutt Motorway. Her death notice in the paper says she died "after a long and painful illness".
Mary Ann Snelling
Mary's husband Thomas Jolly
Mary's daughter Martha
Mary's son Benjamin