Mary was born Mary Carrol in Boston probably around 1815. Her father was Edward Carrol and we only know that her mother’s first name was also Mary. She married sometime prior to 1835 to someone with the last name Williams. I’ve not located that marriage record to date. She married Davenport Augustus Toney on 20 April 1835 in Waltham, MA – a small town not far from Boston. All of her sons, Henry, (James) Augustus, and Charles were most likely born in the Boston-area. After the death of their youngest child at age 7 in 1845, Mary and her family settled in Fitchburg in northern Worcester County. Multiple members of the extended Toney family lived in towns throughout that area during that same time period.
Davenport died only a year after their move to Fitchburg leaving Mary alone to care for her remaining young sons. By the late 1850s, both of her sons were married. Henry settled in Fitchburg and Augustus in Lowell. Henry died though in 1861. Mary worked as a maid in Fitchburg until her 1864 marriage to Richard Ford of South Carolina who was ten years younger than she.
The Fords moved to Worcester after 1865 joining Mary’s last son Augustus and his new wife, Esther Jane. Richard worked as a janitor and with “wood cutting” machines while Mary kept house. In 1875, Richard died of heart disease leaving Mary alone again. She soon followed her third husband, dying after a seizure on 22 February 1877.
Mary is my 3rd great-grandmother and another example of our ancestors’ endurance. She lost three husbands and two sons during her lifetime. She was a single mom living in a strange town for several years. And yet she survived and thrived and her descendants live on today.