In the week 23 prompt for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Amy Johnson Crow suggests the theme “Wedding”. In the week 22 entry I profiled Clara Jane Bowen and mentioned her mother Mary L Smith’s two husbands.
Mary Louise Smith was born in Olive, Ulster county, New York in 1856. Her parents were Harriet Vitty (week 4) and Thomas Smith. The relocation of the Smith family to Olive from New York City was a short one, and by 1860 the family was back in the city. In 1872, Mary married Benjamin Aaron Bourne (son of the Benjamin Aaron Bourne (week 15) and Sarah Maria Smith (week 13)) [Smith appears to be a common name but no relation has been found].
The nuptials were perhaps less than fabulous, because in 1875 Mary is enumerated along with her two young daughters and mother as a boarder in the household of Edward Clarke. In 1880, she is listed as the wife of Thomas Johnson. She and the girls are enumerated along with another daughter (born in 1876), her mother is enumerated at the same address. No marriage record has been found. So perhaps this is the wedding that wasn’t.
The 1900 census asks number of years married. Although Thomas is not enumerated with Mary in 1900, she is listed as married for 28 years. This correlates with her first, documented marriage to Benjamin Bourne. This further supports the theory that Mary and Thomas never officially married.
Mary is enumerated with one of her daughters in 1910, (where she is listed as widowed) but then disappears for the 1920 and 1930 US censuses. She died in Brooklyn in 1931 at Kings County Hospital. She was 75 years old. She is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. There is no indication of any husband eternally resting with her.