Ann Smeed was the eighth child of William Smeed and Caroline Turner christened June 7th, 1829 at St Mary Magdalene, Cowden, Kent.
In 1841 Ann was one of 10 children living at home, which was Brooklands Farm, East Grinstead, where her father was a farmer.
Ann was still at home, at Brooklands Farm in 1851 and was described as a house servant.
By 1861 Ann’s father was a farmer at Fairlight Farm, East Grinstead and Ann was still at home. She continued to live at home where she was found in the 1871 census.
Ann eventually married at the age of 50! On December 3rd, 1879 she married William Lucas at St. Swithin’s Church, East Grinstead. Witnesses at the wedding were Thomas and Ellen Smeed. William was born c1831 at East Grinstead, Sussex.
In 1881 Ann and William were living at Cemetery Road, East Grinstead and William was a bricklayer.
By 1891 they had moved to 111 West Street, East Grinstead and William was still a bricklayer. They had an 11 year old boarder, Amy Ruddle.
Ann and William continued to live at 111 West Street in 1901 and William was now described as a job bricklayer. With them was niece Amy Barber a 21 year old dressmaker.
William died on December 9th, 1909 at 111 West Street, East Grinstead. Probate was granted on January 19th, 1910 to widow Ann. William’s effects were £454.11s.6d.
In 1911 widowed Ann was still living at 111 West Street. And boarding with her were Amy and John Barnes and their 3 month old son Frederick.
The ‘Amy’ who lived with Ann in the 3 censuses from 1891-1911 appears to be Amy Smeed Barber. Amy, aged 1, was living with her unmarried mother, Frances Barber, at the time of the 1881 census in East Grinstead. Amy’s mother married Josiah Ruddle in 1883 & they appear to have left Sussex to live in Runcorn, Cheshire. Presumably Amy stayed in East Grinstead with Ann & William Lucas & was noted in the 1891 census as 11 year old Amy Ruddle. By the age of 21 (at the time of the 1901 census) Amy was known as Amy Barber, reverting to her birth name. Amy Smeed Barber married John Frederick Barnes in 1906 & she & John lived with Ann after their marriage, as recorded in the 1911 census. Intriguingly a paternity case against Edward Smeed of Fairlight Farm was brought by Frances Barber in 1880 naming him as the father of Amy. Whether this was Edward Smeed [sm.11] senior (Ann’s brother) or his son Edward is unknown. The case was dismissed due to lack of corroborative evidence, but it appears the Smeed family were responsible for Amy’s upbringing.
Ann, of 111 West St, died June 11th, 1912 at the Star Inn, Felbridge, Godstone, Surrey, aged 83. Probate was granted on July 25th, 1912 to Amy Smeed Barnes & her effects were £464.4s.4d. (Soon after the 1911 census, John Frederick Barnes became the first landlord to run the Star Inn after its purchase by Friary, Holroyd & Healey’s Breweries Ltd.)