Mary Jane Broom (Abt. 1815 - ?)

Mary Jane Broom, known as Jane, was born in England in Abt. 1815. At the moment we know little about her early background. Her first husband was George Fewlass, from Yorkshire, England; they had one son, John Robert Fewlass, born November 25, 1834, in Ontario County, New York. They may have had other children as well.

After George Fewlass died sometime around 1840, she married Charles C. Smith, and they raised a family in Naples, Ontario County, New York. We know the names of two of their children: Mary Jane, born in 1846, and Charles Ackley Chapin Smith, born 1848. Census information has told us the names of two of their siblings: Hannah Smith and Emily Smith, but we're not sure whether these were children of Jane's first or second husband.

For a while, we had identified this photo as Jane's daughter, also named Mary Jane, but my great-aunt Shirley Lewis found a second copy of this photo in an old trunk. It was labeled "my Pa's mother" by my great-grandmother, Bertha Lewis -- Charles Ackley Chapin Smith's daughter. This photo was made from an old tintype.

Census information from Ontario County, NY, in 1850 has helped identify Jane's story. Our family currently has a photo with many members of the Fewless family in it. We figured they were family, but had no idea how they were related. We also had some information, perhaps rumor, that Mary Jane Smith's mother had the last name of either Broom/Brown or Fewless. Mary Jane's death records confirmed this. Barb Bonham, a current member of the Fewless family, provided a genealogical chart of numerous Fewless descendants. The only woman on her chart who would have been the right age to be our "unknown Fewless" was Jane Brown. On a hunch, I ordered copies of Census records from Ontario County, where the Fewlesses were from... and found that Charles Smith's wife was named Jane, and she was born in England. This fit with known information on George Fewlass' wife.

Confused yet? See the genealogical chart.

Return to Main Page