Mary Wells

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Born: 21 Sep 1872 Died: 4 Sep 1964 Married: Ernest Allfrey Mother: Sarah Jane Box Father: Alfred Wells Descendant: Ernest Allfrey
Census 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921


Mary Ann Minnie Wells was born on the 21st September 1872. Her parents were Alfred Walter Wells and Sarah Jane Wells nee Box.

She was christened on the 8th December 1872 at St Peter's church, Brighton.

1872 BIRTH in the Sub-district of St. Peter, Brighton in the County of Sussex
When and where born Name, if any Sex Name and surname of father Name, surname, and maiden name of mother Occupation of father Signature, description and residence of informant When Registered
Twenty First September 1872
17 White Cross Street
Mary Ann Minnie Girl Alfred Walter Wells Sarah Jane Wells formerly Box Grainer Master Sarah Jane Wells, Mother
17 White Cross Street, Brighton
Twenty Second October 1872

In 1881 Mary Ann Minnie Wells is 8 and is living with her parents at 36 Kensington Place, Brighton.

In 1891 she is 18 and still living with her parents at 84 Trafalgar Street in Brighton where she was an assistant in a shop (possibly with her mother who was a dealer in paper hangings and possibly a milliner). Minnie is also listed as a dressmaker.


She married Ernest Frank Allfrey on the 4th November 1893 at the registry office in Brighton.

The marriage of Ernest Frank Allfrey to Mary Ann M. Wells was registered in Oct-Nov-Dec 1893 in the district of Brighton, Sussex, Volume 2b, Page 555.

1893. Marriage solemnized at the Register Office in the District of Brighton in the County of Brighton

When Married.

Name and Surname.



Rank or Profession Residence at the Time of Marriage Father's Name and Surname Rank or Profession of Father

Fourth November 1893

Ernest Frank Allfrey 21 years
21 years
Bachelor Carpenter 36 Russell Street, Brighton William Allfrey Builder
Mary Ann Minnie Wells Spinster Dress Maker 84 Trafalgar Street, Brighton Alfred Walter Wells Grainer
Married in the Register Office by Certificate before me Horace B. Burfield Dept. Regr.
This marriage was solemnized between us Ernest F. Allfrey In the Presence of us William H. Allfrey
Mary A. M. Wells Sarah J. Wells


She had the following children:

  • Ernest Frank Allfrey (b. 31 Jan 1894, d. 30 July 1971)
  • Victor Arthur Allfrey (b. 1897, d. 3 Dec 1917)
  • Cecil Nash (Billy) Allfrey (b. 1899)
  • Leslie Frederick Allfrey(b. 15 May 1901, d. 1975)
  • Thora "Tiny" Minnie Bradford (b. 26 July 1909)

Her son Victor Arthur Allfrey was killed in the first world war. He was a Private in the 2nd or 4th Bn. Gloucestershire Regiment, number 37932. He was killed on the 3rd December 1917 at the age of 20 years old. He is buried or remembered at the Cambrai Memorial Louvercal in France, which lists him as the son of Minnie and the late Ernest Frank Allfrey (panel 6).

But by the 1901 census she was a widow, living on her own means, at 29 Sussex Street in Brighton with just her two sons Ernest (7) and Cecil (1). Her husband Ernest had died there on the 3rd March 1901. He was only 27 and had suffered Lobar Pneumonia for four days.

However, she re-married, to Teddy (Ernest Edward) Bradford, and had another child, a daughter, Thora Minnie Bradford. She was known as Tiny to her relatives (as because she was born 8 years later than all her other siblings she was obviously much smaller than them!).

Tiny (Thora Minnie Bradford)

In 1911 she is widowed and living with her second husband Teddy Bradford and her five children at 17 Trinity Street, Brighton.

In 1920 she was registered to vote at 17 Trinity Street, Brighton. Registered at the same house were Ernest Frank Allfrey (her son), Ernest Edward Bradford (her second husband), and Cecil Nash Allfrey (her son).

Marriage of Thora Bradford (Auntie Tiny) - 1932

Marriage GeorgeLacey ThoraBradford.jpg

Her daughter Thora was married on the 29th October 1932, from the Mid Sussex Times (1 Nov 1932):

Pretty Wedding at Burgess Hill.

Mr. George E. Lacey and Miss Thora Bradford.

A wedding of much interest to residents in Burgess Hill and district was solemnised at St. Andrew's Church, Burgess Hill, on Saturday afternoon. The contracting parties were Mr. George Edwin Lacey, son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Lacey, of Greysmead, Station Road, Burgess Hill, and Miss Thora Bradford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Bradford, of 3 Arundel Villas, Junction Road, Burgess Hill.

The bridegroom is well known in Mid-Sussex, especially in football circles, as he has been a popular playing member as well as a former Hon. Secretary of the Burgess Hill Football Club. Mr. Lacey is a member of the staff of Lloyds Bank, and had been at a Brighton Branch, but has recently been transferred to Chicester.  The bride has also many friends in the district. The Rev. G Tindall-Atkinson (Vicar) officiated, and Mr. F. Brightiff Dyer, A.T.C.L., was at the organ and played Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" and "O for the wings of a dove." 

The BRIDE, who was given away by her father, made a charming picture in her wedding gown of parchment charmeuse satin, lace veil (lent by Mrs. R. J. Kellam) and train, with orange blossom posies. She wore pearls and carried a shower bouquet of white chrysanthemums, gladioli, tuberoses and apricot carnations. The bridesmaids presented an attractive quartette in dresses of the Victorian style of flame velvet, with gold lace caps and shoes to tone. They were Miss Beryl Allfrey (niece of the bride), Miss Phyllis Short and Miss Sylvia Clifford (cousins of the bride), and Miss Marjorie Lacey (niece of the bridegroom). Baby Molly Allfrey (niece of the bride) acted as trainbearer. She was dressed in the same style as the bridesmaids in a dress of apricot ring-velvet, with gold lace cap and shoes to match. The bridesmaids wore jewelled pendants (gifts from the bridegroom), and carried bouquets of bronze chrysanthemums and copper beech.

Mr. L.L. Stannard, a friend of the bridegroom was best man.

Mrs. Bradford was attired in grey georgette, grey velvet coated with hare collar, and a hat of black velvet. She carried a bouquet of tan chrysanthemums. Mrs. Lacey was attired in wine colours silk marocain.

A reception was held in the Congregational Hall at Burgess Hill, and largely attended. Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Lacey later left for their honeymoon at Folkestone. Mrs. Lacey travelled in a dress of Lido-blue printed crepe de chine, with brown coat, and brown velvet hat.

The Presents included:

Beryl (niece), marmalade jar.

Tim Allfrey said that he was very young, but that he remembered the wedding of Tiny and George at Burgess Hill in 1932. He, Beryl and family were living at London Road, Burgess Hill at the time.

1939 Register

In 1939 she is living with her daughter and son-in-law at "Lindisfarne", Highland Road, Chichester, Sussex. The residents are:

  • George E. Lacey, born 19 June 1907, Bank Cashier
  • Thora M. Lacey, born 26 July 1909, Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Patrick J. Lacey, born 14 Sept 1935, Under school age.
  • one closed entry (living person born after 1914).
  • Mary A. M. Bradford, born 21 September 1874, Unpaid domestic duties (Married)
  • Amelia Fall? (note says Pearson, usually subsequent married name), born 5th December 1926, At School.

They moved to Stenning in Sussex, and she was still there in about 1953/54. Her husband went to London to work.



Mary died on the 4th September 1964 at 91 years old.

The probate entry for Mary Ann Minnie Bradford née Wells, states:

BRADFORD Mary Ann Minnie of Upper Mead Henfield Sussex
died 4 September 1964 Administration London 5 August
to Patrick John Lacey medical practitioner Ernest
Frank Allfrey and Leslie Frederick Allfrey local
government officers. £999.
1964 Probate MaryAnnMinnieBradford.jpg

Her son Ernest Frank Allfrey was one of the executors.

One Minnie A. M. Bradford was registered as dying when she was 91 years old, her death was registered on Sep 1964 at Chanctonbury, Sussex, Vol: 5h, page 468.

One Ernest E. Bradford died in Mar 1964 aged 83 at Worthing, Sussex 5h 949

Other records

BMD:B: Mary Ann M. Wells registered Q4, 1872, Brighton, Vol:2b, Page:202. Certificate obtained.

A Mary Ann Wells was baptised on the 6th July 1874, the parents were Alfred (a porter) and Sarah Wells. The baptism was in the parish of Saint Mark, Walworth, Surrey. The same parents also baptised Charlotte Elizabeth Wells, and Alfred William Wells on the same day. Their address was given as 19 King's Arch Place.

The marriage of Ernest Frank Allfrey to Mary Ann M. Wells was registered in Oct-Nov-Dec 1893 in the district of Brighton, Sussex, Volume 2b, Page 555.