Tuesday, August 18, 2020

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ Mary A. Bolles Hall, second wife of Rev. George Hall–1816-1893

Headstone for Mrs. Mary A. Hall - courtesy of twilson99

I submitted a request for a photograph of this headstone, via FindAGrave, in 2015.  That request was fullfilled just this month.  Never give up on your requests.  

This headstone inscription reads as follows:
Mrs. Mary A. Hall
born August 10, 1816
died October 22, 1893
Asleep in Jesus

Mary A. Bolles is my husband’s 2nd great grandfather’s second wife.  She married Rev. George Hall a little over a year after the death of his first wife, Almira Rosette.  The marriage took place on 6 Oct 1859 in Jersey City, New Jersey.

There were 6 children born to George and Almira, so in 1859 there could have been at least 3 of those children still at home.  Those may have been Thomas, age 14, Susan, age 13 and Ellen, age 9.

Here is a newspaper extraction citing the marriage of Mary Ann and George.

U.S. Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1704-1930
Name:    Mary Ann Bolles
Father:    Abial Bolles
Event:    Marriage
Marriage Date:    6 Oct 1859
Marriage Place:    Jersey City
Spouse:   George Hall
Newspaper:   Christian Intelligencer of the Reformed Dutch Church
Publication Date:   13 Oct 1859
Publication Place:  New York, USA
Call Number:   486384

Although I’ve tried for years, and just tried again today, I am unable to locate an 1860 census for Rev. Hall and Mary. 
I have located his three youngest children, Thomas, Susan and Ellen, all living with other people.

So, with no children at home and newly married, where did this couple reside in 1860?

I did locate them in the 1870 census, living in Fayette, Jefferson, Mississippi. At that time, George’s youngest daughter, Emily, was living with the couple.  George is still working in the ministry.  Mary is listed as keeping house.  Two years later, Emily aka Susan Emily, married John H. Griffing in Claiborne, Mississippi.

Here is the cropped portion of the 1870 census.
(Click on any image to enlarge it)

Mary lost her husband George to yellow fever 4 Sep 1878 in Port Gibson, Claiborne, Mississippi.  Here’s a blog post I wrote about his death which includes a detailed obituary Sunday's Obituary - Rev. George Hall Victim of Yellow Fever – 1878

What happened to Mary after George’s death?  Yet, another census mystery.  I cannot locate her in the 1880 census.  However, I was able to find her in 2 city directories from her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.  In both 1896 and 1890 she is living at 359 Meeting, in Charleston, and listed as “widow of George.”  I cannot find any record of her remarrying after his death in 1878.
Mary died on 22 Oct 1893 in her birthplace, Charleston, South Carolina.  Her cause of death was listed as Nervous prostration/old age.

Mary is buried at Second Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Charleston.  You may visit her memorial here #3586154.
NOTE – Just as I was finishing up this blog post, I decided to go over to Family Search and take a look for South Caroline records to see what I may have missed.  In doing so, I have located the actual death register for Mary.  The information on the register matches the death record I had already located.  But, nice to have that original register.

More information about Mary and some of my observations and questions:

  • I believe that Mary is the daughter of Edwin Abiel BOLLES and his wife Hannah A. PATTISON
  • She was 43 years old when she married Rev. Hall and I can locate no other marriage records for her.  In the 1850 census she was living with her parents and a few of her siblings.
  • She was married to Rev. Hall for 19 years, from 1859 until his death in 1878. 
  • I find no record of any children born to this couple. 
  • What did Mary like to do?  Did she volunteer?  Did she quilt?  Did she like to garden?  What was her life like for the 15 years after Rev. Hall died?  Was she employed someplace?
  • Someone provided a nice headstone for Mary.  Was it her siblings or other family?
  • I’ve searched on newspapers.com and genealogy bank and not found an obituary.
  • When you have no direct descendants, it’s nice to be remembered.  While Mary may not be a blood ancestor to my husband and his Hall family, I am still happy to recognize and remember her. 
If you are connected to the BOLLES family of Charleston, South Carolina, I would love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Have you looked in more newspapers around this same date? Look for the kids in the paper, too.

    1. Thank you for the comment. I've done broad newspaper searches on the 2 major sites. However, that doesn't mean the obit isn't out there. Perhaps the right paper hasn't yet been digitized. I'll keep trying.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. The church, too, might be the way to go. They keep a lot of records. Finding who has them can be a whole experience itself. If you're lucky enough to get that person who "knows everything" they will know exactly where to look.

    1. I haven't pursued church records for Mary....yet. Thanks for you input.

  3. Wonder if husband had a Will at time of death and/or property. Is it possible she returned to SC and lived with a family member or friend?

    1. I have always suspected she moved back "home" to be with family after George died. To my knowledge and searches galor, he left no will. But, one might show up at a point down the road.
      Thank you for commenting.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.