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Ann Berry

The portrait is a self-portrait by Berthe Morisot, so not at all a comparable person.  However, she has the look of someone who has had a hard life, as I am sure that Ann did. She died in the Workhouse after all.

Somehow or other she found herself in Norwich, a long way from her childhood home on the Isle of Sheppey, in the Thames Estuary.  But it was a fateful trip for here she met and married the just widowed Roger James Magee - a Catholic moreover.  In fact the more I think about this the more extraordinary it is, for she came from a nonconformist family - the polar opposite of Roman Catholics.  I can understand why Roger might have wanted to marry - he was recently widowed with a small child to care for, so all the help he could get would have been most welcome.  But why did Ann attach herself to him?  She was a milliner from a family of shipwrights which is a respectable profession - not the bottom of the heap where Roger was situated.  He must have had charm, charisma, sex appeal, the gift of the gab?  Alas for Ann it led to a life of hardship back in London.

I do not know a lot about her early life, and her later life is, of course, tied up with Roger’s so I do not think I shall have a lot to say abut her.  We shall see.

Ann Berry

b 18 November 1812 Sheerness

m Roger James Magee 19 October 1845 Norwich

d 18 November 1896 Lewisham


John James (1847-1915)

James (1848-1911)

Sarah Jane (18551-1927)

Elizabeth Ann (1851-1901)

Charlotte Eliza (1854-1855)


Marriage certificate

Death certificate

Censuses for 1841-1891

Birth certificate of John James



Hebrew meaning ‘grace’ and one of the all time popular names maybe because it was supposed to be the name of the Virgin Mary’s mother.  It often seems to be used  as a second name.with Mary.  I do not know who this Ann was named for.


Anne, Anna, Annette, Annabelle, Annika, Anita


Annie, Nancy, Nan