I haven’t posted much recently about the Roes – the family of my maternal grandmother. This is partly because I’ve been absorbed by the Aberdeenshire origins of my father’s family, the Robbs, and partly because I had reached something of a dead end with the Roes.

I had discovered a fair amount about most of the children of Daniel Roe and Mary Blanch (my 2 x great grandparents), except for Mary Ann Blanch Roe, who was born in in October 1856 at 4 Herbert’s Passage, just off the Strand, in the parish of St. Clement Danes. Mary Ann is mentioned in the census record for 1861, when she was 4, and living with her parents and family at 2 Crown Court, in the parish of St. James, Westminster (effectively, in Soho). Then, after the death of her mother (and, we assume, her father), we find all of  the Roe children recorded in the 1871 census as living with their widowed maternal grandmother, Kezia Blanch, in Broad Street, Soho. Daniel Ellis Roe  is employed as an engineer, but Mary Ann, now 15, is working as a laundress, as is her aunt (Eliza’s daughter) Eliza, while her sister Kezia is described as an ironer.

I could find no later records for Mary Ann, until this week, when I was contacted via Genes Reunited by Sara Calvert, who is a descendant of Mary Ann’s. According to Sara, Mary Ann Blanch Roe married Leonard Kew, a comedian, born in 1855. Even more intriguingly, there is a record of the couple in the 1881 census, when they are in lodgings in County Durham. Both are described as actors, and they go by the stage names of Leonard and Blanch Vincent.

Apparently Leonard and Mary Ann had two children: Ruth, born in 1876 and Leonard, born in 1880. (This suggests that their marriage was some time around 1875, when Mary would have been about 19 or 20.) By his second marriage, to Emily Harris, Leonard junior had a number of children, who bore the surname Vincent-Kew, and who included a daughter Kezia, perhaps named after Leonard’s aunt, his mother Mary Ann’s sister, and suggesting some continuing contact with the Roe family?