Mary Ann Leach1,2

(1829 - November 1859)
Mary Ann Leach|b. 1829\nd. Nov 1859|p821.htm|William R. Leach|b. s 1810|p1073.htm|Hannah Sewell|b. 1807|p1074.htm|||||||||||||
Appears on the following charts:
Descendants of Joseph Viles
Morford Ancestry
Descendents of Joseph Norton
     Mary Ann Leach was born in 1829 in Maine.4 She lived in Augusta, Kennebec County, Maine, in Sep 1848 Marriage intention lists Mary Ann as "of Augusta."5 Her first official record is an "Intention of Marriage" for her and Jotham Sewall Viles, published on 17 Sep 1848 in Augusta, Kennebec County, Maine, at the Unitarian Church. Her parents are not indicated in the record, but Mary Ann was "of Augusta."6 She married Jotham Sewall Viles, son of Alfred Viles and Thankful Norton, on 1 Oct 1848 in Augusta, Somerset County, Maine.7,8
     Mary Ann's parentage is highly speculative at this point. In the 1860 census, her two oldest daughters Clarissa and Serena were enumerated twice -- once with their father, and again with the family of George W. Leach in nearby Delavan. The temptation to speculate that George and Mary Ann were siblings is almost overwhelming, which would make her parents William R. Leach and Hannah Sewell.9 However, not a shred of evidence has yet been found to substantiate this pleasant fantasy. It is true that the Leaches and Vileses migrated west at about the same time; Mary's first daughter, Clarissa, was born in Wisconsin in October or November of 1849, about the same time that Hannah (nee Sewell) Leach came west with her family. On 8 Mar 1851, Mary Ann Leach sold, with her husband, 80 acres of land he had purchased on New Year's Eve from Henderson Hunt. The land was deeded to her father-in-law Alfred Viles for $1, while he assumed the mortgage on the land. Mary did not file an acknowledgement of the instrument until the following September.10
     Little else is known of her life. Later in 1851 she delivered another daughter, Serena. A son, John G., was born two years later. On 25 Oct 1854, Mary Ann Leach was also party to a sale of two lots in Delavan, purchased earlier that year.11 She last appears as a tally mark on the 1855 Wisconsin state census. The record indicates the couple were living with one additional male (their eldest son John G.) and five females. Mary herself and her two oldest daughters, Clarissa and Serena, would account for three of the females. The other two, however, are unaccounted for.12 She may have born another son, Frank A., at some point, however his existence -- like the identity of her parents -- is still highly speculative. Certainly there were two more daughters: Hellen Amanda and Mary A, presumably Mary Ann. As the Viles seemed to eschew official recordkeeping requirements, we have no record of the childrens' exact birth dates. Mary Ann died in La Grange, Walworth County, Wisconsin, in Nov 1859 shortly after the birth of her namesake daughter. The cause of death is unknown, but complications of childbirth are a likely factor. Mary's untimely death left behind a young father and five -- possibly six -- grieving children, but little in the way of documentation. She remains sadly anonymous.13,14 She was buried in Millard Cemetery, Sugar Creek, Walworth County, Wisconsin.15

Last Edited=December 30, 2006

Children of Mary Ann Leach and Jotham Sewall Viles


  1. Unknown volume, Augusta Vital Records, (n.d.), Mission Viejo, CA LDS Family History Center, Mission Viejo, Orange County, California.. P. 174.
  2. Wisconsin Deeds 16: 313-4, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, microfilm 1435082, Family History Library (FHL), Salt Lake City, Utah. Warranty Deed from Jotham S. Viles to Alfred Viles. The deed grantors are Jotham S. Viles and "Mary A. Viles his wife." Mary issued a separate certificate of acknowledgement of this deed on 22 Sep 1851..
  3. Unknown author, Assumptions by the researcher (n.p.:, unknown publish date), This is a possibility, but far from proven, based on the possibility of a sibling relationship between George W. Leach and Mary Ann..
  4. Unknown author, Millard Cemetery Listing, Walworth County, Wisconsin (n.p.:, microfilmed 9 Sep 1994), p. 10.
  5. Unknown volume, Augusta Vital Records: Volume II, 1845-1871, p. 60., n.d., Mission Viejo, CA LDS Family History Center.
  6. Unknown volume, Augusta Vital Records: Volume II, 1845-1871, p. 60, n.d., Mission Viejo, CA LDS Family History Center.
  7. Elizabeth Keene and Benjamin Lewis Keene Young, compiler, Marriage Notices from the "Maine Farmer" (n.p.:, 424. Hereinafter cited as Maine Farmer Marriage Notices.
  8. Unknown volume, Augusta Vital Records: Intention bears the footnote "Cert. iss. [certificate issued] Oct 02 1848.", n.d., Mission Viejo, CA LDS Family History Center.
  9. Unknown author, History of Walworth County Wisconsin ... (Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1882), p.666,708.
  10. Wisconsin Deeds 16: 313-4, FHL microfilm 1435082. Warranty Deed from Jotham S. Viles to Alfred Viles. The deed was recorded 15 April 1853, long after its execution two years prior..
  11. Wisconsin Deeds 19: 442-3, FHL microfilm 1435083. Warranty Deed from Jotham S. Viles to Cynthia A. Sanborn.
  12. J.S. Vials household, 1855 Wisconsin state census, Walworth County, population schedule, Family History Library microfilm no. 1032689 Salt Lake City, Utah, p. 74.
  13. Unknown name of person unknown record type, Mission Viejo, CA LDS Family History Center, Mission Viejo, Orange County, California.
  14. Donald Kearns, "The Merry (Marry) Wives of Jotham Sewall VILES," e-mail message from e-mail address (unknown address) to Viles Listserv (e-mail address), 31 August 2001. This email summarizes information received from his cousin Jack Kearns, "who has been researching our Viles' ancestry in great detail for a number of years."
  15. Unknown name of person unknown record type, Mission Viejo, CA LDS Family History Center, Mission Viejo, Orange County, California, p. 10. According to the transcribed list, a stone in this cemetery bears the name "Mary Ann Miles, w/o JS". Subsequent examination by John Stevenson of the Walworth County Genealogical Society indicated that the the correct reading should be "Viles." This is borne out by the fact that no family named Miles is found in Walworth County in the 1860 census, nor is there any man of age to be Mary Ann's husband/widower..
  16. Unknown author, Assumed.