Mary was christened 23 April 1829, New Sleaford. The 1841 census shows Mary working as a servant to William Woodhouse, a tailor, in (New) Sleaford. On 26 September 1848, Mary had a son, William, who was born at the Union Workhouse, Spittlegate (Grantham). No father is noted on the birth certificate.

Mary married William Dawson on 2nd January 1850 at Scredington, south of Sleaford and east of Grantham. Both William and Mary Dawson were baptised into the Church of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) in early 1851 and William was ordained as a priest in the Mormon Church in February 1851. In the 1851 census, William and Mary are living with Mary’s son who has is now known as Samuel. (He subsequently used the names William and Samuel William throughout his life.)  William Dawson, describes his occupation as a “priest” in the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

On 8th August 1853, William Dawson emigrated – probably to the United States . The next month – on 18th September, Mary Sentance married Henry Fox, using her maiden name Mary Sentance, at the Register Office in Sleaford. Henry Fox is a husbandman, aged 23 years (a year younger than Mary), son of Richard Ellmore, living in New Sleaford.

Henry Fox seems to have died before the autumn of 1855 as on 13th September, Mary marries again – her third husband in less than six years! Mary Fox, a widow, married John Taylor in the Parish Church of New Sleaford. The 1861 census finds Mary and John Taylor living in North Road, New Sleaford, with three children: William (aged 12), Mary’s son, who is described as John Taylor’s son-in-law; James and Mina – children from John Taylor’s first marriage to Mary Hall (who died in 1840).

Mary’s son Samuel William was married on 29th January 1865, to Eliza Bell, in New Sleaford, and they have two children – Mary Ellen, born in late 1866 in Sheffield, and Charles William, born 12th October 1871, also in Sheffield . In the 1871 Census, (Samuel) William and Eliza are living in the Upper Hallam district of Sheffield with their daughter Mary Ellen, aged 4.

Mary can’t be traced in the 1871 census, but she re-emerges as a witness to the marriage of her brother William in Sheffield in February 1874 (see below), as Mary Smith. The 1881 census reveals that she is married to a Charles Smith, living in Sheffield . Charles was born in Heckington, Lincolnshire , near Sleaford. Living with Mary in 1881 is Charles William Sentance, her grandson, most likely the son of Samuel William Sentance and Eliza Bell.

There is no record of Samuel William Sentance in the 1881 census, though his wife Eliza appears to be living with an Edward Taylor – a timber yard labourer – in the Brightside Bierlow district of Sheffield.  though he subsequently reappears in the 1891 and 1901 censuses. In 1881, Mary Ellen Sentance, Samuel William’s other child, is working as a domestic servant in Warrington. She subsequently married George Forrest in Warrington in 1889 and the 1891 and 1901 censuses show they settled in Blackburn , but had no children.

Charles Smith died in the 1890s and Mary is a widow (again!) in the 1901 census (though her age is mis-recorded as 63!), living next door to her sister Elizabeth who is married to John Marriott. John is also the elder brother of Mary’s brother William’s wife Sarah Marriott (see below). Mary Smith probably died in Sheffield in the first quarter of 1909, aged 79 (death registered in Sheffield , first quarter of 1909).

Mary’s son Samuel William reappears in the 1891 census as William Sentance, a widower, aged 42, born in Grantham – working as a general labourer. He is boarding with Betsey Grubb (51) in Nether Hallam, Sheffield – and the 1901 census finds them in the same spot and status – just ten years older. Later in 1901, just before Betsey dies (in late 1902), she marries Samuel William Sentance – perhaps so he could inherit her wealth. Samuel William married again in 1903 in Sheffield (Eccleshall Bierlow district) and died in 1909 in the same area. (Death of Samuel W Sentance registered in Eccleshall Bierlow, first quarter 1909, aged 62.)

Charles William Sentance, Mary’s grandson, married Selina Pearson and they raised a family in Sheffield.