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Mary Anne Lyster

A great-grandmother from an illustrious family, but about whom we know very little - and so a very short story concocted from a very few basic facts.  Thanks to Tom Merrick, I now have a photograph of the lady.  The painting beside the photograph is what I chose to represent her before I knew what she really looked like - (more like the portrait I chose for Caroline Smith I think) - but not a bad match.   I know nothing about the painted portrait, but the lady is obviously wealthy, so l assumed that she would be an appropriate stand-in for Mary Anne.  It is dated 1850 so would be of a lady about the right age.  In the photograph I think she looks a little Virginia Woolfeish - pale and interesting.


What alerted me to this being the right mother for Ferdinand Meyrick was the fact that my husband had an uncle Lyster, son of Ferdinand and Kate.  Of course, when I started investigating the Merrick family tree I found that Lyster was actually his second name, but nonetheless, when I found a Thomas Merrick married to a Mary Anne Lyster, I thought that these must be Ferdinand’s parents, as indeed they have proved to be.


Although Mary Anne spent some time in England late in her life, virtually all of it was spent in Ireland, in Cork and Dublin.  She had eleven children, most, if not all, seem to have survived - quite a feat, and shows that she must have been pretty tough.  Being wealthy and privileged didn’t necessarily guarantee you safe childbearing years.


So here is her brief story.  If you know more do get in touch via email.  We would love to hear from you.

Mary Anne Lyster

b ca 1835 Ireland 

married Thomas Merrick 

1 December 1855, Cork

d maybe 1910



Augustus Warren 1858-?

Agnes L. 1860-?

Frederick L. 1861-?

Thomas 1863-?

Horace Townsend Newman 1865-1952

Robert Warren 1866-?

Ferdinand Richard Holmes 1869-1940

Ernest Edwin 1871-?

Arthur Henry 1872-

Herbert Alexander Stuart 1874-?

Elizabeth Henrietta Louisa 



IGI baptisms of some children

IGI record of marriage



Hebrew from the same root as Miriam.  Originally meant ‘bitter’ but changed to mean ‘bitterly wanted child.”  It is of course the name of the Virgin Mary and so an all time favourite name for girls.


Maria, Marie 


May, Molly, Polly - these don’t seem very likely to me.  I suspect it doesn’t often get altered.




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 with Mary as a second name.


Anna, Annette, Annabelle, Annika, Anita 


Annie, Nancy, Nan


A life

The children


Charles Frederick Lyster

Elizabeth Hoare

Thomas Merrick

Ferdinand Richard Holmes Merrick/Meyrick


Mary Anne Lyster

A life

The children

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