Mary Ann Hicks (1842-1904) was born at Badsey in 1842, the second of three children of John Hicks and his wife, Mary (née Hartwell), but grew up as an only child as her two brothers died in infancy. Mary Ann was baptised at St James' Church, Badsey, on 6th March 1842.
At the time of the 1851 census, the family lived at Sharps Row (a terrace of cottages demolished in the 1930s). Several of their neighbours at Sharps Row were also to emigrate to America in the 1870s: William and Eliza Edgington, William and Elizabeth Knight, John Knight, Edwin Knight and John Wheatley.
On 7th November 1861, Mary Ann married John Sears at Badsey; the address at the time of marriage for both of them was given as Badsey. In 1871, they were living in Wickhamford; John’s younger brother, Benjamin, was lodging with them. They had no children.
In 1872, John and Mary Ann emigrated to America. They arrived in Quebec, Canada, on 18th June 1872, together with friends from Badsey, Theodore and Jane Hall, having set sail from Liverpool. This was just eight weeks after Theodore’s younger brother, Owen Joseph Hall, had set off for a new life overseas. It is then assumed that they made their way to Auburn, Ohio, where Owen was living. Whereas Theodore, Jane and Owen all returned to England and to Badsey a few years later, John and Mary Ann remained.
At the time of the 1880 Federal Census, they were living in Auburn Township, Geauga, Ohio; John was a farmer. His parents-in-law, John and Ann Hicks (or Heeks as their name now appeared), were also living with them, having emigrated to Canada in 1875; John Heeks was also a farmer. Just nine houses away lived another Vale of Evesham family: Oliver and Ruth Rogers, who had emigrated the year after the Sears, plus Oliver’s parents.
John and Mary Ann were still in Auburn Township in 1900. By this time, Mary Ann’s father had died but her mother was still living with them.
Mary Ann died on 26th July 1904 and John died in 1918. They were buried at Shadyside Cemetery, Auburn.