Mary Anning

Mary Anning (1799 - 1847)

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Mary Anning
Born in Lyme Regis, Dorset, Englandmap
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, United Kingdommap
Profile last modified | Created 25 Sep 2016
This page has been accessed 807 times.

Categories: Breast Cancer | Paleontologist | British Notables | Lyme Regis, Dorset | St Michael the Archangel, Lyme Regis.

Mary Anning is notable.
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  • Key player in the development of paleontology as she discovered many notable specimens and near-complete skeletons of pre-historic organisms - her work is considered to have contributed to Charles Darwin's ruminations and eventual theories
  • was the inspiration for the children's tongue-twisty rhyme "She sells sea shells by the sea shore"[1]
  • one of the most accomplished fossil hunters of her time[2] - lived in Lyme Regis
  • d/o Richard Anning & Mary Moore[3]
  • named "Mary" after Richard & Molly's eldest daughter who had died 5 months before this Mary was born[3]
  • 1826 opened a shop "Anning's Fossil Depot"[3]
  • died of breast cancer
  • buried at St. Michael's in Lyme
  • 1847 made an honorary member of the Geological Society
  • 1850 Stained Glass Window in her memory unveiled, financed by members of the Geological Society of London[3]

Noted Fossil Finds

  • 1811 found the Ichthyosaur skeleton that matched the skull her brother had found months earlier[3]
  • 1821 6.1m skeleton of Ichthyosaurus platydon
  • 10 Dec 1823 found first complete Plesiosaurus[3]
  • 1828 Pterosaurs (first British examples)[3]
  • 1829 Squaloraja fish skeleton[3]
  • 1830 new type of Plesiosaur, Plesiosaurus macrocephalus


  1. "Naming Names." QI, Series L, Episode 1. 21 Oct 2016 BBC.
  2. Chakraborty, Deblina and Sarah Dowdey. "Mary Anning, Princess of Paleontology." Stuff You Missed in History Class (Podcast). 5 Mar 2012. How Stuff (web). 4 Nov 2016
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Wikipedia: Mary Anning, accessed 4 Nov 2016

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No known carriers of Mary's ancestors' mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 2
Portrait of Mary Anning with her dog Tray and the Golden Cap outcrop in the background
Portrait of Mary Anning with her dog Tray and the Golden Cap outcrop in the background

The grave of the Anning family in Lyme Regis
The grave of the Anning family in Lyme Regis


On 10 May 2017 at 02:04 GMT Jill (Turkington) Lee wrote:

Thank you! This all seems MUCH clearer now.

On 9 May 2017 at 11:16 GMT DK Clews wrote:

Anning-69 and Anning-68 do not represent the same person because: Mary Anning (Anning-69) was born first, died age 4 in a fire and the namesake of Mary Anning (Anning-68) who was born 5 months later. See Wikipedia: "Richard and Molly had ten children.[9] The first child, Mary, was born in 1794. She was followed by another girl, who died almost at once; Joseph in 1796; and another son in 1798, who died in infancy. In December that year, the oldest child, then four years old, died after her clothes caught fire, possibly while adding wood shavings to the fire.[8] The incident was reported in the Bath Chronicle on 27 December 1798: "A child, four years of age of Mr. R. Anning, a cabinetmaker of Lyme, was left by the mother for about five minutes ... in a room where there were some shavings ... The girl's clothes caught fire and she was so dreadfully burnt as to cause her death."[10] When another daughter was born just five months later, she was named Mary after her dead sister. More children were born after her, but none of them survived more than a couple of years. Only Mary and Joseph survived to adulthood."

On 8 May 2017 at 21:02 GMT Jill (Turkington) Lee wrote:

Anning-69 and Anning-68 appear to represent the same person because: These two profiles are obvious duplicates.

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