top of page

#BravoGenealogy: When You Google Mary Cosby-Part I

These days, Mary Cosby is among the most talked about real housewives out there. She brings drama and comedy simply by talking to mannequins in her closet.

Mary Cosby on WWHL

But even before she started the show, people were talking about her unconventional marriage to her grandmother's first husband after her death. Rosemary "Mama" Redmon Cosby was the founder of Salt Lake City's Faith Temple Pentecostal Church of which Mary is now the First Lady. A very public family dispute over the inheritance of the church and Mama's estate ensued, and was all over the papers around her death, even with the charge that foul play was involved in the death of Mama Cosby.

Just one of the many articles on the fallout after Mary's grandmother's death. This particular article can be found in the 13 August 1999 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune.

But despite how out there in the public this family is, their online presence is much quieter. I've found many a site incorrectly reporting on Mary Cosby's family. For example, every outlet you can find says Mary's maiden name is Harris. Even Andy Cohen stated the name when Mary said her middle M initial is for Martha on Watch What Happens Live. Except it's not. Harris is her married name from her first husband with last name Harris. A Google Search can tell you the rumors behind the dissolution of that marriage.

Based on various public people search sites, Mary was likely born Mary Martha JEFFERSON. Her mother, Rosalind Walton, married a Jefferson on 2 July 1967 in Salt Lake City (since we are dealing with living people who didn't sign up for the show and public life, not posting his name here). Rosalind was still a Jefferson in 1974 when she was recorded as informant for her father's death. Mary was born 17 October 1972 (despite no outlet stating this correctly beyond recent court documents).

Death certificate of Ernest W. Walton, Mary's maternal grandfather. You can see "Roselyn Jefferson" from Kearns, Utah, is listed in the informant section as his daughter. An obituary for her father correctly spells Rosalind.

Rosalind later married her current husband, Mark L. Cazares, on 17 January 1985 in Salt Lake City.

A marriage index for Mary's mother and stepfather.

Of course, I went searching for yearbook photos. Based on obituaries within the family, I found her siblings. Mary and a brother probably went to Indianapolis with their mother and stepfather in the late 1980s. Amazingly, I was able to find Mary, but only as Mary CAZARES. Her brother, Adrian, was also recorded with the stepfather's last name, but seems to have reverted back to last name Jefferson as well as the name Flexx, which he used during his stint as a gospel rapper.

"Mary Cazares," a freshman in the 1988 yearbook from North Central High in Indianapolis.

Mary's family history is fascinating, and I look forward to sharing more finds in the future. Stay tuned.


Please contact me at if you're interesting in exploring your family history. Free initial consultations.

Follow me on social media:


bottom of page