Mary Ann Baird Macaulay

Mary Macaulay had a short but eventful life; born in Scotland married twice, 5 children and died in Ontario Canada.

Mary Ann was the illegitimate daughter of James McAulay and Margaret Brodie from Briudge of Weir in Renfrewshire, born 6 months before they married in feb 1873. Her birth was registered as Mary Ann Baird Brodie – the “Baird” middle name coming from her father’s mothers maiden name Baird (this naming of a father of an illegitimate child with a connection to the father was common and in fact Mary did the same with her son George later).

Mary Ann is living with her parents in the census in 1881 (aged 8). 10 years later in 1891 (aged 18) she is working as a domestic servant in Bridge of Weir, a year before her illegitimate child George Holmes McAulay is born at her parents house in Bridge of Weir. Her son George’s father was a local farm servant James Holmes who later in 1896 marries and moves away to Coatbridge. Mary copied her mother’s strategy of naming the father through the choice of her son’s middle name.

Mary married David Hammond in 1896 (in Bridge of Weir), the couple had 4 children (Margaret Watson, Mary Macaulay, David Oliver, Henrietta Janet ) and lived in Bridge of Weir then Londonderry and then Glasgow between then and 1908. David was listed in the 1891 census as an engineer (probably shipyards) but by 1905 he had given this up and was running a bicycle repair shop in Sword Street, Glasgow. David died suddenly in 1908 by what was recorded as Ulcerative Colitis leaving Mary the princely sum of £4 13s and 5d and 4 children to raise. Her second oldest child Mary Macaulay Hammond died in 1908 (of meningitis).

Due to a lack of money Mary left her remaining children with her parents. She went back to working as a domestic servant in a local home. Her parents could not cope with funding the Hammond children either ( they already had Mary’s first born George Holmes Macaulay¬† to raise!) and the 3 Hammond children were sent to the local Quarriers Homes in Bridge of Weir with Mary and her parents written consent. It is not known whether Mary kept in contact with her first born George Holmes Macaulay who was raised by her parents in Bridge of Weir but the dates make it likely she stayed with him (although he may have thought she was his sister and not his mother)

In 1910 Mary went to Ontario Canada and took up work her normal work as a domestic servant. In echoes of her earlier life she had another baby in Ontario. She named this new child Isa Hammond and gave her husband David Hammond as the father, when in fact he died 13 months before Isa was born in Nov 1910.

As was standard practice with the Quarrier homes all 3 children were sent to Ontario Canada in 1912 to become unpaid workers for local farmers, part of what are now called British Home Children. 

Mary remarried again in 1918 in Ontario to Wilfred Bridges but there are no further children. This was another short lived marriage as Mary died from a stroke in 1924. Unfortunately there is no evidence that Mary contacted any of her children in Canada.

Mary Ann Baird Macaulay

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