Mary Hyslop Stevenson is my Great Grandmother and the gateway to the Scottish side of the family tree. She was born on 3 July 1870 in Kirkbean, Kirkcudbrightshire to William Gibson Stevenson and Mary Hyslop, tragically her mother died in childbirth. On the 1871 census Mary is living with her mother’s parents Andrew Hyslop and Flora Swan.
We find her back with her father in 1881 living with him and his second wife Jane Kitchin and her half siblings James, Thomas and baby Jane. They are living at Gretna Green where William Stevenson (Red Rob) was policeman, apparently there was a police cell under the house and one day a prisoner escaped and was about to attack Red Rob, young Mary witnessed this and hit him over the head with something and so saved her father, despite the fact she wasn’t much over 5ft and Red Rob was 6ft 3.
In the 1891 census, after much searching, I found Mary in Carlisle, working as a cook for a retired Doctor, she must have met James Jackson around this time as they married in 1895 in Carlisle, by 1901 the family are settled in Darlington and living at 25 Edward Street, daughter Jane (Ginnie) is five, William (Billy) is three and John (Jack) is one.
By 1911 additions to Mary’s family are James (Jimmy) aged nine, Selina aged seven and Albert one, you can see from the census that one of Mary’s children died, this was Thomas born between 1907 and who died in 1908. Mary (Molly) wasn’t born until 1913. They also have a lodger staying with them called Matthew McGann. They are living at 32 Vulcan Street, Albert Hill, Darlington.
Mary Hyslop Stevenson was a keen card player and a fast talker, her false teeth didn’t fit particularly well so if she had a lot to say quickly she would take them out, usually to tell you off!
She died in 1940.
This picture shows Mary Hyslop Stevenson with her daughter Mary (Molly), her half brother Andrew Stevenson and his mother Jane Coultart Stevenson, Red Rob’s third wife. The other lady is Andrew’s first wife Mary and the baby is his daughter, known as “Scotch Molly” later to move to New Zealand.