Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mary and George

I know it's been a while--when I say we've had upheaval in our family, I mean it. Five different residences, a cross-country move, new house and massive renovation, and more children later, I'm finally sorting out Sutherland material. I thought I should start with this photo, posted on Ancestry by a kind user, of Thomas Sutherland's son, George Sutherland (1803-1888) and his third wife, Mary McLean Cross Sutherland. It's very Victorian, isn't it? Note the heavy curtains: they were as much for containing warmth and keeping drafts at bay as they were for decoration. The lack of a mantle or decoration over it suggests how utilitarian that fireplace was; the smoke damage on the wallpaper attests to how frequently it was used.

According to the family history, Mary was "a demure young widow" (aged 24) with a newborn when they married Nov. 3, 1848 at St. Mary’s Church in Froomefield County, Lambton by the Rev. George J. R. Salter. Salter had just only recently been appointed the first rector of Trinity Church in Moore, and St. George's Church, Sarnia. I've seen references which suggest he had a BA from Christ Church College, and his MA from Oxford. He did later give lectures on classical studies to Mechanics' Institutes, so clearly he had a bit of an academic bent. Given George Sutherland's own literary aspirations, Salter must have been a welcome addition to the community.

We know less about the McLeans than we do about the Sutherlands. Mary had only been in Canada somewhere between 4-10 years when she married Rowland Cross in Port Sarnia on April 26, 1843. Apparently, Rowland, a carpenter, met Mary at the home of her father, John McLean, also a settler of Moore Township. I'll try to post more about John later.

Thank you to whomever Ancestry user Ruddyclan is, who appears to have been the original poster of this image.

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