Friday, 10 January 2014

Week 2 - Mary Tait Henry

Mary Tait Henry (1836 - 1909) 

One of my favourite family photos is of this patriarch who we call the Widow Mary.  I love the Victorian black dress with the bow around her neck.  You can tell it was an event the way she is posed but it appears to be in her own or someone's kitchen.  Most photos of this period were taken outdoors due to lack of light but this seems to be an exception. 

 Mary was a widow of 3 years and 45 years old herself when she moved to Manitoba from Perth County, Ontario with her family of 11 children in search of prosperity and land for all of them.  Her husband William had died at aged 48 of "inflammation that had lasted 10 days" according to his death certificate.  His brother John had left for Manitoba in 1878 and moved his wife and family there the next year.  It must have been quite a leap of faith for Mary with her children ages 26 down to 5 years old to move west.  They were able to take the train to Brandon and then came to Blanshard by ox cart the rest of the way. 

I believe that the above photo is Mary as well even though it is named as her daughter Elizabeth on the back.  The photo was taken in Scotland and that is where Mary Tait lived and married William Henry in Troqueer, Kincardineshire, Scotland in 1856. The Taits were a large family and I have been in contact with some of the other descendants in the "Old Country" since I started researching my family.  I am not sure when they left Scotland but Mary and William can be found in Perth on the 1861 Census of Canada.

Family of Mary Tait and William Henry:

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