In this latest Ancestor Spotlight, we meet my maternal Great-Great-Grandmother Mary Louise Bolton on the 140th anniversary of her birth.
Mary Louise Bolton was born on 19th February 1879 in Islington, London to James Bolton and Louisa Jane Markwick. She was baptized on 7th August 1881 at St Mary Magdalene Church, Islington.
By 1883,the family had moved to Mile End Old Town where Mary’s younger sister Ellen Elizabeth was born. However, they did not remain here long. By 1888, they had moved to Hackney where Mary’s youngest sibling Frederick was born.
The Bolton family lived in poverty and on 31 October 1888, Mary and two of her brothers entered into the Hackney Workhouse, although it is not known how long they ended up staying there.
The family appears to be living apart in different areas at the time of the 1891 census (the circumstances of this are still a mystery). Mary and her older brother James William were living at 10 South Grove, Mile End Old Town, a relatively poor area.
On 31 July 1898, at the age of 19, Mary married Henry John Donald in Mile End Old Town. In 1901, the happily married couple were living at 105 Fairfoot Road, Bow with the Ives family. Henry was working as a General Carman and Mary was a Shoe Finisher.
Over the next seven years, the couple would have three children: Henry Arthur (1903-1988), Leonard Frederick (1905-1979) and Ernest Christopher (1908-1975).
In 1911, the family had moved back to Mile End Old Town and were living at 12 Joseph Street. Henry was now working as a Dock Labourer at the Port of London Authority.
On 21st September 1917, tragedy struck the family when Mary’s husband Henry died. He died in the Poplar & Stepney Sick Aslyum of Pulmonary Tuberculosis.
Five years after losing Henry, Mary remarried. She married Thomas Watts in March 1922 in Poplar. One by one, her children left the home. In 1925, Leonard emigrated to Australia where his descendants remain today. In 1933, Henry married Agnes Thorogood, shortly followed by Ernest marrying Isabel Donoghue in 1935.
In 1939, the couple were living at 165 Fairfoot Road, Poplar where Thomas was working as a General Labourer.
In September 1962 , Mary died in Surrey. She was survived by her three children, and many of her descendants still live in the London area.