Mary Mitchell was born at Cottertown of Cuthlie in 1807 and christened on the 17th of November at Abirlot Church, the oldest of three known children of David Mitchel(l) and Katherine Smith.
Her brother David was born two years later, in January 1809 and her parents married six months later. Her sister, Ann, was born in 1810.
It is has been hard to find out much about Mary’s life. We know, from documents written after her husband’s death, that she could neither read nor write. Family stories dictate that her future husband was seen as a step down socially, although it would seem she was the daughter of a very small time farmer, known in Scotland as a crofter.
No records survive of a marriage to her future partner, William Gauldie. But we do know that he was a miller, first serving his apprenticeship and then working at Cotton of Carmyllie. Towards the end of the 1830s, they moved to the mill at Lunan, which sat in the shadow of the village of Inverkeilor.
The problem with this mill was that the railway was built straight through the middle of the site, making access difficult.
On the death of William, in 1851, after a long illness, Mary’s two oldest sons, John and David, ran the business for a while, before the family went their separate ways and the assets were dispersed equally, between Mary and her children, a sum amounting to around £200 per head(1).
After this, Mary and her younger children, moved to Arbroath, living at various addresses around the seaside town until her death in 1894.
- “In 1860, £200 0s 0d would have the same spending worth of 2005’s £8,632.00” (source-http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency/results.asp#mid)