Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Mary Freeland Hunter - 52 Ancestors #52

To complete the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small,  I will share what I know about my second great grandmother, Mary Freeland.

Mary Freeland was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, on February 11, 1850, according to family papers. Both the 1850 U.S. Census and the 1900 U.S. Census indicate a birth month of February 1850.

Mary Freeland Hunter
Mary was the oldest of five children of James Freeland, a plumber, and Nancy Rainey. As far as I can tell, she was the only one to marry and have children.

Before marrying, Mary worked as a dress maker (according to the 1870 U.S. Census).

At the age of 21, Mary married James Hunter on April 13, 1871. They went on to have ten children, listed here. One of her sons predeceased her, dying at the age of nine in 1889, and another lived to be 102 years old, dying in 1984!

Sadly, she died on March 14, 1902, leaving children ranging in age from 10 to 29. Her second son, Percy, appears to have helped raise his youngest siblings, as quite an extended family are all listed together in the 1910 U.S. Census.

This is a photograph of the Hunter family home, where Mary and James lived, where they both died, and where the extended family is living as of 1910.

James and Mary (Freeland) Hunter's house in the city of Allegheny, Pennsylvania.

You can see additional photographs of the family outside of this home at (Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ My 3rd Great Grandmother.

I found a brief obituary for Mary in the Saturday, March 15, 1902, issue of the Pittsburgh Daily Post at

Mrs. Mary Freeland Hunter

  Mrs. Mary Freeland Hunter, 52 years old, died yesterday at her late home 3623 Perrysville avenue, Allegheny. She was the wife of the former president of Allegheny common council, James Hunter. Mrs. Hunter was a member of the First United Presbyterian Church, of Allegheny, and is survived by her husband and nine children: Harry M. L., Percy E., James F., Samuel K., John R., Chester Audley, Helen Rainey, Mary Lois and Curtis Car [sic: s/b Carr]; and also by an aged mother and brother and sister. She was a member of the board of managers of the Protestant Home for Boys and devoted much of her time and means to charitable work.

Although the aged mother and brother and sister are not named, I have determined that they are Nancy (Rainey) Freeland, William Freeland, not quite 50 years old, and Anna Claudine Freeland (Aunt Claude), 47 years old. (Two younger siblings predeceased their sister Mary.)

Her husband was devastated and died about seven months later (at age 59). I shared the wonderfully detailed obituary of James Hunter earlier this year, which notes that since his wife's death, "he has never been the same man he was before."

I descend from Mary Freeland as follows:

Mary Freeland
Percy Earle Hunter
Helen Lysle Hunter
My mother


  1. Elizabeth, I thought this was very interesting. Nice job! Happy new year!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. Happy New Year to you too!

  2. All the way to Ancestor #52! I have enjoyed following the research on your 52 ancestors.

    1. I liked this motivation to make sure I wrote something every week. I may not be as prolific in 2016.

      Thanks for reading (all 52!) and for commenting.