All dressed up and nowhere to go. I came across this in an old album of family photographs. Problem is I haven't a clue what she is doing there? I am wondering if she is actually Mary Alice MacWatt born circa 1870 in Duns, sister to Major General Sir Charles MacWatt born Duns 1865 later of the Indian Army. Then again MacWatt could be her married name.
Maybe she was just a family friend? Nonetheless it has sparked my curiosity and now I am fascinated to know more about her, and more importantly what is she doing in my family's album!
A Mystery Unravelled
From Hay's will dated 12th July 1920 it is obvious that although there are no children from the match it was a happy marriage and he held her in the highest regard.
"No man ever had a more loving and devoted wife than I, no-one had a better pal, who has made the last twenty three years of my life, years of great happiness, and as my life is now precarious it is right and my sole aim to make my wife's future secure and comfortable. My wife's interest in my means is to be considered paramount and those of the ultimate beneficiaries , who are all well off only subsidiary"
Hay then goes on to instruct his trustees with regard to his investments
"......the making of a new investment. They had better take my wife along with them and pay special attention to her wishes about investments as I have every confidence in her good sense."
Quite touching I thought!
The reason for her picture in my family's album became clear when I looked at the statutory record of her marriage in 1897. On it as a witness is Isabella Smith. She is my gt gt Aunt on my father's side. Known as Auntie "Bea" she crops up all over the place, but she obviously made it to Haymount, Duns for the 21st April 1897!