Mary "Mae" Frances (McQueen) Johnston, 1819-1885
Restoration from an original tintype ca. 1869.
Original image captured by William McConnell of Plantagenet, Ontario, CANADA, ca 1869.
Name and byline added at the request of a relative to facilitate retaining the information.
Mae was my great great grandmother, the daughter of John McQueen and Catherine Thompson.
Mae was said to have been a wonderful wife, mother, and friend. She was noted for helping neighboring women with their problems of survival in the bush country and child raising - not an easy task as is witnessed by the fact that 2 of her first 3 children died in infancy and the 4th suffered brain damage from a high fever that accompanied a childhood illness.
When Mae was 10 years old she went into the bush (Canadian for "forest") to find a lost cow. Darkness fell. Unable to find her way home with the cow in the dark of night Mae tied the cow to a tree and covered it with branches that she broke off other trees. Then she crawled into the hollow trunk of an old tree nearby. The howling of timber wolves kept her awake for much of the night, but she and her cow survived. When the sun came up Mae led the cow home and had breakfast before doing her chores.
Mae and Red Robin had 16 children, 11 of whom survived to reach their majority.