b. 1884 Sydney, NSW, Australia - d. 1937 Haberfield, NSW, Australia

Mary Jane (registered as Marion Jane) McDonald

Mary Jane was born 31 May 1884, on a Saturday, off Bank Street, Sydney to William Edward McDonald and Elizabeth Augusta nee Peters.

sydney map showing bank street
Inner City Sydney Showing Bank & Wattle Streets & Paternoster Row
Mary Jane born ‘off Bank Street’
Emma born Wattle Street
Florence born Paternoster Street
(Emma and Florence were 2 of Mary Jane's sisters.)
Click on map to go to larger image (may take a little longer to load)

Following the tragic death of Mary Jane's father in 1894, the three youngest girls (including my grandmother) were brought up by the state, or on welfare. Family information tells us that Mary Jane had a very hard life in foster homes - was very, very thin, having at times had to eat chook food to survive!

As with Samuel, not a lot is known about Mary Jane.

There is no information to tell us whether or not there was any contact between mother and daughter in the years following her father William's death.

Or what Mary Jane was doing in the years 1894 to 1907....

How and when did she meet Samuel Kirchner....?

Mary Jane's first child was a daughter Thelma Helen born 1905, and registered with the surname McDonald - it is not definite that Thelma was Samuel's child. We do know that Thelma was born Eileen and Samuel insisted on the name-change. There is more than a little confusion about all this!

When she met her husband-to-be Samuel Kirchner, she was very skinny as a result of the harsh treatment during the time she had spent in the so-called ‘care’ situations.

The circumstances of their meeting are unknown, but whatever they may have been, this was the beginning of a new life for her.

Click here to continue on with Samuel and Mary Jane's story........


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