She was the second daughter and third child of Thomas and Alice, following her older sister Margaret (1838) and Henry “William” (1841). When Mary Ann was two, she gained a little brother John (1844), followed by a sister Dorothy (1847) and another brother Edward (1850).
In 1851, the family was living at Whitehead Yard in Ulverston. Thomas was working as a tailor and Alice was looking after the children at home2.
The family of five children did not remain that way long, however. William died at the age of 9 in 1841, Margaret died at the age of 15 in 1853 and her father Thomas died in 1854.
With her father gone, it was likely very difficult for her mother to feed the remaining children and Alice began to work as a domestic housekeeper while her children worked in the mills. Mary Ann worked as a spinner in one of the textile mills.
At the age of 18 she married George Halliday. George and Mary Ann were married 18 August 1860 in Preston, Lancashire3. At the time they were living in Calder Vale. Places such as Calder Vale, Preston, Ulverston and Wigan were all part of the Lancashire textile industry6.
Mary Ann was pregnant when they married, as their daughter Alice was born in January of 1861.
At the time of the census in 18614, George and Mary Ann were living in Catterall, Lancashire. Mary Ann was still working as a spinner and George was a jobber in a Cotton Mill. This was the worst possible time to be working in a cotton mill in Lancashire as it was the start of the Cotton Panic caused by the civil war in America8. George and Mary Ann must have struggled in those first few years.
Sometime before 1871 Mary Ann passed away. I have not yet been able to find her death certificate nor her burial. We do know that the family was still in Lancashire in 18697. However, by the 1871 census5, George had moved to Scotland with Alice and was listed as a widower at that time.
1Births (CR) England. Bardsea, Urswick, Dalton, Ulverston, Lancaster. 17 July 1842. HODSON, Mary Ann. No. 211.
2Census. 1851. England. Ulverston, Lancashire. HO 107/2274. https://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 2017.
3Marriages (CR) England, Preston, Lancaster. 13 August 1860. HOLLIDAY, George and HODSON, Mary Ann. No 300.
4Census. 1861. England. Catterall, Lancashire. RG 9/3153. p. 20. Https://www.ancestry.ca : accessed February 2019.
5Census. 1871. Scotland. Laureston, Glasgow. 644/10/96/16. http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 2017.
7 Directories. England. 1869. Commercial and General Directory of Preston. Preston: Chas. Greenall. By Geo. A. Gillett.
8https://www.lancs.live/news/lancashire-news/lancashire-cotton-panic-how-american-16489042 : accessed 23 May 2020.