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Photo of Mary McCulloch

Mary McCulloch

Staff in the Welfare Department
Birthplace Cumberland Bowness-on-Solway England Date of Birth: April 3, 1892 Date of Death: January 26, 1976


Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by) : Mary Josephine Wilson McCulloch
Became M J W Wise following marriage whilst at Gretna to John Stanley Wise
Gender: Female
Date and place of birth: 3rd April 1892 at Bowness on Solway
Date and Place of Death: 22nd January 1976 aged 84 in Tadworth , Surrey.
Nationality: English

Childhood : Bowness on Solway, one of 4 girls
Parents : George Wilson McCulloch and Mary nee Lawson
Parents occupations: Railway Inspector
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance:

Occupation : Not known
Place of residence at Gretna: 86, The Rand , Eastriggs in 1923.  Airey Hill, Bowness on Solway listed in Mossband Farewell
Marital status: Married
Children : 2 daughters- Mary Doreen Hallifax Wise 1919 Elizabeth Barbara Beryl Wise 1923

Travelled across the Atlantic- emigrated – lived in Boston and New York City

None known
Positions held
Welfare supervisor
Trivia / any other information:


Books published (Title, year of publication, publisher):
Books written about the individual or mentioning the individual (Title, year of publication, publisher):


Blogs about the individual:
Websites about the individual:

Further links, notes, and comments:

Link to John Stanley Wise who she married in 1918. He was a Electrical engineer at HM Factory, Gretna. Living in Dornock.




Mary Josephine Wilson McCulloch 1892- 1976 and John Stanley Wise 1889-1961 


On 26th June 1918 Mary Josephine Wilson McCulloch ,spinster, 26, married John Stanley Wise , electrical engineer, 29, at St Michael’s Church, Bowness -on-Solway to the West of Carlisle. The marriage certificate indicates that John was living at ‘Turnmuir’, Dornock, son of Charles John Wise , Gentleman and Mary the daughter of George Wilson McCulloch, deceased, Railway Inspector.  

Mary McCulloch pictured in the Mossband Farewell, held in the archive collection at The Devil’s Porridge Museum

Both Mary and John worked at HM Factory Gretna. Mary appears in the photograph of the Welfare Department,( 3rd from left on back row), featured in the Mossband Farewell Magazine and is also listed under “Supervisors” with an address of Airey Hill, Bowness on Solway.  

We have a photograph of their marriage and a copy of the certificate.  

Mary and John on their wedding day.

On 23rd August 1919, they had a daughter , Mary Doreen Hallifax Wise , born at 11pm according to the  birth registration for the Parish of Dornock. A second daughter was born on 20th August 1923, Elizabeth Barbara Beryl Wise , also registered at Dornock with an address given as 86, The Rand, Eastriggs. John is still working as an Electrical Engineer even though  H M Factory Gretna was in the process of being closed down and auctioned off.  

This is the story of an interesting couple who it seems parted company around 1940.  

Mary’s paternal grandparents James and Mary A were from Ireland according to the 1871 census, but her father George had been born in Coatbridge Scotland and in 1871 they were living in Workington, Cumbria where James was an Iron Worker. Mary’s grandfather aged 8 was a scholar and the household afforded a servant and boarders. 

Her parents, George Wilson MCculloch and Mary Lawson married  in 1888 in the registration district of Wigton which indicates that they had moved to” Airey Hill”, Bowness-on-Solway. 

They were blessed with four daughters. Annie ( Anne) Hallifax McCulloch arrived in October 1889, Mary Josephine Wilson on 3rd April 1892, Jane Anne in 1893 and Emily Graham on 18th March 1900. All the children were born at Bowness-on-Solway. 

There would probably have been further offspring but George the father is absent from the 1901 census, it being unclear whether or not he was away fighting in the Boer War. The address listed is merely Bowness. Mary senior and her daughters are listed as residing with her father, James A Lawson originating from Maryport ( head of house ) , 58 and living on own means. Mary is described as married.  Our young Mary Josephine Wilson McCulloch is 8. 

10 years later in the 1911 census the family are definitely at “ Airey Hill” Bowness-on-Solway, Mary is 18 with no occupation listed. Her oldest sister and her mum are living on own means and mum is head of the household. 

Mary’s sister Annie married John Crawford in February 1922, sister Jane married Ronald Scott-Little in 1923 and her sister Emily Graham married Farmer Joseph Atkinson in 1925. 

Passenger listings indicate that Jane’s husband was a veterinary surgeon working in Kenya and that Jane travelled alone to Kenya i in 1925. Had she been home for her sister Emily’s wedding? 

We know that our Mary Wise and her daughters, Mary Doreen and Elizabeth Barbara now aged 10 and 8  were still living in Eastriggs in 1929 when their father, John sailed alone from Greenock to New York under “ Tourist, 3rd class, Cash, New York” – more of John later. He does indicate that his last place of residence is Eastriggs.  

In 1935, a US incoming passenger list Liverpool to Boston includes Mary Josephine as a housewife and the 2 girls as scholars. They are travelling to their husband/father at 38, Elm Street, Worcester, Massachusetts and their contact in the UK is “ Airey Hill”. This listing describes mother and daughters beautifully. Mary Josephine Wilson Wise  aged 43 is 5’6”, of fresh complexion with grey hair and blue eyes. She has a scar on her right thumb and a scar on her upper lip and is described as a housewife. Mary Doreen Hallifax, 16, is 5’8” also has a fresh complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes and has a scar on her right leg and a birthmark on her head. Elizabeth Barbara Beryl , the younger daughter, 12, is 4’7”, with a pale complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. Both girls are scholars. 

Mary’s sister Emily was very close to home at Abbeytown, her husband managing his father’s farm and he also being an ARP warden ( 1939 register) 

There is no mention of any children to any of Mary’s sisters. 

Interestingly, neither Mary nor John Wise appear on the 1939 register but they do appear on 1940 New York census for Richmond district. John an Assistant engineer for a Commercial Bank at this time , aged 51. We can only presume that they were living in either Boston or New York at the time and that when Mary and the girls sailed across in 1935 it was to stay. 

It seems that Mary and John separated and ultimately divorced around 1940 , no concrete evidence of divorce can be found but John remarried.  

We have to assume that Mary returned to the UK. The electoral register  of 1947 lists her for Tadworth, Sutton, Surrey and she maintained her married name of Wise. The 1969 electoral register shows her still in Tadworth,Sutton. We know that her daughter Mary Doreen Hallifax was living in Sutton at the time. Sadly Mary Josephine Wilson Wise died on 22nd January 1976 at Kingswood Court,( nursing home) Brighton Road, Tadworth, Sutton, Surrey , aged 84 just 3 months after the death of her younger daughter Elizabeth who died in Montreal, Canada aged 52 and is buried in Curetien Mont Royal, Outrement, Montreal ( 

John Stanley Wise was the second child of Charles John Wise  and Mary Anne Dare Rodgers . His mother came from Henry Street Workington ( 1871 census) and his father was born in Liscard, Cheshire ( 1901 census) 

The Wise family clearly moved around quite a lot during the early years of their marriage indicated by the fact that Annie L the eldest child was born in West Kirby, Cheshire, John and his younger brother of 2 years were born in Canada and sisters Dorothy Inglis and Elaenor Annie were born in Chestnut Hill,  Keswick. 

We learn from John’s US Draft card of 1942 that he was born on 29th April 1889 at Moosomin, Saskatchewan, Canada. At aged 2  when his parents were 38, the 1891 Canadian census shows father Charles as a farmer as are most of the entries on the page and all from England or Scotland. 

This sojourn in Canada must have made John’s father quite a lot of money as by 1901 the family was back in England, living on desirable Chestnut Hill, Keswick, living on own means at age 47. Confusingly the 1911 census still lists Charles as a farmer but we know that by the time of his son’s marriage to Mary McCulloch his is a “ Gentleman”. John does not appear on 1911 census but in 1908 there is a manifest for permanent residence of Maine, US.  

We have to assume that John returned to the UK around 1916 to take up  War work as an electrical engineer at HM Factory Gretna where he met  welfare supervisor Mary McCulloch whom he married at Bowness on Solway in June 1918. We know that he was still working as an electrical engineer at Eastriggs in 1923 but had moved from ‘Turnmuir’ , Dornock to 86 , The Rand , Eastriggs with his wife and two daughters.  

John clearly yearned for Stateside life. As mentioned earlier, he sailed alone tourist class , cash, to New York in 1929. It clearly states his last permanent residence as USA and his place of future residence USA. He was 39, an electrical engineer. His Contact address “ Newlands” Chestnut Hill, Keswick. The passenger listing for “ Doric” also tells us that he spoke Spanish and that his last address was Eastriggs, Dumfrieshire.  Mary and his daughters 10 and 6 were left behind. Curious that he gave his father’s address for contact.  

We know as described earlier that Mary and the girls joined John in Boston in1935.  The 1940 census for New  York  , Richmond District lists them as residents and John an Assistant Engineer, Commercial Bank, aged  51. This same year John’s father died in Boston, Massachusetts on 1st April 1940 aged 87. He was buried in Crosthwaite Churchyard , Keswick and the inscription is on the family memorial. It seems that John’s sister Eleanor Annie married an American and was living in the US when her father visited. His mother died 10 years later in 1950.  

John’s US draft card gives an address in 1942 of 785 Pak Place, NYC , working at Chase National Bank and aged 52. It seems to be about this time that Mary and John parted company because on 1st January 1943 John married  Jessie “Jet” Reynolds in Reno, Nevada. This was her second marriage . She had been left a widow by the death of her husband Lester Clark Kellogg. The couple remained at 785, Park Place NYC. ( US Marriage license)  

Some of this mystery is solved by a letter in a public members tree on  

Extracted and interpreted from a letter dated 2nd February 1942 from John Stanley Wise- 

“The sister of John Stanley Wise (  Anne E ) married Harold Field Kellogg ,the brother of Lester Clark Kellogg ( husband of John’s second wife) and lived in New York in the 1940s. Apparently this is how John met Jessie “Jet” Reynolds. John worked at Chase National Bank, 18 Pine Street, Manhattan, NY. In this capacity , and as a friend, he became a financial advisor to Harry C Reynolds ( Jessie Jet’s father) in the late 1930s- early 1940s when Harry was trying to find investors for his new “ pine product” following the apparent financial collapse of Reynold Bros. Lumber Co. during the great depression in the mid 1930s”  

Marriage records for Boston show this as 1st June 1914. Harold Kellogg a 30 year old Architect and Ann Wise, 26.  


The following year, Mary and John’s younger daughter Elizabeth married Harold Dean an Englishman from Birkenhead, an Office Manager according to the marriage record , on 9th December 1944 in Connecticut . Harold was 15 years Elizabeth’s senior,  was divorced from his first wife earlier that year ( public member tree). They must have moved to England because in 1957 there is a record of their sea passage emigrating to Canada via Halifax Nova Scotia from Southampton. Their UK address is given as The Pines, Hoppety, Tadworth, Surrey which sheds light on why Mary was listed on the electoral registers for that period as living in Tadworth. Following her divorce she and the girls must have moved to Surrey. Elizabeth and Harold are clearly going to make Canada their permanent home.  

They also have two sons, John born on 31st January 1946  and Ian born on 27th February 1952. (Dean)- Grandsons for Mary and John.   

Mary Doreen Hallifax, her older sister married John Hunter Pope , registered in Middlesex, in 1948. There is no record evident of any children from this marriage. Mary died on 26th December 1991 according to Probate records, her estate worth £23,127 , no one named . Her address was 7 Chapel Road, Tadworth , Surrey. This corroborates the theory that Mary and her daughters moved to Surrey following her divorce from John but does not explain why Surrey. 

In a manifest for crossing the US Canadian border in 1954 there is reference to John’s first time in the US – 1908. 

Sadly, John was widowed in 1957 by the death of Jessie nee Reynolds, nee Kellogg ( Public member tree)  

Within 2 years, now aged 69, he married for a third time on 12th February 1959. This time to Mildred Hester Temple, a teacher. Mildred was born in Folkestone , England to Richard Temple, 2nd Baronet who has his own Wikipedia page, was active in diplomacy and greatly honoured.  

This marriage did not last long – John died in New York City, in 1961, aged 71, still living at 785, Park Place.( an apartment block- Google maps) 

Mildred became naturalized in 1964 and moved to 56 Commonwealth Avenue Boston which coincidentally is the same Avenue that John’s sister Anne lived on when their father visited in 1940 and died. Mildred lived until 1980. Her obituary in The Boston Globe mentions John S Wise. 

The interweaving of the Wise and Kellogg families is fascinating. Clearly John’s sister Anne  married Harold Kellogg and had a son Charles Dare Kellogg ( Dare being Eleanor’s mother’s middle name. )Anne’s name appears as Kellogg in the Penrith Advertiser 9th August  1938 in the report of the will of a Miss Eleanor Kate Wise – John’s Aunt- of the Bungalow . Chestnut Hill, Keswick.   

John’s sister Dorothy Inglis Wise married a clergyman ,  Laurence Charles Beril Newell ( photo in attached folder) from Wigton but married in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire. In 1972 marriage registrations for Westminster list a  Dorothy Mary  Newell marrying Charles Dare Kellogg in the registration district of Westminster. The jigsaw of Dare’s and Kellogg’s becomes very complex. 

An interesting anecdote is that Shelley rented Chestnut Cottage, Chestnut Hill, Keswick in 1811 for a short period and an advertisement of the time states to apply to Mrs Dare.  









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