Mary Shearer Stickler

My Maternal 2nd Great-Grandmother

Mary Shearer Stickler Heddle (1837-1926)

According to an Extract of the Old Parochial Register in the Parish of Sandy (Cross and Burness) Orkney, Scotland, Mary Shearer Stickler, lawful daughter of Thomas Stickler and Mary Shearer, was born on April 21st 1837 and baptised on May 13th.  Mary was the fourth of five children born to Thomas and Mary Stickler.

The photos I have of Mary are the among the oldest ones I have and this particular one has always been a favourite of mine.  Mary lived to the age of 88; I assume this was taken in her later years - late 1800s, early 1900s.

Mary Shearer Stickler (named after her mother) is found in the Scotland Census every ten years for most of her life.  

In the Census of 1841 Mary is listed as one year of age living with her parents and two siblings in Stove, Parish of Cross, Orkney; her father was an agriculture labourer.

The 1851 Census has Mary Stickler, age 10, house servant, living with a family in Orphir. Mary is not listed with the rest of her family in the 1851 census.

In the 1861 Census: Mary, now 19, is back with her family; she, her father, and her younger sister are agricultural labourers, now living in Kirkwall and St. Ola, Orkney.

On November 16, 1865 Mary (25) was married to John Heddle (36), son of Peter Heddle and Margaret Smith, in Kirkwall, Orkney.  John was a labourer and over the next 30 years they remained at the same address.  Mary gave birth to seven children; however her second daughter died at the age of three, of unkown cause.  Her third daughter, Mary Heddle (week # 5) grew up to be my 2nd Great-Grandmother.

Sometime between 1891 and 1901,  Mary and John Heddle moved south to Leith, Edinburgh, as did their daughter Mary and son John Jr.  In February 1900, at the age of 70, John Sr. died in and is buried in Leith.

By 1911, Mary Heddle (73) was living with her daughter Jeannie and family in Glasgow and she later moved to Markinch, Fife to live with her youngest daughter, Helen and family.

On April 2, 1926 Mary Shearer Stickler Heddle (88) died of arterial sclerosis at the home of her youngest daughter, with her son John in attendance.  She is buried in St Drostans Cemetery, Markinch, Fife.  Last year I went to visit her grave, and while she shares the lair with other family members, sadly it is unmarked. 


Resting place of Mary Shearer Stickler Heddle
The Heddle family - John (middle left) and Mary (middle right).


"The mark of a Scot of all classes [is that] he ... remembers and cherishes the memory of his forebears, good or bad; and there burns alive in him a sense of identity with the dead even to the twentieth generation."

- Robert Louis Stevenson


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09.10 | 13:33

Hello Peter - please email me at

23.08 | 15:28

Hi Karen, If you are still maintaining this page, please drop me a line. William and Mary were my great, great, grandparents. Best Regards,

29.08 | 18:46

John. Can you email me at - then we can connect directly. ..

16.08 | 11:58

Hi Karen, if you are interested, please visit my facebook page
regards john crome.

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