On this day 247 years ago, Mary Ann McCracken was born to Anne McCracken (Nee Joy) and Captain John McCracken. She was the sixth child born to the couple and it is widely accepted that she was born into a family rich with affection, enjoyment and fun. She was well educated at the David Manson school on Donegall Street and she thrived in both the academic and domestic environment.

In later years, she was also a business woman. Mary Ann and her sister Margaret had a muslin business which allowed the ladies to derive an income which did not come from their father or brothers. This gave them a tremendous freedom enjoyed by very few women of their time. She was a social justice campaigner, an advocate for the women and children of the Poor House, a stalwart of the anti-slavery movement in Belfast. But on this day 247 years ago we knew none of this. The McCracken family were in awe and wonder at the latest addition to their family with no idea of the marvel she would become.