Mary (Gray) Moffat (Smith) (1795 - 1871)

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Birthplace: Plantation Farm, Dunkinfield, Cheshire, England
Death: Died in Brixton, Middlesex, England
Managed by: Alison Liddell Muller (Griffiths)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Mary (Gray) Moffat (Smith)

Mary Smith Moffat (1795-1871) was missionary wife of Robert Moffat, and mother of Mary, the wife of David Livingstone. Born in New Windsor, England, she married Robert Moffat in December, 1819 at Cape Town, South Africa. They settled at Kuruman in Bechuanaland and established a mission there. They had ten children: Mary (who married David Livingstone), Ann, Robert (died as an infant), Robert, Helen, Elizabeth (died as an infant), James, John, Elizabeth, and Jean. The Moffats returned to England in 1839 for their only furlough. In 1870, the aged missionaries returned to England to stay. Mary died shortly thereafter.


Mary met her future husband, Dr. Robert Moffat, in 1816 when he was working for her father as a gardener in Dukinfield. They wanted to marry, but her parents objected. Robert Moffat went to South Africa after he joined the London Missionary Society in the same year. Mary followed him in 1819, having overcome the objections of her parents, and the couple married the same year.

A blue plaque celebrating the life of Mary Moffat nee Smith.

Just beyond Stanley Lift Bridge overlooking Plantation Farm where she was born.

Inscription: MARY MOFFAT

(1795 - 1871)

Born at Plantation Farm, Dukinfield

African Missionary and an inspiration to her son-in-law, David Livingstone

Unveiled by Councillor George Hatton, J.P. on 9th July 1998

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Mary (Gray) Moffat's Timeline

May 24, 1795
Plantation Farm, Dunkinfield, Cheshire, England
December 27, 1819
Age 24
Cape Town, Cape Colony, South Africa
April 12, 1821
Age 25
Griquatown, Cape Colony, South Africa
March 31, 1823
Age 27
Lattakoo, Bechuanaland
Age 29
Kuruman, South Africa
January 28, 1827
Age 31
Kuruman, South Africa
February 2, 1829
Age 33
Kuruman, South Africa
March 25, 1831
Age 35
Cape Town, Cape Colony, South Africa
Age 37
March 10, 1835
Age 39
South Africa