Mary was born in Ireland on December 20, 1831 in Wicklow County, Ireland according to her death record. Her parents names were Henry Burke from Glenmore, Ireland who was born in 1774 and Bridget Haden Burke also from Ireland. They immigrated to Canada in 1841 when Mary was 10 years old.
In 1852 she married Duncan MacPherson in Christ Church, Oso township.
Duncan died at the Kingston General Hospital on September 27, 1901 at the age of 75 from cancer of the face. Mary died in Oso township from pneumonia on January 19, 1927 at the age of 95. Both are buried at Christ Church Anglican in Oso township. Duncan and Mary had eight sons and four daughters.