Teresa Mary Wagner is my 2nd great grandmother in my father's maternal line. Teresa was born to John Sebastian Wagner and Mary Teresa McGinnis on May 20, 1861 in Canada. Her father emigrated from Baden-Wuerttemberg Germany and her mother emigrated from County Meade, Ireland. Her mother died when she was only two years old and her father soon remarried to Elizabeth Cummin. At some point after her mother died the family moved to the United States. In the 1880 US Federal Census, it has her and her family living in Henderson, North Carolina. She was almost 19 years old and it states that she was "at home" and her father was listed as a farmer.
Teresa did not stay in the US as she married Thomas King Robertson, son of Thomas King Robertson and Elizabeth Blake on June 13, 1890 in Wellington, Ontario Canada. Thomas King Robertson was an emigrant from Scotland. Thomas and Teresa had eight children, with two of them being twins. In the census records and the birth records of their children it states that Thomas was a private gardener, but it appears that Teresa did not work out side of the home. This makes Teresa's occupation a housewife and mother. This was very common during this time period in Canada.
From what I can tell, based on the little and quick research I was able to do this week pertaining to the social history of housewives in Canada, during this time period many upper and middle class families had domestic servants to assist with the household chores/responsibilities. The inside of the home was the domain of the wife - she took care of it and made sure that it ran smoothly. Those with money were able to hire help to assist with the many things that needed to be done. From the three census that are released with information about Thomas and Teresa's family it does not appear that they had hired help. Teresa would have been left to care for her children and the household all on her own. There was a perception that women that worked were considered "unfortunates." Widows, divorcees, deserted and separated women, single women and wives of the unemployed were the women in the workforce. The women's role was homemaker and consumer. Men were urged to give women a degree of financial independence; many were given an allowance for household expenses.
I haven't been able to prove this with records yet but I have been told that at some point Teresa's husband Thomas left the family and returned to Scotland where he later died. In the 1921 Census, Thomas is no longer residing with the family. Teresa is still not "working" and has two of her children living with her. She is residing next door to one of her daughters. It appears that Teresa may of never worked outside of the home but if she raised eight children she clearly worked in all senses of the word.
Teresa died in November of 1948 and is buried in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada in the Victoria Lawn Cemetery.