Died On This Day – Hugh Brawley 1899-1968

My grandfather Hugh Brawley died on 4 May 1968 when he was 69 years old. He died at his home address at 32 Crindledyke Crescent, Newmains where he lived with his wife of 48 years, Catherine Cosgrove. His death record shows that he was a retired crane driver. He is buried in Cambusnethan Cemetery.

Hugh was born on 25 March 1899 at 8 Store Row in Newmains. He was the 7th of 12 children of Daniel Brawley and Ellen Keenan.

  • Daniel Born 1887
  • James Born 1891
  • Agnes Born 1892
  • Patrick Born 1894
  • Sarah Born 1896
  • John Born 1897
  • Hugh Born 1899
  • Elizabeth Born 1900
  • Peter Born 1901
  • Matthew Born 1904
  • Michael Born 1905
  • Agnes Born 1908

Like me, my grandfather was baptised in St Brigid’s Parish. His godparents were his aunt and uncle, Matthew Brawley and Mary Hagan. You can see that at the time the parish registers were still recorded in Latin.

I don’t think my grandfather had the easiest of childhoods. His father had dreams of living in America and indeed, he did go to America along with his brother but the dream was short lived and he found himself back in Newmains married to a woman he had never really intended to make a life with. you can read more of my great grandparents’ story here. Daniel was a drinker and by all accounts could be violent. There wasn’t much money around and the family would have struggled to make end meet. It’s no surprise then that 5 of Hugh’s siblings left Scotland looking for a better life. While the previous generation had chosen the United States, my great aunt and uncles went to Canada.

Below we find the family on the 1911 census when they were living in Main Street, Newmains. You’ll see that 3 year old Agnes is the only female child in the house. Her elder sisters Agnes and Elizabeth had died in infancy. It seems strange to me that they named a child after her dead sibling but it was commonplace then. She was really named after her maternal grandmother, Agnes Haughey whose name Ellen would have wanted to remain in the family. The census shows that sister Sarah was living with her grandparents close by in Brown Street. I assume it was due to lack of room that Sarah moved out of the family home.

Hugh lived through the Great War and saw his brothers go off to fight. Due to his age he did not join the army until later on and, according to my mother, he never saw active service.

My grandfather loved football and was a promising player. There’s a story that Newmains had a football team made up almost entirely of Brawleys which would make sense given the number of Brawley boys in the village at that time.

On 6 August 1820 Hugh married my granny, Catherine Cosgrove. I love this photo of them which I believe was taken when they got engaged. How young they look!

At the time of their marriage Hugh was employed as a labourer at the local Iron Works. The couple had 5 children. At the time of his death Catherine and Hugh had 15 grandchildren. I was not one of the 15 as sadly, my granda died before I was born. I would love to have known him. Today I’ll be visiting the cemetery and thinking of him.

13 thoughts on “Died On This Day – Hugh Brawley 1899-1968

  1. Hi Paula
    Thanks for this piece of history .
    I have been digging around some old photos and have found a few of Granny and Grandad which I will put online .
    Coincidently my Dad, Danny, was born on May the 4th in 1922.
    We used to do the Star Wars joke with him
    “May the fourth be with you !”


  2. Hi
    That’s interesting
    Now that I think about it . Dad was Uncle Dan to our cousins in Scotland and Uncle Danny to those in Ireland ..and you are right Uncle Danny to me was Danny Wright .


  3. Great work as always Paula. I remember the day he died. It was on a Saturday late afternoon and literally minutes after the usual Saturday gathering in his home had broken up . By this time he had Parkinsons, literally confining him to his chair. I saw that photo after our gran died in July 1975 when her house in Muirhouse Avenue was being cleared. It’s the amount of siblings he had, none of whom I knew of or met apart from Pat. Occasionally I heard other names being mentioned but never any explanation of who they were.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poor Granda. I have seen a photo of him later in life and he looked older than he really was. I met Uncle Matt who lived in Newmains. I remember going to his house. The only one I’ve lost track of is John who went to Canada with his family in 1926. I’m struggling to find any further records.


  4. Hi Paula
    Do you have any record of Grandad’s brothers War Service ?
    I imagine that the three eldest boys all served .


  5. I am a Mollahan. My father Hugh Mollahan told us about Mary being knocked down on the street each time we went past the scene of the accident. We were very young children, around the 1950’s


      • Yes my granny was Ann Keenan. Her sister was the grandmother of the Alexander brothers, married into another faith and was disowned by the family. My fatherHugh Mollahan always kept in touch with his cousin. Mrs Alexander, can’t remember her name, should be easy to find knowing the family ties.


      • Elizabeth Keenan married John Armit. Their daughter Helen married James Alexander. Their boys were the Alexander Brothers. I do remember them being mentioned when I was younger but I didn’t know the real connection until I started working on my family tree.
        From the family tree I can see that you and I are 2nd cousins 1x removed!


  6. Pingback: Stories From The Poorhouse (Part 3) – My Granda Brawley | Shaking The Branches

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