Stories From The Poorhouse (Part 2) Julia Brawley

Working my way through the North Lanarkshire Poorhouse records is certainly throwing up some surprises. I’m finding things out that I wouldn’t find from any other sources. I’m also finding family that I didn’t even know existed.

Below is the record of John Brawley. I have previously written about the accident that ended his life. Click on his name for further info.

I didn’t know that in 1886 he had made an application for poor relief. His application shows that he was a furnace filler but in February 1886 he was unable to work due to a burned foot. I didn’t find any further information on the cause but a check of local newspapers shows that working at the Coltness Ironworks was not without its risks. There are regular reports of serious and even fatal accidents. Of course, that is where John eventually met his end.

The record gives his parents name and even his father’s occupation. You can see that he followed his father’s footsteps. It also names his wife and children and here is where I discovered Julia Brawley who was age 3 and born in Glasgow.

I hadn’t seen Julia before so checked for a birth record. She was born on 9 January 1883 at Alexander Row in Glasgow. If I had come across a birth record before I might not have checked as her siblings were born in North Lanarkshire and that is where I would have been looking. Lesson learned.

Searching for Julia brought back another application from the previous year. This time it was John Brawley’s wife Roseann who was seeking help.

Listed are Roseann’s parents and it names her husband but here is another surprise. Roseann is making a claim because John had deserted her the week before! It makes me quite angry to imagine this poor woman being abandoned with three small children and having to go to the parish for help. What was John thinking? Where did he go?

Clearly he returned at some point but it makes me think that Roseann might not have been as heartbroken as I might have imagined when her husband died.

Julia does not appear on any further census records with her family. The obvious next search was on Scotland’s People where I found her death record. Julia died on 25 June 1887 within the family home at 27 Furnace Row, Newmains. The cause of death was pthisis pulmonalis or tuberculosis. She was just four years old.

Thanks to the records I have now added little Julia to my family tree.