These two two little cuties are the daughters of my great grand uncle, Hugh Brawley. Hugh left Scotland in 1888 to work in the mines in Pennsylvania and it was there he met his wife, Alice Shannon. The twins were born in February 1894. I am so lucky to have this photograph which was kindly shared by a distant cousin I made contact with through my research. I wonder if a copy of the picture was sent to my great, great grandmother back in Scotland and how she might have felt knowing she was unlikely to ever meet her little granddaughters.
The family made their home in Starks Park, a mining community in Moosic and I’m sure this picture would have been on display there. As a young couple with two new babies Hugh and Alive must have been full of plans for the future but tragedy struck in December 1895 when Hugh lost his life in a mining accident. He was hit by falling rocks and died as a result of his injuries.
I don’t know how things worked back in those days but I doubt there was much compensation or help available for Alice and the girls. How did they cope and who did they turn to?
Little Nellie died in 1899. At five years old Sadie had lost her father and her twin sister. It’s heartbreaking but this must have been one of the last photographs of them together.
How often must Sadie have looked at this photo and longed for her sister?
In 1912, at the age of 18, Sadie married Raymond Lorenzo Powell in Millville, New Jersey. The 1920 census shows them still in New Jersey along with son, Raymond who was born in 1914. In 1925 Sadie gave birth to daughter Elizabeth who was known as Betty. Raymond Snr. worked as a bus driver and Sadie stayed at home in their rented house in Camden, New Jersey to look after the children.
Sadie was widowed in 1963. She remained in Camden until her death in 1969.
Having written a previous post about her father, Hugh I had wondered what became of Sadie after the early tragedies in her life. I was thrilled therefore to make contact with someone who knew and remembered her. Sadie was described to me as a kind and friendly person who enjoyed life. I’d say she deserved her happiness.