Patrick Brawley was born in Newmains, Lanarkshire on 22 May 1884. His parents were James Brawley (Born about 1837) and Sarah McLaughlan (Born about 1839). He was the youngest of ten children and was born 27 years after his eldest sibling, John. By the time Patrick was born James and Sarah had lost two children. Patrick (born 1873) and Matthew (born 1875) both died of scarlet fever in October 1876. The family were employed in the local iron works and lived in accommodation provided by their employer. The family home in Brown Street would have offered little in the way of luxury. In 1887 young Patrick saw two of his brothers, Daniel (born 1864), my great grandfather and James (born 1866) leave Scotland for new lives in America. In 1888 brother Hugh (born 1869) did the same. This would obviously have had an influence on a little boy seeing his brothers leave him and his world behind. By the 1891 census Patrick was living with his parents, brother Matthew (born 1877) and sister Elizabeth (born 1861) along with Elizabeth’s husband, Charles McCafferty.
Tragedy struck the family in 1892 when brother John died of a fractured skull at his home in Newmains and again in 1895 when Hugh Brawley was killed in a mining accident in Pennsylvania.
In the 1901 census Patrick was still living with his parents and was employed as a steel dresser. James and Sarah had now lost four of their sons and it would be easy to imagine that as the only son still living at home Patrick may have been a bit spoiled. Sister Elizabeth was still at home but not with her husband. Patrick’s 5 year old niece, Sarah, was also living in the house.
In 1903 19 year old Patrick became a father when neighbour, Mary O’Neill gave birth to their daughter, Mary on 24 December. The child was registered with the surname Brawley and Patrick signed the register. She was baptised as Mary O’Neill on 8 February 1904 in St Brigid’s Church in Newmains. Both parents are listed on the register. Despite acknowledging his daughter it would seem that Patrick had no intention of settling down to a quiet family life.
In 1907 he too headed for America arriving in New York on 2 April 1907 on board the SS Columbia. He headed initially to stay with brother James, who by this time was living in Rock Springs in Sweetwater County, Wyoming. In 1913 Patrick married a widow, Mary Bates whom I believe had the maiden name McCrorie. According to the Rock Springs newspaper at the time they were married in a quiet ceremony. Mary had two children, Mary and Roy and in all future records the two are listed as Patrick’s children. Strange that he should end up with a wife and daughter called Mary after leaving the two Marys behind in Scotland.
Patrick did not remain in Wyoming. On his WW1 Draft Registration he was working as a pressman for DuPont de Nemours in Pomton Lakes, Passaic, New Jersey.
Patrick returned to Scotland at least once. In 1922 he visited along with his wife and the two children. By that time both of his parents had died and I have no way of knowing if he ever spent time with daughter, Mary who was brought up by his brother Matthew and wife, Mary Hagan. Maybe he wanted to show off to the family left at home as by 1922 he was living in New York and I get the impression that’s what he dreamed of all along. Not for Patrick the backbreaking work in the mines or ironworks. He had found a job as a barber which suggests he was quite a sociable character. His home on 6th Avenue, Brooklyn was rented and they didn’t own a radio set! (Great census question I think)
The 1940 census shows that Patrick was unemployed and seeking work but fortunately this didn’t last too long as by 1942 according to his WW2 draft registration he was working in sales for Refined Syrups in Yonkers. Again sales a sales job indicates he might have been quite outgoing. He’s described as 5’10 1/2 and 168lbs with brown eyes and dark hair.
I lose track of Patrick after that. The next record I found was his death record. He died on 18 September 1956 in Brooklyn, New York.