Jessie Ewart Balfour 1913


1908 blantyre greenfield foundry hi-res

Greenfield Foundry nr Burnbank

Marion Anderson messaged me in September, “Hi Paul, don’t know if you can help me , but my mother Jessie Ewart Beattie ( née Balfour) was born in Burnbank in 1913 I believe, she told us she was ” picked up of the streets” showing symptoms of scarlet fever during an epidemic when she was a child. They use to post who was critical or not on the gates of the hospital as no visitors were allowed. Do you have any information on this epidemic? I presume it would also have effected Blantyre .we moved to Blantyre when I was born in 1950 …thanks for the great site!”

I was able to offer this reply:

Hi Marion. I’ve had a look at old newspaper archives for this and found that Scarlet Fever was rife in early 1915 in the Burnbank and Hamilton area.

In January 1915 alone 13 cases were admitted to hospital and around this time it was being proposed that a cottage hospital be erected in Glenlee, Burnbank. (Blantyre had just had its cottage hospital opened in previous years).

When Jessie Ewart Balfour was born in 1913 in Burnbank, her father, Alexander, was 37 and her mother, Matilda, was 34.

Jessie Ewart’s brother Charles died on February 10, 1913, in Blantyre when Jessie Ewart was less than a year old. Jessie had seven brothers and two sisters in all.

Jessie Ewart’s mother Matilda Crawford (Holmes) passed away on June 16, 1923, in Blantyre at the young age of 44. Her father also died young in 1925, aged only 49. I think your grandparents in the early 1920s lived at Greenfield Old Rows, on the Blantyre/Burnbank boundary.

Jessie herself I think, died in 1963 in East Kilbride at the age of 50. Pictured are the fields around Greenfield Foundry. This landscape would have been very familiar to your ancestors.

On social media:

Jim Cochrane One of the Marshall children from Calderside died from scarlet fever round about this time.

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