Shared here kindly by Sharon Brown in Australia, is Blantyre siblings, Andrew and Margaret Lindsay. The photo dates from around 1909 and the children lived at Merry’s Rows, ancestors of Sharon.
Their parents, William and Cecilia Lindsay lived at 60 Merry’s Rows and whilst this looks like a happy, family photo, this family at that time suffered some terrible tragedies.
The mother, Cecilia Anderson (1872-1934) was a Cotton factory weaver before marrying William Lindsay (1870-1927) a Coal Miner in 1892. Sharon told me, “I think life was tough for Cecilia looking after her aged mother and husband who had advanced syphilus on her own. By the time of her death in 1934, all her children had died or left Scotland at the time. I have no idea how she managed at all as there must have been very little money to go around.”
William and Cecilia had a daughter Mary who was born at Front Row and only lived 2 hours. A son Thomas, died of Whooping Cough at only 14 days! There were further further upsets. Sharon’s grandmother Jean, another one of William and Cecilia’s children, emigrated to Australia in 1913 when she was just 17 years old, making her way out in the world, far from Blantyre. Tragedy struck again. A son Walter died at 2 years from Bronchitis and Tuberculosis. The little girl pictured, their daughter Margaret died at 5 years from Broncho pneumonia not long after this photo.
So many children had died in this family, one cannot imagine the heartache. Finally, their remaining son, Andrew pictured, sadly died in the mining accident on Christmas Eve in Auchinraith Colliery when he was just 16.
There’s nothing like the sadness in this post, to bring home how harsh life was living in Lanarkshire mining homes in that era. Life was especially cruel to the Lindsay family during their time in Blantyre. It’s only through the decision by Jean in moving to sunnier, better climates and all at the right timing, just prior to WW1, that the family continues to this day.
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