Laura was born on 1 February 1869 at Tokatoka, Kaipara, Northland (birth certificate number unknown). She was born the third daughter of Captain John James Stanaway and his fourth wife Sarah Ann Clark.
Not much is known about her childhood other than we could expect that it would have been much the same as other children growing up at that time in the Kaipara area.
Her father passes away when she is only about 5 years old, then by the time she is 7 her mother has remarried.
More than likely, along with her other siblings, she would have been educated through the travelling teacher that her father had help set up before he died. (Refer to the Kaipara page).
The first record we have on Laura is her marriage in 1886, aged just 17 (Marriage Certificate number 1886/214) to William John Brown. The marriage took place in Laura’s mother’s house in Tokatoka, Northern Wairoa. William Brown (1862 – 1928) – parents unknown – was from Dargaville.
Authors Note – When reading the marriage notice you will see that Laura is listed as John James’ fourth daughter – when in fact she is his third with Sarah – could they be including Elizabeth Heath Clarke as one of his daughters.
We currently do not have much information on William other than that his occupation was listed as a contractor. (We suspect in the timber industry).
The 1900 and 1905-6 Electoral Roll has the couple living in Dargaville, with Laura listed as domestic duties and William a contractor.
By 1911 they have moved to Tangowahine (further up the Northern Wairoa River – North East of Dargaville), where they remain until the 1920’s.
The Electoral Roll of 1928, has Laura and William now down in Auckland at 3 Liverpool Street, Epsom, William is listed as no occupation. It is at this time William passes away aged 66 on 20 October 1928, Cemetery unknown.
Laura continues to live in Liverpool Street until 1946, where according to the Electoral Roll she is now registered in Greenlane Hospital. Then, there again in the 1949 Electoral Roll.
It is only speculation but it is unlikely that she was unwell for that period of time – medical science at that time was limited. But more likely it could possibly be that Laura is now a resident in Costly Home – this was one of the largest homes for the aged poor. It was on the grounds of Greenlane Hospital – it still exists today but as an administration building for the wider Greenlane hospital.
Laura passed away on 2 January 1951 aged 81 (Death Certificate number 1951/35498). The cemetery and grave site are also unknown.
Laura and William had no children.