April 13th. 1877.[1]  It will be just four weeks tomorrow since dear Daddy[2] left us. My poor darling.  What would I not give to live the last few years over again. How much gentler I would try to be with him!  How much happier I would have made his life.  "You are too hard on me Sarah, too sharp" is ever coming to my mind. Its bitter - very - oh my darling my darling how could I be so cross with you, so impatient?  He loved me so much and clung to me so much.  O I must have been buried in self not to have seen it.  I am a hardened, selfish being.  Lord, for Jesus' sake give me a loving heart and a right spirit, a spirit of gentleness & forbearance.  I have wandered far from Thee my Father, my prayers have been cold and meaningless.  Speak the word only and thy servant shall be healed.  Lord give me to hunger and thirst after righteousness.  Keep me in Thy fear at all

times, and all I ask is for our Saviour's sake, Amen.  Miss McCready[3] came to Derryvalley[4] on the 29th of March and I returned to Newry with her yesterday.  I had letters from Mary Menary[5] & Bessie Brown[6]after Daddy's death full of sympathy for me (who doesn't deserve it) & not one kind word in rememberance of my dear father.  It vexed me greatly that they should be so bitter[7].  Miss Griffen[8] is staying with Miss McCready now and going to business every day.  She is a fine rattling gay girl.  I can hardly (as the country people say) take my eyes out of her.  She is rather silly talking about young men and her exploits with them & c, but so frank and candid, simple minded & withall so good-hearted and gay that one cant but like her.  There is a Miss Kerr[9] & her niece, Miss Mary Kerr[10], boarding here too, the latter is a very pretty little girl, reserved though & shy compared to Miss Griffen.

Saturday April 14th.  Last night Miss McCready and I went out for a stroll after tea.  We went past the new market squares in Ballybot and went in to see the new Chapel.  It is a beautiful building.  The roof is dome shaped inside and supported by sixteen pillars of polished granuate.  There are several very fine images one of the virgin Mary and Child to the right hand side an alter before her at which the priest knelt, during one part of the service, with his back to the people.  Another statue of our Saviour with flowers no alter before it. There is an immense large alter in the center (i.e. between the images above mentioned) adorned with six very large and about a dozen small candles which were lit at different times during the service.  Most of the service was in Latin and was mumbled over by the priests so quietly that you could not distinguish one word from another.  The large alter was adorned with a gold cross which was taken down during the service and removed.  Every one on entering the Chapel used holy water (of which there was a plentiful supply in several places at the entrance) crossed themselves, and bowed (or should I say made a knee)  To me it seemed a hollow form without reality or indeed meaning, however I am sure there are many devout and sincere.  And can it not be said of many in other churches as well as theirs? "This people worship Me with their lips and with their speech while their hearts are far from me".  Lord make our worship sincere and reverent.  May we come before Thee with true humility at all times.  With increased faith and enlarged hope.  Give us holy thoughts and desires, for our dear Redeemer's sake  Amen.

Saturday evg.  I sent my dress (the skirt I got in Miss Parks[11]) to Mrs. Davis'[12] today to be retrimmed with crape.  We, that is, Miss McCready & I were ready to go with it in the morng but my chin burned so much after putting on the ointment that I couldn't go & Miss McC. had to go alone.  However after tea in the evg. we all went to a "Band of Hope" meeting in the Athenium.  Reading & recitation & c. and enjoyed it very much.

Sunday was wet so we, that is Miss Griffen & I did not go to meeting in the morng.  In the evg we went to the low Church.  There is something wrong, very wrong in my heart and life.  The service in God's house is enjoyed by me but I dread to enquire why it is so.  That restless desire for change, for variety, something to banish thought, it argues I fear no true peace within?  In religious matters I am not settled.  I have given no subject as careful consideration as I should.  Miss McC. wants me to go to the communion table with her next Sunday.  If the good Lord gives me a right spirit I will do so , but O Lord if Thy presence go not with me carry me not up hence.

Monday evg.  Du Val's[13] performance in the assembly rooms  Exposition of the spirit state writing, odds & ends & c.  Miss Griffen and I went.  Sat in the 2/- seats near the platform & enjoyed it well.  I am not particularly pleased with Miss G's method of walking in the streets & purpose being her companion thereat as seldom as possible.

Thursday evg.  Went to hear Du Val again (Colonel Kent & several officers present) as Sergeant [Busyfusy] of Pickwickian celebrity, in the Bardel suit against Mr. [P.]  It was capital.  I don't know when I laughed as heartily.

Friday morng.  Miss McC. & I went to Service in Sandy Street.  (Fast day before communion)  Mr. Halliday[14] of Warrenpoint preached from John VIII, 31 & 32  "If ye continue in my word then are ye my disciples indeed.  And ye shall know the the truth and the truth shall make you free."  In the introduction the preacher spoke of the difficulty the jews had in receiving Christ & his word.  They expected an earthly, he came a spiritual king & deliverer & c.  The discourse was divided into 3 heads, 1st What is it to be a disciple indeed, 2nd The knowledge of the truth, 3rd The result of this knowledge.  A disciple is a believer, a christian, a scholar.  To be a disciple indeed does not consist in a profession made at intervals and forgotten in the hurry & business of life. There must be constancy in the christian disciple.  What he professes with his lips he must prayerfully try to practice in his everyday life.  (Better still first live then speak the true).  The study of God's word that we may learn His will should never be neglected by us.  Study it to learn Christ's character in every part, that we may see how God is revealed to us by him.  While we grow in the knowledge of Christ we are gradually changed into the same image.  "We shall be like him for we shall see him as he is", that is full knowledge at last.  The result of this knowledge at last is freedom.  "Freedom from sin (a most trying bonds master) from trials temptations and care - from trials without and within".  O God I beseech Thee impress the truth of the speaker's remarks on all our hearts.  May we be indeed made free - free from the dominion and love of

sin, renewed in the spirit of our minds so that what we before hated we now love & that which before we loved we now hate.  May our hearts be filled with love to Christ and with the earnest & constant desire to become like him.  May we know

him as "the Way, the Truth, and the Life".  May our daily walk be like his on earth, self denying, loving, humble, peaceable.  Charitable in our estimate of others may we be.  In lowliness of mind each esteeming others as better than themselves.  Hear me Good Lord, pardon the unworthiness of all my approaches to Thee for Jesus' sake Amen.

Mr. Swanson's[15] lecture.  The missionary meeting in Downshire Road.  The Speaker introduced by Mr. Dodd[16] in a very flowery eulogism.  (Don't they look like the long & the short of the matter)  He came here to speak of the word of God in China, deep responsibility.  The way the subject is mentioned has a great deal to do with the way it is received.  He not alone responsible every christian should be responsible.  We are apt to look at giving to the mission in the hard light of duty.  I hope to night to set it before you in the better light of privilege.  I often think that this subject is looked at in the mere light of money, and one never sees a missionary or hears him speak without thinking of the collect. that follows.  People ease their conscience with an odd dribblet of money.  An earnest prayer for mission work is much needed.  The [valy] view to take of mission work is to [????] to think that in it you use fellow workers with Christ, to regard it as a great privilege.  The work in China is my subject tonight, about China itself.  It is too big to describe.  4000 miles of coast line, a population so numerous that if they were scattered over the world every 3rd individual you wd meet would be a C man  They have all this [luxuries] within their own land themselves.  No other nation can be the same. Characteristics of a men inventive.  The compass invented there - printing there 800 years before Britain.  Its bridge & canal system [......]

Monday.  Went to Carnmoney[17] Mary Menary[18] meeting me at the station.  We went up to see Miss Robinson[19] at [Lisalnore] House.  Met Annie Kelly[20] otherwise Wilson. Lunched with her.  Went to Carnmoney on the half past three o'clock bus.  I liked the manse greatly.  It is a very pretty place and a lovely view from the windows of Belfast Lough.  Mr. & Mrs. Barkley[21] are a dear old couple, both frail in health but very cheerful & hospitable.  At worship before going to bed he prayed beautifully mentioning me in his prayers.  Lord hear his prayer I beseech Thee for Jesus' sake Amen.

Wednesday.  Sarah Griffin[22] stayed at home from business on the plea of headache. She & I had a long walk before dinner & another after.  I was not particularly pleased with either and I daresay neither was she.  We are not congenial company - I am so much older I suppose!  Miss McCready & I went to the prayer meeting in Sandy Street in the evg.  Mr Ferris[23] conducted the service.  I enjoyed it very much.  The words he lectured on were "And he gave some Apostles [.....]

May 29th 1878.  I spent my morny patching & cleaning & after dinner started down to see Maggie[24].  Maggie & the babba[25] are getting on well - poor little woman she isn't very happy I fear!  She must feel softened and subdued with the tiny little baby fingers playing over her breast and the tiny little baby mouth drawing support for the little frame from her.  What a helpless clinging little mortal it is!  And how a mother's heart must fill with love & sympathy!  Poor Mag she longs for love & sympathy herself which I fear she does not get, perhaps I am astray.  I hope so.  Lord lead us all to seek and find our peace and happiness in Thee.  Annie Reed[26] left me part of the way home.  She talked to me of her Belfast tour at Easter and Miss Matthews[27].  "What are the sweetest words you ever heard Miss Reed?".  I can imagine poor Miss Matthews saying this in her gentle sentimental manner.  Although Annie laughed and I laughed when she told it to me the answer Miss M. gave when Annie repeated the question for herself to answer struck a chord in my heart at least  "The sweetest words I ever heard, Miss Reed, were "My dearest Annie""  (Miss Ms Nancy)  The sweetest words I ever read were "My dearest Sarah".  How well I remember getting the first letter commencing thus.  What joy!  What perfect happiness filled my heart and life! I had no doubt for the future indeed the only future I thought of was another letter from him or to meet him once again.  To know that I was loved by him was happiness enough for me.  No doubts of his constancy arose to cloud the first dawn of love in my heart which those three words called up.  "My dearest Sarah." They are fading in the drawer now as their impression has faded from my heart. The hand that wrote them is far away & will in all probability never write them more with the same feelings but the change they wrought in my life will be observable unto the end.  It was the step from gay thoughtlessness & jollity into that strange mixture of joy & sorrow hope & dispair which mark our riper years.  Mine was a short lived dream of love & doubt, & darkness, & dispair filled my thoughts at its close a real sorrow.  Dear Daddy's death changed the current of my thoughts. I began to see how selfish and self engrossed I was and strove to shake off the yoke.  To feel that I yet had work on earth & to pray God to give me light to see and strength to perform it  were the next steps. And thank God, light and strength did come in a great measure and I pray our Heavenly Father to increase them yet more and more.  And now peace and joy and `sweet content' brighten my way.  Oh for more zeal and love in the Master's service, who has been so good to me.  Lord grant it for Jesus sake.  Amen.

I had a note from Tom[28] awaiting me on my return home this evg. to say he was the length of Liverpool on his way home and stranded for want of cash.  I must write & send it to him tomorrow.  Maggie's[29] Babba[30] was born the third Saturday in May - the fair day - there was no one with the little woman but the doctor.

July 15th 1878.  What a time it has been since I have written any in my journal. I am just returned now from Millmount[31] where Tom[32] & I have been staying since Thursday last.  On Thursday Willie Carson[33] left us near Monaghan with the horse & car & Mr. McKean[34] drove us from that to Millmount.  On Saturday Tom went to Benbarb to see about getting employment in Messrs Robert & Henry McKean's[35] mills there as clerk & general overseer.  I hope he may get into them it would suit him in every way.  Poor Tom has a very unbusiness-like way of going about things unfortunately, & is very hard to alter in any way from his usual course, but I do think he would do a good deal to please Mrs. McKean[36] at present (if the humour only lasts) and will do his best if he gets into the mills to please, but I have my doubts about him getting in tho' Tom seems to have none himself.  They are to write.

On Friday week the 5th of July We came home from the shore (dear old Blackrock[37]) where Mary Reid[38] & three of the children & Tom[39] & I had been staying for a fortnight.  I can't remember ever feeling so lonely leaving any place before.  I suppose because we had such a jolly time.  Sally McMurry[40] & Jane Skelly[41] lodged next door & the Waddells[42] in the same house with us.  And soon after we arrived Mrs. McClatchie[43] Flora & Johnie Andrew Joe McMurry[44] & old Mrs. Thomas[45] and my brother Andy[46] came to swell our ranks & increase the fun.  I was nearly beside myself with jollity, boating, walking, croqueting.  My tongue was heard to wag - perhaps too much - at all events producing a good deal of laughter.  What made our boating, walking & chats so pleasant to me?  Shall I confess it!  None of them pleased me so well when a pair of brown eyes and the evident admiration bestowed on me by the owner of them was a missing.  Oh lack-a-day what a veritable school-girl I am!  Adieu on Friday -with a smile & sigh.  Dodgery on Sunday.  Monday ditto.  Thereby attained a view but not with desired results. Absence hardens the feelings & in time kills.  So be it.  By which `I meantersay' that ends the matter not that I say it willingly but as it were of necessity.

July 17th 1878.  Yesterday I pulled some (a very few) black currants & prepared them for boiling but didn't perform that operation till today lest I should incomode Ellen[47] who is kept too busy as it is.  In the evg. I went over to see Mary Reid[48] missing her however by calling in Dromuck[49] as she passed when I was in there on her way over to see me.  We met however on our way back to our respective homes.  James & Mary McC[50]. came to Mount P.[51] with me beguiling the way with chat & fun. I planted the baby rose Alicia[52] gave me & also shoots of barberry & permitea forget-me-not & balm dividing them with Mary McC[53]. & Mary Reid[54].

Thursday July 18th.  Tom and I went this evg to Mrs. McClatchie's and had a very pleasant evg's croquet playing.  Flora & Tom being always winners and Wilkenson McMurry[55] (who came with us) and I being always losers.  We stayed late and I

talked as much nonsense as usual.

Sunday July 19th.  Mary & James McC[56]. and myself walked to Mrs. Smyth's[57] this evg to take tea but finding their reverences male and female from home we returned home discomfited.  I managed to laugh "a few" all the time and beguiled the way with jest and story, which sounds very like self-praise which is no recommendation.  I spoke of several people in a way I should not speak of them and on the whole there is more to be condemned in my mode of speech latterly than commended.  The frivolous has usurped too much the place of the serious.  Good Lord forgive for Jesus' sake my shortcomings & enable me to live more to Thy praise and glory in the time to come.  May I be ever regardful of peoples feelings whether present or absent and never speak of them in a way that I would not wish them to speak of me.  Purify my heart and life.  Elevate my thoughts and desires.  Take away selfishness, vain-glory and hypocrisy.  Enable me to study divine truths more earnestly.  In all be Thou with me and keep me from erring through ignorance self indulgence or willfulness, from the path of uprightness and peace.

Sunday July 21st 1878.  I got a letter for Tom on Friday from the Benburb people stating terms.  Tom is dissatisfied with them, thinking them too small.  I consulted Mr. Reid[58] on Saturday anent them and he and Mary[59] would approve of them. I have also consulted Mrs. McKean[60] by letter and will delay Tom's reply till we hear from her.  There is an urgent necessity for his doing something, finding some employment immediately and can he do better than go to Benburb is the question?  Good Lord I would seek thy guidance in the matter.  Teach us what is best for us and give us strength and resolution to walk uprightly and in no fear but Thine.  Lord touch our hearts, and lead us to true repentence and a knowledge of the truth and all I ask is for the Lord Jesus' sake.  Amen.

Sunday July 28th 1878.  The reply for Tom from Benburb came yesterday.  They will take him for 3 years and give him £15 the first year £20 the second & £25 the third, so I suppose he will be going.  O Lord I beseech Thee have mercy upon us for Jesus' sake and lead Tom to a right sense of his duties and responsibilities.  Give him grace to enter upon his duties with all diligence and in thy fear.  O Lord touch his heart, may he turn to Thee with full purpose of heart and endeavour after new obedience.  And O Lord keep us all from following after vanity to the forgetfulness of that which should be our "chief joy".  Vouchsafe O Lord to keep me this day from wandering and vain thoughts. Give me grace to teach the children aright.  Increase my own knowledge.  Lighten my darkness.  Enable me for Jesus' sake to show the way to salvation clearly to my little flock and Thine shall be the praise and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

August 1st 1878.  Yesterday we had a famous pic-nic to Lough Bawn.  Long to be remembered in our annals.  It was got up by the Griffiths[61] and there were about 45 persons at it, a pretty equal distribution of males and females being observable.  Amongst those present were the Misses & Messrs Hammels[62] from Clones, accompanied by a Miss Hannah[63] from Belfast.  The Misses Thorpe[64] from Dublin.  Very tall fashionable girls dressed in rather peculiar costumes - high white collars, some sort of plain white overskirts.  (These girls came with the Griffiths)  The Misses & Messrs Primrose[65].  The Misses Sharpe[66].  Mr & Miss Parr[67].  Miss Thompson[68]. Miss Williamson[69] &c&c.  Bankers clerks at lib.  Three from B.bay, Messrs Guy[70], Levingston[71] & Knox[72].  Another Mr Knox[73] from Clones, who distinguished himself by the way in which he rendered "My Beautiful Nell", "Obediah" & some few other eligant ditties.  The only other song we had was from Miss Kate Hamel[74] & was sung with great taste & feeling and a very sweet voice.  There was a performance which might appropriately be called "roaring" by Mr Guy (in which he informed us that "John Brown's donkey had got a wooden leg" & several other remarkable incidents about that individual) who also with his head declining in a languid manner upon his bosom uttered "Encore" & "Bravo" in a deep sepulchral tone of voice but rather indistinct accentuation [???ring] the performance of anything which gained his approbation.  There was the first quadrille in all its primness and precision our garments in applepie order and our gloves stainless & there was "Sir Rodger de Cloverly" at the last with its jig trot, disorder dress and red faces and between them there were waltzes gallopes & polkas for the young & graceful and quadrilles occasionally to air the wall flowers and keep them from getting disconsolate and promenades to cool themselves out into the darkness and the usual compliment of silly speeches and hand squeezing and head ache and lassitude next morning and the conclusion come to on the whole matter being that "the game was not worth the candle".  And to mend matters Ellen[75] takes huff and leaves us today and Tom[76] has to go off to Tossy to bring home his borrowed "rig" which broke down up the road and the mare he borrowed likewise to drive in it was half starved and looks like a greyhound.  Vanity of vanity!  All is vanity!!

August 6th 1878.  Tom started for Benburb today, poor fellow I hope he may succeed.  O Lord for Jesus' sake I beseech Thee be his guard & guide.  Keep him from every wicked and false way & lead him in the path of uprightness & peace. Amen & Amen.

Ellen didn't leave after all, though not quite settled yet in staying.

Sunday August 25th 1878.  Tom will be gone to Benburb three weeks next Saturday & he has not written to say how he liked it.  Under Andy's[77] dictation I wrote him a rather sharp letter & perhaps he is offended.  I hope he is doing well poor fellow! & getting reconciled to his work.  Lord keep and guide him for Jesus' sake, Amen.  I had an invitation from Annie Griffith[78] to second pic-nic to Lough Bawn on Wednesday next.  I'm not going decidedly.


[1] Diary of Sarah McCullagh who would become Whiteside. 22 years old at the time of writing this diary.

[2] Thomas McCullagh, b. 1793 and died March 17, 1877. He wrote many letters to Sarah.

[3] Mary Anne McCREADY (?-1897) Governness

[4] Derryvalley, home of McCULLAGH family and where Thomas McCULLAGH died.

[5] Mary (née JACKSON) MENARY

[6] Elizabeth “Bessie” (née JACKSON)  BROWN(E)

[7] I will have to check some of the court cases to shed some light on a possibility for the bitterness.

[8] Miss GRIFFEN could this be a relation to the GRIFFIN who later married Mary JACKSON, or the GRIFFIN family who emigrated to Canada?

[9] Miss KERR (there is a KERR-DONALDSON connection which ,may be of interest).

[10] Miss Mary KERR

[11] Miss PARKS?

[12] Mrs. DAVIS a seamstress? In Newry?

[13] Du Val?


[15] Mr. SWANSON

[16] Mr. DODD

[17] Carnmoney – Rev. Joseph BARKLEY (1811-1880) and his wife Sarah JACKSON (1811-1892), an aunt of Sir Thomas JACKSON lived there.

[18] Mary (Jackson) Menary. The curious thing is that this is a year after her second marriage to Frederick Richard GRIFFIN. Could it be another Mary MENARY? (The child of Mary JACKSON would be too young to consider)

[19] ROBINSON? There were a number of ROBINSON daughters, whose mother was Euphemia DICKIE

[20] Annie KELLY other wise WILSON?

[21] Rev. Joseph BARKLEY (1811-1880) and his wife Sarah JACKSON (1811-1892

[22] Sarah GRIFFIN?

[23] Mr. FERRIS?

[24] Margaret (Jackson)  Reed

[25] Maud Elizabeth Reed b. May 19, 1978

[26] Annie Reed daughter of  Thomas Reed & Mary Anna Hodge

[27] Miss MATTHEWS?

[28] Thomas McCullagh, brother of Sarah McCullagh

[29] Margaret (Jackson) Reed

[30] Maud Elizabeth Reed b. May 19, 1978

[31] Millmount, Keady, home of William McKEAN and his wife, Mary Anne Jane BARTLEY

[32] Thomas McCullagh, brother of Sarah McCullagh. Obviously he has received cash and got home from Liverpool and is now job hunting.

[33] William CARSON?

[34] William McKean (1822-1906) or else his son, William McKEAN (1850-1911)

[35] Robert & Henry McKEAN may be brothers of William McKEAN. Mills at Benbarb?

[36] Mary Anne Jane (née BARTLEY) McKEAN

[37] Blackrock?

[38] Mary (McCullagh) Reid

[39] Sarah’s brother Tom McCULLAGH

[40] Sally McMURRY

[41] Jane SKELLY often mentioned in letters along with Sally McMURRY

[42] WADDELLS – I still have yet to get this line sussed out.

[43] Mrs. McCLATCHIE?

[44] Flora, Johny, Andrew & Joe McMURRY?

[45] Mrs. THOMAS or is Thomas the first name of a husband?

[46] Andrew Bradford McCullagh

[47] Ellen?

[48] Mary REID – This may be her sister, married to William REID

[49] Dromuck, also Drummuck

[50] possibly James McCullagh & Mary McCullagh, brother and sister, adult children of  James McCullagh & Sarah Murdock, although this is by no means certain.

[51] Mount P?

[52] Alicia Eleanor McKEAN, daughter of William McKEAN & Mary Anne Jane BARTLEY

[53] possibly Mary McCULLAGH,, daughter of James McCULLAGH & Eliza WALLACE

[54] possibly Mary REID, sister of Sarah McCULLAGH and wife of William REID – although using the last name is an odd way to refer to a sister.

[55] Wilkinson McMURRY?

[56] Probably Mary & James McCULLAGH, children of James McCULLAGH & Eliza WALLACE

[57] Mrs SMYTH, wife of Rev SMYTH?

[58] William REID, husband of Sarah McCULLAGH’s sister Mary REID

[59] Mary (McCullagh ) Reid, wife of William Reid

[60] Mrs Mary Anne Jane (née BARTLEY) McKEAN – an odd bit of consulting to do!

[61] GRIFFITH – once more, but who?

[62] HAMMEL?

[63] HANNAH?

[64] THORPE?


[66] SHARPE?

[67] PARR?



[70] GUY?


[72] KNOX? From Bally bay

[73] KNOX from Clones

[74] Kate HAMEL

[75] Ellen DICKIE or DONALDSON are possibilities

[76] Thomas McCULLAGH, brother of Sarah McCULLAGH

[77] Andrew Bradford McCULLAGH, brother of Thomas and Sarah McCULLAGH

[78] Annie GRIFFITH