Urker Lodge



                                                              Sept 22, 1906



My Dearest Sally[1],

                I was very glad to get a letter from you this week and to find that you are keeping better.  I doubt you are still not sufficiently lazy for your own good.  It was very sad about the death you mentioned[2] & all the illness. We are having a time of deaths about Cross'.  Mr. Bates[3] was promoted from Cross'[4] branch of Belfast Bank to Saintfield where he was only able to do duty two days till he had to lie down and he is dead and buried.  Janie[5] and the children are gone to live in Belfast where David[6] is entered in the Bank.  Then three young married women have died after childbirth of blood poisoning from the treatment of a careless bad old nurse.  We only were acquainted with one girl called Larbin[7] from [Drum???] who was only a year married and only 20 years old.  Dr. McBride[8] was away on his holidays or likely it would not have happened.  Ethel[9] and he are still engaged but I hear no word of a wedding[10].

    We  have had a full house all summer and are quite alone the last four days. Eva & her nurse & two babies left on Monday.  Eva[11] looks very thin & pale.  She has two dear little girls[12].  Janie Cosgrove[13] left on Tuesday.  She has no children and does not wish for any but she nursed Eva's a good deal.

    I am in a little anxiety about Mollie[14] and her care just now as there has been a terrible typoon in Hong Kong and loss of life and I am sure she has been well frightened if not hurt. The paper yesterday was full of horrors.  A dreadful Railway accident on the Scotch Express from London at Grantham.  Some poor people were roasted to death by the upset carriages taking fire.  How the accident happened is quite unaccountable as all are dead who could explain.

    I expect Mary Reid[15] next week for a little.  Andy[16] was to leave for America on Thursday last & Cis[17] wished her mother to leave home for a while.  She is keeping fairly well.  Uncle Tom[18] too is coming early in October.  So if you don't get letters you will know I am too busy to write.  Some of [Trom][19] family are also expected any day.  Bessie Brown junr[20]. is here now.  Fairy[21] & Mr. Kirk[22] & boys enjoyed their visit greatly only the weather as too bad to allow going about at all.  Mr. K. took some photos of which I send you some.

    Your book for me has not come yet.  I do believe the "cloud" you speak of comes from the state of your health.  An old Scotish Clargyman had to ask about an old lady who was subject to fits of melancholy about the state of her soul "How's her Leddyship's bowels?"

    Behind every cloud remember there is "The Father" and all that means.  "Have I been so long a time with thee and yet hast thou not known me."  We may be and are naughty children yet tho' he punish "Yet will he not always abide".

    What a diffference a bright sunny day makes on one's outlook on life present and future and so does a healthy body a healthy and not morbid mind.

    Poor Mr. Bates sufffered hard.  It was his liver caused his death.  It was as hard as a piece of board and he had turned quite yellow with jaundice yet would not be got to consult a doctor till too late.  He lay five days unconcious but moaning pitifully.  Mr. & Mrs. Rogers[23] are staying in Liscalgot[24].  We have got a Roman Catholic manager in Mr. Bates place.  I have not seen him yet but those who have don't admire him.  I am sorry to hear of Tommy[25] having so hard a struggle to keep above water.

    Maggie[26] has not been here for a long time but I hear she and all at Slieveroe are well.  Sally[27] has gone back to school.  Her knee is much better but not quite well.  I am getting some building and repairing done in the yard now that the house is  all right.  You would be surprised how nice a parlour the old kitchen makes.

    Give my love to Mr. W[28]. & the children and with fondest to yourself

                               I am yr ever loving

                                     Mary Griffin


P.S. I hear that the McKeans[29] are leaving Millmount[30] but they have not written to me only sent a card in return for my letter of condolence.



Envelope addressed to:-

             Mrs. Whiteside

               The Manse








[1] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[2] I don’t know which death this would be.

[3] William BATES (?-1906)

[4] Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh

[5] Jane Clements (?-1925) She lived in Toronto, Canada during WWI

[6] David BATES (1889-1917) He died in battle in WWI and served in a Canadian regiment.


[8] William Scott McBride (1862-1939)

[9] Ethel Sarah Gilmore, daughter of Eliezer Gilmore and Sarah Jackson

[10] They married June, 1907

[11] Eva Oliver Reed, wife of James Ussher, half-sister of Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[12] Margaret Eleanor Ussher & Florence Maud Ussher, ages 1 ½ and 2 months old

[13] Jane Ledlie COSGROVE née JACKSON, daughter of  John JACKSON (Sir Thomas JACKSON’s brother) and Kate Maria WHITING. She had no children.

[14] Mary “Mollie” (Menary) Wright, wife of James Wright, daughter of Mary (Jackson) (Menary) Griffin

[15] Mary (née McCULLAGH) Reid, wife of William Reid and sister of Sarah WHITESIDE

[16] probably Andrew Reid, son of Mary Reid & William Reid

[17] Sally McCullagh Reid, daughter of William and Mary Reid

[18] probably Sir Thomas Jackson

[19] “TROM”?

[20] Elizabeth “Bessie” Brown who married Samuel Gilmore and emigrated to Tientsen

[21] “Fairy” was also in a letter sent by William Sherlock WHITESIDE when he was in St. Moritz. I still don’t know who she is.

[22] Mr. KIRK – could he be related to “Fairy”?

[23] Mr. & Mrs ROGERS – possibly a descendant of James ROGERS and Mary COULTER

[24] Liscalgot, Crossmaglen

[25] Probably Thomas McCullagh

[26] Margaret (Jackson) (Reed) McCullagh

[27] Sarah McCullagh, daughter of  Margaret (Jackson) (Reed) McCullagh

[28] William Sherlock Whiteside

[29] Mary Anne Jane (née BARTLEY) McKEAN after the death of her husband, William McKEAN (d. Aug 21, 1906). William McKEAN owned the mills at Laragh.. Also of interest, his mother was Anne JACKSON – though this may not loop back into the family tree again.

[30] Millmount in Keady, Co. Armagh.