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This letter from solicitor and family member George JACKSON of Dublin is instructing his nephew, the teenage John JACKSON on how to proceed with Court challenges to his father's assets after his father's demise. In this case, it concerns Cavananore and involves the COULTER & BRADFORD families (which means it may also involve the OLIVER family too through the Thomas BRADFORD connection). John's father, David JACKSON, died in1796 when his only son was a mere 16 years old.
Sharon Oddie Brown, June 30, 2006
Updated: April 23, 2010

Mr. John Jackson [1] ,




Dear Johnny,


I received your letter of the 13th inst and from the Content can perceive that your friends in Cavananore [2] seem very anxious to get Joe Coulters [3] – property into their Clutches. I also think that they seem eager to go to Law; from the declaration of Mr. Birch [4] relative to the Bonds due to your Aunt and Uncle Coulter [5] , however I differ widely in Opinion from Mr. Birch relative to that property but I cannot now say any thing positive on the Subject, but as I before advised you I shall do so now, that is have a full and fair Case laid before Couns:l for Advice and go agreeable to his directions. I think your Mother need not shew Mrs Coulters [6] will until Birch [7] leaves the Country & then I think she may let Saml Bradford [8] see it – but by no means let him keep it – In Order to enable me to leave a full Case before Counl you must send me a true copy of your Uncle John Coulter’s [9] will also a Copy of your Grandfather Bradfords [10] Will and a Copy of Mrs. Coulters Will all of wch must be carefully compared with the Orig:ls to prevent any Mistakes as a few words either – Omitted or Incerted wch the Originals do not contain might Materially Alter the Meaning for wch reason they must be perfectly correct --- You must also let me know whether your Uncle Tom Bradford [11] renounced the burthen of the Execution of your Uncle John Coulters will – I already know that your Aunt Betty [12] obtained Administration to your Uncle Tom [13] however this is a Question of Great Nicety and Will take some time to give it that consideration which it requires. But if your Mother [14] wishes to have proper advice on the Subject and that I shall be furnished with the proper Documts I shall State a Case in the best manner in my power & get her the best legal Advice that can be had here, but if she is Satisfied to Comply with Mr. Birch and his friends demands relative to the Property no advice will be necessary – My reason for writing to you sometime ago relative to Mrs. Coulters will was that I forsaw that your Aunt Betty’s friends wd be making the enquiries wch have taken place & I thought it best to put you & your Mother on your Guard ag:st them. I shall write to you again in a few days if any thing further – Occurs but on rect of this let me know how your Mother intends to Act. My love to all friends,


I am

            Dr Johnny

                        Yr Affectionate Uncle

                                    Geo Jackson

7 Pitt Street

16th Feby “99


I wrote you a few days ago very fully about Smyths [15] Suit – for fear that letter has Miscarried I now inform you that the Suit is now over -

[1] John JACKSON (1780-1817) son of the deceased David JACKSON (abt 1774-1796) & Margaret BRADFORD (1739-1820). He is my 3rd great-grandfather and he is 19 years old at the time of this letter.

[2] Cavananore, Co. Louth. This puts the involvement of the JACKSON family with this land back into the late 1700s.

[3] It is probable that this is Joseph COULTER (1753-bet 1791-1799), son of Martha COULTER née COWEN, There was also another Joseph COULTER (1704-1796) of Dowdallshill, Co. Louth who may also be a possibility. He was the son of  Thomas COULTER (1658-1754) and Anne MAFFETT (1671-1736). These were the COULTER family of Carnbeg.

[4] Mr BIRCH? It is probable that this reference is to Thomas Ledlie BIRCH (1755-1828)

[5] As far as I can tell, these would be an aunt and uncle who are more likely one family branch sideways.

[6] This is probably Martha COULTER née COWEN (d. bet 1791-1799)

[7] It is probable that this reference is to Thomas Ledlie BIRCH (1755-1828) of United Irishmen fame. The family connection to Thomas Ledlie BIRCH is through Elizabeth BIRCH (1733-1812) who married firstly William BREAKEY(d. before 1760) and then Alexander GILMORE (1735-1773) and who was a half sister of Thomas Ledlie BIRCH.

[8] Samuel BRADFORD Abt 1739-1818) son of John BRADFORD & Barbara COULTER and brother of Margaret BRADFORD who married David JACKSON.

[9] John COULTER husband of Martha COWEN is mentioned in a lease of 1768 to be of Cavananore.He is a brother of Barbara BRADFORD née COULTER (1721-1795). The County Armagh Probate records indicate a will for a John COULTER of Cavananore in 1774.

[10] John BRADFORD (1705-1789) of Cavananore – husband of Barbara COULTER (1721-1795).

[11] Thomas BRADFORD (1739-1790) who married Elizabeth BREAKEY (1758-1844).

[12] Aunt Betty = Elizabeth BREAKEY (1758-1844) wife of Thomas BRADFORD.

[13] Thomas BRADFORD (1739-1790) husband of Elizabeth BREAKEY (1758-1844).

[14] Margaret BRADFORD (1739-1820) wife of David JACKSON(abt 1774-1796) & mother of John JACKSON (1780-1817)

[15] SMYTH? Presumably this is a reference to the case involving SMITH in the letter of November 27, 1798.


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