Home Biographies History Places Documents Letters Family Tree Misc. Contact NEW Blog


This letter is one in the collection of Christine WRIGHT. In the transcription, I have used periods to indicate the end of sentences (unlike the style of the writer) and have capitalized various words just as she did.
As always, any errors in both transcription and footnoting are mine and I would love the chance to correct.
Sharon Oddie Brown, June 19, 2005
Updated November 5, 2011 footnotes.
Updated: January 16, 2012 - new footnote info - thanks to Linda Leonard.


On the back of this photo is inscribed:
Jane Menary (My Great Aunt) was married in 1st Armagh Presbyterian Church to Mr. Wilkins of Tyrone - her brother Alex Menary of Killylea was groomsman.

This Jane MENARY was the author of the letter below.

This photo was filed with the photo of Jane Menary. I suspect that he was her son, James - based on material in the letter from Carrie EVARTS.



My Dear Mother[2] February 8th 1817 


I embrace the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to inform you that I am in good health at present. My children enjoys [sic] the same blessing my obligation is very great to my heavenly father for these blessings and the many others that he has bestoed [sic] on me and my Children. My dear mother I rec’d your letter dated October 1816 and it gave me great comfort and consolation to hear that you and my brothers and sister are all living [sic] and well. May god Continue these blessings Comfort and Support you under and give you these Consolations of his which are neither few nor small. I am very sorry to hear that trade is doing so ill at present and that your prospects is so low of its doing better. I truly pity all that may Suffer under this affliction. My mind is easier since I rec’d your letter as it formed me that you rec’d mine and it gave me great satisfaction to think that you know my Situation and the reason I had for not returning to my native home. My Dear Mother it would be a heartfelt Consolation once more to see you and my brothers and sister and friends but as times is at present there is no encouragement if the lord is pleased to continue my health in my present situation I can support myself and [something] to supply the wants of my Children. Poor people have more for their labour in this Country than with you but there is nothing without prudence and Industry but at present the times is doing very ill. All kinds of provisions is very high and business is very dull. James Stitt[3] still continues his trade. He improves very fast and is a well disposed boy and promises very fair far so far and has to serve his apprenticeship until he is 21.


My dear Mother we have no prospect at present of seeing other very soon but let us be thankful for this opportunity of Receiving a few lines from each other. And I entreat you that you will not grieve or Repine As it respects me or my Children[4] as we have many friends in this place. If we are taken sick we will not suffer for want of Care. I have been blessed with a great many friends ever since I came to this Country. I could say with Joseph[5] Surely the lord was with me but I knew it not until About 2 years from this time the lord let me see that it was his goodness that I enjoyed so many friends and other blessings but I took the praise to myself and to his great name it alone was due. I was in great distress of mind for some time until I was enabled to believe in his son the lord Jesus Christ who condescends to take our nature upon him and to die for our sins that we might die unto Sin and to the praise and glory of his holy name.


I send my love to my brothers John[6] Alexander[7] and William[8] and Sister[9] and family. My children desires to be remembered to all their friends.


I remain my dear Mother your affectionate Daughter till death,


Jane Wilkins[10]  

[1] Presumably New Haven, CT. USA. Interestingly, a WILKINS family who continued to reside in the area are descendants of a black slave who took a variant of his owner’s name – Martha WILKES - and became known as Ephriam WILKINS. If the name WILKES can morph into WILKINS - and vice-versa - then this opens up intriguing connections to other such names in related documents.

[2] Martha MENARY  née HERON, wife of Alexander MENARY. Presumably she was a widow at this time as there is no mention of her husband.

[3] James STITT – STITTs were well established Presbyterian farmers in Armagh at the time,. At age 16 at the time of letter writing, it is a reasonable guess that he was in some way related.

[4] One of her children was a daughter who married EVARTS, and had a child Carrie EVARTS. SEE: http://www.thesilverbowl.com/letters/1862Feb13.htm

[5] Joseph is most likely a biblical allusion, but I can’t rule out a familial reference.

[6] John MENARY. Son of Alexander MENARY (1750-1806) & Martha HERON (d. aft 1817).

[7] Alexander MENARY. Son of Alexander MENARY (d. bef 1817) & Martha HERON (d. aft 1817).

[8] William MENARY (d. 1867, buried at Armagh Cathedral Burying Ground) father of the William MENARY who married Mary JACKSON and died soon afterwards. The letter writer was his older sister.

[9] Mary MENARY. Marriage  May 3, 1804  Patrick HAGAN, Lisdrumard and Mary MENARY of Maghery"

[10] Jane (née MENARY) WILKINS. Daughter of Alexander MENARY (d. bef 1817) & Martha HERON (d. aft 1817).She was widowed and left with minor aged children. She was an older sister of William MENARY. In a photo album at Gilford Castle, "“Jane Menary (my Great Aunt) was married in 1st Armagh Presbyterian Church to Mr. Wilkins of Tyrone – her brother Alex Menary of Killylea was groomsman”



Site Map | Legal Disclaimer | Copyright

© 2006-2023 Sharon Oddie Brown