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One of the 77 letters found in a bog in Ireland. NEWS: Sale of the OLIVER estate July 16th; alterations at Liscalgot; birth of Sarah & Margaret's children (daughters of Eliza).
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 4, 2006
Footnotes updated: September 24, 2014
Updated November 5, 2015 - link to news article descrbing land sale.

Urker July 21 1880


My dear Tom


            According to promise, I write to inform you of the sale of the Oliver [1] estate which was appointed for Friday the 16th inst. We had no idea that it would be sold at all; times were so bad, and so many properties offered for sale; without a bidder; yet it was sold, and well sold, all things considered ₤2350 was what it went at. I have received a note from Thompson Brown [2] , since then which surprised me a good deal. He says that it never was legally [deeded?] that Ben [3] and John Oliver [4] should get the third of the property, and that the case should be argued again before the Vice Chancellor. I suppose Mr McCombe [5] to be the author of this opinion; though Thompson did not say so; and whether it is a bona fide advice; or whether it is only another seven years wait and more law costs; I cannot say. May the Lord direct whatever is best. I expect Thompson here today; when we will hear more particulars, and discuss the affair.


            The alterations in Liscalgot [6] are going on prosperously; and when you see it again, you will scarcely know any part of it, except the outside. You would be slow to believe what a handsome and convenient house they are making of it. They are all well & doing well. Their young son was baptized here last week by Dr. Mills [7] . He is called John [8] and if he goes on as well as he officers to do; he will be no discredit to his name. I have not heard what is, or is to be the name of Margaret’s son [9] . I expect it will be A’s [?], or some such silly name. I had a letter of May 29th from Minnie, and I see by the mail news that there is another letter coming. As surely as I see in the newspapers that a ship is coming to [Brindise’s?] I expect a letter; and I am not disappointed. Minnie [10] is the best “news bug” in the world; and never forgets or neglects her old Mother-in-law. It will be a happy day when I again clasp her in my arms; and I hope to live to see that day. Till then, if my blessing does her, and all my children any good, they have it often enough.


            The last news I heard from Andy [11] was good. He was quite restored to health; and the operation on little Thomas Dare’s [12] lip had been successful. He was a lovely child, but for that blemish & now the blemish is removed. Thomas Jackson Brown [13] is also a very handsome child. He and his Mother [14] and a couple more spent some time with us lately. I head from Johnny [15] that his crops look well. If this present fine weather continues there is every prospect of a good harvest; which will do much to help Irish agriculturists. I hope and thing that better times are coming. Dr. Mills showed us some photographs of Creggan [16] which he proposed sending to you. You will be glad to see the old scenes once more. If I had known when the artist was at Creggan, I would have got him to take a view of the spot where little Edith [17] and our dear old Grandmother [18] await the resurrection of the just; & also a better view of “the old house at home”. The man who took the view I sent was but a botch [19] . It was just better than nothing.


            Little Mary Menary [20] is a great deal better. I think eventually, she will be quite well.


            All the rest of us are well.


            With fondest love to Minnie and the children I remain dear Tom your ever affectionate Mother,


[1] The news account of July 17, 1880 describes the land being sold: about 66 acres in the townland of Lisdrummard; 31 acres in Knockagraphy; and 1 acre in Drumgar. More to the point, John Oliver and Benamin Oliver are described as owners and petitioners.

[2] Thompson BROWN (1837-1915) husband of Elizabeth JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[3] Benjamin OLIVER – is this a son of Andrew Bradford OLIVER?

[4] John OLIVER – There is a strong probability that this is the John OLIVER (1841-1909) who married Margaret ROCK. William OLIVER's housekeeper was a Sarah ROCK. John was Catholic, and it is likely that he had converted from the Protestant faith since his wife was Catholic.

[5] Mr.Alexander McCOMBE - solicitor.

[6] Liscalgot is a townland beside Urker where Eliezer GILMORE and his wife Sarah JACKSON (sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON) and their children live.

[7] Rev. Dr. Lewis George MILLS (1823-May 28, 1885) Rector of Creggan Church.

[8] John GILMORE b. May 15, 1880

[9] Thomas Jackson REED –birth date of May 25, 1881.

[10] “Minnie” Amelia Lydia DARE – wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[11] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON – brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[12] Thomas Dare JACKSON (1879-1951) son of Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON (curiously Sir Thomas JACKSON also had a son called Thomas Dare JACKSON (1876-1954)).

[13] Thomas Jackson BROWN (1879-1933), son of Thompson BROWN & Elizabeth JACKSON. He was also my grandfather.

[14] Elizabeth (JACKSON) BROWN sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[15] John JACKSON older brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[16] Creggan, Co. Armagh is a small settlement about a couple of miles from Urker.

[17] Edith Bradford JACKSON twin of Amy Oliver JACKSON – daughter of Sir Thomas Jackson who died as an infant in 1874 at Cavananore.

[18] Elizabeth (McCULLAGH) JACKSON (1788-1880)

[19] At first I htought it might be the photo of Urker on this web site, but I doubt it. It seems to have been lost.

[20] Mary MENARY daughter of Mary (MENARY) JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON



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