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This is one of the 7 "bog letters". NEWS: description of grandmother's last days and deaths of Mrs. CORR & BAILIE; general health update; William OLIVER's land to be sold July 16; relief meal & needs; Thomas Dare JACKSON's surgery (cleft lip?);John JACKSON & farming; James McCULLAGH ailing.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 4, 2006
Updated March 2, 2010 - footnote on Mrs. BAILIE

Urker July 7th 1880

My dear Tom,


            I have a letter from Minnie [1] of the 17th May, and one from you dated April 8th which I think must be a mistake for May; as it was not possible that you would have the news of Grandmother’s [2] death at that time. It is no wonder that your mind would revert to [first?] times; she was a dear old woman; and the best Grandmother ever I saw. Yet had you seen her in her latter days; you would be thankful to see her at rest; mind and body were both so much failed. She had a long and useful, and on the whole a happy life; for though she had her share of sorrow; yet as her disposition was so cheerful, she had a great deal of enjoyment; was both happy herself; and added to the happiness of others. I still hoped both in her case, and Aunt Donaldson’s [3] , that reason would return before the end, “a light before death” as it is commonly called; but it did not in either. Mrs. Corr [4] , another good woman is also gone; she died last week; and Mrs. John Bailie [5] this week. As I say, there will soon be no old women in this country but myself; and when my call will come; I know not. My health is good; but I am very infirm and very deaf. Father is weak in the same way, deafness excepted. The most remarkable news I have to tell you is that Eliezer [6] is getting his house completely renovated this summer; you will know nothing of it but the outside when you see it again; and that the rest of Uncle William’s [7] land is advertised to be sold on the 16th inst. It will [?] be sold for there never was less demand for land than at the present time. I shall write again (D&) and let you know how it goes. Those whom poor Uncle intended to benefit, will I fear, be little the better of his property; but the fault is not his; it was my poor Father’s [8] neglecting to settle his affairs that did the whole mischief. Distress still continues in many parts of Ireland & relief meal is still being given out, but there is a prospect of a good crop; & if that prospect is realized times will mend. There is also some dread that England will have to go to war with Turkey [9] , but you will see all the news in the papers. I am not sure whether I mentioned it in my last letter to you or whether it had come to pass at the time I wrote; Dr. Mills [10] has got a legacy of ₤1000 from an old lady in Castleblayney a Miss McMorran [11] . We are all very glad of this. Another piece of good news is that the operation upon little Thomas Dare’s [12] lip has been successfully performed. He is now a very handsome child; he always was, but for that blemish. Andy [13] is delighted that the operation has turned out so well. Andy is doing as well as we could possibly expect, considering the unfavourable times; as is Eliezer Gilmore; but it being Johnny’s [14] first year of farming it was trying to him. His crops are good; & if this harvest turns out well, I hope all will be right.


            Margaret [15] and her young ones were doing well when I last heard; all her children indeed all my grandchildren are healthy. Sally’s [16] young son [17] is a great big fellow.  All her children except him [18] were sent over here to be out of the way of the tradesmen. Sally & Eliezer remained at home; part of the house is habitable.


            Poor James McCullagh [19] made good his journey home, but there is no hope of his recovery. We feared he would died on the way. I have scarcely room to send my love and blessing to you all.


            Ever your affectionate Mother E Jackson


[1] Amelia Lydia DARE – wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[2] Elizabeth (McCULLAGH) JACKSON (1788- March 12, 1880)

[3] Probably Barbara BRADFORD who married William DONALDSON and died in 1865.

[4] Mary CORR wife of William CORR, a Grocer in Crossmaglen. Wall plaque in Creggan Church:Mary CORR wife of William CORR of this Parish who died June 29 1880 age 72 … also in memory of Joseph her eldest son died July 25 1881 age 36

[5] Mrs. John BAILIE aka Alicia CLUTTERBUCK (d. July 5, 1880), wife of Rev. John BAILIE of Clonaleenan. Co. Louth. - Mother of Robert Ellis BAILIE.

[6] Eliezer GILMORE of Liscalgot, husband of Sarah JACKSON (sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON)

[7] William OLIVER (1815-1873) I believe I have auction details – need to retrieve.

[8] Benjamin OLIVER (1765-1831) of Killynure

[9] I do not know what war this might have been or what the nature of the crisis was. I defer to historians.

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

[11] Miss McMORRAN?

[12] Thomas Dare JACKSON (1879-1961), son of Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON & Eliza Emily GILMORE

[13] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON, brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[14] John JACKSON, older brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[15] Margaret (JACKSON) REED (1853-1944) sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[16] Sarah (JACKSON) GILMORE, sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[17] I would guess this to be the youngest son at this time, b May 15, 1880.

[18] Samuel (b 1874), Mary (b. 1876) and David (b. 1878) GILMORE

[19] I suspect this is James McCULLAGH of Corfadd (1796-1880). He may have been a wool and linen draper. He was the son of Thomas McCULLAGH & JANE REED.



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