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One of the 77 letters found in an Irish bog. NEWS: Minnie recovering from illness; TJ still entertaining lots of company; TJs generosity; Minnie expected to be in Japan soon; no letters from David JACKSON; death of a Mr. GORDON; recently widowed sister of TJ - Margaret McCULLAGH - gave birth recently and having trouble making her rent; Hartigan baby born; bank doing well.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 5, 2006
Updated Francis S. GORDON and other footnotes.

Urker April 4th 1882

My dear Minnie [1]


            I received your letter of Feb 6th and 21st and am most thankful to learn that you are gaining strength. You regret letting me know that you were ill; but I always like to hear the truth; even though it should be distressing in itself.  You will perhaps [consider?] or even laugh at what I am going to say; but is true that I always know without being told, when anything is amiss in the family. I do not know till I hear it, what the matter is; but I do know that there is something wrong; so it is best to tell me the trouble; else I might think that things were worse than they really were. In your case, it was bad enough, and you will require to exercise care and caution till your constitution recovers from the shock it has sustained. But how are you to get better with a house full of company, and a constant worry? It was both rude and thoughtless for any strangers to intrude while you were so delicate. In my simplicity, I thought that Tom [2] was a Bank Manager, but it seems he is also a hotel keeper. I wish he had as much wisdom as would keep him from spending his substance on people of whom perhaps one in a hundred would notice him if he were a poor man; or spend anything on him. I trouble for him; I have been a good while in this world; and I never yet know any person to waste money, that did not live to know the want of it.  No one should be wasteful, not even if as rich as Rothschild.


            You will probably be in Japan when these lines cross the sea. I hope the trip may do you good, but I dread sea voyages in those latitudes. The fate of Mr. Noble [3] can never be forgotten by us. May God Almighty keep you all in the hollow of his hand, and guard you as the apple of the eye; both by sea and land.


            I know you will write to me regularly; so that I shall not be more uneasy than can be helped. Oh know I love and thank you for your attention to me in that way! I cannot tell when I heard from my poor David [4] . I know it is a bad sign of a young man to forget home; and that knowledge grieves me more than his neglect of myself.


            All my children and their families are well as far as I know. I had a slight illness last week; but am over it, and Governor [5] & Jemmy [6] are well.


            There is nothing new in the connexion except the death of Mr Gordon [7] , uncle to John’s wife [8] ; which took place on the 19th ult. He left his widow well off; and probably she will go to live with John [9] and Kate [10] . She has no family of her own. The Browns [11] & Donaldsons [12] are much as usual; and James McCullagh [13] is still living; and looks no worse than he did six months ago. I would not be surprised if others of the family would die before him; for they are surely worn out with sick nursing. We had first one and then another of the girls here; to get a little rest. Aunt Barkley [14] is in Maghera [15] with her husband’s people at present.


            I have not seen Peggy [16] since her confinement [17] ; but intend to go soon. Mary [18] is to her house tomorrow. Peggy has got on as well in aspects, as could be hoped for. She was left heavily in debt, but will have enough to pay it; and as the Landlord and Agent are friendly to her; I hope she will be kindly dealt with; and be able to keep her little place. She and her children will feel more comfortable in a house of their own; than any where else.


            Another good report of the Bank. Thanks be to God for it; and for the good health of Tom and the children. Long may such good news come to cheer us all. And it it be God’s will that we meet again in this life (May He grant it) what a happy meeting we will have!. If not you know we are engaged to meet in a better place; even at his right hand.


            I am glad to learn that Mrs. Hartigan [19] and her baby [20] are well; and that all matters are going smoothly. With a thousand loves to big Tom, little Tom [21] , Kathleen [22] , Amy [23] and Beatrice [24] ever dear Minnie your affect. Mother,

                        Eliza Jackson


[1] Amelia Lydia DARE (1851-1944) – wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON (1841-1915)

[2] Sir Thomas JACKSON (1841-1915)

[3] I wonder if this may be the father of George E. NOBLE of HSBC.

[4] David JACKSON (1855-1903) youngest surviving brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[5] David JACKSON,(1814-1889) father of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[6] James JACKSON (1850-aft 1911) – younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[7] Francis S. GORDON (?-1882). His widow was Catherine Matilda SPEER. SOURCE: Will Probate: Letters of Administration (with the Will annexed) of the personal estate of Francis S. Gordon (otherwise Francis Gordon) late of Newtownstewart County Tyrone Petty Sessions Clerk deceased who died 19 March 1882 at same place were granted at Londonderry to Catherine Matilda Gordon of Newtownstewart aforesaid Widow the Universal Legatee for life. Granted September 23, 1882 Effects: .£1,242. NOTE: The son of John JACKSON and Kate WHITING was named Francis Gordon JACKSON - presumably after his uncle.

[8] Kate Maria Jane WHITING (1854-?)– wife of John JACKSON

[9] John JACKSON (1839-1886), oldest brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[10] Kate Maria Jane WHITING – wife of John JACKSON

[11] I am guessing that this means Daniel Gunn BROWNE and his wife Margaret JACKSON

[12] possibly John DONALDSON & Eliza Johanna JACKSON

[13] James McCULLAGH (?-1892) son of James McCULLAGH andf Eliza WALLACE. He was probably living at or near Ballybay, Co. Monaghan at this time.

[14] Sarah JACKSON (1811-1892) – widow of Rev Joseph BARKLEY (1811-1880).

[15] Maghera – This would be the family of Rev. Joseph BARKLEY - possibly his brotehr James BARKLEY who was resident at Maghera. Interestingly, it was also the family home of the MAULEVERERs.

[16] Margaret JACKSON (1853-1944) – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[17] The baby just born would be Margaret Hamilton REED born Feb 21, 1882. Her mother was preganant when her husband Robert Hamilton REED died on September 16, 1881. As fate would have it, she would also be pregnant when her second husband died (that time with her tenth child).

[18] Mary JACKSON (1844-1921) – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[19] Florence Gertrude DARE (1855-1938), wife of Dr. William HARTIGAN (1852-1936) of HSBC. The reference in the letter of March 2nd 1881 leads me to suspect that the conception preceded the marriage.

[20] It is possible that this is the Mary HARTIGAN who married George ALLEN (son of Whitworth ALLEN & Anna Marie DARE).

[21] Thomas Dare JACKSON age 6

[22] Kathleen McCullagh JACKSON age 10

[23] Amy Oliver JACKSON age 8

[24] Beatrice Minnie Shrieve JACKSON age 3.



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