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One of the 77 letters and documents rescued from a bog in Ireland sometime before 1960. NEWS: James DONALDSON (cousin to TJ) attempted suicide; death of Mary McMURRAY; Rev. Dr. MILLS had a stroke; James McCULLAGH still living; Hugh BROWNE's vision problems; scandal of Mary MENARY (nee JACKSON) & her "affair" with Fred GRIFFIN; Thompson BROWN at school at Coleraine; plans to send meal to Minnie; Dr. WILSON - married to Miss POLLOCK & previously living with Charles POLLOCK - living at Cavananore; TJ's brother John JACKSON is not "steady"; TJ's sister Margaret has added an "office" to her rented property; TJ's brother Jemmie doing well as a farmer.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 6, 2006


Urker Nov 7th 1883


My dear Tom – My news today is of a mixed complexion; in the first place I am better than I was; if my mind was quite at rest, I think there would not be much the matter with me. The rest of your kindred are much as usual in health; but one great calamity, I should say two, have occurred; one is that poor James Donaldson [1] has lost his reason & had to be removed to the Lunatic Asylum at Armagh, after attempting his own life, and that of another man. I believe his is not a hopeless case; but it is a dreadful blow to poor Aunt Bess [2] . In other respects, that family are doing very well. The second affliction is the death of Mary McMurray [3] , which took place on the 26th ult. She is greatly regretted by all who knew her; her husband included. All was done for her that could be done; but the decree was gone forth. Mary Menary [4] attended her faithfully in her last illness. Little did I think when I was jesting about the grey gooses that laughing would be so soon turned into sorrowing. Another sad piece of news is that Dr Mills [5]   has had a paralytic stroke. It is not yet known whether he will live or die. I fear the latter. He may live for a time; but is not likely to be again what he was. This is the account of the bad news, and it is enough and too much, if it were God’s will.


            James McCullagh [6] is still living and his brother John [7] has got a situation which brings him ₤80 a year and takes him from home two days in the week. That family should be much better off now than they were.


            Hugh Brown’s [8] eyes are no better; he is living at home now, as it was considered that the gas light would be injurious to his eyes. I do not know whether or not, he has altogether left the Bank [9] or not. The Bank authorities have been very kind and indulgent to him. I know not what to say about Mary’s [10] business; probably you know as much as I do, for I understand that she wrote to you. I still hope that her eyes may be opened before it is too late. She is at home once more. The gentleman [11] is as busy as ever at his trade of horse jockeying, and does not keep any reputable company. Eliezer [12] is enraged at him and does not speak when he meets him. I am sorry that you told Minnie [13] ; it could only vex her to hear such a thing; but I know it is not easy to bear sorrow alone. Though speaking of it mends nothing; yet it relieves the mind.


            The children in Killynure [14] and Liscalgot [15] are doing well with their respective Governesses, and young Thompson is doing well at school at Coleraine [16] .


            Tell Minnie that we have not made any meal yet; but as soon as we do, we shall send some to her. There is some of last year’s meal in the home; but I would prefer to wait for the new meal. The harvest this year began beautifully, but the good weather did not last long; and it was very troublesome to save the crop. There was great loss in many places, with storms and floods, but we came off pretty safe.


            Cousin Sam [17] has got a tenant for Cavananore [18] house and gardens at last. Dr Wilson [19] the Dispensary Dr who is married to Miss [Pollock?] [20] is said to be giving him ₤30 a year for them. How long he will stay there remains to be seen. He has hitherto been living with Charles [Pollock] [21] ; so he cannot but know all about the place. I have heard nothing since, about the sale of Sam’s land; but we still are on the alert; if anything should transpire. Mr Cleland [22] was here this week; and got your letter to Mr M’Lean [23] . As far as I can judge, Mr Cleland will be likely to suit.


            Now what about your own health, and home coming? or Minnies? I got the paper she sent; and am glad and proud to see that you are still the white haired boy with the directors. You have had a great blessing; for if God had not given you grace and wisdom, you could not have done as you have done. His Holy Name be praised! Talent signifies little without a blessing; poor Johnny [24] had enough of it; yet he has disappointed us all. I believe that this year’s crop has succeeded better with Johnny than any that went before it; but I fear that his steadiness is not just what we would wish. His wife [25] is a clever little woman, and can manage both farm and house; and he has as lovely little children as you would see anywhere. Peggy [26] has got her new office house built; which will be a great addition to her comfort. She is another clever manager. I believe her rent has not yet been fixed. Andy [27] is doing well and Jemmy is as great a farmer as ever [known?]


            I believe I have no more to say, but that with love and blessing to you all, I remain your ever affectionate Mother,

                        Eliza Jackson


PS I hope young Julius [28] continues to thrive and young Tom [29] to be like his Father as he offered to be. If he is, he will not have many enemies. Neither will the girls if they take after dear Minnie. And I must not forget to hope that the new Cow is giving satisfaction.

[1] James DONALDSON who was the son of Elizabeth Johanna JACKSON & John DONALDSON.

[2] Elizabeth Johanna JACKSON (1817-1900) wife of John DONALDSON.

[3] Mary McMURRAY(-1883) This is most likely Mary McMURRAY née McCULLAGH, daughter of James McCULLAGH & Eliza WALLACE. (The date of death would be:. October 26, 1883)

[4] Mary (JACKSON) MENARY is a sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

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

[6] James McCULLAGH –possibly the son of the James MCCULLAGH who married Eliza WALLACE

[7] Possibly John Wallace McCULLAGH although his health wasn’t stellar either, so I have doubts

[8] Probably Hugh Kirkpatrick BROWNE (d.1904), son of Daniel Gunn BROWNE & Margaret JACKSON. Also brother of Thomas McCullagh BROWNE of HSBC.

[9] I don’t know which bank at present.

[10] Mary (JACKSON) MENARY – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[11] This is most likely the man who would become Mary JACKSON's second husband. There is a love letter to her dated 1886 from Fredrick GRIFFIN (see: http://www.user.dccnet.com/s.brown/letters/1886May5.htm 

[12] Eliezer GILMORE, husband of Sarah JACKSON – sister to Sir Thomas JACKSON

[13] Amelia Lydia DARE – wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[14] Killynure was the home of Thompson BROWN and Elizabeth JACKSON- sister to Sir Thomas JACKSON. By now, they had seven children.

[15] Liscalgot is the home of Eliezer GILMORE & Sarah JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON. Liscalgot is a townland adjacent to Urker, home of the JACKSONs near Crossmaglen.

[16] .Coleraine Academical Institution is most likely the school that he attended.

[17] Samuel BRADFORD (1846-1915) son of Thomas BRADFORD & Margaret WALLACE.

[18] Cavananore, Co. Louth – a property that was the cause of disputes between JACKSONs and BRADFORDs. It had been leased by Mary OLIVER.

[19] There was a Dr. WILSON was a general medical practitioner in Castleblaney and according to Dr. Thomas McNeil, he probably took over Samuel Gilmore's practice. He married Jane (Jeannie) BARTLEY, an older sister of Tom McNeil’s grandfather Tom BARTLEY. He died November 15, 1921 aged 70. I wonder if this is another Dr. WILSON or if he had more than one wife.

[20] Miss POLLOCK?

[21] Charles POLLOCK? Probably Charles POLLOCK, Carrickavilla, Hackballscross, Dundalk. SOURCE: 1881 Chancery documents relating to COULTER estate A Dr. William POLLOCK leased a dispensing house in Annaghvaghy from Samuel BRADFORD.

[22] Mr. McCLELAND?

[23] Mr. McLEAN – there are McLEANs of Keady that tie into the family.

[24] John JACKSON – brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[25] Kate Maria Jane WHITING. It is likely she wants to get the money directly so that her husband, John JACKSON, who was "unsteady" (aka alcoholic) would not have access to the money.

[26] “Peggy” Margaret JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[27] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON – brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON who farmed outside of Trim.

[28] George Julius JACKSON who is five months old at the time of this letter

[29] Thomas Dare JACKSON – age seven at the time of this letter.



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