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This is one of the 77 letters and documents that were found in a bog in Ireland. NEWS: Eliza's ear still discharging; birth of Thomas Jackson GILMORE; Slieveroe news; talk of the selling of Urker (JACKSONs still rent); praise of Mr. ROGERS at Crossmaglen Bank; widow of John JACKSON living in Dundalk; Harriet DONALDSON, Jemmie JACKSON & Legmoylin; more unrest about Cavananore & Samuel BRADFORD.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 6, 2006


Urker Novr 29th 1887


My Dear Tom – Many thanks for the long kind letter of Oct 17th. You say truly that a scrape of your own pen is better than any news at second hand; but I do not wish to impose upon good nature; I know you have a great deal of writing, and many other things to do; so that a few lines once a month will content me. I do hear from Minnie [1] pretty often; she was always a good correspondent. She is quite uneasy about my sore ear; but I am not; it is doing me no harm; and I consider it only an effort of nature to relieve itself. If that discharge was stopped it would probably break out in some worse way. I have known instances of this kind. Minnie is surely kept busy enough with the children yet they have done as well as could be expected in England. Being natives of such a different climate, the changes must have affected them in a greater or less degree. Minnie speaks of coming over to see us, when the good weather comes. We will all be delighted to see her & the other children. What a mercy that your health has been preserved; and your spirits too - when you say you feel agreed to the big talk ahead of you. May God enable you to overcome all difficulties, and may he bring you home again to your native land in safety and honour.


            Everyone you say has confidence in you; what else could they have? Thanks be to God who gave you grace to be what you are, and you do see but justice in saying that no one will be more glad than I, of your success. It would not be possible that any one would be more so. But you must surely come home at the time you say, if God spares you. You cannot sacrifice yourself altogether for this good of your neighbours. I have great hopes of David [2] ; he promised very fairly when he was leaving; and he has written frequently since he went. As long as a young man remembers home; there is never very much remiss with him. And it will be a great advantage to him, to be within reach of you.


            I mentioned in my letter of the 16th inst that Sally [3] was safely over her confinement. The child [4] is as fine a one as ever I saw; both he and the Mother are doing well. His arrival was on the 11th inst. and a daughter [5] to Mrs Palmer [6] of the 24th. They wished for a boy; but God knows best what to send.


            Father [7] & I have been at Slieveroe [8] since the marriage. Andy [9] & Peggy [10] returned the visit. They seem very happy, and I see nothing to prevent them from doing well. Andy is kind to the children and they are all very fond of him. Mrs. Wright [11] is well satisfied; so is Aunt Jenny [12] , in fact everybody except Annie Reed [13] . She has got a situation in England; and Peggy told her when leaving; that she would be welcome back at any time, she chose to come. I hope the climate of England will improve her health; she was never very stout in Slieveroe; and more than one of her sisters [14] died there.


            There has been word of late about the purchase of Urker; but sooner or later it will probably be sold, as there is a great difficulty in getting any rent. It would not do for us to seem anxious about the purchase; if so, they would want two prices. [My NOTE: The lease was held in 1856 by Thomas P. BALL and likely still was.]


            Our little Bank in Cross has always done well, as far as I could learn; and Mr Rogers [15] has still been a very kind friend to me; though I suppose I am about the most troublesome customer that goes into the Bank on account of my deafness; but he never loses patience with me. He has been a blessing to this Parish; I know not how the financial affairs of it, would have been managed but for him. He is married to a woman [16] whom we all like very much; she is just as homely among us as he is himself.


            Mrs Austin [17] has been very poorly for a length of time; but there are hopes of her recovery. Every one wishes it.


            Kate [18] is not yet stout, but the children have all recovered. I sent them your gift; she was very thankful; and said it would buy winter clothing for them. Perhaps she has written to you herself. She is about to remove to another part of Dundalk; the house she is in, has the name of being unhealthy; which she did not know until after it was taken. She has met with great kindness in Dundalk; and is visited by the most respectable people in the town and neighbourhood. She is able to live, thanks be to God and you; and you say truly that I would not see her in want of any thing.


            Jemmie [19] & Lizzie [20] went to Legmoylin [21] yesterday intending to stay some time. It was full time that the house was looked after, for it was just going to destruction. Jemmy has put nearly all his money into it; and Harriet [22] is not a pin the better than she was the first day. I believe I gave you my opinion of her in my last; she does not care what she gets from him. I told her that if she would allow the place to be sold, and Jemmie’s money to be paid to him, that I would give ₤20 a year for life. She was quite contented with this; but the present could be a bad time for selling it. However that is what must be done; if times mend a little. I am sorry that either Jemmie or I, ever spent a shilling into it; but we thought to set her on her feet.


            Cousin Sam is making an awful havoc in Cavananore [23] , cutting timber though that was reserved in the lease. Eliezer [24] went to see what was done; and he has written to Mr Reid [25] about it. Willy Corr [26] thinks that his lease can be broken because of it. His case has not yet come on. Alexr Dickie [27] says that Sam intends to sell the whole place; his own part of the land, and all; when he gets a reduction of the rent. What a job those old wretches the Trustees [28] made of it letting that man in, to plague us. But they thought of nothing but getting bribes for themselves. There is one comfort in this and all other cases; the worst man in the world can do nothing more than God permits to be done. Sam’s time is coming, and old and failed as I am, I hope to live to see it.


            Nothing remarkable or new among your relations and acquaintances in Ireland. Bessie [29] still above a fortnight with Sally [30] , and saw her downstairs. She went home yesterday.


            Father [31] is well, but not growing young. He keeps better out of Cross [32] than he used to do, which is a great comfort. He sends his love; and is always greatly disappointed when his name is not particularly mentioned in all letters that come.


            With ten thousand loves, blessings and thanks, I remain your ever affectionate Mother,

                        Eliza Jackson


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

[2] David JACKSON – youngest surviving brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON who was with HSBC in the Far East

[3] “Sally” Sarah (JACKSON) GILMORE, wife of Eliezer GILMORE & sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[4] Thomas Jackson GILMORE b. November 11, 1887.

[5] ? PALMER

[6] Mrs. PALMER?

[7] David JACKSON (1814-1889)

[8] Slieveroe, Co. Monaghan – home of the REED family and of Margaret JACKSON widow of Robert Hamilton REED and now wife of Andrew Bradford MCCULLAGH

[9] Andrew Bradford MCCULLAGH husband of Margaret JACKSON

[10] “Peggy” Margaret (JACKSON) (REED) MCCULLAGH – sister of Sir Thomas Jackson

[11] Sarah Jane REED wife of Robert WRIGHT – sister of Robert Hamilton REED  - first husband of Margaret JACKSON

[12] “Jenny”  -I imagine she is a REED  - but I don’t know which one.

[13] Annie REED – sister of Robert Hamilton REED

[14] Martha REED & Letitia REED are likely.

[15] Mr.. William E ROGERS, Manager of the Crossmaglen branch of the Belfast Bank.

[16] I do not know who his wife is –yet.

[17] Mrs. AUSTIN? Presumably she is the wife of Rev. Frederick William AUSTIN of Creggan Parish.

[18] Kate Maria Jane WHITING – widow of John JACKSON older brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[19] “Jemmie” James JACKSON – younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[20] Lizzie” Elizabeth Sarah (BROWNE) JACKSON(1847-?), wife of “Jemmie” James JACKSON – younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[21] "Local knowledge suggests that Sir Thomas bought Legmoylin House and lands for the couple” SOURCE: Mary Cumiskey.  It is a townland of 342 acres in the Parish of Creggan, Co. Armagh.

[22] For now, I am assuming this to be Harriet DONALDSON (1817-1891), unmarried daughter of Joseph DONALDSON and an unnamed Mary.

[23] Cavananore, Co. Louth

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

[25] Mr. REID?

[26] William R. CORR, solicitor. His sister Susanna CORR family married into the DONALDSONs. He lived at Urker House, just down the road from Urker Lodge.

[27] Alexander DICKIE, solicitor. Possibly the Alexander DICKIE (1831-1887) of Roachdale who married Anna Maria McCULLAGH.

[28] The trustees were: James Birch GILLMER (or Gilmer or Gilmore)1808-1877, son of Eliezer Birch GILMORE & Rachel Birch; Thomas MCCULLAGH (circa 1793-1877) son of Thomas MCCULLAGH & Jane REED. He married Sarah MCCULLAGH (1816-1857), daughter of Thomas MCCULLAGH & Mary BRADFORD (Sister of Elizabeth BRADFORD who married Benjamin OLIVER who were the parents of Eliza (OLIVER) JACKSON – hence the entanglements). Thomas & Sarah lived at Dunraymond until Sarah inherited Derryvalley on the death of her father circa 1850; William CHARLETON (1798-1875), son of William CHARLETON & Dorothea DONALDSON.

[29] “Bessie” Elizabeth (JACKSON) BROWN – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[30] “Sally” Sarah (JACKSON) GILMORE – likely after the birth of her son Thomas Jackson GILMORE (b November 11, 1887)

[31] David JACKSON ( 1814-1889).

[32] “Cross” is Crossmaglen. This seems to be a coded message. Given family patterns, I would suspect that old David JACKSON liked to behave in Crossmaglen in ways that did not meet with his wife’s approval.



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