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This is one of 77 letters & documents unearthed from a bog in Ireland. NEWS: Eliza doubts TJ's commitment to Christianity; news about his children; news about TJ's sisters and brothers; Legmoylin & Harriet DONALDSON; "Bess" DONALDSON & her son James (who is mentally ill) - well enough financially thanks to TJ; Sam BRADFORD a year behind in rent & has cut all the timber on Cavananore; TJ's brother Andrew doing well at Forstertown; a legal tangle involving the BROWNs and OWENs and a will; legal complications surrounding sale of the BALL estate; crops are doing well.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 9, 2006
Updated March 22, 2010
Updated April 8, 2010 Footnote 9 - legacy description


[answd 25 July]

Urker June 4th 1888


My dearest son – As this is the anniversary of your birth, a day that brought your Parents and many others, countless blessings, I must begin by wishing you many and happy birthdays and above all that you may be born again. I know that you are noble character; but I am not so sure that you are a devoted follower of Christ. And what will all earthy blessings, or all creature love avail you in the great day, if you are not one of His people? I can but pray for you, and all my children, and shall do so while I live.


            I shall not post this letter till the usual day; but began it on account of the day it is. I have two letters from you to answer; April 18th & 24th. You ask do I remember how your Tom [1] used to kiss me; surely I do; and he is just the same dear good child still; and grown so tall, that I wd scarcely have known him, had I met him elsewhere. They are all nice good children, and so well brought up, that they have not the least particle of rudeness or ill manners. I would have greatly liked  to have seen the little one [2] that I never yet saw; but both Minnie [3] and I thought she was too young to be brought; and it was so best; for the others had a stormy and troublesome passage in returning; but there were no permanent ill effects. Please God, you and I will have met before your next birthday; and never more to part in this life; for it is only the name of a parting, when we will be within a few hours each of each other. We will not feel the time passing till that day comes; and even if I was dying the hope of that meeting wd keep me alive. But I have no sign of dying. I never was in better health, and my ear is perfectly healed. Father also is well.


            I hope that God’s will guides the Directors of the Bank to choose a worthy successor to you. I would still have a warm heart to the old Cow [4] even if no one belonging to me was connected with her.


            All your friends and acquaintances in Ireland are much as usual; nothing new among them but what you have already heard. I was in Killynure [5] last week; all well and prosperous there. I saw Kate [6] & her children on Saturday; they are doing beautifully. The Gilmores [7] are all well; your young namesake [8] is a lovely child. Eliezer’s legacy [9] has not yet come; but they have no doubt but that it will be all right. I am expecting a visit from Peggy [10] this week; they are all well and getting on very agreeably when I last heard. Jemmie [11] and Lizzie [12] are as happy as the day is long. They have made and are making great improvements in Legmoylin [13] ; it will soon be a very comfortable place. They & Harriet [14] dined here yesterday; Harriet is quite a different creature from what she was when they went there; but she is discontented, though she admits that they are kind to her. She told me that she wished to leave that place; and asked me to give her some security for what I promised her. I said that my word was security enough, as long as I lived, and I could give no security in case of my death, as any income dies with me. I would not wish her to leave what was her own house; to do so would raise a story that they had been unkind to her; or perhaps that they had put her out. Besides she is better where she is, than she would be in any other place. She is clean & comfortable & wants for  nothing. Lizzie tells me that Harriet has a notion of writing to you. If she does, give her nothing. She has plenty herself. You will see and hear all about her when you come.


            The only melancholy subject in the family is poor Aunt Bess [15] . She is a miserable woman; James [16] is a total madman, and looks just like one; but he is not vicious for so far; and they are well enough off in a worldly way; the last money you sent her is still untouched. As for me, I want for nothing, thanks be to God and you. I have not only plenty for myself, but am able to help others; and the old place never looked better; both house and gardens. But if I was depending on Cousin Sam [17] , I would be badly off. He is due a year’s rent & has no word of paying it that I hear. He has cut & sold all the timber worth selling, though it was expressly reserved in his lease. I would not be surprised if he would offer to sell you the place; but do not heed him. Make no cheques till you come home.


            Andy [18] is delighted with Forstertown [19] ; he says he never saw good land before. Father & I intend to go see him soon. His children are rather delicate. Emily [20] coddles them too much, I think. Tom Brown [21] has arrived safely; we expect a visit from him this week. Aunt Brown [22] is but poorly; she is liable to sudden attacks. Uncle Brown [23] is well, but quite infirm, not able to walk. I hear no word of the lawsuit about Miss Owen’s [24] will. Maggie Brown [25] still keeps possession of the place in Bird Hill [26] and has got Mr Owens [27] bound over to keep the peace. I do not know how it will all end or whether the place will be worth much or not.


            There is no word now of the sale of the Ball estate [28] ; but it will probably be sold sooner or later. Some old ladies who have claim on it, oppose the sale.


            The weather is beautiful for the crops and they look well. You will scarcely be able to read this letter; I have got a bad pen; and the writer is not so good as she was. You did not mention if David [29] was gone to Bombay yet. Thank God he was well, both by your letter and the last I had from himself.


            Visitors are coming; soon I must conclude; besides I recollect nothing more except that with love from your Father [30] , I remain your ever affectionate Mother,

                        Eliza Jackson


[1] Thomas Dare JACKSON son of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[2] Dorothy St. Felix Jackson – age 2.

[3] Amelia Lydia DARE- wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[4] HSBC

[5] Killynure, Co. Armagh, home of Thompson BROWNE & his wife, Elizabeth JACKSON

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

[7] Eliezer GILMORE & Sarah (JACKSON) GILMORE his wife. She was a sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON & they lived beside Urker at Liscalgot.

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

[9] Two of Eliezer's brothers, David GILMORE and George Coulter GILMORE, apparently emigrated to America.  David left money to Eliezer.  Against George there is a note saying that he did well in America.  SOURCE: Notes from Mary BARTLEY (1900-1980)
In the Memoirs of Mary McNEILL née BARTLEY, a note indicating that about 1900: "Father [Thomas BARTLEY (1862-1949)], I believe, went with Grandfather [Eliezer GILMORE (1845-1919)] to America about something to do with Grandfather's brother's estate.  I never heard the details of their mission except that it was not successful and they returned immediately on account of a typhus outbreak.  Tom Jackson's father stayed with us in Ballycarry Manse while father was away.  The Torr Head, a cargo boat, was their means of transport."  NOTE: In support of this there is a Cabin Passage Permit dated 11th October 1899 for Rev. T. Bartley to travel per S.S. "Torr Head" to New Orleans and back.  Presumably George Coulter GILMORE was based in New Orleans. 

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

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

[12] “Lizzie” Elizabeth Sarah BROWNE, wife of James JACKSON & daughter of Daniel Gun BROWNE & Margaret JACKSON

[13] "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.

[14] Harriet DONALDSON (1817-1891), unmarried and seemingly being cared for by Jemmie & Lizzie.

[15] Elizabeth Johanna JACKSON wife of John DONALDSON and mother of James.

[16] James DONALDSON who had been committed to the Armagh Asylum and then discharged to live at home, but seemingly never recovered.

[17] Samuel BRADFORD of Cavananore

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

[19] Farm near Trim, Co. Meath

[20] Eliza Emily GILMORE wife of Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON

[21] Probably Thomas McCullagh BROWNE – son of Daniel Gunn BROWNE & Margaret JACKSON – also employed by HSBC in the Far East.

[22] Margaret JACKSON, wife of Daniel Gunn BROWNE

[23] Daniel Gunn BROWNE was a trustee in the COULTER-OWNES Marriage agreement

[24] An Edward OWENS (abt 1800-)  married a Sarah COULTER (1812-?) SEE: COULTER-OWENS marriage agreement

[25] Margaret Jackson BROWNE, daughter of  Margaret JACKSON & Daniel Gunn BROWNE

[26] Bird Hill? I don’t know where it is.

[27] Mr. OWENS This is most likely Edward OWENS since his brother, Simon, died in 1879.

[28] The BALL family were major landowners. They held the lease to Urker.

[29] David JACKSON – younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON was in the employ of HSBC

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



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