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This is one of the 77 letters and documents that surfaced in a bog in Ireland. NEWS: death of Ellen DONALDSON & one of Dr. MILL's daughters; George STEPHENS in financial need; Sam BRADFORD still behind in rent, but elected an elder in Dundalk church; ten new Commissioners - Thompson BROWN not successful; money from David JACKSON covered Ellen DONALDSON's rent.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 9, 2006
Updated March 22, 2010

Urker Jan 2nd 1889


My dear Tom


            We have got Xmas & New Year’s day over as comfortably and well; but some sad things happened. Ellen Donaldson [1] died on Sabbath week, after a short illness; of inflammation of the lungs; and one of Dr. Mills’ [2] daughters is to be buried in Creggan today. She died in Dublin. Mary Menary [3] is here and I gave her the ₤5 you sent; also a pound to Ellen [4] who is still with us. The other ₤4 I did not give to the people about the place; as David [5] had sent cash of, them a pound; but I gave it to some people whom I know to be in great distress; one of whom was George Stephens [6] , a cousin of your Father, whom I have always helped. I am sure you were thinking of us all at Xmas; so were we of you. Please God it will be the last Xmas that you will be far away;


            I think I told you in a former letter that I was willing that you should return by America if you thought it best. Just pray to God for direction; and then do whatever is impressed upon your mind. One thing I am uneasy about; Cousin Sam’s [7] affairs are in every body’s mouth; & the rent cannot be got from him. I dread lest he would write to you; or entrap you on your arrival. Have no dealings with him until after you see us. He is a kittle [8] customer, & capable of playing any trick. There have been ten new Commissioners appointed. Thompson Brown [9] was a candidate but was not successful. I must give you an extract from “The Dundalk Herald” which is not bad; we had a laugh at it. After examining the new Commissioners. “The Herald says – “For the ten new appointments, there were over 1200 candidates, about 20 of them hailing from Co. Louth; the (sic) the generous hearted proprietors of Carnbeg [10] it is stated being one of the number. If so he has failed again. But what he has lost in [Mammon?], he has gained in Righteousness; for we are informed that he was elevated last week by the Dundalk Presbyterian Congregation an elder of this Kirk”! (December 22nd 1888)


            If any thing worth writing occurs before the middle of the month, I shall write you again. If I don’t write you may conclude that all is well. The only thing at present, worse than usual, is that Andy McCullagh [11] has got some complaint in his throat which Dr Elliot [12] made him go to Belfast about; to have the address of a Specialist. I fear it is something serious else Dr Elliot could have dealt with it himself.


            Father [13] sends his love and blessing to you; and desires that when you are coming, you will write here; and that he will meet you at the station himself. Ellen requests me to thank you for the ₤s you sent her; that and one from David paid her mother’s rent. Ever dear Tom your loving Mother,

                        Eliza Jackson


[1] Ellen DONALDSON (1816- December 25th, 1888), daughter of William DONALDSON & Jane Elizabeth RUNCIE.. She had property in Newry and died unmarried.

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

[3] Mary MENARY, daughter of Mary JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[4] Ellen ?

[5] David JACKSON brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[6] George STEPHENS, a son of Thomas STEPHENS & Barbara JACKSON

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

[8] OED: “Ticklish; difficult to deal with; requiring great caution or skill; unsafe to meddle with; as to which one may easily go wrong or come to grief; risky, precarious ‘nice’ delicate.” It is an adjective of Scots origin.

[9] Thompson BROWN of Killynure, husband of Elizabeth JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[10] Carnbeg, Co. Louth home of COULTERs and BRADFORDs. This would be a refereence to Samuel BRADFORD (1846-1915)

[11] Andrew Bradford MCCULLAGH – husband of Maragret JACKSON who was a sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[12] Dr. ELLIOT?

[13] David JACKSON (1814-1889)



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