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This is one of the 77 letters and documents retrieved from a bog in Ireland. NEWS: All the family are healthy; TJ's son Tom is visiting with his regimental iniform; crops are not planted due to inclement weather; David JACKSON returning for Xmas and not going back to Far East; Eliza advises TJ that David should support the costs of Urker; Derryvalley sold by James McCULLAGH to BOYD; in Eliza's opinion - James McCULLAGH of Corfad is the only successful McCULLAGH; Biddy McCABE is well taken care of; CORR dealt with securities; birth of Mary Ione WHITESIDE.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 23, 2006
Updated March 26, 2010


Urker March 11 1896


My dearest Son – Though not good at writing, I must endeavour to scribble a few lines to you. We are all fairly well. Mary Menary [1] though, not very strong (I fear she never will be) is able to go about as usual, and can take her food. Liscalgot [2] people are well, Killynure [3] folk are pretty well over that dreadful turn of scarlatina, Andy [4] & family are well. Peggy [5] was here last week; her children were well except for colds. Your Tom [6] has been here since last Saturday. He is a fine tall fellow with no puppyish airs about him. We all like him very much. At my request he brought his uniform with him that I might see him in it; but he would not wear it to Church as I wanted him to do. I believe he was right; for it would have only set the congregation staring.


            Your children in England are well; I am looking forward with great delight to seeing them and Minnie [7] and Dorothy [8] , and the two youngest that I never yet saw. I wish they were safe off the sea. We have had terrible weather since March came in, nothing but down pours of rain, & a good deal of wind also. I hope it may be calmer at sea, when our voyages are.


            We have not one potato planted, nor one grain of corn sown owing to the weather; it could not be done. I was greatly surprised when David [9] wrote that he hoped to eat his Xmas dinner with us. I have heard since (but not from him) that he does not intend to go back. I can not believe it nor do not wish it to be true. One thing I wish to say to you, and only for which I could scarcely have attempted to write; when I am  [re?ved], let David bear the expenses of this place. He has the best right to do so, as the place is to be his, after my death; and whatever you may do for your old Mother while she lives; you have no right to do anything for a man who is able to do for himself, after she is gone. I am in the best of health and as happy as the day is long. This day month I shall have entered my 82nd year, & am willing either to live or die. Ere this you will have heard that James McCullagh [10] has sold Derryvalley [11] & his part of Drummuck [12] to one Boyd [13] , a butcher in Ballybay. I am very sorry; but I believe he could not help it, he was so heavily in debt (without any fault of his own) that he found it hard to pay the interest and the labourers. What an unlucky family the McCullaghs were, not one of them did any great things, but James [14] ,  the son of James McCullagh [15] of Corfad [16] .


            Biddy McCabe [17] is well & comfortable. You say truly that I would not let one old follower want. I know that “It is more blessed to give, than to receive”, and I knew that when I had but little to give. [Kila?] McCabe [18] works here when there is any [?t?rsk]. She is pretty well, but will never be very stout. I have been with Mr Corr [19] about your securities; I expect that all will be made over before long.


            Sarah McCullagh [20] (Mrs. Whiteside) had a young daughter [21] last month her second child. She was very thankful for what you sent her.


            I recollect nothing more worth writing; & you am very tired writing; so with ten thousand times ten thousand blessings to you and your wife and children. I am your ever affectionate and grateful Mother

                        Eliza Jackson


[1] Mary MENARY (1872-1946), daughter of William MENARY & Mary JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[2] Liscalgot if the neighbouring farm where Eleizer GILMORE and wife Sarah JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON live.

[3] Killynure, CO. Armagh is the farm where Thompson BROWNE & wife Elizabeth JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON – live.

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

[5] “Peggy” Margaret (JACKSON) (REID) McCULLAGH – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[6] Thomas Dare JACKSON (1876-1954)

[7] Amelia Lydia DARE wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[8] Dorothy St. Felix JACKSON

[9] David JACKSON youngest surviving brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[10] James McCULLAGH – this is probably the James McCULLAGH (1843-1913) son of Thomas McCULLAGH of Derrivalley & his wife, Sarah McCULLAGH.

[11] Derryvalley, Co. Monaghan

[12] Drummuck, Co. Monaghan

[13] BOYD? In the 1910 Ulster Directory there is a listing for a Francis BOYD, butcher in Ballybay. In 1894, a Francis BOYD, butcher was an executor for anotherBallybay butcher: Francis SOMERVILLE.

[14] James McCULLAGH (1834-1910) son of James McCULLAGH & Sarah MURDOCK

[15] James McCULLAGH (1796-1880) son of Thomas McCULLAGH & Jane REED.

[16] Corfad, Co Monaghan.

[17] This is probably Bridget McCabe who was a caretaker on the farm at Liscalgot, and at the time of the 1901 census was a widow, aged 66. She was also Gaelic speaking. Also, a John McCABE may have been related to her – he was one of the men who illegally sprung the JACKSON livestock that had been impounded by the bailiff in 1850.

[18] McCABE – I am guessing a son or daughter of Biddy McCABE.

[19] William Richard CORR (1849-1911), a solicitor and neighbour who lived at Urker House.

[20] Sarah McCULLAGH (1852-1939) married Rev. William Sherlock WHITESIDE (1860-1916)

[21] Mary Ione WHITESIDE (b. Feb 11, 1896 in California, USA.



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