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This is one of the 77 letters & documents from the bog in Ireland. NEWS: According to Eliza, Elizabeth BRADFORD & Sally McCULLAGH had "both wished to die"; TJ honoured by Sir Claude MacDONALD; the Derryvalley auction; J[?] McCULLAGH to Warrenpoint; Derryvalley & Drummuch sold & Shantanaugh burned to the ground; Urker is good; Mary GRIFFIN & Mary MENARY in Dublin; Eva REED with ELiza at Urker; TJ's wife going to Eastbourne; Olivia MCREADY has died; Mary MCCREADY with McCULLAGHs at Drummuck; Cavananore looking good with another "house" on it; Liscalgot people well; Thomas McCullagh BROWNE back from East; reports on finances involving Cavananore, Derryvalley, Tullyvallen & Alexander DICKIE; David JACKSON expected home for Xmas; no change in Kilteban.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 24, 2006
Updated March 26, 2010

* I may have mistaken the date of this letter. It may be May 26th, 1896. Given that there is a brief letter on May 21st, this would make more sense.

Urker May 20th*  1896

My dearest and best Son,


            Although I am become very bad at writing, I must endeavour to write a line in reply to your of the 9th & 15th of April. I see you did not forget my birthday; but you mistook the day; it was the 10th not the 11th of April that I began my earthly pilgrimage; & a weary pilgrimage it was for many a day; & would be till this day; only that I had a good God and a good Son. Blessed be they both.


            I see you have a good memory for old stories. You & I were both right about my death. Had things continued as they were at that time, I could not have lived very long; for mind & body could not very long have sustained the strain that was on them at that time. Yet, I must have been in a fit of despondency at that time for in general I hoped to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living; & I always wished to live for the sake of my children. I often said that if I could never do more for them than give them a good advice & pray for them, they would be better to leave me than to want me. But faith & courage will fail sometimes; even King David said that he would one day fall by the hand of Saul; though he had been anointed by the prophet Samuel, King of Israel. The experience of my dear Mother [1] & of dear Sally McCullagh [2] was a warning to me; they both wished to die. I cannot help thinking it a selfish wish. I would rather live & take share of whatever was going, good or evil. I think you took very much after me. In one of your late letters you said that the longer you lived, the more you agreed with my opinions. [?] will always be, for I hold no opinion that is not founded on reason & scripture. Speaking of old stories, do you remember the day in Connaght that you said that your birthday was on the griddle & the griddle turned & the birthday fell into the fire? I always celebrated my children’s birthdays, in my own poor fashion; for I took every child as a blessing; according to the old proverb, “Hope for the best, & maybe it will happen”.


            I cannot tell you how much I was gratified by the reports of the entertainment that was given to Claude [Macdonald?] [3] at which you were Chairman. To think of my Son being so honoured, & spoken of! If those who trampled me down & made little of me had lived to see this day; what a change it would make! People should never forget that “the earth is the Lord’s & the fullness thereof”. I always taught my children never to despise any one for those who were beneath them now, might be above them hereafter; & never to envy any one, for if they could see the future, they might see those were now liable to be envied, might hereafter be ones to be pitied than envied.


            Dear Tom, teach your children the same. Look at the McCullagh family; grieved I am for them, & I paid a sorrowful visit the week before last, to bid farewell to Derryvalley [4] . The house is very much out of repair, the garden a wilderness & every thing outside & inside had the auctioneer’s hammer cracking over it.  I did not see it on the day of the auction but the day before. [Jemmy] McCullagh [5] is gone to live in lodgings in Warrenpoint [6] . He looked very ill and poor. Sarah [7] is deeply grieved at the loss of the old place. The McCullaghs of Drummuck [8] are much as usual; & I think I have got your securities put upon a proper footing so that there will be no loss, excepting some interest which I know you do not grudge. How true is that scripture The good are taken away from the evil to come. Derryvalley [9] & Drummuck [10] are sold & Shantanaugh [11] is burned to the ground. If dear old grandmother [12] had lived to see these things & many more they would have grieved her to the heart.


            Now for house news. Urker [13] is in full flower, & never looked better. I am in good health but very deaf and infirm; still however able to walk about. Mary Griffin [14] & Mary Menary [15] are in Dublin & Eva Reed [16] is staying with me in their absence. I had a letter from Minnie [17] today; all were well, except that Bee [18] had a sore throat. Minnie longs to be here to get some rest & quiet, but cannot come just yet; as she is going to Eastbourne [19] .


            Olivia Mcready [20] is dead, & had left ₤500 of which Mary Mccready [21] will probably get half; but she is not yet sure whether Olivia made a will or not. Mary Mccready is gone to live with the McCullaghs [22] in Drummuck & seems to be very comfortable there.


            Cavananore [23] never looked better than it does now; it has another “house” on it (as John McCabe [24] used to say) since it got out of Cousin Sam’s [25] hands. If he had had it much longer, it would not have been much worth. Liscalgot [26] people are all well. So are Jemmy [27] & Lizzie [28] . Tom Brown [29] is home, he is [never?] changed in the East than you are.


            My income is not as much as it was formerly. Cavananore does not pay me much more than half what it did; for Sam Bradford put it in the Land Court & got the rent reduced; & Derryvalley & Tullyvallen [30] being a joint property are in the hands of the Receiver who has been appointed over Sam’s property; but eventually I am told, we will get our share. Aunt Donaldson’s [31] money pays me only 2 ½ per cent. It is in the Belfast bank. I wished to put it in the Hong kong Bank, or also to buy Railway shares with it; but that contrary little animal, Alexander Dickie [32] would not allow it. However, I want for nothing & am able to pay my way & keep the constable from the door; thanks be to God and you.


            It is hard to tell when I wrote so much. I hope you may be able to read it. I have not heard from David [33] lately, but some time ago he wrote that he hoped to eat his Xmas dinner in Urker.



            No change in Kilteban [34] . They desired me to thank you for the Xmas box; but I believe I forgot to do so. They were very thankful. If prayers be good for the Hongkong Bank, you & it get plenty of them. Ten thousand times ten thousand loves & blessings to you and yours from your ever affectionate Mother Eliza Jackson.


[1] Elizabeth BRADFORD died age 40 (1785-1825). She was the sister of Andrew Coulter BRADFORD & Margaret BRADFORD. and the daughter of Thomas BRADFORD & Elizabeth BREAKEY.

[2] This may be Sarah McCULLAGH (1816-1857) – a first cousin of Eliza (OLIVER) JACKSON and daughter of Thomas McCULLAGH & Mary BRADFORD. She married her cousin Thomas McCULLAGH of Derryvalley.

[3] Sir Claude MacDONALD (1852-1915) - British Minister with a soldiering background SEE: Wikipedia

[4] Derryvalley, Co. Monaghan

[5] James McCULLAGH (?-1913)the son of Thomas McCULLAGH & Sarah McCULLAGH and a brother of Andrew Bradford McCULLAGH (husband of Margaret JACKSON). He died unmarried in Belfast. See RUTHERFORD letter

[6] Warrenpoint. There were lodgings at 27 Seaview Terrace, Warrenpoint, Co. Down which was where another relative - Edith Treweek Coulter (daughter of Joseph Arthur COULTER)- committed suicide in 1931 (SEE: http://www.user.dccnet.com/s.brown/documents/Miss_McCreadys_newsclippings.htm

[7] Sarah McCULLAGH – This may be the Sarah McCULLAGH (1852-1939) who married William Sherlock WHITESIDE and subsequently resided in California and then Australia.

[8] McCULLAGHs of Drummuck are the descendants of Eliza WALLACE & James McCULLAGH

[9] Derryvalley, Co. Monaghan – associated with McCULLAGH family.

[10] Drummuck, Co. Monaghan – associated with the McCULLAGH family – James McCULLAGH & Eliza WALLACE and their children lived there.

[11] Shantanaugh, Co. Monaghan (near Ballybay – I believe) is first associated with the family of Sarah “Sally” McCARTER (d. 1816) who married James McCULLAGH. She was the great grandmother of Sir Thomas JACKSON. The property was subsequently associated with the McCULLAGH family.

[12] Elizabeth McCULLAGH (1788-1880) – grandmother of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[13] Urker, Co. Armagh the family home of the JACKSONs.

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

[15] Mary MENARY (1872-1946) daughter of Mary (JACKSON) (MENARY) GRIFFIN – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[16] Eva Oliver REED (1876-1948), daughter of Robert Hamilton REED & Margaret JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

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

[18] Beatirce Minnie Shrieve JACKSON – daughter of Amelia Lydia DARE & Sir Thomas JACKSON

[19] Eastbourne?

[20] Olivia McCREEDY – she and her sister Mary were likely related to the McCREEDYs of Ballybay.

[21] Mary McCREEDY sister of Olivia McCREEDY. She was a governess to the McCULLAGH family & died at Drummuck Cottage, Co. Monaghan on Dec 21, 1896.

[22] The McCullaghs of Drummuck – home of at least some of the surviving children of  James McCULLAGH & Eliza WALLACE.

[23] Cavananore, Co. Louth – a property that had been in the hands of COULTERs and BRADFORDS and was now thanks to Sir Thomas JACKSON back in JACKSON hands.

[24] John McCABE – mentioned in connection with Kiltebane in letter dated Oct 15, 1874.

[25] Samuel BRADFORD (1846-1915) - he was long a thorn in Eliza's side when it came to dealings over Cavananore.

[26] Eliezer GILMORE & Sarah JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[27] James JACKSON – brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[28] Elizabeth Sarah BROWNE, wife of James JACKSON and daughter of Daniel Gunn BROWNE & Margaret JACKSON.

[29] AT first I thought this might be Thompson BROWN, son of Thompson BROWN & Elizabeth JACKSON but on further reflection, I suspect it is more likely to be Thomas McCullagh BROWNE - son of Daniel Gunn BROWNE & Margaret JACKSON.

[30] Tullyvallen, a townland where other JACKSONs lived – but they are ones that I cannot yet place.

[31] “Aunt DONALDSON” is Barbara BRADFORD (1783-1865) who married William DONALDSON of Freeduff. SEE: http://www.user.dccnet.com/s.brown/documents/1863-will-Donaldson-barbara.htm

[32] This is probably Alfred Alexander DICKIE (1868-1933), solicitor. His father was an executor of various family estates. His parents were Alexander DICKIE & Anna Maria McCULLAGH. She was the daughter of William McCULLAGH & Sarah WALLACE. This is where some of the family entanglements get a little murky.  These DICKIEs lived at Roachdale, a townland close to Cavananore in Co. Louth

[33] David JACKSON, youngest surviving brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[34] It is still a mystery as to who all the family were who lived at Kiltebane (Kiltebane, Kiltyban). Certainly, Eliza's son, James, and his wife Elizabeth BROWNE lived there. In Creggan burials there is mention of an Elizabeth DONALDSON from Kilteban who died at age 93 on March 22, 1900. There is also a mention in Griffiths of a Samuel BROWNE (a possible link to Thompson BROWN and/or Daniel Gunn BROWNE. Inscriptions in Cullyhanna Cemetary mention a Michael McMAHON of Kilteban who died in 1917. There are various Kilteban leases tied in to Thompson BROWN (SEE: http://www.use.dccnet.com/s.brown/documents/1871BROWNThompson.htm In these leases there is a tie in with both an Elizabeth DONALDSON & Margaret BRADFORD. Kilteban is also mentioned in a will of 1881 of Rev. Joseph DONALDSON, Fermoy, Co. Cork who died Dec 1, 1880. His wife’s name was Mary (SOURCE p. 314 irish Edition of Alexander ban Donaldson by Ronald Lee Donaldson 1989.) This reference would be to Joseph R. DONALDSON (1821-1880) son of Alexander DONALDSON & Elizabeth JENKINS. His wife Mary DICKIE was the daughter of Robert DICKIE and Mary Anne WALLACE. The Rev. Joseph DONALDSON who married Mary DICKIE was a brother of the John DONALDSON who married Elizabeth Johanna JACKSON..



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