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This letter was transcribed thanks to the considerable efforts of Wendy Jack. The footnotes were prepared by myself and then verified (and corrected or amplified) by Wendy. Many of the letters are the property of Betty Whiteside and/or Wendy Jack. Any researchers who wish to make further use of them should check with them first.
Sharon Oddie Brown, modified June 8, 2005
Update June 26, 2016





Dating this letter is a challenge. It was one of Sarah WHITESIDE’s letters, which means it is most likely that it was sent some time after her marriage in 1893. Ben OLIVER died in 1902, so it would have to be before that. If my other suppositions are correct (about the “lum”), then the letter was written between April and October 1893.


My darling little wife[2]

                     I was very glad to get your little letter how long ago I quite forget.  We have had nothing but visitors, cooking and eating this last long time and since "the lamb"[3] left nothing but loneliness and [redding] up. I had very little pleasure during his visit as Miss C[4]. was here Bessie[5] and Thompson[6] Dada[7] & Bea Oliver[8] so you may guess I had something to do besides talking to him.  I did not get an application of the paving stone at all and am consequently in wretched humour since I spent Thursday evening at Blackrock with Mrs. Alexander[9].  Miss Maggie[10], Miss Elizabeth[11] & I drove up in our car.  The Gilstons[12] are there yet & were asking for you.  Mrs. G. is very much better and is able to walk a little.

    Dada & Mamma are thinking of going to it for a while now. it is quite full still.  Wee Paddy[13] is there and was most happy to see me.  I did not observe "Smiler"[14].  Uncle Wm[15]. did not come up he sent Ben[16] instead.  I wish you saw Ben, he is the greatest oddity you ever met.

    The house here is as quiet now as your own.  Andy[17] is at Armagh since Tuesday last and Sally[18] in Dublin so that we are "three jolly girls" [19] I believe Aunt P.[20] is the liveliest of the party.  Please tell me what your "lum"[21] is about and if it is better.  Have you got your room settled yet

    All here are well and hoping your household are in the same condition  And with fond love to each I am

                          Your ever loving



[1] Cavananore was the home of relations of the JACKSONs – OLIVERs, BRADFORDs & COULTERs. 

[2] Sarah WHITESIDE née McCULLAGH (1852-1939), daughter of Thomas McCULLAGH & Sarah McCULLAGH (cousins who wed).

[3] “the lamb” – this sounds as if it could be a visit from Sir Thomas JACKSON, brother of Mary GRIFFIN née JACKSON (1844-1921)

[4] Miss C. Could this be a COULTER?

[5] Elizabeth “Bessie” BROWNE née JACKSON (1843-1923)

[6] Thompson BROWNE (1837-1915), husband of Elizabeth JACKSON.

[7] Dada? This may be Andrew Bradford McCULLAGH (1848-1897), father of Sarah WHITESIDE and husband of Margaret JACKSON.

[8] Bea [sic] Ben OLIVER – at least I suspect this is so.

[9] Mrs. ALEXANDER. Possibly the wife of Samuel ALEXANDER. Their son, Rev. Andrew ALEXANDER, would later marry Alice Margaret McCULLAGH (1894-1945)

[10] Maggie

[11] Elizabeth

[12] GILSTON. One possibility would be a Sarah GILSON (1838-?), widow, who according to the 1901 census was a cousin of Anne WARNOCK (1821-?), widow..

[13] Paddy. I suspect that this is Claude Stewart JACKSON, (1892-1917), a son of Sir Thomas JACKSON & Amelia Lydia DARE. His pet name was Pat aka Paddy.

[14] “Smiler”? dunno who this might be.

[15] I do not know who Uncle William might be.

[16] probably Ben OLIVER

[17] Probably Andrew Bradford McCULLAGH, husband of Margaret JACKSON

[18] Sally – probably Sarah GILMORE née JACKSON

[19] “three jolly girls” I suspect Mary GRIFFIN is referring to her sisters: Elizabeth BROWNE & Margaret.McCULLAGH

[20] Aunt P is likely Aunt Peggy aka Margaret McCULLAGH née JACKSON

[21] “lum” – this may be code for the first born child of Sarah WHITESIDE. She was married April 3, 1893, and she and her husband immediately left for America. Their first child was born Oct 1, 1893 – 6 months after the marriage.

[22] Mary GRIFFIN née JACKSON (1844-1921)


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