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The letters that follow were 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 use of them should check with them.
In time, I will hyperlink the letters to the pertinent biographies. For now, if you use a search function in your browser, you should be able to follow the occurance of each name whether that be a "nickname" or proper name.

Sharon Oddie Brown, August 15, 2003

NOTE: The document numbering system originates from Wendy Jack's files and I have retained it for ease of my own reference. It works.




                                                             April 28th, 1893.

My dear Tom, [1]

          You will be surprised to hear that I am married.  I suppose you have not heard of the minister [2] who came to Derryvalley after Mr. Reid [3] left.  Well he is leaving Derryvalley now and going out to California and I am going with him.  We sail (D.V.) Friday next from Derry in the "Anchoria".  We are going out to Jack [4] till my good man gets a congregation.  I feel it very much leaving the old home where I have been for so many years & have so many ties & friends.  Poor James [5] will only have Miss M.Cready [6] to housekeep for him now, and she, poor body, is getting very old and frail.  I was very glad to have a few lines from your wife a few days ago.  It was very kind of her to write & tell me how you all are and about the wee bairns.  So you have three now, little ones to train & care for  It must make you very thoughtful and earnest.  I am sorry, dear, your health is so far from good.  I often thought of you and wondered how you were. I wish you would write to me to California.  My address will be Mrs. Whiteside

    c/o Mr. John McCullagh [7] Eureka, Humboldt Co., California.  U.S.A. Box 161.

I shall be very lonely leaving the old home.  I do not know what news to tell you about it is so long since I wrote to you.  I was down in Cremore with the Reids saying good bye today.  Mary [8] has had a busy time sick nursing lately.  Two of the children took [Scarletnia] & then when they were better two more took influenza & now Howard [9] is ill with inflammation of the brain.  There are four of Mary's boys in America [10] & one in Hong Kong, all getting on well, & still seven children at home four girls and three boys.  Andy [11] & Maggie [12] are living in Slieveroe and have three daughters now, Sarah, Mary [13] & Elizabeth by name.  James [14] is the only one sticks by the old place.  Home rule is greatly talked about here now but I do hope Ireland may never get it.

Letter from Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside




                                                             22/4/96                                                         _________

My dear Nephew Alick [15]

                  I received your very welcome letter, I hope you will always be a very good boy & learn your lessons, And be good & kind to your little Sister & Brother, and God will reward you &  and make you a good man.     X X X X X

kisses for                                       Your loving

Alick, Daisy                                         Aunty Bella

Andrew            X X X X


Dec 2nd 1903 
237 Rathdown St. Carlton, Melbourne

My dear Niece,
I was very grieved to see by your letter this morning that your dear Dadda was ill.  I do hope, dear, he has had a change for the better before this. I shall be quite anxious till I hear from you again.  I enclose a few stamps little money.  May be you will want to get some little thing for him or for Mama.  How I wish I was near you to help nurse both your dear parents.

We are not settled yet.  I fear it's not going to be very soon, but God know what is best, and if we have our health it is the principal thing.  We are all pretty well at present only the good man is feeling a little poorly and Mary [16] is not very strong.  I wish we were over some place near you, this climate is rather trying.  In my last letter from Ireland the news that poor old Mrs. Jackson [17] had passed away was the principal event.  She never recovered after the news of David's [18] death, but she was a good age (89.)  It was stupid of me not to remember the postage and only put a penny on my last letter.  I hope you will write to me very soon.  God bless you, dear and make your dear father and mother well again is the sincere prayer of your loving Aunt

                                            Sallie Whiteside [19]

The children join me in love and kisses to all

                                       For Saidie. [20]




                                                               Nov. 14th, 1909

My dear Tom [21] ,

           I don't know how often I have made up my mind to write to you but, dear, I am kept so busy since we came on our little farm I have neither time nor heart for writing when my work being done I can sit down.  You see I never was much used to work and it "comes odd" to me in my old days.  I suppose you have heard before this of poor Jack's [22] death in Eureka.  He died on the 9th of August. He was sick off and on for about 13 months, had haemarrhages of the brain. After the second attack, he lost the use of his right side and partly lost his speech.  The last attack lasted three hours and as his sons, Tom and Jack, could not nurse him properly they sent him to the hospital, where he died after three days.  The doctor's bills have been very heavy & what with that & the funeral expenses the poor boys are left about $1000 in debt (about £200).  I wish I could help them but I can't.  We are badly handicapped now ourselves since Mr. Whiteside [23] had to give up preaching.  Poor Jack!  The news of his death came as such a shock to me though I knew for a good while that he had been ill.

And now, dear Tom, I want to know how you are yourself.  I hope better in health than you were when you wrote last, and how is the wife and the dear children?  How I should like to see you all again.  The bairns must be greatly grown since I saw them and very useful to you.  I don't know what we should do without our two.  Clair [24] does all the work nearly on the farm and is his father's right hand.  And Mary [25] helps me in the house.  Mary is still going to school though she has got her Merit [26] certificate.  She has grown greatly and is far stouter since she had the typhoid.  Clair is small for his age and very slight,  he is sixteen now.  Mary is thirteen.  Do you still get your money regularly from Canley Rutherford [27] ?  Where are you living now?  Are you renting a house? And how do you keep the pot boiling?  How I wish you were living nearer so that I could see you.  We could have a good chat.

  In haste with love to all


                              [Sallie] [28]

Write soon.


I Samuel Bradford of Carnbeg in the County of Louth gentleman do hereby for myself my heirs executors administrators and assigns promise and covenant to and with Thomas MCullagh [29] of Derryvalley in the County of Monaghan justice of the peace that in consideration that the said Thomas MCullagh shall execute a lease for twenty one years from the first of November last past at the annual rent of two hundred and forty seven pounds sterling of these parts of the land of Cavananore and Anaghvackey lately in the possession of Miss Mary Jane Oliver [30] now deceased I shall and will indemnify the said Thomas MCullagh his heirs executors administrators for and against all damages costs loss and expenses of what kind or nature soever that may or shall in any way (either directly or indirectly) or at any time be incurred by or entailed on the said Thomas MCullagh his heirs executors or administrators in consequence of the said Thomas MCullagh's executing said lease and more particularly for and against all damages costs and expenses of any action which shall or may be brought against the said Thomas MCullagh his heirs executors or administrators by Thomas Jackson [31] Esquire of Hong Kong as Residuary Devisee of the estate of Andrew Coulter Bradford [32] of Cavananore aforesaid or by his representatives in title. In witness whereof I have hereto put my hand and seal this eighteenth day of February eighteen hundred and seventy six.

Signed sealed and delivered in presence of

John W. MCullagh  [signature]

James M Cullagh  [signature]

Sam Bradford  [signature]


Ballibay  Co Monaghan
                                                     26 October 1888

Dear Sir
I enclose you an order for £12.6.4 balance of Rent due you up to 1st November 1887  As soon as I possibly can I will collect this year and forward it to you.  I have not the money myself to forward it or I would send it at once I assure you there is one tenant has not settled out yet for 1887 but I will make him settle both years the coming sessions I am sorry to see you are poorly I hope you are better by the time this reaches.  as soon as ever I can I will send you another remittance the whole year if in my power  All your friends are as usual [????]

With kind regard to you and your family
I remain yours sincerely

                     M M Rutherford [33]

PS  Edward M.[Barry] wanted us to allow him something for repairing his but he lived under a lease and he is just as able to pay it as you are expt to allow me I will give him nothing

                     M M


Co. Monaghan
22 February 1890

Dear Sir

       I enclose you a Draft for £25  I have only got £25 for 1888 and about £20 for 1889  Greys Lease is up in 1888 and the tenants have put Grey in Court and he waiting to see the reductions that they will get and I suppose your Income will be reduced [????] when the matter is settled  I will send you the [bce] for the two years  I am I assure you sending you far more than I have got

Hoping you and your family are all well
Yours sincerely

                                             M M Rutherford

PS Your sister & Brother are well I showed her your letter

                                                       M M


6 February 1892
 To Mr. Thos McCullagh

Dear Sir

       I send you the Rental for 4 years  You see Gray has paid none for these years  Their tenants have brought them to Court and reduced the rent so much they seem to say we owe them something for the annuity  I paid them nothing and I hope to be able to make them pay us [or you] rent as the undertenants we have nothing to do.  I have given the matter to Mr. McWilliam and when I have more news I will let you know.  [to Mills] I think we cannot make out the Title  have you any more Title Deeds if not I cannot see how the Title will be made out  I showed him all the papers I have of you and they cannot see how it will be made out.  I will ask James if he can give us any help.

        Hoping you are all well

Yours truly
M M Rutherford


M M Rutherford & Co.,
General Merchants
22 August 1894

Dear Sir

       In reply to yours in which you acknowledge the £25 I sent you.  I really couldn’t send you the £15 for quarter I have not the cash I am now in [????] and I sometimes get it hard to meet my a/c  The land Gray holds in [Tossy] he has not paid one penny of rent since 1888 and the same [he] has done with Mills [???] and Mr Hubbard.  Mr McWilliam has entered a [call] against them for you and Mills [???] and I expect they will pay with costs  the tenants that E W Gray [34] put in the land went into the Courts and got it reduced near the half so he [wrote] us to pay our share of the costs and take the reduced rent  I believe we will have to take the reduced rent but we will not pay Mr Wright [35] costs  when the matter is settled I will write you at once  In fact I have sent you more cash than I received off the tenants for the past three years  I neednt speak to your brother James [36] on the matter he is [getting] the [world] tight enough himself I dont like the way he is doing.  Hoping you and family are well.

Yours sincerely
M M Rutherford

To Mr T McCullagh [37]


Tue 10 Aug 97,

M.M. Rutherford & Co.
Grocers, Ironmongers
Seedamen, Stationers
Paint, Oil & Color MerchantS

Dear Mr McCullagh

I send you 8 years rental and draft to balance please look over the whole [thi??] and see if it is correct  I dont know when I sent you the last rental  You see all [??] Gray paid since 1888 is £8.17.5 nett.  We strove to make him pay as formerly and spent £2.18.6 in costs but the tenants got the rents reduced and all the parties suffer the same in future you will get something after paying the amounts due to Gray the whole property is awfully mixed  When you get this write at once and I hope to have 1896 rents by then and will forward them as soon as ever I get them and in future I will send you every year a/c complete in itself.  Please look did I send you a draft in 1895 I thought I did but cannot lay my hands on the duplicate but you will know I am sure whether I have entered all I have sent you correctly.  Your brother Andrew [38] died at Slieveroe on 21st July took something on his lungs was about two weeks sick your brother James [39] was with him for near a week before he died.  I suppose you know he has sold Derryvalley and Drummuck sold all out and is living in Lodgings in Warrenpoint still keeps [Annamere] I am managing it for him.  I believe he has plenty to keep him and he is improved and seems quite content.

Andy [40] made a will left all to the wife [41] in trust for his children

I hope you and family are all well Thank God we are all well here

With kind regards,
I remain

Yours sincerely
M M Rutherford


M.M. Rutherford & Co.,
Grocers, Ironmongers,
Seedsmen & Undertakers,
Co. Monaghan.

Mon 28 Nov 04

Mr Thos McCullagh

Dear Mr McCullagh

                I enclose your rental and draft for 1903 I am very sorry to see you are not doing better  There is nothing but trouble in this world but all the time we will be here we must strive and bear it I hope we will all meet where trouble and crying is unknown some very [sudden] deaths here which is a warning to us all.  Hoping you are all well

                       I remain

                           Yours sincerely

                                 M M Rutherford


Thu [19] Nov 08

Dear Mr McCullagh

               I send you all Rents up to November 1907 and the fine I got for [Sum House]  The Rents are not all paid to up to that date yet  I hope you and family are all well  Your brother James [42] is well  I had a letter this week and he was asking had I word from you lately

                                    Yours sincerely

                                          M M Rutherford


Thu 27 Jan 10

Dear Mr McCullagh

I enclose you [part] Rent up to 1908 and Draft for £26.10.0 which I hope you will find in order.
I hear very often from your brother James [43] and generally let him know when I hear from you  He is well  I hope you and yours are all well
General election here great [excitement] I dont know how things will turn out yet but all is decided by a wise Providence and will be I am sure for the best

With kind regards

               I remain

                    Yours sincerely

                          M M Rutherford


10 July 1913

                                                             Caddagh House,


                                                                 Co. Monaghan.

Dear Mr McCullagh

               Your brother James [44] died on Monday the 7 inst in Belfast and was buried yesterday in 1st Ballibay where your father and the rest are buried Rev W Reid son told me that he made a Will and left [Annamece] to Andy's [45] elder son [46] and some money he had to Mrs Whiteside [47] as far as I could gather he has left nothing to you and indeed I think he should  Mr W Reid [48] is Executor and is to come up to me to take Probate out when I get particulars I will send you all I know

  You and Mrs Reid are all left now [49] and my sister and I are all left of our Family  God only knows who may be next called.  May the Lord prepare us all for that change for what is this world nothing in comparison to eternity

  I hope you and your family are well

      With kind regards

          I remain

              Yours sincerely

                  M M Rutherford


[1] Thomas McCullagh (born 1854),  great grandfather of Wendy Jack.

[2] William Sherlock Whiteside

[3] Rev. William Reid, husband of Mary McCullagh

[4] John McCullagh, bother of Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[5] James McCullagh – brother of Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[6] Miss McCready – their governess, long in the family

[7] John McCullagh, brother to Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[8] Mary Reid, wife of William Reid, sister to Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[9] Howard McCullagh Howard Reid son of William Reid & Mary McCullagh

[10] Presumably these were George, Thomas, Robert and James. Andrew would only have been 14 yrs old at this time. Although the birth dates of Mollie, Frank and Jeannie are not known at present, they were probably born after the family left Ballibay in 1881, as their baptism were not recorded in the register with those of the other children. This would put Frank out of contention as one of the brothers in America. The son of William Reid and Mary McCullagh who was in Hong Kong was probably Willie. Sarah Whiteside recorded in her Daily Remembrance Book for 4 Apr 1894 that Willie had visited them in California on his way home from China.

[11] Andrew Bradford McCullagh  brother of Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[12] Margaret (Jackson) (Reid) McCullagh, wife of above.

[13] Mary McCullagh b. abt 1890, therefore 3 years old at time of letter

[14] James McCullagh – brother of Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[15] Alexander James McCullagh b. 1889, son of Thomas McCullagh & Sarah Irwin

[16] Mary Ione Whiteside

[17] Elizabeth (Oliver) Jackson d. 23 October 1903

[18] David Jackson, son of Elizabeth (Oliver) Jackson d. July 27 1903 in Yokohama

[19] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside b. 1852.

[20] Sarah Elizabeth McCullagh, daughter of Thomas McCullagh and Sarah Irwin. Although referred to here as Saidie, she was almost always called Daisy. Apparently when she was very young her father used to call her "my little daisy" and the nickname stuck.

[21] Thomas McCullagh – brother of Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside.

[22] John McCullagh, brother of Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[23] William Sherlock Whiteside, husband of  Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside

[24] Thomas Clair Whitside, son of  Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside

[25] Mary Ione Whiteside, daughter of  Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside

[26] Merit Certificate was grade 8. This was the level at which most kids at that time left school, although Mary went further. Although now the second year of high school in Australia, back then there were few high schools, and most primary schools went up to grade 8.

[27] In other letters referred to as M.M. Rutherford, appears to be the land agent or manager back in Monaghan.

[28] Sarah “Sallie” (McCullagh) Whiteside

[29] possibly Thomas McCullagh who married Mary Bradford, the sister of  Elizabeth Bradford and Andrew Coulter Bradford.

[30] Mary Jane Oliver, died about 1875. Her mother, Elizabeth Bradford was the sister of Andrew Coulter Bradford.

[31]   Sir Thomas Jackson of HSBC

[32] Andrew Coulter Bradford d. May 10, 1847 – 29 years before this. According to Blin, he died unmarried. He was the only son of Thomas Bradford and Elizabeth Breakey.

[33] See document 18 Canley Rutherford M. M. Rutherfor & Co. General Merchants, Ballybay  Matthew McCauley Rutherford was the son of William Rutherford and Esther Reed. The family are buried at Cahans (see At the Ford of the Birches, page 195). Although Esther's age is given as 62 yrs when she died in 1863, she is likely the daughter of Hamilton Reed and Martha Carlile, who according to Mary McNeil was born 4 May 1811 (see Chart 2). The discrepancy in her birthdate may be due to inaccurate transcription or to deterioration of the stone (I think some of the other transcriptions are suspect also). The names Hamilton, Reed/Reid and Bartley were carried on in the family. Matthew seems to have been a jack-of-all-trades, and to have had a finger in many a Ballybay pie, from reading the Murnanes' book. The letterheads on his correspondence range from a very plain, low-key M.M. Rutherford & Co., General Merchants, Ballybay to my favourite: M.M. Rutherford & Co., Grocers, Ironmongers, Seedsmen & Undertakers, Ballibay, Co. Monaghan. Nothing like diversity!

[34] See Murnane, page 479. Of interest, amongst the tenants in the property accounts as well as Gray there are the Duffy brothers. I wonder if they are connected to the Felix Duffy on page 474?

[35] The Wright family figures in various intermarriages, but this one may simply be coincidental

[36] Likely James McCullagh, brother to Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[37]   Thomas McCullagh, brother to Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside  All of Rutherford's letters were to the great grandfather of Wendy Jack. By the time he inherited the property, William Martin was handling the property management. It is possible that this is the same Willam Martin referred to in Richard Binney Orr's letter.

[38] Andrew Bradford McCullagh

[39] James McCullagh

[40] Andrew Bradford McCullagh

[41] Margaret (Jackson) McCullagh – who was 44 years old and about 5-6 months pregnant at the time with her 10th child

[42] James McCullagh

[43] James McCullagh

[44] James McCullagh

[45] Andrew Bradford McCullagh

[46] George David McCullagh I wonder who it passed to after his death in the war?

[47] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[48] Is this Rev Reid, or was son Willie back from Asia?

[49] Thomas McCullagh was the recipient of the letter - but his sister Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside was still alive too.Mary (McCullagh) Reid also still alive - the sister of Thomas McCullagh and Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside- was the Mrs. Reid referred to..


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