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NOTE: The first sets of letters give background which I won't repeat here - only to say that in this set I am even more indebted to Wendy Jack for the thoroughness with which she studies the details, finds linkages and corrects false suppositions.
Sharon Oddie Brown. August 15, 2003


Document 88

May 4th, 1920

Dearest Sally [1]

            Your letter of March 15th arrived yesterday.  You had heard of my being poorly but have likely long since heard that I am all right.  I feel as strong as I can expect to feel at 76.  Like you I don't feel that I want to die yet.  I never met any one who did.  For myself I feel and know that I am a miserable sinner but as some old worthy said "The Lord Jesus is a great Saviour"

It is wonderful how little faith or sense of religion is in the world just now. Even among our own family neither girls nor boys will read a really religious book.  Nothing but novels on Sunday or Saturday.  Even Brownie [2] going to marry a clergyman never took a book on Sunday evgs but a novel to read.  I don't believe she ever read even The Pilgrim's Progress.  My own Molly [3] just the same.  It was so different in our young days.

    I hope you had a nice visit from Mary [4] and your dear wee grand child.  I am sure you would make a great pet of her and spoil her.  My Mickie [5] is a dear big fellow now and as fond of his grandmother as ever.  I see very little of him now since he went to Belfast to Harland & Wolfe's. [6]   How little we thought in the old days that you and I would live so far apart and never likely to meet again in this world.  I live greatly in the past and forget what happens lately but old days are quite fresh.

    Jackie McCullagh [7] is home to Slieveroe to say goodbye before going for six years to Singapore.  Molly Mc. [8] went home to stay during his visit.  I have no niece with me the last little while but Molly will be back soon as Jack leaves.

    I am got to write very badly.  Fran Brown [9] has gone back to Poughkeepsie but Blin [10] is not going at present.  Bessie [11] , my sister, is not so well again.  She suffers badly from indigestion.  I think my heart is not so bad as it was.  I have still an intermittent pulse but I feel all right.

    My love to Clair [12] & Mary Ione [13]

                 Your ever loving old cousin
                               Mary Griffin [14]

Document 89


My Dearest Sally [15] ,

                On Friday I got from Slieveroe little Peggie's [16] photo.  She is a dear little girl and looks strong and healthy.  I hope she has started to walk. I hope Mary and the boy are all right.  She will be kept far too busy for health or happiness I fear.  There should be a law made to prevent people from having babies oftener than once in six years.  Then they would be a pleasure instead, as is often the case, of being a hard trial.  I hope you are keeping fit for all you have to do.  I often think how well I am off beside any of us.  I have Anne O'Hare to dress or undress me and Molly McCullagh [17] to cook dainties for me.  I lie in bed for breakfast every day since I got this cold at Xmas time and have never got rid of.  It is nice to have your nephew [18] for company to Clair [19] and you. I have not seen my Molly [20] since November.  She was here then for my birthday - 76 How many I have seen pass away.  I had Maggie [21] for a week lately.  She is looking well.  She was sad to think of George [22] who will soon be dead two years.  Bessie Brown [23] is wonderfully well just now.  No sign of peace in Ireland.  We need another Cromwell.

    I cannot write much I get so tired and my sight is dim

                         Fond love.  Yr ever
                                        Mary Griffin [24]

P.S.  Sally Gilmore [25] is in Dublin

Document 90

                                                                18th Oct. 1881

My dearest Sally [26] ,

                Your welcome note gave us all great pleasure this morning, to learn that my dear Mary [27] had her confinement safely over and both she and her little daughter [28] were so well.  Thank God for his great mercy it is a relief to my mind as I have been thinking so much about her lately.  I trust baby will be a blessing and comfort to her father & mother.

    I see by the paper that Dr. Nesbitt has succeeded in getting the Dispensary. I suppose he would be more agreeable to Maggie [29] than a total stranger.  Will she continue to live at Slieveroe  I was glad to hear lately that poor Robert [30] had his wife insured for £2000.  I hope it is true.  I also heard that Maggie is in the family way.  Is that true?  Alicia [31] wrote to you last night so you have all our news.  Hannah [32] is thank God finely again.  Annie [33] & Alicia are away to Armagh with their father today.

    Mrs. Barkley [34] is now staying in New Hollow with Mrs. Brown.  She came to see me lately Miss Lizzie was with her.  I asked her (Mrs. B) to spend part of this week with me, but she has so many invitations, she has no time.  And I fear my time is wearing away for I feel very feeble, and I have a nasty cold hanging over me all week which will not go, but I am nursing it.  God bless you.

                                    Your affectionate friend
                                         Mary Jane McKean [35]

Document 91

 8th April 1893

My dear Sally [36] ,

             Please accept the enclosed as a wedding present from your attached friends at Millmount.  We will pray for your happiness in this world and in the world to come.  No doubt your intended husband will gain a great prize.  We sincerely hope and trust that he will be very good and kind to you, and that you will both bear and forbear and be very happy.

    It grieve us very much to think that you are going away so far from us, most likely never to meet in this world, but hope we will in Heaven.

    God bless you my dear friend and believe me

                          Yours most affectionately
                                   Wm McKean [37]

Document 92

17Novr 1893   
8 o'c after Tea


My dearest Sallie [38] ,

                 I was indeed delighted to have the reading of your two most interesting letters, the first to Miss McCready [39] which she sent on to me after they had read it at Slieveroe.  Then last week Mary [40] sent me from Belfast the last one giving the great account of your journey & settling in Ione.  What you must have suffered from the heat.  I hope it is cooler now, and that you & Mr. Whiteside [41] are keeping quite well, & that he is quite recovered from the cold he had.  We felt the cold here intensely after enjoying so much lovely hot summer weather.  This night there is a great storm.  We have already had some severe frosts, our pond covered with ice!!  I conclude you got my last dated 29th Sept as you had heard of dear Alice Gardiner being called home.  Her mother is expected home next week from Jennie Gordon's.  Miss Houghton has her sister with her at Annvale - but she will soon leave her.  I very often think of you dear friend & fancy you busy in your new home.  I am so glad Mr. Whiteside has got a congregation and trust you will both be the means of doing much good in our Master's service.  I am sure you will be learning the organ before long.  It is a great change in the service for you.  Just fancy we are going to have the railway at last through Keady!!  They might have made it years ago when you & I could have exchanged visits more frequently.  The Midland Great Western are to bring the line from Kings Court to Castleblayney, on here to Armagh to Cookstown, so we are in the midst of changes of all kinds.  Then Dr. Allen is going to leave this with his family to take charge of The Retreat as his father has retired to Warrenpoint.  So already seven young Doctors are busy canvassing all who have a vote.  Dr. John Elliott & Jimmie came to canvas for their brother Dr. Bertie Elliott.  We had not seen the former for years, & at first Father thought he wanted Keady for himself!! and was quite ready to vote for him, but of course it was his young brother he was working for.  The election will not be till January.  There may be a great number in the field by then.  Miss McCready wrote me twice lately and was so good as to send me her photo which is a splendid likeness of her.  I suppose it is the same as yours.  They are to have a sale of works next month, but I could not promise to send this time as I am more fully occupied in the office every day at this season than later on, and have nothing ready.  As for painting I have done nothing for ages.  Aunt Sarah is away in Edinburgh last three weeks she crossed with Miss Kirk, and proved a very bad sailor but you must have suffered a lot.  It was dreadful.  I hope you have long ere this quite recovered all bad effects of that journey.  Have you any land with the house, or a cow?  I will enclose a tiny packet of poppy seeds saved from one your plants.  May be they well grow.  I am glad you gained a prize for yr exhibits.  Ione is not marked on our maps.  I read in a paper lately an account of Wolfe Ione's career I suppose he gave his name to your place.  It is a long distance from Eureka from the time you spent on the journey.  Father was two days in Dublin & Lusk last week, and twice in Armagh at Land Court this week, and is now writing rent receipts beside me.  He loves to hear about you & talk too.  May the Lord bless and keep you & yr husband safe, and may we meet again here, or where there are no more partings.  I was reading a letter of yours to me written about 20 years ago!!  You said you were fast growing into the sere & yellow leaf stage!!  What are we now?  Tell me if the postage is all right.  I don't wish you to have any to pay on it.  I wrote to Eva Reed [42] when sending her your letter.  It was a happy plan sending it to all the friends. Father [43] and Annie [44] unite with me in fondest love to your dearest self & kindest regards to Mr. Whiteside

                       from your ever affectionate friend
                                   Ellie McKean [45]

Document 93

My Own dearest Sallie [46]

                    May God bless you all and bring you safely over the sea to the new country in S. Africa.  I pray the dear children may soon be strong again and that you dear wll not suffer on the voyage.  I hope Cis will let me know the name of yr steamer.  You must be weary of all the packing up but I hope you will have time to get the naphtha & powder also camphor.  In a letter from Willie [47] yesterday he said there were 40 masons & bricklayers at work on new mill & next week he hoped to have 80 so the building is going quickly.  I wish you had seen him.  I had a letter from Bessie McMath yesterday she & Arthur are talking of California before next winter.  I hope dear you will let us know how you all get on.  Father & Annie join me in fondest love & every good wish for your happiness.

    Believe me always your most loving friend
                           Ellie McKean [48]

Document 94

                                                              3rd March 1903

My Dear Sallie [49] ,

              Yours to Alicia this morning has given us all fresh thought for you & your darling little pets.  We all hope & pray that the change will agree with you all.  I am sure you will be very busy so tell Sissy Reid I will expect her to write to me to tell when news of you comes from afar.  Africa does not seem as far as California partly because there are so many from Keady there & they are always going & coming.  I wrote to Mary Menary [50] since Christmas to ask how her mother [51] was keeping & I find from her our relation which Mary wrote & when I heard I knew it perfectly.  Your fathers mother [52] was a Miss Bartley.  Mrs. Jackson said sister to my grand father but I think from looking at the Bartley papers & dates [53] she must have been his aunt.  That can be settled when I find her name.  I am sure you will be amused at me writing this.  Mrs. Jackson said yr mother was not related but I always heard there was an intermarriage in an older generation that she was a far out one.  This is all I know now & shortly there will be more.  I remember the Bartley name in the country.

    I hope you will get on better during this voyage & you ought to consult a Doctor before you start as there is such wonderful medicines these days for the heart & I have heard of several persons who was affected like you & they got relief when they got a Drs. advice.  Of course once through the bay of Biscay you will likely have a good passage.

    With love & warmest wishes for your welfare including Clare & Mary

                            Ever yours affectionately
                                   Anne McKean [54]

Document 95


March 12th 1903

My dearest Sallie [55] ,

                 I hope this will reach you before you start for S. Africa.  It does not seem so far away as California and I trust you will not find the voyage out as severe as you did coming home.  I do trust & pray that God will bless and guard you one and all, from all evil and that the climate will soon set the dear children up, and restore them to complete health again.  I was so sorry they had been suffering and hope they will soon rejoice your heart in renewed health.  I will always remember their sweet ways here, & how they accepted us at once as if they had known us all their lives.  When Mrs. Wallace heard you were going to S. Africa, she said you should take lots of "Keatings Powder" for insects and "naphtha" the strong smell helps to free you from their plague.

    I am thankful to say Father is keeping well this winter and going about his business.  I should like to have seen you again but you seem to have decided at short notice on your start & we could not arrange to go any place where you were lately without some planning.  God bless you dear friend in all your ways & with fond love to you Clair [56] & Mary [57] from your loving friend

                                        Hannah G. McKean [58]

Document 96

                                                              21st August 1906

My own dearest Sallie [59] ,

                     Just a few lines to tell you our beloved Father [60] entered into his rest this morning at 4.20 am after being seven weeks in bed.  He was unconsious for a long time.  The last taste of whisky & water was at 2 oc yesterday with the greatest difficulty swallowed.  He was not able to speak that anyone could hear him clearly for some time.  He was 84 last 24 January - & has been a long time an invalid.  Dear Sallie how thoughtful we all were to read your welcome letter to Hannah and learn you were spared to us all.  Willie [61] & Lydia have been with us frequently also George up 3 times.  Lydia is with us since Wednesday last 15th and Willie has just come back again.  The funeral will be on Friday to St, Mark's where he will be laid beside dear mother.  We have had a good nurse for three weeks for night watching and indeed we could not have done without her.  Poor Hannah [62] sprained her ankle badly.  It bled internally a good deal, & obliged to stay in bed some days before she could hop in to see Father.  It was a great trial to her.  It is getting better slowly.  Our friends are all so good and kind to us, but there is one who can comfort.  May his blessing be on you all and restore you to good health again.

    With our united fondest love to self & children.  Mary [63] wrote such a lovely letter.

       Ever your attached friend,
                     Alicia E. McKean

Document 97

Ione Valley Cal
November 8th,

    My Dear Mrs Whiteside [64] and Family your letter I can assure you was received with gladness and read and reread by myself and Annie and will certainly take time to answer it in my poor way, I will say first I was quite sick all last week but am much improved now.  We had our dinner Advertised for Lection day and that could not be postponed, and on top of all that three Ladies came down from the mountains on Saturday fore noon to make me a visit not knowing I was sick and they stayed until Monday I cant tell you how I did make out to live through.  Mr Amick took them up to the Hotel for Dinner Sunday after Church and we done the best we could under the circumstances so I will go back to our dinner on Tuesday.  The Ladies all done fine they would not let me do any thing but sit in a rocking chair at the door and collect for them we had too meals at noon and at evening supper and a few of the Ladies stayed and had hot coffee at midnight for the men that had to count the votes and of course others that were up at the time.  They took in six dollars and seventy five cts at that time at a cost of nothing, we cleared fifty five dollars on the meals for the day, and sold several dollars worth of our dry goods put $60.00 in the bank the next day and have a little left to work on again.  So we are well pleased with our financial success I told the Ladies that you said you did not expect to remain long there, they all said write and tell them to come Back at once, the minister we have will not remain no longer than we can secure another he says he can not leave his family down south nor cant move them. he dont know when. his wife is the only Daughter and her father and mother come out to winter with them and they are all on her Brothers farm near Los Angeles and the brother is in poor health. so he says he could not separate them under the circumstances we like him very much but he is stopping at the hotel, I expect to take him down to see Mrs Wayland this afternoon, Carrie Brasiers husband come home the other day I dont know whether she will go with him or not her baby is getting better. but she says there is lots of room for improvement yet  Nellie Jarvess Baby has been quite sick but is well again and they are moving I think to day to Amador, we are very sorry to loose them but such is life.  it seems the most useful ones has to go as well as the others, Mrs Surface her self hasn’t been well for some time I don’t think that they have attempted to keep up your little class and its too bad to think of I wish you could write Mrs Wooley and Mrs Surface a joint letter on the subject maybe that would rouse them up if any thing would the young man we thought of getting we dont no where he is now, nor do we have any Idea who we will get I think Mr Swain will rent his house soon. he has been waiting on us so if we got a man with a family he could take his house Jim Amick says they owe you some for music lessons when you write again send an order for the amount and I will collect it and forward it to you.  I am ashamed of them to think they did not pay before you went away we haven’t done any thing with the things in the house yet except the chairs the day the Ladies did met here I had the chairs brought here and have them stored away here I wish you had your rockers any way. you did not say whether you were keeping  house or not, please tell us all for we are vary much interested about you all.  They have service once a week at the school now the first Mr Mc Donald preached the Sabbath he was here.  I took him up my self the service was vary nice for the occasion he made it so plain any child could understand.  they don’t bring the Boys out to church scarcely any more I will speak to Mrs Bank when I see her again about your letter. but probably she has been so busy.  She has lately been to Sacramento on Business and her Baby has been sick, Mrs Adams will be home this week from a too week visit to her sisters at San Jose vary much recruited they say.  well my Dear friends, I will have to close for this time as I am getting so nervous I dont expect you can read what I have written  Kiss the little man me and lots of love to yourself and Mr W.   Your Friend  Mrs A.L. Amick

the answers that you gave to your question was a varry comforting Promise in time of trouble.  My dear woman I have for one have experienced some of those trials, and then is the time we need to search for all the comfort we can but God is able to carry us through

please excuse all mistakes in spelling and writing


[1] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[2] Alice Margaret (McCullagh) Alexander, daughter of Margaret (Jackson) (Reed) McCullagh

[3] Mary “Mollie” Wright

[4] Mary Ione (Whiteside)  Mitchell

[5] James Francis Wright

[6] Shipbuilders in Belfast. We do not yet know in what capacity Mickie (James Francis Wright) worked there.

[7] John McCullagh, son of Margaret (Jackson) (Reed) McCullagh

[8] Mary “Mollie” McCullagh, daughter of Margaret (Jackson) (Reed) McCullagh

[9] Frances Olive Brown, daughter of Thompson Brown & Elizabeth “Bessie” (Jackson) Brown. She lived in Poughkeepsie, New York with a Dr. Dobson and his wife. She died there in the late 1920s. Never married.

[10] Sarah “Blin” Brown, daughter of Thompson Brown & Elizabeth “Bessie” (Jackson) Brown.

[11] Elizabeth “Bessie” (Jackson) Brown

[12] Thomas Clair Whiteside

[13] Mary Ione Whiteside

[14] Mary (Jackson) (Menary) Griffin

[15] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[16] Margaret McCullagh (Peg) Mitchell,daughter of George Mitchell and Mary Ione Whiteside.

[17] Mary “Mollie” McCullagh, daughter of Margaret (Jackson) (Reed) McCullagh who would later marry Thomas Dare Jackson

[18] Bill Whiteside, nephew of Rev William Sherlock Whiteside

[19] Thmas Clair Whiteside

[20] Mary “Mollie” (Menary) Wright

[21] Margaret (Jackson) (Reed) McCullagh

[22] Geroge David McCullagh, killed in WWI

[23] Elizabeth “Bessie” Brown , sister to Mary (Jackson) (Menary) Griffin & Margaret (Jackson) (Reed) McCullagh

[24] Mary (Jackson) (Menary) Griffin

[25] Sarah (Jackson) Gilmore, sister to above & wife of Eliezer Gilmore

[26] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[27] Mary Reid, nee McCullagh

[28] Margaret Annas Reid, born 14 October 1881

[29] Margaret (Jackson) (Reed) McCullagh

[30] Dr.Robert Hamilton Reed, first husband of Margaret Jackson

[31] Alicia Eleanor McKean, daughter of William McKean (of Millmount, Keady) and Mary Jane Bartley

[32] Hannah Georgina McKean, daughter of William McKean (of Millmount, Keady) and Mary Jane Bartley

[33] Annie McKean, daughter of William McKean (of Millmount, Keady) and Mary Jane Bartley

[34] Possibly Sarah Barkley nee Jackson, wife of Rev Joseph Barkley and daughter of John Jackson and Elizabeth McCullagh

[35] Mary Jane McKean nee Bartley, wife of William McKean

[36] Sarah (McCUllagh) Whiteside

[37] William McKean, husband of Mary Jane Bartley, and probably related to the family who owned the mills at Laragh.

[38] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[39] Governess

[40] probably Mary (McCullagh) Reid, wife of William Reid

[41] William Sherlock Whiteside

[42] Eva Oliver (Reed) Ussher

[43] William McKean, husband of Mary Jane Bartley, and probably related to the family who owned the mills at Laragh.

[44] Annie McKean, daughter of William McKean (of Millmount, Keady) and Mary Jane Bartley

[45] Alicia Eleanor McKean, daughter of William McKean (of Millmount, Keady) and Mary Jane Bartley

[46] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[47] Possibly a sibling of Alicia, Annie and Hannah.

[48] Alicia Eleanor McKean, daughter of William McKean (of Millmount, Keady) and Mary Jane Bartley

[49] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[50] Mary “Mollie” Menary, later to marry James Wright

[51] Mary (Jackson) (Menary) Griffin

[52] This should be "grandmother", not "mother". Sarah Whiteside's paternal grandparents were Thomas McCullagh of Derryvaley and Jane Reed of Slieveroe. NOTE: Wendy Jack, “I'm fairly sure that Jane was the person shown as Jain on Chart 2 of Mary McNeill's charts, daughter of Thomas Reed and Esther Bartley. Thomas and Jane were buried in 1st Ballybay graveyard, in the same grave as their son James of Corfad. I'm fairly sure the dates from their gravestone have been incorrectly transcribed (possibly because of wear to an old stone).” Paedar Murnane might be helpful with this.

[53] I am unsure how all this fits in: Mary Jane “Jeannie” Gilmore (daughter of Eliezer Gilmore & Sarah Jackson) married Thomas Bartley. Then there is John Robert Bartley in Jeannie’s Birthday Book., as well as Bartley’s Grove near Ballybay. Wendy Jacks adds: “I'd bet all these Bartley families turn out to be related, but proving it may take a while. I'm also curious about the Jackson connection – was this the Creggan family or the family from Creeve?”

[54] Annie McKean, daughter of William McKean (of Millmount, Keady) and Mary Jane Bartley

[55] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[56] Thomas Clair Whiteside

[57] Mary Ione Whiteside

[58] Hannah Georgina McKean, daughter of William McKean (of Millmount, Keady) and Mary Jane Bartley

[59] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[60] William McKean

[61] It is probable that Willie, Lydia and George were other children of William McKean and Mary Jane Bartley

[62] Hannah G. McKean

[63] probably Mary Ione Whiteside

[64] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside. This letter from Mrs. A.L. Amick - I have no idea who she may be.




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