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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

                                                                Derryvalley [1] ,
June 29/94

Dear Sally [2] ,

          Excuse me for not writing sooner but Miss McCready [3] rote so often and gave you all the news I did not know what to write about  she is a good bit failed but as crabit as ever in turns.  I hope you enjoyed your pick-nick party you did not take a d-m-d gorge like B.H.  I have all the old hands working yet. Mrs Greer [4] has her son Hugh [5] home again from America he is in bad health.  We have got all crop in with enough to do for we had a backward spring not more than six dry days at a time and a very frosty May cold and wet up to near the middle of June  crops are just beginning to look like growing now  this season is a full month later than last  we had good crops last year the flax turned out well and the price was good & payed well but I think this year will be as bad [forment] it only about four inches long on an average.  the garden is a wilderness again with an odd flower and a few good roses.  Nobody goes near it only Miss McCready & (Sally [6] cuts the rough grass) & she stands and chops away with the rake here and there between the flowers  she has her own way of gardening and you might not say a word or she would fly up and be at rest  we had Miss Olivia [7] stopping here a fortnight or three weeks they do not pull well together like two sisters Miss McCready was disgusted with her sitting up moping and reading turn about she ought to have been working for the Lussanas [8]   I suppose you heard old Thomas Miller [9] the fiddler was dead and gone to rest  I wonder will he want his fiddle in the next world like the harpers.  we had Mr. Sam Carlile [10] over here on a visit of patronage  we are still supplying the old customers with butter and Sally [11] has a busy time now as we have a good deal for the market it s from five pence to seven pence a pound so that pays well only there is no dressing to do as we sell it fresh in lumps  she has a good flock of young chickens and turks and ducks doing well for so far  finding I cannot conceive or bring forth any more news at present but hoping to be more prolific in the future I remain ever your loving brother

                  James [12]

P.S. Give my love and best wishes to Mr. Whiteside [13] and the son and may God bless you all  Amen and Amen


[1] Derryvalley, Co. Monaghan – home of McCULLAGHs.

[2] Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside (1852-1939)

[3] Miss Mary Anne McCREADY– the governess for McCULLAGHs  (?-1897)

[4] Mrs GREER. NOTE: Initially, the transcription read: GREEN. Then I received an email from Martin Kay, June 11, 2015: One branch of my ancestors came to New Zealand in 1863, but a large part of his family remained in Ireland. They farmed at Crievagh townland, close to DerryValley and were members of the local church there. … My ancestors went by the surname Greer and I believe the reference is to Mrs Greer and her son Hugh. The Mrs Greer, Sarah, would been the wife of Hamilton Greer and her maiden name was Nesbitt. Hugh Greer was born in 1859 and although we have no reference to him having gone to America we know that he was farming at Drumlongfield, Tullycorbet, Monaghan in the 1901 and 1911 census’s. There was at least one member of the Greer family who had earlier settled in the USA - Samuel Greer (who was the first cousin of the Hamilton Greer mentioned above). He married a Margaret Huey and they lived in the USA for the remainder of their natural lives.

[5] Hugh GREER (1859-?) See footnote #4.

[6] Which “Sally”?

[7] Olivia McCREADY, sister of Mary Anne McCREADY.

[8] What are the “Lussanas”?

[9] Thomas MILLER?

[10] There is a reference to a Sam Carlile in “At the Ford of the Birches”. The original is also difficult to decipher.

[11] Sally?

[12] James McCULLAGH (?-1913), brother to Sarah “Sallie” (née  McCULLAGH) WHITESIDE

[13] William Sherlock WHITESIDE – husband of Sallie McCULLAGH

 

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