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Transcribed by Wendy Jack, footnoted by Sharon Oddie Brown. December 17, 2003

"Bresa",
Beechill Park Avenue,
Belfast 8.
8th July 1960.

 

Dear Mr Wright [1] ,

            I enclose a copy of some of the entries in the Gillmer [2] family bible. The bible is in my possession, but if you wish to have it I will give it to you.

            The entries should be of interest to you, as they give the dates of birth, death and marriage of Elizabeth Birch [3] , a direct ancestor, and were apparently unknown to your mother.

Assuming that the entries are accurate, they raise certain problems. Your mother gave Dean Orr [4] and P.J. Carroll [5] pedigrees which gave Alexander Gillmer's [6] date of birth as 7th August 1733, and date of marriage 16th October 1760. His son James Birch Gillmer [7] is supposed to have married in 1810, yet the bible states he died in 1804!

Dean Orr gave me to understand that your mother had an old Birch family bible. I think this must have been given to her by Miss Eliza Gillmer [8] who died in 1934. Do you know if it is still extant? I would be very grateful for a copy of the entries. It may help to clear up a curious point. Your mother and the above Miss Gillmer both believed that Elizabeth Birch [9] was the only child of John Birch [10] by his first wife, a Miss Baxter [11] , and that he remarried a Jane Ledlie [12] . However, the Birch [13


[1] James Francis Wright (1902-1979)
[2] This is the Bible which was given by Aiken McClelland to the Wright family of Gilford Castle.
[3] Elizabeth Birch (1733-1812)
[4] Mary Wright née Menary did a lot of genealogical research with Dean Orr.
[5] P.J. Carroll. We have some letters from him which I will get to.
[6] Alexander Gillmer. I have dates of 1735-1773 and a marriage on 14 March 1760. These dates need to be verified and cross referenced.
[7] James Birch Gillmer is another James Birch Gillmer that we have not located. Interestingly, my records show a John Gillmer having left the country in 1804. This may be the source of the confusion- two brothers, both “J. Gillmer”.
[8] Eliza Emily Jackson née Gilmore died in 1938, so it may be that this refers to another Eliza Gillmer.
[9] Elizabeth Birch
[10] John Birch (1711-1773)
[11] Miss Baxter was Jane Baxter of whom nothing else is known at present
[12] Jane Ledlie (1715-1791)
[13] The letter has at least one page that I don't have a scan of. It may be that it no longer exists, or it could be simple sloppiness on my part. If the latter, my apologies. Sharon Oddie Brown. December 2003)

 

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