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Title: J A Smyth, Ontario, to, John C Smyth, Castledamph, Ireland.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/8
SenderSmyth, James Alexander
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationschool teacher
Sender ReligionProtestant (Methodist)
OriginEssex Co., Ontario, Canada
DestinationCo. Tyrone, N.Ireland
RecipientSmyth, John Charles
Recipient Gendermale
SourceCopyright Retained by Mr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, castledamph@btinternet.com
ArchiveMr & Mrs J Smyth
Doc. No.0506604
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 16:06:2005.
Word Count1301
Transcript[Front of Envelope]
Mr John C, Smyth
[following address scored through?]
c/o Mrs McFarland
Irish Street
Co. Tyrone

[Written in Corner]

[Written across Top]
Mr. James A [Smyth?]
Essex [County?]

[Stamped on Front]

[Back of Envelope]
James A Smyth
Essex County


[Page 1]

Essex Ontario
February 4, 1902

My dear Brother,
My dear brother I was very
much pleased to hear from you
after such a long time. I was
wondering indeed why you
did not do so long ago,
You know I have no brothers
that write except yourself and
it seems good to hear from
Since Willie Gilkinson [Gilkison?]
died I am almost lost in regards
news. He used to tell me so
much. Now I hope you write
often as I want to know
what you are doing and how
you are getting along.
Again it acquaints you with
how to write and compose,
Mind me [sic] letter writing

[Page 2]
is quite an accomplishment So do
you [sic] all you can at it and
don’t be afraid of my finding fault.
If I began that I am afraid I would
have no correspondents at all,
Well seeing that it is quite a
while since you wrote I am just after
reading your letter again to get the
facts once more.
I am glad you had a good time at
the wedding but I am also sorry that
I was not present as I always intended
to be. Of course had I known it
would take place even, in a year I
would gladly have waited. But its all
past and gone now.
Well, how does Bella like her new home?
I have never written to her yet which I
should be ashamed for [sic]. I am often
thinking she may have to work to [too?]
hard there. Oh, John, if there is any thing
[anything?] I despise, it’s to see the way
in which some of them treat their wives over
there, just as they were slaves. I hope my
sisters never have to do it not half as hard
as my mother, had to work. I don’t like to
think that either of them will have to get

[Page 3]
to get [sic] down to feed
pig’s and such like, in fact
a good many there think
that that and raising a
large family is all a woman
is good for.
Now it was just along this
line that I was anxious to
get Mary to come out here
a while [awhile?]. I would like
to have a sister that can
discourse and talk with educated
people and hope she learns
quite a few of these things
out here.
No John we may not be
together for quite a while,
But I was always intending
to stay home a year or so
before the family broke up,
but I got left [sic].

[Page 4]
When I shall be home again
I don’t know. It takes money.
I don’t think I know any
of those young people you
mention, they may perhaps
have seen me while I was
home, If so remember me
to them,
I hope you are in a good
boarding house, and be sure
you conduct yourself properly
and get associated with
nice young men. Describe
Strabane for me sometime as
to its sociably [sociableness?]
and the advantages therein,
Has it a library?. I am one of
the directors and secretary
of our Public Library.
Now you are in a place
where you can get music
lessons. Can you get a

[Page 5]
Piano to practise on? If so you can get
music lessons there. Now I know you can get
violin lesson [sic] so take them and learn to
play by note also if you can on the drum,
You have no idea what an accomplishment
it is to play a violin by note. If I could
do so, I would earn you wages per week
over and above my own, Then it gets you
in to good company if you are a violinist.
Take violin lessons by all means when
you have the chance. If you have not
got the money let me know and I’ll
gladly pay for them for you.
This is a good piece of advise [advice?]
John, although you may laugh at it, But Mary
has found it out by this time. She is taking
Piano lessons,. Also going to school.
The accomplishment of music is what I envy
anybody. I took Piano lessons last winter
but have no piano this winter, If Mary
was living with me I would rent one for the
two of us. Keep up your druming [drumming?]
too if you have a chance and learn from notes
I have so much to say I don’t know where
to begin or end,
However I am going to tell you
about our last party - I was one

[Page 6]
of the gentlemen who helped
to give it.
We had a grand time, of
course large private parties
are the whole go, in winter,
But this was very swell, I
doubt if the quality, if you
call them so around Strabane
could get up a better one,
I shall send you one of the
invitation cards if I get one,
The ladies were all in full
dress. and gentlemen also
and wore white gloves. I’m
sure you know what full dress
Among our guests we had
Mr Cowan M.P and wife
Mr Clarke L.E.B. and wife
Crown Attorney, and sister,
and I had a dance with
each of them.

[Page 7]
Supper was served in town Hall
up stairs [upstairs?] and a
very [dainty?] affair,
I had that Miss Arnold in
the picture as my partner
for supper.
I am writing [sic]
Chas [Charles?] McCullagh
and in his letter I give as
full a description as I could.
Mary got an invitation but
she did not come of course
Mary might hardly feel at
home but she would have
seen something grand.
If I had been pretty well
supplied with money which I
was not, I would have bought
her a nice dress and had her
You know John Aunt and
Uncle are funny people, I
could not live a day there

[Page 8]
There [They?] are as much behind the times as
they are up in Glensas [Glensass?], compared
with Strabane, They have no fun at their
house, and I am sorry Mary is not seeing
more of this county while she is here,
If she had been with me she would had
a fine time all winter, parties nearly all
the time, and music galore.
There is usually something going on in the
town hall every week. There is a, Public
Library concert on Friday night and I am going
to have her come up for it. Also she wan’t
[sic] some help in connection with her school
Well I have had no fun shooting since
I left, my how I wish I could have such
a time this summer, You should be out
here a while and then you would learn
to appreciate your own country scenery,
I shall just look forward to my next
trip home for another good time, The
scenery over there is beautiful, Say the
first chance you get go up to Belfast,
then you will see a city,
Well John ask Mary what she thinks
of our school system. I’ll bet she
thinks she never learned anything in

[Page 9]
Castledamph N.S. [National School?]
and we did not learn much.
I tell you I know a good
deal more to day [today?] than
I did six years ago, If you had
my education with your trade
you could make £150 a year.
So if you have any spare
time study what you can,
Mary was talking about you
comming [coming?] out to this
Country Well it might do you
good for a year or so as a visit
Now write often and give
me all the news,
I was down to see Mary on
Saturday. I only stay [sic] one
day as that is all I can stand
down there
Your Brother
Jas A [James Alexander?] Smyth

Transcribed Elizabeth Prentice

Transcribed by Alan Houston