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Title: James A Smyth, Canada, to John J. Smyth, Co Tyrone.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/14
SenderSmyth, James Alexander
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationstudent
Sender ReligionProtestant (Methodist)
OriginEssex Co., Ontario, Canada
DestinationCo. Tyrone, N.Ireland
Recipient Gendermale-female
Relationshipwrites to his family
SourceCopyright Retained by Mr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, castledamph@btinternet.com
ArchiveMr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge.
Doc. No.308020
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 28:08:03.
Word Count1358
TranscriptEnvelope addressed to: -
Mr John Jas. [James?] Smyth
Co Tyrone

Postmarked on Front: -

Postmarked on Back: -

Handwritten in ink on back of envelope:
"arrived May 7th 1897"

South Woodslee
April 19th 97

Dear People
I received your letter
of April 1st on the 14th and I am
pleased to know that you are still
enjoying the benefits of good health,
I am rather surprised to hear,
of A McClelland (sic) sudden Start
to America, but it just surprises
me just as much, if not more to
know that his sister would press
him so hard for a few pounds as
to cause him to leave. This state
of things should not exist, all
members of a family, I believe
if at all possible, should help each
other on the journey of life and aid
in making life as comfortable as
Now then as you speak about
songs and when I am giving
an advise [advice?] I will go a little
further, but I wish it would reach the maker
of such rhymes These things only
advocate strife & encourage unfriendly
feelings towards neighbours even if there
is no harm in the song or rhymes. In
regard to the composing the author has
very little knowledge of the laws
of poetry & they have conformed to
neither the measure in poetry its
a mere "happy-go-lucky" way of writing.
I wish these poets would write on
some sensible theme and give us an
idea of the poetic genius, then it
would afford some pleasure, I hope
such nonsense will end and that
the people will learn more knowledge
& rise above this level,
You can tell Conroy I got the
Shamrock & I [------?] I wore
a little bit & divided the rest
among some of the others. Well now I am sure
you are often asked what I am
going to be for as a rule people
usually want to know more about
other peoples business than they know
about their own & that may be all
right. If they asked me that
question I could not answer it
alone you, Dont make nobody sure
after July either it is hard
to say whether I pass yet or not
This is a pretty hard examination to
get through and I have only been
in preparation a little over a year,
However I will do my best
when the day comes & that is all anybody
can do. I think the examination
will last for about 14 days & I also
have to write on the same one as I did
last year.
However I will try & get through
it sometime. I have to study
up those subjects which I tried on
last year as I find I have forgot
part of them
I think I will give you some
other news now
This is the nineteenth of April and
very little appearance of Spring
yet, not a bud hardly on the trees
grass scarcely started to grow
and today is cold & freezing.
No farm work commenced yet
so I think it will be a late Spring
I suppose you people have most
all your crops in by this time
I am sure the look of the country
is more pleasant than this country
I would think the fields are
pretty green now I received your
daffodil all well and also all
the other books and papers you sent

P.S. As I close this there is a funeral going
past of a young Woodslee boy Weaver by -----
His sister died about a month ago
He is the eight dead in the family with
When Is John Charles going to write again? I
expect he will in the meantime be getting
all the big words in the dictionary for me
That's right John display your command of vocabulary
If you were in composition exam, There is 20% allowed
[for?] that alone

You may need a good composition yet; so practise it up
& dont go out much nights since you will be
benefited thereby

Last night( Sunday)I heard the
Evangelist Hunter speak here in
Woodslee (I suppose you have all
heard of him & Crossley)
His people live in Woodslee & he
was [there?] spending Easter;
I am at Woodslee this week
Easter Holidays we have untill
[until?] Monday 26th inst, not a very long
holiday but then it is long enough
when one has no place to go, If I
was spending a week holidays
at home, the days would pass
away very soon, as I would have
so many people to see & visit, but
that is different here, so on that
account I dont value holidays
much, I would not care if there
were [none?];
I expect the boys are busy attending to
their sheep about this time as it is the
time for young lambs, Uncle has
quite a few sheep this year, There are
seven has lambed & they have eleven
lambs but some as usual died,
He does not attend to them as well as your
boys do and for this reason fortune
does not favour him as well,
Some of the cattle calved the other
day (Saturday) back in the woods,
and he brought up cow & calf but
today, when he was back he found
another calf & whether that cow had
two or it belongs to some other one he
does not know yet, But anyhow
the calf was in the woods for a day
& night. I give you, this incident
to illustrate how stock is attended
to here as compared with an
Irish farmer. Yet the [they?] get along
here with good result which proves
that a good deal of the work and sitting up
nights is unnecessary.
I read some time ago in "Tyrone Constitution"
about a man that had a horse living in the
same house with him Dr Given was the
health officer I think' (why I mention
this is for this purpose|. I hid that
paper for fear any Canadian would
see it,, as they dont really believe that
people do have animals in their
house If they ask me I tell them
"no" 'The same thing with regard to wakes
& wiskey [whiskey?] & tobbacco [tobacco?]
[etc?] at [them?]
They say "is it really true that they
have all fun & wiskey [whiskey?] etc at an
Irish Wake, in this age of Christianity"
I say "no that used to be so long ago
but not now"
I often wonder what some of these
Americans & Canadians think when they
visit some of the poverty stricken
part (sic) of Ireland.
I see the boys are busy threshing I
Suppose they think I have a fine
time: If they do they are badly mistaken
There is no fun in going to school now like
it was when I went to Castledamph
Where you have a lot of lesson to get up
and an examination waiting for you
in the future there is not much fun in it,
How is all the folks Is Mother in good health,
this spring, How are the Liverpool people?
Asking about the people brought to my mind
an item I might forgot; (sic).'I weigh now
192 lbs,, I am so big none of my clothes fit
me with any shape. I dont suppose there is
many in Castledamph can be at that
We had a High School entertainment last
week expenses were $46.30 proceeds $30
savings $3.70 large amount wasn't it?
I think [rather?] I have given you much
news or not I have written enough
Good Bye Yours James A Smyth

Written across Page 5

[Have?] W. Gilkinson's
letter, so I will soon
answer it.
How is Joe getting along
glad to know that he
will be successful,
Does John stay home?
I suppose he keeps on
the road.
How do you people like
working the road now
Do you think it pays.
Is Uncle James going
To stock his own hill
this year, as I understand
he has it [wired?]
I am waiting for that letter
of W. John. It is
a long time [arriving?]
What about you We [Do?]
sets here about him
I will give it to him
when I go back
Well good Bye to all
give all news next time
J.A.S. [James Alexander Smyth?]

Transcribed by Jim Buchanan

Verified by Mohamed Souissy

Validated by Lorraine Tennant