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Title: James A. Smyth, Ontario to Bella M. Smyth, Co. Tyrone
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/17
SenderSmyth, James Alexander
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationstudent
Sender ReligionProtestant (Methodist)
OriginEssex Co., Ontario, Canada
DestinationCo. Tyrone, N.Ireland
RecipientSmyth, Bella M.
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceCopyright Retained by Mr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, castledamph@btinternet.com
ArchiveMr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge.
Doc. No.0401005
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 06:01:2004.
Word Count932
Transcript[Front of envelope]

Miss Bella M. Smyth,
Co. Tyrone,

MR 21 98

[Back of envelope]

MR 21

[Written on flap]
2nd 1898

[Page 1]

Essex, Ont., [Ontario?] March 20 1898

Dear Sister,
I received your last
letter a few days ago and am
always pleased to know that you
are all enjoying good health.
However I am much surprised
at hearing of Belle Duncan.
Indeed I hardly know what to
say but it seems to me they are
all going to turn out nothing.
I feel sorry in this respect for,
although we are not on the best
of term (sic) at present, we are relations,
and it seems when one makes a
mistake, it always effects the others,

[Page 2]
so that even now I would like &
wish them to all do well but
such seems, as it will not come to pass
Indeed I think they are getting
punished for all they have said
concerning other people in the past.
You know Tennyson says
"The old ordeth [order?] changeth yielding
place when and God fulfil
himself in many ways". So I
think God has changed the old
ordeth in this [race?]. As far as
Knox is concerned I don t know
as I have anything against him
as far as he is personally concerned
but it is his relations. There may
be worse even in the community
and, perhaps, not very far away
but one should judge of the after

[Page 3]
I am sure Bella Duncan has
brought disgrace on all belonging
to her and in plain English
she must have been anxious for
a [man?] at her age to run away
with Knox,
However I say to you all in
particular, don't let any person hear
you mention her name in connection
with Knox nor don't let anyone hear
you cast it up to them. It (sic) bad
enough but don't make it any worse,
Why aunt must have troubles upon
troubles just now. I think I have
not saw her for the last seven years
but I think it must surely effect
As far as the weather is concerned
we are having very nice spring days.
It was quite warm to-day and

[Page 4]
very nice for walking. In fact we
have not had very much snow this
year. And there was not much
frost either skating was very light;
I just had one or two evenings.
I am pleased to hear of the [men?]
making changes. This will be
something new for me to look at
when I go home again.
I proposed that change in the lower
fields a long time ago but you
see it takes time for a good idea
to be put into force, I would plant
the hedge this year also and there
is lots of other planting that should
be done.
As far as the improvements to the
house are concerned, I have often
[been?] thinking how it could be
arranged so that it would make

[Page 5]
the room (sic) as nice as possible and
especially the Bedrooms. but so
far, because of the shape of the
house, I have not been able to
arrive at any conclusions.
I never think of home but I detest
those Byres & such like in connection
with it. All houses should be built
with a wing or in the shape of that
one of my uncles, and then the rooms
could have some shape and bedroom
could be left off very
conveniently, Upstairs would
make two nice bedrooms if there
was any way of separating them
unless there was some way of opening
a door in from the little bedroom
then above the stairs since that
would necessitate its removal,
Then the fire place would

[Page 6]
also be in the way,
You know lot (sic) of things could be
fixed up without much cost but
that old idea of Grandfather (sic)
had it this way and good enough
for us. However it is alright to
put the bed room out of the lower
room. I don't think they were very
healthy. It always seemed a
damp place. For the present I
would put the bed in upstairs just
as it is but I would advise father
not to do all the work himself.
I like to see things done up just
to all I think this is enough
along these lines.
We had a debate at school one
Friday evening. The subject
"Resolved that fame is the greater
incentative [incentive?] to men than money"
Mr Walton & Myself were for fame

[Page 7]
and Mr [MacKee?] an [and?] Tully
were for money We lost
because the judges decided
that we did not take the mass
of men. However I think and
so did the majority that we should
win, I shall send you the papers.
This is Sunday night or Monday
morning now as it is passed 12
o'clock, However I am not in bed
any night before this; Lately I
find it very hard to keep awake
after 10 o'clock, And I must
in order to keep up my work as
I am afraid of that examination
next June. As I said in one of
my former letter [letters?] I would feel
quite bad if I failed this year,
I want to get that second
class and then I will do for a while,

[Page 8]
I think I will write James
Houston some of these days,
like all other things I am
also getting lazy [on?] writing letters,
I have one to write to [Jo Duncan?] soon,
I was at Woodslee last
Sunday. They are all well. Belle
is down at St Thomas now staying
a few weeks. Give me all the
news of the surrounding country,
I think this will do for
this time,

Your Brother
James A. Smyth

Transcribed by Alan Houston