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Title: Martha J. Wilson, Ontario to George Reid, [Belfast?].
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileWilson, Martha J/7
SenderWilson, Martha Jane
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationfarming household
Sender Religionunknown
OriginHope Township, Canada West (present-day Ontario)
DestinationBelfast, N.Ireland
RecipientReid, George
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD 3014/3/2/9: Deposited by H. F. W. Reid.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9102025
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by JM 09:02:1994
Word Count1881
TranscriptPerry Town, Good Friday 1865

My Dear Brother & Sister
I am always thinking that
you have more time to write than I have, but at the last
I have to sit down and do it myself, I believe I am Paddy
enough, to wish you would write both ways, at any rate I hope
this scratch will find you all enjoying the great boon, good
health, we are all in good health at present, thanks be to the
Giver of all good. we ought to be thankful, we are married
over 12 years and there has not been a Dr [Doctor?] in the house during
that time but 2 twice, untill [until?] 2 or 3 years ago when we wanted one
we had to go to Port Hope 10 miles distant for one. We receive
your very welcome Papers regularly, I suppose you think you
might have more returns well, I will tell you something, that
for the past 2 years owing to hard times we have denied ourselves the
pleasure of a weekly newspaper, times have not improved much but we were
got so lonesome that we concluded to subscribe for one this year,
so you shall have a share. You must be having terrible times in
Belfast, my opinion is that if a Rebellion should break out in
Ireland there would be an immense number of traitors
found in Belfast, not a few of them amongst your leading
men. I am perfectly ashamed to read, and have read, the accounts
of the rascally conduct of men in authority, which
we receive from time to time, it is shameful, where do they
leave their oaths, when they are called out for duty.
my country!!!! my country!!. (With all thy faults I love thee still.)
James Boland is still in the west and doing well
his oldest boy Thomas was 20 years old last Dec. and I am
told remarkably like his mother, the other 3 children are more like their
father the 2 girls very good looking, James has 200 acres paid
for a long time ago, as he has another son I presume he will
be for providing himself with another hundred at least
for property is his motto, at the risk of nearly every personal comfort.
The Irelands I hear very little about lately John & Margt [Margaret?] are
married, John has sold his property here, and went to the
states, I have heard nothing from him since Margt [Margaret?] lives
up west, I have not had a letter from her since she was
married, but I believe they are doing well I hear that Sam
has bought a farm up west too, They neglect to write to me
and I have not any of their addresses.
Times here are extremely hard I assure you, the past
winter has been one of extreme severity such as is very
rare even in this cold country, the scarcity of the straw
crop last summer and the severity of the winter has been
severily [severely?] felt by the farmer, with regard to his cattle many
have suffered very much, some have died, not just here but
out back and we hear that some up west shot a part to
save the rest. But much to the agreeable disappointment
of thousands the spring has opened extra early, some whose

land will admit have sowed, and before I forget I must tell
you I want you to send me some wallflower seed and a few others if you like
it is a rare flower here and inclined to be delicate, and I want you
to write if possible the day you receive this in order that
I may write immediately to Margt [Margaret?] Anne, I got a letter from
her some time ago but Joseph says I had better wait
untill [until?] I hear from you afraid that they might be moved
away from Auckland since she wrote. do write immediately
and let me know when you last heard from her and how they
were getting on. Joseph has been sawing some all winter but
between the severity of the winter and the mill dam been
broke away twice he has not prospered according to his expectation,
if we are not going on very fast we are going on
pretty steady, we are not trembling if we see the constable in
the distance. we had a fine cow which Joseph bought at
25 Dollars last May, broke her neck that day month, which was
a draw back [drawback?] to us, we have 2 yet, but not like her. we have 2 horses and a colt besides which is too much stock for us, he intends selling 2 horses soon reserving one for our own use as we have not much land.
I have not had a line from Thomas since I had his likeness
nearly 3 years ago, I am going to tell you a little something
that happened a year ago last June, Joseph had a chance
offered him of purchasing 100 acres of land the wood on it
by his own manufacture would do more than pay for
it, it was so near that he with a little help in capital
could have brought it to his own mill and prepared it
for market, the fact is we wanted to buy it unknown to his
folks so we thought that according to the economical
way in which you all had been living and times pretty
good at home that there would be no difficulty in
borrowing £50 amongst you you see interest is so very high here, that
is soon eats up the principal and when he would have
good security I thought that we might as well have the
benefit of it as any person else, I wrote to him, waited a [torn]
length of time fearing he had not had the letter or [tore]
liking the suspense, I wrote again requiring an answer one
way or other immediately, in order that we might know
how to act, whether he received the letters or not I know
not, but this I do know if he received one or both of them
he behaved unworthy his Fathers son, and what his
wife thinks of the silence which exists between us I know
not you can hardly tell how my feelings were harrowed up
to think that I had a brother who was capable of such unprincipled
conduct towards me mortified me extremely.
Had the secret been solely my own I might have borne it better,
but there was another knew it whom I had taught
to believe one of you incapable of doing a mean action.
If he thinks I will write first, I think he will be mistaken
Let me know how Robert John & family are propering [prospering?] send them

my kind love, how is Joseph getting on is Mamma his only
housekeeper yet how is her eyes are they still closed
do you hear from Ballynick friends how is Henry getting
on, how does Mr Gilmour enjoy his health I hope he is
well, Likewise all my old neighbours Oh for one month in ould [old?] Ireland I think I have not written yo [to?] you since Joseph's brother returned from England he staid [stayed?] almost a year his invitations were
very numerous here and there round his native place besides
places at a distance whither friends had changed
their residence too, he said it would take him two years
more to go round the remander [remainder?] of them all so being an eccentric being anyhow he concluded to come home so he did without any one [anyone?] knowing till [until?] he stepped in and he said he
would go back sometime and finish off, he had his
place rented but for one year at any rate, but I was
so disappointed I could have cried, he has taken up
Bachelors hall again, and thinks it is a fine thing to have
no incumbrances. I would not give him one of my incumbrances
for his whole farm, lock, stock, and barrel, would you, no no
Our oldest boy is 11 1/2 years and only wants a few inches of being
as tall as me that is 5 feet nothing all but an inch you do not
remember me but I am but 4 ft 11 in the three girls come next they are
rather small of their age, our baby Robert Reid (he get but Reid)
he is 2 yrs [years?] 5 ms [months?] old and is a remarkably tall strong boy
he is such a pet but I hope we will not spoil him
what is your boy's name, I know the girls' and so does my
girls know them when they begin to number up their
cousins, Our children are not as smart to learn as either their father or
I were, so I can boast none of their progress at school. Tell Joseph I.
[Ireland?] we are all well I want him to write to me next Fall and send
me a dozen or so of Leburnam [Laburnum?] seeds off that tree in the
door yard at the Schoolhouse, that is if it is still in existence.
I suppose you see we are threatened with a visit from
our friends 'tother side the lake, my opinion is it will be a dear
visit to them I hardly think they will be foolish enough to
provoke John Bull indeed if they should it will only be in
accordance with their conduct the past 3 years. I am a northerner
Joseph is a Southerner. I think we will win the day not from strength
but the justice of the cause, but I never read a column of the war news.
With kind love to Annie, Lizzie, Maria Sidney, and baby, & yourself I am
Dear George your affectionate sister, Martha Jane Wilson.

Joseph says in 2 or 3 years I will be able to write an illegible letter
that common sense is the scarcest thing in it. I think it is so very like a
scrap book that it will be quite amusing
The fact is I have been poorly and my brain is none too clear but if I wait
I would not get time to write for I have too much to do alone.

Perhaps you might be writing home on receipt of this if so tell some

of them to ask Henry if there is nothing like Leather that I must never
see the scratch of his pen all well I intend writing to Ballynick in June.

Tell me in your next what wages you have, how many hours you
are employed and if you are able to lay up anything for a rainy day
I do not like the idea of living up to the last shilling. Busy Body.

Joseph say you do not know where the west is it is above Toronto
James is 150 miles from here and when I say out back I mean
Townships [?] for we consider ourselves on the Frontier
altho' [although?] 10 miles from our Market Town.
I fear your patience will be exhausted reading my nonsensical Epistle.

[?] in Belfast is it our [Ross?] if so where is Sarah.