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Title: McIlrath, Hamilton to McIlrath family, 1861
CollectionThe McIlrath Letters_A family history in letters from New Zealand to Ireland (1860-1915) [Bassett, McKee et al.]
SenderMcIlrath, Hamilton
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarm labourer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginKyneton, Victoria, Australia
DestinationKillinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientMcIlrath family
Recipient Gendermale-female
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count454
Genrecorrespondence, work, acquaintances
TranscriptKyneton November 17th 1861

Dear Father and mother and brothers,
Excuse me for not writing sooner but as I wanted for to hear from
you before I should write, and your letters being directed for James
and he is now in New Zealand I did not get them until it was too late
for the last mail and Kavanagh not knowing my directions could not
send them to me, and as it was only 25 miles from where I am now I
rode one of Mr Harper's horses one Saturday evening and got three,
one for W.J. Alexander and two for James and another on Monday last
so I intend to set new light aside and put the three into one. However
I am in good health and was glad to hear that you were all well
and hope you are still the same. I am with a Mr Harper of Kyneton
at my old trade and has been ever since the first eight weeks that I
stopped with Townsend. I have one pound per week and board and
he is going to let me take the harvest when it comes at what ever any
other man is giving. Miss Moore the housekeeper was going to get
married to Mr. Kavanagh and James had to drive her down to Melbourne
for to purchase something for the happy day so he fell in with
some boy that was for starting off to the Caledonian gold digging
and he went along, then it was reported that there was the finest gold
digging in New Zealand that had ever been discovered so he wrote to
me to make all speed down to Melbourne as he was leaving where he
was on the morning and starting for it with all haste, I should have gone with him but his letter dated Sept 16th I did not receive until the
30th so I knew it was needless to go for he would be off. However
Miss Moore had not got married when I was down but was going to
be the first Chapel Sunday which is only every three weeks there and
her sister was up from Melbourne and told me she saw James the day
they said and he told her he thought I was before him, which he might
know was impossible as he came up to me before he went down with
Moore and said he was going to put some money in the bank and he
would take what I had along. So I gave him all but three shillings and
this was only but five weeks after and passages was from eight to ten
pounds so he has never wrote since… (Written by Hamilton)