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Title: McIlrath, James L to McIlrath family, 1877
CollectionThe McIlrath Letters_A family history in letters from New Zealand to Ireland (1860-1915) [Bassett, McKee et al.]
SenderMcIlrath, James L
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginSouthbridge, Canterbury, New Zealand
DestinationKillinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientMcIlrath family
Recipient Gendermale-female
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count468
Genrefriends, gifts, family
Canterbury NZ
September 15th 1877

Father Mother and Brother,
You will think by this time that I have left off writing to you
altogether but I was waiting for Wm. Robt. Matthews to return before
I would write, we expected him back three months ago but he arrived
at last on the 3rd of this month after a passage of about 87 days. He
seemed to have enjoyed himself very much at home both by what he
says and the length of time he stopped there. He came here to see us
the next day after he arrived but a few hours is no use to answer all
the questions put to him and likely to be for the next
twelve months. I have seen him several times since and
always get something new, but there is so many people
coming to see him and enquiring after their friends
that I only wonder he dont turn insane, especially as
he never gets to sleep it is surprising how he will talk
about Killinchy to us, to others about England, and to
others about Scotland, and their friends in almost the
same breath.
He and I has arranged to go to see Hamilton in the
middle of the week he says that was his last instructions
from you we would have went sooner only for his time being engaged
as I have stated above. It is needless for me to state or endeavour to
describe our feelings as we unpacked the parcels sent to us from you,
as one by one they were opened. It must have gave you all a great deal
of trouble. I can only say on behalf of myself Mrs and family that we
return you our heartfelt thanks, in the highest sense of the term. The book The Life and Works of the Rev. Dr. Montgomery I
esteem as a pearl above price.
I had a letter from John yesterday I am glad to hear that you are or
were all well I was surprised to hear that Joseph Logan and Mrs was
dead Robert Matthews could not tell anything about them he said
that they had left Newtownards.
John says that their youngest son is coming out here that he was to
leave Plymouth on the 11th of July but he did not mention the name
of the vessel that he was coming by. He will be sailed now over two
months and may be expected here in 3 weeks or so as soon as I hear
of the vessels arrival I shall meet him and give him any assistance
in my power.
Hoping you are all well which we are all at present and for which
above all things we are thankful.
We remain yours - affectionately,
J.L. McIlrath and Family