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Title: McIlrath, Eliza Jane (Jennie) to McIlrath, Sarah, 1914
CollectionThe McIlrath Letters: A family history in letters from New Zealand to Ireland (1860-1915) [Bassett, McKee et al.]
SenderMcIlrath, Eliza Jane (Jennie)
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginSpringfield, New Zealand
DestinationKillinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientMcIlrath, Sarah
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count853
Genrephotographs, family, illness, wedding, family, acquaintances, politics
March 1st 1914

My Dear Sarah
You cannot tell how pleased I was to get a letter and a Xmas card
from you on Xmas eve. I had given up all hope of ever hearing from
you again. Father was pleased to hear from you. He had not heard
anything from any of his relations for a long time. The photos arrived
on Boxing day. They are very nice and clear photos. You look well
in it and your husband looks a nice, steady man. I was very pleased
to hear you were married. What a nice present the church made you.
You seem to be very comfortable and have a nice place. What a trial it
must be for your sister to have one of her children blind. I am pleased
to hear your Brother Hamilton is steadier now than what he used to
be. It was hard luck your Brother losing his wife and so young to, I
feel very sorry for your Mother when she suffers from rheumatism.
It is a terrible painful thing. Has she ever tried black sulphur and gin
for it. Father used to have it very badly and he used black sulphur and
gin and he does not complain of it now. He filled a whisky bottle half
full of black sulphur and filled it up with gin and shook it up well and
let it settle, then he used to drink a wineglass full of the liquer once or
twice a day. He also took a teaspoonful of epsoms salts every day in
his tea. Years ago he went to the hammer hot springs for it and took a
lot of hot sulphur baths which done him a lot of good. He is free from
rheumatism now and keeps pretty good health. He keeps a lovely
flower garden, in fact it is the best for miles around. It is a mass of
bloom at present. We are near finished harvesting. We had nearly 200 acres in oats & wheat. We have been at it since Jan. 29th. We bring most of the
meals out to the paddock. I have one sister (Edith) married. She got
married on Dec. 31st 1908, to a Mr Syd. Gillett, a neighbour of ours,
and has two fine boys. Edith is the fourth girl. Jim my third Brother
got married to a Miss Wright in 1911. They have no children. He is
an inspector of schools in Auckland. Auckland is in the very North
of New Zealand. It takes him three days to come home. Frank my
youngest Brother started school teaching, but gave it up and is in the
Lyttleton Times Office now as reader. He hopes to be Editor some
day. The other boys are all farming. Bill & Fred are at home and
Johney & Hamy have a farm about three miles from us. Emy, Olive
& I are still at home, altho I will not be at home after this year if all
goes well. I am going to be married to a Mr (Jont.) Ward of Russell's
Flat about the end of this year. He is a farmer and a fine big man.
We have known each other for years and I feel we shall live very
happily together. Mother keeps splendid health. I have not got a
photo of myself, but I will try and send you some of the others. I have
one of me taken with Mother & Olive in front of our house. I will
send you one of them. They are not very good ones. We are not a
great family for having our photos taken.
Haven't the strikes been awful. Before Xmas nearly all New
Zealand were out on strike in the towns. The farmers went down to act as special constables in the towns and ports, and also to load boats
etc. They are all over now in New Zealand but may go out again at
any time. I see that "Home Rule" is getting a serious thing in Ireland
now. We have great accounts of it in our papers. It is about the first
thing mother always reads. She is greatly interested in it. Don't the
suffragettes carry on in England. The women in New Zealand have
all had the vote for years now, & I think they ought to have it in
the old country to, but I think they are going the wrong way about
getting it.
Thank you and Mr McCormick for your kind invitation to go
over to your place, I am sure we would enjoy ourselves, & some day
some of us may go. We often want Father to go, but he is not on
for that. He thinks it is too far. Father knows all those people you
mentioned except the Reids. We all join in sending you our heartiest
congratulations altho it is late, and wish you all prosperity & good
luck. Father often wonders he hears no word from Uncles William
or John and wishes to be remembered to them.
Your affect. Cousin Jennie Mcllrath. Write soon.