|Title:||Greeves, Susanna to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1823|
|Collection||The Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]|
|Sender Occupation||shop keeper|
|Origin||Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, N.Ireland|
|Destination||Lake Erie, NY, USA|
|Recipient||O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne|
|Genre||news of friends, family and neighbours,|
|Transcript||Dungannon the 26th of 7 month 1823|
I think it is the least thing I can do to comply with my dear sisters wish (that of writing to her). I would be glad
was it in my power to communicate anything that would in any way tend to gratify her, she who is so far separated
from me and who I am living in hopes of seeing one day or other. Yes my dear Annie, Hope is one of the most
soothing companions we have. She whispers peace to our sorrowing hearts and bids us look forward to the days
in which we will be blessed in each others society again.
As Jane has told thee most of the Armagh news and particularly about Father & Mother, it is now my duty to
fill up the remainder of this: which I now commence by telling thee that Susannah McDonnell presented her
marriage last fourth day with Joseph [Webb] Greet, Johnny Greets son of Grange. They had been long talkd of.
The same day a young man from Cabra the name of Haydock, with a young woman name of Dawson, daughter
of Billy Dawson: she was received into membership a few weeks before. And it is expected that Eliza Hogg &
James Pirn will present next monthly meeting. Eliza was at the last Yearly meering, so thee may see she done some
execution. Joseph Malcomson of Lurgan was married last fifth day [July 24, 1823] to Raechel Greer of Belfast,
daughter of Jane Greers: such a marrying and given [giving] in marriage as is among us friends never was heard
tell of. I have not heard who was to be at Joseph wedding but I will hear all from little Tommy, who went to it.
He is the same gay little soul he ever was. He still lives at Milton although he is out of his time [apprenticeship],
but his brother Abraham2 who is there is not fit to transact business. Thee wishes to know what about his sister
Mafia who is living in Lurgan at present, within a few doors of her fathers, but I believe none of them go see her.
Jane still continues in a weak state: she has not been able to be farther than the drawing room this twelvemonth
and more: none of the test of the girls are married. Joseph Hunter asked for Harriet who is the five daughters,
but she refused him: she is about sixteen or seventeen. His Brother James is married to Mary Nicholson of
Tallbridge. They live below Belfast. Aunt Anne Murry lives with them (as everyone calls her).
Last summer when Elizabeth Sinton was down in the North, she with Tho' and Jane went to see the [Giant's]
Causeway They enjoyd themselves very much. They seen every place that was worth seeing. They were at Fair Head
(the farthest point North), Pleaskin, Downhill, Colerain and Ballymoney and Jimmy Canning and Hunter, Mary Canning, Joseph Hunter and Sally Bell, sister of John Bell of Belfast, all went with them. Jimmy C. is such a
funny man that he kept them all alive. Poor Ally [Canning] died last winter: poor woman, she suffered a great deal.
They all seemed thankful that she was released, and indeed my dear sister, so they might. She was spent to almost
nothing. Her daughter Mary is a very fine girl: she goes to chapel to please her father but she says she will always
be a Quaker and indeed in her manner and principles she is nothing else. There is one of her brothers at Dreehill,
but he goes to chapel and attends regularly.
This is seventh day night and I am quite alone as Thos went to Dublin yesterday morning and Aunt & Margt
Sinton is over in Moyallon this week & more; but I intend to go for them in the morning and return same evening.
So I will end. My dear sister, adieu for the present but when I return I will add more. Thos not being at home makes
me have a had pen.
Second day morning the 28th of 7 month
We all arrived safe and well home last night about half past 9. I got a most delightful morning going, but coming
home it rained most of the way. I found them all well at Moyallon. Uncle Sam is funny if not funnyer than ever
but has not got married yet, the leazy fellow; but Ruth Up[richard] is to the fore, as well as her pretty little sister
Mary. Mary went to Joseph Nicholsons wedding and I heard she was going to Scotland with the bridal party.
Perhaps her smiling face may make a hole in some swains heart before she returns. When I arrived in Moyallon I
had the pleasure of meeting with Margery Verner from Dublin and a half brother of hers who lives in Ballaslow
[Ballinasloe, Co. Galway] (not a friend). He is about 18 or I? and is married these 2 years. He seems quite a lad
or what I would call a lad. They are to be in this neighborhood soon. Verner & Dawson is getting on very well:
they have the whole of the house to themselves now as they purchased it from a woman it belonged to: she lived
in it. When I was in Dublin I went to see them and to be sure they have everything so complete and their house
very nicely furnishd - they must be making money only they could not afford to do such things. And as the old
adage says, Wm gold and wan it, no one has a better right. Tom & Thirza Jackson has removed to Bridge Street,
next door to Edward Aliens. It is the Wholesale and retail line they are in now. They were or would have done very well where they were if Tom had but attended to his business. He is an excellent salesman but he left it to
apprentices and would be away Sporting himself so that his business was neglected. But it is hoped they will do
better now & that he will settle. They have two fine children. Thirza was down in the North last summer. She had
one of the children with her. She did not come to Tyrone. I seen her father yesterday: he looks pretty well altho'
at the same time I believe he gets his health but badly.
There is none of the Dawsons married or do I heat of any young men paying theit addresses to any one of
them. Elizabeth was at the last Yearly meeting but done no execution. They ate as great talkers as ever, especially
Margt, which indeed my dear Anne is no advantage to them. Nor do I think it is becoming in any young woman
to be reckoned talkers. I suppose thee heard that William Daws on had removed to Elmfield. They have it very
neat and something in the cottage style. Hannah is reckoned a very pretty girl. Mary, poor thing, has been in a
very delicate State of health this year and more. She was at the sea most of last summer but I blieve it was of no
use to her. Sally calls bet two children Albert & Emily, two very romantic names. Young Tho' Wakefield is getting
the old house that Lanry Hill lived in repaired up for himself They have been living a few miles out of Dublin
this while, but I believe neither of them like the place as well as Moyallon. His sister Hannah is a very nice agreeable
woman. No one would think that lane Wakefield could tare [rear] such a daughter. She is quite free and unaffected,
she has two children. Brother Thos breakfasted and dined with them the last time he was in Belfast. He says the
more he sees of bet the mote he thinks of het. Lucy Calvert was in this side lately. I spent a day at Sam McDonnells
with her and James. Her eldest child is dead. She has a little daughter living &c expects to be confined soon. She
is as handsome as ever and looks tight well.
It is nearly time I should say something about Dungannon folk, some of which has got married & some I hope
are where the "wicked cease from trouble & the weary are at test". If I can I must try and tell thee all I can
remember about them. I will begin with telling thee that we have got Matg' Simian married to a young man of
the name of Speer. who is a nephew of the Miss Speer thee may remember that used to live in Betty Christeys
house. He is reckoned wealthy hut she completely gilted [jilted] poor James Quin, brother to the Attorney that is
married to Muriel Geraty. They had been courting I am told for four years. I was also told, that they were to be
married when he would be out of his time, which will be soon now. He is serving it to his brother. But the other
young man seen her at her cousin Crasslys [Crossleys?] neat Ballygally, so she thought right to turn poor James off,
altho' she kept him on until a few days before she was married. So there is Miss S. for thee. It has lessened everyones
opinion of het very much and is it any wonder. Some person who was pretty cleaver made a parody of "before I
was married oh then oh then", applicable to het, and there were different copys sent to ... Het name was far
and near and I think thee will say she well deserves it.
Mary Anne is not much bigger. She returned yesterday after staying a while with M. but has gone home to het
own house. There is none of Dicksons have changed their names. Helen is a nice dashing girl; as for poor Sally,
she is the old 2/6 but very deaf. She cannot hear unless a person speaks distinct and pretty loud. James has got an
appointment to go to Madras. He left this in fifth month. Poor fellow, he was very ... [attached?] to Dung'on &
indeed I miss him very much. He used to be in often: Sally regrets him being away ... [but?] that she knows it is
for his own advantage. He was very attentive to her &: would take pains to tell her ... thing that the others would
not. Indeed the rest of them does not show het the respect they should. James got his likeness taken off and sent
it to her. She keeps it mostly about her and when she is sewing she keeps it before het. Poor thing, I feel for her
very much. She is religious and likes to read good books and is very good to the poor as fat as het ability will allow
het. There is a repository in
town and she makes things for it and the profit she contributes to the use of the poor.
I have her here oftener than Helen. She goes out very little and there is no place she likes to be better than with
me. She very often asks for thee. She says our family seems, or she always reckoned them, like near relations for
that we were always so kind to their family.
Brother John wrote to James the other day. It will be the first letter he will get after he arrives. His sister Mary
will be very glad to see him, but she expects that Helen is on her way to India with Sophy and bet husband who has gone out again. They were at the Dr. for a long time. William is ac home doing nothing. It is a pity that the
Dr did not lam them some profession. Anne is in Belfast and I believe is to go to Dublin before she returns. She
has the nicest and most valuable collection of shells and ... such like things as I ever seen. She has a nice little room
just with nothing else in it. Now if she can ... with thee making of her husband and her to ... it would be another
valuable article she might put in her Museum. Sally was just in there now and she desired me give her dear dear
love to thee. They are in mourning for their Aunt Bell Dickon who died in winter last of a lingering disorder,
cancer inwardly I suppose thee heard of her eldest daughter, a fine girl, died of a consumption. Her Husband and
one of her sons lives in America. The other boy & girl is in this country. She was a well disposed good woman.
The eldest of the Miss Galbra[i]ths was buried about two weeks ago, also one of the old Miss Stuarts. Old Sam
King died in his gig, of water on his chest, coming home from Warranrpoint last fifth day. We also buried old Billy
Jackson first day two weeks. I hope he has not forgot poor Mary Manly [in his Will]. She was in this
neighbourhood some time ... but I believe she was not at her fathers. It was at Laurel Hill I understand she was.
I do not know wheather Tom Boardman was married last letter Thos wrote. However he is, to a Miss Homer.
He was due a good deal of money since which he took the benefit of the Act and is home. They live in his
[linen-]lapping room in the top of the hill. If thee remembers, he was getting another house fitted up when his
creditors came on him for what he was due. I believe thinking he had got the wifes fortune; but at that time he
had not: £500 it is said she had, but that would go a short way in paying his debts. He has taken 5 or 6 hund. off
Bob Brown. Some people cannot think how he spent so much as he did. Ellen is still on the shelf: so is Sally and
in my opinion they will be longer so. William has Injured his Brother in-law John Greer by his failure. The poor
man I believe is not worth one farthing and he has a small helpless family.
Maxwell McEvoy lodges with Robert Coats. His grandmother has been ill this long time & he told Thos what
made him leave. It was he thought his Aunt Jane would have too much to do. A person tells us that he took great
attendance. I nearly forgot to tell thee that Susan Greer of Grange is married to a young man that lived as lapper
and clerk to Thos Greer of Rhonehill. They were married in George Evans church a few miles out of town. The
family did not know of it for 6 or 8 weeks after. When it came public they set off for Dublin where she procured
him a situation and she has some money of her own & I believe she is going into business. Her mother sais she
never thought Susan would do such a mean thing, as she was a great deal the highest and more proud than any
of the rest. The youngest of the Miss Evans is married to a Mr. Mathersy in or about Belfast. He is an estated
gentleman. The family are all gone to England and from that they intend going to France. Some say they will not
return again, but I hope they will as they are verry good customers of ours. There is talk of George and the second
Miss Murray[?] going to be married this long time but they are long about it.
Alick Douglass's mother is still living but the old man is dead long since. John [Douglas] is married and is
living in a house of his own and seems to be doing pretty well. As thee wishes to know what we done with Wm
Garratt, we disowned him as we aught. Betty is at home now but where the child is I do not know. I never seen
her but once since & I met her by chance on the Killyman Road. She seemed greatly contused but I made no
remark. Anne Douglas lives with Rebecca Webb, otherwise Eves, & her sister Elizabeth is gone to live about 15
miles from Dublin with some relation of the Webbs. Susie, poor woman, gets but very bad health. She has had
no letter from Tho' Nicholson about the money and she wonders thee never says anything of it. William seems
to be doing very well but has a great many subscribers to the newspaper: besides he gets a great many other things
to print. They have four children. Maiy McMeaken is still at Grange, so is Robert. He has nothing to do accept that he oversees the men for Uncle Billy and he works in the garden &£ minds about the place. Uncle returned last first day week from the Isle [of] Man. He went to see Wm [Greeves] and to bring Mary Ann McMeaken over. Ann is going to school here.
She was just a-loasing as [a-loafing at?\ Grange for she had just to stay with my Aunt but now she has to do without
her. Mary Courtny lives with them. Jane [Courtney] lives with them in Armagh. Their Brother Sammy
[Courtney]is going to be married to Mary's [McMeakin's] sister in law. Billy Calvett lives in town and keeps a
public house. Rosey has a son, she calls him Wm. I see him often drunk, poor man, he made a sore hand of
himself. Aunt Alice is here this week as we have Margt. I never seen her look better: she is as fine a looking woman
as thee would see any place. She still lives from Joe. Little Alice is with the [Sinton] girls in Dublin: she goes
Tho' is to go to Carlow to see them. Sister Maty expects to be confined the latter end of next month. I wish
my poor mother was able to be with her but she has kind neighbours. Anna has been in Dublin with the girls most
of the winter. Dan was down to see us in spring: he had John with him. He is a fine scholar. He is in the rule of
3: George is a stump of a little fellow & Margt is reckoned handsome. I wish I could get a peep at thine, the dear
little creatures. I often picture you all. If Aunt Molly was near thee she would often give thee a hand. She does be
very poorly betimes and never, I may say, wants a cough. Now my dear sister, thee cannot say but I have written
thee a deal of news, but thee must excuse the composition. With dear love to Wm. I am as ever
thy afft. sister
My Dear Sister
As I still find something more to add. I must cross again as I did not mention anything about the Sin tons, who
are all well. None of them have got married yet. They seem to be getting on pretty well and I suppose gets
neighbours shares. Marg' is here beside me and she desires her dear love to thee. She is to go to Killymoon on sixth
day with the McDonnells. The weather here has been very wet, so wet that the farmers cannot get their hay made,
but as the moon is near the change they expect it will take up. The people in the South seems quieter, but I am
sorry to say that there is still some depravations committing on the gentlemen who are agents and such things.
The twelfth of July is over: it was dreaded very much but there were no disturbance. I might say I heard of one
man being killed about Armagh and another in or about Pomroy. There was no work in Dublin. The Orange
party did not dress King William: the Lord Lieutenant would not allow it least it might create disturbance.
Old nimble chin Betty Christy is dead & buried. She died in Droheda (Drogheda. County Louth]. We have got
Jemmy Kennedy married the other day. He is nearly 80 years of age. Billy & Anne Heather gets on now tolerable
well. She has been at Warrant point these 5 or 6 weeks. She has got a ganting [jaunting] car and horse. She came
over for fourth day to the market and returned on sixth day.
Dungannon is very much improved within these two years: on the rise of the hill going up to the church on
each side the old houses are thrown down & rebuilt and Arthur Fullan has built 6 or 7 on the Castle hill & Major
Barely lives in one of them. Widow Garraty lives in Billy Christys house: they have it very neatly furnished and
dressed out. Mrs Quin has not any children & neither has her sister. Jane Dawson is still unmarried. She follows
the mantumaking business. She has another young woman in partnership & they are going to set up the dress
makers shop. Nancy Greer is still in the land of the living. Old Molly Greer is dead: poor old body, she missed
my mother greatly. John Rainey lives with his son. He is very infirm but all his old Masters is kind to him – but none more than our family. Ba [Rainey] comes Co see Rosey [Calvert]. He is feiling fast. There is one of his grand
children keeps house for him. Tommy Calvert son Joseph is married to Mary Greeves (Joe Greeves' daughter). They
live in Calvert house in Dree. Lord Northlands family has not been here this summer, nor wont I understand for
two or three years. It quite enlivens the town when they are here for they does have balls and parties and never
wants [for] company. They gave a fancy Ball the last time they was here. They all took different characters. James
Dickson went as a Quaker and performed his part uncommon well. He has a double advantage being so much
among friends. Poor fellow, I wonder what part of the Atalantic he is sailing on now. I suppose he often casts his
eyes over the foaming billows and anticipates the cairn security he hopes to enjoy when he reaches the wished for
shore. Alixr [Frizeal] has removed to Scotch Street. I do not think they get so much to do as when they were in
this street. Mrs Gray never came back to her husband. She lives up about Clonmell. Her daughter Eliza is married
to a second cousin of her own and lives very comfortable. He still keeps the young man with him that was the
occation of their seperation. She did not think him a fit companion for her daughter. I suppose thee heard of her
father wished her to marry him. Oliver Vance died very suddenly last winter. His wife carry on the business in hers
and the childrens name: he was greatly lamented.
Sister Jane is glowing very tall. She is taller than me but she is not as fat as she used Co be, which is a great
advantage to her. She wore caps in Dublin but she finds them so troublesome that she had to leave them off. I done
up the last for her. She looks better with them. It is mobs we both ware: most of the young people ware them
The weather is so wet & cold I have chilblains on my fingers: I do have them through the whole winter. I am
sure I cant tell how you and the little children can bear it. We have a wareroom made of the taken of Johns
house and we have a fire in it. We have all Johns house accept the shop & one room. We seem to have want for
it all. We have a hall part of which we make on first day by letting down sheeting, and when it is made it is very
snug - when it gets on mats.
I am sure my dear sister's patience will be worn out before she getts this fat but I hope she will be able to make
it out. I have now wrote thee every thing I can think off and I think thee cannot say but I did. Once more adieu