|Title:||Greeves, Susanna to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1824|
|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||their mother's decease, news of family, friends and neighbours|
|Transcript||Dungannon 12 mo 1824|
My dear sister
It seems almost an age since I dictated a line to thee, but when Thos writing his letters gives you all the news,
and as my letters is of little importance they would not be worth paying postage for them: so that I hope thee will
not attribute my long silence for want of affection or thinking about thee, for I think I may say a day does not
pass but you are the subject of my thoughts, and more since my dear Mother's death, as I know how much thee
would feel; but, my dear Anne, the account that thou hast got of her sufferings by M.O'B & M.S. & Thos letters
will I hope make thee feel reconciled that she is at rest.
I know well how thee felt on hearing of her death and I have often pictured to myself thy situation; but thee
will be satisfied and I hope thankful to see her released, for her sufferings were more than anyone could tell, accept
herself. I never heard her murmur or repine but bore all with patience and resignation to the divine will. The last
four or five weeks of her illness I was with her, during which time I never heard her murmur but would then pray
for the Lord to relieve which he did in his own time. As sister Jane is writing to thee, it would only be as repetition
for me to mention all her sufferings, that I expect Jane who was constantly with her will be particular in telling
thee everything. My Dear Father looks uncommon well but, poor man, he it is that reels more than any of us -
he looks much better now than he did, for between seeing my mother constantly in pain and being so much
confined he looked very badly. He staid constantly by her, she wanted for nothing; she had a woman who we got just to attend her, who still continues to live with them - indeed it would be impossible for Jane to mind the house
and to attend the shop, for she is never for long out of it; unless at meal times she is even more confined than I,
but be it little or much doing, it still takes her in it. I do go over oftener to see them than she gets over here.
I often wish if Thos was comfortable married that we would get living together; just think, my dear Anne, how
happy I would be, but at the same time I feel quite content as I am, for when I think how far some sisters are
scattered from each other my situation would be envied to be by some, I know it at heart. I think I hear thee say
if I was but within 100 miles of you how happy I would be, but, my dear Anne, we must all strive to be content
with our situation which providence has allotted for us. I know the want of society to you must be a great want,
you who were always accustomed to it; and working hard is an other thing I often wonder how you do, neither
of you that were used to it. I often wish I could just get a peep at you and I often, very often, picture you, all the
dear children I would also like to see, which perhaps I might one day or other.
I am sure thy bonnet must be past mending as thee mentions in a letter to sister Mary that thee never got one
since thee left Ireland - my sister Jane and I now send thee one which I hope thee will like; also several other little
things with the rest. I send cwo caps which is the same shape of the kind Tane & I wares; it is also the same kind
the Sintons wares, also sister Mary, only hers is not quite so deep in the middle piece. I made them of coarse linen
and if thee likes the shape, we send some finer so that thee can make them. I tacked up one and measured up the
size of my head so that, should it be either too deep or too wide, thee will be a better judge how to make the rest.
I would have made thee more of them but not knowing but that thee would reckon them too gay. I also send thee
one of my own night caps, that if thee would like them, thee could make some of the muslin up the same kind.
It is just the shape of my day caps, only wanting the jaws. I send the pattern on paper so that thee can make any
alteration thee likes on them.
I am sure by this time your teapot must be worn out in the service. The one now sent I hope will last you a
long time. I am sure I do not know how thee does when you do have visiters, as I think thee mentions in one of
thy letters that the people there is great visiters: is other people as bad off for earthen ware as you. I am in hopes
when the canal is finished that it will [be] a great advantage to that part of the country where you live.
Joseph Malcomson when he was over in America was last spring - he returned a little before 6th month - he
went as far [as] Buffalo. I am sure thee would have been glad to have seen him. None of his sisters has got married
yet. About a year ago Joseph Hunter asked for Hariet who is the 5 daughter: she was then not long left school but
now when I remember she had not finished her education; but alas! poor fellow, he got his refusal. I heard the
reason was, she was too young. Mafia lives in Lurgan and she and her husband keeps a spirit store, but none of
them visits her unless it is privately & without leave. Little Thos. is still at Milton & another brother younger. Thos
is out of his time but still lives with them, as his brother is not fit to do in his place. Anna Greerza7 has not got
married either, she still living there. I got a seat in their car today from meeting: as our horses foot was sore we
could not take him, and they were both asking for thee. I am sure I couldnt tell thee the half of the people that
do be inquiring for thee: among the rest, Molly Courtney who is still to the fore, also John Reaney but poor old
Ba is no more: he died a few weeks ago, he was a good while lying. There is a great deal of our old acquaintance
dropping off: if thee was to come over thee wd find a great miss of some.
We have also lost another near relative: Aunt Betty, who I wd have mentioned ere this, only Thos' letter will
reach thee sooner which will give an account of her death. Poor lady, she was confined to her bed for four months
during which time my Aunt Alice was most partly with her; indeed only for her she would have been very badly
off, for she would not have been so carefully minded: although my Uncle [William Greaves] has a woman to take
care of her besides, but A. Betty was so offended she would render herself no assistance whatever. Thee may
remember of hearing of her being ill with arecepliss [erysipalis] in her leg: it broke out and was ill for a long time & then it worked up to her thigh & it broke out there. She then was attacked with a parletick [paralytic) affection
which, with two more she had, carried her off She just had the three attacks, the last was the worst for pain; the
time she got it untill she died, which was thirty six hours, she never spoke; she did not seem to suffer much from
sickness as she could eat & had appetite on to her last. Aunt Alice has been with my Uncle ever since: she had at
any rate left Thos Heazeltons and has taken the house at Hawthorn lodge which my Grandmother used to live in, but it is likely she will not leave him this winter. There is some talk of William leaving Isle of Man & coming
to live in Grange but wheather he will or not I cannot say: it wd be hard for him at least for some time to give up
his establishment. They have no children but one little daughter who they call Elizabeth for Aunt Betty. Mary Jane
McMeekin who ... present spending this week with me & who has just returned from being with her Uncle &
Aunt a yeat 8c eight months says she is a pretty fair little creature — her hair is sandy colour so no thanks to her
for being fair.
I am sure thee will be surprised when I tell that Anna Shaw is married to John Johnson, the young man who
thee may remember lived there before thee left this; he applied for Membership and was received and they ate
married now about six weeks. Some says it was an attachment of seven years, others says it is only since her father
died (but I says they know best themselves). He is much younger than she is; they live on as usual but it is likely
there will be no children; in fact they could not have done without him or someone like him. Poor old Sarah
[Anna Shaw's mother] is at times in rather a doating state, sometimes she will know people and other times not.
It is not to be expected that she will live long, for even in the course of Nature they would not expect a woman of
het age. Mary Patrick is the good hearted creature she ever was but still very delicate, and in fact them all, but
thee knows they were still a complaining family. Anna's marriage was the first since Eliza Hoggs; she has had a
daughter about a month ago which she calls Anna for her mother; Eliza's husband is reckoned rather wealthy.
If all the rest of the girls get as good matches it will do very well. Mary Culemore is still at Jonathans; she is his
niece: I do not know whether thee knew her or not. She is a very agreeable sensible young woman. She is a
governess; she had formerly lived in England but her Mother and Father live separate for he was a bad man and
I am told was a sincer penetant. She has one of her sisters living in the same family of the Grubbs as William
OBrien is in, that is he who is brother co Anne who lives at Dan's.
Apropos, Thos Sinton is out of his time and is now living in Balitore with George Shackleton. He is clarke
There over the mill, along with Hervey Allen a son of Edward Alien of Dublin. Thos came down to see us; he is
greatly improved; he likes his situation better than he expected. He wrote co my Aunt [i.e. probably Aunt Molly]
some time ago and he says if there is happiness this side the grave that he has it; poor Aunt, she is rejoiced to find
he likes it so well for he is her only son, as she calls him. Aunt is much the old thing, but to thee I am sure she
would look older. She often talks about thee with great affection. She is still the same good natured creature; she
was half a year in Armagh with my poor Mother and staid with her untill she died; she was great company for her
and she did a deal of one thing or another for her. Thee may be sure, wherever my Aunt is, she will or would not
I suppose if thee could see the house now since thee left it, it has gone through so many different alterations of
one kind or other thee wd hardly know it. I hos put in a new window in the parlour which makes it look much
better: thee may remember the old one that was in it, like a church one: the frame was so bad that he was obliged
to make the woodwork entirely new; he has also built another yard, also a stable, cow house, car house with a large
loft over them and one end of it he made a small drying loft - it drys a large washing. We find it very convenient
as jenny winter and summer had to stand out at the hedge with them away below the stores; with one thing or
other he has been at a great deal of expence but there are things he will not have to do again - & among the rest
he built two small houses of Convenience, so thee will say he has everything compact now; all he wants is a good
wife co complete it.
It was very kind of the Sintons to send thee the things they did, they are generous creatures. Thee heard of Elizths
marriage. I hear through the girls that she is growing quite fat: she is a nice little creature, her husband is not
much bigger: they are well matched. I never was in either Dublin or Carlow but once; the girls wants co get me
up next summer, but the dear knows it is hardly like I will. Jane was there 5th month was two years; she seen a good deal of the country about Dublin. But I was so hurried that I did not get seeing any of it, for sister Mary
kept me as long as she could: but if ever I go again I will take care and see more.
Yesterdays post brought in thy letter which thee wrote to sister, with the pleasing intelligence of thee being
finely again after having a son & who, I was glad to hear, you intend calling John, as I suppose it to be for my.
father. I wish he may be like him in every respect. 1 could not help smiling at what thee said William bid them
tell John Waring, to not despair about getting his daughters married; I think when they grow up he could not do
better than send them out on speculation, for I see an account in the newspaper in the census for the year 1821
that there are 117,975 females more in Ireland than males, so that thee as well as I will agree in opinions that some
must want husbands, & perhaps I might be one of the number. I need not go try my fortune in Dublin for in it
there is 19,471 females there more than males. Also what will the poor girl of Ireland do? If all fail me, I had
better go over to you and see what you will do for me: but when I chink on the other hand how young you reckon
people on the shelf, what I am afraid [is] I would have a bad chance.
Sarah Pike applied for membership and has been received: she has only five children; her youngest who she calls
Lydia is more than two years old, nor does there seem any sign of her having any more. That is just the number
her mother had; she was at Dublin last 5th month, she looks very well; I think Jonathon is much the old thing.
Cousin William [Pike] & Peggy is going on in their nice old way: the former looks much older than he did, the
latter I think I never seen her look fatter or better. Cousin Wm was but very poorly most of last summer, which
made him be confined a good deal to the house, & he not being used to the confinement perhaps it might be the
means of making him look worse. James and Nancy Nicholson is leaving Grange, or at least the house they are
in, & going to live in the house Tom Shaw lived in in Grange; Tom is living in Moy. I do not as often see Maria
as I used, as she has farther to come to meeting; Eliza has been in Dublin these two years with Arabella; Fanny is
taller than either of her sisters. I wonder that Maria is not married before this, such a pretty looking girl as she was,
bur she is not near as handsome as she was. Maxwell is still to the good yet: his poor old Grandmother died about
two months ago & I understand he and his Aunt is going to live together; he has built two houses on the vacant
ground at this near end of Northlands Row, but not within a story of as high; and also several others in Scotch
Street & Shamble Lane. Thos R Kinley and Emly Colter is married: that establishment is still the same firm but
both have separate houses.
I have said little or nothing about them in Armagh as I left that for Jane to do. I fear out letters will be, part of
them, a repetition but thee must only try and put up with them. I am sure thee cannot say, my dear sister, but that I have written thee a long letter, which no doubt thee will be tired reading before thee gets this length.
I would have sent thee my profile, only I had no opportunity of getting it done, bur perhaps I might some time
again. I never mentioned A. or Billy Heachers name all this time, who is going on the old way: they have five
children living, the youngest died about a year ago. Young James, who I used to call goggle head, has two sons;
I love to look at his wife for she always remembers me of thee: there is some part of her hair which I think has a
Did thee know John Bells daughter of Belfast, Hanah, she was married about two years ago toThos Wakefields
half brother & was living in Belfast and kept a whole sale house; but poor man he died when they were about a
twelve month married; he left a fine boy. H has been ill ever since his death; she and her F & Mother were over
in England at die Baths but returned before win ret. She, the last acct I heard, was finely again but still frets greatly.
Poor woman, it is no wonder: to think how all her prospects were blasted, but it is well that she has plenty to
support her. With dear love I am
thy aft. sister
My dear sister
As I still find I have something more to add altho', from what I have written before, one might think my stock of
news might be run out. But in general everything is left on me, as the folk tell me here that I am the right one for
writting news; so least I should not keep up my name, I will endeavour do all I can to retain it.
I know thou would like to hear how Dr Dicksons family are all, & how thy old favourite is (I mean Sally). In
the first place I may tell thee she is the same good natured innocent creature she ever was: she & I are almost as
sisters. Helen I like very well; she is grown a nice girl but poor Sally is much the same; some admires Helen for
her beauty but Sally is best liked in general for she is sincere and good hearted; Ann has not got married yet: she
is very free and agreeable with me. I do be often there drinking tea & I do have Sally & H in return. Sally is very
deaf, nor is there any chance of her ever being well-it is a family complaint. I suppose thee heard that James got
a commission in the army. He is in India. He went away about a year & a half ago: they have had several letters
from him & he is getting on uncommon well. He expects to be soon made lieutenant; he has very good pay.
When he first landed, he met with his sister Mary & her husband at whos house he remained for several months,
but he is now gone 700 miles distant from them to where he has to join his regiment. Mary & her husband expects
to be home in two years for good & Sophia, who is the Dr first wifes child, has taken her passage for home also;
she was over here about two years ago & brought out her two daughters with her, one about 17 & the other 15
& she has got them both married &, what is more remarkable, they were both married the same day. She is a
wonderful woman, she thinks no more of setting out for India than I would for Dublin, or indeed I believe half
so much. William is living in Lurgan: he has got some situation over the Brewery & in general some of the girls
does be from home on visits, so that the poor Drs family is a good deal scattered. I missed poor James greatly as
he used to often give us a call, but I am sure it is well that he got some kind of employment for he had nothing
to do at home, a thing he did not like, & he would often tell Brother John who he liked as a brother how much
he regretted not having employment. He & John corresponds.
Thee will say I have said enough about their family bur I well know how much thee would like to hear of their
welfare. Does thee remember Susan Greer, daughter of Jonny Greer of Grange: she got married some time ago to
a young man who lived at Rhone Hill; he was there as lappet & I believe clerk, but, poor girl, she made but a poor
hand of herself. He has been in a delicate state of health &, whatever way he is in, he can nor speak but has to write
or sign for what he wants; he is able to walk about - but there is still hopes of him recovering. They live in Armagh
& keep a shop but I believe does not do much business. She has not any children, which I think is a blessing.
Everyone wonders at her as she seemed to be the nicest and brightest of the family, but alas! how very weak some
girls are. I hope I may never be the cause of giving the least uneasiness to any of my friends in that res peer, for
I believe it is one of the greatest trials that patents meet with, when any of their children marry contrary to their
wishes. My dear father is now the only one, I may say, Jane or 1 would have to please; so far, I must say, we never
have done anything to grieve him & I hope we will be guided by that all seeing eye who knows every brought &
action of our lives, & that He may direct us in everything is the sincere wish of
thy truly afftc sister
I find I still have something more to say, well to continue my scrawl. I may say Susanna McDonnell (otherwise
Greet)-97 has a son and as fine a child as I have seen this long time. They are living now in their own house; thee
may remember the large white house on the hill opposite Jonathon Hogg belonging to Tomy Greer: it is in that
they live. They got it fitted out and in a few years when the trees gets up it will be a nice looking place. Sarah
[McDonnell] is still in a very weak state altho' to look at her thee would not know anything was the matter with
her: she seldom or ever is out accept at the Qr Meeting. I have not seen her out since her sisters wedding accept
once or twice in town. Joseph & Ruth [McDonnell] seem to be getting on pretty well or at least as much as I know.
Ruth is greatly improved since she came to town; she is my favorite of the family; she has the three youngest
children in with her, as it is convenient for them to stay to school.
Jo Wilson's daughter, thee will remember who lived in Grange, is now no more. She did not live long to enjoy
what her father left her: she was married about six weeks to a young man of the name of Caufield; she died of a
consumption. I believe what hastened her dissolution was, when this young man & she were courting, she used
to be out late walking with him in the evenings, & she had a severe cough which had she taken something for, or
not to have done as she did, she might have been living yet. Altho' she was a gay lively girl & reckoned very vain,
she seemed greatly changed for the better & said she had no wish to live but was quite resigned. Her husband got
the chattle property but the place went to widow Bleakley's eldest son; he is still living on in the house but is as a
tenant. There was just twelve months between her fathers death & hers.
Susan & Anne Douglass have both got situations in shops in Dublin. Anne had been with Rebecca Webb but
is now living with a young woman, her name is Hannah Webb; & Susan is gone a few weeks ago to live with friends
of the name of Harding. The law suit which has been between the Hauls [Halls?], or rather on behalf of widow
Orr, has been decided lately against Sam & Susy: this was a debt of Billy Heazeltons of £200. Culnegrew has been
sold & bought by William [Douglas]: he got it for £150 & I suppose that would not pay the costs. I suppose
it would not be reckoned a bad purchase if the fives of the lease were young, but my Uncle Billy is one of them
& some other man something younger than he is, the other. Sam & Susy [Douglas] will still live on in it: they are
now tennents of their sons, who I am sure will not put them out even if they were not able to pay the rent. I believe
it was partly on their account he bought the place. Mary [nee Douglas] & Thos Heazelton seems to be getting on
pretty well: they have no less than five children; she was married but two weeks before thee - I think thee will say
she is not doing badly.
I was sorry to hear of William being so poorly but I hope ere this that he is finely again. Give my dear dear love
to him & altho' I did nor mention him before this, he was not the least in my thoughts. 1 am sure thee cannot
say, my dear Anne, but 1 have written 22 pages of one thing or other & 1 hope any errors I have made will be looked
over; and, as it is a common thing for people to say excuse mistakes, I will say excuse me for writting so much about
one thing or other, as I fear thee will be completely tired as I said before, before thee gets this length.
The shoes which is sent is a pair of A Douglass's making2: he seemed glad to have the pleasure of making thee
a pait once more; I hope they may fit: they ate the same shape of a pair I have. I will now say farewell, with dear
love to the children as ever
Write to me soon as thee can.