|Title:||Greeves, Susanna to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1826|
|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 family, friends and neighbours, account of improvements in Dungannon|
|Transcript||14th of 9 month|
My dear sister, My father has acknowledged the receipt of thy letter to Jane & which I need scarsly say was truly
acceptable; it is dull time for me to answer, but hope altho' I have not done so sooner thee will not attribute it
to want of thinking of thee. No, my dear Anne, I do assure thee, thee is often the companion of my thoughts.
I often wish I could see you but alas! wishing will not do.
Thee will no doubt be surprised to hear of Brother John & Cousin Mary Sin tons marriage, which indeed
surprised us all. Altho' we suspected an attachment existed between them, yet we never thought that either of
them would act so contrary to my fathers wishes, as they were well aware of his sentiments on the subject. It was
our dear Mother who first took notice of it about five years ago & spoke to John, who gave her such an answer as
laid her fears at the time & we hoped there would be nothing more of it. Mary came down this summer to see us,
as the girls did summer about. She was over in Moyallon for a few weeks, then came to Armagh and spent one &
then here & spent two ... [quarterly meeting was coming on & she wished to go to Moyallon & bid her friends
farewell & to return to it, & go home immediately after the meetings. When going over there she went by
Portadown where John met her & brought her to Armagh - as he told Jane the night before - that she might spend
a day or two with them. My father was here at the time, and they took advantage of his absence to get the marriage
accomplished, which they did the next morning unknown to anyone in the house; they went out under the
pretence of taking a walk but had everything ready beforehand & were married in church and sett off directly after
it for the G. [Giants] Causeway. Jane did not know anything of it untill ... were some miles of the road and was
waiting breakfast for them when ... [to ker?] astonishment she received a letter from John telling her of their
proceedings & that they intended returning there in about a week, which they did & have been there ever since.
It has been the cause of breaking up the family: my father is here ever since and will untill we get another
establishment which is in contemplation. We were thinking of either Cootehill or Lurgan. The latter is the most
likely place: as it would be near our friends we would like it best. I suppose my father, Jane & Wm will go to reside
whatever place is settled on, & I occasionally, as it would be hard for Thos to want me altogether. I suppose thee
will say, why not John leave Armagh & not my father in his old days; but I may tell thee that the house and place
belongs to John. When the house was taken the leases were made out in his name, as it was my fathers wish, as he
did not like to be bound to so heavy an establishment.
We all feel greatly for my father to be tossed about in his old days: us young people need not mind it while we
have good health, which thank goodness we enjoy accept Wm, who was delicate before he left Carlow: but the
change of air had been a great service to him. He is very tall & slight; I think if he had a few years over that he
may be strong. Sister Jane is a good deal taller than I: she is not so lusty as when she was younger but rather thin
& slight; as for Brother Thos I suppose thee would scarsely know him, he is so lusty. Aunt Molly is much older
looking, poor old body. She is often complaining of her side & pains in her limbs, but it is hard to expect her to
be stout in one of het age. She often, very often, speaks of thee & says she would like to be with thee awhile: she
thinks It would be so pleasant to ramble about the woods. My dear father is often congratulated on his good looks;
he and my Aunt were at Warrantpoint for three weeks this summer, thinking it would be the means of making
them hardy for the winter.
We had a visit from Uncle Billy & Cousin Wm Greeves this summer. I suppose thee heard that he is living with
Wm in the Isle of Man. I think I never saw him look better. They live in Douglas which is a seaport town & he
had the advantage of bathing all summer. Wm has three children, two girls & a boy. It is the (handling™ business
they follow. Uncle seems very happy and content; Dina is very kind & attentive to him. What an altered place
Grange is. We missed my Uncle greatly, at first especialy at the Qr meeting ... our Qr meeting was first day week
& as usual was pretty large. We had cold dinner three days - on first day we had upwards of 20 friends. We dined
on the gallery of the large meeting house. Wm Greet & Jonathon Pike had dinner also: they had a great many.
Thee will no doubt be surprised & sorry to hear that Jonathon Hogg has failed about five months ago - what an
altered place Redford is. They had not anyone, the time of the meeting: everyone feels greatly for them. Thee will
say it is greatly changed & indeed when I tell thee that all the family that is at home is Jonathan, Anne, John &
Izabella and one servant maid. James has got a very good situation in Limerick, Thos is in Dublin with his brother
in law. Wm is also in Limerick, bound to a grocer. Jane is in Dublin with Eliza, & Rebecca & Sally Maria are in
Belfast with their cousin Mary, who I believe is finishing their education. Maty, I expect thee heard, is married to Edwd Alexander so, thee will see how widely they are scattered. I hear Jormhon offers to pay 6s/8d in the pound [i.e. one third].
As I know thee will like to hear about every one, I may tell thee Anne Johnston has as fine a son as thee would
wish to see. He is about a year old, he is a very tall child, he has beautiful dark eyes like his father, but he is more
like the Shaw family. They all think no little of him & all my fear is that they will spoil him. I think if his poor
old grandmother was living she would almost kill him with kindness. They ate always the same kind friends they
ever were & always complaining. Sally has lost the sight of one of het eyes by cold she got out of a fever she had
several years ago. Thee would see a great change in all their looks. Old Susey their Aunt is still to the fore but
Tommy is no more: he died about a year and half ago. I saw their Aunt Hunter at the meeting. She looked finely,
her son Joseph speaks in meeting. He has been delicate this while back: they were apprehensive of consumption
but hope now there is no danger. He is in partnership in Belfast with young men of the name of Miller. They with
many others suffered greatly from other people failing & the great depression of trade.
Thomas Greer of Hamberraigh has got married to a young woman in Waterford of the name of Usher-she
is a relation to the girls who wrote Ushers Letters, if ever thee remembers reading them. She is a nice looking
woman & likes friends, I hear, greatly. The Rhone Hill family were in England for seven or eight months on
account of John's health: he has been ill this long time, they feared consumption. James Garratt asked for Eliza a
good while ago but he got his refusal. I heard of another young man from Waterford who met with the same fate.
Caroline is a fine dashing girl; since she came home a young man of the name of Ridgway from Liverpool asked
for her, but he like the other poor swains met with the same answer. I am sure I do not know who it is that would
please their father.
Dungannon is greatly improved within these two or three years: this summer it has been flag[g]ed at the side
of the houses with cut stone, this street and the Dimond. It will I expect be a great advantage as the pavement before
was very uneven. It is at Lord Northlands expence: he made a present of it out of the tolls or customs. He & his
family are at home with his two sons & their family. They have not been here these three years: if they would stay
at home they would do some good. Miss Knox is very charitable, she is still doing some good while she is here.
They have a great many visitors & are to have two or three Balls soon. It is not known w heather they will remain
all winter here or not.
Maria, Eliza & Fanny Shaw lives in Newry and has a shop. I hear some talk of Maria getting married to some
young man there; her old spark Maxwell McF.voy is still single: he and his Aunt still lives across the way: she is
one of the closest house keepers I ever saw. During a whole summer perhaps she would not be out more than 5
or 6 times.
Dr Dicksons family are all well that are at home, which is only Sally & Helen at present. Anne Dickson was
married last summer to her first cousin John Boyd; he had been out in New Orleans for several years & came over
& married her. They had been attached for seven years. He returned after their [marriage] to get his affairs settled
& they have taken their Uncle Shaws house in Belfast - as he is about to remove to John Nicholsons old house, upper Stramore. Sallys deafness is no better. She is still the warm hearted affectionate creature she ever was. They
frequently have pleasing accounts from James: the last acct, he was promoted to be lieutenant - they are living in
hopes of seeing Mary soon. Sally was in Dublin three months this summer. It was her first visit, she was greatly
pleased with it.
I have to skip from one subject to another abruptly, for if I done write thee what ever rises in my mind I would
forget it. Well, to continue, Uncle Saml has made or is making great alterations on the house. He has built a
poorch & altered the rooms upstairs & I could not tell thee all, and is making a new entrance. The entrance is to
be at John McGees old house (it is down) & to come with a sweep round the foot of the garden that is before the
door. The garden is to be made in a lawn, so that I think when he gets it all completed it will look very neat &
when all is done I wonder may we expect to see Aunt Ruth - the people does still be talking about them. When
I am telling thee about alterations, I may say we have got our halls & kitchen flagd. It is much pleasanter than it
was but all does not prevent it from being damp. Our yard is very snug: Thos built an addition to it about two
years ago with a stable, cowhouse, carhouse with lofts over them: one loft we have for drying cloths, with hooks
just like a drying loft: wet or dry we have no trouble with the cloths. We have Jinny still: she is the real old hack
still. Many a time she does be talking about thee.
We had a letter the other day from cousin Wm Sinton: he has an addition of another son to his family. He has
four children now. Poor Margaret is greatly to be felt [for] as she as well as us all had a great objection to so neat
relatives marrying. Susan Douglas lives with her & has this year & more. Aunt Alice is gone back to live with Joe
again: she wished to give him another trial & that if she could live with him she would not be so heavy a burthen
on her children. She was here seeing us some time ago; she looks but badly, she had a severe cough which pulled
her down. I suppose thee heard of little Alices death. She died with the girls in Dublin. I mention some things
least they should have been omitted before.
My rather desires me say that he nor Susy Douglass never recvd any acct from T Nicholson of Billys affairs,
which is very sttange. Ned [Heazleton] is the old thing: he is in the Armagh lunatic Asylum, an elegant new
institution which has been erected not long since326: there are a great many patients in it already. I went to see it
this summer with my father: it is one of the cleanest places ever i was in; there is also a fever hospital abuilding
in another direction which will be very useful. Armagh is a very nice lively gay town, Jane liked it very much &
indeed ... well liked by everyone: when she leaves it a great many will be very sorry after her. They have had a niece
of Rebecca Webbs otherwise Eves assisting them in the shop, Margt Gillan. It is likely she will remain with John
& Mary, she is pretty ... and smart, she had been with her Aunt Rebecca a long time. Thee wishes to know if James
Nicholson is still living in Grange; I may tell thee he is, but not in Uncles house: he has removed down the road
to the house Joe Williams or Tom Shaw lived in, near to Major Caufields (Tom & Mary Shaw lives in Moy).
Edward N. [Nicholson] is at home with his father & mother: he is grown latterly very industrious and minds
about the farm. James comes now to meeting and gives us a word sometimes. He looks remarkable well. The girls
still lives in Armagh &c are doing very well: none of them has got married yet, no more than myself: when I begin
to despair I may go over to thee if thee will engage to get me a real good husband, for unless he was something
past the common I would not like to go so far for one: so be on the lookout330.
Sally & E. Board man is still on the shelf, also the Dawsons: Elizabeth Daws on has been ill this long time.
I believe the Dr cannot tell well what is the matter with her. She has a great weakness in her back, she cannot stand
without the assistance of crutches. She was at the sea & they think has been of use to her. There are none of the
Malcomsons married either; I believe thee knew that Jane331 has been ill these six years, three of which she has been mostly in one position on her back; it is the spinel marrow or spinel complaint she has, the same as Wm Hunter
died of. The family are now in great hopes of her getting well as she is better these 6 months past, but the Drs dont
allow her to try her strength, for if she would make almost the least exertion she might put herself as far back as
ever. Her sister Harriet, a fine pretty young woman, died about two months ago of a Consumption: Joseph Hunter
asked for her about two or three years ago: she was then only about seventeen years of age. There has been instances
of people recovering who has been as long ill as Jane. Thomas [Malcomson] still lives at Milton & a younger
brother Abraham, also Anne Greer. Thee will say I am reminding thee of all thy old acquaintances, but they have
not forgot thee yet, tho' far as you are separated.
Cousin Wm & M [Margaret] Pike does often enquire affectionately for thee. She is now a member of our
society; she applied about a year ago. She was once a very useful member & I hope now she will be as useful. Both
she & cousin Wm look well - he was very ill last winter: I am sure if one of them were to go, I do not well know
how the other would exist after them. Jonathon [Pike] & Sarah have a fine family. They have 3 boys & 2 girls,
her youngest Lydia; no sign of any more. Sarah is a fine cleaver looking woman: she has got a young woman as
governess who has lived in James Richardsons family, her name is Bewly & an English girl. I saw her the last Qr
meeting of Lisburn; John & I were there: it was the First time for me to be at a meeting there.
Sister Mary [O'Brien] came to see [us] in fourth month and staid three weeks; Sister Jane returned with her.
They both were at the yearly meeting; Jane went home with her and was there for three months. Thee may wonder
she could stay so long but when she was there about five weeks & was ready to come home, Brother Dan took a
fever; he was about th[ree w]eeks ill: he got favourable off. It was well Jane was there as she could help to nurse
tend him. I suppose Mary wrote thee how long I was with her, the time she was so long ill: poor woman, she
suffered a great deal. I was five months, three of which we were at the sea.
Thos has had several letters lately from cousin John G. Greeves. It has been a very sickly season with him but
the last letter he was finely again. There was a son [James] of Robert McMeekins who went out to him in the spring.
He was not quite finished school but John would soon have him a good scholar. I hope, poor fellow, he will live:
his brother Robert did not live long after he went out.
The Hat &c &c which were to go to you long since are still lying in Dublin, I understand. We intend writting
for them, & to see if they can be sent the way John Nicholson told thee. Wm & Mary Garratt are going to Belfast
to live: they are going to have a shop. Thee will wonder at this, but I understand the Green & place belongs to
his brother James who lives there at present & will remain there, I believe.
I dont know whether thee heard that Jane Sinton who lived with Uncle Saml is married, which she was about
a year & a half ago to Thos Hogg. I question if thee recollects him. They are living in the Miss Hardys old house.
Jane has not entirely left Uncle yet. If he gives up the shop, it is likely they will continue it in their house. I am
sorry to tell thee poor cousin Debby Harden is still in the Richmond lunatic asylum & they have very little hopes
of her ever being better. James is greatly to be pitied with his seven small children; Aunt Debby keeps one of them
[Charles] & has been very kind to all the family. Aprpo [A propos], Aunt Debby is very well & looks well, also
Uncle George - they live very happy. Young Thomas Wakefield lives in Lounry [Lanry] Hills old house, which
belongs to himself. He has new modled every bit so that thee would scarce know it. None of his sisters have got
married accept Hannah Bell who has three children333.
Sister Jane who is here at present desired me say she wd have written to thee in this, only she thinks I have left
her nothing to say. But she intends to write thee some time soon. Indeed, my dear sister, I think thee cannot say
but I have written thee a deal about one thing or other, which I hope will make up for my long silence. I often
wonder how thee goes through so much as thee does, thee who used to be so delicate. I think it is good
encouragement for Jane & I to get married which thee may be sure we would have no objection to if suitable
matches offered. It must indeed be a great comfort to thee to have the children for company: I am glad that Maria
is so useful to thee. Thee says thee seems more content than thee used, which we were all glad to hear. When ones
family grows up so as they are companions & company for them, it often reconciles people to a place which they
thought they never could like, which no doubt is the case with thee. It is a great blessing that Brother William
enjoys such good health, which I trust will be continued to him. My fathers part of this letter will give him a good deal of information about farming. I seem as if I had written thee everything I could think of, so will conclude
with dear love to Wm the children & thyself in which Aunt & Jane unite & Remain
thy truly affectionate sister