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Title: J A Smyth,Ontario to Dear Parents , Co Tyrone
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/12(2)
SenderSmyth, James Alexander
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationstudent
Sender ReligionProtestant (Methodist)
OriginEssex Co., Ontario, Canada
DestinationCo. Tyrone, N.Ireland
RecipientSmyth, John J. and wife
Recipient Gendermale-female
SourceCopyright Retained by Mr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, castledamph@btinternet.com
ArchiveMr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge.
Doc. No.0410161
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 27:10:2004.
Word Count1169
TranscriptFront of envelope

Mr John J Smyth
Co Tyrone

JA 31

Mary Smyth

Back of envelope

10 0
FE 13
Essex Ont
Jan 31st 99

Dear Parents.
I received your
letter yesterday and I may say
it was no surprise to me, as
I was looking for one for
quite a while. This idea is
sustained by the fact that
this is the first letter I
have got from you with a
penny stamp. One would
naturally suppose you could
write oftener when the
reduction in postage was
brought about but it does
not seem to make any
change. However I shall
not answer them as I get
them and then we will
both get an equal share.
I must say John can but [put?]
more news in a letter than
some of the others It (sic)
quite an accomplishment
to just know how to write
a letter that contains some
news. Perhaps my introduction
is long enough now so I may
proceed. I find out by
your letters that there is
a sort of a religious agitation
going on around there
Such an occurence [occurrence?] is
almost general, there is
one man here this week
preaching in the hall on
divine healing. He says
all sickness come (sic) from
sin and is the devils agent
etc. There is also a sect
same as with you here
they hold there [their?] meetings in
a more private manner
so this religious trouble
is in more places than one,
It is too bad that you had
to press my uncle for the
money. I wonder he did
not pay it before he would
let it go so far but, perhaps,
he had not the cash.
We are having cold weather
here now. It comes is [in?] spells
last week was mild but
this week, temperature
is away below zero, The
water in the pitcher in my
bedroom froze 1/2 in thick
last night, It is pretty cold
more so than you are
accustomed to.
In the last Constitution you
sent I saw an advertisement
concerning Civil Service
Exam, by Kelly in Omagh
I wrote him for information
on that subject I also wrote
for the standard of paper for
teacher (sic) for training
college Dublin I expect
I shall get them sent
alright. I wonder that
Mary did not go on and
try some of these examinations
and make something of
herself She could have
fitted herself for a
teacher in time.
John tells me he stops in
and reads books at nights
that (sic) a very good idea and
if he wished he could keep
any line of studies going in
that way by doing a little
at a time - of course I
don't mean to say you should
alway [always?] be [dotting?] over a book
I don't do it myself but were
[I?] working I should like to
do so much better,
At present I almost hate
to stay in every night at
books but an hour or so
is not very much to spend
on some good line of thought,
Now boys I would pay little
attention to fishing. There is
no money in it neither is
it an elevating pursuit, if
you work all day you should
have no desire to (sic) out in
such a pursuit. Moreover
you should not attempt
anything like that in which
there is much danger.
Essex High Schol played
Windsor a game of Basket Ball
[Basketball?] on Saturday and
our boys got beat 11 to 4
There were fourteen or
Fifteen of us went up that
day to look on and see
the fun and it cost us a
little over a dollar each
paying our fare up and
back. Windsor will
play on some future
Saturday. I sent Jas [James?]
Houston a letter I told
him all about the election
so I need not repeat it to
you. Everything is going
along nicely. Programme
this Friday evening, and
they have me and another
boy on for a violin duett [duet?]
but I don't play, for once
I intended to ask Father
one time concerning law,
I wish he would ask
one of the Attorneys some
day when in Strabane
how one may be admitted
to study law and if there
are different ways
If one has to serve in an
office first and how long
and then how many
years studying after that
If they would wish to
know (sic) standing now just
tell them I am matriculated
in Toronto University I
wish this information for
myself as well as for a few
others here, You might
also get an approximate [approximation?]
of the cost and if there is
any salary as an apprentice in
a law office, Just get
all the information you
can on this subject; and
the first time you are in
Strabane or any other place
Father says he is sorry
our side lost on the Debate
some side must loose [lose?]
There is usually, amongst
us in debating, a kind of
jealous feelings [feeling?] as to whom
the audience think [thinks?] made
the best speech and brought
out the best points and
showed himself capable of
handling his subject, This
point is usually kept in
mind as well as winning
the debate so although one
may losse [lose?] yet they may
gain in other ways.
We have some good
debaters and speakers
here, I tell you it acquaints
one to public speaking
You ask me how my
money is holding out, well
I am just out I was
waiting on your letter
to write and tell you
I dare say I have spent this
in a hurry. I have bought
some things and I took
in a couple of concert (sic)
one [?] for the prespterian
[presbyterian?] church
which cost me a dollar each
I did intend to buy myself
an overcoat this year
but I think now I can
wear this old one this
year. I am wearing this
one now for seven years
(one I had home with me)
and its not very warm at
present the best of its days
is [are?] over,
I have just about 1 1/2 Dollars
which will do me for a
month or more, My Land
Lady [landlady?] is not very
particular if I let my board Bill
run a month or so or more so
that (sic) the reason I am in
no hurry [writing?].
I am not getting along
as well with my studies
this year as the other
whether its because I have
not as much concentration
on my work or that I am
too lazy or that the subjects
are too difficult for me
I hardly know, However
whether I pass or not I get
the benefit out of it and
unless one wishes to teach
higher mathematics
the subjects are not very
much good except for
development of mind
and reasoning powers.
To get along well one should
never go out on the evening
and study all the time
then one can keep their (sic)
work up well
I think I have said
enough now so I must
close and get my supper

James A Smyth
6.10 PM

Transcribed by Greg Floyd