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Title: McIlrath, James L to McIlrath family, 1861
CollectionThe McIlrath Letters: A family history in letters from New Zealand to Ireland (1860-1915) [Bassett, McKee et al.]
SenderMcIlrath, James L
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationemigrant
Sender Religionunknown
OriginGisborne, New Zealand
DestinationKillinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientMcIlrath family
Recipient Gendermale-female
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count367
Genrearrival, account of passage
TranscriptGisborne. April 21st 1861

Dear Father Mother and
I write at this time to let you
know that we landed safe at
quarantine station on the 12th
of March after a long but safe
Passage of 94 days but owing to
smallpox being on board we
were detained at this place 80
miles from Melbourne up to the
6th of April which being fourteen
clear days without a case the
passengers and crew had all to
be vaccinated and some revaccinated
before leaving this place.
And we are happy to say that we
escaped this sickness and enjoyed
the best of health since we left
home with the exception of a few
days sea sickness. We had fine
times when we were in quarantine
fine houses and nice wee
friendly beds to lie in or run them
about when we pleased. But we
left it on Saturday evening the
6th of April and they landed us
at Melbourne about 12 o'clock
that night we went to lodgings
and stayed in Melbourne until
Tuesday when we started for the
country and travelled about 27
miles from Melbourne, it being
the commencement of winter and
the dullest season of the year so
we thought it better to engage
with a farmer until we would
know a little about the country
so James he engaged with A. W.
Kavanagh, and W.J. Alexander
and me with the next neighbour
A.W. Townsend, and William
Martin our old mate with a man
not a mile off we can see each
other every evening if we like.
I can say little at present as we
know very little about the country
yet. Write as soon as possible and
let us know how all our neighbours
and friends are getting on.
I believe you had a severe winter
since we left, let Mr Alexander's
people know that William is well
and if convenient Mrs Martin,
Newtownards know that William
Martin is in good health. Our
best wishes to all our neighbours
and friends. No more at present
but shall ever remain yours
J.& H. Mcllrath

When you write direct your letter
to Gisborne Post Office
Australia to the care of Mr
Michael Kavanagh.