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Title: McIlrath, James L to McIlrath family, 1866
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 Occupationfarmer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginLake Ellesmere, New Zealand
DestinationKillinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientMcIlrath family
Recipient Gendermale-female
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count494
Genreholidays, family, marriage, photographs
TranscriptLake Ellesmere March 12th 1866
Father, Mother & Brother
I now write to let you know that we are both well and hopes you
are all in good health. Hamilton is now here and been nearly since I
wrote last. I received your last letter dated October 15 on New Years
day. We were at Leeston having a Holiday at Horse Racing the first
that has been in this District it was very good for a beginning and a fine day too, you would be surprised to find how many of the Killinchy people was there sometimes I forget where we were the only
thing that is the great difference is the want of
Ladies they are very scarce but increasing fast. I
was in Christ Church on the 1st of this month
and received the parcels you sent Mother by
Mr Ward we were not expecting any things of
the sort but we accept it as a token of Parential
affection and returns you our sincerest thanks
which you will please accept from those we hope
knows how to value a gift we place it to the
account of Debt and Duty. Mrs Ward told me
she had seen you Father and that you looked well but Mr Ward said
he had seen so many he did not recollect seeing you he says Ireland
is still Ireland the only change being the Railways. I seen some of
them that came with him Mrs Taylor for one and a young man of
the name of Frew. He told me that he was going Home by the same
ship poor fellow he will know much about the country I should think. And you are got married too William it will be Roberts time next I
thought I was all right while you were between me and matrimony I
am headstrong enough but to do what cannot be undone
again I confess I am too much of the coward I might
try the old Scotch system take one twelve months on
trial and if she did not please have the liberty of another
choice and give her leave to be off. And John has
married to who ever … the quiet John. But changes
comes as how in all the world he put the question is
beyond my poor conception the Mrs only Knows for I don’t.
Hamilton sends you his likeness Mother together with
some Maories you will see by the want of a finger the
woman is a widow I should not wonder if you should see
her a Daughter in law yet she very likely is wealthy and
money does many things. Hamilton says he will write
next time I mean to keep him to his word. I must finish
with wishing you all well we both join in sending our
best wishes to our new friends and all who thinks themselves
such, be they what they may

Yours sincerely Jas L Mcllrath