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Title: McIlrath, James L to McIlrath family, 1868
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
OriginLeeston, Canterbury, New Zealand
DestinationKillinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientMcIlrath family
Recipient Gendermale-female
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count551
Genrefamily, gratitude, emigration, acquaintances, local economy
TranscriptLeeston January 10th 1868

Father Mother and Brothers
I received yours of Sept. 15th '67 on Nov. 28th also yours of June 14th
by due date. We are happy to hear you are all well which we are both
at present wishing to be thankful for Blessings received and which
we know we receive undeserved I very much fear that we deserve a
very liberal allowance of stripes. Time passeth on we have known a
new figure added to our number of years, seven it appears has already
passed since we left Home and it appears to me as yesterday. But time
in New Zealand must be short anyhow. James & David Lemon had a
very speedy passage. We return you our sincerest thanks Mother for
the parcel you sent by them but thanks is very very commonplace for
kindness received, but the time may come when we can give a more
convincing proof of our gratitude for a Mother's gift it wakens up to
remembrance of former times and shows proof positive that though we
are far distant we are not by all forgotten, seas may divide and oceans
roll between but Friends is Friends whatever intervene, it has been the
lot of many to fight the world's hard fight far from his native land and
I myself has seen sufficient to repay for all the difficultys attendant
on such a lire let Mr Frew say what he may there is worse places than
New Zealand but it wants both willing heart and hands of which
I rather doubt he had but scant allowance, faint heart never wins
perhaps you all know what I am taking into most serious consideration
soon to prove whether I am so faint hearted as my actions leads many
as well as myself to believe I see no earthly reason why not, but I
humbly confess I doubt my courage, still I am bound to try I am
positive they say as ever so when once the idea has took to my head you may guess the rest. But I suppose I am only wasting time on such
a subject as no one but those really interested cares for such like, more
fit you would say that he would tell us how he is getting on or along
what markets is doing how crops looks. Well as Mr Alexander told an old Lady at Tea one evening when she asked Him if he would have
Butter or Cheese he simply said both please. Well as to getting on if
I said not well I would be very unthankful indeed, and if I said very
well that would be boasting but we are doing well. Wheat last season
was down to nought per bag, now it is going steadily up 6 shillings per
bushel and everybody says it will be very high we have 40 Acres looks
an average crop we will have harvest in about ten days. We sold our
last years Wheat at 3 shillings per bushel Robert or cousin Robert is
well but like others of the name has his own way so I believe he would
do a thing sooner by letting him alone than coaxing.
So I must wish you all. Good Bye with best wishes I remain yours
James L McIlrath