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Title: McIlrath, James L to McIlrath family, 1872
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
OriginSouthbridge, Canterbury, New Zealand
DestinationKillinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientMcIlrath family
Recipient Gendermale-female
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count569
Genrecorrespondence, family, life in the colonies, acquaintances, decease
Canterbury N.Z.
December 21st 1872

Dear Brother William, Father & Mother
In answer to yours of the 24 June in which you seem to censure me
very much for not writing more regular I admit the charge, to a
certain extent, but on the other hand I cannot admit being so very
negligent as by your letter it would appear. I had wrote to John just
before I received yours otherwise I would have wrote to you sooner,
as for Hamilton I have done all I could to persuade him to write and
if he has not done so the fault is not mine and he is very ungrateful
Twelve years is now past and gone since last we parted I thought
to have seen you all before this but time here seems to roll on much
faster than at home I know no difference on myself but there must
be a great difference on us all more especially on Father & Mother.
I am sorry to hear that Mother is not so well as she might be I now
wish to give you all a piece of advice it may be presumptions in me but
excuse me, that is, to make yourselves as easy as possible about us no
doubt it is natural on your parts to be anxious about us but we are well
and has done well, do not suppose for a moment that we are in a wild
uncivilised place not only for the look of the country when we go to a
cattle show or any other gathering one almosts forgets but that he is
in Ireland. I was at one on Thursday last and there was any amount
of people we all know such as W J Alexander, Cousin Robert, W
Cooper, W Ledgerwood, Lemon Bros. D Moorehead, M Moorehead,
J Hewitt, W Gabbie, D McClure and family from old Robert Clarks,
T Thompson-Drumreagh besides many others I need not mention
all seeming in good health and spirits by the way I forgot William Adams & David Adams not one of which has cause to regret leaving home.
We are all here like so many on the cockle beds you seldom ever saw
any one leaving satisfied before the tide came and swept all before it.
So it is here few if any cares for leaving while the opportunity offers of
doing well but let the tide turn and I will not say all but a great many
will turn their thoughts for home for my part I should (like) to hear
of Ireland being a little more quiet as I fancy it is a dangerous place
I was much surprised to hear Elisa Jellie’s Death. Will you be good
enough to let me know when you write if you know how Mr Gillespie
is doing I would like to know if Mr & Mrs Jellie is living and well
give my best wishes to the whole family.
We are all well at present thank God hoping you are all as well as
you would wish and that we may be alt satisfied with the position in
life in which we are placed, and rest assured that I shall always feel it
a pleasing duty to write in answer to you, I now wish you all a Merry
Christmas and Happy New Year.
Your son and Brother James L Mcllrath