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Title: McIlrath, Hamilton to McIlrath, William, 1873
CollectionThe McIlrath Letters: A family history in letters from New Zealand to Ireland (1860-1915) [Bassett, McKee et al.]
SenderMcIlrath, Hamilton
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginKowai Pass, Canterbury, New Zealand
DestinationKillinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientMcIlrath, William
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count458
Genrenew position, wedding, birth, family
TranscriptKowai Pass July 13th 1873
Dear Brother
After so long neglecting to write to you I am half ashamed to
commence again but the fact was about the time I knocked off my
mind was not made up what to do. I was thinking about going home
but then I was advised not to as I would be sure to come back again,
so time went on and I did not care to tell you I had changed my mind,
so I bought some land about forty miles from where James is and
got married and so I am settled for a bit and doing very well. James
sent me your letter of April 7th 1873 in which I was glad to hear you
were all well. We are all well for there is three of us now we have got
a fine little fellow over two months old which we have called John
Robert for father & brother he is a very nice little boy I shall have his
portrait taken and send it you as soon as convenient. Please to ask
father and mother to forgive me not writing before for I am heartily
ashamed of myself and shall not be guilty of the like again for it was
not because they were out my mind for month after month I have been
going to write this last three years and always put it off for I thought
that James would let you know how I was and how I was getting on.
I have got a very nice place for the time every one says who sees it. I
gave an acre of land for a Presbyterian Church about a hundred yards
from my house, which will improve the look of it a bit - by the bye
there is no uniterians here leastways no church or clergyman so when
I do go I go to the presbyterians. You might let me know how the
uniterians is getting on at home and specially Mr McAws flock if he
is still their minister. I wont write much more until I hear from some
of you again. Eliza wishes to be kindly remembered to Father and Mother and sends her best love to you all. I send enclosed likenesses
of her father sailing with an old tatooed Maori chief and a rather well
dressed Maori woman. Give my kind love to John Mrs and family
and to Mr J Jellies family and all old friends - James Mrs and family is
well and so is Robert McIlrath and family. I shall write more when I
get a letter from you again.

I remain your affectionate brother H McIlrath
Address Canterbury New Zealand
Kowai Pass
West Coast Road