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Title: McIlrath, Hamilton and Eliza to McIlrath family, 1874
CollectionThe McIlrath Letters: A family history in letters from New Zealand to Ireland (1860-1915) [Bassett, McKee et al.]
SenderMcIlrath, Hamilton and Eliza
Sender Gendermale-female
Sender Occupationfarmer/housewife
Sender Religionunknown
OriginKowai Pass, Canterbury, New Zealand
DestinationKillinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientMcIlrath family
Recipient Gendermale-female
Relationshipson-parents / daughter-in-law
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count439
Genrefamily, photographs / history of her family
TranscriptKowai Pass
Feb 15th 1874
My Dear Father and Mother
We received your welcome letter of February 28 which brought
us the good news of you all being well as this leaves us at present.
Thank God for all his mercies to us.
Dear Mother I often wish you were here as I should so much
like to see you besides it would be nice for Hamilton to see his dear
Mother occasionally I know it often grieves him having neglected
writing to you. But I must tell you that it is not for want of thinking
and speaking about you all and wondering if you are looking much
older or younger of course you will not be getting any younger that
we all know.
Dear Mother we would so much like to have you and Fathers
portrait to have them to look at occasionally we would also like to have
Mr William Mcllrath and Mr John and families.
Dear Mother we would be delighted if you could only see our dear
little baby boy he is such a little darling and such a merry little fellow
and the picture of Hamilton he is nine months old and making an
offer to walk. We must have his likeness taken soon to send to you as
I know it will remind you of Hamilton when he was a dear little baby
of yours.
And now I hope you will rest content to know that I will do my
best to make house and home happy and comfortable.
I see since your last letter that Hamilton forgot to mention
my name so when I must a little about it. Eliza Jane
Atkinson. We came to New Zealand about nine years ago. My Father and Mother and seven of us girls. My Mother never had a
son. We had great trouble on board of ship. We all had brain fever.
My Mother and two sisters died on board of ship with it. So that left
all the rest of us very lonely coming to New Zealand. My sister Abbey
was 11 years old and Emily was seven years old so there was two
younger and three older. By the bye I forgot to mention that we had
Arthur Logan to see us shortly after he came to this country.
He is a very steady looking young man and I think will do well in
New Zealand he is living with Mr Robert Mcllrath.
Goodbye I must conclude with kind love and best wishes from
Hamilton and myself.
Believe us ever to be your affectionate son and daughter
Hamilton and E J McIlrath