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Title: McIlrath, Eliza Jane (Jennie) to McIlrath, Sarah, 1896
CollectionThe McIlrath Letters: A family history in letters from New Zealand to Ireland (1860-1915) [Bassett, McKee et al.]
SenderMcIlrath, Eliza Jane (Jennie)
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginSpringfield, New Zealand
DestinationKillinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientMcIlrath, Sarah
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count540
Genrefamily, weather, keeping stock, correspondence
September 1896

My dear Cousin Sarah
I think it is near time I answered your very kind letter, which I got
some months ago. I got a letter from cousin Hamilton the same day
as I got yours and I have answered his tonight. I also got the photo we
all think it a splendid photo. I hardly know what to write about, but I
will do the best I can. I know if we lived close together we would have
plenty to write about. We never knew that you had a sister married
until you told us. It is nice to have her living so close to you, you will
be able to see each other almost every day. I got a letter from Cousin
Mary in May and she told me that her sister Emily had got married.
My occupation is the same as yours viz. helping in the house and
Harriett's is the same. Emy and Edith have not left school yet, and
Alice has not yet started to go to school. John, Hamilton & Willie
help Papa with farm work, James is at school in ChristChurch and
Fred & Frank still go to school.
Spring is well advanced here, we have plenty of Spring showers
which is making the crops, grass and everything look well. Our
winter this year was very much like what you say yours was. It is
predicted that we will have a very hot and dry summer this year but I
hope that will not be the case. I have been very busy lately doing up
the flower gardens. Are there many bicycles or tandem bicycles round
about where you live. In towns in New Zealand nearly everybody has
one and in country places some people use them & do away with their
hackhorses. I would sooner ride a horse than a bicycle. The shows will commence in October. We saw an account of your shows in the papers Uncle William sent Papa.
We only keep two cows for milking for ourselves. They do not pay
unless you go in for a lot of them and live close to a factory where you
can send the milk as soon as you get it from the cow. We go in for
sheep and cropping & a few pigs. Last year they killed close on forty
pigs and sent them down to Christchurch where we got the top price
going. The firm we sold them to said they were the best grain fed pigs
they had got in from any country district. Will be shearing about the
middle of November. Christmas is drawing close at hand I expect
to get another letter from you and to answer it before Xmas. I had a
letter from Cousin Lily not long ago. They are all quite well.
I have nothing more to write about now, so I hope you will excuse
this short letter this time and I will try to write a longer one next time
Papa, Mama and all join in sending best wishes & kind love to Uncle,
Auntie & all my cousins, also to Uncle John, Auntie & family. Believe
me to be ever your affectionate cousin Jennie Mcllrath. Write soon