Main content

Title: McIlrath, Hamilton to McIlrath, William, 1906
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
OriginSpringfield, New Zealand
DestinationKillinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientMcIlrath, William
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count589
Genrecorrespondence, money, family, International Exhibition, farming
Oct 22nd 1906

Dear Brother William
I am writing you these few lines to let you know we are in good
health at present and hope this will find you all in the enjoyment
of the same. I had a letter from your son Hamilton (dated Feb. 26)
in which he said he was suffering from rheumatism and not able
to follow his usual occupation so I wrote to him on May 10th and
enclosed a money for £10 but about a fortnight ago I received through
the dead letter office the envelope marked 'gone away' and also a form
asking me to describe the contents of the letter. I done so and got the
letter and order returned to me then I thought by altering the name of
the payee I could send it to you but I find after a lot of enquiry that I
can neither use the order nor get the money for it until the duplicate of
the money order comes back from Belfast which I have sent an order
for its return. I intend as soon as I get the money back to send a fresh
order to you payable at the Post Office Killinchy. When you get it
cashed you give it to your son Hamilton if he is anywhere about, if he
is not you can divide it between yourself and brother John. I think it
very strange he should have left Belfast without leaving an address to
forward his letters to as I think he expected me to write to him. I am
very sorry he did not get the letter as he will think I have been careless
about writing to him.
I have not a great deal of news that I think would interest you.
Brother James's family is well and the boys took first and special prize
for a draught Entry at Leeston show last week.
We are having a great exhibition at Christchurch to open on the first
November and continue to the first April 1907. I believe it is the largest ever held in any of the colonies the building covers 35 acres.
They are sending exhibits from nearly every country in the world to it
so it ought to be worth seeing.
We are still doing fairly well we have got over six hundred acres
of very good farming land now which gives the boys some work but
people here have far more up to date implements to work the land than
at home. We have from a one furrow to a four furrow plough, disc
harrows, and cultivator grain and manure drill and two reapers and
binders, and one man works from four to six horses in a team but they
dont work near so long hours here as at home only eight hours a day
and a half holiday a week. We never house the cattle here so there is
no trouble with manure, for turnips we cultivate the land well then
takes the manure drill and 1cwt weight of manure and 8 ounces of
seed to an acre and sows them on the flat and that is all the work they
get when grown turn the sheep on and let them eat them off.

Remember me kindly to brother John & his family and say I am
ashamed for not having written to him for some time. I must finish
now with kind love to you all from us all I am your affectionate
Hamilton McIlrath
New Zealand