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Title: 45. From Elizabeth Prendergast to her children in Boston,
CollectionThe Prendergast Letters. Correspondence from Famine-era Ireland (1840-50) [S. Barber]
SenderPrendergast, Elizabeth and Maurice
Sender Gendermale-female
Sender Occupationhousewife / farmer, livestock farmer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginMilltown, Co. Kerry, Ireland
DestinationBoston, Mass., USA
RecipientPrendergast children & James Maurice
Recipient Gendermale-female
Relationshipmother-children / father-son
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1166
Genreemigration, family / family, economy, neighbours
TranscriptMr Jeffrey Prendergast
69 Southstreet Boston
State of Massachusetts
N. America

Milltown 14th July 1850

My dear Children
I received your Letter of the 25th of June last bringing three checks
for £5 each and as you say it was very timely relief to each for whom they
were intended. I need not say what pleasure we enjoy when we hear
that ye are well. All your friends here are well. Michael's Wife and
Children are well and so are Maurice and family. As I suppose their own
will reach ye as soon as this I need say no more about them. I am in good
health thank God and I am sure I would be 15 years younger if I were once
with ye, and I hope I will soon enjoy that pleasure if ye send for me. I am
sure ye will think ^it^ strange to say I have changed my mind so soon, but I will explain to you the reason. When last ye sent for me I was unwilling
to go that I may help Maurice who was then as I thought really distressed.
Now he is not so as his son sent him good relief thro the assistance of
his uncles. I pretended that I promised your father to be buried with
him, but now I must tell the truth, he never desired it. His last
words to me were that he would wish I should go to my children
and be under the eye of my daughter if I thought I could endure
the fatigue of the Voyage, but if I did not go he desired I should
be buried in Keel. I am sure I am strong and healthy enough and I
am sure I would get better from the thought of being going to
my children. Therefore I hope and request ye will send for me as soon as possible while I have the fair weather and I will go
without delay. I can live with ye at less expense and with more comfort
to myself, for if ye sent me £5 every month I could save
nothing. Tell Julia I got the black allapacha and second Mourning
for which she inquired ^for^ together with the other articles which I I named in a former letter. I expect ye will let me know
what shall I do to John’s Orphan. I feel it a real hardship to part
her, however I will be governed by ye who are supporting her and
me. She is a good hardy girl about 8 years old. I mentioned her
in my former Letter and as it seems ye forgot saying any
thing about her I wish to mention the matter again for ye
to act as ye please. As to the news of the day here there
is no alteration since the last. We ^have^ no sort of employment and
provisioning that is to say indian meal is plentiful it is not easy to procure it, as money is very scarce and nothing doing. I send my love and
blessing to each and every of my children and their families not forgetting Con and Julia. Tell James Maurice I am thankful to him for enquir
=ring for me. I hope he is a good Boy and obedient to the advice
of his uncles and aunt. May God bless and preserve ye all
is the constant prayer of your affectionate Mother
Elizabeth Prendergast

My dear James
You can see by your Grandmothers letter that the three
checks sent by your uncles arrived here. They were very timely.
You ^need^ not say that it was the Gift of your uncle you sent me. I well
know without his assistance you could ^send^me nothing yet
awhile. And tho I thank you for being the messenger, I thank your
uncle for enabling you to do so. I need not say that I am happy
to hear that my Brothers and their families, Julia, Con and you are all
well. Your mother Brothers and sisters and myself are in good health
thank God. I left Dromin last may. I live at Ballyoughtra.
Mr Spring gave me the house in which Bowler lived, and the field
next the orchard to the rere of Shea's house for £2..10 for 12 months.
John Lynch treated me very badly as I had no person to prove our
agreemt. He charged me for grazing the cow the same in Winter
as in summer and cheated me out ^of^ my labour as I had none to
to prove my work. He Decreed me at Killarney sessions for
three Pounds. If I remained with him and to give every little remit
=tance I could get from your uncles thro you we would never
disagree, but I could not bear to do that. If ^I^ remain where
I am for next year Mr Spring promised to give me the little
field ^strip^ on the west side of the Road between Larry Dowd's House
and Knockreagh containing about 5 Acres. Your uncle Jeffry knows
the place well. Consult your uncles on that head and let
me know what they think of the matter. If they approve of
it ^I will^ act as they desire. If ye see Doctor Spring return him thanks
for the kindness of his family to me. I shall never forget it. His Brother
Mr William is one of my best friends. I would be very well if they
had any employment, but they only graze the land. You can hardly
believe what is thought of the last remittance sent by your uncles.
and [...] there is more said of three checks sent together
[...] all they ever sent before. This country is very low.
Employment is totally done away here. You can see
this yourself when I tell you that Conny Cronin of Dromin
is the man who enquired for you at your uncles. If He had
employment at home he would not go out. I am sure your
uncle Michl will be glad to hear what I have to say of his family. They are very well. His children are as neatly kept and as well attended as
any in the neighbourhood, always at school and regular in their
conduct. They are promising to be strong healthy. James will
will make an able man. Tell your uncle Michl that Norry Sheehy
Roger Sheehy of Clounmore's daughter is in real distress. Her Husband
Michael Moriarty went to america in 1847. She did not hear from
him for the last 12 months. If ye could learn where he is tell us
that she may write to him. Your mother Brothers and sisters join
me to send ye all our love and blessing. I remain affectionately your father
Maurice Prendergast
P.S. Tell your Uncle Con that Dan Riordan
is well and still in the Kenmare arms