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Title: Walker, Jack to a cousin, 1922
CollectionNew Brunswick Letters
SenderWalker, Jack
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginLondon, England
Recipienta cousin
Recipient Genderunknown
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count695
Genreintroduces himself, newfound family connection, relatives
Jan 12/22

Dear Cousin

You will be surprised to hear from me, as I imagine you would hardly know of my
During the war I met a young man in the trenches by the name of MacMervie He was
telling me of his folks and during the conversation he spoke of some one of his ancestors
changing his name to Murphy during the persecution of protestants in the north of Scotland
and going over to England to escape from being put to death.
A young man by the name of Seymour was with us and heard him telling the story and
said his sister was married to a man by the name of Murphy whose father had come over to
Canada from England, he wanted to know the address, and when he said St John of course I
knew that it was my cousin William Murphy who Herbert he was speaking of…
During the next engagement at the front, this MacMervie was wounded and badly shell
shocked, was sent home to Scotland Just a few weeks ago I received a letter from his father
asking about our people and asking for your fathers address. After making inquiries he is quite
sure that your father is his only living relative in direct decent, his son has not recovered from
the shell shock, and the doctors think there is little hope of his recovery. On the event of his
death the estate and ₤100 (one hundred pounds) per year would be inherited by your father or
his male heirs if there are no male heirs living then it reverts to the crown, as it can only be
inherited by those wearing the name of MacMervie so that the name can be perpetuated.
In order to claim the estate your father will have to take his own name back again, that
is the name of MacMervie, which the ancestor who changed it to Murphy had really forfeited his
right too to inherit the property by so doing The brother left behind and still keeping the right
name became the direct heir to said property But now in the event of the present owner of the
estate who is a very old man and feels he cannot live very much longer, and in the event of his
sons death your father and his son would be the only heirs. If the son should recover his reason
and marry and have sons of course it would be all off for your folks but I think there is not much
hope of his getting better, so you father had better drop the old name and take up his rightful
name, it is a nice name and will not be hard to take back, at least I know I should not mind
taking it especially since there may be a good [living] in [view] with it I suppose if we had not
happened meet up with Seymour we should have never known anything about our ancestors.
This old fellow seems rather odd – does not want to have know anything to do with our
branch of the family because they gave up the good old name of MacMervie and still holds the
grudge against them to that extent that they are to know nothing of the old ancestral place
unless they inheret it. In the letter he wrote me he just said to send the address of your father
to Inverness Scotland so I sent it as St John Canada. I understand there are no legal proceedings
to take back that name as it really is his rightful name, so he had better write his name after this
as William MacMervie so that in the event of the estate comes to him, the lawyers will have no
difficulty in finding him or his heirs
Wishing your father all good luck, and wishing my name had been MacMervie instead of
being his sister’s son, and wishing you all success
I remain your Cousin

Jack Walker

P.S. Lost your brothers address but found yours, that is the reason I wrote to you but you can see that your father gets it.