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Title: Mary Cunningham, Killybegs, To Her Son Michael, America.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileCunningham, Mary/28
SenderCunningham, Mary
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationfarmer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginKillybegs, Co. Donegal, Ireland
RecipientCunningham, Michael
Recipient Gendermale
SourceThe Fyfennan Letters. All Publishing Rights Reserved By Susan Cunningham, 34 Phelps Ave., New Brunswick, New Jersey 08091, U.S.A.
ArchiveThe Ulster American Folk Park
Doc. No.9507150
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLET
LogDocument added by LT, 24:07:1995.
Word Count661
TranscriptThe following are transcripts and Xerox copies of two letters
written by Mary Cunningham in Ireland to her son Michael in America
during the 1860s. In creating the transcripts, we have tried to be
faithful to the original in terms of spelling, capitalization, and
punctuation. Since periods are not used to denote
the end of a sentence and sometimes a new sentence does not begin
with a capital letter, we have left larger spaces between words where
a sentence ends.

The People in the Letters

Patrick: A brother, probably a younger brother.

Robert Askin: Seems to be and Ireland-America commuter; probably
one of the neighborhood boys but possibly a relative.

Francis: Another brother, probably the youngest one.

Kitty: Sounds like she was a neighborhood gal [girl?] who may
have been his 'intended' when they left Ireland. We don't know
her last name nor do we know what became of her.

Mary: A married sister in Ireland; we don't know her husband's

James Glerpp [Gillespie?] & wife: A mystery without clues.

Bridget: A sister in Ireland.

Patrick Carr: A cousin and trans-Atlantic commuter.

Biddy Carr: Another cousin, probably Patrick's sister, who left
for America.

Mrs. Carr: Obviously someone in America, probably Patrick's
wife or sister-in-law.

Anthony Conwell: Probably someone in the neighborhood; he
probably emigrated after selling his property.

Mr. Malloy & Catherine: Catherine Cunningham, Michael's sister,
and her husband Cornelius Malloy. They subsequently served as go
dparents to Michael's first child, Daniel.

James: A son who had gone to America and was not keeping in

Robert Conwell: Probably a borther [brother?] to Anthony; Robert
obviously had earlier emigrated to America and had a farm in Georgia
that was devastated during General Sherman's march to the sea.

Charles Cunningham: Probably a cousin and a trans-Atlantic

Dan Cunningham: Probably a cousin who stayed behind in Ireland
and very likely a brother to Charles.

Bridget's two Little Boys: This Bridget might be Mary's
daughter, or it could be a sister after whom she named her
daughter. (At that point Michael is 30 years old and
it seems unlikely that he would have nephews who were old
enough to have emigrated some years earlier.)

Fyfennon May
9th 1865

Dear Michel [Michael?]
I take the opportunity of writing those
few lines to inform you that we are well and in good health at
preasent [present?] Hopeing [Hoping?] that the arival [arrival?]
of this may find you all there enjoying the same
Bridget Thanks be to god for his kind Mercy to us all Dear
Michel [Michael?] we received your both letters which gave us
grade [great?] pleasure to hear of you enjoying good health
Dear Mickel [Michael?] we return you many thanks for your
kindness to us for the Death of Your Father has caused grade
[great?] excistement [excitement?] upon us But cince [since?]
it is the Lord's will we must be satisfied But we hope he is
better provided for Dear Mickel [Michael?] we would write sooner
only Mr. Carr said when he left that as soon as he would get any
account about James that he would write to us so we
got no account from any of them we get no letter from James
since 59 turn over

(page 2)

Dear Mickel [Michael?] you may imagine how lonely we are after
your Father and indeed we put in a very Lonely Winter here We
were not expecting you or him But we hope to see you some time
but Never is expecting him
Dear Mickel [Michael?] you [your?] Father made no Settlement
the time of his Death but allowed every on(e) to do their best
and to mind home He told us to write to you to see what would
be done with all the little tools belonging to the Forge
the(y) are all here yet we have a good Crop down this year
we had a very good Crop Last year and hopes to have the same
this year Dear Michel [Michael?] I sent two pair of stockings
with your cousin Biddy Carr She left here on Patrick's day
a pair for each of you I would have more only I did not
Know that she was going untill [until?] a few days before she
went I hope she has arived [arrived?] before this time

(page 3)

Dear Mickel [Michael?] we were very glad to hear That Mrs. Carr
is Mending Anthony Conwell of Shaluncy sould [sold?] his propert
y at 192L [œ192?] The(re) are an immince [immense?] Number
emigrating this year and I hope shortly that more will See the Place
soon I have Nothing more to say for this time But I hope the
next letter will be longer I hear a few days that the war is over
and that Lincoln is dead Mr. Malloy I wish you to send me some
papers once in the while I must conclude for this time By saying
we would be Happy at any time in Hearing from you Hoping
That Mr. Malloy & Catherine & family is in good Health and I hope
you will be always advised by them Patrick Carr gave us James
(written above) his adress [address?] in agust [august?] last so
we wrote that time and the Letter Came returned it is very strange
that the(re) are no word from him for the rest of the neighbouring
boys the are all _________ (corner missing) from them all

(page 4)

Edward Conwells property was Burned in atlanta Georgy [Georgia?]
I am inform you that we got none of your money from Charles
Cunningham the(re) are no account from him Dan Cunningham Left the
store he is a Shop Keeper for Mrs. Dunley of Killybgs [Killybegs
So we must close up for this We all join in Sending our Kind
Love & Blessing to you & Mr. Malloy Catherine & family in the Kindest
Manner Whilest [Whilst?] I remain your affectionate Mother till
Death Mary Cunningham


I would wish Dear Michel [Michael?] when you write let us know
how or where is Bridget two Little Boys So write when you gets
this letter & Let us know how you are getting along
Excuse bad writing write soon