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Letters From Donegal 1933 - 1944

These Letters were submitted by Mary and form part of  the Donegal Genealogy Resources website

You may link to this page but not copy it

 

Notes:

This is a small collection of letters which were written between 1933 and 1944 from relatives in Donegal to Mary's great-grandparents in Queens, New York.  Her great-grandfather John Nolan emigrated from Kilkenny in 1888.  In New York he met her great-grandmother Bridget Herron, who had come  from Ardara, Donegal ca. 1882.  They had five children.  She had worked as a cook and he eventually secured a job in the federal Assay Office in New York City.  They were members of Holy Child Jesus Church in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York. 

 

Mary writes : My great-grandfather was the gentlest of men, and as you can see from the letters, very generous.  He sent a lot of financial assistance both to Bridgetís relatives in Donegal and to his own in Dublin and Carlow.  The letters from the woman who had emigrated to the United States and then returned to Ireland are particularly poignant.  You canít miss what you never had, and she knew there was an easier life in the United States than the one she was living in Donegal before and during World War II.  I have obviously left the spelling the same was it was in the letters.  

 

Bridget Herron was a daughter of Patrick Herron and Catherine Gavigan

The families mentioned in the Letters : Herron, Breslin, Boyle, Friel, Kenny, Lyons

The townlands mentioned in the Letters : Ardlougher, Corker More, Altnagapple, Mullantiboyle, Mullanacloy

 

If you have a connection to any of these families/places, please Email Mary

 

 

Letters from : Mary (Breslin) Kenny ~ Annie Lyons ~ Annie Friel ~ Maurice Friel ~ Patrick Herron ~ Mary (Kenny) McGuinness

Letters from Mary Kenny

 

Mary Kenny nee Breslin, was a daughter of Denis Breslin & Anne Herron, Ardlougher, Inishkeel. Anne was a sister of Bridget Heron.

For this family see - 1901 census Ardlougher

 

People mentioned in these letters :

Mary Kenny - dau of William Kenny & Mary Breslin, died Dec 1931

Annie Lyon's people - this refers to Annie Lyons' siblings Patrick, Bridget & Mary. They are all children of John Lyons & Rose Gavagan - see 1901 census Corker More, Killaghtee

Mary Boyle - this may be Mary nee Lough, of Laconnell, who married Patrick Boyle 12 Apr 1910 - see 1901 census Ardlougher

 

Letter 1

 

Altnagapple Bruckless PO

Tulintain, Co. Donegal

Ireland

 

11 August 1933

 

Dear Ant and Uncle

 

After a long dilay I write to youse hopping youse are all well.  I heard from Annie Lions letter she sent home of Ant Marys death.  I had her prayed for in the Church.  May the Lord have mercy on her soul.  Ant Bridget is the only one of that family now.  I am shure she is lonsome after her but we must all go that way not knowing when or where.  God help everybody.  I hope all the family and grandchildren are all well which leaves us here at present.  Thank God.  Youre last letter to me.  About 2 years ago my daughter Mary, 20 years old, got sick in September and died 10 December following.  She was a fine, smart girl.  I done all I could for her, had doctors and curs of all kinds.  All was no good.  Cost me money enough.  All was no good.  Left me sad and lonesome without any girl, as Annie took the other one after her fatherís death.  May the Lord have mercy on her.  It seems that there were nothing but crosses for me in this world.  As they say, no cross, no crown.

 

Tell Annie Lyons her people is farily well.  The 3 has a pension of 10 shillings a week each but is getting old and feable and no one to look after them.  They expect Annie home.

 

I hope the times is improving over there.  My boy is in Brooklyn working.  He was almost one year in Boston.  He went over there in the bad times.  We have a bad government here to now.  I think they are not much good for Ireland.  You would not get only about 3 pounds for a good cow and five shillings for a sheep.  So you see the bad markets.  We have good crops this year, only that it would be far worce.  Annie and Bridget is well, also Mary Boyle.  She is crippled with pains.  Hopping this note will find youse well.  If Ant Mary had any money left without harming youse send me a little if youse can.  I will be praying for her.  Now I will close.  I have no more news at present.

 

Yours,

Mary Kenny

As ever, goodbye.  Write when youse can.  Kind rememberance to all the family.

Goodbye, Mrs. William Kenny

 

Letter 2

 

Altnagapple

18 March 1937

 

Dear Uncle

 

I received youre letter a few days ago.  Very sorry to hear the sad news of poor Antie Bridget been dead and gon.  We had her prayed for.  I know you are heartbroken.  May the Lord have mercy on her Soul.  I hope some of the family is living with you.  Well, she done her part well in this world.  I often think of the time I uste to be going to youre house.  It was easy making a home in it.  Never had I such a good time in my life.  Death is hard.  At the time I was left alone with the children I thought I never would get over it but they are no good in worrying for the little time people has to put in this world.  Poor Annie, Mrs. Gallagher.  I hope her husband and family is getting along alrite.  I was going to answer youre last letter.  Then our Annie got sick and she died last February a year ago.  She has no family to be sorry after her.  So Mary Boyle died about six months ago.  She has one little girl alive.  They all spent many a day in youre house.  I suppose you are not able to go to work any more.  Both you and poor Antie worked hard enough in youre  days.  I hope youre family do not forget you.  I hear the times is improving some in that country.  James, I had no word from him since Cristmas.  He is working in the old Jentlemans home, Bronx New York.  I told him to call to see youse some time.  My boy Paddie is gon to England last week.  They are lots of the Irish going.  The times is not very good here.  We miss our markets.  There are tarave (tariffs) on all the cattle going to England.  We had a very storrmy winter here.  Rain in the beginning and snow and frost.  Just now we are all fine, thank God.  Hopping this note will reach and find youse all well.  And do not be so sorry about Ant Bridget.  We will all pray for her and we will all have the same journy to make some day.  Now I will finish.  Write sometime soon as I would always like to hear from you and family.

 

From Mary Kenny

To Uncle John and family

Goodbye, write soon.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

Letters from Annie Lyons

 

Annie Lyons was a daughter of John Lyons & Rose Gavagan. Rose was a sister of Bridget Herron's mother, Catherine Gavigan.

For this family see - 1901 census Corker More, Killaghtee

 

People mentioned in these letters :

Bridget, Mary and Patrick - Gavigan, Annie's siblings in Corker More

Micky Gavigan - Michael Gavagan married to Rose, no children - see 1901 census Mulmosog, Killybegs Lower

Thomas & Cissy Gavigan & their spouses - children of John Gavagan and Elizabeth Harron - see 1901 census Mulmosog, Killybegs Lower

 

Letter 1

 

To:  Mrs. John J. Nolan (Bridget Nolan)

 

Corkermore

Bruckless

County Donegal

Ireland

 

September 22, 1933

 

My Dear Cousin:

 

Just a few lines to let you know that I arrived safe.  Please excuse me from not writing sooner.  I had a very good passage and I was not sick.  They were all very glad to see me home; Bridget is not keeping so very well, my brother and my other sister is fine.  We have been very busy at the hay, so that is why I could not write sooner.  So now we have got our haystack made.  I was not out since I came home, only at Micky Gaviganís (a relative of Bridget Nolans mother) wake, he died a week ago.  I heard Thomas Gavigan and wife and Cissy and husband came home from America last week.  I hope John and yourself as well, also Mary and her boyfriend. 

 

I have no more news to tell you.  I will write again when I get the time.  Please remember me to Susanna and to all the rest of the family.  Bridget and Mary and Patrick join me in sending their love to you and John, and thanking you both for your kindness to me, when I was there.  We have got very nice weather here since I came home. With love to you both, hoping to hear from you soon.

 

Your loving cousin

Annie Lyons

 

Letter 2

 

To:  Mrs. John J. Nolan (Bridget Nolan)

 

Corkermore

Bruckless

County Donegal

Ireland

 

September 22, 1933

 

My Dear Cousin:

 

Just a few lines to let you know that I arrived safe.  Please excuse me from not writing sooner.  I had a very good passage and I was not sick.  They were all very glad to see me home; Bridget is not keeping so very well, my brother and my other sister is fine.  We have been very busy at the hay, so that is why I could not write sooner.  So now we have got our haystack made.  I was not out since I came home, only at Micky Gaviganís (a relative of Bridget Nolans mother) wake, he died a week ago.  I heard Thomas Gavigan and wife and Cissy and husband came home from America last week.  I hope John and yourself as well, also Mary and her boyfriend. 

 

I have no more news to tell you.  I will write again when I get the time.  Please remember me to Susanna and to all the rest of the family.  Bridget and Mary and Patrick join me in sending their love to you and John, and thanking you both for your kindness to me, when I was there.  We have got very nice weather here since I came home. With love to you both, hoping to hear from you soon.

 

Your loving cousin

Annie Lyons

 

 

Letter 3

 

To:  Bridget Nolan

 

Carkermore

Bruchless

PO Donegal

(Postmarked Leitbear)

1934

 

Dear Bridget

 

Your letter I recived a few days ago.  I was very sorry to here of Annieís death.  I feel for the children.  Dear Bridget, I know you feel awful bad about her but Gods will has to be don.  Mary OíDonnell told me of her death a month ago.  I am still praying for her.  I am glad that the baby is thriving well and taking care of well.  Bridget, for myself, I feel just the same.  I did not get any fater since I came.  Bridget is not feeling well atall.  She was anointed a few days ago and for Paddy he is very bad with rumatism and Mary is not feeling good either, so you my no I have plenty of execies. (exercise).  Dear Bridget, I hope you will excuse for not answer your first letter, but puting it off from day to day the time passes.  I am very glad that John is well and will soon retire.  He is worth of it.  I hope Mary is well and expect her to visit sometime soon.  Remember me to Susana.  I am sorry her husband is not feeling good.  I was not in Ardara since I came home.  I havenít seen Mrs. Mguiness since I came.  I hered she had a baby girl.  Well, I supose you (heard) of Catherine Hyrne death and a lot more that died around here.

 

So I have no more news to send you at Present.  Hoping you will take good care of youself, and I hope to hear from you soon.  Remember me to John and Mary and all the rest of the family.  So now I must come to a close by sending my love and best respect to all.

 

Your affecton Friend

 

Annie Lyons

 

Letter 4

 

Carkermore

Bruchless

 

April 22, 1937

 

Dear Mr. Nolan:

 

I recieved your letter all rig and all of us we were very sorry to heare of Mrs. Nolan death.  She was prayed for in both chuches.  I am praying for her along with Machel and Mary, may her sole rest in pece.  Dear John, how do you feel yourself?  I know it was hard on you.  You miss her very much but cannot be helped.  I did not forget her kindness to me and you also, and how is Mary and the rest of the family?  I would write sooner but my to sisters are very ill and my brother is bad with pains.  They keep me all the time busy, I did not see any of the freinds.  I donít be out much.  I hope that Susana and husband are well.  We had a very stormy winter and a very late spring.  This is all I have to say at present.  Not forgetting the Xmas card.  I send my love and best respects you, also my brothers and sisters.

 

Goodby, hoping to hear from yous some time.

 

From your freind

 

Annie Lyons

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Letters from Annie Friel

 

Letter 1

 

Mollantyboyle

March 10, 1935

 

My dear Mrs. Nolan:

 

I am sure you will be sirprised to hear from me after such a long spell of silance after all.  Donít think so very bad of me.  I have just the same warm heart to old friends as ever but one of my many faults are neglect in writing.  Now forgive me, please.  Around last Christmas I heard that you had died, and I felt so sorry and I have been praying for you ever since.  And I had such pity for Mr. Nolan, and I used to wonder was Mary living at home or did she get married.  So, last Sunday, Eddie Brogan was over here and it seems that someone over there sent Mrs. Meehan a clippen out of the paper with an account of Annieís death (Anna Nolan Gallagher)  in it, and she sent it over to me.  Well, I need not tell you how sorry I am and sirprised.  What in the world happened to her.  She looked so well when I seen her last.  And all her poor children, God help them all.  It seems almost cruel to take her away from them, but sure God knows best.  Now I wish to extend to you all my sincerest sympathy and may her soul rest in peace.  Poor Annie.

 

How are you feeling yourself.  I am sure your heart is broken and what wonder, but after all, sure we must all go sooner or later, and sure she will be there to meet you.  Now cheer up and pray for her.  How is John feeling, does he go to business still?  I heard about Joe McDonnel and Maryís death.  Mind you, I never forget them in my prayers for the good turn they done for us when we had very few friends.  May they all rest in peace.  I am sure you heard about my poor sister Brigitís death.  She died on the 16th of December, 1933.   She was ailing most of a year.  Grace told me that she got a very nice happy death.  Many of our family have passed away, but I felt Bridgetís death more than all the rest.  Now I suppose I can hardly expect you to answer this not after my long delay, but I would like to hear from you, and send me one of Annieísí momerial cards if you have any.  I wonít say anything about myself in this letter, only that we are both well at present.  How I wish to remembered to you all, Mr. Nolan, Kitty as of old, Mary and your dear self from an almost forgotton old friend.

 

Annie Friel, Mollantyboyle, Glenties

 

Letter 2

 

Tell Mr. Nolan that James Breslin is still alive but is away over 80 and his sight is almost gone, but he is as giddy as ever.  Nellie lives  here in the second house from me.  Her health is good but she is crippled with pains.  She has six sons and one girl and a boy dead.  She is very sorry about Annieís death.  She remembers her well.

Now, again, goodbye to you all and God bless you all and the poor husband and children (Cornelius Gallagher).  I am sure you will take some of them.  You could not do a bigger charity.

 

From A. Friel

Mollantyboyle Glenties

Co. Donegal Ireland 

 

Letter 3

 

Mollantyboyle

Glenties

Donegal

 

December 7, 1936

 

My dear Mr. and Mrs. Nolan:

 

Just a line to let you know that we are still in the land of the living.  I should have written long ago, only I am such a bad hand at the pen.  And the lovely letter that you sent me.  Well, I hope you will forgive me for you know I have nothing only kind thoughts and good wishes for you all.  Well, we sold the land in Mollantyboyle last April and went down to live with a nephew of Mauriceís that lives at Geedore and keeps a shop and a hotell.  Well, I did not like it there.  So we stoped there just eight weeks so we came back again to Mollantyboyle, bought the place of a house and got a nice cottage built and we are living in it since the 4th of September.  We have nothing to do now, only take care of ourselves.  We keep no cows nor anything so if you be going to Ardara anytime, stop in and see us.  When you come to the old corn mill just a little farther on to your right you will find us there waiting for the last call which is drawing nearer ever day.  Maurice is not keeping so well.  He has a cold all winter and does not leave the house.  He has a bad chest.  I am as hardy as a snipe and I am allays on the go.  Thank God for the health, and still I might be gone before him.  I am knitting coarse every day for at a half a crown a dozen.  You know I canít be idle.  We are both getting the old age penshion, 10 shillings a week each.  

 

Now how are you getting along.  How is the health.  I supose Mr. Nolan has retired from work.  How is Kittie and Mary?  Does Mary live with you?  How are all the dear children getting on and how is the baby.  I hope they are all well.  I think there is not many

 

of the good old peopel that we used to know long ago living now.  I think we are the last.  I wish I could live near you.  What alot of things I would have to ask you.  But we donít think enought of those days to they are gone.  I was over at home last August.  I called into your old home.  They are all well.  Paddy has five little girls, one born since I was there.  He reminded me of Bryne, but of coars he will never be as good as Bryne.  James Breslin is living, but they have to watch him like a child.  He is dotting.  He has his nehphew living with him now.  James give him the place.  His name is Dannie Breslin.

 

Now I hope those few lines will find you all in the very best of health and bleive me to be always your very best friend, and perhaps I might expect a few lines from you sometime.  And now I will say goodbye and good luck.

 

From Annie Friel

Slan latt

I live near Nellie but she is bad with pains in bones that she does not leave the house.  Bridget will soon be dead three years.  How quick the times pass.  May she rest in peace.

 

Letter 4

 

Mollantyboyl

Glenties

Co. Donegal

 

Dear Mr. Nolan,

 

I received your kind letter and I am very sorry to hear of Mrs. Nolans death.  I am sure it is a great shock to you and you will miss her terrible, but we must expect at our age such things.  You know we all canít go together.  I am sure she had a happy death and I hope she is happy in heven.  May she rest in peace.  I will pray for her.  I had her prayed for in Glenties Church last Sunday.  Now I know you feel very lonely after her but keep up your heart.  The time is getting short until we all have to go.  I wonít forget her in my prayers and offer you all my cincere sympathy.  I hope all the little children are well.  I mean the Gallagher children.  I wonder would you have any little picture of Mrs. Nolan.  I would love to have one.  Well, dear John, James Breslin died on the 17th of February, passed away quitly after a few days illness.  I was over to the weak (wake) and funeral.  He looked almost as he did when you saw him last.  He looked very young for 85. May he also rest in peace.  The only little girl Nellie Furey had died suddenly a few months ago with heart trouble.  She was thirteen years.  Do you know is the Miss Daily living yet.  Bridget and Maggie OK.   Our time is getting short.  Mind you, I will be 72 on August nexed and Maurice 78 so we are near the end of the teather.  Hopping yourself and family peace and happiness and the best of health.  I am, dear Mr. Nolan, your cincere friend

 

Annie Friel

God bless and comfort you all.  Good bye.

 

 Letter from Maurice Friel

 

Dear John

 

I am sincerely sorry to hear of Mrs. Nolanís death and I think I understand your feeling of bereavement but after all we must submit to the divine will and thank him for his crosses.

I for my part should not forget her for she done me a good turn once that I canít forget for which I pray her soul may find comfort in heaven.  Therefore I will remember in my prayers daily.

 

Your friend

 

M. Friel (Maurice, Annieís husband)

 

--------------------------------------------

 

Letter from Patrick Herron

 

Letter 1

 

Mullinacloy

Aradara

 

March 30, 1937

 

Dear Mr. Nolan,

 

We were all very sorry to receive the sad news contained in your letter of the second instant of the death of your dear wife Bridget and our loving aunt.  May God have mercy on her soul.

We will all remember her in our prayers and trust that God will console you in your great loss.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Patrick Herron

 

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Letters from Mary (Kenny) McGuinness

 

Letter 1

 

Glenburn

Donegal PO

An Scrudoir DíOscail

Opened by Censor

 

Dear Uncle John,

 

I have been expecting a letter from you in ages.  How are you all.  Annie (Sister Josepha) talks of you all in her letters. We are all well but have a bad time on account of war.  Everything very expensive.  It was hard luck for us the day we left America.  I had a letter from Pete McGuinness last week.  He said Ed would be on subway five years ago if there.  My heart is and was always in America.  No life here, only work and nothing for it.  I am sorry I listened to peoples talk, but I guess these days are before when I think of all we lost to settle ourselves on this way.  Please donít say anything when writing to Annie.  But maybe if we be left living and times to improve we will get back again, G. W. (God Willing).  I am very disgusted at present.

 

Conclude with love and best wishes to you all.

 

Your fond neice

 

Mary Kenny McGuinness

God bless you all.


Letter 2

 

To Mr. John Nolan

Opened by examiner 3522

Glenbourn

Donegal PO

County Donegal

 

Dear Uncle John,

 

A few lines hoping you are all very well.  And that this old war is not effecting yous to bad.  Terrible here.  Food and everything dear, scarce.  We would be hungry was it not for potatoes and oatmeal.  There was some friend of Annies sent us tea.  It was great to get, now it is used.  We are only allowed 1/Ĺ ounce each in week.  God help the people.  Sometimes I do wish I could get one of those meals over there.  I have two children for confirmation on Tuesday next.  Clothes is also past buying.  A cousin of mine sent me a few things belonging to her boy.  They are useful to get.  I didnít think at one time I was ever going to have such a hard struggle.  Trusting God will give us health and strength to get alone till times improve.  I do hope G. W. to go back again if times improve over here.  No wonder you said I was foolish to come here.  I think these things are before people.  I have five children, three at school.

 

How are you all? Trusting very well.  Well, dear Uncle, I conclude with love from Mother, Ed, myself and kids to you all.

 

Your fond neice

 

Mary Kenny

Mrs. E. McGuinness

 

Letter 3

 

Opened by Examiner 5055

Glenbourn

Donegal PO

Co. Donegal

 

Dear Uncle John,

Your letter I received some time ago.  So glad to hear from you and know of you all being well.  As leaves all here at present I am not too strong myself.  We hear from Annie often.  I saw in your letter times are not too good over there.  Very bad here.   Everything so expensive and scarce.  If you had plenty of money it would go.     No piece for clothing.  You canít get children and people here depend a lot on yarn(?)  None to be had.  Of course in some districts they make their own but not around here.

 

Uncle, if any of boys had a suit of clothes they had finished wearing it would be wonderful to get.  Ed got no suit since he came home and it would cost 10 pounds at present to get a new one and any clothes belonging to children or your daughters would be a great help.  Mark old clothes and then they donít cost much.  I donít mean new things, just old clothes you would be finished.  God will bless you with as much as we are really in bad need of clothes and ourselves and kids.  We canít see our way to get any.  Your Catherine has a boy about same age as John.  I do hate to ask you but I make free on her.  Donít mention when writing as Ed would be mad with.  He is terribly worried about times.  He always says he will never see another suit of clothes. I wanted him to write to Pete.  He doesnít like to give in.  So I am writing this note to you.  So I do hope between you and all yours will not miss some old clothes and God will bless you.  I am not strong atall.  I do and have worried a lot for coming to Ireland.  I guess these things are before people.

I felt it was my duty to care for mother and father.  We put ourselves into poverty for them, trusting God will send us health and help us to struggle along through bad times.

 

Love from all here to you all

Your fond neice

Mary Kenny McGuinness


Letter 4

 

An Scrudoir Doscail

Opened by Censor 126

Glenbourn, Donegal PO, Co. Donegal

 

Dear Uncle John:

 

Annie talks of you all in her letters.  She said you were expecting a letter from me.  Time after time I neglected.  I do be kept quite busy.  I guess you heard I had a baby boy born May 29th.  Bridie was here for six weeks and had a baby girl born April 21.  The children  had measels and is only after having virals.

 

Uncle John, how is everybody?  And what about times.  Very bad here and expecting worse.  God help us from this awful war.  Everything very expensive and no income.  We sure had hard luck coming to Ireland.  I guess these things are before people.  I earned and saved hard.  All went fast starting up over there.  Cost us Ė lost all and since we came home spent and make nothing.  Now our money is gone and things to be bought just the same.  Three children at school.  Clothes and shoes are very dear here.  But God is good.  We built buildings, fixed house, bought a horse trap and cart.   Bridie was home.  She went and learned dress making.  Bought her a new sewing machine when she had all.  Got, left it without earning any, and went to Glasgow.  She cost me over 20 pounds running back and forth and board when she got married  more money.  Uncle John, we would be better off when we had hard luck to come here if we carted up for ourselves land and cattle.  Was very cheap then.  My heart will always be over there.  Trusting God will send us health and send this awful war will settle.  Both Ed and I are down-hearted.  Please donít mention to Annie or in letter you write to me as Mother thinks no place like Ireland.  I am just telling you my mind.  Trusting you are feeling very well and that your family is all well.  Health is the main thing.  Maybe things will take a turn here yet.  Please donít mention what I am telling you.  Please say a wee prayer for God to send a way to get along.

 

Your fond neice

Mary Kenny

Good night.  God bless you all.  I never paid taxes on lots since hadnít way to do so.  Ed has stocks in City Service.  I think they are not much good either.  Such is life.

 

Letter 5
 

Opened by Examiner 6711

Glenbourn

Donegal PO

County Donegal

Ireland

 

Dear Uncle John:

 

Your card we received at Christmas.  Glad as usual to hear from you.  How is times over there.  Just awful here.  Everything scarce and dear.  It is just impossible to live on a small farm.  The food is terrible.  Potatoes all the time to eat.  T.G. (Thank God) we had a good crop, only for that we would be hungry.  Flour terrible dear.  God is good.  I do feel so down-hearted when used to money and good living, now has nothing.  Money is all gone.  And children are hard to keep going.  Shoes is very dear and no good.  I have six children.  There is word emigration is opening up.  Eddie is talking of going back.  Would it be advisable?  We couldnít get along here if things donít take a change.  My health is failing.  I donít feel strong atall. I worry so much over our mismanaging.  I guess maybe I will have enough as long as I be here.  Of course I may.  Run down I am as I get no food of any good and them kids keep me so busy, no rest.  Please donít tell Annie anything about me writing such to you as it would only upset her.  Pray for God to help us to struggle through hard times.  With Godís help I may get back again to America.  It is the only country.  No hiring here.  Working like a slave for nothing.  Neither food or clothes you can get.  I never got a dress since I came here.  I had 600 pounds in bank and all is gone and now when kids would need it I have none.  Only struggling.  A few eggs in week that people could use in home.  Well, Uncle John, I conclude for now.  Hoping yourself and family are all very well.  I lost all I spent on lots.  Also I couldnít pay on them here.  I have some luck.  Donít mention when writing anything I am telling you as Ed would be mad.  Love from Mother, Ed, myself and kids.

 

Mary Kenny McGuinness

Please donít mention what I am writing to anybody or say anything if you write here as Ed would be mad at me writing our troubles.  Pray for us.  God bless you and all your family.  

 

Letter 6 

 

Glenburn

Donegal Road

Donegal

Postmarked 1944

 

Dear Uncle John

 

A few lines hoping you and all are very well.  Annie talks of you all being so kind to her.  We do hope yous are not suffering from war.  Times here we canít get along atall.  All out - got no income. We have just given up hope altogether.  Trusting the Sacred Heart will give us some luck.  Everything has just turned against us.  Lost cattle, sheep and our good horse went lame, so we are up against a hard time.  Now children need so much food and clothes and everything so expensive, and we have no money.  We are 40 pounds in debt.  And how are we going to pay it back.  Canít make ends meet atall.  We made a terrible mistake to come here but mother was continually writing, and Bridie would not stay with them.  She went off, had a good time, got married, and we had all to pay.  Father, God rest his soul, was sick.  Had doctor bills, hospital bills and funeral expenses all to pay.  Was very ill myself the same summer.  Money couldnít last.  Then as you know we were only after starting up over there, paid storage on furniture and lost all.  It cost a lot to come home. Now we are here in want, with six children.  Uncle John, could you by any means help us a little if you asked your family a little from each of them. Tommie seemed very nice.  The Sacred Heart will give them as much in return. Only for I am so much in need I wouldnít ask.  I canít earn Ė has no way to get along and this debt we are pressed for to pay some of.  I am not telling Eddie about writing to you, so donít mention when you write.  If we had a few years in, John Patrick would be leaving school, and maybe times would improve, but at present we are in a bad state.  Ed does have cramps some times also.  I guess he should see a doctor.  Now, Uncle John, donít tell Annie and she would be only worrying she forced me home.  If emigration once opened we would go back again G.W. and maybe with Godís help will pay you back when children grow up.  Donít mention these things when writing as I donít want to be annoying mother.  She thinks as long as you are in Ireland it is alright to be fasting.  We didnít tell her our troubles.  We are a pressing for money and we havenít it and no prospects to get any.  We are able to get no clothing hardly except shoes for kids, and lend of money to buy them.  Well, Uncle John, if you will as kind as you will try and do a little between all of you, I trust and pray the S.H. will send you all as much in return.

 

Your fond neice

 

Mary Kenny McGuinness

 

Goodbye, donít mention these things to Annie.  Please help a little and God will give you as much in return.  The kids will be in great need if we donít get some help.  God bless you all.

 

Letter 7
 

Glenbourn

Donegal PO

Co. Donegal, Postmarked Don Na Ngall

1944

 

Dear Uncle John

 

A few lines to thank you so much for your lovely present received today.  So kind and good of you.  May God send you as much in return.  We were just wondering what we were going to do, rent overdue and so many things to get.  Food is very expensive and no income much.  I do feel so mean to be troubling you.  I didnít tell Mother or Eddie about me asking you, so donít you mention these things when writing.   Eddie worries away and wants to go away to England.  What would I do here alone with mother an old woman and small children and my health not so good.  We are all praying for you and your family for God to bless and help you through war time.  I expect there is some of Annaís, (Gallagher)  may her soul RIP, family at war.

 

Uncle John, if we had a few years in and get our health and get debt paid John P. would be leaving school, though there is nothing in this country (but God is good).  I am praying away.  It was sure a great help to get your present.  We hear from Sister Josepha Mary quite often.  She talks of your kindness.  And also of your family.  She doesnít know my troubles so donít be worrying her, as she would only be upset.  Times turned badly against us.  I saved a lot but it didnít last long here.  Now when we need it, our family, we have nothing.  Clothing and shoes you canít buy here.  Now, Uncle John, I conclude.

 

Thank you again.  Hope children will be able to pay you or your family back some time.  May God Bless you.  I always send for plenty of everything and good health and keep those at war safe.  Your kindness Eddie or I will never forget.  Trusting the Sacred Heart will send you as much in return.

 

Your fond neice

Mary Kenny 

 

 

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Lindel Buckley

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