A Letter Home
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Pat is the great grand-daughter of Mary & Charles Stewart who came to Australia on Sapphire in 1859, sponsored by the Donegal Relief Fund.
Charles and Mary Stewart (nee Doherty) brought 2 daughters with them, Diana and Annie, then had 2 other daughters in Australia - Charlotte and Mary (Pat's grandmother). Charles became a policeman (no. 608) and they went to Eden NSW. Charles was dismissed (?) in 1863 and tragically drowned in April 1863, when Mary was just 2 months old.
Mary (nee Doherty) then married Denis McGee, the son of Edward and May McGee. Denis arrived in Australia in 1857 and was from the same townland as Charles Stewart. Mary and Denis had 2 sons and daughter, then Denis died in 1875 at Bathurst . Mary died in 1910 . Diana died in 1890. Pat's grandmother Mary died in 1943.
Charles' parents were John and Catherine (nee Montgomery ) Stewart of Raymunterdoney. Mary's parents were Dominick and Charlotte Doherty of Bunbeg, Tullaghobegley.
Should you have any family information to share, please Email Pat
Bunbeg , County Donegal
April 20th. 1878
My Dear Grandchild,
I am in receipt of your very kind and most welcome letter to me, which I received by this mail, and I assure you it gave me great pleasure to hear that you were all well . I was continually thinking of your Mother and the whole of ye. And always praying for a letter from her and it looks as if the Lord has heard my prayer through you thanks and praise be to his holy name . I often thought of you and your sister Dina and indeed made sure that Dina would write to me when she would get up often and often I nursed her when she was a baby and when she was beginning to speak she would always call me her Da You were only a baby on the breast when you left here.
I am glad to see by your letter that you sometimes think of your friends in old Ireland I must tell you that you have aplenty of friends here that are always thinking about ye in Australia.
Iím sure you do feel lonely sometimes when you think of being in a strange country without friends. But my Dear Grandchild when you feel lonely who was brought up in Australia you may depend that I be lonely here by myself and knows that I have such dear friends in Australia and never expects to see one of ye in this world.
But Godís Will must be done . I may say I am all alone as I have no person now but my housekeeper she is your God Mother she lived with me ever since your Grandmother died and before it . Your Mother will be able to tell you about her. Your Godfatherís name is Owen Meehan he is in Australia he went there sometime after ye went . When here, he lived with the clergyman that baptised you , perhaps you might meet him there . Your Mother will remember him.
Dear Grandchild I will now tell you all about your Uncles and Aunts . Your Uncle George is away from me for the last seventeen years he is in the Coast guards in England and is married and has four children , he and the wife and family were all quite well the last time I heard from him.
Your Aunt Annie is married for the last twelve years , she has one little girl her name is Mary she is called for your Mother , she is eleven years old next June , her husband is a Sergeant in the police force in this country , his name is James King.
Your Aunt Charlotte is married eight years , she has four little girls , the first is called Mary for your Mother and the next is called Annie for Aunt and you , her husband is also a sergeant in the police force in this country , his name is Patrick Mc Cormack , your Mother seen him in Bunbeg , if she remembers him.
Your Uncle Neal is away from me he is in a situation in Scotland and quite well , the last time I heard from him. Iím very sure he would go out to that country very fast when he hears that ye are all alive and well.
Your Uncle Johnnie is at home with me now he was in the police eight years and when I got old and feeble and the rest of your Uncles and Aunts left me he had to come home and live with me to take care of me in my old days .He was not very big when you left here he almost broke his heart after your Mother left , he was very fond of your Mother and you and Dina. He used to nurse you and you quite a baby he really cried with joy when I gave him your letter to read and kissed your name a score of times . He often talks about going to Australia ..
My Dear Grandchild I was very sorry to hear about your poor fathers death I heard it sometime after it occurred I donít remember if it was your Mother who wrote to me about it , I am sorry to have to inform you that there is not one of your fathers friends alive here now . I am also sorry that I have none of your Fatherís photographs to send you , I never seen any of them with him in this country , I thought he might have got his likeness taken in Australia and that your Mother would have sent me one of them.We heard of your Mothers second marriage and of his death also , when we were sorry to hear your poor Mother has got plenty trouble since she left me , but I trust in God the worst of them are oíer now . I must say that your Fathers friends and step Fatherís friends were very respectable people , Your Father and your Motherís second husband belonged to the one little town.
My Dear Grandchild, there is one thing I would like you to would do for me and I hope you will not disappoint me . It is this , you and all your sisters and Mother will kindly send me your photographs, until I see ye all even this way . I would send you one if I had any of mine ,but I must say that I never got my likeness taken and where I live it is a very backward place .
I would have to go about forty miles to have it taken and there is no railway cars nor anything else unless you went on foot and that would be too far for an old man like me. There is a young woman from here in Sydney , her name is Madge Gallagher , she wrote home about two years ago and she mentioned that she was going to see you and Dina. We heard she was married since . You will please say in your next letter if you know anything of her. You may if you think fit forward this letter to your Mother and tell her to write to me. With kind love to your sisters and Mother and little brothers and accept same for your self. I remain My Dear Grandchild your loving and fond Grandfather.
Miss Annie Stuart
Eden Twofold Bay
Good Bye and May God
bless you all.
Ex. Coast Guard
P.S. Your Uncle Johnnie sends you and Dina and your Mother and all your sisters twenty kisses .xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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