Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell Papers
Carlow 19

By kind permission of Mr Michael Purcell  2013

Letter from 1912.

 I found this letter in the Watson archive in the cellar of Altamont House, Carlow in 2002.

 Dated 1912 it is addressed to Fielding Lecky Watson, father of Diana Curtis and Corona North.

 The writer of the letter Mary Matilda Manley was born M.M. Watson in 1848.

 Her mother died in 1850, her father John Watson of Carlow was a brother of Thomas (Arkansas) Joseph (Oregon) and William (Canada). Thomas went to Arkansas circa 1850 and William went to Meaford, Canada circa 1830s, he died there in 1888, he was married to Jane Speer, they had no children. M.M. Manley joined her uncle William in Canada and died there in 1930 , she did not have any children. We know Mary visited Ireland in 1915 and carried out research in the Public Record Office on the Watson family at that time.

 I have a lot of data on William and Matilda but for now I share this letter.



April 20th 1912.

 Dear cousin Fielding,

 The sinking of the Titanic has caused great shock it is the worst event ever in our memory. Were you -- with any of the victims I am unwell since the news, my friend Ann pens this letter. I was looking through old maps and papers of Carlow belonging to Uncle William. Looking at the maps my mind went back to the happy days my brothers and I spent in Carlow in Ballintrane, Kilconner Lumclone and with the Master in Ballydarton,  Ballydarton became our home after my mother died (I was two years old) .All  of us attended Friends (Quakers) meetings in Kilconner.

 I recollect the elders M. Lecky and Mr Watsons sitting on the high benches. I am now a member of the English church. But I reserve the greatest veneration for the Quakers. I remain in contact with cousin Joseph Watson family in Oregan and family of Sam Watson. I would dearly love to return to see the old homes for I love the Irish and the curious stories of dear old Ireland related by the peasants.

 Every place begins with "Bally" and "Kil".

 Thomas Churchill Watson grandson of Uncle Thomas now owns the home and the land in Carlow.

 I have not met him but I have been to visit his sister Mary and the Stalling family. T.C.W. was to accompany me to Ireland this year but with the "Titanic" accident we are isolated. I send you a photo sent to me by Thomas Churchill I was struck by the likeness to my brother Fred and to you. The split in our family changed everything if only the elders were sitting it would never have happened and now Ballydarton is no longer in the Watson family. I was only two years old when my mother died and was brought to Ballydarton --on the map I have marked a cross where my brother Manly is buried in Quakers burial ground at Ballybromhill.

 I wonder is his grave attended. On your travels you are welcome to stay here .I hope we meet again soon .I will say goodbye for the present.

 Affectionately from Cousin M. M. Manley

 Source: M. Purcell c.2013


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