Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Letters To / From USA

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Letter from Bridget Joyce, Co. Carlow,

To her Cousin William, NYC

Contributed by Mary Coogan c2005

Written in Margins: 

 'Let us know all about our uncles Reddy [Joyce] & the others.

(Please tell Hugh Mrs. Patrick Nolan wonders he never wrote to her.  She is keeping on the business since poor Pat died.  B. Joyce)




Your father's headstone stands straight and firm still.



29 March 1880

My dear Cousin William,

We received yours at the 13th Inst. & indeed as you said it was time for you to write.  I had given up long ago hearing from you, & I suppose only for real shame you would leave me longer.  But I won't quarrel at such a distance.

We were all very glad to hear that you were all so well & doing so well.  Isn't it wonderful that your Mother [Catharine Nolan Coogan] keeps so very strong.  Since she left, how many young healthy people have died.  I regret to say my mother is anything but strong at present.  About 18 months ago she got a severe fit & she never got strong since.  She is not able to walk a quarter of a mile, but I thank God for my father is just as hearty and strong as when I first knew him.  He was delighted to hear of you often thinking & chatting over the old home.  He is full of stories about you all & about Corries.  He keeps constantly singing old airs.  He is always bright & happy.  The old house stands still & John Kealy, the Carpenter, lives in it.  His father is dead for the past 9 years.  Mrs. Terry Byrne & her 3 daughters & 2 sons live in the old home at Carrig & are doing first class.  John Brien & family are very well.  Thomas is married to Cloney's daughter, is living in this town, has 2 children, & keeps a sort of provision store.  Mrs. Ned Maher of Ballyloughan & all her children & Ned are quite well.  Father William is stationed in Philipstown.  John is in Mountrath College, & Patrick is in Tullamore College.  Eddie, Jennie, and Terence are at home working on the farm & Mary Anne is a fine big girl.  Margaret Lalor is married down at Abbeyleix & has 2 children.  She is very well to do & is very happy.  John Tierney has 2 nice young girls & 2 boys.  The girls are at home & done [with] school.  The eldest girl is dark and the youngest fair.  The Byrne's (Smiths) are great big able Irishmen.  Peter is about 6 foot & James about 6.  Old Maurice Byrne died about 6 months ago & the wife about 7 months ago.

There is a post office at the Hand kept by a man named Hennessy.  Uncle Denny is Coachman at Mrs. Nixon's of Corries & he & his wife & 3 children, 2 girls & one boy, are still living in the old home.  Uncle John has just recovered a severe fit.  He is able to sit up now.  He lost a leg some years ago & has never been well since.  Patrick & I were over to see him last June.  He is very comfortable & married to a second wife who has 2 pretty girls.

We were sorry to hear of Uncle William's death.  Was it sudden?  Please let us know has he any children by the second wife & how is his daughter & all about him.  May God have mercy on his soul; he was a cold brother & son.  It would not have been such a loss to him to write to my father.  But thank God we wanted nothing from him.  We got him & James Doyle prayed for in Ballinkillen & Bagenalstown.  We regretted to hear of poor James' death.  He was a fine honest fellow.  We were glad to hear his family were so well.

Neddy Byrne's daughter Peggy is married to Doherty of Ballyellen & John her brother is married to Matt Byrne's daughter of Seskin.

Pat Cahill died suddenly of heart disease.  Terry Byrne's eldest daughter is married to Bishop Fenelon's son & Larry Neill is married the second time to Pat's sister-in-law & is now living in Cloney's farm.  Larry was first married to Shelly's daughter of Slyguff & she died after the birth of her baby.  I must say good-bye now & beg you to give your dear Mother, Hugh, Denis, & yourself our warmest love.

Please write soon if you have time & believe me your affectionate cousin,

Bridget Joyce

Source: Sue Clement

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