Jan. 29th, 1859
Dear Brother Alexander,
After long silence I lift my pen to let you know how I am sircumsenced at present. I am in pretty good health at present thanks bee to the most high for all his mercies to us ever hoping that these fiew lines will find you on the land of the living and in good health, but I thought it strange that some of you did not wright before this to hear how things was goeing on in your old native land for dear Brother for although I did not right frequently yet I was always thinking about you all but more these last five weeks past since my dear sister Betty was called to the narrow house appointed for all living. She was aling for a good lenth of time with a stomach complaint but not confined to hir bed till a fiew days before hir death. She had only one son William and he never maried and she had one daughter Jane. She never maried and the kept hir confortable. She died welthey and lived confortable.
Dear brother my own famely is all men and wemen big I have two daughters maried. I have no sons maried yet. I have two sons in Austrila at the golding these two years past. The are dooing pretty well they wright frequently the have good health and the are getting along well. We have the proof of them beeing dooing well for the sent us 100L of cash to keep their fathers pocked. The two boys that went away was Robert and George. We have two boys at home with us William and John. We ar dooing right well. We are labouring a thirty acre farm ofour own. We had good crops and flax is paying well this season we will draw 60L for flax this season and other crops done well this year. I have one daughter to mary yet that is my youngest child. Hir name is Rachel. She is eleven stone weight. My dear husband and I we are both wearing down but has no reason to complain seeing that others is calling away som on our left hand and others on our right, but still we are the spared monuments of his mercies.
So my dear brother I wrote different letters to you and got no answer I am afraid I have not the right adress but I thought I would send you these fiew lines in hopes that they wil find you and if the doo I would fondly hope that you will write and let me know all goes with you all or if my sisters got maried and when you right let me know for I would be glad to know evry item about you all and where you all live and the ways of living. We had very bad times hire about ten years ago but times is dooing pretty well these past six years past. Vitling is cheap this year. Potatoes got the blight this year but lighter than these years back they ar selling at 2D per stone, oatmeal is 10S per hundred, wheat is 8S per hundred, pork is 48S per hundred, butter is 11D per pound at present, beef is from 6D per pound down, eggs is 6D per dozen and every other thing in preportion so when you right will send you a long letter letting you know all the news of this contry. We have peace and quatness.
Your sister died in the 79th year of hir age and although she was the oldes, it calls loud on us all to bee ready for we no not when the meshender will come so we ought to work while it is day lest the nigt of death comes when none can work & i ned not say much more on this subject. Bee pleased to write when this comes to hand. You may think it strange that I send this fiew lines by Jas. Conn. It is aney hopes that I have that I can find you out when you wright send it the care of Mr. Hugh Willson, Magherafelt for Jas.Smyth of Gortanewry C.O.G.D. Ireland. No more at present but remains your ever loving sister to death,
March the 18th 1862
My dear Brother we received your long looked for letter and it was no small pleasure for us too hear that you still on the land of the living and in the enjoyment of good health which is a Blessing that we cannot bee half thankful for we thought it strange that you never rote too us too hear wher we all Dead or alive but I begin too think that the old proverb was fulfilled out of sight out of mind. Brothers and sisters should not forget each other the are at a distance yet the Most High has opened up a way that we can speak too each other across the great Deep and reveal our Seacrets too each other I thought it strange when we rec your letter and heard from it that you had rote several letters and got no answer I assure you the never came our lenth or you would a got an answer imedietly for I can say we are both able and willing right and pay a letter. I hope too bee excused for not righting sooner, the reason was I was wating too get a letter from my yong son (missing word) in Austrulia we got one latly and he is making money fast and is (missing word) and he never new what it was to be sick since he went away. My Son came home two years again May, he made a good dale of money and sent it home before him he got his uncle John Smyth farm and he built a splendid house on it and slated it. He got maried too a Grandaughter of my Sister Elizabeth's hir name is Rachel McLeary I might say she was reared with hir Grandmother Smyth Robert is dooing well he has 200L past him yet My Dear Brother I am happy too inform you that we are all well and has been since we rote last only my Daughter Sarah has gone the way of all the earth she was maried near three years she had two children one dead born and hir last one was living she never recovered from the lyin of hir last child she was ealing better than six months when the messenger called hir home the child's name is Elisa Jane she always stops with mee and when the most high took one from mee he left mee one too ly in my bosom I had some trouble with hir but she can pay it all with old chat now My daughter Jane was maried and hir husband is dead she has two children living and one dead Sarah and Robert was maried William John Rachel and George is still single Rachel is a sturdy yong woman she is 5 ft8inches and twelve stone weight and made in preportion Sarah was tall she was 5 ft nine but God took hir and we are not too mourn as those that have no hope for we have a hope beyond the grave My Dear brother we have great reason far thankfulness for temporal blessings we are making money fast we have 200L past us if aney of the Bois would Mary we could by a farm for him we are Milking five Cows this winter we have a large stock of cattle we have two fine yong horses We generly sell 50L worth flax every year Flax is selling from 11L down oatmeal is 11 per hundred wheat is 10 per hundred the potatoes was a por crop this year they were smote with the blight and a great many of them roted at the root the are selling at 3L6 per hundred the Indian mel is 8 per hundred and a great deal of it used trade is low since the war comenced in America we would bee glad you would face each other manly and draw it too a close for it is doing harm Think you would need some of Paddy sons to give command we heard it said that two ofecers got on one old horse and fled for their life at Bulls run the would a needed a little of hiland blood among them when you get these few lines we hope you will right and let us know how all goes with you bee pleased too forward my adress too brother John and Cathrin and tell them two right me a long letter and when you right give us a full account of the war My sister Rachel says she would bee glad if I would spend an afternoon with hir if I was single like hir I would think little of that but I think she might come over and see us it might bee good for hir to get the gentle breezes of rubinsglen about hir less than three weeks would fetch hir and she would see old father land, your sister Elizabeths family is all maried only Jane and Wm they live on the farm and the are dooing well your Cousin Wm is got rich the was ealing some time back but the has recovered My son John and I was up at his place and he lives in a splendid way bee pleased to let me know how (last few lines of letter are missing) Jane Smyth
**Note from Betty "It would be great if some of my Conn relatives in Ireland would see this and contact me!"