A letter (dated 8 June 1956) from "cousin Emily" written to Thomas and Sara McFarland from Ireland
Transcription of this letter

This cousin Emily also sent a letter to her cousin Juliana prior to 26 October 1956
The letter to Julia does not survive, but a letter from Julia refers to Emily's letter

Emily is probably Emily Jane Kelly, daughter of Charlotte (McFarland) Kelly, hence neice of
Andrew McFarland In this letter, she writes that she is over 82 years of age (born before 1874)
Emily is probably married to "Tommy", living in Comber, 5 miles SE of Belfast.

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family of Emily Kelly

Caledon June 8th, 1956

Dear Tom and Sara:

Had your letter about [Xmas?]. a man who was reared beside Tommy's farm here in Comber, (Greasons) & who had a pub in America, or his uncle had rather, & him & another brother lived with him long ago, they both came back, & the pub was sold out. Bartley Finnegan he was the highest bidder £900, & it fell down to him at that, he would have given it back to us again but no one wanted it then. He is a R Catholic he has bought Lockhards below it now also, & the meadows & Mick McVeighs that belonged to Lizzie Millar as well. He has 2 sons on it, & a big hay shed up at the foot of the stalk yard garden, & a daughter & another son on the Police force & is a very nice man. I never was past it & never will now, but its very nice. Lila Wilson says he asked me down, but I never got down.

I heard Eugene had turned his coat & is going to Chaple with his C wife, its awful what is turning here too. The C faith is a [word unknown], if you are not married by a priest, in a C Church you aren't married at all, & a woman is living up with her hubby as an harlot, & their children are illegitimate or bastards. I asked the girl here was that true, & she said that is the Catholic Faith surely as if it was quite the right thing. She was a Catholic herself & was brought up to think that was just the proper thing, isn't that awful. I never heard that 'till I was 82.

Minnie is dead years ago, about a few years before Best died, a lump on the bowel, same as Maria's Martha had. Minnie's bursted & Martha's didn't, but its death in any case. Maria's son Jimmy is dead, cancer in the stomach, & Ryan is dead, & Maria & Lila are in Kilearn living now. Marie is bad with high blood pressure now & on a diet & has to take things easy. Lila said she will hardly live long either. She never was too strong, had a drapery shop on the Shankhill in Belfast for 26 years, & had to come home again . The place is in grass, & does [be] auctioned yearly. John and Joe are all that's alive. John's son Cecil has got a job in Canada & will soon be Canadian now. He is an engineer & was in a big firm in Dublin. He must have got big pay in Canada. He is married & has 1 son & John had 3 girls, one of them in a Solicitor office & 2 of them are married. They were nurses & 1 is in the Royal a nurse the youngest. Joe's son Joe is still in Gillespies store in Armagh & 2 at home with him & one a missionary in Brazil, S.A. & the girl Tillie is married & has 1 little girl, is in Derry [word unknown] with Diekson Orr's son Joe, my old sweetheart.

Dolly Wright is in Tower Hill Hospital & may never be out of it. She is shaking like a qua, with her nerves this long time. Ernie married a typist in Belfast, she had twins, a girl & boy, the girl Rosemary is big now, but the boy died when born. He is married now to Wm. Brady's only girl. She lost her first child, a girl of 7 months, it lived a week & then died, except I would hear from someone I don't know or hear about Dolly, or Ernie & she never writes to the Wilsons either (an odd fish).

I only have an odd letter from Lila & she tells me anything I hear, - I am still in bed & now Tommy is in his bed in the other side of me. He had a bad cold, a flue of the worst type. He had the Dr. Doctors are all free now, you have only to pay for the medicine, the girl I had from Middletown is in the Mental Hospital in Armagh. I had a letter from her & one from the Dr there to tell me she is no better. She listens to imaginary voices, & then gets restless. In response to these he said, she says to me, its only nonsence keeping me in here so long, but I knew when she told me she had no glasses that she was still a bit heady. I have just wrote to her now. The Dr told me he encouraged her to answer my letters. Its awful whats going crazy & what's turning their coats & what's leaving for other countries. There will soon be nobody here at all, but they may all find a change. Far away fields are green. 74 & 70, Tommy got for 2 cattle & not fully finished beef at that. Its terrible what things may turn to. Everything is a terrible price, & butter sometimes over 4 shillings & tea 8 S, eggs are £3   5½D per Doz, & milk 2.6 per gallon.

I can write no more this time. Love to you, Sarah, & all

Your loving cousin, Emily

Names occuring in the above letter from Emily
  1. Tommy's farm in Comber (or Cumber, a townland in Minterburn, Aghaloo Parish)
  2. Gleasons
  3. Bartley Finnegan
  4. Lockhards
  5. Mick McVeigh
  6. Lizzie Millar
  7. Lila Wilson ( = Elizabeth)
  8. Eugene
  9. Minnie
  10. Best
  11. Maria's Martha
  12. Maria's son Jimmy
  13. Ryan
  14. John and Joe
  15. John's son Cecil
  16. Joe's son Joe
  17. Gillespies store in Armagh
  18. Tillie
  19. Diekson Orr's son Joe, my old sweetheart
  20. Dolly Wright
  21. Ernie
  22. Rosemary
  23. Wm. Brady's only girl

Relationship for some of the above names
[1] Tommy: Emily Jane had two son's, Thomas and Edmund
[7] Lila Wilson: daughter of Emily's sister Maria Matilda
[8] Eugene: grandson of Emily's uncle Andrew McFarland
[11] Maria's Martha: daughter of Emily's sister Maria Matilda
[12] Maria's son Jimmy: son of Emily's sister Maria Matilda
[13] Ryan: son of Emily's sister Maria Matilda
[14] John and Joe: sons of Emily's sister Maria Matilda
[15] John's son Cecil: son of John, who was son of Emily's sister Maria Matilda
[16] Joe's son Joe: son of Joe, who was son of Emily's sister Maria Matilda
[20] Dolly Wright: Emily's aunt Catherine married John Wright
[21] Ernie, probably Ernest, the son of Emily's sister Mary Anne, who married James Wright

Comment on Emily's letter by Renee McCormick in email of 3 Sept 2012
We all enjoyed Emily’s letter and could understand her comments about Catholics, especially having lived through all the years of the I.R.A.

Emily married Hugh Best in America. Her family did not approve of Hugh so she went off to America, he followed her out there and they were married. They had two sons, Thomas and Edwin, neither married and both are now dead.

We recognised most of the people in her letter. The Greasons in the letter is still referred to. Bartley Finnegan was our neighbour and he and his sons would have helped us on the farm at harvest time. He had three sons and two daughters. Only two sons survive and the farm house ie: Lockharts is no more.

Lila and, Ryan, were names I recall. Joe who worked in Gillespies store in Armagh was shot by the I.R.A. around 1970/1980. Jim my brother has met the Wilson son who is the missionary in South America. He married Beth McKinley a nurse who trained in the Royal Victoria Hospital with my sister Ivy. Her people had a Toy shop in Dungannon.

Dolly and Ernie Wright were cousins of my Fathers .Both of them are dead but Ernie has a son John alive who Heather and Jim know. I don’t know which Wright family Dolly and Ernie belonged to?

Comment related to Emily's letter by Fred Wilson in email of 5 January 2017
Ethyl Mary Irwin married Andrew Morgan Wilson from Tullyremon. Haven’t found out yet how we are related to Andrew Morgan Wilson from Tullyremon. My Uncle John Wilson (passed away in 2012) believed that Wilson's from Tullyremon were Granda's (Joseph Wilson) first cousins. My Great Granda John Wilson’s land in Kilcarn backed unto Wilsons of Tullyremon land. The Blackwater River flows between the two farms and my Great Aunts (Lila, Martha and Cassie) and Andrew’s sister , Ida , would have gone down to the river of good summer days to have a picnic and to chat across the river to each other.

From a letter that Ethyl sent to her halfsister, Lily, it can be concluded that when she married Andy Wilson she moved to live in Dromara, Craigs, Cullybackey, Antrim. Seems that when the letter was sent (19/12/1920) they were recently married. The letter was found in old Sam irwin derelict house in Carrowbeg .

Great Great Grandparents house Joseph and Maria Matilda Kelly) in Knocknacloy was built in 1841 by John Turner (See photo of stone which Bartley has at his house). I got this information from the current owner of that farm Bartley Finnegan . By the way , Bartley's grandfather had made his money in the USA - he owned a Pub with a brother called "Finnegan's' Bar" in New York. Finnegan's Bar is a popular Irish pub but Bartley has nothing to do with it now. When Old Bartley bought the farm from Widow Kelly's executors the name on the deed was "John Finnigan", a brother of Bartley's. See also a photo of the Auctioneers advertisement of the sale of Widdow Kelly's farm.

I have seen the original of that photo of the church men . I last saw it with Jim Kelly, a Great Grandson of my GG Grandfather Joseph Kelly’ s brother. I cannot however place Wm. J. Wilson in my genealogical tree. My mother told me yesterday that she nursed with 2 of Jim Kelly’s sister before going to Brazil –Ivy and Doris.