This little girl is the only one of my ancestors, back to 1800, not born in south Ulster.

It brings to mind another little girl, her great-grandmother, who was born in India about 1794 and married 11 years later.

Picture of Elsie Henry
Family Genealogy By Peter Morell McWilliam



(see Dickson of Woodville, Ballyshannon & Lavey)

Dickson-Conolly / Morell / Dickson Women / TJ McWilliam to JR McWilliam (Australia) / Herbert McWilliam to JM McWilliam / Rev J Morell & William McWilliam to Phillip Crossle / Rev JM McWilliam to James McWilliam / Nan McWilliam to James McWilliam / Tom Dickson to Peter McWilliam / Hilda Eisenbrey to Peter McWilliam / Back to Top

Thomas Dickson of Ballyshannon was married to Elizabeth, the sister of William ‘speaker’ Conolly. He also acted as agent for Conolly’s Ballyshannon estate. Most of the following letters are from Dickson to Conolly but also included are a series of letters concerning a dispute about the salmon fishery of the Erne with Sir James Caldwell. Finally there are two letters to Thomas Conolly from Thomas and James Dickson.

From Castletown Papers – Irish Architectural Archive – C28

Ballyshannon Aug 19th 1704
Dear Sir

We have been looking at Tulley & tho it be very dear yet because it is so nigh & convenient for us we are willing to give the £400 that is £300 at (alsts) & £100 next May at which times we shall take due care that ye money be in Mr Cairnes hands of Dublin redey either for you or Mr Jones. So desires the favour of you to write Mr Jones & secure it us & if you could bring him to allow us the rent coming on since May to give some small ease to the dearness of it we think it would be but reasonable for suppose Capt Gore had bought it & tho he had ye money lying redey in Mr Cairnes hands yet he would not a paid it till all writing were done and possession given and that would abeen as long as till Holintide. Ye forbearance we desire and we (plead) at ye same time that Mr Jones would not ( ) to aloud Capt Gore ye rent coming on since May this small as it is if you can get it us will be a kindness but do you in it as you think fit.
There has been a small wood on ye land which might a been worth something had it been farmed but ye villains that lives on the land has stripped and destroyed most of it we would be satisfied how (sure) you could get us some order from Mr Jones that we may stop their doing it further harm (which with ye) effects where due is ye farther needful ruin
We hear ye land is considerably in arrear ( ) rent pray let us know if any of ye ( - - - ) now ( ) can be taken of
The bearer has ( ) along ( ) him being what ( ) ye collector received for you he had wrote you himself
Sir your humble servants Tho & Wm Dickson

Ballyshannon Oct 11th 1718
Dear Brother

Enclosed you have Sir Henry Caldwell’s Bill for £30 for which give me credit. When I see what I can do with Sam Atkinson I will send you the account of the half years rent.
I am with service to all friends
Your affectionate Brother
Tho: Dickson

Ballyshannon Oct 14th 1718
Dear Brother

Above you have Mr Knox’s Bill in my Bros favour for £50 10s give me credit for, I am heartily sorry to hear of Brother Person & his daughter being (unwell) & would be glad to hear of their being recovered, let me know what rent Sam Atkinson is to pay for his farm this year, Mrs Smith has paid me her rent till May last, pray let me know how sister Smith is after her journey, I am
Dear Brother yours
Tho: Dickson

Ballyshannon Jan 20th 1718/9
Dear Brother

I sent you ye 12th Inst your account by which I was (£68-10-6) in your Debt with a Bill of Sir Henry Caldwell’s which I not charge you with till now, Enclosed you have two Bills for (£110-10-8) which makes you in my debt (£69.00.2) as you may see by ye within account
Mr Hogan ye siruer (surveyor) is very diligent about his business, he is abroad by ye time he can well see in ye morning, he has (served) from Bellick to Mrs Smiths, he expects to be done by ye beginning of March, my sister Pearson has laid out sum money for my wife, pray be pleased to pay her & let me know what it is, send me a discharge for ye half years rent of this estate & give me Credit for ye (balance)
I am with (service) yours Tho Dickson

Ballyshannon 18th March 1720
Dear Brother

Enclosed you have Sir Henry Caldwell’s Bill on Mr Clark for £10 for which give me credit
I am with service, Your affectionate Brother
Tho: Dickson

His Excellency Wm Conolly iv Dec 1725

To an Aquitance of Capt Higgins 85-01-00
To an Aquitance of Capt Elrington 65-08-041/2
To an Aquitance of Capt Higgins 85-01-00
To a half a years Init Rent paid ye
College for Michaelmas 1725 15-12-11
To £10 paid Mrs Ormsby 10-00-00
To my half years salary at (alsts) 1725 20-00-00
To ½ years salary to ye College
Bailiff at (alsts) 1725 1-10-00
To Charity Mony at (alsts) 1725 5-17-06
Country Taxes out of ye waste lands 00-17-04
To labourers taking out dung to ye
Meadows & spreading it 00-07-02
To 25s alowd Tho Shaw out of
His tenement at (alsts) 1725 1-05-00
To money my wife laid out for linen
Cloths for sister Conolly these 4 years past 22-17-05
April 28th 1726 the above account sent this day - -

Thos Dickson

From Thos Atkinson
April 2nd 1726
Dear Sir

I have been often telling you how uneasy I am about my two Ballybo’s that are out of lease and that for want of some time I am idle, I can neither manure or improve them any way as I would do had I but some encouragement. They are now so run out that I have not a sheaf of corn out of them nor scarce a cock of hay by them; and are every day growing worse and worse for want of some manure and, am not at a loss how to make the rent of them.
The very fences and a nursery of young ash I had to set on the hill before the door are all gone to wrack and all for want of some encouragement. When I spoke last to Col McCausland he told me he had no orders to make any agreement with me for them; and now what makes me the more uneasy is that I feel the whole estate settled and every tenant at some certainty but myself; and between you and I, I think I deserve my conveniency as well as any that are provided for yet, you know I have not been idle in my time.
I now beg you, if you think fit, and, that you believe it would give no offence that you some time or other lay my case before his Excellency and, desire he would be pleased to let you know what I may depend on. I had some thoughts if the matter could become settled, to make an offer for renewing the old leases by paying an increase of rent [ ] but the disappointment I meet with makes me now lay aside that thought.
Pray give my service to my sister and tell her I sent the receate for a diet drink by John (** this name is clear) and, I do recommend it to you as proper to remove your disorder. Pray pardon this trouble and believe me to be,
Dear Sir, Your most affectionate Brother and Humble Servant
Tho: Atkinson

[I suppose this is the letter that suggests that Thomas was also married to a Conolly sister. Is a Dickson sister possible? The recipient is not absolutely clear but I infer it to be Thomas Dickson.]

Ballyshannon May 18th 1726
Dear Brother

Enclosed is the list of arrears you desire I should send you amounting to £102:4:7 I find I was mistaking in casting it up £23.15 when I sent the account, which shall be allowed you in the next account, I sent Mrs Ormonsby £10 but has not got her receipt yet to send you, it shall be sent by next post, I can’t give you account yet how the fishing is like to prove they have got almost half & has not put out the Cotts yet, I am
Yor aft Brother
Tho Dickson

PRONI T3329/6 22nd July 1726
Thomas Dickson, Ballyshannon, to Conolly, Dublin, about hay for a regiment of dragoons and estate business.

'... The difference that was betwixt Captain Hamilton's College tenants and yours [sentence incomplete]. He and I went to the place, and the witnesses made it your tenants[']. There is another difference between your College tenants in the [word illegible] and Sir Gustavus Hume's. I spoke to him about it. He ordered his agent to go with me to the place, and get some of the oldest men that know the marches. We had them sworn, and instead of of [sic] getting from us, as they expected, we got about two acres from them, and has [sic] got a mearing cut; so that there will be no dispute for the future. Sir Henry Caldwell has not got all his fish packed yet. I believe he will have about 43 tons.'

Ballyshannon (Nov) 28th 1726
Dear Brother

I have sent Mr McCausland the account settled for the last ( ) rent & the last of my Brothers arrears paid, I could not get (any) of the rest of ye Old arrears since I (settled) last --- pray send my Brothers Bond & Hugh Wilson’s which you have for his arrears, though I have paid this half years (past), part of it I have not got in yet, I assure you it’s not for want of driving those cattle for I had the pound full of them every day though the’re weak, I have not Mrs Ormsby the £10 for want the conveniency of a safe hand to send it by, it shall be sent her soon, the sack is still in Mr Jennings store house, I heard those ye drank of it say that it’s a (mead) wine, the Gauger told me those was 50 gallons – of it when it was in (those), the old hay at Knockshannon is not sold yet, Sir Henry Caldwell is beginning to take sum (tons) Salmon in ye boxes
I am your Affectionate Brother Tho Dickson

Ballyshannon March 12th 1727
Dear Brother

It would save the foot company & the two troops that quarters here, the trouble of going to Strabane with their acquaintances for their money, if you thought fit to draw upon me for it & receive ye money from Mr Gardner in Dublin, it is what they desire the favour if it could be done, the foot company has behaved themselves so well since they came here yet it be a great satisfaction to us if they could be continued here another year and would be very pleasing to ye officers & men, I though fit to let you know that the four parks (nigh) to Ballyshannon is set to the people in town from year to year without lease at 10s per acre is worth 12 or 14s and be (increased) to it if you think fit, this is like to be a hard year with the poor for Bread, Grain is extravagant dear & scarce
I am Your aft Brother Thos Dickson

Thomas Dickson to Catherine Conolly
Ballyshannon July 7th 1727

I received yours of the 4th instant and as you desire will wait on the Burgesses at Donegal next week and give Brother Conolly’s service and a [ ] to them and will do the same to the Corporation here. I cannot well at present give you a true account of the Burgesses’ names of the Corporation of Donegal and Killibegs but will in a post or two. I have now to acquaint Brother Conolly that Wednesday last being the fifth instant I account from Belleek that a party by Sir John Caldwell’s order had come there to force away the men I set there to take care of the fall and eel weir. I went there myself and demanded by whose order they would put them away, upon which they showed me Sir John’s letter giving them account that the best lawyers in Dublin advised him that Mr Conolly had no more right to them fishings than he had to Rossbeg and that they should upon sight of and turn Mr Conolly’s men away from them places. I answered that they should not leave it until they were forced from it, upon which David Gregg and John Mcguire took hold of the two men that took care of them places and pulling them at least 40 yards from the place. They had a great many more standing by to assist them. I thought it but a folly to resist them. They did the same at the eel weir and has also [ ] fishing at the fall and am told has killed fish; [our] fishing is now quit [felt] they have now about 46 tons.

I am, Madam, your affectionate Brother
Tho: Dickson

Ballyshannon August 11th 1727
Dear Brother

Enclosed is Mr Thomas Atkinson’s answer to what Sir John Caldwell says about the fishing of Belleek – as to what Sir J C alleges of his father making complaint to Mr McCausland that a weir of yours on your side of the water which extended too far across the water and that Mc McCausland consented and did accordingly shorten the wing of the weir, I heard of no complaint made by Sir Henry nor was a wing of the weir shortened. I mind that Phelim O’Boyle who was tenant to your weirs made complaint to Mr McCausland that Sir Henry had run the wing of his weir too far across the water, upon which he and I went there and got the water measured and found it to be as Boyle said. Henry Lickley, who had the charge of taking care of the [river] at the time that the possession was given to the Lord Folliott, tells me that William Ward and Patrick Clem[ens] being found fishing at the fall of Belleek after the possession was given was asked by whose orders they fished; their answer was by Sir James C’s orders, upon which Henry Lickley was sent to Sir J to know if he gave them orders and he denied that he had. If this be of any advantage to you Lickley is willing to swear it. I have a man [in place] since you ordered me to observe what fish Sir J kills which he can’t exactly tell for they kill the most of them in the night. He can swear that he saw sixty they killed and is sure they killed much more. I don’t hear that he [ ] Sir Arthur Gore nor you need to be under concern about the Election of Donegal for I am sure you’ll get all the votes of the Corporations.
I am yours
Tho Dickson

Ballyshannon Agt 15th 1727
Dear Brother

Above is my Brothers Bill on Knox & Nesbit of London for £500 which is for the years rent of the fishing of Ballyshannon – last post I sent you Mr Atkinson’s answer to what (Sr Jo” ?) sets forth about the fishing of Bellick, Henry Ball has been with me this month, pray if you can put him in sum way of getting his bread doe it or he will go to loss, Mr Laurence the surveyor of Killbegs is grown old & I believe if he got the charity money that’s usual would resign, it wo’d be a good place for Cozn Ball, if you thought fit, I am Sir your aft Brother
Tho Dickson

June 17th 1728
Dear Sir

In answer to what you enquired of me today I here send you after searching all papers of above 30 years [sending] the copy of a letter I wrote to Mr Conolly, April 10th 1693 relating the differences then in dispute between Thomas Lord Folliott and Sir James Caldwell, Bart and I may satisfy that there was such a grant as Lord Delvins and once for all remember that if this letter be lost or mislaid or any other grant that I have named, a copy of them may be found in the Rolls office where all such are recorded. I told you several times of the Book called the State of the Case; now to make you understand what that is, it is a collection of all the Grants and Pattens granted to Lord Folliott Lord Delvin or any before them for the fishings in the River Erne and , to Mr Haset from whom Sir James claimed a right, and made a Book with the advice of the best council that was then in Ireland and some in England upon them grants; particularly Mr Dobbin by whose assistance and Mr John Maugrige this collection was made [ ]; I think [was] more 10 years a doing between England and Ireland before it was finished and this is called the State of the Case. K this book alone is sufficient to end this dispute that has lasted I think above 60 years. You may be satisfied there was such a [ ] as Lord Delvins and where it may be found.
Pray give my service to the [ ] and believe that I am
Your affectionate Brother and Humble Servant
Tho: Atkinson

Probable enclosed note to Conolly

I have been after telling you of a Book called the State of the Case between Thomas Lord Folliott and Sir James Caldwell about the fishings in the River Erne that was made by Mr John Maugrige for my Lord Folliott where all the Records and Grants are mentioned on both sides and the lawyers opinions on them. That this Book alone I think is enough to satisfy the referees. I believe this Book is among My Lord Folliott’s papers. Mr Maugrige got £10 for collecting all and putting them in a right method.

Dublin June 22nd 1728
Dear Brother
(A copy of my letter to Sir John Caldwell – from Catherine Conolly)

My Lord Justice Conolly sent for me this week after some discourse about the dispute between you and him he told me that tho’ he had a bill in equity drawn up by the attorney __ __ what happened last summer against you ready to be filed the next day yet __ the __ amicable method he could take he had sent for me to propose any expedient as from myself which I thought might prevent a law suit between you which he had no inclination to engage in notwithstanding he had the best opinions he could get in his favour. I told him that tho’ I had no authority from you I would venture to make a proposal which I hoped would be agreeable to you both which was that his Lordship should give up and release to you any claims and pretentions to the Eel weir or fishery and that he should take a lease from you of the salmon fishery in dispute at a low annual rent His Lordship hesitated some time upon this and was at first for purchasing the title you insisted upon to the salmon fishery absolutely from you but I told him you neither could nor would sell at last he agreed to my proposal provided you insisted upon no greater rent for the salmon fishery than what would be sufficient for an acknowledgement for it from him to you. I promised that I would recommend it to you for peace sake to be low and reasonable as to rent and that I doubted not but you would be so. This is literally as near as I can remember what passed between us upon which at adversary proceedings are suspended till I have your authority which I beg may be as soon as possible.
Now as to my opinion of it I think I have gained almost all I could (offer) for you and had not his Lordship very much pressed me to think of any expedient that I thought would prevent a law suit I not have taken the freedom with him or any man to make a proposal that at once destroyed all manner of right in him for by this you secure to yourself the eel fishery entirely which is as I apprehend the most valuable and have your title fully acknowledged to the salmon fishery and for the sake of peace to (avert) the unhappy consequences of a long troublesome expensive uncertain law suit I earnestly recommend it you not to be high in your demand as to the rent for the salmon fishery how much he will give I know not nor can I guess Let me have your answer as soon as possible All friends are well
Yours most affectionately C. C.

(To Fred French) July 6th 1728

I hope you’ll excuse my not answering your letter fully before this time. The fishery at Belleke having been always in my family and in those under whom I derive, I could not without considering it very well come to any final resolution about it. I assure you I have no appetite to a law suit, especially with my Lord Justice Conolly for whom I have the greatest regard, and to convince you of it I am writing to let him have a lease of the loop fishery upon very easy terms, the least it ever was set for was eight pounds per annum and tho’ it is really of much greater value, I am willing to let him have it on those terms because I believe it will be a great convenience to him. I hope you will be able to read this sad wrote letter and believe to be dear Fred
Your affectionate servant, John Caldwell

By God I have not seen a salmon this year in my house but never was so before all friends are well

(from Fred French) Dublin, July 9th 1728
My Lord

I received last post the enclosed letter from Sir John Caldwell in answer to mine, of which I also take the liberty to send you a copy, that the part fact in this affair may appear in its true light and if I have misapprehended your Excellency’s commands your goodness will I hope pardon that which I must beg leave to say was owing to nothing worse than a mistake.
I don’t well understand what Sir John means by the words (loop fishing) in his letter but I apprehend it to be the whole fishery for salmon on the river as far as his land reaches and as to the annual consideration he demands I can only say that I heartily wish my advice could have had such an influence over him as would be agreeable to your lordship. Were it my case I would have entirely submitted it to yourself however if you will be pleased to honour me with your further commands I will endeavour to observe them as much to your lordship’s satisfaction and __ a law text as is the power of my Lord your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble servant
Fred French

As soon as I received Sir John’s letter I was to wait on your Lordship but had the misfortune of not overtaking you before you left town

Dublin 9th July, 1728
My Lord

Counsellor French had a letter yesterday, after you were going, from Sir John Caldwell importing that he would make your excellency a lease of his part of the fishery for three lives at £8 a year; but as Mr French intends to send your Excellency this by post as well a copy of his own letter to Sir John as of Sir John’s answer, I need not trouble you Excellency on this subject any further, only to observe to your excellency that your taking this lease will be an owning of Sir John’s title and cut off your own pretensions for ownership.
I had a letter from Mr ____ Annesley desiring me to pay his respects to your Excellency and expressing a great concern for your disposition. I hope your Excellency will continue to gather strength and this sudden change of weather proves unfortunate as well on your __ account as on the whole Kingdom
I am with utmost duty,
My Lord
Your most obedient, most faithful and most humble servant
Bruen Worthington

[From William Conolly to Bruen Worthington]

I received yours of 11th and 12th and thank you for your care of my health. This change of weather has discomposed me tho I am not __ and ____ very far from being well. I read in yours Sir John Caldwell’s letter of the 6th to Counsellor French. Pray wait on him and give him my service and thank him for his favour and his last letter to me by 10th. I am satisfied he has done all in his power to accommodate matters between his brother Caldwell and me and as yet can return no answer to his or Sir John ____ I wrote this post to Ballyshannon to enable me to give a proper answer to Sir John and Counsellor French and when I get to Dublin shall be able to discourse Mr French fully of the whole matter but cannot but observe to Counsellor French _ instead _____ of an acknowledgement in difference to Counsellor French accordingly which will __ __ ____ and bring the whole matter to a speedy determination.
Pray excuse this trouble and keep this letter in your own hands and when you write to Mr Ansley you may tell him my condition and give him my service
I am as always
Your affectionate friend
William Conolly

Dublin 18th July, 1728
My Lord

I was honoured with your Excellency’s letter of the 15th and waited on Counsellor French, who I really believe well intends and desires to bring this affair to such determination as might be to your Excellency’s satisfaction but he thinks if he should offer to take the matter on __ __ arbitration, Sir John would grow __ along of him, __ so it might do more harm than good; but if your Excellency is pleased, when you have heard from Ballyshannon, hint to him the __ that may be agreeable to you [I’ll] then use his utmost endeavour to bring Sir John to __ one thing it may be necessary your Excellency should be informed of __ is this, that Sir John has a favour to make __ only his Lady, Mr French’s sister. I heartily wish your Excellency your health and am with the greatest duty
My Lord your Excellency’s most obedient, most faithful humble servant
Bruen Worthington
I am found to be in the __ only all the next week

Ballyshannon July 16th 1728
Dear Brother

My brother desires the favour of you that you allow him liberty to send over to Killibegs the salmon, there being a bark there now that would take some of them over; they shall be in my possession there for you till you are satisfied. We have now about 45 or 46 tons and does not fear, though the boats have left off fishing, to make up 50 tons by what will be got in the weirs. There is one [Jam] Law that has a ship in Killibegs that’s taking passengers for New England. Several tradesmen and young men from about this town is going with him, but none of the tenants although there is several of them intends going there the next summer. I hear there are a great many families gone there this year out of the Laggan. I hope by this you have got the better of your disorder.
I am, Sir, your affectionate brother, Thos: Dickson

Ballyshannon July 19th 1728
Dear Brother,

Yours of 15th received. Sir John Caldwell has no place in his estate that either his grandfather or he ever fished for salmon except the fall of Belleek [in the] place they fished with loops which is the place they call the Loop Fishing. They may fish with rods in several places and do not doubt but there might be a salmon weir erected upon his estate about the fall of Belleek though there never was any made there yet. It would be a great detriment to this fishing if he fished there and no great benefit to him for 2 or 3 tons of fish would be as much as he would get in a year; after the charge of salt and cask and fishing it would come to little to him. He fished none there this season. I sent him word to send for fish when he wanted but he sent but [once] and I sent him a [couple]. It’s his own fault or he might have got more.

I am, Sir, your affectionate brother
Tho: Dickson

The fishing is going off. There is none getting now but a few that’s getting in the weirs.

To Darby Clarke, Conolly’s solicitor August 29th 1728
Dear Darby

By what I can understand my Lord Justice Conolly has a mind to rent my salmon fishery. There is no man I should desire to be at peace with sooner and I am sure I shall be always as good a neighbour as I can. I have a relation who is a cousin German and if Mr Conolly will be so kind as to bestow some favour on him he shall have the salmon fishery for a peppercorn a year if you think fit to let him know this affair you will very much oblige – Dear Darby, your affectionate friend and humble servant
John Caldwell

I beg your answer

Ballyshannon ( Oct?) 18th 1728
Dear Brother

I received yours of ye 7th & 10th Instants & have observed your directions in relation to Mr Atkinson, he tells me he will have half ye money against Mr McCausland comes here which he says is what you proposed & ye other half at May next. I should have sent you Bror Balls childrens account before now but waits to get what charge Mr Carlton has on Mr (bilby) since we last settled which I have wrote him for –
The ship ye was lost had not touched at Sligo nor had any occasion there, but was lost by thinking themselves in no danger it being a fine night & ye wind of ye land, the herring fishing was very good at Sligo this season but no quantity taken in our side of ye bay, Mr McCausland is not come here yet, I am doing all I can to have in ye rent against he comes though there is a great deal of it out yet & ye most of it among ye best tenants, I find the greatest difficulty is in ye town, severals of those ye hold cabins are run away, Capt Jam Hamilton got to ye value of £3 12s of ye cask of rum it was got here last winter, he tells me he will pay it if you demand it, but he believes you will not, before I gave it to him, I gott his (note) for it yt he should pay it without dispute so let me have your answer yt I may sennd ye ( ) of it, The Sheriff sent here to get a return of what (£200) holders is in his mannor, I put him off by telling him I did not exactly know
Mr Sodons son was married this week to Mr Gowans daughter, grain gives a great price here, for its very scarce in ye county cattle is grown cheaper
I am your aft Bror Tho Dickson

Ballyshannon, January 3rd 1728/9
Dear Brother

I would have answered yours of the 24th of the last month but was obliged to wait twice on Sir John Caldwell before he would give me any direct answer to what you wrote. He is satisfied to give you a lease for 3 lives of the pool under the fall of Belleek and all other places that salmon can be taken on his estate in the north side of the River Erne in the County of Fermanagh with free liberty to fish for £5 per annum, provided you relinquish your pretensions to the new eel weir from the 15th of December till the 25th of May it being the season for the spent fish and fry to fall and that he shall not give liberty to any person to kill salmon in season or out of season or salmon fry. Under you have the manes of those places that were formerly fished on Sir John’s estate for either salmon or eels, he told me he would give directions to Mr French to have the lease drawn accordingly. I thought to have got it under his hand but he would not. I wrote you some time ago that I had a mind to lift the College rents in Tirhugh. It being some time before I had your answer and not doubting but you would be satisfied I received part of the rent so that it cannot well be avoided but I must lift the whole for this half-year, in part of which you have here enclosed a bank-note for £25.

I am, Sir, your affectionate brother
Tho: Dickson

Jan 3rd 1728/9

The names of all of ye weirs and fishing places in and about Belleek lying on ye north of ye River Erne, formerly in dispute between Sir John Caldwell and the Lord Folliott

First: The fall of Belleek and the loop fishing of the same with all other places about it where a salmon can be killed in, with liberty to fish on the other side of the said river

Secondly: An eel weir called Carrydormad which is now in repair and fished by Sir John Caldwell lying and being below the pool of Belleek on the border of the land of Carle and lying between the counties of Donegal and Fermanagh in the river Erne and called the new weir.

Thirdly: Another weir called Carrymule in the north part of the river Erne on the side of Belleek now out of repair and has not been fished since possession was given to the Lord Folliott

Fourthly: Another Eel Weir called Soran on the north side of the said river not out of repair and not fished since possession was given to the Lord Folliott.

The Thomas Dickson below was the grandson of Thomas Dickson, brother-in-law to William Conolly

Thomas Dickson to Thomas Conolly from Woodville, Dec 31, 1796

Dear Sir,

On my arrival in this part of the world lately I shewed Mr Major your letter on the subject of the £500 which you imagined he could pay in May next, it will not by any means be in his power. he says to discharge it, an in the state that credit is in now we could not expect to get a ---- bill discounted. He therefore advised me to get your draft dated 19th Jan next on him payable 6 months after date for £500 ----------------

I have a nephew, Gilbert William Eccles, son to my brother-in-law, Eccles. He intends him for the sea and wishes extremely to have your introduction and recommend him to Captain Packenham who married Miss Staples. He is a fine smart boy and I think will make a choice seaman. I will thank you very much to enclose me a line to Captain Packenham on the subject.

I am dear Sir your very faithful and obedient hum: servant
Thos Dickson

Dickson was MP for Ballyshannon from 1793 to 1797

From the Conolly archive in TCD (3977 series)

This contains a letter to Thomas Conolly from a James Dickson, ensign in the 67th regiment, dated 2nd July 1783. He is unable to pay back the money Conolly lent him to purchase his commission. He mentions the little freehold his father holds from Conolly and of course enquires whether “my father, brother or I can assist in the approaching election”.


Dickson-Conolly / Morell / Dickson Women / TJ McWilliam to JR McWilliam (Australia) / Herbert McWilliam to JM McWilliam / Rev J Morell & William McWilliam to Phillip Crossle / Rev JM McWilliam to James McWilliam / Nan McWilliam to James McWilliam / Tom Dickson to Peter McWilliam / Hilda Eisenbrey to Peter McWilliam / Back to Top

Rev James Morell (1773-1831) had a brother, Hugh, who went to Newcastle, Canada ca. 1826. A series of letters from the family were recently deposited by an ancestor in a New Brunswick archive.

(see Murrell of Balteagh & Morell of Ballybay)

Rev James Morell to his brother Hugh; Fairview; Ballibay Feb. 26, 1829

Dear Hugh
It is a considerable time since I read your letter of Sept - 20th I would have answered it much sooner, but I was waiting until I could give you all the information you wished - [Miss Ross] and the children are well and, as far as I can judge, doing very well - It was a great disappointment not getting the money you sent, as I have reason to know that it was much wanted. However, they are struggling on, and perhaps it was fortunate that the money went back, as it enabled you to commence [business] for yourself - I am sorry that you have [lost] your situation with Mr Mullans - The salary [though small], yet being [some] was a great matter - you may make more at your own hand, yet you are liable to [losses], and without uncommon steadiness and attention, you cannot hope to succeed - By the time this reaches you will be a judge of what you can do and if you find it not likely to succeed, you should look out for some situation like what you had under Mr Mullin - With respect to your eldest son John going out to you [Miss Ross] is quite satisfied - She says she can [want] him very well as they have not so much land in hand as you thought - She also speaks very highly of John and says he is a very steady, [very] well [conducted] boy - She is most anxious that he was over with you as she has no doubt but that he would do well I [suffer] you should send something to carry him over, or take his passage in some of the passengers ships - There is nothing very new here - I had a letter from our sister Ally a few days [since] They are all going on as exactly as when you left that place - No change by death, marriage, or otherwise A son of [Harry Haslet] is preparing to go out to America and this is the only novelty among theirs - There is nothing very new about [Ballibay] either - My Family is much as when you left the country - My school is still doing well & my congregation [increasing] My eldest son John is in Belfast attending [Institutions] - This is his third year. I am of mind, sending him to Edinburgh two or three sessions that he may [tear in page] medicine along with Divinity. There [tear] which profession he pleases or both [tear] if he likes - I have purchased a sm[tear] property in this neighbourhood for £7 it will receive about £ [45] per annum [forever] - If everything goes on as present for a few years I will [tear] a great deal more, as I can put by about £2cc per year - [Andy] [unclear] is talking of going out to America, but he has been long talking this way - [tear] [unclear] state here is deplorable - For [tear] has been so high that Protestant and [tear] are [at] the point of cutting each [other] throats - the Protestants are dreadfully [exasperated] by the sorry continuance of the [catholick] associations, and the power it has acquired, and by the countenance government has appeared to mean it [tear] end the matter, the King in his speech at [tear] opening of parliament on the 5th of the[tear] recommended the settling of the Catholic [tear], and ministers are preparing to [tear] in an [unclear] [unclear] [bill] - The orange [tear] are recently enraged and are talking of reacting by force - So that we may have a Protestant rebellion - [quiet] people are preparing to go out to America - I mean to stand my ground - Send the remittance you have made if you can spare it - [unclear] your affectionate brother
J Morrell write often
Mr Hugh Morell care of
Mr Thomas Mullins Miramichi British America
Mr Mullins will please forward this to Mr Morell

Letter from John Murrell from Maine townland near Limavady to his brother, Hugh, in Canada

Mill Brook April 7th 1828

My Dear Hugh
Your letter for W Mullins came safe to him and gave us a pleasure beyond anything we ever expected to have concerning you To think that you were (not only) enjoying health but in the receipt of a handsome Salary - Oh my Dear Hugh how thankful you ought to be, to that Great Being who directs all our Steps - I hope and pray that He may ever direct you and Keep you from going astray -To give you the good News of the Country would be a pleasure to me; But Alas: how can I venture to communicate to you, the heart rendering news, of your poor Wife's Decease - On the very Day that your letter got to Kildaugh (Kildoagh, Tehallen, Monaghan) bringing her the welcome news of your welfare and the still welcome news of Something to relieve her [necessity] did she breath her last - On hearing of her Decease I wrote to James to hear particulars; but he could give none on account of his being in Belfast at the time he only said that he was happy to find that Miss Ross was very fond of and very attentive to your Children ---- We have been thinking that this event may perhaps be the means of inducing you to come home again Sooner than you calculated on doing - But my opinion would be that so long as you are able to save £20 or 25 per Annum that you could not do as well for your Family at least until the rent charge and other Debts would be paid off, but of this you will Judge for yourself --- you wished me to give you all the news about Bryan Jennys family - they all arrived safe after a severe passage Rented David George's old farm 6 Acres at £9 per Annum this has given a great many people a very bad opinion of that part of the world where you are to think that this family even at such expenses going to it and came home again and pays 30 Shillings per Acre for very poor land ----- Jack got married shortly after his arrival to a Daughter of Jack Lindsays - Billy has been unwell for some time the rest all as usual There has not been any changes among any of your relations since you left us Abby (Ally) & Eliza has been living with me Since may last I was over at [Armay] at Christmas last Henry was in good health and seemed to be doing a good deal of small business - His wife and youngest Child Seemed to be unhealthy and I have not heard of any great change on their health since I was two nights in Williams [Lynds], he - Jane & the Family are well - James & his family are well his eldest Son is in Belfast at college (Rev JH Morell, my great, great grandfather) - Harry [Martin] Family are in health no change otherwise Since Henry Moran and his two Nieces Still in a State of celibacy - Henry Olivers family well the Second Daughter (Bell) got Married to a W Akin of Ballayhaniden - Old Bob Murrells family well all but himself he is old and getting very frail his other Daughter married to John Blair a Son of old James – Jenny McLaughlin married to a cousin of her own but of this Mr Mullins can give the best account ------ Robert Murrell and Family all well his elusive Son goes out immediately to the United States to John - Our friends in Ballywillin I believe are well at last. I have not heard anything to the contrary Wm McLaughlin & wife as well [tear in page] usual, and by all appearances well So as an addition to their Family- The best friend always last Aunt Mary (Mary Morell of Terrydremond, d. 1834) as well as when you left this - and far better that some of her best friends would wish her to be - I can say no more my news and my paper seems both to be done - The Jersey Track you mentioned I was to receive from Mr Mullins has not come to hand - The Shirts which you wished us to send you would have been sent but your friend has taken us so short that we had not time to get them ready for you - nor had we time to write to James who wished me to let him know when he would be ready to go - that he might write you - from the State of his health we did not think he would go sooner than him - From his Brother Jack going with him I fear he will occupy your Situation if so you must not complain Mr Mullins has been a great friend to you - you must be grateful to him and very attentive to his interest - Above all Be grateful to your God who has blessed you with such health and prosperity, may they long be your lot prays your ever affectionate
Brother John Murrell

Letter from Richard Morell to his father, Hugh, in Canada

Killough (Kildough) July 18th 1838

Dear Father
After a long interval of time intervening between us and not in my power to give you a verbal relation of the contents of my mind I am obliged to do it epistolary herefore I send you these few lines hoping they may find you in good health as they have us all in at present thank God for his innumerable favours to us.
I was myself desirous of course to send you a letter that you might know the state of the family at present. I shall first commence with David who was married about 4 months ago to a Miss Sophia [Hanna] daughter to Mr., Wm [Hanna] [Drumgold] and is living very comfortably with his father-in-law, no change occurred in the family since So there remain now of the male
part of the family unmarried only James and I. I in the most entreating manner make bold to request of you to remit me ------ the price of a horse that I might begin the [world] in the commercial business and as it would be of infinite assistance to the rest of the family also; for persons having a [farm] of land & not having an animal of the horse kind to assist them in the cultivation of it though they be inclined with the most unceasing diligence to improve it can never make it fruitful without an animal of the horse kind. Major Ross made the offer of materials to make a cart if I had first procured the horse, nevertheless, we have this season a crop making a very excellent appearance and the farm is in a middling good state of cultivation. My aunt is considering that it would be better for me to remove to our part of the lands of Diraheagh before Major Ross would expire and have the tenant right of it before his decease but it might give confusion after it. However, I will leave that to your decision. It is our expectation and hope that we will have the pleasure of seeing you in your own native land and that would be the most consoling and joyful sight we could behold.
I may venture to say according to the informations of our aged neighbours that for the period of the last 20 years there has not appeared a season so favourable nor a crop appeared to be so [prolific] and luxuriant as this present My aunt and all the children join in sending their kind love and best respects to you. No more at present but Remain your ever obedient &
affectionate Son until death
Rich Morell

Rates of markets
meal pr [unclear] of 112 lb from 10£ to 11£
potatoes pr stove 3 or [unclear] 2 ‘’ 8
butter pr [unclear] 6 ‘’ 7
beef from 3 ‘’ 4 [unclear]
flour [unclear] to 2 ‘’ 6 & 3 per stove

Wrote Sophia on the 4 Sept 1839 requesting an answer relative to Richard coming out here
[W.] Hugh Morell
Post Office N’Castle
Miramichi, British America

Letter from Richard Ross to Hugh Morell in Canada

Drumcrin cottage (?Drummully parish)

Dear Mr Morelle
I have lately been seeing my Dear, (and now only remaining Aunt,) and yr Family, which but for My Dear Aunt, asked the means, in the hands of Providence, would, in all human calculation, have been scattered and destroyed, perhaps, even for eternity --- I know, all we can do, & you know, is but a means - And but for her, we do not know any other means likely to have saved. yr Poor Dear Wife and My Dr Aunt was ruined by yr Sudden go off - I don't Say this improperly to [harrow] up yr Soul; but to bring to yr mind, as I would wish, if myself, to be done by another (if my heart deceive me not,) a painting of the awful consequences of Sin - consequences, nothing calculated upon, at 1st by us poor mortals - Yr Family, let me add, under the auspices of my late Poor Dear Brother, Colnl Ross, and under the discreet care, of My Dr Aunt Jane, have, of late weathered the storm, & gotten, in a measure, out of pinching [unclear] - Still, however, (of very late), by the great impropriety of one of yr Sons the [Family] have once more been put to it - And, now arrived at the years of discretion, Some of them, (& among others, Sophia yr favourite) naturally & properly wishing to chase thr lives by marriage; and in so doing, to form - Such as would neither reflect disgrace on you, or on themselves - In order thereunto, & that reparatn (as far as possible may be done by us to them) - it will, My Dr [Uncle] be of 1st rate importance, that from time to time you may be pleased to remit a [unclear] for
the use & behoof of the female [branches] in the way of fortune, and to Sophia in special; as at present being likely to enter upon the married relatn - My [Dr] [Mr] Morelle you have often promised to do much in this way, to forwd the interest of those who you shd hold most Dear - but, alas have these promises been fullfilled? And the fall of the [unclear] lease & Richds unhappy conduct, have once more embarrassed the - [unclear] in God, you'll now do Something for the - But, I beg pardon, for so pressing upon you! [It] will I know, be of no effect unless a Sense of duty operate – and conscious itself "the candle of the lord" operate influence. But, let us admonish one another - As the, you regd the welfare of yr Family for time and eternity - As you'd respect the [stain damage] of one once highly [approved] [stain damage] you - let me entreat & beseech you My
Dear Old Friend to now come forward in displays of [natl] affection & Show yr self to be a man & a Christian - I am joined in love by [tear] but especially by yr own immediate [family] who I lately Saw [there],
Yr Ever Devoted Friend,
Richd Ross
Mr Hugh Morelle,
Post Master
Ship Letter Newcastle
Answered on Ma Miramichi
in March 1842 British America

Letter from James Beattie to James Morell (son of Hugh) in Canada

Tullylish Tyholland
Monaghan 4th JanY 1856
My Dear James
Recd yours of the 5th Nov 1853 and observed its contents, I went to Mr D Ross of Dunrimond (?Dunraymond) & told him I had a letter from you wherein you Stated that you wrote to him to know would he purchase your and Sisters part of Kildough his ansr was that there would be Some Trouble in making out the [Title] & Deeds but that he would write to you on the Subject. I
would have written you sooner If it was not that I still thought he would Say Something further concerning it Your Aunt has desired me to Say that if Mr Ross & you does not Come on Terms that Mrs Campbell Sister to the late Mr Killen will purchase on the Same [Title] that She purchased your
Brother John, Richard & Davids part of Kildough - Mr George Woodhouse's part of Kildough was Sold lately to a Mr Wright of Monaghan for £445.0.0 and Mrs Campbell gave him £20.0.0 for his & His Bargain and has it and Seems Very Anxious to get more She even Sent a young Man of the Name of Brannen to your Aunt to know when you, Sally & Jane would Sell your parts - Your Aunt thinks that you Sally & Jane should put your Heads together and make up your Minds what you would take for your Shares and write to us and we will do all in our power to make the most of it, and when you write do not say in care of Revd Mr Tarleton, but in Care of Mrs Bond Dublin Street Monaghan - Your Aunt answered Sallys letter wherein was mentioned Your Father's death - Sally mentioned in her letter that Jane was poorly after her confinement Aunt wishes to know if She is quite Recovered and if Sally is well and how David & His wife & Family are doing, and if there is any word from Richard and Where he is & how doing.
My Dear James I would beg leave to make one remark and It is this Namely that when you three make up your Minds what Sum you will take for your shares of Kildough that you will then Write to Mr Ross and give him the first offer & then if he declines purchasing the blame rests with himself. I think you'll agree with me that he is entitled to a preference - Your Aunt wishes you to tell your Brother David's wife that Mrs Wm Bothwell is well and doing well & has a handsome place. She has a daughter that is a Credit to her and to all belonging to her – Aunt Joins me in love to you, to Sally & her husband & to Jane & her Husband and to David and his
wife and I remain My Dear James yours Most affectionately
James Beatty

Dickson Women

Dickson-Conolly / Morell / Dickson Women / TJ McWilliam to JR McWilliam (Australia) / Herbert McWilliam to JM McWilliam / Rev J Morell & William McWilliam to Phillip Crossle / Rev JM McWilliam to James McWilliam / Nan McWilliam to James McWilliam / Tom Dickson to Peter McWilliam / Hilda Eisenbrey to Peter McWilliam / Back to Top

The following are a series of letters written by Dickson and Eccles women, collected from the home of the Rev Daniel Eccles Dickson ca. 1906 by Rev John Morell McWilliam and subsequently deposited in PRONI by him

(See Dickson Family Page)

Letter to Rev Daniel Dickson, Maryport, Cumberland - 1855. (Yr Father cannot go to town until Anna can leave Marrian)
Drst. Daniel,
I would have written sooner only found you were going to see the Bishop, was it a visitation or private business ------ how long did you remain with him, I thank you for telling me that you are so comfortable but you did not tell me if you were alone in the house, that is what I don't like. What is your rector's name Does he live in the town or near it, yr church I suppose is in the town, is it a large town much business done in it Your lodgings I am sure are pleasant with the view you have but the winter blast will not be so agreeable is the shore rocky or sandy don't go alone bathing as you do not know the shore
The pony I am told is quite well of her lameness she was so lame that she could not be sent to Ballyhaise. Thos got her shoes taken off and she has been at grass ever since, a few days ago she got slippers as her hoofs were breaking, they all say she is not the least lame. William is gone he left last Monday heartily sorry near to tears, he grieved that he had given warning, we have not got any one yet nor will until the new Potatoes come in Thos brought in two from the hay field (yesterday) as large as an egg, Thos is to get the house thatched by Matthew tomorrow he had to walk twice to his house before he could get him
Jemima had a large swarm of her bees & is expecting another, Anna is still talking of writing to you, but Marion keeps her busy from morning till night the child is so bad and she will not let anyone near her but Anna --- I was glad you went so soon as I don't remember that you ever had the hoopin cough
Anna had a letter this day from Anna Eliza asking her and Marrion to Enismore for change of air to the child, I think she be apt to go, John Morell will be here so she will find out, will he send his horse and car with them
Anna Rebecca is at aunt Eccles's but is soon to leave. Macklin did not go he went to his fathers Susan was to join Anna and Macklin at uncle Dan's to spend a week which was all the time they were asked -
Whether they come here or not is uncertain, my clol is stil very far from being well I am stronger in myself but still not able to ---- about write soon God protect you by night & day prays M:D (The dinner is going on while I am writing)

Sent by his mother, Mary (Eccles) Dickson from Stadone, Co Cavan.

Mary Eccles, wife of Rev James Lowry Dickson, Vicar of Lavey (1840-61); she died Mar 17, 1858
Their children were Anna Maria, Jemima, Thomas, Hester & Daniel. The latter was curate of Maryport, Cumbria, 1855-58.
Hester married Rev John Harris Morell (my great great grandparents) in 1852. Marion was their eldest child.

Miss Dickson,
My dear Hessie
I received the note safe this morning and will give a direction about the broach as soon as I can. Anna Rebecca hopes to leave town on Wednesday. Daniel’s examinations are to continue on the 29th of this month. Eliza and Anna Rebecca are out shopping every day to the great amusement of the boys, especially Thomas Dickson who declares (Jem) McKee will be ( ), (Bell) is to go with Anna Rebecca and to stay a night at Lavey. She is to live with her friends in Ballyshannon. I will be very sorry to part with her but I think once the grief of parting is over, she will be better there among her old friends and acquaintances. I have some other letters to write so must conclude with love to the boys, believe me your affectionate aunt,
Jemima Eccles
Make Johnny (Eccles) write to say what day we may expect him.

Jemima Dickson was married to John Dickson Eccles, d. 1836
She had a daughter Eliza
Her niece, Anna Rebecca Eccles, married James McKee October 24, 1846. I assume this letter was written in that year.
Hessie’s brother, Daniel, entered TCD in 1844 and graduated in 1850.
Hessie was my great, great grandmother
Her father, Rev James Lowry Dickson was Vicar of Lavy from 1836 till his death.
Prior to that he had lived at (Duncarbry) Lodge at Tullaghan, near Bundoran
Jemima was his sister.
James & Jemima were married to John & Mary Eccles who were brother & sister & also 1st cousins of their spouses.

January 31st
Lavy Cottage

Dear Daniel,
We were gland to get your letter the other day. Anna Maria & I thought it long since we heard from you, Anna Maria told me that the letter I wrote to you before this you did not get it. I do not remember what it was about but I think it was of no consequence My bees & strawberries appear quite safe for so far. Tom McCabe promised to put meshes across my new herbs yet he has not done so. We heard from Hessie today all ill with colds. John is going to Belfast, when he returns Hessy hopes to get here for a short time to see us. Louisa Ellis is in Dublin. I think she will soon be here. Anna Dickson & Thos are in town staying with the Crosiers. Hessy Cullen I think is at Cappagh with Aunt Eccles. Robert Eccles is going to his own house in (Bray) Hessy Eccles is at Ecclesville they are to have a Governess their for the children. Charles is in town at present trying to sell his house. Anna Maria has not got well of her cold. She was bad the night before last. Since Christmas whe has not been at Church. Papa thank God is pretty well. The last few Sundays were so wet & clold taht Anna thought it better for Papa not to go. The strom thank God did not do much harm here. The yard gate was thrown down and a little broken at Cappagh. The greenhouse suffered a good deal of the glass was broken. At Cumrie there were too old trees blown down. I have very little time nights to read as Papa falls asleep soon after dinner. We sometimes get a paper about the revivals from Belinda. He likes to hear them.
Love to you, Your affe'te sister
Jemima Dickson

Jemima Dickson's father, Rev James Lowry Dickson, died in 1861; her mother, Mary Eccles (not mentioned in this letter) died in 1858. This, coupled with the reference to the revivals suggests that the letter was written in January 1860.

Anna Maria was her sister. Her brother-in-law, Rev John Morell, married to their sister, Hester (Hessie), lived at Cumrie (Cumry) Lodge, Ballybay.

Cappagh (from Irish: Ceapach, meaning "tillage plot") is a small village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is between Pomeroy, Ballygawley, Galbally and Carrickmore, with the hamlet of Galbally about one mile to the east. I don't know whether this is the Cappagh referred to in the letter.

Thomas James McWilliam to John Richardson McWilliam (Australia)

Dickson-Conolly / Morell / Dickson Women / TJ McWilliam to JR McWilliam (Australia) / Herbert McWilliam to JM McWilliam / Rev J Morell & William McWilliam to Phillip Crossle / Rev JM McWilliam to James McWilliam / Nan McWilliam to James McWilliam / Tom Dickson to Peter McWilliam / Hilda Eisenbrey to Peter McWilliam / Back to Top

Ulster Bank
12th Feby. 1873

My dear Johnny,
I received your long letter some time ago, and am very much obliged for your kindness in writing so much news and good advice. When I last wrote to you my mind was fully made up to emigrate somewhere, but circumstances have changed my opinions in that matter completely. What they are I'd be almost ashamed to tell you, but they exist all the same. I can now join the great National motto, and cry "Ireland for the Irish"; and tho' my motives may not be purely patriotic, still my mother soil has a very fair chance of affording me "terra firma" for the remainder of my days, and a narrow little resting place at this end. No doubt are inclined to wonder at such a resolution, considering the decided tone of my last epistle, in which (as you may remember) I spoke my mind so fully, and in which I expressed myself determined to visit "foreign parts". Well all I'll say at the present is that there's a girl in it, and a pretty one, as well as being duly well domiciled, sensible, & good-hearted. In addition to these attractions for me, she offers so much to my advisers & relatives generally that they all highly approve, and are fully satisfied to let matters develop themselves. I should say that my advisors have been none, and my (interested) relatives, as you well know, are few. Of course several years must elapse before anything comes of it, a necessity by no means objectionable, considering the youth of both. Before leaving the subject I had better try to convince you that there is less thoughtlessness & folly in the "little romance" than your worldly experience and profound wisdom might lead you to imagine. I have known my girl for many years, indeed since we were both little more than children, and even then I had my own boyish notions. At the time I entered the Bank we were both free, in my mind at least; and as all correspondence was forbidden there was nothing to "feed the flame" (that expression smacks of slang, but I can't get a better) but the dreams and recollections of old times. These were enough as time showed; and though various things were timed to snap the tender links, the ties and strains but strengthened, and the chain remained perfect all the while. Last summer I got holidays, and once again I visited the old place of my birth, but this time a stranger's roof gave me shelter, for ours had now been long deserted. Before leaving Omagh I received an invitation to spend as long a time as possible at Roxboro (that's where she lives) and there I went accordingly. This invitation came from her mother, who afterwards told me that motive in asking me there was twofold. One reason was because of the friendship that had long existed between the two families, and the other was that she might see how we'd conduct ourselves and what we'd think, say, and do after so long a separation. A gentleman of good social standing (Irish ideas and nonsense quite inconsistent with Australian common sense and modern views) and easy circumstances (valued on any soil) had made advances in my absence (fortunately for himself, as I'm a pretty stout fellow, and have no womanish fear of a black eye) but with no other result than a flat refusal. The parents had approved of him, no doubt partly because of his claims to respect an attention that I have already mentioned, and were consequently both surprised and annoyed at her rejection of his suit. A woman forever solving a mystery in my opinion; and so the old lady thought of old times, and wondered if the merry, boyish image of the youth, now all but forgotten, had been standing between the bearded man and her he sought to win. Thus it happened that we were brought together, as she wished to see what I have already spoken of, viz. what we'd think, say, and do. We thought a good deal at first, said a good deal afterwards and finally did what any two loving (hrm!) sensible (that's better) young couple would have done under the circumstances - "came to an understanding". When, with all due fear and trembling, I broke the news to the old lady, she was greatly surprised; said she had never dreamt of matters coming to a crisis so quickly; said she could not blame us (after some profoundly wise arguing on my part) wondered and feared what the "good man of the house" would say; and finally gave a hearty consent, calling herself a "romantic old fool" for doing so. Thus was my main point gained, and soon my girl had the news, at which our joy was mutual and unbounded. I need not bother you with our arrangements, which were made at a general consultation; but have no fear as to my making a fool of myself, or getting? leave, by a hasty injudicious marriage. That will never be until circumstances warrant its being done wisely.
Thus it happens that I have changed my mind as regards emigration, and perhaps it is as well so. Any country will support a man able and willing to put his shoulder to the wheel and I hope I'm one of them. At the time I last wrote to you I thought "Loves Young Dream" was only a dream of the past, from which she had grown to a state of perfect wakefulness if not forgetfulness, and so it happened that I made up my mind to rove. The invitation and the results changed me, and thus it is that all over in that respect. I will conclude this subject (with which I have bothered you too much already) by asking your opinion as to the wisdom of our course; and also any advice you feel inclined to offer, being a man of such experience.

I am sorry you have found life in the colonies so full of changes, some of which, I fear have not added much to your wealth or peace of mind. At the same time I firmly believe you are a man who could make your way anywhere and at anything. The McWilliam family are all, in my opinion, clever enough but restless and fond of change. From this characteristic
you do not seem to be quite free either, more's the pity; but you have probably more perseverance than some of us. Poor Russell was a very clever man with brilliant imagination, a good deal of wit, and full of humour, but the prospect of a good evening's fun was always enough to draw him from his work, even at the very time when his competitors were reading night and day. In company he liked he was invaluable and delightful, making everything merry and almost enchanting; while the excess of laughter necessitated by his conversation endangered the health of even the stoutest amongst those capable of thoroughly appreciating him. In politics and everything else his views were Liberal, and in all completely free from prejudice, and quite above it. His temperament was too "easy going" and practical; and I believe this alone would have kept him from scaling the dizzy heights of his ambitious mountain, in any pursuit he might have followed. Thus he lived and died, beloved by all who knew him having made many friends and not a single enemy.
Charlie was a different man in many ways, and I find it hard to describe him. He succeeded in everything (except making money) and it was well known that the majority of his competitors had but little chance of keeping pace with him. His college career was quick and good, and he never missed an examination in his life. He was very clever in his profession, and would soon have had an extensive practice anywhere. He had mind too, and great depth of thought, being also high principled and truly honourable in all things. Yet he lacked the great broad philosophy and wondrous might of soul and understanding which ever distinguished Russell. Had they read together in uninterrupted quietude Russell would have beaten him; but had they read at different places, the chances are Charlie would have kept the lead. Of course I need not give my opinion in explanation of this, for it is evident hard work and perseverance gave them? (him) ever an advantage, for which the greater talent of the other (unaided by these attributes) could never make up. Physically, Charlie was somewhat of a coward but morally he was brave and fearless. As fear is generally understood Rusty never knew what it was, both from natural bravery and his great power of mind. But where Charlie was brave, Russell without being in the least a coward, was more passive and acted in a way much less decided. In temper both were very quick and firey (we're all that) but neither bore any malice whatever, and the cooling was quite as quick as the heating. Charlie was always uncertain, but with one who knew Russell, his temper might never be ruffled for years. Both were tall and well made, and both might have been alive now (in all human probability) but for the feverish mind of one, and the irregular habits of the other.
Erica? (Anna) comes next, that is in years, though in truth none of her family (that I knew) could take so high a place. She's not so clever in the paths of literature as her brothers (with one exception) but has more practical "common sense" and useful knowledge of the world than all the lot united. All I wish is that she was well married; but she will be so or not at all.
Willie, as you are probably aware, is studying law, and he's a right smart, shrewd fellow, sure to make money if he lives, and equally sure to fight with at least half of his intimate acquaintances. No man could be more good natured but he is most awfully unreasonable and hot headed, without one particle of philosophy in his composition. He and I were brought up together, and I believe I know and like him better than any other member of the family can. He is much too sensitive, taking far too serious a view of trifles; and I have often reasoned with him on these points for hours, but generally without success. He'd rage and vex himself for a day over a thing never meant to annoy him, swearing all the time like a trooper, yet he would never hurt even a fly (tho mad with ) when in his . Altogether he is such a man that you could not help loving and laughing a bit at him, though in following the dictates of wisdom you'd hide your amusement to save a scene. Through all he's one of the cleverest fellows you could find, and "Old Nick" could not keep pace with him in reading, and his memory is far superior to any of ours. He's a great favourite, and makes an impression, while he is the most accomplished, harmless flirter I ever met.
Tom comes next in order, & he's a boy for whom I have a great regard. At the same time, as you can well understand, a minute description of him would be rather a delicate matter for me to dwell on, so I'll be brief and general. What he'd have been as a professional man must ever be a secret to the world as circumstances made it imperative that he should enter a bank at the age of 18. Up to that time his education was much neglected and left to himself, owing to family difficulties; but he once got a chance (for nine months) of distinguishing himself under the tuition of a good hearted? BA TCD and during this short period he displayed about the same aptitude as the others, but far more natural laziness. Three books of Virgil were English to him, and the Gospel of St John in the ? Testament, while science had been dabbled in occasionally to the mutual and almost equal benefit of both teacher and pupil. His ambition in life was to be a medical man, and have fates not willed that his calling should be different, he'd probably have succeeded in taking his degree. In that case you'd likely have seen him, as he intended travelling round the world and settling down in Ireland afterwards. He is very easy going and tolerably good tempered, while his tastes are general and tend towards classics and poetry; but I fear a want of perseverance must ever keep him from eminence in anything. He is ambitious, and enters enthusiastically into all sports, and generally ranks pretty well with his competitors, beyond which standing he never goes, kept there partly by natural indolence and partly by inability to go on. His height is a little over 5ft. 9in., and his weight 12st. 8lbs., while his general appearance gives more the idea of strength than graceful development. This is about as fair a description as I can give of all the family, myself included; and as I hope to have my photo taken soon, you can see by the copy I'll send you, the peculiarities and attractions? (hem!) of my physical structure. I hope you are not weary reading so much about these matters, but once in a lifetime will do; no doubt there must be some interest in a recital of the family history and individual characteristics of out relatives, for one who has seen and known little of them for years.
There is little news, commercial, political or domestic, that would interest you coming from these parts, and so I'll soon bring my epistle to a close. It's greatly against the grain to finish but I must, but I cannot help telling you that my financial circumstances have undergone no change for the better since I wrote before. Billy (?) will be finished (if all goes well) in less than a year, and then things will be brighter. In the meantime he cannot be forgotten, and for me of slender income any little drain is felt. Should you be able to send to me a little now, I'll not forget it, nor will you be a loser by it; but if inconvenient, never mind. When writing home, please do not mention the little romance I've told you of to anyone but myself - they all know it, but I don't want it spoken about at present. As to my habits have no fear - they are likely to continue steady, for many reasons; and have generally been so hitherto. I'm a very heavy smoker, but do not drink as I'm never in the way of it. With my love to the "mistress" and hearty wishes for the health of the youngsters and yourself, I remain
your affectionate Brother
TJ McWilliam
PS I am pleased to say we are all in excellent health, my mother included. She's a firm strong woman.

All mentioned were children of Rev Thomas McWilliams (1806-1863), a Presbyterian minister of Freeduff, near Crossmaglen and Anna Russell (1813-1905).

The recipient, John Richardson McWilliam (1838-1916) emigrated to Australia in 1854 and worked as a journalist ending as owner/editor of the Coonamble Times.
Russell (1839-1871), a Church of Ireland clergyman in Carlow & Charles (1843-1869) a doctor in Crossmaglen both died of TB. Thomas was present at the death of Charles.
Anna (1846-abt. 1835) went to Argentina as a governess in 1863. She appears to have worked at one time in the family of a president and was financially independent when she returned to Ireland in the 1890s.
Willie (1849-1927) (my great grandfather) was in fact a success (both financially & politically) as a solicitor in Monaghan. He was appointed Clerk of the Crown & Peace for Monaghan in 1895 and remained in office throughout the 'troubles'. When the office was reorganised as Co. Registrar in 1826 he retired.

Thomas (b. 1851) died unmarried - at the house of his brother, William in Monaghan in 1881 – so "Loves Young Dream" remained unfulfilled.

Context: In the immediate aftermath of the Famine small rural congregations in south Ulster like Freeduff lost up to a third of their families. This had an immediate and direct effect on the stipend of the minister and Presbytery records suggest that this was always in arrears. When Thomas died in 1863 his estate was owed money for the building of the manse.
This probably lay behind the emigration of John and Anna to Australia and Argentina respectively & presumably is why Thomas jnr. was unable to get a professional qualification like his three brothers.
Willie, incidentally, owed some £200 when he started his professional life.

Herbert McWilliam to JM McWilliam

Dickson-Conolly / Morell / Dickson Women / TJ McWilliam to JR McWilliam (Australia) / Herbert McWilliam to JM McWilliam / Rev J Morell & William McWilliam to Phillip Crossle / Rev JM McWilliam to James McWilliam / Nan McWilliam to James McWilliam / Tom Dickson to Peter McWilliam / Hilda Eisenbrey to Peter McWilliam / Back to Top

Royal School,
My dear Jack
I got your letter this morning.
I am sorry Hezekiah is lost.
You may keep the box of geometrical instruments. I will not want them again.
It is very lonely here since Willy left, but I will soon get used to it.
Thanks for keeping the vinegar for me, I did not think either of you would have thought of it.
I never knew till I got your letter, that Aunt Anna was at home, I suppose she is well.
We have two matches before the holidays, one against Inst. and the other against Methodist College, we go to Belfast for it, we play Inst. here.
I got Chums yesterday.
We got a half holiday on Thursday, but I suppose Willie told you about it.
I hope your cold will be better soon.
I remain
your fond brother

Rev James Morell & William McWilliam to Phillip Crossle

Dickson-Conolly / Morell / Dickson Women / TJ McWilliam to JR McWilliam (Australia) / Herbert McWilliam to JM McWilliam / Rev J Morell & William McWilliam to Phillip Crossle / Rev JM McWilliam to James McWilliam / Nan McWilliam to James McWilliam / Tom Dickson to Peter McWilliam / Hilda Eisenbrey to Peter McWilliam / Back to Top

Cumry Lodge,
Nov 4th 1911

My Dear Sir,
I had a letter from my Aunt, Mrs Morell of Dungannon enclosing yours to her, and asking me to give any information I could regarding the descendants of the Russells of Newry. Mrs Moffett died childless. Mrs McWilliam had a large family but I believe only three are alive at present. Mr McWilliam of Corlatt House, Monaghan, Clerk of the Crown & Peace, will I am sure be glad to give you any information with regard to his brothers and sisters.
My mother was Mary Montgomery Russell. She had three daughters, Anne Park, Fanny, and Mary Montgomery. The last died still a child, but the other two live to womanhood but died unmarried. I was the only son.
Margaret Russell, the youngest of my Aunts, died unmarried.
If you wish to know anything more I shall be very glad to give you any information I possibly can.
Mrs Henderson had two daughters both of whom are still alive – Mary Montgomery & Emily – The latter married Rev John O’Reilly Blackwood & had children – two alive I think. Mrs Henderson had five sons Henry Richardson (died), Alexander (was a Rector in Cardiff) Edwin (died), Ernest in America & Richard? (died).
I am, Faithfully yours,
Jas Morell

Cumry Lodge
Nov 14th 1911

Dear Sir,
I fill in a few dates and some other particulars that you want. I am sorry that I do not know the maiden name of my grandmother or the Christian name of my great grandmother, Mrs Matthew Russell. Mr McWilliam might possibly be able to inform you. It is a pity that Mrs McWilliam & Mrs Henderson are both dead – not many years ago – for I am sure they could have given a good deal of interesting information.
I think you are not correct in your list of Mrs Henderson’s family. Her children are I believe;
1 Mary Montgomery Russell Henderson (still alive)
2 Emily Henderson married to Rev John O’Reilly Blackwood – He is dead, but she is still alive, and I think she had 3 children two of whom are living.
3 Henry Richardson Henderson (died)
4 Alexander Henderson, Rector in Cardiff
5 Edwin Henderson (accidently drowned)
6 Ernest Henderson (still alive)
7 Herbert Verner Henderson (died)
With regard to this branch of the family, and the children of Mrs O’Reilly Blackwood, Rev Alex Henderson will be able to give you full particulars
I am, faithfully yours,
Jas Morell

Corlatt House

Dear Sir,
I return the sheets with all the particulars I can give as to my mother’s family. The names & order are right, but there are several dates which I do not know. I shall be glad to give any further information that I can. I have often heard my mother talk about many of the names you mention, but of course my recollection is mixed up & would not be accurate. Eliza, wife of John Russell, was a Richardson. I mean my mother’s mother. I do not know any other particulars, but it was after her that my oldest brother got his second name.
I assume that Mr Morell has given particulars as to his branch
Yours faithfully,
Wm McWilliam


Rev John Morell McWilliam to W James McWilliam

Dickson-Conolly / Morell / Dickson Women / TJ McWilliam to JR McWilliam (Australia) / Herbert McWilliam to JM McWilliam / Rev J Morell & William McWilliam to Phillip Crossle / Rev JM McWilliam to James McWilliam / Nan McWilliam to James McWilliam / Tom Dickson to Peter McWilliam / Hilda Eisenbrey to Peter McWilliam / Back to Top

18th Feb. 1951.

Dear James,
I do not know what family notes I have sent on to Russell from time to time, but if you care to have them, and would give your mind to it, I would be very willing to send you anything that I have, as I do not want it all to be lost in my generation.
I enclose the remarkable "Campbell" genealogy, which contains a good deal about the family of my grandmother, Anna Russell of Newry. I have given what I know of her pedigree, which will show you where she comes in to this Campbell genealogy. I have some records of our Morell ancestors, back to about 1700. I have very full records of my grandmother, Hester Dickson's family, back to Capt. Thomas of Ballyshannon, my gt. gt. gt. gt. grandfather, who married Elizabeth Conolly, sister of William Conolly, speaker of the House of Commons, who built Castletown House, in Co. Kildare. His people were, a couple of generations later, related by marriage to the Leinsters. That is a well known story. If there is anything on these sides that you would like to know more about, you might ask me, and I will give you what I can. On that side of the family most of our people have their history given in Burkes's landed gentry. It gives the history of Dickson, Eccles, Lowry, Lucas, Conolly etc. I enclose the Dickson - Eccles pedigree written by my grand-aunt, Anna Maria Dickson, kept up by my aunt, Eva Morell. Write to me for anything that you want of these families, and I will send you what I know. I should be glad if you and Herbert would preserve the family records. As to the Campbell pedigree, the Campbells of Strachur near Inverary, in Argyl, were a branch of the family of the Earls of Argyll. Ian Campbell, the present Duke, told me that from his family records it would be possible some time to find out where we come in to his family. I may get that some time.

As to the McWilliam family, it is quite another matter. This is an old story, which Russell may know as much about as I do. Some of it was more or less kept back from us, for special reasons. Our people were apparently small landowners, near Aughnacloy, in the 18th century. My great-grandfather must have been pretty well off. The name was spelt indiscriminately McWilliam or McWilliams. He had four sons. John McWilliam, the oldest, remained on the land. James McWilliam was a Presb. clergyman, at Maguiresbridge. He married the daughter of Lieut. Joseph B. Weir (not so – his daughter married into the Weir family, PMcW), but left no descendants. Our grandfather, Rev. Thomas McWilliam, married Anna Russell of Newry.. The fourth was Dr. Moore McWillliam, who left no descendants. I do not know that he was married. He lived near Maguiresbridge too. The dates and marriages of the two clergymen are given in the records of the Irish Presbyterian church. Some of what I give here is in an old letter from my father.
The eldest son, John, did badly, and our people apparently broke with him entirely. He is said to have married his servant. He left one daughter, Sarah (note the name) who married a farmer called Scott. There were Scott children. I believe that my father helped these from time to time, and possibly "emigrated" one or two to Canada. There may be descendants in Tyrone still, but not of our name. (Is this story confused with the story of Hugh Morell’s son, John, who married an RC? I suspect that some of their children went to Canada?)
That seems to be the reason why practically no McWilliam records or pedigree came on to us. There was a black-out, more or less, except that we were always told that our people belonged to Carnteel, a townland and village near Aughnacloy. Our grandfather is recorded as from near Aughnacloy.
It is extremely difficult to recover a family history since the Irish wills were burnt. But there is still preserved an index to the wills that were lost, and in the case of the wills that were proved in the Surogative Court, genealogical extracts were made about 1810, by Sir William Betham. This gives a certain amount, but most of our family wills were dealt with in another court, and the records are lost. Also the 18th century Presbyterian Church records, of marriages, and for Aughnacloy, baptisms are lost. I have had all the records in the Presbyterian Historical Society examined in Belfast. I have got the Dublin Castle Genealogical Office to examine all the McWilliam deeds in the Registry of Deeds of Dublin, for Co. Tyrone, 1710-1810. They have arranged now to search for me the deeds subsequent to 1810. It may be some time before I get these. These later ones may possibly give me most of the story. For example, the sale of a place may recite the successive owners. I have already got extracts from 30 18th century deeds. I will have copies of these sent to you later. They give a great deal of rather vague information, leases, mortgages etc. It seems that our family held a property at Carnteel, very likely before 1700. The first that I have a record of is John McWilliam of Carnteel who married Sarah Ker, daughter of Thomas Ker of Tullydraw, Co. Tyrone, about 1720. A sister of Thomas Ker (He died in 1720) was Alice Ker, wife of Isaiah Corry of Rockcorry, Co. Monaghan. One sister of Sarah Ker, Anne Ker, married David Verner and was the mother of Sir William Verner of Church-hill, Co. Armagh. There were other brothers and sisters. John McWilliam and his wife Sarah Ker were living at Carnteel in 1744. Anne Verner lived till 1768. Her son, or grandson, I forget exactly, married the daughter of the Marquess of Donegall.
The deeds etc. show so many names that it is not possible with certainty to show out decent exactly from John McWilliam. But he was clearly my gt. gt. gt. grandfather, or possibly one generation further back. But from the way that a succession of them appear as "of Carnteel, gentleman" it would appear that the succession is about this
John McWilliam, m. Sarah Ker.
Charles McWilliam, deeds about 1770-1790.
John McWilliam (living in 1824.)
Charles McWilliam is given in one deed as son of John McWilliam, deceased. My father wrote to me that John McWilliam, 1824, was my great grandfather. He seemed clear enough about this. If we can find the deed showing the sale of this place by my granduncle, it might recite the successive owners, and give a good deal of information.
The difficulty is in the number of descendants, often of the same names. There was a James McWilliam, Carnteel, who died in 1787, leaving several children, whose names I have. There were cousins in Glencul, a neighbouring townland, whose records I know pretty well, who were not in the direct line from us. There were others in other town-lands in the parish, obviously cousins. No doubt there are descendants there still. They were a strange family or clan. They seem to have settled children as tenants of small farmers, who just lapsed into peasantry. There was a McWilliam "publican", in Carnteel village. There was a McWilliam merchant in Aughnacloy, and so on. Our own people seem to have been well-off, with cousins in all grades. The earliest record of all is of a John McWilliam in the townland of Logan, paying hearth-tax in 1666. Also they were clearly cousins of a McWilliam family in the county and city of Armagh in the 18th century. One of these, William McWilliams, was head of the Co. Armagh Volunteers in 1798. But the Armagh ones were not direct ancestors of ours.
You will see that I have a mass of records, but that it is not possible, so far at least, to draw up any accurate pedigree. I have very many records of the clan in three or four counties in the N.E. of Ireland for a good many centuries. The name is spelt in a number of different ways in "muster-rolls" etc. McQuillen, McQuilline, McQuillan, McQuilliam, McQuilland, and so on. My impression is that our family were not Scottish settlers of the 17th century, but that we belonged to the Norman Celtic clan of Antrim, and that the Tyrone lot just began from someone who drifted in about 1650, when Tyrone was in a state of chaos after successive wars. The best record that I have is of "Donnell McWilliam, mendicus" buried at Derry Cathedral, -- 18th November, 1663.
When you have considered all of this, just write and ask for anything that you would like, and I will give it to you if I can - for example, the Dickson records. Keep these papers that I send you. I will have a copy made of the McWilliam deeds extracts, and send them to you. And I will let you know when I get the later deeds extracts. The place at Carnteel must have been owned by us, as there are no signs of it being leased. There cannot have been tenants or we would have been shown as giving leases to them. The principle document would have been the (supposed) sale by my granduncle. But the whole matter is rather obscure so far.
Yours ever,
J.M. McWilliam.

Tynron, 18th Feb. 1951.
Dear James
On reading your letter again I gather that Russell wants the Dickson records. I send you our Dickson pedigree, and extracts from a couple of Prerogative Wills. I have a good many isolated records of baptisms etc. of Dicksons at Ballyshannon. Probably the earliest record is from the Hearth Money Roll, Co. Donegal, 1665. John Dickson of Ballyshannon, Killbarron Parish, 1 hearth. Of course at about that date documents of all sorts become scarce. I suppose that you know that there were no wills in Ireland before about 1580, and that our system of law and ownership of land were not in operation till about 1600. The result is that in Ireland we are entirely without the ordinary sources of information for early times that we have in Scotland and England. You are thrown back on the Irish Annalists and private family records. At least that applies to a great part of Ireland. I expect that you know more about these things than I do. The country was governed by a lot of minor chiefs of all sorts who managed affairs according to their own ideas. In the chaos of the 17th century people arrived from anywhere and dug themselves in and defended their lives as well as possible. The wonder is that we know as much as we do. The Dicksons apparently came over from Scotland about 1650. The arms that they used are the same as a Scottish family of the name. They certainly used these arms back to 1700. And these Scottish Dicksons are by tradition a branch of the Keith family, who were Earls Marshal of Scotland. The Dickson arms on our silver are the same as the arms of the Keiths. They were supposed to be descended from a Richard Keith. That is all that can ever be known about the origin of the Dicksons of Ballyshannon.
Yours ever,
J.M. McWilliam.

The Manse of Tynron, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire. 2nd Nov. 1958
Dear James,
I am always glad to hear from you. I send you an account that I wrote of my spell in France in the first World War. I did not like the idea of this interesting time passing into complete oblivion. You can put it with your family records. Copies of these family things that I wrote have gone into some of the libraries, especially in Belfast. This summer a man called Evans of Ontario came over her to look up ancestors at Carnteel. His mother, I think, was a McWilliam. A great-grandfather went to Canada about 1800. He called at the Armagh County Museum and asked T.G.Y. Patterson, the curator, if anything was known about McWilliams. Patterson was able to show him a copy of my Family Record. I had other deeds relating to his people after they went out to Gnelph, Ontario. Evans wrote to me. It shows that it is helpful to people abroad to put these things in the libraries. Instead of the librarian having to talk for an hour he has this for a "hand-out".
I have been exploring Donegal history and am in touch with a very nice man Father Terence O'Donnell, who was at Rossnowlagh but is now at Gormanstown College. He says that he has no time for antiquarian work as his school has 375 boarders and he has 31 class periods in the week. He clearly wishes that he was back at Rossnowlagh to complete his parish history. He put me in touch with The O'Donnell, who lives at Monkstown. His aunt was Mrs. McCartney of Monaghan, Aunt Marion's old friend, the wife of the manager of the Ulster Bank. They were the O'Donnells of Larkfield. O'Donnell wrote to me that his wife teaches in a private school near Dublin, and there she taught Herbert's children. You should pack off your children to be taught by O'Donnell's wife. It would be a solution to your troubles. I expect you know a lot more about this than I do. Nineteenth century history in Donegal seems to bring you back into the Middle Ages. People no doubt go to you to tell them about the old days before 1930.
Have you seen Tullaghan village this long time? Are many of the houses still standing? I would like a photograph of it. I wish that I had looked around me more in the old days. There was a lovely collection of houses at Castlegal further along the shore. Do the strings of donkey carts still bring turf into Bundoran? Is there any cheap guide to Bundoran that you could get for me? Life here is extremely dull at the moment. I seldom leave Tynron and there are few people to talk to. I can easily see that your position is difficult and lonely in ways. Is the old Presbyterian church at Ballybay still open, where my uncle Jim preached. Is Cumry still occupied? Is Corlatt still a school? Have you traced the history of Holly Lodge? Give my rememberances to Elsie and Patricia.
Yours ever, Jack.

Nan McWilliam to James McWilliam

Dickson-Conolly / Morell / Dickson Women / TJ McWilliam to JR McWilliam (Australia) / Herbert McWilliam to JM McWilliam / Rev J Morell & William McWilliam to Phillip Crossle / Rev JM McWilliam to James McWilliam / Nan McWilliam to James McWilliam / Tom Dickson to Peter McWilliam / Hilda Eisenbrey to Peter McWilliam / Back to Top

Adelaide House
Wed (Probably about 1957)

My dear Jimmie
I don’t really know why I’m writing all this to you, but you could tell Elsie. I went to a specialist yesterday for an overhaul, and the verdict is a floating abdominal tumour, which must be removed. They will know nothing definite till after the op. I expect I’ll come through that all right. I can stand a lot, but if I don’t, I’m 78 (almost) and have had a good innings. I don’t know where Bets is, but if she is at home, you can tell her too and if she’s back in Stranmillis I’ll fix things up with her. There would be various things to do here, and as I have left her the contents of the room, she would see about removing anything she wants and dispose of the others.
In a way it seems absurd to bother about all this, but it is better to think things out in advance when one can. Do you remember Capt Hook in Peter Pan, who resolved to make his dying speech while he was well, “lest” as he said “when the day comes for me to die there will be no time for a speech”.
Yours Nan.

Thomas Dickson, Milltown, Dungannon to Peter McWilliam

Dickson-Conolly / Morell / Dickson Women / TJ McWilliam to JR McWilliam (Australia) / Herbert McWilliam to JM McWilliam / Rev J Morell & William McWilliam to Phillip Crossle / Rev JM McWilliam to James McWilliam / Nan McWilliam to James McWilliam / Tom Dickson to Peter McWilliam / Hilda Eisenbrey to Peter McWilliam / Back to Top

Dear Peter,
Thank you for your letter saying you are carrying out a genealogical research on your family. Yes, I believe your great grandfather was the secretary to our firm around the turn of the century but I have no dates. I remember your grandfather, James, telling me apropos the bother and trouble getting accounts audited and passed by the Inland Revenue that his father would go by train to Omagh with the accounts, show them to the tax inspector and everything was agreed within an hour!
I don't know when your grandfather succeeded him as secretary. But he retired in Dec 1963 and I remember him saying then he had worked for Dicksons for over fifty years. (65 years to be precise) He was a most loyal and faithful secretary and director and served our family through good times and bad. He was treasurer of Dungannon Presbyterian Church for over 30 years. I remember at a garden party here at Miltown House in 1940 to celebrate our minister's 25 years in Dungannon he was presented with a silver salver for 25 years as treasurer. He was very keen on all sports but rugger, cricket and golf were his main interests. He was captain of Dungannon Golf Club in 1924.
Your grand father's elder brother, Willie Clugston, was the factory manager and he retired in 1948. I remember him briefly when I started after the war. I don't know how long he worked in Dicksons but I think it was a good long time. His son Jim also worked in the factory but he transferred to Glass Fabrics Ltd, a company my father started up immediately after the war. Glass Fabrics was taken over by Turner and Newall Ltd in the early fifties so Jim went to England to work for them. As I'm sure you know he died very shortly after he retired.
The James Dickson you mention who was involved with a Hugh Dunbar in the 1840s could have been my great great grandfather. We are all descended from David Dickson of Kilmarnock who came over at the time of the Plantation and farmed outside Benburb. From what information I have his great grandson, James, moved from Benburb to Dungannon in 1836.
James's younger son was Thomas Alexander Dickson the Liberal MP for Dungannon and it was he who founded the linen weaving factory here in Dungannon in 1864. He must have had tremendous energy to run a linen business and be involved in politics. In those days the linen industry had a future because he established Hazelbank Weaving Co for his son Tom while, James, my grandfather ran Dungannon. That is our connection with the Banbridge/Gilford area. He then bought Greenmount & Boyne Weaving Co and went to live in Drogheda where he died in 1909.
There are books about the political history of Ireland in which my great grandfather and my grandfather, who was also a Liberal MP for a short period, are mentioned. But that's not what you want. A book about Dungannon has recently come out but it's mostly pictures. It's called 'Around Dungannon' by Felix Hagan and is published by Gill & Macmillan, Goldenbridge, Inchicore. Dublin 8. It may be worth getting it from the library.
I'm afraid I haven't been of much help but your mother should remember her childhood at Ingleside on the Circular Road in Dungannon.

Hilda Eisenbrey (Charles) to Peter McWilliam, 26/6/00, from USA

Dickson-Conolly / Morell / Dickson Women / TJ McWilliam to JR McWilliam (Australia) / Herbert McWilliam to JM McWilliam / Rev J Morell & William McWilliam to Phillip Crossle / Rev JM McWilliam to James McWilliam / Nan McWilliam to James McWilliam / Tom Dickson to Peter McWilliam / Hilda Eisenbrey to Peter McWilliam / Back to Top

Dear Peter,
I thank you for the last family information you sent me.
I am trying to think of any other connections to the “root collection”. You asked about John Rogers of the Fish Ponds. I think he was a cousin of my grandmother. After my mother died & we lived with my grandparents, on market day in Dungannon which was a Thursday, a John Rogers & his wife, Maggie (she could be a Margaret, shortened to Maggie) used to visit and have tea. I can always remember my grandmother getting after John. He’d pour his tea into his saucer & then take his cap to fan it to cool it off & grandmother used to say “John don’t do that, it’s bad manners”. Also Betty and I used to wonder what happened to one of his ears. It had like a corner cut out of it. We used to go to the fish ponds to visit. It seemed at that time to be a nice farm & I remember it had a pond in the back yard & from what I know his wife Maggie went out one night and walked right into the pond and drowned. From what I remember it had a lot of green scum on it – so it always looked green. John’s wife Maggie lived here in the US at one time, but returned to Ireland. She was an attractive lady & Aunt Edie used to say her clothes were American.
About Mullens – there was a Mullen family who lived in Dungannon. We used to visit them. They were farmers and lived on a road. I don’t remember the name of it but it was by the Catholic Church. Maybe your mother will remember them – they had two daughters – Yvonne & Eileen (who was about my age) now I don’t know if this man was a cousin to grandmother or not.
Also there were Thornberry’s in Dungannon. Mr Thornberry was principal of Drumglass School when I went there & his wife was related to grandmother somehow. Maybe again your mother might know of the connection there. They had two daughters whose names were Joy & Iris – there may be other children but if so I don’t remember them. To me Mr Thornberry seemed old; I remember he was very grey headed.

*** [See census substitutes; The wife of Wm Nassau Thornberry, National School Teacher, in 1911 was Mary Elizabeth and this fits with the Mullen entry form 1901]

I’m not sure that I have all this correct but the information is the best I remember.
You and I will have to get together the next time I’m in Ireland & perhaps we can get more things sorted out. If I think of anything else I’ll let you know.

Dickson-Conolly / Morell / Dickson Women / TJ McWilliam to JR McWilliam (Australia) / Herbert McWilliam to JM McWilliam / Rev J Morell & William McWilliam to Phillip Crossle / Rev JM McWilliam to James McWilliam / Nan McWilliam to James McWilliam / Tom Dickson to Peter McWilliam / Hilda Eisenbrey to Peter McWilliam / Back to Top

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