Transcribed and contributed by Bruce P. Shields firstname.lastname@example.org
Francis Findlay at Crofthead 17 Dec 1849 to Thos. Findlay,
Morpeth Howard, Canada
West. Postmarked Newmilns &
I must confess that I have been careless in not writing to you long
before this time but I think you are not much better.
I have been looking for a letter everyday for a long time.
I am almost inclined to think that like John in a few years you will
forget your native place. Whether
this may be the case or not time alone can determine.
In your last letter you ask how our crops are likely to turn out.
Our corn is a very fair crop, our turnips were good; we had about two
acres but our carrots were deficient. We
had about an acre of them. Carrots
are in general but a very small crop in this quarter.
As for our potatoes, they were good in quality but not very bulky.
We had about half an acre planted with the plough and about an acre with
the spaid in the braes which kept us in exercise during the summer.
Potatoes are in general keeping better than they have done for a number
of years before. Yet there is still
a little of the failure to be seen amongst them.
We had about half an acre of beans.
They were deficient in straw but well filled.
As for our hay, I never saw as much about
Crofthead and should be
somewhere between two and three thousand stones.
Farm produce in this quarter is very low.
Best meal will not bring above £1-- 5d per load.
We had a letter from William last week.
He says the farmers are beginning to cry out with them.
They are saying little about it yet in this quarter as they had their
cheese to pay this terms rent, but where does the Whitsunday’s rent come from
should the markets continue low? In
a few years there must be a great turnover amongst them.
As you know a great many of them have but little to lose.
ask if Francis Cochran
Parkfield is staying with
I say no. He was at a feu
last summer but I have not heard what he is doing this winter.
Their brother John was killed in Glasgow about three weeks ago.
He had been knocked down by a machine and died in two days.
We never heard anything more about it as none of them ever sent us any
There is always a little doing in the cess trade here.
Miss Wood is still doing a little. Auchinbart
and Burnhead are both pulling up although I believe from what I hear Robert
Alsten will do them both. But Miss
Brown Loanfoot is the main topic of the day.
You may see by this what money does as her name was never in the public
before. James Steel and
Goursbraehead are two of her main hands, but it is generally believed
Steel will be the man. Jean
Jamieson was married last week to a man in Glasgow.
He had been servant in Boghead with her.
His name I don’t mind. Agness
Findlay Dalloy was married not long ago to a tea man in England.
His folks are about Cumnock. he
had been servant in this place before he left for England.
He commenced business on his own account five or six years ago and is
said to be doing well if we judge from appearances.
He must be doing well as he presented her with a fine gold watch.
His place is within a few miles of London. It is also said to be an opening for Mary Morton Ladybrow.
It has been long spoken about. Whether
it may come at last I cannot say. Friends
in this place are well for anything I know.
Moore had a slight fever, but now is quite better.
I sent a newspaper. I trust
you have got it by this time. Write
me soon and tell me if you have ever taken a trip through the country or if you
have ever seen any of the Osbornes? Have
you ever seen Robert and how does he get along.
Remind me to all enquiring friends, particularly to brother John. Does he never think of writing?
I am, Dear
Thomas, your affectionate brother,
TO: Mr. Alexander Shields,
Peacham, corner County of Caledonea Steat of
Vermont. Postmark NY Mar.20, SHIP. Forward to Craftsbury, VT North America.
Transcript of Letter: Robert Glass of 636 Hampton Place, Gallowgate, Glasgow 8th Oct. 1862 to Ann Boyd Shields of Craftsbury, VT.
You know Aunt is a twin and has still a partiality for them-- About 8 years ago we came to Glasgow as the house I was doing for, as Agent, was putting his Work into a Factory, and I have 20/ per week and gives out all the weft that is used in the Factory to Winders, of whom there is 160 and some of them Calls on me 4 & 5 times for service and all of them twice a day, so if it is not heavy work, there is plenty of it. Every parcel is Weighed out and in. If Mr. Armour can find room for it there will be a small parcel for you as a small Remembrance of us.---
As to your friends, your Aunt Elizabeth Boyd or Mrs. Bicket. She is Dead after going about a number of years on a stilt having got a sore fute -- Agnes is married the third time and I suspect she is better than she was during the lifetime of the two first. He is a Mr. Ramsay Master Builder as to John and Jamie the are about Paisly. But that is all I could say of them --- Your Mothers Brothers and Sisters are all dead but Aunt and James that lives at Troon and who has had twoo shocks of Appoplexy But is so far Recovered as to be able to go to the Garden. His wife and 2 daughters keeps the Post office at Troon and has a Large house rented and lets it out during Summer and in winter has often Captains and owners of Vessels Lodging with them and gets on very well. One of their sons is in Australia and th other one in Jamaica all doing well.--- Uncle Williams family are all dead But James and Jean who is in Saltcots a Baker and has a family all doing Better than him that wee drop hurts him at times. Jean was maried in Glasgow. But the Man left her & is in America & she is not doing well at all.---- Uncle Richards family John, Alx'r & Archibald is all doing real well and their families---- John is a Baker and Grain Merchant. Alx'r is a cabinet Maker, the firm is Alex'r & Craig, Archibald is a Sewed Muslin Mf'r in Glasgow & is in the same position as to Marriage as Mr. Smith, his wife is an English Lady the pay £70 for their house & has a governess & all in Conformity, the are plymouth Brethern.
has a son & (Annie) daughter in Australia, the Daughter
Mrs. Watherspoon sent me last week a small Nugget of Gold to make a Breast pin & I gave it to Aunt to buy a shawl with the price of she has not disposed of it yet or I would tell you what she got for it --
Uncle Alex'r left no family & his Wido is still in Saltcots. But allows of no correspondence with any of us--- I must Refer you for further particulars to your kind Pastor the Bearer & hoping to hear from you regularly in future I am, dear friend, your truly,
TO: Matthew Young 6 January, 1812
*Is it because the boy is not named that they are all so glad? This I think is the meaning....H. Young.
Dear Brother; I received your letter this night and am glad to hear of your success at the new year. You do not tell me who were your king and queen nor can I know what your king gave, you have made such a wretched figure. It is like either a six or a four or nothing at all. If you cannot make a figure that I can know put down a number of strokes and put a mark upon the particular one thus IIIII+I. If it be six this might be the way. I am glad that my friends and relations are all well. I got all the articles last week in safety. My Brother Robert was a Glasgow that very day, I delivered him his parcel with my own hand, and got my breakfast from him. My humble gratitude to my mother for the butter. I am sure there is far more that balance the soap. I am very much engaged at this time. If you all and we are well, I shall not write till after Candlemass [2 February] . But be sure you to write no withstanding. Did Andrew speak of his old friend Hugh wen he was up, or what did he say? I believe he will never write me. Tell Francis that He may call at the carrier next week or the next again. If I can find as much time as I inke my pen and let fall a blot, I shall send it his way. I have taken this way of saving paper because I am a penny out o' pouch with every one of these letters. Write any thing that is cheary for I am in very dull spirits at present. Yours, Hugh Young.
For the good of the congregation at Darvel you may take my seat again and I will pay for it. -- Robert Young.
Dear Parents. Ye are pretty old and I am yet but young. It is therefore almost unbecoming in me to address you. Yet in the character of a teacher wha am always crying about the passing of time, I may only say that another year of your stay here is passed away and thou I hope the time of your passage away is yet at a distance, yet come it must. The very day is fixed in heaven's great register, as therefor this is not the place of our abode it ought to be a matter of great concern what is to become of us when we quit this mortal state. This I hope has already occupied your thoughts; think of it yet again ere it be too late and fly to Him who said he that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out? Every encouragement is given to those who betake themselves to him, he never sends any a wayfare upon their own charges. Nor are his people called to go in a way in which he went not himself, for he also suffered death for the very end that he might destroy death which he hath not only done in his resurrection but also secured a safe passage to all his real followers.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, hear ye also the counsel of the Brother of the children of your father. When we think that with a just calculation of births and Deaths the one of us in our proportion should have died before we were 12 years of age, we ought to be filled with gratitude to God for preserving us so long, & saving strength....
TO: Alexander Shields,
Orchard St., Galston near Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
Both the anticipation and participation of friendly Communications from the North, are to me pleasant and welcome. Especially when Such, are the happy messengers of good news from a far Country, Conveying intelligence of the welfare and prosperity of those who ought to have an interest in our best wishes in the hour of retired reflection.
Will you therefore enter the list of my correspondents, be assured I never grudge the postage of letters that have the Kilmarnock or Falkirk postmarks upon them. I had a letter about three weeks ago from Laurieston, they at that time were all well, about the Same time I received one from Alex, he said he was in good health and was "unca happy among the Highland Bodies" and no later than last week I had a letter from Brother Francis who says our good old Mother had been Seized with a Bleeding at the nose which gave them Some alarm but she was again able to go about, and in a Clear day amused herself with her Book. Francis adds all our other relations were well and expected to keep New Years Day with Currant Bunns, Rebbucks, & Whiskey; you and them have my best wishes for "Your Hale and Weel, May you all be kept tight in thack and Rape, and a Comfortable Meltith as Langs ye're aboon the yird."
Since I gave over traveling have enjoyed excellent health and I trust my new Concern will ultimately prove to our advantage.
Do not be long in writing me, give me a little of the Domestic by way of multum in parvo. Direct James Young Draper,
Alnwick, Northumberland. I will now take my leave of you for this time, by wishing you a happy New Year and all that is good for you in this State of being and the joys of Heaven in the world to come. Dear Brother and Sister, the sincere Desire of your affections,
James Hamilton to A. Shields March 11, 1853 dated Drumlock.
You like ourselves will feel that the spring and summer of our days are gone and the winds of winter are murmering o'er our heads, that every day is bringing us nearer our own end and every year we are spared now, we see only the clouds of winter gathering more thick and dark. Yet such is the course of Nature, such the existence of our present life: all must one day sooner or later walk downward & to the grave. It is vain then to shrink from what cannot be avoided and while we have no help in ourselves, what can remain but that we should take refuge in what will comfort and save looking up to a higher power who can lead through the shadowy valley of death and at last conduct to green pastures and still waters where there is an eternal spring for the children of God.
While we have been spared, we have born the loss of two of our family, Ann and Christina. It is seven years since Ann died after several years of illness of consumption and two since Christina who was but short, being inflammation in the bowels. Ann was aged 30 years and Christina 23. You will see that they were cut off in the prime of life. While to us they seemed gay and promising, we only hope that our loss is their unspeakable gain. We have Mrs. Landy, Hugh, Jennet, and Helen with us yet. William has, since Ann's death, been little or none able for work. He is at this time not altogether confined to bed, but is able to go about a little. James and John is married. James is on a farm two miles from Hamilton, while John and Robert is wrights, and have both set up business for themselves: John is in Darvel and Robert in the Chapelton.
We keep 27 cows this summer and 11 geeze and we make butter and takes the milk to Hamilton. We have 30 acres ploughed and expect to get sowing soon, and time is somewhat later than last year, but it was an uncommon year for good seed time and harvest. We had a good crop of everything, save potatoes, for several years past there is but few planted, being rather a risky crop. Provisions are higher in the prices than they have been for some years bypast. Butter is one shilling per pound, Cheese 12 per stone, Beef 6d per pound, Meal is the most reasonable being 31 shillings the lade.
It is some time since we have heard from Hugh, but they were well when we last heard from them. Alexander their son is placed Minister in Darvel and Margaret is married. They have three daughters remaining. William is still living in Darvel, he is an old man now but is surprising well for his long age. Wm. Hamilton and Helen's family are all married and they are now living with their son at the Brown Castle, both are in good health. Francis family seems to be a long way from you; I think it is in Michigan where they are. We have had no direct letter from them, but have heard that they have arrived in good health. John's family is all married and he is in health. Think we have given a pretty good detail of all that is going on here, but James Anderson well can tell you better about things than one can write them. We would be glad to hear from you as soon as convenient, letting us know how you all are. Meanwhile this leaves us all in good health except William whoom I mentioned before. All join in their best respects to you all; I remain Yours, Aff'cty, James Hamilton.
Inside flap of envelope: I need not tell yow to write to us, for if yow do not wish to do it, yow ill not do it. Envelope addressed:
Mrs. Alexander Shields and James Anderson, State of Vermont,
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