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Letter to Edmund from his younger brother John Burgess (John Joe jnr)

Here are the 15 Burgess siblings with their approximate ages at the time of this letter - most are mentioned in the closing lines.

Name age Name age
Edmund 21.5      
John Joseph(John Joe) 20   Michael (Mike) 9
Mary Agnes 17   Elizabeth (Liss 7
Mary (Hannah) Francis 7   Christmas Paul (Criss) 6
Richard (Dick) 5   Patrick Henry (Pat) 5
Abinea (Abby) 13   William 4
Pauline Jane 11   Ellen Francis 3
Thomas V 10   George 2

MWJ Daly


Lower Aghada
November 26, 1880

My Dear Brother

We received yours of the 3rd October and we were all glad to hear that you were in the best of health as we all are at present thank God. I been at home myself for the last week with a sore chin which I hope will soon be well again. You must excuse me for not writing before as I had no way of doing so until now. I told mother I would write from Liverpool but I did not do so as I had not a chance.

I have been for the last 7 months in a steamer called the Cygnet trading between Liverpool and the Continent. Wages being 25 shillings per week. I liked her very well but I am afraid I will loose her on account of my not been able to join her before another fortnight. As for liking sailing, I cannot say that I like it but we must put up with it till I get better. I am glad to hear that there is some stir in the Country. I would like to go out to you, that is, if I thought I would get anything to do. If not, I would sooner stop where I am, and it would be my advice to you, it you did not see some prospects of getting on to raise 15 or 20 pounds and come home, and it will be very hard if you cannot get something to do, and it is father's & mother's wish also that you should come home. There is no one to know whether you brought anything or not. You did nothing that you need to be ashamed of and you are young enough to start life afresh.

This being my 20th birthday it only makes you 21 years 6 months, young enough for anything you wish to turn to, you can enter the Customs till you are 25 and I think you are quite qualified to do so or many things besides. So I think you are losing the best of your days and no comfort to yourself to anyone else so if you would like my advice you would come home. That is if you did not see some good prospect before you, and as I said before is such is the case, I would try to go out to you.

The country is very much disturbed as you saw in the papers and business of all kind is very dull. We all expect to get a paper from you as you did not send one this long time. I am sending one with this letter dear brother. I suppose I will not know you when I see you again, you will be so tall, but I think I would.

It is strange M Magnor never wrote to you. He might not know where you are. What I have to say to him is he put thoughts in my head that is never to be fulfilled and I cannot say I am thankful to him for it. But, it must be very hard on him after all these years to have to go to labor again, but it is a great measure he has to thank himself for it. I suppose that all his money is gone, or at least the greater part of it. There is no one here at least that is not sorry for his going away, and that is your Uncle Mr John McSweeny; but as far as I can hear what they have will not last long as the houses are heavily mortgaged and all the money spent.

Dear brother you should never forget to write as you do not know how uneasy they all are about you. You should never leave a place with out letting them know of it dear brother.

I suppose you forget all the boys here. There is Tom Brown and Jack Looney in the Guard ship been two. (sic)

A B David Bride is knocking about the village doing nothing in particular. Ned Donovan is home this last 6 months and John J Donovan and all of his size are all doing nothing except they go to catch a meal of fish.

I suppose Richard Brown will stop altogether in Queensland that he is married. Do not forget to answer this letter as soon as you can as I am very anxious to hear from you.

All the neighbours are well that to that is not dead since you left dear brother. (sic) I have no more to say at present but father, mother, Mary, Hannah, Dick, Abby, Tom, Mike, Liss, Criss, Paddy, Ellen, George you with me in sending their king love to you.

I remain your ever fond
And loving brother
John J Burgess