Mother’s letter to New York written in 1863 returns home

Mother’s letter to New York written in 1863 returns home
A poignant and informative letter posted from Carrick-on-Suir in January 1863 has finally found its way back to the town.

A poignant and informative letter posted from Carrick-on-Suir in January 1863 has finally found its way back to the town.

The letter from a widowed mother, Margaret Nolan, was addressed to her son James in New York. It is full of information and chat about the town of Carrick-on-Suir he left behind when he emigrated to America some years previously.

The letter covers eight pages and in addition to naming over 20 of her neighbours and friends, Mrs. Nolan gives information on the state of the local economy, food and farm stock prices and has much to say about the political affairs of the period.

She wrote to make arrangements for another member of the family, which may have been her only remaining daughter, Bridget Nolan, to also make the long and arduous journey to New York.

She is fearful about the current position in America because she has heard “the natives have rebelled against the English and [she] feared that they would give a great deal of trouble as they killed a great many of the army that went after them.”

As a reflection of the mindset of Irish people of the 1860’s the letter is of great interest to the people of Carrick and Tipperary generally.

The letter with some supporting details was received by Patsy Fitzgerald, Director of Carrick-on-Suir Heritage Centre and will be available for viewing at the Centre.

Chairman of Carrick Municipal District Council, Cllr Eddie O’Meara facilitated the hand over arrangements, following a chance encounter he had with Pat Nolan (no relation to letter writer) who is the Director of Irish Origins Research Agency.

This long established Kilkenny based family history service is acting for Mr. Bernard J Maguire II, who is a direct descendent of James Nolan and by profession a RF communications expert with Washington Gas in Springfield VA.

Pat Nolan of Irish Origins Research Agency is currently exploring, on Mr Maguire’s behalf, if any relatives of James Nolan of Cregg Road are still to be found in the area. He is also seeking the location of the final resting place of Margaret Nolan.