It has been a year and a half since I embarked on this project of sharing family letters. I am at letter 18 out of 33 and never imagined that this task would take so long to complete. However, I have enjoyed every minute of learning about the history of my pioneer relatives and the world they lived in. I am regularly tempted to put on my detective cap and delve into genealogy sites for more detailed information and answers but I have discovered that research can consume endless hours with few results. The letters would remain unshared in a dusty box to be found by others long after I am gone if I spend too much time in the weeds.

This very brief letter leaves me with more questions than answers. I think it was written in 1864 but it may have been 1867 as the writing is hard to decipher.

Page 1 Letter from Anne Keane? to Mary? December 27, 1864
Page 2 Letter from Anne Keane? to Mary? December 27, 1864

18 Kaine Letter Dec 27, 1864

Transcribed from the original by Kerrin Churchill January 3, 2020 cousin Anne Keane? to Mary? from Dungannon, Ontario Canada to Freshford, Kilkenny, Ireland

Dear Cousin

I take my pen to write these few lines to let you know that I have not forgotten you , when I forget you I will begin to forget myself no Mary I cannot forget you I have taught (thought) more about you and your Mother this time past then ever I did. I think of you every time I look at Christy? I think he looks like your Mother sometimes and like you more times. You will see by Aunt Besses letter how he is. Mary you say you has bad brothers but I cannot say that. The(y) were very kind to us.

Dear Mary you think you will see us in the spring. Mary I would be delighted to see you. I believe there is not one in the world I would be better pleased to see. So Mary if it was in our power to send for you you would not belong in Ireland but a family coming out to this country as we did a long time before the can do any thing and the times are so bad it gives every body enough to do to live. John wrote to Christy Kaine but never got an answer. I will say no more until my next letter and then I will send you a long one. write as soon as you get this and remember me to your Mother. and Jem? and Mrs W. and WW ?….believe me to be your fond cousin Anne

Who is this particular Anne Kaine? Some other letters mention an Aunt Anne. And how was Mary in Ireland related to the family? I have yet to find the records from Ireland because as I mentioned in a previous post, many records of births, marriages etc were destroyed in a fire in Ireland in 1922. I look forward to a time when I can travel to Freshford, Ireland to visit St. Lachtains church where there may be answers in the parish records.

The affection among family members is as evident in this letter as in many others. They cared deeply for each other and wished to be together. It appears that Mary was going through a difficult time and was thinking about joining the family in Ontario. Family conflicts are obviously a universal part of the human condition!

2 thoughts on “Letter # 18 December 27, 1864: Unsolved Mysteries

  1. I’m sure that even brief letters were rare and very welcome. Especially when one think that it could take weeks or months to get some news. Beautiful and elegant handwriting. Obviously, if they didn’t write as often as they should have was due more to day to day life than to a lack of knowledge or interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Kerrin for this letter. There is a universal theme in family problems and also in missing people when you leave your home country. Anne’s thoughts remind me of how I felt when we lived in Canada and I missed family and friends in Britain. She could probably never go back home, though and so had to think that people might come to Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

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