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38 McHale Rd
Castlebar
Eire

My Dear Nell

We were so delighted to receive you very welcome letter & I must apologize for not answering sooner, but one thing that cause the delay was I was making enquires about the Thorntons, as the Irish Land Commission changed them from Westland to Kilman Ballinrobe more than 35 years back. The only one of that family left is Maggie. She married a man named Keane from Kilmeena Newport & I think she was married before you left home. Mike had bad sight & he died years ago.

I presume you heard that Annie died young, in her mid twenties. Tom came back from the U.S.A. & married in Kilmaine & died a few years back. Frank married Sall Cannon Hollyhill, they both taught in Carnacon & Frank also died 10 yrs back & a curious coincident the day after I received your letter. Frank's 10th anniversary of his death appeared in the Connaught Telegraph.

Anna Naughton married Tommie Bruster Frenchill but she too has passed on & so did Eddie. Of course both of their families are married now. I haven't seen Maggie Naughton for some time but I heard that she is keeping up well so far. Ellie Dolan married Tom Quigley but he too has passed on. Ellie is looking fine as is also Birdie Connelly.

Bridgie Joyce married an ex policeman, they built a bungalow across the road from Hanleys in Spencer St in the lawns [?]. His name was Tom Brennan. He died about 10 years back so after Tess died George sold their place in Ballyheane & moved in with Bridgie. She is showing her age but George is still very alert but deaf like his father. Baby Joyce married Jim Gavin. He died a long time ago & Baby remarried a man named Mark Staunton. Josie retired from business & came to live with Baby but she too has passed on. Another of your gang Clair Keenan, she has also retired & is back in Ballyheane living with Charlie, all the rest of that family are gone.

You would not recognize many places in Hollyhill now. The only familys living where Hollyhill was, is Birdie Connelly nee Walshe, Jack King, Paddy son & Maggie Dolan, Maddens (or Flanagans now) built a house out at the road as did also the late Pat Jennings & Maggie Jennings who was left Higgenses place. She is a school teacher.

Cannons were also changed from Hollyhill to Clooncoomach Ballinrobe. Of that family Bid married a teacher named Byrn but they are both gone. They had no family. Sis married a farmer near Claremorris his name was Brett, he died & she sold the farm & came to live in Castlebar with her daughter & she too has passed on.

Annie was married to a shopkeeper in Westport, his name was Kelley but she died quiet young as did also Jack who was teaching in Derrywash. Ned came back from the U.S.A., he bought McAdamses place in Frenchill. He too as well as Walter have died.

So it's time to tell you about the few who are left alive. Little John Staunton still goes to Ballyheane for his pint. John Joe Joyce is still hale & hearty. Delia Feeney Kinturk is still on the go. Mack Joyce is still there but going down hill. By the way Baby Cannon is still alive. She married a teacher Mr. Boland up in the North Mago in a place called [Glamoy]. I think Sall lives with her now. Paddy was teaching in Clogernagh Islandeady, he has retired but his wife is still teaching. Fr. Michael & Martin are still in the U.S.A. Their old house was demolished & John Fadden built a bungalow on the site. There are none of our cousins the Bourkes alive. Paddy was the last to die about 10 yrs ago. One of his sons is married in Coolodge but in a new house. Elizabeth was married to George Lyons. I'm sure you remember him. He had a sister Katie who was brought up in the Convent & was a teacher in Ballintubber with her husband Se´┐Żn Corkle. They are all dead now. Elizabeth had one daughter, she is in England.

Well it's time I mentioned our own family & relatives. Of our three son's Wally the eldest is living in Luton, Bedfordshire, his eldest son Michael is married & his wife is a very nice person & they have one little girl & she is a darling.

Maura his eldest daughter is married to a French man. He went to the States for a year in a teacher exchange & when he came back he got his M.A. degree & in the meantime while he was in the States Maura got a job teaching English in Paris & she studied French & she did a course in Unie & got a diploma in French. He had to so his national service but he can do it as a teacher in a University in Central Africa & Maura is teaching in a Convent.

Anna his second daughter is married & her husband works in the Post Office & they have a boy & a girl & they are very comfortable & happy.

William his second son is working & lives at home with the family & the other three are still at school.

Maura is like you in looks and manner.

Paddy our second son is living at home & didn't get married. He is a football fan & is Treasurer of Mayo Co Board G.A.A. & his cousin Fr. Leo Morahan is chairman for the past five years. Fr. Leo is the late Johnie Morahan's son & he is very popular here & gives lectures over the Telly very often. There are a number of them & they are chosen to give lectures for a week. Johnie R.I.P. had a big family, three priests, three teachers, one nurse, one lady Doctor, one solicitor.

Bridie, May's sister, two sons & one daughter, one son in England, one at drapery & her daughter lives Cork is married to an Auditor for Cos Cork & Kerry for Co Council.

All that is left at home of Tom's family is Willie Walter Mary & Tommie & in Dublin Jimmie is a Christian Bro. & is in Drogheda.

Dennis is in Canada. I told you before our youngest Michael, Paddy & Michael both work for the Co Council. Paddy in the Office & Michael a carpenter so there is only [May] & myself to be accounted for. Well we are as good as can be expected & happy in our home with our family & grand children calling in nearly every day. Hoping to hear from you soon again & with love from May family & Myself

Yours May & Willie

P.S. We didn't receive your letter until Jan 9th date on letter Dec 9th.

P.T.O.

With all I had to mention I over looked Margaret. I'm sorry she is not too good. She was so good all her life. Should I write to her & to what address. Please let me know. Remember May & me to her

With love Bill





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