Letter from Ballymena 1904
The following is a letter written by Mary Stevenson Smith from Ballymena, Co. Antrim, N. Ireland to her brother Adam Stevenson in Iowa.It mentions Adam, Lydia and Mary Jane Harbinson and many other names.
June 10th, 1904
My Dear Brother,
We were very glad to have your kind and welcome letter and to see from it you are all quite well.You will think us very long of replying to it, but you must not think I appreciated it any the less, but as I am not so good at writing myself as I want to, I have to be more or less dependent on someone else.This is your cousin Adam Stevenson’s eldest daughter that is writing you now but of course you don’t know anything about his family.
We are both quite well at present but indeed the past Winter has been pretty severe on me.I am hobbled with rheumatism and you yourself have a fair idea what damp, wet weather means to those who are.We are enjoying beautiful weather now and it makes me feel so much better.We have a little pony and trap and we drive out quite often to the country which is very refreshing.
You asked about some of our neighbors.Indeed there are so many changes, it would be difficult for me to tell you about them all.I will however do my best to remember all that I think would interest you.
Andrew Kerr is still alive and has been enjoying (I should judge from his robust appearance) excellent health up till a month or two ago when he was ill for some time, but I think he is quite well again.He is living at present in Casemento Castle with people named Calderwood who have part of it rented. He sold his farm some years ago and has been living on his means since.His old sister Jane who used to live with him died 9 or 10 years ago.James and William his brothers are also both dead.A son of James died last February, Adam Stevenson Kerr.There is only one more son and daughter left who still live in the old place.William’s family are all married but one son who lives at home, a widow sister keeps house for him.She was married to cousin James Stevenson, who died four years ago.Uncle and Aunt Stevenson are both dead some years ago.Their farm was sold after young James died and John Adams, a brother in law of Adam’s bought it.
Robert Hanna died this Spring and his son John is living on the farm.Mary Jane Harbinson was married to a man named Campbell, who died shortly after they were married.She has two of a family, little girls the eldest is about 11 years of age.She lives on her Grandfather’s farm in the Cabrogh.Lydia is married in America.I think she is in New York State.Susan was married to Adam Harbinson, her cousin, but is dead and he is married again to Annie Morton.
James Cumming is still alive and looks quite fresh for a man of his age.David Park is dead six or seven years ago and a son of Robert Guy’s lives on his farm.His family live in coffer houses through the country and work for the farmers.
We received your photos alright, and I need not tell you how glad I was to have it.John and I will have ours taken sometime soon and will send you ours soon as we get them.
I hope this will find you all quite well, as it leaves us at present.
Your affect. Sister,
P. S. John joins with me in sending his kindest regards.M. S.