FORAN and QUINN family letters
To and From South Gloucester, 1866 - 1880
February 25, 2006:
Here are some more interesting old letters written by the Foran and Quinn families
at South Gloucester. Thanks to Mary Quinn for sending these in.
My Grandmother went to school in Kemptville and I have many letters written
by her mother to her and in turn the ones she wrote home. To follow is an interesting
one which gives a glimpse into local history of the time - 1917. For your
info - Ham J. (Johnson), L. (Lizzie - my Grandmother's sister) and Miss McKiernan
(Bogtown teacher who boarded with the Forans). Many other letters talk about
Miss McKiernan and Lawn Daley? Mike do you know if he grew up on the Prescott Road?
I have a picture of my Grandfather, Grandmother, Mike Ralph and Dennis in front of
his store in Osgoode approximately 1930ish.
... Mary Quinn
Forgot to mention your pictures they are very nice.
Gloucester, Sept 26, 1917
Received your letter yesterday was pleased to hear from you. And thought
I would answer tonight. Every one is well here. Poppa is prepairing for
the city tomorrow. He dug potatoes all day to day but not for sale it is
apples he is taking.
Potatoe picker this year wants two dollars a day what do you think about that.
And there is a set price on the potato now (1.25) a bag so when you pay 2.00 a
day and only get $ 1.25 a bag and 50 for green there is not much in them but
Ham J. is getting up his auto house these days. He took Poppa Lizzie and
the teacher to Bowesville last night.
Then later on in the night Clara Graham and Tom called for her and took her
to a red cross meet at S. Dunkans. She said she had a pretty good time.
I had Clara in for tea last Friday eve. Miss McKiernan was over to Redmonds
on Sunday last and she think they are crazy.
I must try and tell you who was there all the Bulger / Bolger, Joe Brown, Joe Obrine
(O'Brien) of Lime Banks (Limebank Road) and Joe Obrine of the stone road, also Emmet / Emmett
The teacher took Joe from Mabel and she was not pleased. She said they are
all fools and he is the biggest one. They danced and Emmett was dancing there
was one of those cake dishes on the side board and Emmet nocked it down and
broke it. Mrs. came flying in and picked it up she did not care only it was
her only wedding present she had. Sad wasn't it.
Last Sunday we had Father O'Gorman and part of his quire at our church
collecting to build huts at the front to say mass in and for the soldiers
to rest in. He got a good collection we did not here how much he got yet.
Aunt Lizzie is back from the west and was very bad with her leg. The doctor
had to give her eight graim of morphine before she got any relief. Father
Prudhomme called to the school one day to see who was teaching when she
told him her name he could not say its. He told her he would have a euchre
in the hall and get the school clapboarded and painted. Won't that be swell.
Poppas sold the steers to Mr. Graham for $150.00 he took them this eve.
I churned to day and as usual it took me one hour and a half.
Grandma and L. picking over the onions this after noon and has them redy to
put a way. Poppa has all the apples pulled he had 40 bus of weltins. We had
an old fellow from up there selling fruit trees the other day he was here for
dinner his name is Burchel (Burchell) do you know him! Well Edna I think
this pretty near all I can think of. Oh! I forgot to tell you Craig family
are coming up on Sunday. I thought you would be home. Did you hear the
trains are to change back to the old time. Won't that be two bad it will surely
be bad for you people up there.
I must stop for now.
Bye bye write soon
Gloucester Sep 26th 1917
How is everything coming up there. Have you got that one apple yet.
Well you have to put in another week until the Thanks-giving. I thought
we would have you home for potato picking but I guess it will all be left to
me. I am thinking pretty hard over the job to.
How are you getting along at school. I am almost sick of school because I
can't make the Geography and History up. The teacher is awful cross and she
more than piles on the homework. Poppas has all the apple pulled and we haven't
so far to go for them. We got those snap shots and they are just fine. We
had Mr. Jones at school one afternoon bud he didn't take up any classes. In
a couple days after Father Prudhomme called and said he was going to give a
euchre party and have the school clabbored. It is an awful place for stealing
down at school those Mat Larkins steal all the apples they can lay hands on.
I took four to school one day and Mathew Larkin took two of them so I never
took any more after that. Well Edna I think this is all for now. Hoping to
hear from you soon.
and a reply from Michael Daley:
Hi All, Mary , Lawn [Alonzo Thomas ]Daley , son of James Daley & Agnes Grant, of the
Prescott road, Grandson of Thomas Daley, & Mary McGee, married that School teacher ,
Eleanor McKiernan, daughter of Charles McKiernan, and Mary Ann Moore of Eganville,
Renfrew County July 24,1918, at Our Lady of the Visitation,,
10 children were born
to this couple, one son became a priest, Father Aldred Daley ,[ Ottawa Dioceses]
I do not recall a store of which you write, Eleanor operated the " Post Office", for
many years, in the village of Osgoode, Lawn started a " PEAT FARM" , in the
Scott Settlement [on 5th line ] In the 1930's I remember going there with my father,,
the muck was dug up and manufactured into rolls for to burn like firewood., he was
very enterprising gentleman, he had a flat bed truck for picking up milk and cream
from the farms to be delivered to dairy , Bernadette McKiernan a sister to Eleanor
also a teacher ,Taught school in ,Herbert's School, and boarded here , at our house
I knew the two sisters well , She married Leo Kelly of the ''RIVER ROAD Kelly's
farmed in Osgoode for years. (Kelly Funeral Homes)
In 1917 the potatoes pickers were well paid , in the 1930s I picked potatoes ,
for $1.00, a day , and later we had the nerve to ask $1.25, a day,
The "stone road", of which you write ,was what you know as Highway 31 / Bank Street South.
Back to Mary ...
Hi Mike and all - you can even anticipate my questions - I was wondering where
"stone road" would be located. Attached is the picture I have - from left Uncle Mike,
Grannie, Dad, Dennis, Grandpa and Lawn. I must be mistaken about it being his store -
can you confirm that it is indeed Lawn Daley?
March 9, 2006:
Thanks again to Mary Quinn for the following:
Well there is no time like the present! I started typing some tonight and they are
attached. These letters were found in the Foran ancestral home attic. They were
written to my Great, Great Grandfather John Foran (1835-1901). There are 26 letters
in all and they are dated from 1866 to 1891. They really give terrific clues to
his life and that of the Foran family. Hope you enjoy - will send more later.
For your info -
Ellen Foran is John Foran's sister
Ann Ryan is his sister-in-law (John Foran married Mary Ryan - Ann Ryan is Johnney Ryan's wife)
William Slatterly is Ann Ryan's brother
Michael Foran is John Foran's brother
Patrick Murray is a friend, but also his former brother in laws brother
(John Foran's sister Hannorah Foran was married to John Murray but died, John Murray remarried to Mary Thompson)
Okay to post anything you like Al.
Watertown, Oct 14th, 1866
Dear Brother -
I have taken this opportunity of writing these few lines hoping to find you all in
good as I am now. Dear Brother I have written to you several times and also to my
brother William. I would like to know the cause why you don't write for you know
very well that if it was possible I would like to here from you every week but
perhaps you don't think it worth while to write to me. I am remaining in Watertown, New York, USA
since the 5th of March which I like very well. I have met with a good many of our old
acquaintances since I came here. Also when the Mcgee boys were going home I told
them to stop in and tell you I was here but I suppose they are like the rest one good
turn deserves another. They went home and it is home they ought to be. I never wish
to see one of them again. I suppose you may well understand what I mean. Dear
brother I suppose you had troublesome times over there this spring for you can well
imagine my feelings as I saw the Fenians pass along. I never saw such a sight
before and I hope I never shall again.
Dear Brother - when you write I hope you will write all the particulars about
home and also if you heard any account of my brother Michael. Dear Brother I suppose
you are all doing well. You are doing no better than I wish you all. For my part I
am doing very well. I have no more to say at present but remember me kindly to all of
my friends and tell them I don't forget them and still remain your affectionate sister.
Direct to Ellen Foren
Watertown Jeff Co., N.Y.
In care of Levi H. Brown
Postmarked - no envelope
January the 6, 1867
Dear Brother John I have received your kind and welcome letter and I am glad that yous
are all well as I at present. I answered your letter but got no answer. I directed
my letter to Gloucester Station but got no answer. You must excuse my first letter. It
was a sham - I was trying to make a raise of some money but now I have got all the money
I want. I have got to camps this winter getting out ties and I'ma going to make a good
thing of it.
You say that Patrick Murray is knocking his brains out against Mary. Mary's style -
I am going to have her my self. Girls must be scarce down there now when folks knocks
there brains out against senses I am sorry for sick.
John you will let me know all about everyone in the neighborhood. I have been made
very little of in that part of the woods and now I think my self worth as much as
every one of them and a good deal more and I thank God for it. John you will write
as soon as you will get this letter.
You have told me that father is dead - I hope that he is happy then the way he was.
I have been in Idaho -toity two years and I have made about two thousand dollars and
have been robbed of one thousand. My comrad and myself and two more got slot. I have
traveled the south all over pretty near, so now before I shall travel any more I shall
go to se yous once more. I am glad that Ellen is doing well. You will tell Ellen
that I will be down next gulley. John you will let me know all about the folks there.
John you will direct your letter to:
Memomonic - Dun County - West Cousin
I have no more to say at present but still remains - well wishes - Michael Foran.
You will give my best respects to Mary. I hope I shall see you all once more before I die.
You will direct you letter to William Ofren when you will write.
September 26, 1867
Dear Brother - I write you those few lines hoping to find you in good health as this
leaves me at present. I suppose you thought it was a long time since I have written to
ya but I have been changing my plase and have not had right time to write you. Also you
said you heard from our brother Michael. You can only imaging the feelings for I had not
expected to hear from him and think the time long till I can see him. You said in your
last letter that he was to be home in July or August. I have been looking for to get a
letter from him very often and can't hear if he is yet home. It would bring back the happy
hours that we have had to be together once more dear brother. If he has not come will you
write the address so as I can rite to him. For it M. seen is - hearing from me that
Dear Brother - if Michael was as uneasy to see me as I am to see him he would
come to to see me soon for I want to see him very much. If he would say when he
would come I would go to meet him any time, which would give me great pleasure.
Also you said in your last that William was down to see you. As I told you in my
last letter I had written to him and got not answer. Please give my love to my brother
Nickles (Nicholas?) and family - also your family and wife and all well wishers.
Rite soon - direct your letter to Watertown post office.
Postmarked - Watertown N.Y. 09/27/1867 - Ottawa, C.W. 09/30/1867
(more letters to come)
March 10, 2006:
... and more from Mary:
Edvile, Fly Mountain, State of New York, USA
December 6, 1868
You will be surprised to hear from me for the first time. Anne has sent me your
last note. Now I believe the same as you that John and Anne is doing very foolish
in not trying to live together in fact it is in my opinion one of the most curious
marriages I ever seen.
I left New York myself last March and come to work here now. So far I can see John
cannot do better than to come here and in spring and settle down. It is as good
a place as I see for work and business of all kinds and in fact a man that cannot
make a living here he cannot make it any place that I know of. Now its over 3 years
since they parted. John's expectations John was to have a home and I might say a
fortune made in the inside of a year and now I do not see that he is one cent better
off than if he kept house and lived with his wife. Since certainly Anne has what
money she brought with her and I believe more but if she was to do the same as all
her kind and live out of it would not support her one quarter of the time. It is
my opinion that John rambles too much to do much good for never seen a man more
much out of traveling.
Me Mother and me sends our love to all the friends. I have no more to say now and
hope this will find your self and family in good health as it leaves us at present.
Direct your letter to William Slattery, Edvile, Fly Mountain Post Office,
Ulster County, State of New York
No more at present from your friend,
Jersey City, March the 3rd, 1869
Dear John - I have received a letter from you in January. I would have wrote to you
long before this but waiting to hear from Jonney, but now as I have not heard from
him I must trouble you as usual. I believe it's a regular humbug Jonney has on me.
I don't know how I have deserved such poor treatment as this from Jonney. Now Dear
John if its shunning me that keeps him traveling all the time he might spare himself
the trouble for indeed I am a poor hand to keep chasing after him. I took a wild
goose chase after him once. I was so sick of it that if it should come so hard on
me I would bare to die on the sidewalk before I would do it again. So if Jonney
don't think it worth his while to come after me this time I shant chase after him
in a poor forlorn stranger I am thinking. He may be now in Ottawa and if so you
will please to see him and let me know what he intends doing or if you have any trace
of him please to send him this letter. Also I want to let him know that money that
gave him so much trouble to get it I have it very safe for so far but I am a poor
lonesome servant girl - forlorn and forsaken - I have made up with no society or
company but when I feel right heavy hearted I go to my mother the church and that
is my comfort in Jersey City. Now I want to let Jonney know that I will stop here
until May and if he don't come after me from this to that time I shall go to my
mother and brother and I never again will be a servant girl while I have a dollar
to my name. So if he choose to come after me he will be heartily welcome and if he
don't why I can't help him.
Dear John Willy mentioned to me that he wrote to you some time ago concerning
Jonney so I wrote to him lately to know if he heard from you or had any account
for me. So he answered me no but he said if Jonney liked to stop where he is
there is no labouring man idle there until the winter and if he choose to come
and get acquainted and know the place there is money a way of getting along there
besides common labour and he is fully satisfied. He could do well there if he
wants to make a living for me as any husband would do and I should think he would
be better off than to be in a rambler the way he is looking for a job among all
the riffs ruffs every place they are.
Dear John you will please to write to me very soon and if you have any tiding of
him let me know his address for I will be all anscity until I hear from you.
So I now close with best wishes for your welfare and with kind remembrance to Mother,
to Mrs. Foran and Mrs. Watson and all friends.
So I remain yours truly Anne Ryan
Also I send my love and best wishes to Jonney. May God help him and grant him
whatever he sees him most in need of. What a hard road he has given himself this
16 years in America. Willy's address is Eddevill Flymountain Post Office Piondout,
State of New York and he lives just at the fly as they call it and is doing right well.
Direct to for me Mr. Eagan, 61 Bright Street Jersey City.
St. John's Newfoundland, Mar 4, 1873
Mr. John Foren - Dear Sir - I received you letter on 20th February and also one from
John Murray the same day, I long expected. I was happy to hear that you and family
were all enjoying good health and Nicholas also and was happy to here young Johnny
was home with his father and gone again. Dear friend I am thankful to you for
answering my letter so punctual and also for telling me that everything was all
right about the farm. Tell Mrs. Foren that the widows in this country do not take
strong weakenesses the same as they do in Canada.
Dear friend you say you had a cold winter but not stormy. In this country there
is about two feet of snow. No colder than in Canada but dreadful stormy. Nothing
doing here in the winter. Not a cent to be earned. Great preparations for the
seal fishery. There is 24 steamers left the first day of March at an average of
200 men each, quite a regiment. If the seal fishery is good and the cod fishery
it will be a good summer, if not it will be poor. It is there crop here.
Potatoes here one dollar an half, a barrel turnips one dollar for a barrel,
also hay per ton best $ 24.00, flour from 8 to 9 per bsl. I sent a paper to you
and one to Bourk (Burke) and Cunningham also answered Tom Bourk's letter. I
expect they arrived before this time.
Dear friend I certainly would like you to send me the weekly Citizen paper
plus, you know what a treat it would be to me. Tom Bourke said he would send one but I
got none from there yet. I expect one this mail - that will be fourth of March and
that is tomorrow. I am writing to John and Mary this packet - also you told me Mrs.
John Cunningham of young one - it must be very strange - when it scared the widow.
I hope she is fully recovered by this time. It was a good one, thank you Mr. John.
When you write again tell me how they got along this winter. Do not forget are who
is sparing the widow. Do not tell of this fun. Betsey sends her love to Mrs. Foren
and the family. She wonders what a family since she left.
I think I will not leave till April - they are not satisfied. It is so stormy. T
here has been great number of vessels lost this winter up this coast.
Father O'Connor is our parish Priest, and Vicar General, of St. John's Newfoundland
fathers. Are coming from all parts with pains and diseases. He cures all, he is
really a saint - he is very intimate with my friends. I have two interviews with him.
The steamer is in the remains only 74 hours till she leaves again for Halifax.
You ought to get this letter before Patrick's Day - leaves here March 4th. Please give
my respect to Mr. Starrs and his lady and bobby and also we received his letters and
paper. Had not time to answer the mails closing for Canada when I got to town.
I will next mail. Thankful for the paper. Yours truly
P. Murrey (probably Patrick Murray)
Remember me to Mrs. Kealy / Kealey. Answer this please good bye John. I expect a letter from
Tom Bourk this mail got none and a paper.
Bradford, Dec 17, 1880
Mr. John Foran
Yours was received this day. I was much pleased to hear from you.
I will give you the circumstances of Nellie's death and in doing so will commence
back to the time I made her acquaintance which was in Fredonia N.Y. about eleven
years ago. Nine years ago last July we were married and immediately went to house -
keeping in Titusville, Pennsylvania, USA.
We lived there until the spring of 1876 at which time we moved to Bradford. In May
1877 we lost our only child, a girl five years old. In August 1878 we had another
child born to us a girl now living and well. Since the birth of the last child
Nellie's health has not been good. She was troubled with what we supposed a female
weakness, but upon examination proved to be a tumor. She was operated upon and had
it taken away some time last Aug but since that she was gradually failing until
We were intending to come a make you a visit last fall if her health had been
Now if you are circumstanced so as to come and see me and the little girl there
is nothing would give me more pleasure - if not I shall come and see you at my
earliest convenience - at all events I do not wish that we should loose tract of
Hoping to hear from you soon again.
E J Huntley
N.B. - Nellie often wondered what became of her youngest brother. Will you please let
me know of his whear-abouts.
Yours E J
Postmarked - Bradford, Pennsylvania, USA 12/17/1880; Ottawa, Canada 12/19/1880
E-mail Mary Quinn, Michael Daley and Al Lewis
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