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Letter from Ann Jane Thomson (nee Robinson) to Beria Robinson 1871, New Zealand

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Letter from Ann Jane Thomson (nee Robinson) to Beria Robinson 1871, New Zealand

Transcribed, compiled and submitted by Nancy McLaughlin

The writer, Ann Jane THOMSON (nee Robinson), was born 18 July 1836 at Cookstown or in that vicinity. Her parents were Beria ROBINSON and Eliza/Elizabeth PATERSON lived in the townland of Oughterard, parish of Desertcreat, Co Tyrone. Ann Jane was the eldest in the family. On 30 Oct 1856 she married John THOMSON at the Sandholes Presbyterian Church. Thomson was a grocer and bacon merchant in Cookstown. Their children were George, John, Isaac, William, Elizabeth, Mary Ann, Jemima Jane, and Charlotte Matilda. John Thomson snr, with three unmarried daughters, was living in James St, Cookstown, in 1901.


In 1868, Beria Robinson, now a widower, emigrated to New Zealand with all his family apart from daughter Ann Jane Thomson, and eldest son James Robinson. James and his young family eventually emigrated also, but Ann Jane was the only member to remain in Tyrone.


The ROBINSON family were:

Ann Jane 1836, m. 1856 John THOMSON

Mary 1838 m. 1865 in Tyrone to David GREER

James 1839, m 1863 in Tyrone to Mary Elizabeth ECCLES

Elizabeth Paterson 1841, m 1869 in New Zealand to Seaton McLAUGHLIN (Seaton was from Lurgy in the parish of Donaghenry.)

Matilda 1843, m 1865 in Tyrone to James NICHOLL

Jemima Jane 1845, m in NZ to William ANSTEY

Beria 1848 (twin), m in NZ to Margaret DAVIDSON

Charlotte 1848 (twin) m in NZ to James MacKINTOSH

William 1852 m in NZ to Dora Jean HENDERSON

Sarah Isabella 1854 m in NZ to Samuel ROBERTSON.

N.B. - this letter is transcribed line-for-line as it was written with the spelling and punctuation as it exists in the original

Copy of original letter - page 1 & 4 ; page 2 & 3

Cookstown 17 Augt 1871


Dear dada

sisters and brothers


I write to let you know we are

all in good health only John has

been very poorly this long time

He is Doctering with Dr Cummings

in Belfast. I am very uneasy about

his health failing We have a large

family to provide for but if God

pleases to spare him a little longer

we would be able to live private

and have a good fortune for

each. Forby he frets greatly about

the children all being so young and

helpless. I have a great deal to look

to myself. James Cakins time is up

at November and we are not going

to keep a shop boy any more

until our own boys is able to help us.

John and me with Isaac, George and Wm

took a drive out to Robt Bells last

Sabbath We went to Lough Fay

and to see Aunt Nancy's grave

It is a nice graveyard but they all

could walk over it very lightsome

only me it brought many thoughts into

my mind of days gone by and

I began to think how lonely I was

of all Mama's friends. Aunt Jane is

numbered with dead she died on

the 7th May last in Derry but they

never sent Aunt Matilda word

until after she was buried and

we seen her death in the newspaper

I think she had need of a change.

Joseph Bell's Mother wishes some

of you to write to him and let

him know she is very unhappy about

not hearing from him

Brother James is well Betty and

the children is in Kiltycloy James is

in Greenock I get a letter from him

every fortnight but dare not let Betty

know I ever get any I think he is

not content with her conduct but I do

not enterfare. James Crothers has

bought out his townland and so has

John Dickson bought the one

he lives in. they are both very wealthy

There is no great changes about

Rock or Allen either deaths or

marriages some of them is in the

st...[?] market - dear dada I hope

all my sister and Brothers is

well with all their dear little

children Remember us to them all

in the kindest manner Let Jemima

know I found one of her Books

she had at Claggan School in

out house on Sunday. I brought it with

me it is dated 1857 The ring she sent

me is admired by all who see it

and I return her and Sharlott

many kind thanks for their presents

Some of the boys might write to me

I hope God will spare you long

days and good health with

your children it is a great Blessing

I send you this Likeness and will

send the rest of the Childrens soon.

Let Jemima and them all see them

I wish I had Marys and Matildas

then I would have them all but James

I intend going to see him this harvest

if John was a little better instead of

going to the shore. Write soon

and let me know all particulars


Ann J Thomson

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