Letter from John Hart to Edward Hart

10 December 1957


After receiving  a recommendation from Sir George Staunton Lynch, the landlord for much of Cargin Parish in the Headford District of north County Galway, John Hart became a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC).  Previously he had been an employee for St. George.  At the end of his training he was assigned to Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary before being transferred to Cloughjordan in the same county.  A note on  the descendant chart J. M. Lalley constructed for his Hart (Harte) ancestors reads, "John, a civil servant, was killed by the Fenians."  His RIC personnel file lists the date of his death but not the cause.

The discovery of his 10 December 1857 letter written to his brother Edward Hart residing in Wilmington, Delaware identified the townland of Luggawannia as the ancestral home of Michael Harte and his descendants.  It seems likely but not yet proven that the parents of Edward's wife, Bridget Hannon, resided in the nearby townland of Carrownacroagh.


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10th December 1857

My Dear Brother,

I received your letter and I assure you that I was rejoiced to see by it that you and all the care are so well and that you are so able to meet all things notwithstanding all the Bank Failures in America.  I am well thank God and I must say that your Mother would not allow your Daughter to go nor would Mary herself desire to go.  In fact she should be forced on board a ship before she could be compelled to go.  There is no use in me telling you idle stories and I have nothing more to say on this that all in Logawanna are well and hope that you, Mrs. Hart, and all the other Harts in Wilmington are well.  Indeed I fear that Mr. Tom, Mother, and Judith will agree very badly. You must know the temper of the three, but there is this difference that Judy is not like the others. 

My pay is now 2/6 a day, not very bad here in Ireland.  I am not married for although I was very bad thru’ life yet never bad enough to marry for I happen to be one of those who think it easier to buy a halfpenny of milk than to feed a cow. 

I would love dearly to see poor Peggy Hart and, who knows, but on the close of my life I might meet her.  Tom’s wife is one of those glum, good for nothing women and one who has to be instructed in the art of house keeping.  The prices are low in Ireland at present and those who would be farmers are suffering. 

Mother and the rest join in their love to you and yours and believe me you affectionate brother.

For Edwd  Hart
John Hart

My dearest love anna. 

This greeting is in a different handwriting, possibly that of Edward Hart.  The remainder of the letter, except for the signatures and initials at the bottom, is in John Hart’s handwriting. 

I did not post pay my last letter because I was told by some of the Commissioners in Logawana that it would not be sure of going post paid.

You see that I got a move from Templemore to this place since I wrote before.  Overlook defects.  I wrote in haste.

The following additional names and initials appear at the bottom of the letter: 

E. Hart, 1864, P. Hart, Patrick Hart, B, Patrick, Peter K., Hart, M. Hart, John Hart, Wil., Del.

This transcription modified the format and punctuation of the original letter.  Words difficult to read are shown in bold type.