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Transcript: Thomas Magrath and James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath May 11 1845
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Title: Transcript: Thomas Magrath and James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath May 11 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.118.18
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1970
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A double-spaced typewritten transcript of a letter from Credit, P.O. dated 11 May at 11 o'clock from T.M. (Thomas Magrath) & J.M. (James Magrath JR) to their brother Charley in Ireland. The letter begins with a brief note from Thomas telling Charley that “If any of them have been saying that I am not well, don't mind them. I am all right”. James writes about business on the property and a fire in Toronto. James tells Charley that he had to turn E. Patch out of the store for insolence & being drunk. “Patch returned & smashed the lights and the door”. James is pressing charges, but he thinks Patch has run away. James mentions that “Ballinger will need his money next month. He is going to purchase a farm of Morgans near Streetsville”. James says “I have been on the wheat today, everything looking fine & the peach trees first rate”.

Reverend James Magrath and his family emigrated from Ireland in 1827. He left Ireland hoping to secure a prosperous future for his family. Reverend Magrath became the first Rector of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in what was then known as Springfield-on-the-Credit. The Rev. worked diligently to serve the needs of both his family and his congregation. The family cleared the 700 acres allotted to them and built a home and farm which they called Erindale.
Thomas was born in 1804. He went back to Ireland to act as Agent for the Magrath properties in 1832 and stayed two years. Thomas served in the military first as a Captain and then as Lieutenant Colonel helping to enlist men during the Rebellion of 1837. In 1840 Thomas married Wilhelmina Rose and they had one son, James Frederick (1843-1902). In 1851 Thomas moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake where he lived until his death in 1886.
James Magrath Jr, was born in 1807. As James matured he became a dominant economic player in the local community using connections that his father had made. James, along with the Magrath family in general were accused in a libellous pamphlet by Joseph Dean, of a number of nefarious deeds including opening mail, stealing wood, price gouging and seducing a servant girl. Charges were later dropped. James never married. He passed away in 1868 at the age of 60.
Charles Eneas Magrath was born in 1809. He served in the militia with his brothers. Charles began his career as a local merchant in Streetsville. In 1844 he travelled back to Ireland to take care of the family properties returning to Upper Canada two years later. Charles married widow, Louisa Newbiggin Stanton, in the 1870’s. Charles died in 1884 at age 75.
These transcripts were typed by Kathleen Sayers, wife of Geoffrey Sayers, whose interest in family history led her to transcribe original papers, letters, newspaper clippings, transcripts and research notes relating to Geoffrey's maternal lineage. Geoffrey was the grandson of Arthur Harris and Mary Harris (nee Magrath). The original documents are held by the Peel Heritage Complex.
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