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Transcript: Reverend James Magrath to Charley Magrath July 24 1845
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Title: Transcript: Reverend James Magrath to Charley Magrath July 24 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.119.5
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1970
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A typewritten transcript of letter from Rev. James Magrath at Erindale to his son Charley in Ireland dated July 24, 1845. Notes from Charley's brothers and sister are appended to their father's letter. His father writes about “the greatest drought I ever remember, everything is broiled up, miserable crop of hay all in & not a single fork full in the how mow in the barn. The wheat crop however promises well”. Other crops such as potatoes and peas were also poor. The weather “has been so intensely hot, I can scarcely bear any clothing by day or night”. Rev. Magrath mentions fires in Pittsburgh, New York, and Quebec. He talks about bird hunting: He also mentions having the Skynners, Granthams & Annie Kelly at Erindale for dinner on Sunday. Finally he asks Charley to buy him “a complete set of upper and lower porcelain teeth like those you saw with that skilful dentist Rose, with bushed holes through - and no side hooks. I fear I shall soon want them & I can't get them here”.

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. He ministered over an area which now encompasses Mississauga, Oakville and part of Burlington. James 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 which they called Erindale. All of his sons; Thomas, James Jr, Charles and William prospered in prestigious positions in the community. In 1844 Charles returned to Ireland to look after family business. He returned to Canada 2 years later. The Magrath’s only daughter Anna, never married but looked after her family home and helped raise her brother William’s 3 daughters after their mother died.
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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