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A Christmas Letter
By Murrisk
Dec 17, 2002, 17:44:00

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In 1858, Mary Carney married Martin Jennings. Both were from Leiter and they continued to live in Leiter after their marriage. Mary's mother was Nellie Lally from Ballintuber, and both survived to draw the old age pension together. One of Nellie's descendant's was Ray Prendergast late of Castle Street. Martin and Mary Jennings had eight children. Five married and remained in Ireland. Three girls emigrated to the U.S. where they married 'local' boys from Drimneen and Cogaula.

Mary Carney as a young woman

On December 10, 1892, Mary Jennings wrote a letter to her three daughters in the U.S. Along with the letter she enclosed a Christmas Card for each daughter as a token of her love. In the letter she wrote:- "We are all well and expect a happy Xmas not the same as last year this day 12 months. We had a lonely house but the Lord changed it into joy". The cause of the "lonely house" at Xmas 1891 has not been preserved. In her letter she asked her children to send her the names of all their children, and she concluded "So I conclude by sending ye all my love & respect & wishing ye all a happy Xmas. ....Your loving mother......".

The letter and its circumstances were forgotten/unknown until 1996 when descendants of Mary Carney's three daughters returned to the Castlebar-Leiter-Westport area to meet with Mary's two surviving grandchildren (now dead)and other relatives, and the circle was closed.

Mary Carney as a pensioner

© Copyright 2002 by the author(s) and

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