I was contacted by Trish Watson from New Zealand this year as she is looking at her family history and has some old letters her great grandparent sent to her family back in 1860.
This is an email I received recently from Trish and I have left it as it is.
Anyone who has any connections with living relatives or friends of the Milligan family who emigrated to New Zealnd in the 1850's might want to contact Trish at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for your letter. The Milligans from Mauchline could well be rellies as some of the Milligan's lived there. The website will be particularly useful.
My Great Grandfather was Anthony Milligan b.1839 d 1924 he was the son of Peter Milligan and his first wife Agnes Brown b1811 d.1844 to 1849 they m1836 at Muirkirk.
They had 3 children who came to NZ Anthony, Margaret m ? Craig and Agnes m. ? Arthur plus Jane who apparently shifted to Glasgow And Hugh.
He later married Elizabeth Climie in 1849 at Muirkirk and they had Marion. By the time my Great Gandfather came to NZ in the late 1850's the Milligans lived at Ballochmyle Catrine.
I enclose a copy of the letter from Peter to Anthony as it seems a lively account of village life at the time. I have typed it in modern format but left grammar and spelling as is.
I hope someone local finds them interesting.
Letter from Peter Milligan to son Anthony Milligan in NZ
Catrine 10 October 1860
We received yours of 24 Aprile upon 11 August and we were happy to hear you was well and doing well. You say you have two head of cattle but you do not say what kind of cattle they are. You do not mention what kind of timber you are sawing. Write all particulars.
We have had a late harvest here. There is a great deal of corn cut here yet we have had just three stacks in at Ballochmyle and we have had 10 days of very wet weather. We had a great storm last week here. Graysmiles have a corn cutting machine and there is a great many more round about. It does its work well where the grain is not lying swerild. I think they will become general.
Markets: Meal 40 shillings to 41 shillings per load, cheese 12 shillings to 18 shillings per stone, potatoes 22 to 24 shillings per bushel, fresh butter 1/3 per pound, flesh meat 7p. per pound eggs 10p per dozen, 4 pound loaf 7 to 8p.
T. Mitchell he is married, and a Muir cousin too. T. Arthur left this place for Dunedin last Monday, to sail from Glasgow today, the ships name is Egidia. I sent by them a small parcel of envelopes and T A some too and a few lines. If I had known any small thing that you wanted from here I could have sent it by them.
We are setting up a rifle corps here. We had a concert last Friday night and the proceeds of it was to help for clothing for some of them. It was the largest concert that ever was in Catrine, the singers was all Catrine people. It was in the big mill.
7 October October very wet kind of weather. We have only seven stacks in yet. Arch McDonald was here last Saturday and they were all well in Muirkirk. I had a letter from Jinnie today and they are all well in Glasgow. Your cousin A. Milligans wife is dead, that is Margy McRae. There is none think of you are acquainted with that I mind of. Andrew Hamilton is married and I think that is all I mind of. I enclose with this a few lines from Rev John Kirkine, he is always asking for you and Margaret when I see him, but I was afraid that you could not read it and I made Thos. Arthur copy it which I send you.
Little Marion talks a good dael about you and she wonders if you havea good house to stop in, and wonders if you are near the war. She her compliments to you and says that she and her father will go and see you some time. Father will he be not proud when he sees us? I am not sure but think your sister Margaret will be stopping in the Westland.
Compliments from Tom and Agnes and McDonald and all the Climies.
Hoping you will seek God to help you, is from your loving Parents
Peter and E. Milligan
from Peter Milligan to Anthony Milligan in NZ from Catrine 16.11.1861
You mention you would be off to the diggings. I would be as happy if you had said you was stopping where you was, but you need not say anything about it, as you must be the best judge being near the place of the diggings. I should have liked if I had got the paper. I might have seen something about the diggings in it. ( NB gold discovered in NZ about then )
I wrote that if you wanted any small thing from this country that I would have sent it, such as an axe or saw or two three files or any small thing, but you never mention anything. I think you might write oftener. You never say if you get the newspapers that I sent you. I send one along with this. I will God willing write you again in three months from this, and I have wrote to you every three months but once and it was four that time. The mail is made up at Southhampton upon the 20th of every month. I am throng sawing just now. And I have been just thinking today that if I had this mill in Wakouaiti going by water that Tom and I would soon make a fortune with her.
Most people say your young friend Arthur is a smart boy but small, and as for the other that is Anthony Milligan Arthur he is a fine stout baby. We had a letter from Jinnie this week and she was well and all your friends in Glasgow. Hugh Climies mother is dead in Auchenleck. Hugh have done well in Auchenleck and is doing well. He has made a good deal, over one hundred pounds. Catrine Hugh is doing a pretty fair business, they both keep pony and carts.
Be sure Anthony and write oftener. We weary very much for a letter and feel disappointed when the mail arrives and none. Your mother have her kind compliments to you and also little Marion. I said Marion would have a small letter to you this time, but she says she will let it stand until next time. Be sure and send a long letter and all particulars. And Anthony I mind of nothing more that will be interesting to you.
The weather here just now is very hard. There have not been such a hard frost at this day of the year this long time back. I sent you a parcel of envelopes with T. Mitchell. Do not listen much to him for I think he is a great (??? cant decipher word)
Best live from Arthur, Agnes and thatís all I shall say. Wishing you health and prosperity, and may God be your guide. This all from your mother and father,
Peter and E, Milligan
PS we wish you a Happy New Year, Be sure and write often and send a paper.
Back to local people