A letter written by Elizabeth “Bess” Neville Dec 1959…
I hope some day to visit a cousin of mine, Margaret Conroy of Tryon, Nebraska and read a diary Grandmother Neville wrote. Margaret says she was born on Handsome Monday, but I rather think it was Hansel Monday (Consult large dictionary) However, she always said she was born in the same year Queen Victoria was. She was reputed to be a lady-in-wating in Queen Victoria’s Court. So you see my grandmother was a ‘Lady’. Someday I hope to know for sure.
The morning my grandparents left Ireland, after Mass the priest, grandmother’s cousin, went to the ship with them when he bid my grandmother good-bye, he removed his cincture (evidently still dressed in cassock and surplice) and said his prayers went with it. I have the cincture in my possession now.
While living in (perhaps) Wisconsin, she promised a neighbor woman to help her during her confinement. To get to her neighbors, she had to walk five miles cross country through a rather foreboding woods. The night before she was to go to the neighbors, she had a severe toothache that nothing would stop. But she couldn’t think of disappointing her neighbor, so she asked for her cousins prayers and rolling up a thread from his cincture put it into her hollow tooth. It stopped aching, and when she died at 87 years of age her teeth were all good but one.
My father, five years old was left in Ireland. An heir to a factory (it was confiscated later) he had to stay in Ireland. At sixteen he came to American, but being away from his family so long he felt never became close to his brothers and sisters.
I do not remember my father. He was killed by a train at Wahoo, Nebraska when I was about two and one-half years old.
The story I enjoy the most was about his big-heartedness. One day an old Confederate soldier came up the road to our home and asked for a bite to eat. My father with this typical Irish graciousness said, “We will not only give you your dinner man, but as you look tired I would have you stay the night.” He, Barney Victory, stayed more than a years. My older brothers and sisters loved him. He later died at the Old Soldiers and Sailors’ Home at Grand Island of a heart attack while reading the obituary of my father’s death in the Wahoo Democrat.
I should rewrite this but I am pressed for time and my arthritic wrist has “twinges in its hinges”.
(I received a copy of a letter on 24 Mar 2007, the letter was written by Aunt Bess who died in 1976 this was sent by Mary Ellen Neville Lepper of Fresno CA. Thank you!)
From my research –
* John Neville was three when he parents left in Jan of 1850.
* Rev. Peter Molloy was the priest from Rahan parish. Peter was born 1830 and died 1883.
* I have not found any factory, but the cousins in Ireland thought John was left to secure their claim to the land in Lynally Glebe, Kings County (Offaly).
* We are looking for Margaret Molloy Neville’s diary. A cousin in Arizona talked to a distant cousin that recalled reading Margaret’s diary.