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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


Letters To / From America

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Louisa Adelaide Watters

(1900 - 1986)

The following is from a long letter written from Toronto in 1977 by Louisa Adelaide WATTERS (b. Tinryland 16 Dec 1900, d. Toronto c. 1986), who was a daughter of the second marriage of John Watters (qv) and of Annie Singleton Arundel (m. Staplestown 1894).

It was written to Nancy Marion Lowe, in Western Australia, daughter of Charles Walter Watters (Charles b. Tinryland 22 MAR 1876, bapt. Staplestown 28 May 1876, d. Perth WA 13 Nov 1947), son of John Watters (b. Tinryland 05 Jun 1846, died Toronto 25 Dec 1922) and of Susanna BURGESS (b. Tobinstown 1845, m. Rathvilly 12 Dec 1867, d. Tinryland 11 Apr 1891, bur. Staplestown).

John Watters was the only son of Bartholomew Watters (d. Tinryland 25 Oct 1851 aged 36) and of Mary MALONE (b. aft 1823, m. Rathvilly 25 Dec 1844).  Mary was the daughter of Joseph and Alice Malone of Rathmore Mill, on the Slaney, sister of Walter Malone, who succeeded to the Rathmore mill and farms.

Most of these people are referred to in the letter.  Insertions in [brackets] are mine.

Bill Webster


Apt 302
451 Bloor Street East
Toronto M4W-1

February 14th 1977

Dear Nance:-

.I consider it a privilege to be the one out of our large family to have the opportunity to try and tell you what I can remember about the family...  On a separate sheet I have listed the names in the Register & Grandfathers marriage certificate (which is in bad shape, soiled and torn).

I suppose we can begin with him [Bartholomew Watters].  He died with what they called black fever at age 36.  They could not get him to perspire.  Dad [John Watters] was seven years old and got the fever also but he recovered because he could perspire.

That left grandmother [Mary, nee Malone] with a farm Tinryland by name, one son [John] and 3 girls [Alice, Annie (marries George Halpin) and Mary].  I don't know how long she lived but she worked the farm with help from her brother - granduncle Walter Malone, a bachelor as far as I can remember [widower of Elizabeth (Bessie) Burgess, d. Rathmore 29 DEC 1872 aged abt 28] had a lovely estate of his own with a mill & other attractions on it, a small river ran through this, not sure if it was the "Slaney".

I suppose that after Dad graduated from Trinity College in Dublin and married Susan Burgess, Aunt Alice and Aunt Mary went to uncle's home to live.  Aunt Annie . went to Australia to live, her name was Halpin.  Her name was often mentioned but I'm sorry I do not know anything further about her.

My first memory of Rathmore uncle's home, Aunt Mary was sick in bed with gangrene in her toes and died there.  Aunt Alice kept house for uncle as long as he lived.  When different ones among the family grew old or sick, Uncle Walter & Aunt Alice took care of them together.  When we left for Canada, they were caring for old Aunt Dora Bolton.

Uncle Walter died of a heart attack on his way home from a shopping trip in the town [10 Jan 1910].  I suppose the Boltons sold the Estate and your Uncle Jack [John Cecil Watters] took Aunt Alice to live with them in Australia.  His wife said that she was a grand old lady and they loved her.  I don't know about relationship of the Boltons to us but I suppose they would be on Grandmother's [Mary Malone's] side.  I have no record of Dad's marriage to Susan Burgess or of her death but she died in pregnancy - kidney failure eclampsia, both mother and baby were lost, it would have been her sixteenth child.

There is a large stone erected to her memory in the Cemetery [Staplestown] with many other names upon it.  I was unable to decipher any of them due to age & weather when I was on a visit in 1968 [I can supply an earlier, clear photograph].

She [Susan Burgess] was an aunt to Adelaide Corrigan, wife of my cousin Fred of Killerig, my mother's oldest sister Adelaide second son.

There was a Tom Burgess here in Toronto a first cousin of Dad's, but no relation whatsoever to your grandmother.  He died in 1952, his wife in '63 and his son Walter in '65.

This Adeline Burgess had two sisters Elsie and Emily.  Elsie married Tom, Fred's brother.  Two sisters in the Burgess family married two brothers in the Corrigan family.  Emily married someone else, she had one son.  He is a farmer.  I had dinner in their home in 1968.  Just at the moment their name escapes me.

I'm not sure whether your Dad [Charles Walter Watters 1876]or William [William Bartholomew Watters 1874] was the oldest as a sheet must have been taken out of the Bible and given to someone or lost - also the marriage certificate & Dad's graduation picture and perhaps a wedding photograph. ...

August 23 1894 John A Watters and Annie Singleton Arundell were married in Rutland Church parish of Urglin County Carlow by Reverend Hatchell.  I have the certificate and a picture of them. ...

Our part of the family is thus -

Mary Ada.  Born Dec 19, 1895, died in Toronto October 28 1959
Nora Evelyn Jane was born Oct 18 1897 died June 10th 1898
Frances Elizabeth born May 2nd 1899 died Toronto April 21 1963
Yours truly Louisa Adelaide born Dec 16 1900
Sarah Alice was born November 25 1905 died in Toronto May 10 1912

My earliest memory of Tinryland was of mother feeding me Robinsons Patent Barley out of a bowl.  Second memory was on Halloween Night.  My brother Henry was left at home to take care of us kids and he sat by the fire with me roasting chestnuts & making a chain out of others for us.  When a great crowd of young people came pounding on our kitchen door shouting and singing, Henry had difficulty in keeping them out. 

We left Ireland in 1907 after a party in Killerig.  I hated to leave the donkeys and the Moss Roses and the Carnations in the garden....  The Moss Roses have all perished since.

We went from Carlow to Dublin then to Liverpool in England & then on the big boat to Canada.  Arrived Montreal September 1st 1907.

Our first job was bringing in the harvest and crops on a farm near Montreal.  Then to the town of Cornwall for the winter where Dad, Henry and Bart got work.  It was 60 below zero, quite an experience for us Irish.  Henry left for Toronto in the Spring and never left it.  He died with kidney infection in 1934, a bachelor.  Our next move was to a rented farm in Wales Ontario.  Bart stayed about a year & then left for Toronto, saved up his own money, returned to Ireland, married a girl in Kilkenny, name Kathleen Eyre.  After a while they returned to Toronto.  John William of Merseyside Wallasey England now was born in Ireland Nov 15 1909.  Reginald Eyre Watters was born in Toronto April 15 1912.  He retired from teaching in the Royal Military College in Kingston.  Three children Elizabeth Eyre married to Ben Clausen, Graeme Married & living in Montreal and Kit is attending St Lawrence College, taking up Art and Theatre, perhaps you have heard this before.

Dad farmed here in Ontario on rented farms in 1908 9-10-11-12.  Then he did caretaking work but no work of any kind after 1918.  He died on Christmas Day1922...  He was really too old to do farming.  Mother died from strokes also Dec 12 1925.

I think there must have been another Watters family as I recall hearing about the Watters of Clonmore and Dad and I visited them one Sunday for dinner.  But I can't say if they were related to us or not.

Grandfather was not only a farmer.  He was (a) tax collector and Dad got his job when he came of age and also agent for the Singer Sewing Co.

(A person) was not quite as big a man (as Dad).  Dad won the heavy weight championships for the south of Ireland once.

Grandfather's Family Register

We Bartholomew Watters and Mary Malone were married by the Rever'd John B. Maginess on the 26th December 1844.

John Watters born June 5 1846 (Died Dec 25, 1922)
Alice Watters born 24 October 1847
Annie Watters born 5 October 1849
Mary Watters born 24 May 1851
Bartholomew Watters died 25 October 1851. Age 36 years.

I have the family Bible here with another record of some of the first part of the family - but it is incomplete.  I will record them as written:

Charles Walter Watters born March 22 1876
John Watters born June 22 1877, died March 25 1878
Henry Watters born August 7  1878, died in Toronto Canada in 1934
Alice Ethel Watters born Nov 15 1879
John Cecil [Jack] Watters born Jan 19 1881
Samuel Watters born October 8 1882
Sarah Constance Watters born Jan 25 1884
Bartholomew Watters born February 2 1886, died in Toronto Ontario Canada Dec 19 1936
Dora Watters born June 19th 1887, died June 14th 1888
(William, Annie, Florence, Ada Mary are missing & others, perhaps two more.

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