The following letters are submitted by Delphine Sawdon.
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This letter is to my grgrgrandmother, Leah STELEY, wife of Abel STELEY and dau of Thomas & Mary BEVAN. Abel & Leah and family came to Queensland, Australia in 1864. Sadly, the final page or pages are missing but we know from the address and by the process of elimination that it's from Ann EVANS, the dau of Leah's sister, Ann who married William EVANS. All the people mentioned are relatives except for Marthar POWELL who still remanis a mystery. --no idea who she is !!
Letter 1. Clydach Abergavenny Dec. 4 1880My dear Aunt, I received your kind letter and dear Uncles memorial card. It is very nice. I thank you very much for it. We all know how much you must feel your loss. You have lost a good kind husband. What a consolation to feel he his gone to be happy. You will see by William Chilton's letter that young Joseph Needham died of a Paralectict fit about six weeks ago. Willie Evans was aprentice to him to learn underground surveying. He lived in the house with him. It is a sad loss for Willie has he was very happy there. He liked Mrs J. Needham very much. I think he will now go to someone in Cwmbain. Dear Aunt we are pretty well in health but business is very dul hear now. All the works in this locality are stoped. They are now taking down the forge to sell for old Iron so there is no prospect of better times in this neighborhood. More than half the house are vacant. people are moving away dayly. Leah got only one of her houses occupied. It is a great loss but I am thankful to say trade is reviving in other places. We have had very hard times the last four years. Charlotte is living at the Blaina. She is doing very well. She got two sons working underground. Mother keeps very smart for her age. They send their kindest love to you all. I do not know anything of Marthar Powell. I don't think she would be much comfort to you if she came out.I am sure you will be sorry to hear Mary Bush is separated from her husband. She is now staying with William Chilton. She talks of going out of this country but I don't think she could leave her children, Her eldest daughters are married. The young children make their home with their sister. W. Chilton is anxious to go to Australia. You can see by his letter he wants all particulars. ---------------The rest is missing.
This is from the same author as the first (Ann Evans ). It tells of the death of her mother, Ann EVANS, who was a sister of Leah STELEY. --both daughters of Thomas & Mary BEVAN.Letter 2 Clydach Abergavenny Aug 11. 1884My Dear Aunt, Our dear mother departed this life on the 12th of July. She had Aperplexy Stroke. She lost her speech for a week before she died strange she should die of the same complaint as dear Granfather although poor mother being spared to a long age the parting is hard. We feel it a sad trial to lose her. Mary Jane and John were at home they will still keep the house on. I hope they will be able to keep the home. John is not at all strong. Lewis is living at Bryn Mawr . He has five children. You will be surprised to hear Mrs Chilton has left Nantyglo and gone to her son in newport. She has got quite simple and not capable of looking after herself. The house has been sold and part of the furniture. Marthar Roberts bought the house. The land belongs to William Chilton and the cottages. How strange the Chapel people must see it without any of that family going there. My sister Charlotte is not very well, her boys are growing up fine boys. She intends send you their photo. Leah Morgan was seeing us the other day. She has been to America. Her brother William paid her out there. She saw one of M. Charlotte Vaughans sons out there. A very nice young man.Uncle Lewis two daughters are there. Mary is a widow -----------------------------------------------------------Rest of the letter missing worse luck !!
This is just a little post card to Leah STELEY from her sister Ann EVANS' son, William. The picture on the front is of the Town Hall & St James Church, Pontypool. No date on the card. Letter 3. To Mrs Steley,Present from your sister Ann Evans son William. Trusting you may live to enjoy the wearing of it. With kind love from my wife and family to you all.From your Affectionate NephewWilliam Evans.Lower RacePontypool
This is to Leah STELEY from her nephew William PARTRIDGE, giving news of the death of his mother Charlotte PARTRIDGE, dau of Thomas & Mary BEVAN and a sister of Leah. The letter is an outpouring of his grief and probably an outlet for his sorrow. He obviously idolised his mother.Letter No 4.Llanfoist HouseNr AbergavennyMarch 21st 1873My Dear Aunt,It is sad news to us all but my poor dear mother is no more. She died last Tuesday afternoon March 18th. You will be all very much cut up to hear it. She has been poorly a long time in fact ever since her side was opened on, had more or less kept to her bed . The cause of death was pulmonary appolexy. Last Saturday we all thought she was much better, but a change for the worse set in on Sunday from which she never rallied. You have lost a good and faithful sister and we our exceptionally good and fond mother. Strange to say, Mary Charlotte returned from America last Sunday week so we had a clear week with my darling mother before she died. Poor Jos will feel it dreadfully as he has been living with her alone at Cwmfrwd (Varteg ) for a long time. Poor mother has had great trials and I really don't think she has been thoroughly well since the death of my dear father. She has of late spent much of her time with her bible and I am rejoiced to think I can without hesitation say she is now reaping her reward and the Lord has before this said to her "Come thou good and faithful servant thou hast done all things well and I now want thee." It is a dreadful blow and I cannot realise it. Tomorrow--Sat 22nd March --she is to be buried at Llangattock Church with my poor father and brother Robert. Poor dear mother --whose end is peace -- was so devotedly fond of us all and her care and consideration for all of us was unbounded and to the last she would rob herself for one and the other. Oh, she has been a noble example , one worthy to be copied from the highest to the lowest. Her trials have been many but now she is at rest and reaping the reward for the many good acts. Ours was a noble mother and I shall always cherish her good advice and try in some way to imitate her fine example. She saw all her children whilst ill and it is a great thing to think, so as I believe it was a great wish of hers. Last Saturday, she seemed cheerful and had a long talk with me but when I wished her goodbye she said "I shall neber see you again ". I feel sure with Uncle you will deeply sympathise with us in the heavy blow we have sustained. I think my dear mother often wrote to you, poor dear. I always liked her letters as they were so full of news and expressions of kindness and care for all excepting herself. There was no selfishnes in her but if anything too good to us all. I do so wish she had been spared a few years longer to us but it was not to be. She will not come to us but we must try to lead a life as to go to her. Poor mother had been very poorly for a long time and had got very weak at the last. She died like a child. She was conscious all through her illness. I thought you would like to hear something of my dear Mother's death bed and I have written you a short account. I know you will miss her long cheerful letters. I hope your colliery is turning out well. Poor Uncle he prayed so beautifully with my father and I only wish you had both been here to witness my darling mother's departure to render those comforting words which you both so nicely do.With best love to allMay God bless you and prosper you I am your affectionate nephewW.B. Partridge.
letter No 5. Llandewi CourtNr Abergavenny July 25th 1880My Dear Aunt, I was very sorry to hear the sad news of Uncle's death. It must be a great trial to you all and I sympathise with you and my cousins very much in your deep troubles --but God's will must be done. ---I shall never forget Uncle's kindness when my dear father was dying. How kind he was and how nicely he prayed with him. It is a great comfort to you to know what a good man he was and so much respected by all who knew him. I hope you are pretty well and you must try to bear up all you can. I saw Ann Evans the other day. She lives at Llanelly near her sister Leah James. They are quite well but Aunt is not very well. I am glad to tell you that I am very comfortable and have a nice house and a very good wife and I have alittle boy about 3 months old. Maria is still living near London. I wrote to her letting her know about poor Uncle's death.William lives at Llanfoist near Abergavenny. We are having wet weather here for the harvest which is late this year and I feel there will be a lot of hay spoiled. Last week we had a volunteer encampment on this farm--the 2nd Monmouthshire Rifles--- They are chiefly from Ebbw Vale and the Hills. It was a very lively week here. Many people came down to see their friends in camp and the Colonel gave them all a treat of afternoon tea --2 tons of fancy cake and tea so you can fancy what lots were there that day. I will send poor Uncle's death to the Hereford Times. Mr Bailey has built a beautiful new church. It is the best in the country and he is also now building a new one in the Rhondda Valley where his property is there. I will write again by the next mail. Must say good-bye now as the post time is up and mail leaves tomorrow. My wife joins with me in sending best love to you all and says how sorry she is for all your trouble.With best love again to you dear Auntie I am Your affectionate nephew Jos Partridge.I have no black edged paper so please excuse.
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