These letters survived untouched in a small wooden box for more than 100 years. They were rescued from that silence by one of Donald McGilp's great-great grandchildren.
This Alex was the son of Neil McGilp and Margaret Campbell. His sister Mary married Dugald McIntyre and went to Australia where she died. Alex's sons Neil and Donald also went to Australia, where Neil started a cattle station and farm.
Alex's mother and sister Ann came to Canada. His inquiry about "Effy" may indicate that his sister Euphemia also came to Canada.
New Ulva was part of Inverneill's "Ulva Estate."
Alphabetical listing of People mentioned in letters
Letter #11: Letter from another nephew, Alexander McGilp, in New Ulva
New Ulva, 20 April, 1864
I am happy to inform you that we are all in good health at present, hoping you are in the same. I am sorry that I have been so long in writing you in answering your letter, but I was waiting until I would get a letter from my son Neil, and I have not got a letter from him, and he is well, and he sent me an order to draw 21 pounds out of Lochgilphead Bank, of his own money he earned, and I was much in need of it, and I have enough to do yet to stand, as the Factor is very hard on us to get in the old areas, and my son did not give me much encouragement where he is, as long as I could get something where I am, because it was very seldom I would hear a sermon where he was, and I was thinking of going to Canada if you think I would do well. I could take with me between 60 and 80 pounds clear, as I would rather go where you are than to Australia.
The crop did a great deal better last year than it did for some years past. The potatoes are from 4 to5 shillings per barrell, and the meal from 12 to 16 shillings per boll, and we expect black cattle will be as dear as ever and wool.
My sister Mary died in (?Australia) on the 24th July last.
As for the Union of the Free Church and the others, I cannot say much about it. You will get word from Arch Campbell, Sexton, better than from me. But Mr. Campbell, our minister, says they should. I am but John McLean says that the other churches it was to join would under the rules of the Free Church. As for the revival, there was some we hope was truly changes, and others, all I can traded away.
There is nothing particular going on in the church and the union will not take place until the matter be decided at the general assembly.
I hope you will send me a return and let me know how are my mother and Efy are, and all my sister and friends. All friends here are well. Arch Graham must leave Ulva this year. My Mrs. Sends her kind love to Mrs. McLachlan. We all join in sending our kind love to you and all friends, and I remain, Dear Uncle, yours truly,Alex McGilp.