Finding Aids > MC2618

Font size  small  medium  large

MC2618: Laurence Hughes fonds

Dates of creation: 1837-1854; transcribed [before January 1997]

Physical description: 2 cm of textual records

Biographical Sketch / Administrative History

Laurence Hughes, the son of Mary Anne Larkin and Thomas Hughes, was born in 1801 in Keggall, County Armagh, Ireland. He came to New Brunswick in 1816 and settled in Saint Marys Parish, York County. In 1832, at Fredericton, he married Roseanna Gormley (1799-1894), of Mallaglassan, County Monaghan. They had no fewer than 8 children: Sarah (1833-1864), Thomas ([ca. 1836]-1916), Mary Anne ([ca. 1836]-1910), John (1838-1912), Elizabeth (b. 1841), Peter Paul (1842-1918), William (1846-1908), and Theresa (1847-1930).

Laurence Hughes' brothers and sisters appear to have experienced the destitution and uncertainty that plagued Ireland in the 1840s and 1850s. No fewer than 6 of his siblings immigrated, either on their own or with their families, to British North America or the United States of America during those decades. They settled in Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Brunswick. Laurence Hughes appears to have retained contact with family members throughout his life. He died in 1870, probably in Saint Mary's Parish. His wife, Roseanna survived him, passing away in 1894.

Source:  First Families by Robert Fellows; MC2618.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of 4 manuscript letters to Laurence Hughes, 1 from brother, Thomas; 2 from brother-in-law John Jackson; and 1 from nephew, John Whelan; living in Ireland and the United States of America. They offer news of friends and family, encourage him to move to America, offer assistance should he want to return to Ireland, comment on the Irish famine and the difficulties of transatlantic travel, advise of plans to move to the United States, and comment on how family members were faring, both in Ireland and America.

This fonds also includes transcripts of 5 other letters received from brother-in-law, John Jackson; brothers, Edward and Patrick; and sister, Mary.  Taken collectively, these letters offer insights into emigration from Ireland, immigration to America, chain migration, family ties, and the strong influence of the Roman Catholic Church.



            MS1                             Correspondence to Laurence Hughes

A                      Letter from Thomas Hughes (brother), Newry [Ireland], 24 January 1837 (partial).

Offers news of family and friends at home and abroad, requests similar information, encourages Laurence to move on to Boston, and offers help should Laurence decide to return to Ireland.

B                      Letter from John Jackson (brother-in-law), Monaghan [Ireland], 17 February 1848.

Offers news of family and friends at home and abroad, advises he plans to move to the United States, and mentions deaths due to the famine.  Includes a brief note “from your mother” offering blessings to the family.

C                      Transcript of letter from John Jackson (brother-in-law), St. Lewis [St. Louis], 12 February 1850.

                         Reports on his move to the United States, the crossing, and the death of his wife; asks for news of the family in Ireland; and states “this is a fine country.”

D                      Letter from John Jackson (brother-in-law), [Minnesota], 17 November 1851.

Offers news of his move to America, states he is happy with his new home, states “the journey is long… but…this country is worth coming to,” encourages Laurence to move his family there, and reports on family and friends.

E                      Transcript of letter from Edward Hughes (brother), Cambria County, Pennsylvania, 11 July 1852.

                         Reports on deaths in the family, his new home and acquired land, states he is interested in moving to Iowa, offers news of friends, and asks for information on acquaintances.

F                      Transcript of letter from Patrick Hughes (brother), Saint Stephen, 24 May 1851.

                        States that he is happy Laurence has found out where he is; that he is employed by R. M. Todd, a farmer; and that he hopes to see his brother this winter.

G                     Transcript of letter from Patrick Hughes (brother), St. Stephen, 18 July 1851.

                        States that the last he heard from Mary was that she had left Eastport for Portland, Maine. 

H                     Transcript of letter from Mary Hughes Madox (sister), East Boston, 26 February 1853.

                        Offers news of herself and Bridget, reports on how they are living in Boston, states that Bridget now calls herself Mary B. Fitzhenry and that she is a tailoress, and asks news of other family members.

I                       Letter from John Whelan (nephew), Philadelphia, 25 September 1854.

Reports on his move to America and the crossing, requests money, and states he is happy and healthy.