Letter from Charles Kaighin (10300)

to his nephew Charles Kaighin (9400)

See transcription at the bottom of the page

To download high resolution images of this letter click here

Special thanks to Diana Bulls of the Reedley (CA) Historical Society for unearthing this treasure







Editorís clarifications in brackets [].



To Charles Kaighin

Ship write

Cherrey Street No. 662

New York North


September 9th 1841


††††††††††† Loving Nephew I have taken this opportunity of Writing thes few lines to you hoping you are all in good health as we are all at present thanks be to god.

††††††††††† We are verry glad to heare of your well doing.William Cowley from peel was giving very good Accounts of you All and we are doing as good as we can.I was last sunday at crammag and at Thomas Lases [Lace's] and Nanny and every one of them is Grand and lives verry comfortabel and I was at me sistor Chatrin I got me brakefast at Cowley cramag and me lunch with Nanny and me denner with Bella and me tea at my sistor Cathrine in KK michael.I left Douglas at 6 a clock in the morning and walked about 40 miles and let me know can your mother do such a jorna [journey] as that in one day and I am older then your Mother about 16 days.I came home a Sunday Nite and went to the herrins[?] amonday night and got a Boat full and nex night another full Boat what I think verry grand

††††††††††† And Chatrine my Daughter is for comming to New york for nex spring to try her fortune if she can.And she would be verry glad to have your advise






About it and would be glad to know the Prices of Dress making and bonnot making and which is the Best she can get work plenty work in Douglas if she would work withe out money with fine promes[promise?] And low wages.

††††††††††† And Charles my son is for a carpenter in the carpenter yard and promising to come to Newyork as soon as he will be out of his time or before that for he is talkin of his cussons in amarica very often.

††††††††††† And my Daughter margaret is wanting to be remembered to you all But in perticuler to Phillip, and she would be as glad as anny of them to come if she would know how to get there.

††††††††††† And Jane yore Brothers wife is over glad to heare that your doing so well and every one of you.

††††††††††† And John Gell enelengey[?] Little London is for coming to Newyork for spring and Cathrine is thinking of comming with them, there famely is for coming and the[y] live in the one house with us.

††††††††††† For me and my old wife we need not think of coming for we are very old to think of coming.But if I would be there I would not work at anny Thing sooner then Dabbling about sailing




††††††††††† And if you can remember the day that you left the Island I have not been sick since but I have faild a great dail but Deare Brother and Sister we are yet in the town of Douglas living Jane[?].my wife is often talking of you and old tims.She want to let you know that Bell Quine is in the famely way.By hir master Dan. Cane alln[?] hir master.Dear Brother we would like to heare from you.write a few lins to is [us] as soon as you can.

††††††††††† Remember me to your mother and to all your Brothers and sistors Brothers in Law and sistors in Law

††††††††††† And my wife wants to be rememerdto you All in perticler to Ellenor your sistor and your sistor Elizabeth she was Lementing very much at leving the Island.

††††††††††† So No More at Presant from your Unkel and Aunt

Charles and Ellenor Kaighin

††††††††††† And send word as soon as this come to you.

Charles Kaighin Bigwell Street Douglas




Editorís note:This section is a consolidation of several emails Iíve written regarding analysis of the above letter.The letter writer was my GGG Grandfather.


The parents of Charles Kaighin, letter writer, were John Kaighin and Elizabeth Nicholl (or variously spelled Knickol, Crigal, Knickal, etc.) of Kerrowglass, Kirk Michael, Isle of Man.The parents of Charles Kaighin, recipient of the letter were John Kaighin and Eleanor Cannell (who was sixteen days older than Charles).This John was Charles' brother and of course the son of John Kaighin and Eliz. Nicholl.


Previously, I had thought Charles' parents were John Kaighin and Ann Lace.The circumstantial evidence was very strong that this was the case, but I never had anything solid.The process of elimination narrowed down the possibilities to only one Charles, but I always considered the connection tenuous.†† Turns out, our Charles' birth/christening record never made it to the IGI.He was born about 1777, several sources indicate this, so the only Charles in the IGI that was born about 1777 was the son of John Kaighin and Ann Lace (born 30 Nov 1776.)That and a couple other circumstantial clues led me to conclude that he was the correct one.But now we know better.


When I initially read the letter, I immediately knew which family he was talking about in NY.Two of the sons of John Kaighin and Eleanor Cannell moved to Cleveland between 1845 and 1855.They were William and Philip Kaighin.By the time they got there they already had substantial families of their own.Philip had 13 children. One of Philip's son's Thomas Gale Kaighin moved to Toledo about 1890 and his descendants are now numerous there.There are several from this family that I correspond with including Jim Kaighin in the Bahamas, Ken Kaighin in Philadelphia, Bill Kaighin in Riverside, CA and his sister Margaret Eade, and a handful in Toledo.So I'm very familiar with this branch.


I was able to determine who Charles' parents were by analyzing the letter with some other data.We know from the letter two siblings, Charles and Catherine (Chatrin), as well as John in NY, even though he's not mentioned (John died sometime prior to 1835).Charles mentions a pretty good hike through Crammag (in Kirk Christ Lezayre) and on to Kirk Michael.Some of the names I'd never heard so I did some digging.I suspected at this point that I was looking at family 6750 in my database which also has the following other siblings:Margaret, Anne and William.There wasn't much in my database on this family.But I found that Margaret was married to John Cannell of Kirk Michael.So I decided to see if she had a will.She did.And she mentions a son-in-law, John Cowley of Crammag, Lezayre.Further digging shows him to be the husband of Margaret's daughter Elizabeth.Charles also mentions having "me denner with Bella".Margaret had a daughter Isabella who married Thomas Lace of Lezayre, both of whom were mentioned.So you understand the relationships, Elizabeth and Bella (Isabella) were Charles the letter writer's nieces and Charles' (the recipient's) cousins.I don't know who Nanny is, but I suspect that is Charles' sister Margaret Cannell; she died 24 Dec 1854.I would also guess that William Cowley from Peel is somehow related to John Cowley of Crammag.


So now we have a fourth sibling including Margaret.The only two not mentioned are Anne and William, but it is possible they had died by 1841.


I found a will of John Kaighin, Kerrowglass, Kirk Michael, 1792.In it he mentions his two eldest daughters, Margaret and Ann and youngest daughter Catherine, as well as his 2 youngest sons, Charles and William and his oldest son and executor John.He mentions his wife, Elizabeth and also mentions John Cannell, husband of his daughter Margaret (see above).It's now coming together.


I've got some work to do to figure out who the parents of John Kaighin (family 6750) were, but there is indication that it was Henry Kaighin and Eleanor Gelling.I've got a few more wills to go through.


Kerroglass, Kirk Michael was the family farm.Kerrowglass is situated about 2 miles south of Kirk Michael village.I'm not sure why John Jr. left for NY if he inherited Kerrowglass.All 13 of his children were born before leaving.Maybe he left because there wasn't enough room for 13 children and figured he could get enough money to go to NY by selling it. Who knows?His sister Margaret was residing there at the time of her death.However, her husband John Cannell's will shows that he purchased Kerrowglass from another John Cannell.


Mentioned in the letter were some of the children of Margaret Kaighin (sister of Charles, the letter writer) and John Cannell (they had five daughters and no sons).One of their daughters, Margaret married another Charles Kaighin (family 11900 in my database).This Charles, best I can tell is unrelated.This Kaighin family had several sons, including two who emigrated to Illinois and Missouri.There are still descendants alive today from this family in Michigan and near Kansas City, Missouri (name is spelled Kaighen).


Moving on to the hike Charles describes in his letter.He visits Cowley Crammag in Lezayre (John Cowley's place).This is situated halfway between Douglas and Kirk Michael and a little north in the mountains.That was a good "jorna" for a 62 year old man.Do you get the feeling he was bragging to his sister-in-law?After visiting with his nieces he continues on, I would assume to Kerrowglass to visit "Nanny" (Margaret) and then to have his evening tea with Catherine in K. Michael.I'm not sure where Catherine lived.That'll have to be researched more.I don't even know if she married.



Submissions, corrections or suggestions gratefully

received by the editor at kaighin@iname.com

Copyright 2004, 2005, Gregory D. Kaighin, All rights reserved