Jervis McEntee Diaries

Wednesday June 25, 1873

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, June 25, 1873, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Wednesday, June 25, 1873- Yesterday I got Uncle Patrick to give me these details of my fathers family. He related as follows "my grandfathers name was Matthew and he lived in Drumskeldt county of Monaghan Ireland. Bryan an old man who came over with my father said he was a great farmer and he had known him to have at one harvest 18000 score stooks of oats. He had five sons Patrick John - Thomas - Charles (my father) Philip. Had one or two daughters I cannot remember which. One of them married Patrick Kelly. John and Philip belonged to the "United Irishmen" a political organization and having been found with arms in their possession were arrested, tried for treason and sentenced to be transported to Van Diemans land, but Thomas who was an influential man and had some money bribed the captain to land them in America which he did at New Castle Delaware. They were the first of the family who came to this country. Don't know much about Uncle Philip. Uncle John lived in Pennsylvania awhile. He was clerk in a store and part of the time a pedlar. Uncle Philip died on his way from Philadelphia to Baltimore. My great grandfather died when my father was three years old at the age of 114 years. Father brought eleven people to this country. Himself my mother and me, Patricks son - Barney - a girl by the name of Bridget - another Barney McEntee a distant relative - John Connelly a school teacher who afterwards went to Canada - Little John McEntee (in contradistinction to "big John") - Uncle Johns wife (Aunt Katy) - I was born in Ireland. We left Ireland in May 1794 and arrived here about August after a very stormy passage. We lived first at Herkimer where Thomas was born in Feb. 1794. We afterwards lived in New York at No 40 Old Slip where we kept boarders. My father bought a farm in the woods in Remsen about 20 miles north of Herkimer and after clearing 16 acres he abandoned it finding the land poor. He afterwards traded it with Johanes McGirk of Albany for 200 acres in Western and bought 550 acres of his in addition. In the exchange the title to the 200 acres proved defective and he became indebted for the whole 750 acres. He deposited with a man by the name of Horner in Albany who was supposed to be rich and a friend of his one hundred and thirty six pounds sterling. Horner failed and he lost the whole of it. We removed to Western in the spring of 1797. My grandfather visited us while we lived in Remsen. He went back to Ireland and died afterwards at the age of 110. He was about 100 years old when he visited us. I distinctly remember him. My Uncle Thomas was a clerk in Albany and left there because he was not allowed a seat at his employers table. In Schenectady he met the women whom he married. She was a West Indian living with our aunt, and was rich. She owned 39 stores[?]. He ran away with her she having had some difficulty with her aunt. She told me she gave Thomas a check for forty thousand dollars when they were married. He died in Amsterdam after having become poor. My father cleared about 100 acres in Western. He had hopes, and it was the general opinion that when McGirk died he would leave him the farm at Western but instead he left it to Horner's children and my father made up his mind he must go where he could make more money to pay for the land or lose all. My father and I went to Salt Point in 1806 and we were there a year before the family moved there in 1807. We went back to Western and returned again in 1808. We boiled salt. My mother died Aug. 16 1808 and my father Aug 27 same year. The children were all very sick except myself and Charles who was an infant. It must have been two months after my parents death when we returned to Western and were taken under the roof of Hugh Mullen a poor man whom my father had allowed to build a house on his land. James[?] afterwards went to live with his Uncle John who lived away back in the woods. He staid there five years. I went to Squire Salisbury's as did Mary Ann. Philip went to Wheelers, Thomas to Geo. Brayton's. Philip afterwards went to Dr. Blairs in Rome. Uncle Philp tells me that his Uncle Thomas told him that his grandfather lived in Corraven (or Kerraven) and had an interest in a flannel factory in Drumskeldt. In the Rebellion they got into some difficulty and returned to Drumskeldt. I received a letter today from Williams & Everett asking me to exchange the study of "Sea from Shore" I sold them for another. I agreed to do so when I sold it to them, if they wished and I have written them that I have two pictures same size in my studio "Scribners Mill" and the stream with the birch on the left a little pen sketch of each of which I enclosed in the letter telling them they may have either one in exchange but this selection is to be final and to close that transaction and that I will sell them the remaining one for the same price they paid me for the "Sea from Shore" ($175) that I don't care to send both unless they agree to take both.

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