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19th Century

Dublin to New Orleans

April 27th, 1859

Sister Mary Paul, Presentation Convent, Dublin, to Edmond J. Forstall, New Orleans

Presentation Convent

My dear Cousin,

I am honoured by yours of 25th March which I received thro’ the Messrs. D. La Touche & Co. I decline with many thanks the 50, for I fear I cannot get the seal,  If I could, I would send it to you — but I fear it was made away with. Any documents or armorial bearings that I can procure, I will send you. I am very proud to find you a Merchant Prince. I did not know, dear Cousin, of your existence until Don Patricio Wiseman informed me of your noble character. I deeply regret that I did not know of your intention to purchase the family Estates in 1836, for I could have been of service at that time; as then I had a large claim on the property. The portion now in the hands of my brother’s widow is small. I never heard that she wished to sell it. If the John Forstall of Kilkenny was a Physician and married to a widow Lady whose name was Strange, he was uncle to my grandfather. He had no children. His stepson Richard Strange is the grandfather of the present Lord Bellew of Barmeath, Co. of Louth, a nobleman high in the court of Queen Victoria. Cardinal Wiseman or Don Patricio could tell you all about Lord Bellew. Does the letter of 3 March 1770 mention Mary Forstall, sister of the writer of it (Dr John) married to a gentleman of the name of Waring, a man of good blood & good estate, but a Protestant? [underscored]

This was said to have broken the Father’s heart. Did he mention a Lyssey Forstall, or Betty, or a Brother Harry? Did he mention that his mother was Elizabeth Meagh, or Meade, according to modern spelling. Rinn — which means a promontory was the residence of my grandfather — His wife Alice or Alicia Kennedy changed it to Ringville, by which name it is at present known. It is a lovely spot — a gentle, quiet beauty pervades it. The little green hill stands out into the expanse of water formed by the rivers Nore & Barrow, which at Ringville meet the Suir, and flow into Waterford Harbour. The Nore & Barrow meet above New Ross. You can see the spot on the map of Ireland, tho’ of course the name is not marked. Rochestown is a fertile green valley, behind the Hill of Rinn with fine oak trees growing through the meadows — A portion of Rochestown was sold to Mr. Conn by my Father. Mr. Conn has built a Mansion House on it, and calls it Mount Ida. The house of Rochestown & Domain, belong to my Brother’s widow. On the marriage of my brother with Miss Ann Strange, the cousin of his Emce. Cardinal Wiseman, I signed the marriage Contract by which I relinquished my rights to them. Had I known you, I would not have done so. I was at that time,  a nun in this convent, having made the solemn vows 15th Sept 1846. I entered the Convent three years before that. Two years and a half is always required before making solemn vows. If I have any legal rights, such as a lawyer would say I was possessed of with regard to the property, I do now relinquish them to you; for the Convent only claims a certain sum for my support for life; so at my death, any claim I have, I would wish to devolve on you, as being of my name and blood. Or if you were to purchase the property, anything your law advisers would say, I could do to make a title good, I would do with heartfelt pleasure. Perhaps it is for this my life has been prolonged by an all-ruling Providence. It was the Brothers of Edmond Forstall (who was married to Elizabeth Meagh) who were Knights of Malta. His son married Julia Keating. He died when his son, my grandfather, was only four years old. His protestant uncle Mr. Waring was an honest good man. He did not injure the boy for his religion, as he might have done, according to the State of the law at that time. The Warings are connected by marriage with Lord Desert, & Sir John Blundun. The present Heads of the family are John & Sam Waring. My grandfather when grown to manhood, married Alicia Kennedy whose mother was Christian Lattin, of Morristown Lattin, in the Co. of Kildare, a most Honourable family. The eldest daughter of my Grandfather was named Christian after her grandmother — She was the wife of Thomas Quan, and Grandmother to Thomas F. Meagher, with whom you are acquainted.

xxxxxx Believe me dear Cousin, faithfully in Christ our Lord.

Mary Paul.