Letter from Alexander Silver (1858-1907) to his brother James (1863-1949)
Alex and James both the sons of Alex Silver (1809-1882) and Isobel Falconer (1827-1893)
This is a letter from Alex Silver (born 1858, so he would have been 34) to his brother James in Australia, written in 1892, just before James married Janet Todd on August 12, 1892. My notes in bold

Harvieston June 19th 1892

My Dear Brother,
You will be thinking I have forgotten you, being so long in writing. There is no excuse. But I will try and make amends by giving you a long one. Firstly I will give you an account of ourselves. We are all enjoying good health.  Mother (Isobel, nee Falconer b 1828, d 1893) is still in England (her daughter Helen Duncan and family were in Surrey on 1891 census) but we expect her home by the end of this month. Helen (Alex’s sister born 1852) has got another son (Helen and Alex had two girls also who are mentioned in their grandmother’s will) they are both doing well. Alex (Seems to mean Helen’s husband Alex) and family has shifted again back to the Master he was with about a year ago, Jock King.
Joseph Duncan (possibly Alex Duncan’s brother) and I were up at England in March and stopped a week with them. We went with Mother and enjoyed ourselves very much. They seemed to be very comfortable and the children were very nice and smart.
You will be anxious to hear how we are getting on with our farm. Well we had a very good crop last year but lost a lot of our stock and a good horse (the blue one) worth about £50 yet on the whole it has paid pretty well. Everything is looking very well this summer. There is every appearance of an abundant crop. We have taken for the summer’s grass a large haugh near Bervie (shortened form of Inverbervie about 3km from Kinneff?). For which we pay £105 and have 48 cattle & horses in it.
John Watt (probably one of the Watt family of Hilton, Kinneff), my brother John and I were down at it last night and were highly satisfied with it.
We had about 30 ewes in lamb this season, they had nearly 50 lambs, sold twenty of the lambs for 30s each not 3 months old.
You will get them much cheaper in Australia. Sold 4 ewes for 45s each. This will let you know the difference between the price here and where you are.
Now for our friends. Suppose you will have heard by this time that we have lost a few of them last winter.
David Bisset (who was married to their father’s sister Jane Silver) and Alex Esson (who was married to their father’s other sister Helen Silver) and last but not least, poor Old Grand Ma (his mother’s mother, Jessie Falconer nee Menzies). All highly respected and God-fearing men and women. And I have no doubt it is well with them all. However we are still getting more.
George Grey was married last Monday. John and I were at the marriage and we had a grand affair. He has married to his house keeper, a nice and very managing girl but I forget her name in the meantime.
All the Martins (probably their mother’s sister Helen’s family) were there. Uncle William & Alexander (probably their mother’s brothers) from Newtonleys. The Martins are getting on in their usual way, very well, They had a letter from Alex (Silver, son of their mother’s sister Mary Ann and their father’s third cousin James Silver) in America, he seems to be doing much better.
I may say a word all our Dunnottar (about 9km north of Kinneff) friends are in their usual health. Sandy is still the same old boy which is a pity. Peter from Newtonhill (about 20km north of Kinneff) was also there and seemed to enjoy himself immensely. He is expecting the Sharps back to stay with him this summer as usual.
Our friend Robert Ruxton has left him this term. Think he is going to Aberdeen.
We had Alex Silver (the same first cousin as mentioned above) home from America about a month ago and he came over and stayed with us for about a week. He and James* (his brother) are getting on grandly in America. James has just got a situation worth about £300 per year.
Mrs Silver (Annie Findlay who was married to above James*) was over with him at Harvieston (name of the Silver farm at Kinneff) also. They went away both together (It seems strange her husband didn’t travel with Annie but this is confirmed by immigration records). Mr Grey was saying there was a painful scene when she went away, quite as bad as the first time she went away.
Jonny Hindley is home just now from Australia after being away for ten years. He was looking very well, quite stout. Hope you are getting the same.
Uncle James (Silver who married their mother’s sister Mary Ann Falconer) is still road surveyor. Auntie Mary (aforementioned James’s wife) is still the same kind old soul and not much changed.
William Bisset (first cousin and son of their father’s sister Helen who married David Bisset) is still farming Wedderhill but isn’t going to stop long. He had taken Parkhead but William Anderson (no relationship established but is mentioned in abovementioned David Bisset’s will of 1892), who has failed again, is still staying on.
Your friends are all well at Bankhead (there are two Bankheads, one just out of Aberdeen and another, about 20km west and to the north of Banchory).
I am intending to go up soon and will give you a fuller account of them in my next. Do you ever hear from or see John and William? (no guess on their identity)
Old Mr Watt of Hilton has passed away this spring (In February, 1894, Alex was married to Ellen Jane Watt of Hilton, Kinneff,  daughter of John Watt of Hilton).
Really I never heard of so many deaths as there were here about last Winter & Spring. The rest of our friends there are all well and are often asking about you.
26th June
It is now another week since I wrote the rest of this letter. Mother came home last night a little fatigued with the long journey but all right and going about today. She says the little Duncans (children of Alex and Helen {nee Silver} Duncan) are all keeping better. Alex & Helen are well also and fairly established in their new home. We are just on the eve of a general Election and it is thought by the most of people that the Grand Old Man will stand a good chance of being Prime Minister (William Gladstone who was British Prime Minister in 1868-74, 1880-85, 1886 and 1892-4). You will no doubt hear all about it before this reaches you in your far-away home. Well, how are you getting on in that land of your adoption? Are you married? (James Silver married Janet Todd in Brisbane,  Queensland, Australia in August 1892) Yet I hope so & all things quite comfortable. I must say that I thought a great deal of your young lady the two or three days she stayed with us. May you both be long spared to each other and lead a long, happy and prosperous life. This is about all the news I have for you at this time, so I hope that this will find you all right, goodbye.

Mother, Bella, John & Myself all join with best wishes and king regards for (may I say) Mr and Mr Silver.
Your loving brother, Alex Silver.
P.S. Mother bids me tell you to write soon.

Peace perfect peace with loved ones far way
In Jesus keeping we are safe & they
Alex Silver