January 30 1861

My dear Sister,

As James Robinson is coming back again, we have taken the opportunity of writing to you.  I suppose you have not forgotten him.  He came to New Zealand in the vessel with us.  We have found him a very honest upright young man.  We shall miss him almost as if he was one of ourselves.  I hope you will be kind to him.
Times in New Zealand are very dull at present.  We have got a snug house of our own; and a small piece of land in a new town called Collingwood in the Province of Nelson.  It is like beginning the world anew.  The children and me are getting a nice garden. 
But the worst is Gersham is hardly ever at home with us.  We have eight working bullocks hauling goods to the diggings  but we are not earning much with them  times are so dull.
We have ten cows; cattle here increase very fast  they have a calf when they are two years old.
Gersham is not at the diggings but there is plenty of gold, but it is hard to get out without you have plenty of money to begin with.  I wish I had plenty.  I would not forget you.  I would send you some to drink my health with.  We have a good deal of money owing to us among the diggers but we cannot get it in as yet.
Mary, William and Henry go to school.  We have another little boy  his name is Alfred Samuel.  William says he is coming to see you when he gets a little older.  He is growing a fine boy and getting a good scholar.
I should like to come home and see you all once more.  But I would not like to come back to stop.  As the weather is so much pleasanter here than there we are not troubled with the cold.  I should like to see you all out here, I am sure you would like it much better than where you are.
We have all had good health.  Mary wishes to be remembered to all her cousins.  I send you a small specimen of New Zealand gold.  I shall send my other sisters a piece likewise in other notes.
I must say goodbye and God bless you all.  I hope you are all well.  I forgot to tell you how old Baby is.  He is 18 months.
                                           I remain
                                           Your affectionate sister
                                           Elizabeth Curtis

I should like to get hold of Christian to pull his old grey hairs for him.  I am getting as grey as a badger.
                                                               February 27, 1862

Dear Sister,

      I received your letter on the 26 November and was surprised to hear that my dear father and sister were dead.  I cannot think the reason why some of you did not let me know of their death before.  When you write again let me know if he was ill long and where he was.  Tell John I cannot think the reason he has not wrote to me.  Tell Mary to write to me and let me know how she is.
      I am happy to hear you have got a good place of your own and that the girls are able to work for themselves.  I hope they will be good girls and keep their places.
      William is the only one we have to fetch wood and cut it as Gersham is about 500 miles from home at a new diggings.  He walked overland.  You will think it very strange that he rambles about so.  It makes me very miserable to have him so much from home.  He left very downhearted but hearing of so many people making their fortunes he went to see what he could do as the diggings here are not very prosperous.  The diggers where we live are all quite decent people but where Gersham is they are Melbourne diggers the greater part.  I hope he may get something worthwhile that he may stop his rambling.
      We spent a very dull Christmas, while you were complaining of the cold we were complaining of the heat, though the weather here is not so warm in the summer as it is in America.
      I can say what you can't  I gathered green peas and dug new potatoes for Christmas.  We can gather a bunch of flowers all the year round.
      I have got another little son  he is two months old, his name is Charles Edward.
It is about two months since Gersham left.  We do not know what he is doing as we have not heard from him since he got there. 
      We send this letter by James Robinson.  He came out with us.  You must treat him kindly for my sake, he has been very kind to me.  He is a very quiet, steady, young man, he takes no spirits of any kind.
      Tell Christian I should like to see him and pull his whiskers for him but I suppose that is impossible.  I am beginning to get old and not able to travel.
      I have no more to say at present but as soon as I hear from Gersham I will write again.  I hope that you will not forget to write to me as the rest have forgotten me.  I was very much hurt to hear of so many deaths but we must expect this in large families.  We are all well as I hope you are.
      The children send their love to you all.
                                                                 I remain,
                                                                 Your affectionate sister
                                                                 Elizabeth Curtis
We write this in haste.  Mary is going to write to Theophilus.

Elizabeth's father died on 9th  January, 1859 and her sister Martha Molyneux, wife of Thomas Hutton, and mother of four young children, died on 7th July, 1861.
The John mentioned is her brother John Molyneux and Mary is her sister Mary Ann Molyneux, the wife of David Younker.
Gersham, at the time this letter was written, was at the Otago goldfields.
Charles Edward Moore Curtis was born at Collingwood on 8th December, 1861

                                                          July 31, 1863

To Mrs. Younker,

Dear Sister,
          I received your kind letter July 25.  I am glad to here you are all well.  I received a letter from John about six weeks ago with his and Elizabeth's likeness in it.  I was glad to see John looking so well, but I never should have known him. 
          How glad I should be to have all your likenesses as I know I shall never see you any other way.  We send a letter to John by the same mail as we send this news.
          Gersham has not had the pleasure of seeing their likenesses as he has not been home this nineteen months.  I daresay Mr. Robinson told you where he was when he left us.  He has not been home since.
          Gersham has been very unfortunate.  I think he was born under an unlucky planet.  I have been very unhappy since he has been away.  The Europeans and natives are at war about fifty miles away from us and it has caused things to be very dear.  I was six months without hearing from Gersham and had almost given up in despair.
          When he once comes home it will be a long time before I let him go away again so far.
          We are all so glad that Jim is coming back.  We have missed him very much.  I expect he will be home now before Gersham.
          I am pleased to hear that Christian has joined the Sons of Temperance.  If I could once see him I would give his grey whiskers such a mauling.  Tell him the stove has been on it's last legs this some time, and I have had to bind it with wire to keep it together till its master comes home to get a new one.
          The next time you write tell me how many years father has been dead and what day of the month he died on.  I hope he was prepared for a better world.
          I am surprised to hear Granny Younker is alive yet.
          Remember me to Aunt Ann and Uncle William if you see them.  Tell Mary's Elizabeth she is to write to me and tell me what all her brothers' names are.  Give my love to all my brothers and sisters.  Don't forget to write soon.
                                                               I remain,
                                                               Your affectionate sister,
                                                               Elizabeth Curtis.

The John mentioned is Elizabeth's brother and Elizabeth is his second wife.
Aunt Ann and Uncle William are probably Elizabeth's mother's sister Anne Moore and her husband.