Sunday, 1 November 2009

Lily McMillian ... nee Ritchie.

Lily Ritchie was the grand daughter of the David shown in the last LO. Her father, also David, was his oldest son. Things get really confusing with so many David Ritchies' ....sorry!

Her father followed his father and became an apprentice mason and then a builder and finally a Master builder, living his life in Cupar. He was very fond of his drink and sadly died three years before her marriage ...of alcoholism ... in his late 50's.

Lily loved her Amateur Dramatics as can be seen in the shot with an umbrella and was greatly admired for her beauty, when she was young but it is said she was determined to make a good match. She met and in 1925, married Donald McMillian, who was 10 years her senior but comfortably well off ..... his trade ... a Merchant.
Soon after their marriage they moved to South America and their children Margaret and Donald were born. They returned to Scotland in 1933 from Ecuador. Even in her latter years she remained a striking woman

Thanks for dropping by. xx

David Ritchie 1839-1896

This imposing bearded gentleman is my Great Grandfather ... David Ritchie.

He was born in the tiny village of Blebo Craigs in Kemback, Fife in the year 1839. He was the first born of 8 ...well that's the number I have found so far. During his early years he lived close by to his grandparents, David and Margaret Ritchie in Kemback. His father, also David, was a Journeyman Stone cutter.
In about 1846 his family moved to Brighton, Cupar Muir, just out side Cupar. His mother, Agnes, worked as a Linen Weaver there .... just as she had at Ceres, before she was wed. By 1851, David, at the age of 13 had joined her as a hand loom weaver and his younger brother William worked part time, still keeping up his studies.
By 1861 he had changed trade and was now an apprentice Stone Mason. His father died of consumption in January 1863 and he married Isabella Crombie whose family also lived at Cupar Muir in the December of the same year.

I know little else about him except his attitude to his daughter becoming pregnant.
I find it interesting to look at the attitude to an illegitimate birth back then and how two similar men dealt with it.
Isabella's sister gave birth to a son out of wedlock but the father gave the boy his name, although there was little contact after and her father accepted him as his grandson and helped to bring him up. If I can find a photo ofJames Stark, there is a wonderful story of his later life.
David was very different when his eldest daughter became 'with child'. It is thought that the son of the Farm manager where she worked, was the father, as the surname was used as a middle name .... sadly no fathers name was recorded so he could not bear his father surname.
It also seemed strange that she gave birth at the farm and not with her family who lived close by but it is said that David was very angry and had as good as thrown her out.
David Lowson Ritchie was born in 1886 but by 1891 he was found as a Lodger with the Berwick Family in Kettle. It is said that her siblings and probably her mother tried to help her at the time of the birth but it was just too hard to keep him. Apparently it was quite normal for a baby to be 'lodged' if a mother could not care for a child, as there was no official adoption, and the church paid for their board.
By the middle of 1892 she was being married to Thomas Moncrief of Edinburgh and her home is recorded as Cupar Muir rather than Edinburgh where she was working in 1891. I assume she was welcomed home with out the child, having spent enough time away, for people to forget.
Her son was still living with Mrs Berwick in 1901, barely 10 miles away, but she now had two of her own from the union with Thomas and by 1905 she and her new family had emigrated to Canada while David lived on believing that his mother was dead and that she had married Mrs Berwicks son, who was also deceased. In his twenties he changed his name to David Ritchie Berwick.

David Ritchie died of a brain tumour in 1896. He may have been hard on his daughter and on his other children but I feel that how his family behaved and appeared to others was important to him and he worked hard to provide for them. My Nana (his youngest child) inherited this 'keeping up appearences' front.

Thanks for reading this xx

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Leith Hospital

This is going to be quite a long post but for those who love a good yarn and some history too I hope you like it
I have just unearthed this tattered photo, while I was looking for something else and … after much peering at the writing on it … I have discovered that this is dated 13-8-11, so I now know that my Nana was not in London long before she met and nursed Horace.
The titles of the personnel of the theatre, pictured here are …
House Surgeon, Cheeky Student and Assistant House Surgeon (Men Lt to Rt) Electrical Sister, Theatre Nurse and Theatre Sister (Ladies Lt to Rt)

Anyone got any ideas as to what an Electrical Nurse is ????

Here are my LO's and the story behind it all.

Euphemia Jane Ritchie … aka … Jean ...... b 1882 m1913 d1960
She got a place to train at Leith Hospital… not that it had the status of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but she was happy to be a nurse. Her brothers were said to have some times teased her if they saw her in uniform … calling out “Here comes Phemey from the Royal” because of how she strode along … with an air of great importance.
When I was a child she would recount many scary stories about children swallowing knives and forks after the fairs had been to town … sword swallowers were a great attraction for the youngsters …maybe it was to stop me doing anything quite so silly. She would also tell me how hard it was …especially during her first year, when it felt that all she did was scrub floors and clean up awful messes. …maybe that was a warning to me not to follow in her footsteps.

She was an Acting Sister for sometime after being a Staff Nurse and applied for a permanent post in 1909. I also know that she worked in the Casualty Department and was a Theatre Sister too yet she gave it all up to become a private nurse in London only two years or so later.
(She is 2nd row down ....5th from the Rt)
I really do not know why she left but the only thing that might shed some light on it is a story Mum told me.

When Nana was a Theatre Sister, she had gained the respect of most of the Surgeons and one day she put it to the test.
A young boy came into theatre to have the amputation of his leg carried out … without anaesthetic. My Nana questioned the reason for this and was told that the anaesthetic would probably kill the child, as he had a weak heart. She knew you should never question a surgeon’s decision but she could not help herself and so continued. She pointed out that a death due to surgical shock would be more likely in this case and he would die in agony, rather than peacefully under anaesthetic. Apparently she also added that if he continued without anaesthetic …she and her nurses would leave the theatre. What ever the truth of that part was, we shall never know but apparently the operation continued …with anaesthetic …and the child survived the ordeal.
Maybe things were made difficult for her after that and that is why she left … or maybe she just wanted to experience life.

And for those who are gluttons for punishment and are still reading this…here is the …….


1788 … Edinburgh and Leith Humane Society was formed
1815 … Leith Dispensary was opened on Broad Wynd
1825 … They joined forces under the one name of Leith Dispensary
1837 … The first Casualty Hospital in the area, at Quality (now Maritime) Street was opened
1846 … A meeting was held which had the intention of bringing together the work of both the dispensary and the hospital.
1849 … The new Leith Hospital was finally built in Mill Lane. Gradually wings were added either side of King Street, including a Nurses Home.
1886 … It was finally agreed that women Medical Students could attend the hospital for clinical instruction.
1907 … The hospital was now able to serve as a General Hospital, for the use of Men Women and Children and included an Accident Unit.
1987 … The doors finally closed.
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Sunday, 27 September 2009

Tiny Dancer

These are my Mums words, from notes that she wrote on her young life and it talks about the making of, what I believe, is this dress not long before her father died in 1927.

……. As a child you are not really aware of how well off your family is but I suppose we could be described as being comfortable, yet mother would rarely buy anything that she could get cheaper else where and she revelled in the sales. Maybe mother’s careful management of money was how we afforded to have help in the house. Mary came in everyday until I was about ten.

Some of her sale bargains were lengths of material, which would be put away until there was a use for them, either by her or a dressmaker. Sometimes the fabric was really not suitable for the garment that was required but if that was all that she had at the time, it would be made use of.

Once I needed a special dress for a dancing exhibition so she pulled out yards of a horrid drab material and proudly announced, “That will do nicely”.

My heart sank and I suddenly did not want to be in the exhibition at all. There still was one hope left and that was Father. Mother rarely did anything without checking with Father first and so she went to show him her find.

“What do you think about this for Marjory’s dress?” I heard her ask.

I had followed close behind and arrived in time to see Father shaking his head slowly and giving his reply.

“ What ever you do Jean, do not make a fool of the child.”

Mother had her answer and the next day she came back with some beautiful pale pink satin and some other bits for frills and decorations.

Hope you like my stories

Take Care xx

Family Gathering

In Bella’s Garden

Bella, who was actually Agnes Isabella, was the older sister of my Nana, Euphemia Jane aka Jean, by five years. They both lived in Fife, and their families would gather together, often in her garden. Her garden brought her so much pleasure and she even kept a couple of chickens down at the bottom of it. Her husband, James Kidd Brown, was a gardener and worked away from home for a large part of their married life, in some of the large houses …and even in England.
This gathering is in 1925, not long after their niece Lily was married, where both Ella and Marjory were Bridesmaids. (Marjory is wearing her dress as a Best Dress now)
This tag shows who's who

James and Bella had three children Ella, Oswald and Helen.
In 1918, when Helen unexpectedly collapsed in front of her mother while dancing around the kitchen, both the doctor and Euphemia were called for. Immediately Euphemia answered the call for help .... even though she had year old twins at home.

Sadly Helen died less than a week later, of the flu that spread through out the world and claimed so many lives. She was only ten years old.
It was said that Bella never got over her death … I can see the sadness in her eyes.

The other significance to the top photo is that it is the last picture I can find of Horace, my grandfather, who died less than two years later.

Take Care xx

Great Uncle Bill and family

William Crombie Ritchie … the middle name I believe was added in later life

b1873 ….m1902 ….d1951

At the outbreak of WW1 he was a Lieutenant in the 18th (Reserve) Battalion Royal Scots. At the age of 40+ and the fact that he was in a reserve battalion, it was thought that he was unlikely to have seen action, possibly behind a desk, but in a piece I found, that he had written about his mother at the time of her death in 1922 … he mentions the war

“….. We were forced to make long night marches, and in our attacks we had to leap wire entanglements and trenches, but never once did any of my young comrades say, or even give it a thought, that I was double their age ….” …obviously he was not behind a desk.

At the time of writing this he was engaged in …. “... squaring accounts and details of the Great War ….” and was now the rank of Captain.

Family was important to him but sadly this line ended with his children.

William and Doris never married but Betty and Sybil did … as can be seen in the LO below.

Sybil apparently had no children and I know there was a story told to me about the reason but I have forgotten …maybe I will remember when I’m not trying.

Betty’s tragic story I do remember .....

She miscarried a child and soon after they found she had a problem with her heart. She however fell pregnant again and everything was going well. She and her husband lived in Glenluce where he was a teacher. It was a very remote area and one doctor covered a large area. This doctor also has his own problems to cope with … the tragic death of his only son … and his patients felt that that his mind was not on them … and it proved to be the case with Betty.

She became very tired and sick but it was put down to her heart …then strange marks appeared on her body, which were ignored. Finally, when she was actually bed ridden, it was taken seriously and it was discovered that the twins she was carrying had been dead for sometime. She was taken to hospital but died of blood poisoning a week later, aged 33

.Take Care xx

Sunday, 16 August 2009

I have been busy with all these LO's and posts and I have had so much fun researching the backgrounds to the photos below ...cannot believe I managed to do six.

I hope you enjoy reading the little memories and nuggets of history ...thanks for dropping by.

Take Care xx

A Veteran of the Civil War

John F Blum is my late husbands’ Great Grandfather. He lost his arm in the Civil war while a teenager, met and married his wife Hulda, in his thirties, and fathered 10 children, of which 7 lived to adulthood. He was born in Pennsylvania, of German parents, brought up his family in Big Stone, Akron, Minnesota, where he farmed for a living and then around 1895/6 he moved to Fitzgerald, Georgia.

Fitzgerald was the dream of P H Fitzgerald, who created it in 1895, in the main part, as a community for Civil War Veterans who had suffered the devastation of the Midwest during the early 1890’s. This destruction of the area was due to drought, rendering a once fertile farming area into dusty wasteland. The situation was made even worse by the depression that spreading over the country as a whole. The desire for a new start was so great, that people moved themselves and their families, by any means available to them, into the area, even before surveys of the land had been carried out. The first year was very hard and it is believed that John and his family were in at the start of it all.

Chalk and Cheese

‘Chalk and Cheese’ … that was how Mum described her parents.
Horace was tall and slim, quiet and reserved and had only one sibling. His early life was centred on his fathers shop in London and then as his father’s means grew and he went into property, so things changed for Horace. By 1903, when his father died, his inheritance meant that he now had a private income … enough to provide for a family.
His word was final yet he let his beloved wife have most of her own way in matters that he felt need not concern him. Although he was the musician, he always asked Ritchie (or Jean as most people now called her), if a piece of music was going well or what he should play at a recital.

Jean was short, and the arrival of the children added inches to her waistline. She was the youngest of seven, brought up in a small village out side Cupar and her father was a mason.. She spoke her mind but knew her place. She liked to be in charge and for others to think well of her and her family. She always made sure the any one of any importance, within the family, had to be invited to all social gatherings
Her beloved Horace was sent to church every Sunday, in case any one noticed an absence of the family or that she might miss any goings on! He was always bombarded with questions as he came through the door and Mum remembers him eventually learning to raise his hand as he crossed the threshold, and utter loudly “Jean …..I have been seen”.

I am not sure about the date but looking at their faces and clothes, I believe it to be around 1919.

The Mobsby Family

This was my great Aunt, and her family. My Nana disliked her husband for some reason and mistrusted her son …I can remember mumbled conversations, when I was a small child, filled with warning for my mother about not getting in touch with them and ignoring Eric if he contacted her, Wish I knew the story as I never met any of the family, yet Irene and Eric were alive in my life time.

On the back of the LO I have recorded their little tree for posterity

My Mum ...1934

This is my Mum when she was about 17.

Would you guess that she had an arm that was thin and frail compared to the other and didn’t work properly … or that one leg was 1”shorter, and much weaker, than the other?

No one really knew why. It was thought that it was due to a difficult birth but others said it was a congenital defect. At the age of twelve her mother was offered an operation that might help the mobility of her daughters arm but on hearing that there was a high risk of the arm becoming totally paralyzed, if the operation failed, she refused it.

Mum told me that she was in two shows for her local music society … Rosemarie and Maid of the Mountain … not sure if this is from either but looking at the scenery in the back ground, it just could be, which, after some research, would actually make her 18/19 not 17 as she had always told me.( I have left the LO with the date she said.).

She had a beautiful operatic voice, accompanied herself on piano and also played violin in an orchestra, despite her arm …such a talented lady but so unassuming. Her youth was filled with music …maybe this was how she felt close to her father whom she had adored.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Malinda , her stepmother and her sisters

This is actually a cheat as I created these and blogged them on my other blog, much earlier in the year but I suddenly realized that I hadn't put them on here. This is for posterity ... and for all the ladies who visit this blog and leave me such nice comments here and on UKS... thought you would like to read the story behind them. These are of DH's mother and siblings and were taken at St Leonards, Hastings where they lived at the time.

The younger girl is Winifred ... known for most of her life as 'Billie' and is half sister to the other two. She looks at least 12, making it about 1933. The older girls are Dorothy and Malinda,who would be by then about 20 and 22
Around the time of this photo, their father Tom started his relationship with Jane,'wife' No3. Linda (MIL) told me that Dorothy was commanded to run messages to Jane. She would not refuse him even though she hated it.

The second LO is of Linda, as she preferred to be called, walking along the pier with her step mother ...'wife' No 2.
I think this may be a few years later than the other and I see that I have dated it late 30's, on the LO hard to work out these dates. Has anyone any thoughts on the possible dates of these photos? Do you think I'm about right?

Again, I am not sure when Tom left them but his first child, with Jane, was born in 1934 and so he could have been running two households for a while!!!. Jane was only just over a year older than his oldest child, Linda and went on to have five more children, four of whom were boys. (His only other son was the baby who died ... in the earlier LO)
I have a poor photo of Tom around this time and I cannot imagine what this young girl saw in him ... I think it was his charm. He stayed with her for over 30 years.

Thanks for dropping by.

Take Care xx

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Horace and Euphemia Bullock

My Nana, Euphemia, met Horace Yelland Bullock when she was employed to nurse him, in 1912. He had Rheumatic Fever and then developed Pericarditis, which nearly cost him his life. I actually found a doctors letter that talks about it and the fact that he had RF again during 1916 too. When he was well and ‘Ritchie’, as he called her, was about to leave, he had a relapse but his sister Edith discovered that it was a rouse to keep the woman he had fallen in love with, close by.
At this time Euphemia had a huge decision to make … Her young niece wrote to her, begging her to come and nurse her mother who was dying from Cancer. This was Euphemia’s oldest sister, Jessie, who lived in Canada. She knew that if she went, the separation could have a terrible effect on Horace’s health and as he had proposed and she had accepted, she used the wedding plans as an excuse not to go. Her sister died soon after and her niece did not communicate with her for about 40 years.
Once she was betrothed to Horace (Bully as she affectionately called him), she was able to continue to work as a private nurse for other families until their marriage at the end of 1913. Her last post was with Lord and Lady Howard de Walden, who gave her a Crown Derby coffee set as a Wedding gift. She treasured this all her life and proudly kept it on show, in a glass china cabinet.

If you look closely at the Wedding Party above, you can see two servants in the back row but in prime position, in the front row, sits Horace’s mother. There was none of Euphemia’s family there, possibly due to her not going to nurse her sister but it could have been the distance as Fife to London was a long journey. The ladies to the right of her are nursing colleagues. The one in the middle, with all the feathers round her hat, was a matron and it was she who gave her away.

Thank you for reading this.
Take care xx

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Reg, Marjory and Leslie

I am so thankful that I persuaded my Mum to jot down some of her memories when she was alive. This meant that I knew the background to this photograph when I came across it.

This is the day my Mum met Granny Crombie for the first time …well the first time she remembered. She was her mothers’ mother, it was 1920 and Marjory was barely three. Her granny was Mrs Ritchie, but the family used her maiden name …Crombie … not sure why.
On the day of the photograph the family had gone to visit her at Cupar, before going to the photographers. I think it was the visit that had caused her little sad face.

Mum remembered...
I felt afraid as I entered Granny Crombies’ house. It was dark and gloomy, unlike ours, and a large grandfather clock was loudly striking in the corner. Large dark furniture filled the room and the couch we three children were firmly instructed to sit on, seemed so uncomfortable. I wanted to wriggle about because the horsehair stuffing was sticking through the black shiny covering and pricking my legs but I was too scared to move too much. We didn’t stay long and I was glad.”
Thanks for dropping by xx

Monday, 29 June 2009

Catherine Mary Browning

Catherine was the youngest of the four sisters and was to remain separated from her older two sisters for most of her life, by The North Atlantic Ocean. She did not see them for over 40 years but was the one who tracked down their father in 1965, in Deal. In the mid 1930's he had started a new life with new 'wife' No 3 and no one knew where he was.

Thanks for looking, xx

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Orange Picking.

This is my latest LO. This is Bessie and Tom, with Linda and Dorothy and the baby refered to on the postcard, is Betty, their little sister. It is likely that Bessie's sister, Mary, was looking after her.
The original photo was the picture on the postcard, which I scanned and then used the two different copies for the LO.

The family lived in Georgia in 1915 and I think that it may have been a working holiday near by (or posibly Florida) just like the Hop Pickers in Kent.
Thanks for looking
Take Care xx

Friday, 15 May 2009

My Mothers Tree

These are my mother’s paternal grand parents and the photos are from the mid 1890’s.

They had four children but the first two died before they were two and the youngest of those that survived, was my mothers father.
George left his parents and seven sisters, in Cornwall, before he was 18, to work in London for a Draper as a Hosier. He met Emma there when she started working at the shop, which by this time had a frontage of three shops. They married in 1861 and had their first child a year later. By 1871 he had his own Drapers shop with two assistants and one servant.

I wondered why he had chosen drapery until I found out that his mother and sisters were milliners and dressmakers and so he followed them rather than his father who was a carpenter.

Thanks for looking
Angie xx

Thursday, 30 April 2009

In Memorium

MIL had said to me that she had a brother who died soon after birth and that her parents were devastated. When I started doing FH, every one I asked (after her death) said I had got it wrong and that there were only the 4 girls from his first wife. This picture, sent by my American cousin, shows Baby Boy Browning 1917, laid out for burial … morbid I know but he was much longed for, he is part of our FH and the parents must have wanted to remember him and others to see the photo.

I hope this does not upset anyone.

Thank You for looking at this blog
Angie xx

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Can you help me date this photo?

This is Bessie again but older and I am pleased with the result especially as I am using papers, flowers and ribbons given to me by a friend Lori, after she had finished using a kit she had.
I shall probably do another LO to compliment the colours for the opposite page of the album because, as I have said before, I prefer DL’s or a colour connection rather than random LO's.
I have outlined the date problem on 'Shozzy's Place' so any ideas are truely welcome.
Thanks for looking xx

Sunday, 8 March 2009

New Double Layout

This is my next DLO for my FH Album. The little one is Bessie’s first daughter Malinda (later known as Linda) and both these pics were in my late husbands collection. I was able to send them to Joan in America along with a few others she had never seen. She said it felt like Christmas when she viewed them all.

The hidden journaling is shown below

Hope you can read it, thanks for looking

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Scrapping plays its part

Slowly we are untangling the life of my husbands grandfather but there are many areas we will never know the truth about. I have found out more about his grandmother and her family and I have been sent some wonderful pictures by cousin Joan in America. At long last I have begun to scrap my late husbands mothers family.

This is the front page and shows his Great Grandfather and his family.

These are the LH and RH of a DL of his beautiful grandmother

The LH shows her at 18 when she was already the mother of my mother in law. The photograph may well have been taken by her husband who apparently was a photographer during this period of his life.