Sunday, 1 November 2009
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
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
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 -->
HISTORY of LEITH HOSPITAL
Sunday, 27 September 2009
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
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
William Crombie Ritchie … the middle name I believe was added in later lifeb1873 ….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
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.
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.
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
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
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 ...so 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
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
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.
Monday, 29 June 2009
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Friday, 15 May 2009
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
Thursday, 30 April 2009
I hope this does not upset anyone.
Thank You for looking at this blog
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
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.
Sunday, 8 March 2009
Hope you can read it, thanks for looking
Thursday, 19 February 2009
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.