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Messages - Ferryman

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Fife / Fife Herald 1833 - McRitchie
« on: Tuesday 28 February 12 10:47 GMT (UK)  »
Please could anyone help with access to the Fife Herald of 1833? The archives seem fragmented and refer to later dates.

The Fife FHS death index lists one of my family, David McRitchie fisherman South Queensferry, who was drowned. The source is given as Fife Herald 9/5/1833. I would be very grateful if anyone knows where this edition might be -- even more grateful if I could obtain a transcript!

Australia / Re: South Australia - McRITCHIE, Sqn Ldr Alexander Ian
« on: Friday 17 February 12 14:38 GMT (UK)  »
Yes, I think it's the end of this road. The 1814 census puts Thomas McRitchie in Alarm Cottage on St. Helena, his occupation a merchant. Over 200+ yrs my ancestors were not very imaginative with regard to names, giving Alexander, David, James, or John, so the names in this Australian line do not fit. In short, the McRitchies hail from the village of Dalmunzie in the Scottish Highlands, and are a sept (branch) of Clan McIntosh.

One interesting thing I did not know was that St Helena was owned by the Hon East India Company and was a crew rest, rewatering and revictualling stop on the westward journey from Australia, the sailing ships using the prevailing trade winds to go round the world rather than double back via the Cape of Good Hope. One account says that 1000 ships would call there each year.

Another St Helena resident was William MacRitchie, surgeon with the Hon East India Company. He may have been there at the death of Napoleon. The MacRitchies are from Clunie in Perthshire, about 50 miles north of my folk the ferrymen at North Queensferry. The Macs were very wealthy, the Mcs were not. Guess who backed the wrong horse?

Many thanks to all Rootchatters who helped us with this, particularly Judith and Cando. Very much appreciated! Best wishes from this McRitchie.

Australia / Re: South Australia - McRITCHIE, Sqn Ldr Alexander Ian
« on: Thursday 16 February 12 13:05 GMT (UK)  »
Thanks Cando and Judith, we're dazzled by your speed! We are now seeking Thomas/Martha marriages in Scotland 18thC but our family link looks increasingly unlikely. We have some possibles in Perthshire, about 60 miles north of N Queensferry, whence some McRitchies went to St Helena, but this was the wealthy branch of the family ... trust me to back the wrong horse   :'(

Could have been worse, John McRitchie from Aberdeen picked wrong side at battle of Culloden and was transported to America.

Goetze death notice interesting, we learned he arrived in Adelaide in September 1849 as a crewman on the barque Louisa Baillie, which had sailed from Plymouth in April.  He had transposed his name to become William George Stephens, under which he married Christina with whom he had two children. Their daughter Caroline married R. J. Wild, who founded one of Australia’s biggest haulage and removal companies. They had 14 children, and she lived until 1942. We think Stephens/Goetze deserted Christina for the gold rush, met Hannah and had two sons by her, then married her and had two more. Busy man.

Australia / Re: South Australia - McRITCHIE, Sqn Ldr Alexander Ian
« on: Thursday 16 February 12 11:02 GMT (UK)  »
Thank you so much for your help, everyone. We're now searching online ship listings for John Matthew McRitchie, the airman's grandfather who married Sarah Taylor in 1853 and assuming he was born around 1830 or so. If anyone has any pointers to him I'd be grateful, we think he may have emigrated.

There was considerable emigration from Scotland in the mid-19th century, we found that the Australian Govt subsidised a steamboat service from Leith (north of Edinburgh) to London where they would change to a sailing ship as steam did not have the range. The sailors would go round the Cape (no Suez Canal yet) and continue round the world with prevailing trade winds to return to England after a year.

@ Judith B:
Yes, Christina was my gt-gt-gt-gtaunt who with her sister Margaret left North Queensferry in 1848. (The McRitchies were mariners there since at least 1650). Thanks to Rootschat researchers Jenn and Sue we have their story which reads like a novel, Margaret married a wealthy merchant in Adelaide and is buried in Geelong, Christine married a bigamist and died in the Melbourne poorhouse.

Australia / South Australia - McRITCHIE, Sqn Ldr Alexander Ian
« on: Wednesday 15 February 12 18:18 GMT (UK)  »
I am trying to trace ancestry of the late Sqn Ldr Alexander Ian McRitchie, date of birth around 1920. He had a distinguished war record in the RAAF and I understand he had an engineering firm after the war ended. McRitchie Crescent in Whyalla was named after him.

Wartime photos of him show a very strong family resemblance to my own family, who were mariners in North Queensferry, Scotland, from 1650 to around 1900. We know many McRitchies worked on UK-Australia-NZ run,  some crewmen stayed in Australia, and other McRitchies emigrated to there. If I could trace his parents/grandparents' details they may link to family information I hold.

All info very gratefully received!

Angus (Forfarshire) / Re: Parish Cemeteries
« on: Wednesday 27 January 10 14:13 GMT (UK)  »
Hello Lass
Just in case you have missed it, the Deceased Online site has all Angus burials online. Bit pricy at £1.50 per name, but searches are free and it's a lot cheaper than going there! We found it very efficient; needless to say we have no connection with the site.

Australia / Calling WILD and GOETZ families
« on: Tuesday 12 January 10 10:49 GMT (UK)  »
Thanks to Rootschat, Sue and Jen I have had great success in tracing the history of my great-greataunts Christina and Margaret, who left Scotland for Melbourne in 1848. Their story is at,364106.0.html
Christina McRitchie married a William Stephens (not his real name, which was Goetz) and Margaret married William Goddard, both marriages in Adelaide. We have Margaret's history and even a picture of her grave in Geelong courtesy the kind cemetery staff there.
Christina and her husband returned to Melbourne and had several children, the last being in 1864.  Her husband then took off for the goldfields, turning up as a draper in Sydney around 1878 where he married someone else under his Goetz name.
Christina died alone in the Melbourne poorhouse in 1902 and was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave. We would very much like to know where she was between 1864-1902. I have just learned that individual census returns were destroyed, so my only hope is family memories. The couple's eldest daughter was Caroline, who married R J Wild, who would found a big haulage/removal business in Manly; they had 14 children. Perhaps the Wild and/or Goetz families if they are still around would have some family history?

Fife / Re: McRitchie of North Queensferry
« on: Monday 18 May 09 11:38 BST (UK)  »
What a wonderful story. No wonder we could not trace Wm George Stephens though we suspected he was not the ideal husband. For the story of the girls in Australia you might look at,364106.0.html
The summary of our findings so far:
From the Port Phillip Herald, Tuesday 15 May 1848:
Arrived May 15 - William Stewart, ship from Gravesend 14th and Plymouth 25th January. Passengers - Mr Charles Horrell, Mr W. H. Goddard, and 234 bounty immigrants, comprising 54 single females, 47 single males, and married couples with their families.

Mr. W. H. Goddard was a merchant from Surrey and paid his own passage. Perhaps his eye was caught by a pretty Scots lassie on her daily outing on deck, perhaps they met on the 600-mile voyage from Melbourne to Adelaide, for as yet Australia had no railways.
On November 10, Margaret McRitchie aged 22 and William Henry Goddard aged 26 were married in Holy Trinity Church, Adelaide (Book2/page302).
For Christina, life was to be very different. On June 10, 1856, she married William George Stephenson ‘at the  Residence of  Mr. W H Goddard in Adelaide’. (Book26 page 240).
Their daughter Caroline Christina was born in Swanston Street, Melbourne, in 1857. The birth certificate lists William as the informant, and he gives Christina’s age as 28 years when in fact she was 33.
Caroline would grow up to marry Richard Wild in the Sydney suburb of Manly in 1882 and the couple would have 14 children.
Swanston Street today runs through the heart of Melbourne, but at the turn of the 1860s it was all one would expect from a dockside area of a fast-growing town. My researcher friend Sue tells that one of her ancestors was born “in a tent, Swanston St”.
On April 3, 1902, Christina Stephens formerly McRitchie, aged 76 yrs, died alone in the Immigrants Hostel, Melbourne, the last refuge of the destitute. The cause of death was given as dysentery and exhaustion. She was buried in unmarked pauper’s grave K470 in Melbourne General Cemetery.

Some questions: The register date line 2, we think it is 1856 not 1858
Please could you give context of the diary entry your paragraph 6: was the 'unhappy contract' reference to his marriage to Christina?
Para.12: 'But returning to the marriage with Christina. After the marriage tOn the corner of the Stat Dec' ..... Are some lines missing here?
Third para before end: 'I did not know what happened to Christina, but on 9 December 1878,'   .... lines missing here?
Many thanks for sharing what must have been a vast amount of research with us, you have given us the last piece of the jigsaw.

Australia / Re: Immigrants to Melbourne
« on: Friday 27 March 09 14:29 GMT (UK)  »
We heard from the transcriptor and this is the wrong Stephens. Wm Geo the husband of Christina seems to have disappeared.
However we also heard from the kind folks at Geelong Cemetery who sent us pictures of Margaret's headstone. It's been a wonderful story and many, many thanks to you for discovering it for us.

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