Sunday, January 11, 2009
Mary BENZIE Ritchie
Born December 7, 1876 ~ Inverurie, Scotland
Died February 21, 1961 ~ Garrettsville, Ohio
Mary, the oldest girl in the back, center is my great-grandmother. Pictured with her are her sisters. Left to right they are Lizzie, Mary, Helen and in the front, Jane. The imprint on the front of the picture is "R Brown Inverurie"
All of the Benzie sisters eventually ended up in the US.
Mary BENZIE's husband, Thomas RITCHIE was also born in Scotland. My Dad says that he loved to listen to them talk as they both retained their Scottish accents. My Dad also remembers when Mary died that they had such a hard time finding heather but that they eventually did. They had to have heather since she was born in the Highlands!
I have yet to track down exactly when Mary came to the US. I know that she did NOT come with her parents, James BENZIE & Hellen LUMSDEN as they remained in Inverurie and are buried there. Mary was still living in Inverurie as late as 1891 when I find her in the census of that year. By 1900 I believe she was living in the Boston area as I have found an entry that could possibly be her as a domestic servant on the 1900 census.
Certainly she and Thomas were both in that area by the end of 1900 when they were married in Cambridge, MA on October 17, 1900.
By at least 1902, when their first son was born, they were living in Ohio. Mary and Tom would have a total of 8 children, all of whom lived to adulthood. Their 4th child, David Washington RITCHIE was my Grandpa. He always said he was the "youngest of the oldest 4."