Saturday, February 22, 2014

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks: #8 ~ Happy Birthday Grandpa Ritchie

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click on the icon in the sidebar for details at Amy's blog) 

First, just the facts:
Name: David Washington Ritchie
Born: 22-Feb-1908, Cleveland, Ohio
Married: Lela Saurer 05-Jul-1933, Cleveland, Ohio
Died: 16-Jan-2000, Wayne County, Ohio [Find-A-Grave memorial]

Relationship: Paternal Grandfather

I am descended through:
- his son, my father, Donald John Ritchie
There are two things I always remember my Grandpa Ritchie telling me.  The first is that he was named David Washington because he was born on Washington's birthday.  The second is that he was "the youngest of the oldest four."

You can barely see him in this picture but he is the baby being held in the backseat by this mother [Mary Benzie]

Dave is the younger boy here - with the rather intense stare.  He is with his older brother Tom and their father [Thomas Leopold Ritchie.]  I can't image dressing boys in all white like that - I wonder how long they stayed clean?

And here are the "older four" Ritchie's - l to r:
William Alexander, b 25-Apr-1902
Thomas Albert, b 11-Sep-1906
David Washington, b 22-Feb-1908
Hildegarde Moore, b 15-Aug-1904

Dave would have four more siblings - the younger four l to r:

Windsor Benzie, b 18-Feb-1911
George Foster, b 30-Jan-1914
James Swinton, b 07-Mar-1912
front: Cora Black, b 25-Jan-1921

I don't have many pictures of Dave as a young man, but I do have this snap of him with his young family and his in-laws.

Of course this is how I remember my Grandpa Ritchie.  One of the first stories told about Grandpa and me - and one he liked to repeat - had to do with a time when I was very young, maybe 4 or 5.  Apparently we had been several places visiting Grandma's friends - probably showing off the grandchild! - and one of the ladies asked me what we were doing next.  I replied that Grandpa said we would go get ice cream.  In the teasing way that people sometimes like to talk to children, she asked if I was sure we were going for ice cream and I said yes, Grandpa said so.  Then she asked, "Yes, but did he PROMISE that you were going for ice cream?"  I looked at her and said, with hands on my hips, "No, but when my Grandpa says something it's the same as a promise!"  I probably got an extra scoop that day.

When Grandpa was retired, he and Grandma would go down to Florida for the winter.  When I visited he would ALWAYS insist on checking the oil in my car.  I'd tell him it didn't need it, but he's always make me pop the hood. Then he'd slip me $20 "just in case."  Everyone has different ways of saying they love you.

Happy Birthday Grandpa ~ wish you were still here to tell me to check the oil and not drive so fast!

Monday, February 17, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #7 ~ Happy Birthday Mom!

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click on the icon in the sidebar for details at Amy's blog) 

First, just the facts:

Name: Jacqulin Ann Quick
Born: 17-February,  Denver, Colorado
Married: Donald John Ritchie, 18-Aug-1957

Relationship: My mom!

Since the day this posts will be Mom's birthday, it only made sense that she would be the focus of my post for this week.

My Grandpa Quick was a great picture taker so I am fortunate to have hundreds of pictures of my mother when she was little.  I couldn't even begin to show them all here.  I am also fortunate that he dated them and also added comments.  Now sometimes those comments don't actually tell me WHO is in the picture, but with the help of my Mom we can usually figure it out.

I have a whole sequence of these pig pictures and there is a great story that goes with them.  A number of years ago I had my nieces and nephew interview various people at Christmas and one of the stories I had asked for was about these pigs.  It was my first attempt at putting audio and pictures together.  It can be seen/heard here.

My Mom lived in Denver until she was nine.  Besides all the candid shots, her Grandmother (Nelle Eickelberg) would take her each year on her birthday to have a formal portrait done.  I think my favorite of those has to be this one.  Back in the days when pictures were hand-colored my Mom often appeared with brown eyes, although her eyes are blue.  It's just that she has very dark blue eyes and they were often mistaken for brown.  I have those same eyes.

Jacqulin Ann Quick, age 3

Jacqulin Ann Quick, age 5
When my sister's twins were in 4th grade, they had to write about one of their grandparents.  My nephew, Colton, chose my Mom and here is one of the things he wrote, 

"The naughtiest thing she did when she was young took place at the City Park in Denver. All the children, in each age group, were each given a basket and told to go out into the grassy area and pick up the Easter eggs. There was a boy beside her, who kept following her,and every time she would find an egg he would push in front of her and grab it. She finally got tired of his actions and when she found the next egg she stepped on it and smashed it before he could pick it up. She did it three times before he would leave her alone."

My parents met when they were in college in Oxford, Ohio at Miami University.  I love this picture of the two of them. My dad apparently had to sing to my Mom - a performance that we haven't gotten him to repeat for us!

If there was just one picture of my Mom that I could have, it would have to be this one.  It was taken when she was in college and it's my Dad's favorite picture.  He has carried it in his wallet since they were in college and whenever he would get a new wallet it is always the first thing that goes in there.  I can't remember the first time I saw it ~ because it was always there.   He now has this picture in puzzle version thanks to his grandkids.

In order for this blog post not to be a book, I'll skip ahead to today - or at least to a recent picture.  This was taken when my parents and I went to Scotland touring all the places my Dad's ancestors had lived.  I rained quite a lot while we were there, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a fantastic trip!

Happy Birthday Mom ~ thanks for being the best mom in the world! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #6 ~ Clair Saurer

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click on the icon in the sidebar for details at Amy's blog)

First, just the facts:
Name: Clair Raymond Saurer
Born: 13-Feb-1908, East Union Twp, Wayne Co, Ohio
Married: Temple M Ray, 18-Aug-1939
Died: 30-Jan-1985, Apple Creek, Wayne Co, Ohio

Relationship: Great-uncle [or grand-uncle as some would have it]

He is my paternal grandmother’s [Lela Mabel (Saurer) Ritchie] brother.
I have this most adorable picture of Clair as a little boy.  Don't you love how the boys wore dresses?  Fortunately Uncle Clair was around until I was in my twenties so I have identification for many of these old pictures.  Next is one of my favorite pictures - the John F Saurer family.  The younger boy with the rather intense look on his face is Clair.

Clair was married in Cleveland to Temple Ray.  According to the notes on back, this was taken on their wedding day.  Uncle Clair's nickname was "Snowball" - I have no idea why!  Someone told me it was because his hair turned white so early, but as you can see here, it wasn't white when he married and he was 31.

He worked at the local grocery story - owned by his brother-in-law - and you can see that when they returned from their honeymoon they was a special sale marking the event!!  I have the large flyer pictured below.  Not sure if the picture below was during the honeymoon, but they did like to travel to Florida and this could have been taken during one of those trips.  Note the writing "Snowy-Temp". 

This is how I remember Uncle Clair.  He and Aunt Temp lived next door to my grandparents and we would go visit when we were there.  They had a dog that Uncle Clair loved but I was always a little bit afraid of.  If the dog was out in the yard by itself, I wouldn't go over there without my Dad!!  I'm really not sure WHY I was scared of the dog - it certainly never bit me or anything, but I just remember being afraid of it.

Here is the Saurer family much later.  I believe this was taken in the mid-late 1950's.  From the other pictures with this one, it would have been prior to my parent's marriage in 1958.  Clair is third from the left in the back - again, no white hair! 

Uncle Clair always seemed so quite to me.  Aunt Temp was definitely NOT quite - which might be why they got along. I don't remember much about Uncle Clair.  I think I need to ask my dad to tell me some stories about his uncle.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #5 ~ Rudolph Graber

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click on the icon in the sidebar for details at Amy's blog)

First, just the facts:
Name: Rudolph Graber
Born: 13-Sep-1853, Switzerland
Married: Emma Zaugg, 15-Mar-1881, Apple Creek, Wayne Co, Ohio
Died: 05-Aug-1918, East Union Twp, Wayne Co, Ohio [Find-A-Grave memorial]
Relationship: Great-great-grandfather

 I am descended through:
- his daughter, Ella Rosa (Graber) Saurer (1883 - 1963)
- her daughter, Lela Mabel (Saurer) Ritchie (1913 - 1991)
- her son, my father, Donald John Ritchie (living)

One of my mystery pictures is one taken at a studio in Switzerland.  I believe that Rudy is the youngest man in this picture [so the one all the way to the right]  Based on a writeup in a local Wayne Co, Ohio history it would appear that only Rudy and one of his sisters came to this county.  Is this picture Rudy and his brothers before he left?  I know that none of these men is his father as I have a picture of Rudy's parents. This picture comes to me from my Grandmother, so there are many choices as far as Swiss relatives, but the young man looks like Rudy to me.

Rudy was a farmer and was one of the early swiss cheese makers in the county.  I just love this picture of Rudy with a cow!  [Unfortunately I don't know the cow's name.]  
I have a newspaper article that tells a little bit about Rudy's early cheese-maker days. I need to track down and see if I can find the origins of that picture.  It's so great that the name the people in the picture so I know that Rudy is the man standing there to the left.

Re-reading this article just brings back a question that occurred to me when I was writing about Rudy's wife, Emma.  The Graber farm was eventually farmed by Rudy's oldest daughter and her husband, Ella & John Saurer.  I wonder why one of the boys didn't get the farm?  Reading this article shows that the youngest son Raymond was a farmer.  He was 20 and married when his father died.  I MUST get to Wayne County and look at (1) Land records and (2) see if I can find Rudy's will.

This is the last picture I have of Rudy.  Based on the family picture taken at the same time I believe it was around 1908.

I am also fortunate to have the large, oval pictures of Rudy and Emma taken at this same time - the kind with the curved glass.  My Aunt Laura, their youngest child, had these pictures.  I remember visiting her once with my Grandmother.  I was a teenager at the time and just getting "into" genealogy.  Aunt Laura showed me the book that she had with older pictures and we talked about her father.  Then she showed me the big pictures [they were in a closet] and I said, "Oh I LOVE those."  She looked at me and said, "What would YOU do with them if you had them?"  I told her I would put them up on the wall in my bedroom - and she gave them to me!  And they on my bedroom wall right now.

Even his obituary highlights his cheese making.  This obituary also comes from my grandmother, neatly trimmed so I have no indication of the paper in which it appeared.  One more item for my research-in-Ohio list.