Introducing my maternal line

My Great grandparent’s from Mum’s side have been rather interesting to research, as two were from Aberdeenshire, Scotland and the others have links to the counties of Worcestershire, Shropshire, Leicestershire and Yorkshire. The occupations uncovered on these lines are very different to my Dad’s lines – Carpet Weavers, Coopers and Granite Quarrying. However this line has certain done fair bit of immigration/travel across the globe, in particular USA, Canada, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.


This line is particularly interesting as they have travelled the most through the occupation of quarrying granite during the late 1800s and early 1900s. My great grandfather James Reidford Ritchie (1878 – 1950), his brother John Cameron Ritchie (1879 – 1945) and their father John Ritchie (1852 – 1928) were Quarrymen. For many years granite stone has been used to build many town and cities, from roads to harbours particularly in Aberdeen and Hong Kong. Luckily for the Ritchie family, both my 2x great grandfather John and 2x great uncle John Cameron kept a journal about the quarrying business and their global travels. They both deposited the journals with newspaper/magazine publisher of Quarryman’s Journal. The journals were also distributed around the relatives from Canada to England and Scotland. The journals provide a fascinating insight on how they travelled and general lifestyle in the countries they worked in. So thought I would use this blog site to publish some excerpts.


Another line from Aberdeenshire, mainly Peterculter and have spread to places like Canada and Australia. I have not concentrated much on this line, as quite a few of relatives are doing this, so hopefully they may be able to provide info for this website.


I have traced this family line to Leicester, Leicestershire and Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire. I have 3 generations of Coopers who were all named John Warwick. Their special carpentry skills allowed them to make barrels for storing alcohol beverages. I understand from the family that one of coopers was given freedom of Leicester but not found any proof of that yet.


Finally the Silk line comes originally from Kidderminster, Worcestershire and they were Carpet Weavers. I was fortunate with this line in terms of certain certificates being passed down several generations.  This line has become a bit complicated due to two connections to the Ritchie line. My grandmother’s first cousin had married a Ritchie and then she married the Ritchie sibling 3 years later thus becoming sister in laws. A further complication I discovered was 2 silk brothers marrying 2 sisters of a Hardwick family from Stone, Worcestershire. The Silks have also immigrated across the pond, to both USA and Canada. The research has been confirmed with several DNA matches from Ancestry.


  1. Really interesting to read about our shared family history as a descendent of the Ritchie’s too, with my grandfather being John Cameron Ritchie. So looking forward to reading more of your blog Debbie, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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