Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Big Ten, Scottish Immigrants

One line of my family that has a lot of documentation and pictures is the McRitchie line.  This would be my mother's great, great grandparents.
from "The Big Ten" , The MacRitchie or McRitchie Family by Charles V.B. McRitchie:

 The children of this family were referred to as the 'Big Ten' by Charles V. B. McRitchie, grandson of Charles and Jane McRitchie who started compiling the family history over 50 years ago.  He stated that Charles, Jane and family moved from Scotland to Merrickville, Ontario in 1840.  They received Land Deeds to 1200 acres of land in the Rideau River area. 

 Charles McRitchie, born July 31, 1783 in Aberdeenshire, married on December 25, 1814 to Jane Henderson, born June 21, 1790.  Their issue, five daughters and five sons, is hereafter known as "The Big Ten".  Charles and Jane McRitchie immigrated with nine of their ten children to Merrickville, Ontario, Canada, in 1841 and lived and died near Merrickville.

from the notes of CVB McRitchie:

# 1 James, October 16, 1815, sailed the Great Lakes and wintered on farm on 7th Concession, died Jan 19, 1895

#1 - James McRitchie

# 2 Ann McRitchie Mason, born Feb 14, 1817, settled in Easton's Corners, Grenville County, 1848, died Aug 08, 1907

#2 - Ann McRitchie Mason

# 3 Jane McRitchie Maitland, born Oct 12, 1818, settled at Kilmarnock, Lanark County, in 1846, died Jan 18, 1910

The Maitland house in Kilmarnock, Ontario
#3 - Jane McRitchie Maitland

# 4 Charles, born Sept 03, 1820, settled near Bothwell, Ontario, Kent County in 1865, died Mar 06, 1888
# 5 George, born June 02, 1822,  settled at Bothwell, Ontario, Kent County in 1858, died July 18, 1900

#5 - George McRitchie

# 6 Isobella McRitchie Harrison, born Apr 06, 1824, settled near Hanover in  Grey County in 1856, died July 20, 1894
# 7 Alexander, born Oct 25, 1825,  settled at Thamesville, Kent County in 1854, died Nov 28, 1901

#7 - Alexander McRitchie

# 8 William, born Aug 21, 1827,  settled east of Walkerton, Bruce County in 1856, died Jan 01, 1905        # 9 Elizabeth McRitchie Maloney, born Oct 04, 1829,  settled east of Walkerton, Bruce County in 1856, died Dec 26, 1873
# 10 Maria Gibbon McRitchie, born Dec 11, 1832, lived with her parents all her life, took care of her father after her mother died, but #10 died at the home of her sister #3 at Kilmarnock Mar 03, 1869
A gathering of McRitchies at #5's 50th wedding anniversary

I am not sure why they were referred to as the Big Ten.  I don't think they were physically tall people, although from what pictures I've seen, they do appear to have been sturdily built.  Or was it the larger than life personalities?  They do seem to have been quite progressive as citizens in the new land.

Number six, Isabella, is my great great grandmother.  Unfortunately I have yet to find a photograph of her.  I have been fortunate to gather photos of several of the others.

The family first immigrated to the Merrickville area, south of Ottawa, Ontario.  From my research, I've been told that nothing apparently exists of the original homestead.  One of the things I hope to do this summer is to find the exact location and visit the farm if possible.  It would be kind of nostaligic to walk the same soil the Big Ten once did.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.


  1. wow, It is amazing what a google search comes up with. I have no idea of the relationship as I only married into the McRitchie family 23 years ago and the rest of the family don't seem as keen at looking back. I am married to the grandson of Bill McRitchie (Australia) I know he played cricket with Don Bradman and his bother Doug McRitchie played Rugby for Australia in the kangaroos team of 1948-49. That is as far back as it goes :)


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