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Redpath/Ridpath/Reidpath Family Newsletter
1Q February 2003
Table of Contents:
Web Site News
Meet the Family
Family Reunion - Ontario
Family Reunion - Colorado
Query for Alice Redpath
'Redpath Roots' : A Report about Researches into the Scottish roots of the Redpaths
This issue of the Redpath/Ridpath/Reidpath newsletter is a little late to press due to technical difficulties, so thanks to everyone for their patience. I can guarantee it is worth the wait. though, with great stories, reunions coming up, and family history lessons continued in the series by Robert U Redpath, III.
Web Site News
In between newsletter issues, many family members are communicating, telling stories, asking for connections, and just generally getting to know each other at the Forum hosted at the Redpath/Ridpath/Reidpath website. Go to redpath.org , ridpath.org , or reidpath.org and select Forum from the top menu. Check it out, you may be surprised at who else is there and what they have to say. You may even be able to connect again with long lost relatives. See you at the Forum!
Meet the Family
Michael Redpath - New York City, USA
Hello. My name is Michael Redpath and I was born in Brooklyn in 1963 to John P. and Gladys Redpath. My grandparents were John and Ann Redpath. I have a brother, John V. Redpath and a sister, Donna Redpath Smith. I married Jennifer Sitler-Redpath in April, 2002 and we live in Breezy Point, New York. We are expecting twins in May, 2003. Quick work, huh?
A little bit about myself: I am a New York City Firefighter presently working in Manhattan's upper east side. During the World Trade Center attacks I arrived on the scene in the early afternoon of September 11th and over the next 6 months I spent 50 days working there in the recovery effort. My neighborhood lost 70 people that day and my firehouse lost 9 good men.
I grew up mostly on the beach in Breezy Point, NY fishing, surfing, and swimming. I also enjoy snowboarding, hockey, and playing the bass guitar. I have a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design and in addition to my firefighter duties, I also am involved in designing furniture. Those interested can take a look at my website: www.nycFunkArt.com .
I was happy to see how many Redpaths are around even though New York only seems to have a few. I would love to find out how my branch of the family arrived in New York City. If anyone has any information for me or to say hello, please feel free to contact me at nycFunkArt@cs.com .
Charlotte Redpath - Leeds, England
Charlotte Redpath (10) of Leeds is a T.V. star. She appears in the new BBC Drama series "Down To Earth" Series 3. She plays 9 year old "Lucy Brewer" daughter of Ian Kelsey (Emmerdale/Casualty) and Step daughter of Angela Griffin (Coronation St/Cutting It). The family appear from episode 4 (23rd feb 2003)
This was Charlottes 1st ever audition and she has been on local Radio and TV promoting the programme and being interviewed as she is so young.
Family Reunion - Redpath - Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
Hello from Collingwood, Ontario.
Here is an announcement for the Newsletter about the 50th annual Redpath reunion being held in Collingwood, Ontario.
DATE: Saturday, June 14th, 2003
PLACE: First Presbyterian Church, 200 Maple Street, Collingwood, Ontario
TIME: Anytime after 3:00 p.m. Dinner is approx. 4:30 p.m.
Pot Luck: Dishes, Cutlery and Beverages supplied.
If you have any questions you can call Betty Sharpe (Redpath) at 705-444-7348 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or even snail mail at 404-460 Ontario Street, Collingwood, Ontario, L9Y 4E5
We would be glad to have you in attendance and see if or where you fit in to our side of the family.
Family Reunion - Ridpath-Morton - Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
This is to announce the Ridpath-Morton Family Reunion. It will take place in Grand Junction, Colorado on or about August 2nd, 2003.
Wayne F. Ridpath
Query for Alice Redpath submitted by Joy Campbell, Queensland, Australia
Hi! My name is Joy Campbell and I live in Burrum Heads, Queensland, Australia
My Interest in the Redpath is - Alice Redpath married Nicholas Peterson in the 1790's in Northumberland and their daughter Isabella married my Joseph Campbell. I can not find their marriage but their son Alexander born in 1839 and baptised in 1841 is my husband's great grandfather. Alexander came to Australia and married here in 1866. Should you have information regarding Alice it would be greatly appreciated.
Regards, Joy Campbell
'Redpath Roots': A Report about Researches into the Scottish roots of the Redpaths - by Robert U Redpath, III - Book 1, Pages 9-18
Related Redpaths in the USA
Recently a lovely lady, Elspeth Ewan, who belongs to the Border Family History Society phoned to say that some other Redpaths were asking about Robert Redpath in Maxton graveyard. This led to a telephone introduction to Mary Jane Burdette from Michigan. Mary Jane is related to one of Fafa's elder sisters, Mary Redpath Hogg. Mary Jane Burdette is, by the way, married to a member of WMR's Yale class and her sons have gone to Yale. She has provided a number of pictures of the first Redpaths to come to America. Richland, Michigan and Kalamazoo are Redpath epicentres and you can find most of them, including Fafa and Sarah Redpath, buried in Richland cemetery.
Mary Jane Burdette is our (RUR3's/NMR's/WMR's/JRB's) third cousin. She has provided me with the complete family trees of her family and she has mounted these on a computer programme. We correspond and hope to continue completing the entire family tree after emigration to the USA.
Emigration to the United States
Finding out where the Redpaths came from in Scotland, trying to understand why they left Scotland and more recently what they did after they came to America links pretty well. Our Redpath roots are rural; we come from a very feudal part of Scotland with large landholdings where there essentially two classes of people-those who owned the land ('lairds') and those who tilled it and raised sheep ('tenants'). We come from the latter class; however, being a farm steward meant not only knowing about farming and sheep raising but also about bookkeeping and accounts. And the Scottish education was democratic and rigorous: Fafa's Census entry was 'Scholar'. And there was a strong religious orientation with our ancestor Robert acting as a lay preacher in nearby St Boswells. No doubt Fafa was influenced by his example.
Their roots and livelihood in the land continued in Michigan as Fafa's brothers all became farmers in Martin County. Fafa himself pursued his studies in theology, eventually obtaining his doctorate at Union Theological Seminary.
Accounts vary as to exactly when the Redpath's arrived but it's clear that didn't came all at once. One version says that Christine Purvis Redpath and her two oldest sons came first in 1851 or 1852 leaving her other children behind, including Fafa. The family eventually saved enough money to bring him over to the US in the steerage of a sailing ship, a 57 day trip. Fafa himself said he 1landed' at Kalamazoo on the 29th of July 1858.
What is known by Mary Jane Burdette, who is in contact with other members of the clan,is that John, Robert's elder brother, came with his wife, Janet Purves (Christian's elder sister) in 1834 to Canada, stayed for three years, then moved to Caledonia New York and in 1848 came to Martin Michigan. It is possible that James, Robert's son, came to Canada first.
We know that Ninian and his family were in America at the time of the 1850 Census--whether this was before or after his brother Robert's death in May is not known.
It is also known that James Redpath, Robert's son, came back to bring his sister Mary Redpath Hogg and her family over to Michigan after Henry Hogg her husband died in 1871.
The actual dates of entry into the US can only be established by locating the citizenship petitions and the Michigan records are held in the Chicago branch of the National Archives. Otherwise it is extremely tedious to peruse the microfiche of the passenger lists, which I have done in Boston and New York.
However, I recently discovered that copies of all the censuses ever taken for all states in the Union are held in the branch of the National Archives on 380 Trapelo Road in Waltham, barely three miles from 123 Lincoln Road. Within a matter of minutes I was able to locate a 'reunion' of Redpaths in Martin Michigan in the 1850 Census. The entries in the 1850 Census (see Appendix A- 9) were as follows:
Watson in County of Allegan, Michigan, 5th day of September 1850
Ninian D Redpath aged 44 born Scotand
Maria " aged 44 born England
Jane " aged 13 born Scotland
Mary " aged 10 born Scotland
Dorothy " aged 7 born Michigan
John " aged 3/12 of a year
John's birthdate indicates that, at minimum, the family had arrived by June but it is more likely that Ninian came over earlier than May 1850 (Robert's death). James Redpath was not present at the Census date and a letter from him explains why:
"I tried farming for a "spell' as they say out there; but, after a month or two of clearing, "concluded" that I was not born a little ? to labor in the sun + struck for freedom and the nearest printing office."
James Redpath's biography indicates that he first went to Detroit after leaving the farm, but a search through the Detroit 1850 Census is necessary to prove this.
The 1850 Census also showed that Ninian's elder brother, John, who had left Scotland in 1834 had arrived in Michigan via Canada and New Caledonia NY. The Census records show:
John Redpath aged 51 born in Scotland Value of real estate $2000
Jennet " aged 51 "
James " aged 21 "
Mary " aged 19 "
George " aged 17 "
Margaret " aged 12 New York
Jane " aged 10 New York
James Redpath aged 57 Scotland Value of real estate $500
Elizabeth Purves aged 83 Scotland Value of real estate $800 born in Scotland
This shows that John brought with him the mother of his wife Janet (spelled phonetically 'Jennet'). Also living with him in 1850 was his elder brother James, who may have also left with John in 1834. So it appears that Robert Redpath's three brothers all went to the United States and they were there some 17 years or more before James, Robert's eldest son, brought Christine Purves Redpath and her family to the United States.
Very unfortunately, the 1860 Census was destroyed in a fire. However, by the 1870 Census, our 'subclan' appear in the Census and a copy of the form is appended. We can see that John (Fafa) is a student and all the others are farmers. They live in Richland in the county of Kalamazoo. Nearby lived Elizabeth Redpath Telfer, the eldest daughter of Robert and Christine/Christian and I have appended a copy of the 1870 Census form.
In sum, the only authoritative way of finding the exact entry date into the United States is either by perusing the shipping lists, which is incredibly tedious and unfruitful so far or by finding the citizenship petition, presumably in the state of Michigan--the records of these are held in the Chicago branch of the National Archives.
Comments about first names
The following are some comments about the naming of children, some of which are obvious and not terribly interesting (except to a social anthropologist, which is what I am).
* A close look at the family tree shows a remarkable continuity of first names for the men: every first born son is named James in the four Scottish generations.
* As happens in most families, children are named after fathers, mothers, aunts and uncles and this pattern obtains with our
Redpath ancestors. Taking the women, Christian Tully Redpath names her first daughter, Christian. In the next generation, Margaret Whitlaw names her daughter Jean, after her mother Jean Gedgud.
* Robert and Christian name their first daughter Elizabeth after her mother, Betty Spiers. James is named after Robert's father or else his eldest brother. Alexander is named after Robert's next elder brother who died early. Mary is named after Robert's mother; Janet after Christian's elder sister who married John Redpath. And finally John is named after Robert's nearest
* It is interesting that our matriarch was baptised 'Christian Purves, was recorded as 'Christina' when her twins, John and William were born and was recorded 'Christine' in the 1850
The numbers of Redpaths who migrated to the United States
I thought it interesting to count up the numbers of Redpaths who emigrated to the United States. These were all children of James Redpath and Mary Lauder.
James Ridpath and Mary Lauder had six children. Of those who got married:
1 John Redpath and Janet Purves had six children Of those who emigrated and were married:
-Elizabeth had seven children
-Mary had three children
-George had three children
-Margaret had two children
-Jane had three children
-James emigrated and stayed single, losing his arm in a threshing machine
-Janet's mother emigrated with John and Janet Total emigrating= 27
2 Robert Redpath and Christian/Christina/Christine Purves had eight children
Of those who emigrated and were married:
- Elizabeth had five children
- George had four children
- Mary had seven children
- Janet had two children
- John had four children
- James emigrated and stayed single
- Alexander emigrated and stayed single
- William (Fafa's twin) emigrated and stayed single Total emigrating=31
3 Ninian Redpath and Maria Main had seven children, all of whom emigrated or were born in the United States. Of those that got married, there is no evidence of any children in the next generation.
Therefore a total of 67 Redpaths descended from James and Mary Ridpath either emigrated or were born in the first wave of emigration. They all eventually settled in Michigan and many are buried there in Richiand Cemetery. James Redpath is possibly buried in Fresh Pond, Long Island, although as his biographer said:
"..pursuant to Redpath's request, it (the casket) was conveyed to Fresh Pond, Long Island, where the last remains were cremated. No concourse of carriages followed him to his last resting place. He had asked that none follow his body as it left its former home, excepting only his brother, John, and three very dear friends."
*Chrissie Soleau was christened 'Christine Purvis Redpath'; this was another way of signalling Bud Redpath's interest in family history, the first being his Princeton thesis about the Upjohns.
So we are essentially of farming stock and mid-Westerners and Michiganers specifically but related to two mavericks who had their noses in their books and came East. Based on this almost wholesale migration of a Scottish family to America1 we have an enormous number of cousins, probably fifth cousins, who are related to the sons and daughters of James Redpath and Mary Lauder. Mary Jane Burdette has provided me with her family's complete up-to-date family tree and she is in touch with other relatives.
Our next step is to take John Redpath's and Bill Redpath's advice and obtain a computer with enough capacity to get on the internet and get in touch with other Redpaths. And maybe some nice volunteer will spend a day in the National Archives in Chicago looking for the citizenship petitions of the Michigan Redpaths.
Maybe we can have a clan gathering; but I'm sorry, there's no tartan we can wear, as Redpaths. But we can, or at some of the younger Redpaths, try tossing the caber.
I end with a quote from William Redpath's Christmas letter to his grandchildren who quoted from Macaulay's History of England
"A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by remote descendants."
I would add a practical point: each generation need at least one person to be the custodian of family history documents. Volunteers to form a queue/line on the left! Please, no shoving!
7 June 2000
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