Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Thomas Ritchie[1]

Male 1812 - 1884  (72 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Thomas Ritchie 
    Born 1812  Traquair, , Peebles, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    FindAGrave https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/227781187 
    Injury story 
    Immigration 1831  , Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Land - Directory 1864  North Dumfries Concession 08 Lot 29, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Residence 1868  North Dumfries Concession 08 Lot 29, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation 1871  North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Farmer 
    Residence 1871  North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    C. Presb. 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-304058 
    Died 30 Jun 1884  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Cause: Bright's Disease 6 months 
    Buried Pioneer Pergola Cemetery, St. Andrew's Park, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I304058  Generations
    Last Modified 11 Jun 2024 

    Father James Ritchie,   b. 1785, of, Traquair, , Peebles, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Feb 1848, , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years) 
    Mother Charlotte Nicol,   b. CA 1785,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 15 Jan 1808  Gattanside, Melrose, , Roxburgh, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F45367  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Helen Barrie,   b. 16 Aug 1815, Yarrow, , Selkirk, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Aug 1868, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Married 1835  [4
    Children 
     1. Margaret Ritchie,   b. 1838, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Jun 1879, Stanley Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 41 years)
     2. James Ritchie,   b. 1839, , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jun 1901, Howick Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)
     3. George Ritchie,   b. Sep 1842, , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Mar 1843, , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 0 years)
     4. Charlotte Ritchie,   b. Jan 1848, , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jul 1848, , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 0 years)
     5. Esther Ritchie,   b. 1852, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 11 Jun 2024 
    Family ID F45368  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • THE first settlers of Dumfries were generally of a superior class. With few exceptions, they had received a good education at the Parochial Schools of their native land, and many of them brought with them to Canada a thirst for knowledge which even the necessities of bush life could not eradicate. This led to very early endeavours to combine instruction with amusement during their leisure hours.

      It will surprise many to learn, however, that as early as 1834, when clearings were but few and far between, and when the wolf and bear were not unfrequent visitors, that a Debating society was in full blast during the winter evenings. Such was the fact„ however, and long and excit-ing were the discussions which took place.

      The scene of these intellectual combats was the home Mr. John Reid, after whom the clachan of Reidsville has been called, and who only passed away to his rest a few months ago. The members of the society were Messrs. John Black, John Reid, Thomas and James Dalgliesh, William Veitch, Alex. Turnbull, Thomas Ritchie, William Hastie, Andrew Mathieson, James Cunningham, Andrew Elliott, John Currie, John Johnston, George Cunningham, Alex. Beckett, James Oliver, Thomas Cleghorn, and occasionally a few others. A majority of these gentlemen still survive, and the mere recital of their names will awaken in the minds of those acquainted with them, many pleasing, and possibly some sad, reminiscences of the past.

      It is needless to say that this Society was an exceedingly vigorous one, and that the questions discussed were characteristic of the time. Among them were the following:
      (1) Which is most benefit to mankind, Agriculture or Commerce ?
      (2) Whether is the profane man or the hypocrite most injury to society?
      (3) Which is the most destructive element, fire or water?
      (4) Whether does wood or iron most benefit mankind ? and
      (5) Would a ship made of iron sink or swim?

      The debates upon these and similar subjects, which, in the absence of candles, sometimes took place by the light of burning pine knots, were characterised by deep interest and not a little talent, and, to use the language of one of the participants: "Nothing could exceed the enjoyment of these gatherings."

      The annual dinner of the Debaters was an occasion never to be forgotten. It was also held at Mr. Reid's house, but the viands were provided by the members of the Society generally. It could not boast of the cuisine of Delmonico, nor of bills of fare in French and perfume. It was considered, however, a veritable feast at that time. The Society unitedly purchased a sheep. That was the first step. From this was made soup, a haggis-the oat-meal for which had to be brought from a drug store in Dundas and roast and boiled joints. Add to this description, a few " cakes of the period," and you have the dinner, gastronomically considered, in all its glory

      It was, however, "the feast of reason and flow of soul" which followed, that gave the occasion its princi-pal attraction. The speeches-the songs-the hilarity-can be better imagined than described. As an illustration of the mirthful spirit which prevailed, it may be mentioned that, on one occasion, whilst ladling out huge platefuls of the steaming haggis, John Black, the chairman, vigorously recited Burns' address to that famous dish:

      "Fair, fa your honest, sonsie face,
      Great chieftain o' the puddin' race;
      Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
      Painch, tripe or thairm,
      Weel are ye wordy of a grace
      As lang's my arm."

      Nothing could better illustrate the character of the early settlers of Dumfries than efforts at intellectual improvement under such formidable difficulties. It is not too much to say of them, that no part of Canada has been settled by a class of men of greater physical and mental energy. "None but Lowland Scotchmen would ever have cleared North Dumfries," is a remark which has frequently been made. This may be an exaggeration. But those who remember how heavily timbered, how stony and how swampy its rugged hills and valleys were forty years ago, will readily admit, that only the highest courage, and most indomitable energy and perseverance, could have made the township what it is today in the same space of time. Had their work to be done over again, could a magician's wand once more make Dumfries the tangled forest it was when this history began, we venture to say their descendants would never undertake to perform it!

      Reminiscences of the Early History of Galt and the Settlement of Dumfries in the Province of Ontario, by James Young, 1880 Toronto: Hunter, Rose

      ____________________

      Death of Mr. Thomas Ritchie

      The death of this gentleman, which occurred on Monday evening last, at the residence of Mr. Thos. Dalgleish in this town, can not be said to have been unexpected. For months he had been a very severe sufferer and frequently, during that time, his life was despaired of. Mr. Ritchie was born in the town of Peebles, Peeblesshire, Scotland, and came to this country in 1831. On arriving here, he entered the service of the original founder of the Dickson Estate, the first Wm. Dickson and was with him for about nine years. During this time he purchased the farm near Ayr, and on leaving Mr. Dickson, he went on to it, taking his share of all the trials of the early settlers' life. While living there he married his late wife, a sister of the Messrs. Barrie, of North Dumfries. Two of his children died young, - his daughter, Mrs. Robert Sudden, a few years ago, - leaving as sole survivor, Mr. James Ritchie, of Balmore, County of Huron.

      The deceased gentleman was very widely known in this section and enjoyed the warm friendship and personal regard of all who knew him intimately. He was possessed of good abilities, was a diligent reader and consequently was a very intelligent, pleasing companion. He visited Scotland either twice of thrice since he first emigrated. On his first voyage here he was twelve weeks on the ocean, and it was always a fruitful topic of conversation with him, the wonderful revolution which steam had made in ocean travel. "Twelve weeks the first time I came over and now in ten or eleven days from leaving home I can be back in the scenes of my boyhood." The last trip he took to Scotland seemed to lay the foundation of the illness from which he died. While in Scotland he was not well and on the way out he caught a very severe cold, and when he landed back in Galt his friends were pained to see that he had failed greatly. Since then his sufferings at times have been very great. They were borne with great patience and quiet submission; such a thing as a complaint was never heard from him. As long as he could he moved around amongst his friends and showed to them a serene cheerfulness. Mr. George Bruce, whose death we noticed last week, and Mr. Ritchie, for many years were close friends and companions. Of those who crossed the Atlantic on the same voyage as Mr. Ritchie, there are yet living in this section, Mr. Wm. Hardy, of Ayr, and Mr. Walter Heastie, of North Dumfries.

      Galt Reporter Jul 4 1884 pg 1

  • Sources 
    1. [S530] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge - Pioneer Pergola (formerly St. Andrews Presbyterian) CC#4488 Internet Link.
      In memory of/ James Ritchie/ who died in Feb. 1848/ aged 62 years/ Also of the children of/ Thomas & Helen Ritchie/ George died in March 1843/ aged 6 months/ Charlotte died in July 1848/ aged 6 months

    2. [S330] Directory - ON, Waterloo - 1864 - County of Waterloo gazetteer and general business directory for 1864.

    3. [S355] Census - ON, Waterloo, North Dumfries - 1871, Div. 2, Page 62.

    4. [S1778] Census - ON, Waterloo, North Dumfries - 1861, Div 3 Page 27.

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1812 - Traquair, , Peebles, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 1831 - , Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLand - Directory - 1864 - North Dumfries Concession 08 Lot 29, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1868 - North Dumfries Concession 08 Lot 29, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farmer - 1871 - North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - C. Presb. - 1871 - North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: Bright's Disease 6 months - 30 Jun 1884 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Pioneer Pergola Cemetery, St. Andrew's Park, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth