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Redpath/Ridpath/Reidpath Family Newsletter
3Q August 2002
Table of Contents:
Web Site News
Meet the Family
Jeremy Wayne Pederson
Linda Hazen Rogers
Nan Ferguson and Edith Norah Redpath
Cora E. Ridpath
Clifford Redpath Brown
William John and Mary Redpath
'Redpath Roots' : A Report about Researches into the Scottish roots of the Redpaths
With this edition of our family newsletter we start a series that will span this and several future newsletters: 'Redpath Roots' : A Report about Researches into the Scottish roots of the Redpaths, presented by Robert U Redpath, III.Rob has put together a tremendous amount of research and presented it so that everyone can enjoy this wonderful history lesson.
There are also many other family members sharing their own experiences and information, birth and death announcements, and plenty of items to interest everyone.Please remember to share a copy with any family members who do not have internet access, it is very simple to print the newsletter and mail it or bring it along on your next family visit.And if you haven't provided an article yet, either about yourself or your own part of our family history, now is a good time to get started for articles needed in November's edition.
Web Site News
The Redpath/Ridpath/Reidpath Web Site Forum has been very active, with family members all over the world communicating on a variety of topics.Consider leaving your own note to just say 'Hi!' or to get to know other family members near and far.
Meet the Family
Jeremy Wayne Pederson, Saskatchewan, Canada submitted by Heather Canevaro
I would like to annouce the birth of Jeremy Wayne Pederson, born May 8, 2002, 9 lbs 5 oz., son of Theresa and Terry Pederson, Warman, Saskatchewan, Canada. Jeremy is a 6th generation grandchild of Margaret Redpath Ewan.
Linda Hazen Rogers
My great-great-grandmother was Elizabeth Ridpath Helvey. She was born in Virginia. She married Alfred Martin Helvey and passed over in Santa Paula, California. They had several children, one of which was my great-grandma Emily Helvey Hazen.Emily married Reuben Hazen and they had a bunch of kids,one of which was my absent grandfather (another story) John Hazen.John married my favorite Granny Lucy Caroline Hulett Hazen and they had four sons. One passed over at birth, but my dad Vernon Lucian Hazen was their #1 son. Because of circumstances beyond my granny's control, the three boys were raised by Emily and Reuben Hazen. So I have an idea of what Elizabeth Ridpath was like as I assume Emily was like her mom. My uncle told me she was religious, made them go to church every Sunday. She was sweet and loving, he had nothing bad to say about her. That's my Ridpath connection.
Nan Ferguson and Edith Norah Redpath, Belfast, Northern Ireland submitted by Ken Redpath
Never submitted anything before - Unfortunately my input are two obituaries:
1. Nan Ferguson (nee Redpath) died January 2002 at Nursing home Belfast in her 101 year.Sister and last surviving child of James & Mary Redpath, Cargans, Tandragee, County Armagh and sister to Thomas George Redpath as mentioned below.
2. Edith Norah Redpath died 2 April 2002 at Hospital Belfast aged 84. Wife of the late Thomas George Redpath, originally from Cargans,Tandragee,County Armagh (as mentioned above).
Regards, Ken Redpath - son of the Late Tom & Edith Redpath
Cora E. Ridpath
My name is Cora E. Ridpath. I'm married to Richard L. Ridpath. His fathers name was Emmert C. Ridpath he was married to Joyce Rux. His grand parents names were Thomas Jefferson Ridpath and Cora Ellen Richardson. Any help [looking for ancestors] would be appreciated. My e-mail address is email@example.com
Rob Hopkins, Yukon Territory, Canada
I am busy teaching Linux courses in the Yukon.I sold my car and bought a BMW motorbike and commute to my house 120kms away.No Problem now!
The reason I am writing you is to see if there is something we can do for the old car [Redpath Messenger].It appears that it is one hundred years old in 2002.I received some papers from my grandfathers estate, John Kitchen about the car.Mostly some old technical papers and such.Any info from your end and how would we proceed?Hope all is well.
Clifford Redpath Brown, UK - Effect of the Americas
I have not been much of a traveler, preferring to stick to the shores of old "Blighty", but there have been two major influences in my life from the western side of the Atlantic.
The main influence was what some people see as an accident by this North American guy called Hacket, who wanted to make a waterproof building board made from layers of paper and bitumen. He constructed a big wooden wheel over which he intended to run long reels of paper and pour on the Bitumen. Brilliant idea but imagine the resulting mess, so he went back to the drawing board and substituted Plaster of Paris instead. This time the resulting sandwich worked and so Drywall as you call it over there was born and the idea caught on over in the UK in a modest way in the 1930s. Of course after WW2 radical ideas were needed to increase the countries housing stock to which Plasterboard as it became known in Britain, was ideal. So cheers Mr. Hacket your invention kept me in good employment between 1960/90 and I am sure that if we looked hard enough over here, we might find that we have some Builders called "Hacket".
Did any of you experience that time in your life maybe at around the 30 year mark, when you had young children and more month than money. It all seemed like bed and work with very little in between that didn't cost you cash. At my wife's suggestion I joined the local German class at Night School and to my relief it folded due to lack of numbers after 6 weeks. What about the local Choir - OK gave it a whirl but found quite a few music Snobs. Then I almost fell over my hobby of the last 25 years. Young chap in the office trying to sell tickets for a Cheese and Wine evening to raise church funds and my wife and I might like the entertainment . Wow! it turned out to be a Barbershop Chorus from Leeds and these guys really swept me off my feet with their harmony and razzle-dazzle, which was a c change from the stiff traditional choral work, anyway it appealed to me and I have been hooked ever since. It turned out that the Leeds group where formed following a visit in 1974 by an American Barbershop Chorus who were touring the UK and did a concert in West Yorkshire and from those beginnings the British Association of Barbershop Singers was formed with today's membership of around 2000 men (not to be compared with the US and Canada who have about 50,000 members) Every year singers are crossing backwards and forwards over the "big pond" to enjoy singing and also over the North Sea to Holland and Sweden where there are thriving Associations. The majority of our music is produced in the United States and to whom we reverently refer to as "The Society". This is SPEBSQSA who have premises and full time staff running quite a big organisation and have spread this American style of singing across the world.
My sister and I have always been able to sing and I thing my younger brother could almost grunt in tune. My son also sang Barbershop and won Gold Medals in the UK Quartet contests and consequently his children can also sing. My mother used to take us to the Methodist Church when we were kids and we used to let rip on the hymns there. All Mums family were in choirs and had some Welsh blood in them through her mothers side. I never heard a note even in anger from my father, who's mother was the Redpath connection. What do you think of the story sofa Ed?
William John and Mary Redpathsubmitted by Ronna Tradewell
William John Redpath
born 1840, Ireland
died 1922, Ireland
Parents:Robert Redpathand Jane Mellon
born 1853, Partick, Glasgow,
died 12 Sept, 1923,Belfast, Ire.
Parents: Daniel Lawther
William John Redpath was born in Ireland about 1840. His parents were Robert Redpath and Jane (Mellon).
William John Redpath, according to the 1881 census of England was a boiler caulker. William most likely worked at the shipyards in Govan.He attained the rank of Foreman, journeyman by 1882. On his marriage certificate to Mary his second wife, he was a widower.William had seven children from his first marriage to Martha Thomson.On the 1881 census,he was living at37 Anderson St., Govan Lanark, Scotland.The seven children from his first marriage to Martha, about 1860, were Robert , William, Mary Ann, Martha, Sarah, Jane, Helen.Martha Thomson died between 1875 and 1880.In 1882,William married Mary Lawther.
Mary Lawther was also widowed and previously married to a Mr. Walker with whom she had one known child Christine.The marriage certificate states she too, was a widow, occupation- servant.
William and Mary had two more children that I have discovered so far.Mary my grandmother, born 1885 Bells Hill, Scotland and James, born 1883
When their daughter Mary was 5 years old, they moved to Belfast.Mary Lawther Redpath died in 1923 and was buried in Dundonald Cemetery which is the oldest cemetery in Belfast.My dad was named after William John Redpath.When my dad was stationed overseas during World War II he paid a visit to Marys' grave in Belfast, Ireland.
Mary Redpath came to Canada in 1912 and married Charles Burnett in Toronto, B.C. Canada.Mary and Charlie moved to Victoria and raised their family, William, my dad, Edward, Eleanor, Christine, Margaret, May.
I started researching my family about two years ago.I have been having quite an adventure finding everybody.Thanks to a Redpath newsletter about the Irish Redpaths, I was able to track down William John and Martha Redpath's children.The internet has also put me in contact with third generation cousins Rockey family and also my Dorlands.Still trying to find my Burnetts and Tooths. But I have only just begun…….
Please note the interesting obituary that my Dad saved.I do not know which paper it was in but I assume it was in Belfast, Ireland.James was obviously an interesting character and belonged to quite a few organizations such as the Two Bird Club.
James Redpath, born, 1883 unknown,
died13 Dec, 1956,
buried Roselawn Cemetery
Mary Redpath, born 1885, Partick Glasgow
Died 1987, Victoria, B.C.
Photo about 1911, probably taken in Toronto.
Renville Redpath submitted by Cathy Lampshire, California, USA
Renville REDPATH was born 23 January 1873 in Hartford City, Blackford County, Indiana, USA.He was the son of William Henry REDPATH (b. 1843 Indiana, d. 1925 Colorado) and Nancy Margaret EDINGTON (b. 1843 Ohio, d. 1929 Colorado.)
I have searched for a spouse and children for Renville with no luck.As a matter of fact, I had precious little information on him until just recently.I found a website with the names of men sentenced to the Colorado State Penitentiary. Not knowing who of my ancestors may have had a criminal past; I decided to enter the uncommon surnames of those ancestors who had lived in Colorado.Much to my surprise, two surnames appeared and one of them was REDPATH!
I sent for the prison record of the Renville Redpath listed.The record states that he was sentenced on 6 May 1930 to 3 years in the Colorado State Penitentiary for the crime of “grand larceny.”I was also told that there is an accompanying “mug shot.”Since no one in the family has a photo of him, I immediately requested the photo.A “mug shot” is better than no photo at all!
Now, I know there may be some of you who would rather not know about the criminal past of your ancestors, but through the prison record of Renville Redpath I was able to learn more about him.I learned that he still lived in the same county where his parents had died and in which he had grown up, reaffirmed his birthplace, and supplied his occupation.His prison record stated that he had no wife or children by his current age of 55 years old, which would explain why I never found any evidence of them.Knowing the date of his imprisonment, I am now able to search old newspapers on microfilm for articles about his crime.
So, the next time you find an unusual record source on the Internet or elsewhere, don’t think “Oh, not in my family.”Go ahead and search the records.You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you too have a “jailbird” in your family.And, if you are really lucky, you may even find a “mug shot”!
'Redpath Roots': A Report about Researches into the Scottish roots of the Redpaths - by Robert U Redpath, III - Book 1, Pages 1-8
Researching one's ancestors is an uncertifiable obsession which, perhaps fortunately few are afflicted by; others may feel that they suffer from the obsessor's affliction. Indeed I swore I would never search my ancestors; but during one moment when I needed relief from my studies in Manchester Library in the autumn of 1969, I looked up the name Redpath in the card index and found a copy of a Royal Genealogical Society report on the Ridpath family, read it, phoned John Redpath Jr, just back from Vietnam and stationed in Scotland, and suggested that we visit the village of Redpath in the Scottish borders.
That autumn John, Cecily and I visited the village of Redpath as well as historic Melrose Abbey where the heart of Robert the Bruce, Scotland's greatest hero who defeated the English at Bannockburn, is purported to be buried. Melrose Abbey was also the place where John's namesake, John (aka ‘Fafa’ and redubbed 'Fafner' by the mischievous Cecily) Redpath, recalled being taken with his family by trap and horses to visit on day trips.
That half-serious attempt to locate the Scottish Redpaths inspired me, with Cecily's support, to engage in what has turned out to be a very interesting voyage back in time. Many hours have been spent in the Scottish Record Office in Edinburgh as well as visits to graveyards in the Border area. Our search was not easy, complicated by the fact that there are literally hundreds of Redpath's in the parish records and the name is very common in the Borders.
But it was on Sunday the 4th January 1970 at about four o'clock when trudging wearily up and down the aisles of the snowbound Maxton graveyard, with wheeling ravens silhouetted against the dying day, and feeling very much like Good King Wenceslas’ squire*, that Cecily found Robert Redpath the first.
Cecily's vaunted attention to detail paid off-she looked with her trusty flashlight/torch below the top line of the epitaph and read:
“This tombstone erected by Adam Thomson, tenant Rutherford to the memory of Robert Redpath1 Farm Steward, who died at Burnside on 24 May 1850 aged 48 years”
I had seen this tombstone but only read the first line and thought that Adam Thomson was buried underneath.
This was the first real Redpath root and very exciting it was to find Robert Redpath. And, through the 1841 Census, we located the actual semi-detached tiny cottage that Robert and Christine Purvis Redpath and their eight children, including our ancestor, John, lived in years ago. We visited that cottage with John and took pictures of ourselves with the shepherd.
*"Sire, the night is darker now, And the wind blows stronger; Fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer"
Knowing where Robert was buried, we looked for him in the 1841 Census and found where he lived: Rutherford Burnside. And we found out his occupation. Robert was the farm steward for Mr Adam Thomson, the Owner of the Rutherford Burnside estate. The farm steward's cottage is the top-ranked of a number of semi-detached cottages which serve a huge land-holding in Rutherford Burnside; then follows the cottage for the shepherd, then labourer, labourer, labourer, etc. It was clear to us that our ancestor came from a feudal system of land ownership.
The next steps took place back in the Scottish records office located in Edinburgh where we spent many hours copying down every mention of a Redpath (or a variation of the name) on index cars. We now have a source which other Redpaths use.
We have tried to be rigorous in our research and only claim ancestral links where we are pretty certain. We've done pretty well in going back four generations in Scotland. Prior to the early 1700's parish records are very patchy. Equally, we may just be related to some of the early Redpath references, so we have included the early mentions of the name, taken from the Society of Genealogists library-just in case we are related. But mainly there are some amusing references.
Origins of 'Redpath'
The surname 'Redpath' is a Scottish Border name. As to the derivation of the name itself there are unfortunately several, none authoritative. The Historical Research Center says:
"The Scottish surname Redpath or Ridpath is of local origin, that is, it belongs to the category of surnames derived from the place where the initial bearer once lived or held land. In this instance, the name indicates 'one who came from the lands, now the village, of Redpath (reedy passage) in the parish of Earlston in Berwickshire. The local pronunciation of the name is Rippath"
Another theory of the name's origin says:
"There is nothing obscure about the etymology, the meaning being literally RED PATH from the colour of the local soil whose striking redness is reflected in the names Red Hill and Red Brae for topographical features in the neighbourhood."
However, there is yet one more theory of the origin of our name. David Redpath, one of seven unrelated Redpaths listed in our telephone directory who lives in nearby Amersham, gave me a copy of an inscription written by his father, William Redpath, to his grandchildren and included in his book Heritage of Britain, published by the Readers Digest in 1975:
“Christmas 1975 - To my grandchildren, Jane, Rebecca and Andrew William Redpath trusting they will become worthy citizens of our great country, with its magnificent history and significant ceremonial....
You are Northumbrian Anglo Saxons, concentrated in the area Berwick-on-Tweed, Norham-on-Tweed and Wooler -and penetrating to Alnwick. The Saxons came in long boats like the craft the fishermen in the North East use today, settled in the vicinity of the estuaries of the Tweed, Aln, Blyth and Tyne.
The name was derived from Redden (Rhieden), 'to cut'; peth (paedth)-pith, 'a way'. Saxons with 'redd', 'rod' or 'rad' in their names were mainly advisers to the King. The name probably meaning a woodcutter and carpenter, is pronounced 'repeth' in Northumberland and 'rippeth' on the Scottish side of the Tweed.
In the l3th-l4th century, the head of the clan was one William Redpath. His home was Redpath Castle at Redpath (still a hamlet with a small number of cottages and farms).
William Redpath was one of the chieftains who refused to go to London to pay homage to King Edward I. When the King went to Scotland to receive homage from other chiefs, the recalcitrants were compelled. Redpath castle was razed to the ground".
In conclusion, there is unanimity about the PATH part of our name--it is a way or path; many other places in Berwickshire include 'path' in their place name. However, there is disagreement as to whether the RED connotes the colour of the earth (which is dramatically red as one crosses into Scotland) or instead the concept of 'reeds/reedy way'.
Variations in the spelling of the name
Anyone searching for any family name in the Scottish parish records (now held on computer in Registry House, Edinburgh) realises pretty quickly that their family name had a variety of spellings; the name of REDPATH is no exception. Cecily and I discovered the some of the variations in the spelling of REDPATH in the parish records:
REDPATH REIDPEATH RIPETH RYPATH
REDPETH REIDPETH RI PATH REDEPATH
REDPITH RIDPATH RIPPATH
REEDPATH RIDEPATH RIPPETH
REEDPETH RI DPETH DE REDPETH
REIDPATH RIDEPAITH REDPECHT
These variations in the spelling are due to the fact that people spelled as they heard a name pronounced. This problem is not restricted to our family. We laboured in vain trying to find the birthplace of Ninian Redpath1s wife, referred to as 'Maria Maine'. It was only with the help of the Berwick upon Tweed archivist who said "Try looking for Maria Mein" that we found her in Northumberland, south of the Scottish border.
However, I refer you to a fascinating document in Appendix A23-24 where J W Ridpath, referring to 'our' James Redpath, as well as other eminent Ridpath's maintains that the real spelling should be 'Ridpath' and not 'Redpath
This crest would have been awarded to a Redpath laird many years ago. In fact, if you look at a map of the clans, easily purchasable in Edinburgh, you will note that REDPATH appears next to the eminent family HOME; however, we are a Lowland family and therefore do not have a tartan/kilt. Disappointing this, but, of course, Campbell and Shaw are famous highland clans which entitle us to wear their colours.
The Redpath family crest is described by the Historical Research Center as: Argent, a chevron engrained between three boars heads erased gules. The heraldic translation is: The chevron was usually granted to one who had achieved some notable enterprise and indicates Protection and Defense. The boar is a symbol of Courage, Fertility, Bravery and Perserverence. Argent (white) represents the Moon and denotes Purity, Innocence and Obedience. Gules (red) symbolises the planet Mars and indicates Military Fortitude and Magnanimity.
The Redpath land was lost by un-related Ridpath, apparently due a reckless investment in the South Sea Bubble and this is a cautionary tale for all Redpath speculators.
Redpaths in history
The Society of Genealogists in London has a voluminous report of all the mentions of Redpath's in the early Scottish records. It is not possible (short of dna testing) to say who we are related to. However, I have extracted some of the more interesting Redpaths from that report and include:
"The family name of Ridpath is ... derived from the lands of that name in the county of Berwick. These lands were held of the Crown, having been granted by King Robert I (The Bruce) to his nephew Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, who bestowed them on the Abbot and Monks of Melrose."
That there was a lord of Redpath lands is shown in this quotation:
"The Laird of Redpeth in the Merse was charged by a message from the Lord Governor (Arran) to meet him in Edinburgh on 27 August 1547 This was probably a summons to attend the Governor to the field of Pinkie where the Scots were defeated by the English under Somerset. The battle was fought on 10 September and it would appear that Thomas Redpeth the elder fell in this engagement."
There is a legal record about internicine strife--Redpath against Redpath involving the marvelously-named Tryamour Redpath:
"On 8 February 1581 the said Tryamour complains that notwithstanding caution found by William Redpeth of Greenlaw and Adam Redpeth give straw to keep the peace to William Redpeth of Greenlaw and William Redpeth of Angleraw and their friends of whom the complainer is one, the said William Redpeth of Grenelaw and his sons and others to the number of 12 persons "bodin in
feir of weir with Jedgurgh stavis, swordis, bowis hagbuttis and pistolettis, did on 26th and 30th July last invade the complainers servants in the commmon Mure of Greenlaw and killed a black horse and a white mare valued at £40 and they incurred a penalty of £2000. The Lords of Council remit the question of slaying the horses to the Sheriff of Berwick."
Further evidence that some of the early Redpaths did not distinguish themselves is reflected in an account of work at Berwick on 29 September 1581 for making a gibbet to hang one Robert Rippethe in Tweedmouth--this is a bill for the day's wages and timber and iron for constructing the gibbet.
In November 1595 Roger Redpeth in Rubinstoun and others stole 48 sheep and this confirms the oft quoted adage that when you start tracing ancestors you are likely to find bastards and sheep-stealers. But then this confirms what has been earlier said about the rieving/stealing/plundering that went on in those times.
It appears that two Redpath's caused a certain amount of consternation for Queen Mary of Scots. Here is an account where, in June 1554, two Redpath's 'defected' to the South and Queen Mary wanted them back and wrote to the English Warden to seek their extradiction; and he in turn indicates his willingness to comply but not without doing some 'horse-trading':
"The English Warden answers two requests by the Queen Regent (Mary Queen of Scots) and mentions that certain of the Brounfeilds and Reidpeths have committed slaughter, as fugitives for fear and danger of the laws, and intend to seek refuge within his jurisdiction and promises to apprehend them if they do. and on 1 October thereafter the Queen requests the extradition of inter alios William Redpeth and Adam Redpeth who had fled to the Jurisdiction of the English Warden which he had promised. The Warden reminds the Queen that a traitQr named Pellum had been received into Scotland and not delivered altho' she had been requested to do so."
But then there was at least one Redpath who was in Queen Mary's good books because, eleven years later she complained to the Duchess of Parma, Governor of the Netherlands, of "an injustice done to two Scottis subjects there viz Thomas Reidpeth and Edward Hume citizens of Edinburgh."
It appears that Redpaths were acting for the English Crown in the attempt by the Crown to subdue the Scots during the reign of Henry the Eighth:
“In articles proposed to subdue the realm of Scotland in February 1543-4 it was proposed to send for the chief men of the surnames of Redepathes in Marce to lay in their pledges and to cause them expell all the sirname of Homes and such as will not obey the King."
And here is a test for all English scholars to recall their Old English; even if one translates this, I am left wondering if Thomas is suggesting that his brother marry his widow or perhaps something less involved:
"When Thomas died in August 1567 he left a will which commanded his brother "to be ane fader to my wyff as scho hes bene ane moder to you and all yours. First to your eldest son will fall aneuch and to your second son George I wald ye wes sa guid as to gif him the 300 merks that lyis on side of the Croce and the hous in Kingorne. To your other three laddis ilk ane of thame 200 merkis."
This account gives an idea of the entourage involved in transporting James the First from Edinburgh to Berwick and illustrates that there were trustworthy, responsible Redpaths:
"Robert Redpath constable of Haddington is on 16 April 1617 charged to supervise provision of horse and carts for the conveyance of His Majesty's luggage and to provide 12 carts for that purpose form Dunglas to Seton and on 22 June 3 carts and 6 horses with drawing gear from Holyroodhouse to Berwick."...
And here again, Redpath's seemed to be on the side of the Crown. In an account of Sir Adam Hepburn during the Covenanters struggle with King Charles I in 1646, there appears among the moneys paid out for the use of commanded men and others whose accounts are to come in: paid to Mr Thomas Redpeth his receipt for £16 for his Excellencies use.
J.W Ridpath's article in the appendix (A-23/24) usefully mentions several eminent Red/Ridpaths, some of whom we already know about: George Ridpath author of the 'celebrated Border history of Scotland'; but I didn't know that George was also the inventor of the first system of English stenography, ie shorthand!
I remember reading a very slighting reference to a 'Ridpath1 in Pope's 'Dunciad' (Pope's own personal catalogue of dunces) and it is useful to find the quotes in this appendix and their explanations.
'Our' James Redpath is also referred to ('founder of the Lyceum Bureau') and he agrees with 'J.W' about the spelling of the name. Most of you, especially Wilson Becton (who did his Yale thesis on James Redpath) are already aware of the biography about James Redpath, eldest son of Robert's younger brother, Ninian.* However, Bill Redpath recently discovered The Roving Editor, or talks with slaves in the Southern States edited by John R McKivigan and Grancy and Johnnie Redpath both saw a number of references to James Redpath in The secret six, the true tale of the men who conspired with John Brown by Edward J Renehan Jr. Cecily and Johnnie both feel this account casts a different and less halcyconic light on our ancestor, and on John Brown.
* The life of James Brown by Charles F Homer
So far, with the exception of James Redpath, we have not been able to link our family with George and Philip Ridpath nor with Professor Ridpath, author of the History of the United States, nor for that matter with Ann Redpath, the impressionistic painter, whom we'd all like to be related to, nor with Jean Redpath, who appears occasionally on the Garrison Keilor show, nor with various British sporting heroes (Ian Redpath, Australian cricketer, Brian Redpath, scrum half for Scotland),etc etc.
Nor can we even link with Professor Theo Redpath, Professor of English literature at Cambridge or with William Redpath who has been quoted. The fact that there are six unrelated Redpaths in our local telephone book gives you some idea of the problem. The name is very common here and what we thought would be an easy problem has proved to be more difficult than imagined.
Tracing the family tree
Possibly unfortunately, Cecily and I carried out our genealogical research independent of any family records; this was because we were not aware of them. At a late date, after Grandbob died, we discovered a questionnaire and answers completed by Fafa and Robert, his son (A5-7) as well as a letter written by Grandbob to his Aunt Essica (A14). 'Never mind' as they say here: we got on with the job and were gratified to find that we were confirmed by what was already known-(thereby at minimum building up our confidence in solving the deductive puzzles genealogists are faced with). But we did not know where Robert was buried.
We think, dare we venture, that there were a few errors in Fafa's account in Appendix A5-7: notably,we have established the fact that Robert Redpath, the farm steward, was 48 when he died, not 42. We have seen this on his gravestone in Foulden. Also Robert's father, James, was born in Houndwood, not Fogo. Also that James' sister was Jean not Mary.
In 1970, Cecily's and my first step was to try to find Robert's burial date in the parish records; but these were often patchy. And we had to resort to looking for tombstones. Fortunately a genealogist named David Cairns, with a team, had labouriously recorded every tombstone inscription in Berwickshire. Robert's name was not there. At that time, the same Herculean task had not been done for tombstones in Roxburgshire, so Cecily and I started treading up and down the graveyards of cemeteries near Melrose, knowing that Fafa had visited Melrose Abbey for day trips.
Once we found Robert's gravestone (as described in the introduction) we were helped by the fact that his age was give (48 years). So deducting 48 from 1850, we easily found there was only Robert in all the parish records who was born in 1802. And he was the son of James Ridpath and Mary Lauder. (Of course, this was all confirmed by Fafa's interview even though he does not give his grandmother's surname).
It was then possible to reconstruct the family tree of James and Mary Lauder by systematically going through the parish registers and looking for their names as parents. And so we found James,
Jane, Alexander, John and Ninian as well as Robert.
We found the burial place of James Redpath and Mary in Foulden and fortunately, the age of James at his death was given as 35. So subtracting 35 from the year of his death (1806) gave his birth year (1771).
Consulting the parish records once again, we found a James Redpath, born in Houndwood in 1771, of parents named James Ridpath and Margaret Whitlaw. He also had a sister Jean born two years earlier. Next we wanted to find the birth date and parents of James who was married to Margaret Whitlaw; but this involved deduction because we could not locate James' tombstone, his age and therefore work back to his birth date and, further, to his parents. (There is an outside chance that he was buried in Roxburgh churchyard, dying at the age of 60 in 1808 but no age was given).
We assumed that James' father would be aged 20-30 when James was born. Therefore we searched for James Redpaths born in the decade 1739-1749. Fortunately for us, the only James Redpath to be born in this was James Ridpath born in 1748 to James Rippeth and Christian Tully; this would make him 23 years old when his son James was born.
To go further back to the next generation enters the realm of speculation. There were six James Ridpath's who were aged 20-30 during the decade 1718-1728. However, one could be ruled out as being part of the Angleraw Redpath's who have been well researched and three others were younger than Christian Tully--it was rare for a man to marry a woman older than himself.
This left two James Ridpath's who might fit the bill and I would like to think that our James is the one who lived nearest to Christian Tully, in Denholm, Roxburghshire. He incidentally was born on my birthdate, 16 December 1725 and so there may be a slight bias in the choice of this James. Strictly speaking, we are not as certain of this ancestor. But we are certain that Christian Tully is our maternal ancestor.
To be continued...