The Web version of this newsletter, which includes full graphics and photos is available at:
Redpath/Ridpath/Reidpath Family Newsletter
2Q May 2003
Table of Contents:
Web Site News
Meet the Family
Jeanne and Ryan Ridpath - Celebrity Reading Night
Christopher Lee Ridpath - Graduation
Family Reunion - Ontario
Family Reunion - Colorado
Captain Henry Redpath
James Redpath Query
'Redpath Roots' : A Report about Researches into the Scottish roots of the Redpaths
We have another great issue, with some very unique and interesting submissions.We have a good mix of today's family members and some wonderful historic information as well.Enjoy reading this and then start working on your contribution to the next newsletter.
Web Site News
The Website ( www.redpath.org , www.ridpath.org , and www.reidpath.org ) has been very stable, with no major changes in quite some time.This make it a great time to review what's there and how people are using the website.
The Home Page has been visited over 18,000 times since November of 2000.This only tells a small part of the story though. The website as a whole now averages 2500 visits per month and anywhere between 15,000 and 20,000 page views a month.
The most popular feature is the Forum.There are are over 200 messages and 50 "threads" or topics being discussed, including a Guest book.Many more people are reading than posting, so you "lurkers" should jump in and make a post.
Next most popular feature is the Newsletter.The website provides full text, graphics, and working links and with 2 and half years (11 issues) of archived news, there is plenty to keep a family web surfer busy.
Die-hard family historians and genealogists, and the family curious reference the GeneWeb database regularly for collected data about our many ancestors.There are over 35,000 people in the database, with updates and contributions being made regularly.
The Links page references the many other Redpath, Ridpath, or Reidpath websites out there, including personal and family pages, businesses, locations, and genealogy sites that cover the family names.Check these other family sites out, too.
Meet the Family
Celebrity Reading Night - Jeanne and Ryan Ridpath - North Carolina, USA
What a fun night we had....especially meeting the meteorologist... I was asking all the questions :-) The celebrities included the governor's wife from NC, but we ended up being read to by the Carolina Mudcat baseball mascot and local TV personality. Fun was had by all....
Christopher Lee Ridpath Graduation submitted by Wayne F. Ridpath
This is to announce the Graduation of
Christopher Lee Ridpath from John P. Stevens High School, Edison New Jersey, on June 2003.
Chris will be attending Rutgers University in New Brunswick. His studies will be in Computer Engineering.
Wayne F. Ridpath
Sarah-Jane Reidpath - Canada
My name is Sarah-Jane Reidpath. I grew up alone with my mum, but I have my father's last name. I can't locate my father, Tim, sadly, but I am really interested in finding out about my past.
I only know a few things: My grand-parents names were (I've heard they've passed away) Mildrid and Raymond Reidpath.
When I was born in 1984, they lived in Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada. My last resort was to search the internet and I found [www.reidpath.org]. So I beg you, can you give me some information, please? With lots and lots of thanks,
Sincerely, Sarah-Jane Reidpath
Editor's Note: When Sarah-Jane's submitted this query to the newsletter, she was placed in contact with possible relatives immediately.If you would like to contact Sarah-Jane with further information, the editor firstname.lastname@example.org will forward email to her.
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 email@example.com 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
Captain Henry Redpath
I was sent your site by a woman named Irene. I had found her email site while looking up Redpath history. I am hoping you might be able to help me with an item I have.
I have a Telescope, which looks to be old. On it the name Capt' Henry Redpath, Dollond London is inscribed on it. I came upon this item in a house my sister lived in. The house was in Harper Woods, Michigan. It happened to be found inside a hump-back trunk that the previous owners left behind. My sister was moving out of this house and was going to throw the items away, but I took them. This was 17 years ago. I have set this item aside and have recently uncovered it again. Now I am in search of any information. This is where you come in. In your works of the Redpath History, have you ran across this name? If so would you be willing to give me a bit of History on the person and hopefully on the item itself.
I will send you a picture of the engraving part of the telescope. I wonder how in the world this telescope could have ended up in Michigan. I asked my sister the name of the people she purchased the house off of years ago and their name was "Finkbinder". No where near "Redpath"!!?? It would be wonderful of you to post this in your next newsletter. As far as any other information, I don't have any.
My husband and I love old items. If we know the history behind a piece that makes it all the better and more fun. When is your next news letter coming out? May I ask that you keep me informed of anything you may find or if there is a picture of this Capt anywhere?
James Redpath Query submitted by Anne Abbott
To whom It May Concern,
I am eagerly (with severely limited time) searching for any and all relatives of James Redpath, author, publisher and lecturer. Charles Horner wrote a biographical book of James but it deals primarily with his fame as author of Public Life of Captain John Brown, and creator of the Redpath Lyceum and his well documented Abolishionist views. James immigrated to Allegan Michigan from Berwick on Tweed or Kelso Scotland approximately in 1850 along with other siblings. Several of his brothers, Andrew and George remained farmers in the Allegan and Richland area of Michigan. His brother, John was a well known and prominent Presbyterian Minister in the northern Michigan area. I am decended from his sister Mary Repath Hogg, whose son, John is my great - grandfather. I know Mary immigrated from Scotland when she became a widow and she brought with her 4 children
I have not determined if James had any issue and I am also tracking the issue of John and Sarah (Upjohn) Redpath.
My grandmother referred to "uncle Rob" with great fondness and I can only assume this was the son of Mary Redpath Hogg. He may have had tuberculosis and died an early death. I have not pursued the Hogg lineage at this time.
Any remote connections to my lineage is welcome. I can be contacted with my contact info below.
Tradeshow Multimedia Inc.
701 Beta Drive #3
Mayfield Village, OH 44143
'Redpath Roots': A Report about Researches into the Scottish roots of the Redpaths - by Robert U Redpath, III - Book 2, Pages 1-4
Redpath roots: a report
A copy of 'Redpath roots' , the document I prepared for the family of Robert U Redpath Jr when they came this year in June to Scotland, accompanies this second report. That first report of the genealogical research Cecily and I have been carrying out during our years here in the United Kingdom covers a lot of background: origins of the name of Redpath; historical references to Redpaths, descriptions of the areas where our ancestors lived often at exactly the same time when they were living. There are also pictures of Redpath ancestors as well as letters and documents and articles.
Trip to the Border country
On the 16th June, Nancy Shaw Miller Redpath, our 92 year old matriarch, the five Bectons plus Bill Redpath and myself left Edinburgh for a day visit to the Borders, a day totally devoted to 'ancestor worship'. Fortunately, the sun shone brightly on the venture and we had a lovely rain-free day.
First, there was a visit to the village of Redpath to have pictures taken around the sign at the entrance to the village. Sadly, there are no direct traceable links between the family and this village, which was the site of the Redpath castle, the castle that existed when the Redpaths owned land next to the Humes. unfortunately, I have not been able to trace our Redpaths back to the Redpath lairds who occupied the castle. But there is a drawing of the castle ruins in 'Redpath Roots' (Appendix A-2).
Next, we visited the ruins of Melrose Abbey, where Robert the Bruce's heart is buried, which is very important to Scots as Robert the Bruce is seen as the first King to unite the Scots against the English in his victory over Edward II at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Important for us was the fact that Fafa and his family often visited the ruins of the Abbey and that Fafa 'played' about the ruins.
To celebrate this occasion we had a picnic at a picnic table in the grounds, celebrating our good fortune at having such marvelous weather with a little bit of Carlsberg lager -- something that I'm absolutely certain Fafa and his family did not do. (See Glossary of terms: Seceder).
This was followed by a trip to the cottage in Rutherford Burnside which Robert Redpath and Christian Purves inhabited along with as many as eight children and two renters.~ And then on to Maxton church graveyard where a 'prize' was offered to the first person to' find the gravestone of Robert Redpath. (Entries were restricted to ninth generation Redpaths.)
The three Bectons set off at breath-taking speed and Sara and Liza circled speculatively but Wilson sprinted in a bee-line for the gravestone. Cheating was suspected but Wilson put it down to 'having done his research'. (He had mastered 'Redpath roots' and
seen the picture of the gravestone). There was no inquest about the result, but the prize is yet to be awarded. In retrospect it was not unusual that a history major would beam in so quickly on an ancestor's gravestone. Wilson had just completed a history degree at Yale (class of 2000); not only that, he completed his thesis on James Redpath, Ninian's first born son, who is perhaps the most famous American Redpath who we are related to.
Numerous pictures of various permutations of Redpaths were taken around Robert's tombstone (see Appendix A) but at this point energies were beginning to flag. The party was cajoled by the tour leader into driving to see Broomehouse, where Fafa was a 'scholar'. The intention was to demonstrate how far he walked each day to and fro school. However, I took us all in the wrong direction and we had to double back from Kelso, thereby completely destroying the intended dramatic impact. Nevertheless, everyone saw Broomehouse even if they didn't get out of the car to take pictures.
I hope that subliminally everyone took in the small scale of Broomehouse so that the next time they drive past Union Theological Seminary on Riverside Drive in New York, they say to themselves: "Oh, I remember where Fafa started his education and look at where he ended up!"
Starting in 1970 and over the years, Cecily and I have 'pottered about'*, searching for Redpath genealogy data and visiting the Borders. However, until recently we were not aware of anyone else who might be interested in visiting Robert Redpath's gravestone.
A major breakthrough occurred in 1999 when Elspeth Ewan of the
Borders Family History Society put us in touch with Mary Jane
Burdette who, as it happened, had asked about the gravestone of
Robert Redpath in Maxton parish. This led to a failed attempt at
London Heathrow to meet between planes but followed by very
successful telephone and letter contacts.
Mary Jane is beautifully organised and you will see some of the fruits of her computerised layout of her family in Appendix B.7. She has provided me with a great deal of data about the Redpaths, some of it collected originally by Ray Leland in the early 1950's (See Appendix B.2) in the early 1950's.
* the word 'potter1 has two meanings:l to waste time in aimless or unproductive activity; also to spend time in a leisurely but agreeable way. I have left it to you to decide which meaning
Key to the charts
Appendixes C.l-C.10 show the genealogical data collected by ourselves and incorporating the data collected by Ray Leland and by Mary Jane Burdette. Only descendants of Robert and Christian are given reference numbers. This is not to slight the enormous contributions of spouses, without whom, the Redpath line would not continue. However, this report is restricted to the Redpath lineage.
Within each generation, descendants are numbered according to birth order. The numbering should enable you to work out your relationship to your Scottish ancestor. Merely subtract '2' from your own generation number and then subtract the result from the ancestor's generation number This will give you the number of 'great's' you need to put in front of your Scottish ancestor's name.
For example, suppose that Penn Redpath (9.9 in generation 9 in Appendix B.9) wants to find out his relationship to James Redpath, born in 1748 (2.1 in Generation 2 in Appendix B.1). First, Penn would subtract 2 from his generation number, 9, to arrive at 7. Then subtract James' generation number, 2, from 7=5. Then count 'great' five times and Penn would then know that James is his great great great great great grandfather.
The spelling of names is exactly as entered in the parish records: hence James 'Rippeth' (which is how 'Redpath' is pronounced in Scotland) and 'Christian Purves' rather than 'Christina Purvis' (as entered in the 1850 US Census).
Possible reasons for migrating to the USA
Migration studies often try to analyse the 'push' and 'pull' factors which influence decisions to leave one's homeland. Questions are asked such as 'Were emigree's mainly pulled to another country by hope of opportunity and by adventure and willingness to take a risk?' or 'Were they mainly pushed away from their homeland by factors like religious persecution, lack of social mobility or loss of job, etc ?' Usually it's a combination of both types of factors. But clearly it is a major decision.
In carrying out the research into our family it was this issue that interested me most. In fact, this is a classic American dilemma: why did all of us leave our homelands? Of course, what follows is entirely speculative because it is impossible to interview the main actors of the drama.
It would appear that all of the Redpaths in the fourth generation shown in Appendix B.l migrated to the United States , albeit at different times and for different reasons. John Redpath (4.4 in Appendix B.l) and Janet Purves were the first to migrate, taking with them their children as well as Elizabeth Spiers Purves, Janet and Christian's mother, and James Redpath, John's eldest brother (4.l).They went to Canada in 1834, lived there for three years, then moved to New Caledonia, NY and then to Michigan.
John Redpath's family appears in Martin Michigan in the 1850 US Census (see Appendix B.3). It would seem that the lure of the New World would be the reason for leaving Maxton parish as well as a possible push factor of lack of opportunity. Their eventual move to Michigan in 1848 just prior to Ninian Redpath's arrival with his family.
Ninian (4.6 in Appendix B.1) and his family, including the soon-to-be famous and arguably notorious eldest son, James (5.8 in Appendix B.10), left his job as master of schools in Berwick upon Tweed in 1850 and migrated to Watson, Michigan. (See Appendix B.10). Whether they departed before Robert Redpath's death on the 24th May of that year or afterwards and whether his death influenced their exodus cannot be determined. But it can be surmised that there was a 'pull' factor of John Redpath and his family already living in Michigan. James Redpath also already saw the opportunity of becoming a printer and not a farmer. (See quotation at bottom of Appendix B.10).
Christian Purves Redpath and her children followed later.
Mary Jane Burdette's records suggest that James Redpath, the eldest son (5.4) carried on with his father's job as farm steward at Rutherford Burnside for three years (1853?); but then he went over to America as presumably a forward observer to see how the rest of the family had settled in the Richland Michigan area. Christian/Christina and her children came to Michigan later possibly 1853*. And it is reported that Fafa came over by himself when he was seventeen, even though another report says that he arrived in Gull Prairie on the 29th July 1858 (when he was just barely 16) after a 57 day journey across the Atlantic in a sailing ship.
Arguably the main reason for Christian Redpath and her family leaving Scotland would be a push factor (death of the father, Robert ) but there would then have been the 'pull' of the Redpath family who were gathering in increasing numbers in or near Richland, Michigan.
When Henry Hogg died, James returned to Scotland to bring over his' sister Mary and her six children and they arrived in 1871. Clearly the death of Henry was a push factor and the family, including the location of Mary's mother, Christian/Christina was a pull factor'.
So it appears that every one of the children of James Redpath
(3.2) and Mary Lauder who were still alive in the 1850's left for
America. Of course, there may be some relatives who remained in
Scotland, going back to the second generation. I am currently
trying to trace descendants of James Rippeth and Christian Tully.
* the only way to pin down dates is either by finding citizenship application forms, which for Michigan are lodged with the
National Archives in Chicago or by, as I've recently started doing, systematically perusing the passenger lists of all the ships arriving in New York in the New York branch of the
National Archives. Any volunteers to help?
To be continued....