Select Ritchie Miscellany


Here are some Ritchie stories and
accounts over the years:


Ritchies and Richeys Today


table below shows the approximate numbers today.

000’s Ritchies Richeys Total
UK    20    20
America    12     7    19
Elsewhere    15    15
Total    47     7    54

came mostly from Scotland.  The Richey
origin, according to old passenger
ship records, was mainly from Ireland

To America Ritchies Richeys Total
Scotland    332    332
Ireland    130     46    176
England    172     13    185
Elsewhere     11     11     22
Total    645 70    715


William Rirchie of Pitsligo Parish in Aberdeenshire


was born at Rosehearty in Pitsligo parish near Peterhead
in Aberdeenshire around the year 1806.
He was the son of George and Mary Ritchie.
He was a fisherman by trade.  He
married Janet Galt in Pitsligo in 1834.

was listed as head of household at Rosehearty in the 1851 census.  Those recorded in the household were: William
Ritchie, head; Janet Ritchie, wife; William Ritchie, son; George
Ritchie, son;
James Ritchie, son; Mary Ritchie, daughter; Margaret Ritchie, daughter;
Christian Ritchie, daughter.

died soon after.  William remarried
Catherine McLeman in
Pitsligo in 1854.  But William himself
died two years later


Ritchie House in Tappahannock, Virginia

House, built
around 1760 and preserved today, was the home of Archibald Ritchie, a
merchant of the Virginia Tidewater area at that time.
The economy then ran on tobacco, most of
which was grown by slaves.

was a British Loyalist and supporter of the
Stamp Act, labelled by patriots as
greatest enemy of his
country.”  In early 1766 men from
nine Virginia counties gathered at Leedstown to draft the resolutions
that led
Virginians to disobey Parliament. They also made plans to publicly
Archibald Ritchie.

saw which way the wind was blowing and changed
tack.  He would soon become a staunch
patriot himself and a member of the Association of Essex County that
the boycotting of all trade with England after 1774.
His son Thomas Ritchie, editor of the Richmond
, would become a
leading journalist of his day


John Ritchie a Kentucky Pioneer

had with some other Kentucky pioneers put together a
flotilla of five boats and started down the Ohio and Salt rivers, past
where Louisville now stands and into a wilderness area which they
traversed for
about three miles and then built a fort, known as Linn’s Fort, on the
brow of a

John built an early whiskey distillery there.  His
home, a two room log house built
around 1778, is still standing with the marking “JR 1789” on a rock in

Sometime later John Ritchie
and his companion John Gilkey were out travelling in Kentucky when they
a buffalo coming toward them.  Ritchie
fired and killed the buffalo.

At this
juncture three Indians jumped out of the thicket and shot at the white
men with
arrows, at the same time running towards them with uplifted tomahawks.  Gilkey who was armed with a good gun, kept
them at bay while Ritchie ran for his life. Then Gilkey who was very
fleet of
foot would run until he overtook Ritchie.
This mode of procedure was continued until the fort was reached
when the
Indians disappeared and were seen no more.

The creek where Gilkey and Ritchie
started on the race for their lives was called Ritchie’s Run and is
still known
by that name to this day.  The
stream where they killed the buffalo was called Bull Run and it flows
the direction of New Haven, emptying into the Beech Fork at Buckman’s

James Ritchie and His Two Sons in Belfast

Ritchie had been a land steward at the
Maxwell estate at Finnebrogue in county Down when he resigned the
position in the
1850’s to go to Belfast.  There he was
involved in the building of the Queens Bridge at Belfast and the
Viaduct at Chushendall.   He had two
by his first wife, by that time dead.

eldest son James was engaged to be married to his second cousin Agnes
Ritchie.  A week before the wedding, when
dancing at
the ball, James burst a blood vessel which caused his death.
Agnes, though much sought
after, never married.

second son Thomas was threatened with consumption
after serving his time with Henry Black, a great grocer in Warren
Street. The
doctors ordered him to travel.  So he
went to Mauritius where he started a business, Greer Ritchie and Co.  His health failed again and then he went to
New Zealand.  After a time his health
improved and he went home.

returning to England, Thomas joined the recruits
going to fight Garibaldi in Italy. He was at the battle taking Salerno
and was
made an ensign. As soon as his father could get into communication with
the War
Office, orders were given for him to come home. He came home through
wearing his uniform and received great praise in England. But when he
home in Belfast, his father was so angry that he would not speak to him.  So having no money, Thomas went to live with
his uncle.


The Richeys and Tennis

Williams coached his two daughters Venus and Serena in
Compton, California in the 1990’s until they both became world-beaters.

the Williams sisters there were the Richeys of Dallas – George, his
wife Betty,
and their children Cliff and Nancy.

and Betty would travel almost
everywhere in this country to see their children play.
Although George Richey was a tough little
man, he was afraid of airplanes and had never been in
one.  So the Richeys toured the country
in their 1959 Cadillac, carting the kids from tournament to tournament.  In the summer they would take their vacation
from the swank Brook Hollow Golf Club where Richey was the tennis pro.  “I guess we never had a real
vacation,” Betty Richey said.
“I mean, everywhere we go there is tennis, a tournament or

for Cliff and Nancy there was practice, practice,
practice.  It paid off.
were the first brother and sister combination to both be concurrently
ranked in
the USA Top Ten.  They
ranked in the Top Three concurrently in 1965, 1967, 1969 and 1970.  Cliff was a member of the US team that won
the 1970 Davis Cup, winning both his singles matches in the final and
voted its most valuable player.  Nancy
won two Grand Slam singles
and four Grand Slam doubles titles




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