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Published by Richard Burnham on Sat, 18/04/2020 - 0:27
Place/Region:SOM Somerset
after 1900

The four Ritchie sisters were all born in Aberdeenshire but were living in Weston from some time pre 1900(?) till the 1950s. Their names were Jane (given as Jennie in 1911 census), Johanna (Hannah), Catherine (Kitty) and Agnes (Aggie). The eldest, Jane, was my mother's maternal grandmother. My mother was born in Weston but I don't know exactly where.

Some or all of the sisters ran a boarding house called Maycot at 12 Beaufort Road (now part of a care home), which was also a gathering place for the family, judging by pictures I have from an album of my mother's. It was where my father met my mother for the first time when he and a friend went for a holiday during the early part of the war (he left school just before the war and was called up in 1942). It was also where we usually went for holidays in the 1950s when I was very young, and I have memories of Hannah and Aggie who were then the only surviving sisters. 

Only Jane married, her husband was Henry Pettie, who despite the Scottish name was born in Cheltenham. He is recorded in two censuses as a tailor, and he and his wife formed a second household  with their two daughters, my mother's mother Annie Henrietta (Dolly) and her younger sister Catherine Amy. I have a picture of very young Dolly at the gate of a house with an arched lintel over the front door and the name St Kilda. This is now identified as 9 Jubilee Road. They also offered accommodation to boarders.

Henry was much older than Jane (about 17 years according to the census) and Jane was widowed quite young. Jane returned to her home town of Inverurie for the birth of both of her daughters. Aggie had a son called Alfred (Fred) Ritchie who was living at Maycot with the three unmarried sisters and was aged 6 in 1911.

I know the relationships and I am building them into a tree with my son, who is researching other parts of the family. However I am interested in finding out any more I can about the history of the family, including  how the four sisters all came to be living in Weston. It's possible from the census entries that Henry Pettie had his own business as a tailor in Weston and employed others of the family in the business.

Thanks to the cemetery records on this site, I now have dates for the people concerned:

Henry Vincent Pettie: 1851(?)-1914 (This has been queried and he may have been born as early as 1836-7)

Jane Ann Pettie nee Ritchie: 1868-1937 (recorded as Jennie in the 1911 census)

Johanna (Hannah) Ritchie: 1875-1955 (Birth record gives her as born in 1873)

Agnes Innes Fraser (Aggie) Ritchie: 1880-1960 (Birth record gives her as born in  1877)

Catherine Sangster Fraser (Kitty) Ritchie: 1882-1930

All are recorded as buried in the cemetery at Milton Road.


Some information from Kelly's directories for Somerset:

1902: Pettie William, tailor, St Kilda, Jubilee Road

1914: Pettie Henry, apartments, 12 Beaufort Road (year of Henry's death)

1919: Pettie Jennie (Mrs), apartments, 12 Beaufort Road


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Comments ..

Submitted by Pat Hase on Sat, 18/04/2020 - 10:54
You asked about St Kilda. In 1922 there were 4 houses with that name in Weston - at 20 Brighton Road, Furland Road, 9 Jubilee Road and at 27 Moorland Road. Perhaps Street view will enable you to see which one (if any) matches your photo.
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Submitted by Richard Burnham on Sat, 18/04/2020 - 12:34
From the many details of the stonework it is without a doubt 9 Jubilee Road. Thank you so much for your reply. May I ask how you gained that information about house names; is there a specific source for that?
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Submitted by Pat Hase on Sat, 18/04/2020 - 12:48
Glad to have been of help. I have a copy of a Weston-super-Mare Directory 1921-22 which has a section which lists villa and house names with their addresses. Later Directories do not have this useful bit.
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Submitted by Richard Burnham on Sun, 24/05/2020 - 10:45

Although not relevant to Weston, we have had some success tracing the Ritchie sisters' ancestry in Aberdeenshire. Names include CRANE (or CRAN), FRASER, BETTS, SANGSTER.

When it becomes possible I hope to visit Weston to see if I can find any more local records of the sisters and Henry Pettie.

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Submitted by Richard Burnham on Sun, 24/05/2020 - 11:10

I have a number of pictures taken in the 1920s at the guest house at Maycot, 12 Beaufort Road, that include many people I can't identify. These could be family members but also friends or even guests from Weston or elsewhere.

If anyone would like to see these photos to identify possible ancestors of theirs, I'd be glad to share them.

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