Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Another Riddell Conundrum

Robert Riddell was born on 5 April 1859 in the Village of Kirkton, East Kilbride, Scotland, to John and Martha (Muir) Riddell. On 15 May 1859 his name was altered to Oswald Dykes Riddell. Oswald married Ann "Annie" Cowie, daughter of William and Mary (Adams) Cowie, on 26 Jan 1883 in Airdrie, Scotland. Over the next 14 years they had seven children -- six daughters and one son. Oswald had an upwardly mobile work career. He began as a farm servant, became a coachman, restauranteur, and by 1915 owned property in Lanarkshire.

Oswald died on 11 February 1935 in Airdrie at the age of 75 of chronic bronchitis and heart failure. The official registration of his death indicated he was a widower, which meant his wife, Annie, predeceased him. And that's where my second Riddell conundrum[1] began.

Oswald Dykes Riddell's death registration from ScotlandsPeople

There is absolutely no record of Annie's death -- at least that I can find.

It happens (though it drives me crazy) so I moved on and began researching Oswald and Annie's children. When I got to son, John, things got interesting...and initially confusing.

John was born on 8 August 1893 in Coatbridge, Scotland. In 1911, he was a waiter at his family's restaurant. Since the 1911 census is the most recent that has been made public, I started looking for a marriage record. No luck. When that happens, I think perhaps the person emigrated and search passenger lists and other related records.

A John Riddell, departed Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 7 April 1923 aboard the S/S Marburn and arrived in Quebec on 13 April. The passenger list said he worked as a barman and his last address was 10 Parkend Street, Belfast. I thought this likely wasn't my John Riddell. But thank goodness for the Canada, Ocean Arrival (Form 30A) record set. It confirmed it was "my" John. His father was listed on the form and I discovered John's sister, Annie, had already immigrated to Canada and was living in Montreal on 746 De L'epee Avenue.

Canada, Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A), 1919-1924 for John Riddell

When did Annie immigrate to Canada?

Canada, Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A), 1919-1924 for Annie Riddell

Annie first immigrated to Canada in 1913 and returned to Scotland and Northern Ireland in 1920 for a holiday. The form also provided further confirmation that I had the correct John Riddell (same Belfast address) and another layer of mystery to my second Riddell conundrum. What was Annie (Cowie) Riddell, their mother, doing in Belfast? Was her husband Oswald there as well? If so, why wasn't he listed as the nearest relative? And, most importantly, did Annie (Cowie) Riddell die in Ireland?

Another snippet of Annie Riddell's Ocean Arrivals Form

With so many questions I kept looking. I learned Annie paid for two of her grand daughters to immigrate to Canada in 1926. Annie's address was listed as 2762 St. Catherine Street, Montreal, on their Ocean Arrivals forms. Further searching revealed Annie arrived in Canada on 18 May 1924 aboard the S/S Regina. Her point of contact in Canada was her daughter, Mrs. Lindsay, who lived at 84 Terrace View in Montreal. I do not yet know which daughter married Mr. Lindsay. So the hunt for Annie (Cowie) Riddell's death date continues. Annie (Cowie) Riddell's Oceans Arrival form is so interesting, I'm going to provide a partial transcription:

Name: Mrs. Riddell (Annie Cowie)
Age 67
Are you married, single, widowed or divorced? M
If married, are you accompanied by husband or wife? No
Object in going to Canada: To settle
Do you intend to remain permanently in Canada? Yes

I now believe Annie left her husband, Oswald Dykes Riddell, and died in Canada. What do you think?

[1] My first Riddell conundrum involved Oswald Dykes Riddell and his brother, Robert. It took some time to sort out they were two different people: Riddell Conundrum.

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