Where my Family came from
Filling in the Blanks of my past
I originally thought my family was from the Ukraine, but my family actually originated from Scotland. I am focusing on my roots that spread from Scotland to Mono, Ontario. The only person who knew of my family's immigration records is my uncle, and also my mom had some additional information that my uncle did not say. Initially, my great-great-great-great grandfather, Andrew Ritchie, was the first family member of mine to immigrate from Scotland to Canada.
He was born in 1802, which the exact location is unknown. He came to Canada from Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Londonderry is the second largest city in Northern Ireland. It is believed that my family came to Londonderry from Scotland during a time when the government of the date was encouraging scots to move to Northern Ireland to the potato plantations. These scots were called the Scot-Irish. When the potato famines started in Ireland, there was a great migration to North America and this is what brought Andrew and his wife to Canada. They settled in the Guelph, Ontario area on a farm. Unfortunately, I could not find immigration record for Andrew or his wife. Among their children they had a son William who is my great-great-great grandfather. William was born in 1832, and as an adult moved from the guelph area to Huron County to what is now Ashfield township and purchased a farm from the Canadian Tract Company. He had a son Andrew who was born in 1856, my great great grandfather, who also farmed in Ashfield on farms next to his father. My great grandparents had 3 sons and 1 daughter and the oldest being John Gardner Ritchie who is my uncle's father who was born in 1910 (Ritchie). He and his wife Dorothy Mildred Chessel had 3 kids, 1 who was my grandma who raised my mom and her sisters in Brussels. As an adult, my mom moved to Guelph where she met my dad and they moved to Mono to raise my brothers and I (Logan).
If my ancestors would have stayed in Scotland, I assume we still would be living there today. Despite the economic troubles Scotland has faced in the past, I feel my life would still be good as a teenager. Life in Scotland is pretty similar to the life we have here, besides the fact that the unemployment is extremely high compared to Canada. The unemployment ages range from 15-24. The unemployment rate for United Kingdom is 5.1% (Trading Economics), and the unemployment for Canada is 7.1%(Trading
Economics). Therefore, getting a job would be a lot easier than it is in Canada.
Furthermore, schooling for Ireland is different then it is for Canada. The school leaving age is 16, but many students may choose to remain at school for higher grades and better school qualification. The school starting age is 3 for Scotland which is very young compared to Ontario. The 3-4 year olds go to a free nursery supplied by the school to get them exposed to school like activities (Education Scotland). As you get older, the children progress into high school where they are divided up into Standard grades or Intermediate Qualifications for the age of 14 to 16. The students are phased in and out of the classifications by the National Qualifications of Excellence (Education Scotland). The schooling is a lot different compared to Ontario as we start school at a greater age, and can choose our own paths on what level of education we want to participate in.
Additional, the health care in Scotland is free just like Canada. Although, the free health care act came into play May of 2010 so I would have had to pay for my health care until I was 11. All fees and prescriptions are completely free, even though some dentists and opticians may charge if the household makes over a certain amount. These doctors will charge if the annual income is more than £30,000 per annum (Putting Scotland’s Health on the Web). Scotland spends 9.1% of its GDP on health expenditures (The World Factbook: United Kingdom) while Canada spends 10.9%(The World Factbook: Canada).
As far as rights and freedoms for Scotland, it is that everyone must be treated equally, with respect, and fairness, and dignity (The Human Rights Act). It protects everyone to believe in what they choose to believe in, free of speech and the right to marry whoever you please. Also, there is protection against slavery (The Human Rights Act).
In conclusion, I feel my life in Scotland would not be too different from my life here in Canada. Although, I am thankful my ancestors migrated to Ontario while Scotland was in turmoil.
"Education Scotland." Early Education in Scotland. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2016.
"The Human Rights Act." Liberty Human Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2016.
"Living in Scotland." The Official Gateway to Scotland. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May
Logan, Linda. Personal interview. 16 May 2016.
"Putting Scotland's Health on the Web." Scotland's Health on the Web. N.p., n.d.
Web. 30 May 2016. <http://www.scot.nhs.uk/>.
Ritchie, Bob. Personal interview. 16 May 2016.
"The World Factbook: Canada." Central Intelligence Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 28
May 2016. <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
"The World Factbook: United Kingdom." Central Intelligence Agency. N.p., n.d.
Web. 28 May 2016. <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/
"Trading Economics for Ireland." Trading Economics. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2016.