52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, My Family Tree, Paternal Side

Week #8: I Can Identify

After weeks of trying to figure out if I have an “Outcast” in my family, the theme for Week 7 in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, I’ve finally decided to throw in the towel and move onto the next topic, “I Can Identify”. I’ll admit, this has me initially stumped because so many options go through my head… photos, people, places, and trying to narrow down to one specific thing is difficult.

So I opted to identify a person already in my family tree software, so I asked my son to choose a number between 1 and 2079. He selected 1,642. When I went to my list of people and put in 1,642 the person who was revealed was the wife of my 1st cousin three times removed, Rachel May Colledge.

Rachel May Colledge

Rachel May Colledge was born in East Providence, Bedford, Pennsylvania on 20 June 1883 to Henry McClellan Colledge and the former Jennie Riley. She appears to be the oldest of 8 children. Her father was a farmer while his wife kept house. Jennie (Riley) Colledge died 8 March 1908 from Congestion of Lungs.

Rachel continued to live at home and take care of her father and remaining siblings. Oddly enough, Henry Colledge passed away on 9 November 1921 and Rachel married Murray Walter Ritchey on 29 March 1922.

Murray Walter Ritchey was a farmer as well, also living in East Providence, Bedford, Pennsylvania. In the 1920 Census, Murray is still living with his father, William Cypher Ritchey, the older brother of my 2nd-great-grandmother, Mary Ann Ritchey.

Murray was 41 years old when he married Rachel Colledge, who was 38 years old. They never had any children.

Murray passed away on 9 February 1946 in Everett, Bedford, Pennsylvania of brain carcinoma. Rachel passed away 4 December 1961 in Snake Spring Township, Bedford, Pennsylvania of a “Malignancy with Distraction of Spine and Ribs”. They were both buried at Mount Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery in Breezewood.

My Thoughts

Rachel was the dutiful daughter who took care of her dad. This is a wonderful thing but at the same time I feel a little bad that she was unable to enjoy her youth, not that girls were out there living it up in the early 1900’s, but I feel she must have missed out on some sort of social life with her peers as she was busy taking care of her dad and the younger siblings in the home. It makes me wonder if she and Murray were involved for a while? Or was it just a convenient marriage because of their ages?

I was unable to find any newspaper articles that linked them together before getting married, to see if maybe they attended the same parties, and social gatherings.

I enjoyed being able to identify a person in my software. This was a fun process to just pick a random person, I’ll have to do it again.