Thursday, January 15, 2015

2.3.3. Oswald Dykes Riddell (1859-1935)

Oswald Dykes Riddell was born on 5 April 1859 in the village of Kirkton, East Kilbride. His parents were John and Martha (Muir) Riddell. When his father registered his birth on 16 April, the infant was registered as Robert Riddell.  There is a notation dated 15 May 1859 that stated his name was altered to Oswald Dykes Riddell.  According to the Scottish naming conventions, which John and Henrietta followed with their first two children, Robert should have been his name after his maternal grandfather, who was still alive at the time of his birth.

James Oswald Dykes, born in 1835, was a contemporary of John and Martha (Muir) Riddell. He became a Scottish Presbyterian clergyman and educator and was ordained the year Oswald Dykes Riddell was born. So likely had not yet made a name for himself at the time of Oswald's birth. Therefore, the name change is a tantalizing mystery.

The family moved to Main Street in the village of East Kilbride by the time Oswald was two. I have not been able to find him in 1871 census. His older sister, Henrietta, was also away from the home working as a live-in domestic servant in Glasgow. In 1881 Oswald was one of two servants living and working at David Aitkenhead's dairy farm in Murray, East Kilbride.

Two years later he married Ann Cowie, who went by "Annie." They were married on 26 January 1883 in Airdrie Burgh. They were married according to the forms of the Church of Scotland. Oswald was working as a railway lorry man and lived in New Monkland Parish. Annie was a domestic servant, who lived in Dryflat, New Monkland.

The couple had seven children between 1883 and 1897. In 1891 Oswald and Annie and their four girls, Mary, Martha, Annie, and Henrietta, were living 48 St John Street in Coatbridge. Oswald worked as a coachman. Four years later they lived at 151 A Main Street in Coatbridge. Oswald was working at the same profession.

In 1895 the valuation rolls indicated the family was living at the same address, which was owned by Merry Stowe House. Oswald paid 13 pounds in annual rent, due each Whitsun. When the 1901 census was enumerated, Oswald and Annie lived at 18 Baird Street in Coatbridge with their two youngest daughters, Janet and Isabella.

Baird Street in Coatbridge in the early 1900s; photograph courtesy of
Monklands Memories

There is no record of Oswald in the 1905 valuation rolls, but in 1911 he, Annie, and four of their seven children lived at 5 Academy Street in Coatbridge. Oswald had a pretty big career change within the last ten years and was a restauranteur. His three older children working in the family restaurant.

In 1913 Oswald's, third daughter, Annie, immigrated to Canada at the age of 25. In 1915 Oswald was renting a house and shop on Academy Street from Fergie and Elizabeth Wortherspoon. The annual rent was 50 pounds. He was recorded in the rolls as a landowner for the first time as the proprietor of 9 houses, sheds and ground at Hollandhurst and Gartsherrie in Coatbridge. He rented 8 of the houses for between 6 and 9 pounds each annually.

Academy Street in Coatbridge; photograph copyrighted by the Scottish
Mining Website

In 1920 he owned the same property but his occupation was laborer. I do know know what happened to the restaurant. The next year his daughter, Annie, returned from Canada to visit her mother, who was living in Belfast, Ireland, at the time of Annie's visit.

Son, John Riddell, immigrated to Canada in 1923. In 1924 Oswald's wife, followed her son to Canada. She indicated she was married but was traveling alone and intended to settle permanently in Canada. Daughter, Mary Adams (Riddell) Dalziell, and her family moved to Canada in 1927; Daughter, Henrietta (Riddell) Rennie, and her family also moved there the same year. There is no record that Oswald ever joined the majority of his family in Canada.

He died on 11 February 1935 at his home on 14 Bellsdyke Road in Airdrie at the age of 75. The cause of death was chronic bronchitis and heart failure. Arthur Smith, husband of Oswald's daughter, Janet, registered his death. He indicated Oswald was a widower, which would indicate Annie had died and he was a retired restauranteur.

I have so many questions about Oswald Dykes Riddell. Where was he in 1871? Why was he not living at home with his parents? It is unusual to lose a 12-year-old boy in the census. How did Oswald get enough money to buy so much property? Why did his wife move to Belfast and then to Canada? What was the true state of their marriage?

1861 Scotland Census, 07/04/1861 Riddell, John (Census 1861 643/00 001/00 017)
1861 Scotland Census, Parish: East Kilbride; ED: 1; Page: 18; Line: 3; Roll: CSSCT1861_95
1881 Scotland Census, 03/04/1881 Riddell, Oswald D (Census 1881 643/00 011/00 002)
1881 Scotland Census, Parish: East Kilbride; ED: 11; Page: 2; Line: 2; Roll: CSSCT1881_213
1891 Scotland Census, 05/04/1891 Riddell, Oswald D (census 1891 652/02 030/00 013)
1891 Scotland Census, Parish: Old Monkland; ED: 30; Page: 13; Line: 14; Roll: CSSCT1891_320
1895 Scotland Valuation Rolls, 1895 Riddell, Oswald Dykes (Valuation Rolls VR14 / 8 / 334)
1901 Scotland Census, 31/03/1901 Riddell, Oswald (Census 1901 652/02 027/00 014)
1901 Scotland Census, Parish: Old Monkland; ED: 27; Page: 14; Line: 19; Roll: CSSCT1901_348
1911 Scotland Census 02/04/1911 Riddell, Oswald Dykes (Census 1911 652/02 033/00 012)
1915 Scotland Valuation Rolls, 1915 Riddell, Oswald D (Valuation Rolls VR107 / 308 / 177)
1915 Scotland Valuation Rolls, 1915 Riddell, Oswald D (Valuation Rolls VR14 / 24 / 470)
1920 Scotland Valuation Rolls, 1920 Riddell, Oswald D (Valuation Rolls VR107 / 348 / 201)
Academy Street in Coatbridge, Scottish Mining Website
Baird Street in Coatbridge, Monklands Memories
Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950, Janet Cowie Riddell, 1891
Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950, Robert Riddell, 1859
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1859 Riddel, Oswald Dykes (Statutory Births 643/00 0037)
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1883 Riddell, Oswald D - Cowie, Annie (Statutory Marriages 651/01 0025)
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1935 Riddell, Oswald Dykes (Statutory Deaths 651/00 0039)

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