Family Perspectives

Neal Leask with his photograph of Willie Ritch, 2007.
© Photograph by Alison Brown

I was in contact with his second wife's granddaughter and she had some of the personal effects from the house at Hoy. It was from her that I got a copy of this photo, for I immediately noticed the footwear when we were looking through the old photos, and I thought, "That must be Willie Ritch’s children." My grand-auntie did say that he had children but I really had no idea about what they looked like, or anything, but finding that photo was the first link towards that. I was quite excited when I saw it, and I would like to find out more.

Neil Leask, whose grandmother's aunt was married to William Ritch, 4 March 2006

Delphine Vincent and Sammy Goodwin, 2006.
© Photograph by Alison Brown

When my grandmother left the family to move here, there wasn’t very much connection between the family, when she moved away with her family, with her children. There weren’t letters coming in very much. They just went their own way. The only reason why I know I had relations over there is because my father used to talk about it. Growing up I knew I had a little bit of Scottish. We used to talk about the old man here. Just us kids. Wonder when he died. What happened to him. We were proud to be related, to be Ritch. We were proud.

Sammy Goodwin, William Ritch's great-great-grandson, 15 August 2006

When I got the email from you with Neil's pictures it really made me happy to see it because Sammy had just recently given me a copy of the photo of William Sinclair Ritch with his five children. So when I opened my emails and I saw that picture of William Ritch, it was really good to make that connection, to see the different generation, because in the picture that Sammy had given me, he had a beard and he had a little bit darker hair, whereas in this one he's much older but it's the same face. Yeah, so it was really nice to have that connection.

Delphine Vincent, William Ritch's great-great-granddaughter, 15 August 2006