Hoskins on Cecilia Ellen Jessie Ronald (1884-1969)

Text derived from Beattie/Fowlie Family Tree: notes compiled by Jean Hoskins (1923-2003)* as completed to 1989, entry “B.1.a. “

1950s-cecilia-ella-ellen-ronald-beattie-regina-skCecilia Ellen Jessie Ronald [was] born at 365 King’s Rd. South Chelsea, London, England, on 16 June 1884. Her brother was Roderick, born 1886, and her little sister was Grace, born 1887. Their father, John Ronald, who was born in Nigg, Kincairdshire (1/2 mi. south of Aberdeen), Scotland, went to South Africa just before the Boer War, circa 1889, to set up a business but he disappeared. His wife, Marian Baker, became ill and couldn’t look after the children so John’s sister, Jessie Ronald, took them to Scotland and placed them in an orphanage, the Quarrier Orphan’s Home at Bridge of Weir [near Glasgow] in 1892. Ella was very happy there. Then Jessie got a job as chaperone to those children who were to be sent to Canada to live and work on farms [Editors Note: we know from passenger lists that Jessie Ronald came to Canada in 1897]. So Ella, Rod and Grace became Home Children in 1896. Ella was placed on the Campbell farm at Maxville, ON. They were good to her. She went to school, learned to play the organ and in 1908 the Campbells provided a lovely wedding for her and David. Rod and Grace did not fare as well.

1950s-grace-georgina-melville-aunt-ella-aunt-minnie-little-girls
Grace, Georgina, Melville, Ella, Minnie, Linda and Vivian in 1120 Retallack Street, Regina, in the 1950s

David [Beattie] came to Canada in 1892, worked in Brandon and Winnipeg and earned enough money to return to Scotland for his parents 25th Anniversary. A picture was taken of the nine surviving children and their parents in front of Rothienorman. He brought his parents and most of his siblings to Canada. They homesteaded in Gap View, SK which was not great farming country. David followed the Scottish tradition that the eldest son must be responsible for his parents so he did not seek a wife until they were settled. He corresponded with Ella because her

abt-1925-cecilia-ella-ronald-and-david-beattie-and-children
Cecilia (Ella) Ronald and David Beattie with 7 of their 8 children, possibly about 1925

brother, Rod, who was working on the homestead, showed him letters decorated with forget-me-nots and suggested he should write to this lovely girl. In time, he proposed, traveled to Maxville, Ont. and they were married the next day, 23 Dec 1908. They rode the train back to Saskatchewan and continued farming. After a few years they moved to Moose Jaw. David had a dray and he hauled the rock to build St. Andrews Church. When it was finished he was hired as custodian.

Ella and David stayed in Moose Jaw until Sept 1919 and then moved to the Nelson BC area, living in ten different houses that I know of in the 22 years they lived there. In 1941 they moved to Vancouver. In 1947 they bought a lot on SE Marine Drive and, with a lot of help from Don, they built a house. David was a hard working and skillful gardener. Everywhere he lived he found a plot of land to cultivate and produced wonderful crops, especially raspberries and beans.

[Editor’s Note: David died on April 11, 1954 and was buried in the Gap View Cemetery in Saskatchewan.] 

NOTE added by Rose Lougheed, June 2000: In the early 60’s Ella sold her home on SE Marine Drive and moved to a United Church Seniors’ Home (Fairhaven). There she met Arthur Barker and they were married in 1963. She died Oct 5, 1969.

Click HERE to see earlier post on Jean Hoskins

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