Tag Archives: Eliza Rycroft

Family Recipe Friday: Christmas Edition

When we cleared out my mother’s condo, I grabbed her recipe boxes with the intent of uploading the family favorites to share with my siblings.

I knew that there were a few cards in my grandmother’s handwriting that I wanted to save and possibly make. I’m one of the increasingly rare breed who love fruitcake and today share three Christmassy recipes.

The first is for Dark Christmas Cake. I recall these cakes arriving by mail (?) in Ottawa from my mother’s mom, Daisy Goddard, who lived in Toronto.

My Grandma Gear (Eva Daisy Goddard) in her kitchen on Nairn Ave, Toronto.

One day, I came home from school to find a syringe in the sink and the cake on the counter. My mother (a physician) had been injecting some kind of alcohol into it well in advance of Christmas so that it would have time to absorb the goodness. The recipe is in my grandmother’s handwiting.

Family Christmas recipes_0001

Next up is a recipe for Mince Meat from Daisy’s mother, Emily Minnie Price. Minnie was born in 1869 in Chester, England, the second of four children of James Dobb Price (bookkeeper) and his wife Eliza Rycroft (a grocer).

Emily Minnie Price
Emily Minnie Price

Minnie’s mother died in 1881 when she was twelve and she and her sister went to live with her maternal grandmother, Sarah Rycroft, and three of Sarah’s unmarried children, then in their 20s. Sarah was a pawnbroker with a shop at 26 Princess Street. The younger two children went to live with their paternal grandmother mother.

Minnie emigrated to Toronto in 1889 a couple of years after Sarah died and, two years later, married my grandfather, Stephen Robert Goddard. Here is her Mince Meat recipe: it has no instructions, just the ingredients, which was probably pretty common in those days.

A Christmas Pudding recipe labelled “Grandma Gear’s” was from my great grandmother Janet Forbes Morren. She was from Aberdeen and emigrated to Canada in 1899 where she married a Walter Gear in Calgary. Janet’s father, WIlliam Morren, was an engineer and was away a good bit of the time on steam ships. (The census regularly showed his civil parish as “Vessels”.) Janet’s mother, Barbara Gordon, died in 1886 when Janet was just eight years old, and she and her sister Margaret went to live with her older sister Williamina (who was 15 years her senior) in Edinburgh (then Leith North.) She ended up in Toronto (a long story for another time) and lived close by my grandmother and family.

Her Christmas Pudding recipe. Again, no instructions.

Family Christmas recipes_0002

Would love to hear from relatives who have stories or anecdotes about these recipes or these three women. The second and third recipe are in the same handwriting. Can anyone identify it? I hope to take a crack at the recipes in about six months.

Seeking descendants of William and Emily Pritchard, of Chester.

After yesterday’s heartening results of reaching out through social media with the letters from Barnardo’s, I’m going to try this again.

Some months (years?) ago, I was given four death announcements by one of my aunts who had found them in my grandmother’s trunk. Two were for relatives and two were for unknown (to me) persons, a brother and sister. I wondered why my grandmother had these, but as it turns out, they were neighbours of her maternal grandparents in Chester, England. These latter two are reproduced here:

IMG_0001

IMG_0004

William and Emily (Hewitt) Pritchard of Chester, England, lost two children 6 months apart. On 19 Nov 1884, their daughter Annie Eliza died at age 9 years and 6 months. On 17 May 1885, their son Charles Norton drowned in the River Dee. Both were interred in Chester Cemetery.

I tried to make contact with someone on ancestry.co.uk who appeared to be descendants of this family, to no avail. I will try again, linking to this post.

Their story as I can understand it through some research:

William Pritchard was a 32 year old bricklayer in Chester on the 1871 census and lived with his wife Emily (aged 28) and their 1-year-old son Charles at 4 Albion Street. On the 1881 census his son is now 11 and his daughter Annie appears (aged 6). They live at 20 Princess Street, next door to my Rycroft ancestors who are at number 22. Both Charles and Annie die between census years 1881 and 1891. On the 1891 census, William and Emily have three children living with them: Joseph (19), Samuel (10), and Minnie (6). They are living at 25 Raymond Street. So Joseph, identified as an Assistant Ironmonger,  appears to have been missing from the 1881 census. In fact, I found him listed as a visitor with Sarah and Samuel Hewitt, sister and brother, and probably his aunt and uncle as his mother’s maiden name was Hewitt. They lived at 5 Volunteer Street.

In 1901, William (62), Emily (56), and Minnie (16) are living at 35 Raymond Street and William is “living on his own means”.

William dies on 23 April 1910, leaving an estate of £2138 to his widow Emily and to David Lythall Hewitt, shoe manufacturer, likely a relative of Emily’s. William’s address is noted as 5 Volunteer Street.

In the census of 1911, Emily is noted as widowed and still living with Samuel and Minnie, now at 7 Volunteer Street. Emily is noted as having “Private Means” and Samuel is a Draper’s Assistant.

Of personal interest are the names in this story. My great-grandmother’s name was Emily Minnie Price (b. 1870). She would have been the same age as Charles, and a next-door neighbour, so likely a playmate. (My) Emily’s father was a bookkeeper and her mother was a grocer.  her mother Eliza Rycroft dies in 1881 and Emily and her siblings continue to live on Princess street with her widowed grandmother, Sarah Rycroft, a pawnbroker.

Emily Minnie Price
Emily Minnie Price, my maternal great grandmother.

This is a cup that has been passed down to me.

IMG_0001
Cup reads Emily Minnie Price, 24 Princes (sic) Street, Chester

If you are related to this Pritchard family and would like the In Memoriam cards, please get in touch!