Rebecca Stephen ELLICE 8
- Born: 23 Jul 1879, Glass, Aberdeenshire, Scotland 8
- Marriage: Alexander MILTON on 1 Jun 1906 8
- Died: 18 Feb 1967, Post Office Avonbridge at age 87 8
Remembrances of Rebecca Ellice:
Long before the younger children were born, the older members had left home, living whereve r they were feed. Rebecca remembered four or five children sharing one bed. Probably al l were in full time work at the age of twelve or thirteen, but were seasonally employed a t a much earlier age. From the age of eight, they worked as herds in the summer months. Fe w fences existed and the childrens job was to keep the livestock away from the crops, as i n Little Boy Blue. Even at that age they slept on the croft that employed them and were rack ed with homesickness, coming home only on Sundays. When perhaps two or three years older, th ey would also work at the hairst (harvest).
On one occasion, John and Rebecca, who were working together, wept bitterly on the Sunday nig ht at the prospect of leaving again. Whereupon, Nellie reached for her mantle and bonnet an d said Weel bairns, if you winna go, I maun go myself and so, they accepted the inevitable.
Food was potatoes, oatmeal and skimmed milk, with all manner of wild berries and herbs. On o ne occasion, a fishwife, who had walked with her creel many miles from the coast, called wit h herrings for sale. Nellie had no money for herrings, the fishwife none for tatties, so the y arranged a barter.
In winter, the children walked through fields of snow to reach Auchindoun School, carrying th eir lunch of oatcakes, always eaten before they arrived. The older children, before the Educ ation Act making school compulsory, also carried peat for the school fire. Elsie, who live d to 93, was considered too delicate to go to school at all, but taught herself and became pe rhaps the most cultivated and well read member of the family.
When Nellie entertained her friend and neighbour, Eppie Baxter, there was no tea, no scones a nd no biscuits. Their treat was to bury whole potatoes in the hot ashes of the turf fire an d eat them with salt when cooked - these were birstled tatties. Eppie, being a working spi nster, was relatively opulent and kept a few hens. Rebecca remembered Eppie used to say Ye ll come hame wi me, Becksy, an Ill gie you a hen egg.
The little girls made their own dolls from potatoes, with sticks for arms and legs. Only onc e a year, on the day of Glass Market, did they all enjoy the luxury of a penny to spend.
When the girls were overcome with giggles, Nellie would say, You would lauch at your ain ski ns dryin on a dyke. She had a picturesque turn of phrase. She would send the girls to brus h their hair saying, Youre like a yowe lookin through the mist, or Youve a heid lik e a heather besom.
Weather could be very severe on the Heid o Corsemaul, and Nellie often had to dig steps in t he snow to reach her clothesline. During storms, a lamp was set in the window to guide the t raveler. If John Ellice was away, his hat was placed on the bed, to deceive the stranger.
Housework was minimal since there was little furniture and the floors were of beaten eart h - ornamented around the edges with white pipeclay. But cleanliness was next to Godliness . All water was carried from a spring in the heather nearby. Nellie knitted and sewed and p atched and washed and ironed, singing at her work.
There were many flowers in the garden, soft fruit bushes and rhubarb. Daffodils still bloo m on the site, and the house foundation can still be seen.
It is not known when it was abandoned, but it is unlikely that any other family lived there . Its stones were eventually used by road workers when the Dufftown/Huntly Road was properl y laid.
Nellies last years, at Rhubarb Lane, Dufftown, are remembered by her grandchildren. She wor e black clothes to the floor and a mutch on her head - perhaps white for special occasions . Every morning she stripped as far as decency allowed and washed at the cold water pump i n the back yard. Her huge pots of hens broth with oatmeal dumplings and her clootie dumplin gs were never forgotten treats. She was still knitting for her grandchildren at the time o f her death.
For years she had traveled from one branch of the family to another, taking charge at all tim es of need. She died at eighty-seven, revered and loved by them all.
From the 1881 Census:
Census Place:Glass, Aberdeen, Scotland
Source:FHL Film 0203457 GRO Ref Volume 199 EnumDist 2 Page 8
Marr Age SexBirthplace
John ELLICEM 40 MTyrie, Aberdeen, Scotland
Hellan ELLICEM 40 FGlass, Aberdeen, Scotland
Isabella H. ELLICE 12 FGlass, Aberdeen, Scotland
Jessie J. ELLICE 9 FGlass, Aberdeen, Scotland
Maggie ELLICE 7 FGlass, Aberdeen, Scotland
Elsie ELLICE 5 FGlass, Aberdeen, Scotland
Alexina R. ELLICE 4 FGlass, Aberdeen, Scotland
John ELLICE 3 MGlass, Aberdeen, Scotland
Rebecca ELLICE 1 FGlass, Aberdeen, Scotland
Charlotte G. ELLICE 2 m FGlass, Aberdeen, Scotland
Rebecca married Alexander MILTON on 1 Jun 1906.8 (Alexander MILTON was born in 1879 in St Andrews, Lhanbryde, , Morayshire, Scotland 8.)