The American Raitts
Other Raitt families in America
Besides these Illinois and Nebraska Raitts (some of whom moved to pastures new such as California, Iowa and Kansas), there are other Raitts in America (as well as elsewhere). In fact, since developing this web site on my own Raitt family and that of my American cousins, I have been contacted by other Raitts who appear not to be connected at first glance to either my side or our American side. At present, even though there may be family trees available for these Raitts, it has not yet been determined whether or not they are actually related to my ancestors (although it is generally accepted that all Raitt/Raits/Reats/Rhetts are descended from the same original family in the distant past). However, in the interests of information and knowledge sharing, I believe it is well worth including details of these other families when I become aware of them. For convenience I have ordered them by State. As noted above, the details are not complete, nor are all Raitts in all States included at this time. It is also difficult to know where to place some members since they moved round quite bit.
In a I gave brief details of singer/actor John Raitt (and daughter Bonnie) and his ancestry for a few generations back. Other details will be found on the page under Entertainers. I have now provided more information on the ancestry of this family which stems from Thomas Raitt of Glen Isla, Angus, Scotland on the and especially on the page. Several other Scottish Raitt families who found there way eventually to California will also be found on the California Raitts page. A quick look through the California birth and marriage records reveals many other Raitt names not included in these pages - they will be the subject of future research. A separate page has been created for the family and ancestors of Granville Raitt who travelled from England to South Dakota, then to Alberta, Canada and who finally ended up in California.This story is to be found on the page . And details about Grace and Pearl Raitt, daughters of Oswald Raitt, who moved from Nicaragua to California will be found on the page. There is also Arthur Taylor Raitt, son of William Raitt of Aberdeen, who moved to Los Angeles where he married and had children. Details about the family can be found under . The family of Alexander Raitt from Aberdeen, who emigrated to Los Angeles in the 1920s is also included.
John Rait, originally from Wishaw, Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire, emigrated to the United States about 1879, going first to Iowa, then Colorado and finally to California about 1921. His early life and ancestry in Scotland and life in the USA thereafter will be found on the page.
John Rait from Lanarkshire, noted just above, moved from Iowa to Colorado about 1890 and he and his sons John and Daniel are listed in Trinidad, Las Animas in 1892. Details can be found on the page.
There are at least three Raitt families in Florida, all of whom have their roots elsewhere. I haven’t checked yet who was there first (not that it matters), but we find the family of one of my grandfather’s brother’s sons, Edward Duncan Raitt, residing near Fort Lauderdale having moved down there from New Jersey in the early 1950s. Edward had married Carole Gregory from Passaic, NJ around 1950, where their first child, Laura, was born in 1951. Their next two daughters, Elizabeth (1955) and Carole (1973) were both born in Hollywood, Florida. Details on Edward can be found under his father 's page.
Several of the New York branch of Morris Raitt moved to Florida and flourish there today around Fort Myers. The ancestors of this family are mentioned below under Michigan and on the page.
Finally there are the descendants of another New York Raitt family, namely Nathan S. Raitt whose ancestors came from Scotland - see under
In addition to the families of John and James Dorward Raitt mentioned above, there is also the family of James Reat, of Ohio (see below), who moved to Illinois in 1839 to take up farming. James had married Susannah Rogers in Ohio and they had several children born there. The family lived in Charleston, Coles County, where James died in 1859.
The 1850 census for Charleston, Coles County shows that James is a farmer aged 60, wife Susanna is 54, children: Mary is 26; Robert C., is 22 and also a farmer; James L. is 17; Susannah is 13; William Jester is 10; John W. is 31 and a farmer; and Sarah, 21 (presumably John’s wife, born Indiana).
The 1860 census for Charleston, Coles County reveals that Susanna Reat, aged 66, presumably a widow, is living in the household of her son Robert, 31, a farmer; and (presumably) his wife Emma, 27, born Illinois; and also her daughter Esther, 35, a domestic. Son John W. and wife Sarah and three children (one of whom is named James L. Reat, aged 3) are farming nearby.
James Lee Reat, son of James and Susannah, was born on 26 January 1835 in Fairfield County, Ohio. His middle name may conceivably have been in honour of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee. James married Sallie C. Callaway, of Jacksonville, Kentucky in 1861 in Tuscola, Douglas County, Illinois and they had four children: Lois R.; Samuel Callaway; and Fred L.; the other baby died in infancy. James Lee Raitt died in Tuscola on 25 November 1921. (For more on James Lee Reat see under - The Surgeon.)
William Raitt, a granite carver from Aberdeen, was first working and living in Illinois, before eventually moving with his wife to Los Angeles in the mid-1930s to be with his son, Arthur Taylor Raitt, and grandchildren. The details I have discovered about this family are given on a separate page - . William’s granddaughter, Jill Raitt, born in California, resides in Chicago.
Another Raitt from Illinois is the Reverend Charlene Ruth Raitt (see under at bottom) - though I have not traced her ancestors yet.
When Thomas Raitt’s family arrived in Bovina, Delaware County, New York in 1817 they then went forth and multiplied. Two branches were in Iowa at some point, one only briefly however. George Patterson Raitt was a Presbyterian minister in Patterson, Madison County, Iowa in the late 1870s with three children being born there. Full details on his ancestral family can be found on the page. His younger brother Robert Raitt had moved to Patterson before 1870 where he was a farmer. He lived in various other locations in the State with his family before returning to Patterson. Several of his children, particularly John Gibson Raitt, also stayed in Iowa and I have created a separate page for them under .
George Raitt from Maine also moved to Iowa with his two sons, Oliver and George, in the late 1850s. I have followed up on their descendants and created a new page on these .
Archibald Raite, age 23, born 1859 in in Lanarkshire, Scotland, occupation miner, emigrated to the United States, arriving in New York on 15 February 1882 from Glasgow. He first went to Keokuk, Iowa, where is uncle John Raite was living, but after John moved to Colorado about 1890, Archibald decided to move to Kansas some time between 1891-1895. Details about Archibald will be found on the page, while those of John will be found on the page. Their families and ancestry back in Wishaw, Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire will be found on the same page.
Archibald Raite (see above under Iowa) moved to Cherokee County, Kansas in the early 1890s. He died in Scammon, Cherokee not long after the 1900 census. His widow subsequently moved the family to Wyoming (see below).
Then there is Captain Alexander Raitt, born about 1722 in Scotland and who emigrated to America in 1745 (to escape the crackdown on Catholics?) and whose descendants settled in Old Kittery, Maine which is present-day Eliot, Maine. Alexander died of yellow fever in Jamaica in 1776 and is buried there. His son James was also a captain and was buried at sea. I have created a separate page called the on this family which goes down to the present day (see also under New Hampshire below). Some members of the family believe they have a that links them with early - arms that are also claimed by the Maryland Raitts. Alexander's grandson George Raitt moved to Iowa in the late 1850s and his descendants are to be found on the page.
There is a John Raitt from Maryland who became Sheriff of Arundel County and who died in Howard County, Maryland in 1803 (see and ) who was the progenitor of other Raitts in America. Since I have been contacted by a couple of people from branches of this line in Texas, then I have created a page on what I have called these . Because of the similarity of their , it appears there may be connections with Raitts living in Germany in the fifteenth century (see Members of the Maine Raitts also have the same coat of arms.
James Reat was apparently born in Scotland in 1739 and as a Huguenot, came to America with his brother during the Revolutionary War. James sided with the rebels under George Washington, whilst his brother sided with the British, and the brothers consequently fell out. After the war James settled at Frederickstown, Maryland where a son, also James, was born in 1790. James Snr died in 1823 in Maryland, and son James and family moved first to Ohio (see below) and later to Illinois (see above.)
Since the spelling Reat is fairly unusual, then it is worthwhile to speculate on the origins of this family.. Unfortunately we do not know the name of the brother who fought on behalf of the English. However, assuming their name was really originally also Reat, then trying to trace the first James Reat from Scotland, there appears to be only one born around 1739, namely James Reat baptized on 24 October 1742 to David Reat (later Raitt), weaver, abode Ground of Colliston, St Vigeans, Angus, and mother Jean Lesly/Leslie. (There was also a James Raitt born in Liff, Benvie and Invergowrie, Angus in 1735 and a James Rait born in Monikie, Angus in 1741, and a couple of other Raits born in 1842.) However, it would seem that David Reat had other sons: John baptized on 24 July 1724 in St Vigeans; William on November 1729, abode Grange of Conon; David on 27 July 1733; Patrick, baptized on 10 May 1737, abode Grange of Conon and another John, baptized on 19 June 1739, abode Grange of Conon (the assumption is that the earlier one had died.) Since Grange of Conon and Colliston are virtually adjacent, then this is almost certainly the same family. (For their ancestry, as well as descendants see ). If this is indeed the James Reat that went to America, then the brother that went with him may well have been John, born 1739. He does not appear in the US censuses, so possibly he was killed or perhaps returned to Scotland after the War. He may even be the John Raitt of Maryland, apparently born around 1735 – though if the brothers became alienated, then it is unlikely they ended up in the same state!
William Charles Raitt born 1891 in Iowa moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 1919/1920 after a couple of years in South and North Dalota. Son Herman Jacob Raitt was born there in 1921 and son Charles William was born there in 1945 (see under )
Brief mention of Kenneth Raitt, born in 1892 in Massachussets is given below under New Hampshire for the time being.
And then there are other Raitts in Michigan. This branch is interesting because the progenitor, Abe Raitt, came to America from Poland in the early 1900s. The family understanding is that officials at Ellis Island changed his name from Ratowsky or Raitowsky to Raitt presumably to blend in more. But what a choice of name - why was Raitt with a double t chosen? Surely not plucked out of the air - he (or the immigration officer) perhaps knew someone with that name, maybe the family in front of him in the queue were called Raitt and it stuck in the clerk’s mind, or even maybe he was descended from one of the Raitts who went to Poland several centuries ago and who eventually changed their name to a more Polish sounding version!
A little research shows that there were a few Ratowskys who came to America in the early 1900s - they were Jewish, some from Mlawa in Poland. One of them was named Moishe and perhaps he changed his name, because I found a family called Morris Raitt (aged 32 in the 1930 census in New York) with wife Celia and several children one of whom was called Abe, aged 17 (thus born about 1913). Morris (see below also under New York) applied for naturalization in 1926 in Brooklyn - he was 52 (thus born about 1874). I found that an Abraham Raitt joined the army in 1942 in Los Angeles, the record stating that he was born in 1913 and was from Poland. It looks as though this could be the same chap. I further found that a Celia Raitt born 7 Apr 1891 died 15 Oct 1993 in New York. That is surely the Celia mentioned above. I also found the death of Abe H. Raitt born 15 Mar 1903, died 9 Jul 1992 West Bloomfield, Oakland, Michigan (if this is the same Abe, then maybe there is a mistake between 1903 and 1913).
However, I have now tracked down this Polish (or Russian) family and have provided the information discovered on a separate page under Michigan Raitts, even though they started off in New York and some members eventually moved to Florida.
It was known that another part of the same Ratowsky family went to South Africa where they apparently changed their name to Roy for some reason. Some lived in Cape Town and one was a prominent doctor in Johannesburg. Since creating the Michigan Raitts page, I have been contacted by a descendant of this South African branch who was keen to get in touch with her American relations. I have received some additional information on this family and even though they are not Raitts, I have included the details for the sake of completeness on the page.
Robert Raitt and wife Betsy from Dundee, Angus arrived in Detroit via Canada in 1930 and lived there for some 40 years before retiring in San Diego. Details about Robert and his family, as well as his Scottish roots will be found on the page.
In addition, I have also been contacted by someone in Minnesota whose ancestor Alexander Raitt emigrated from Scotland to New Brunswick in Canada some time in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. I have included basic information about this family on the page . Family members later moved to Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Montana and Minnesota - details about some of these branches are included here and elsewhere on this page.
In fact, there seems to be several unrelated (?) Raitt families living in Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., Minnesota certainly in the 1920s and 1930s. There is Charles Kingsmill Raitt from Manitoba, Canada and his wife Alice Nelson in the early 1920s (see under .) The 1930 census shows Thomas Raitt, age 44, born Ohio and family living there. And the 1920 and 1930 censuses have Charles Harold Raitt and family living there (he is from New Brunswick and is to be found on the page.) They surely must have known each other at a time when Minneapolis had only 380.000 inhabitants in 1920.
Charles H. Raitt was the son of Thomas and Fyfe Raitt and emigrated to the United States from New Brunswick, Canada with them in 1881. In the 1900, 1905 and 1910 censuses Charles is living in Wisconsin with his parents and siblings (see below). His WW1 registration card dated 12 September 1918 in Minneapolis, reveals that Charles Harold Raitt lived at 3817 Lyndale Ave So., Minneapolis, he was 40, born 18 May 1878 in Canada and he was a grocer at 411 West 41st St in Minneapolis. His nearest relative was his wife Josie. He was of medium height and build with brown eyes and black hair.
In the 1920 census for Hennepin Co., Minnesota there is Charles H. Raitt, 41, born Canada; wife Josie, 35, born Minnesota; and children Harold T., 5; and William, almost 3 – both born Minnesota. Also in the household is Charles’s brother Thomas Raitt, 36, divorced, born Wisconsin. Actually, before moving from Wisconsin to Minnesota, it would appear that Thomas lived in Ohio. On his WW1 registration card date 5 June 1917 in Columbus, Ohio, Thomas Grant Raitt was living at 1667 Franklin, Ohio, born on 28 November 1888 in Ashland, Ohio. He was employed as a manual training teacher at South High School and he had a wife and child of five months who were the reason he claimed exemption from the draft. He was of medium height and build with brown eyes and black hair and he was not bald.
In the 1930 census for Grand Avenue, Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., Minnesota there is Charles H. Raitt, 51; wife Josie, 45; and son Harold T., 15. In the 1940 census for Buffalo, Wright, Minnesota there is Josie Raitt, 55, widowed, born Minnesota, occupied as manager and clerk in her own grocery store; living with her is son Harold, 26, a partner in his mother's grocery business. Charles had died on 24 July 1939 in Buffalo, Wright County. (Josie Cassell Raitt, born in 1885, died in 1956.) Their son Harold Thomas Raitt, born 9 July 1914 in Minneapolis, was an automobile salesman. He died on 23 May 1973, aged 58, in Corpus Christi, Texas as the result of a two car collision in which he was a passenger. The informant was (wife?) Lucille Raitt.
In the 1930 census for Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., Minnesota we find Thomas Raitt, 44, born Ohio (both parents born in USA); wife Anna, 37, born Minnesota, but father German and mother Swiss; children William C., 13, stepson, born Ohio; Beverly N., 5; and Thomas, 2 – both born Minnesota.
In the 1940 census for Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota living at 3011 West 44th Street, we have Thomas Grant Raitt, 50, working as a contact man in retail - frozen foods, born Ohio, with his wife Anne, 48, born Minnesota; and children William, 21, working in the transportation department of a packing company, born Ohio; Beverly, 15, born Minnesota; and Thomas, 12, born Minnesota. (The children, on the next page in the census are listed as living at 3011 Vincent Avenue). All had been at the same address in 1935.
From his WW2 registration card dated 26 April 1942 in Minneapolis, Thomas Grant Raitt was residing at 3011 West 44th Street, Minneapolis. He was aged 56 and his date of birth was 28 November 1886 in Ashland, Wisconsin. The person who would always know his address was (wife) Ann C. Raitt. His employer was K. Aslesen Co in Minneapolis. At registration, Thomas was 5ft 8½in in height, weighed 165 lbs, had brown eyes and grey hair and was of dark complexion. He had a mole on his right cheek. It is interesting to note that daughter Beverly Ann was admitted to the Cadet Nursing Corps on 27 March 1944 at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and graduated on 25 July 1947. Thomas Grant Raitt, born 28 November 1885, died on 3 June 1959 in Hennepin County, Minnesota.
George Raitt, born in Maine in 1834 but moved with his father and brother to Iowa in the late 1850s, but then moved again to Hennepin, Minnesota between about 1863-1870, where he may have married Maria, and where he died in 1870. Details can be found on the page.
Thomas Raitt, eldest son of Thomas Rait and Margaret Miller and born in Dundee, Angus, Scotland on 8 June 1841, emigrated from Scotland to America in 1860. He started off in Virginia, but subsequently moved to Mississippi (with his descendants settling in Illinois, Arkansas, Texas and elsewhere. The family has its own page under the while his Scottish forebears are to be found on the page relating to the .
John A. Raitt was the son of Thomas and Fyfe Raitt and emigrated to the United States from Canada with his parents and siblings in 1881. He is to be found in the 1900 census for Durand, Pepin, Wisconsin living with his parents and siblings (see below), but since he appears not to be there in the 1905 census living with the rest of his siblings, then presumably he had already left for Montana. Further details on his parents and ancestors will be found under .
John Raitt married Grace M. Connelly about 1907 and became naturalized in 1916. His World War 1 Draft registration card dated 12 September 1918 in Lewistown, Fergus, Montana gives his age as 42 and date of birth as 22 October 1875. His permanent home address was given simply as Hobson, Montana. His present occupation was Editor, employed by J. B. Star in Hobson, and his nearest relative was given as Grace M. Raitt of Hobson. He was of medium height and build with brown eyes and black hair.
In 1910 John A. Raitt, 30, newspaper owner, born Canada (as were both parents), is living with his wife Gracie, 25, born Illinois (as were both parents), in Pleasant Valley School District, Fergus, Montana. They had been married three years.
In 1920, in School District 5, Fergus, there is John A. Raitt, 43, newspaper publisher, born Canada; wife Gracie M., 35, born Illinois; and several children born since the previous census: Warren C., 9; Gordon, 7; Helena, 5; Carol, 4; and Rita, 1 – all born in Montana.
By 1930, the family had moved to Hobson, Judith Basin, Montana. We find in the census, John A. Raitt, 53, Editor of a city weekly, born Canada-English; wife Gracie M., 42, born Illinois; children Warren C., 19; Gordon T., 18; Helena F., 16; Carol A., 14; and Rita G., 11 - all born Montana.
In 1940 J. A. Raith (sic) was at home at First Avenue, Hobson, Judith Basin, Montana (in the same house in 1935), aged 64, newspaper publisher, born Canada English. With him was his wife Grace, 55, born Illinois, assistant newspaper publisher.
John A. Raitt died aged 89 on 21 January 1965 in Fergus Co., Montana and is buried in Philbrook Cemetery, Hobson, Judith Basin, Montanta. His wife Grace M. (Connelly) Raitt, born 1884, died in 1879 and is also buried there as is their daughter A. Carol Raitt (1916-1930).
John and Grace Raitt's son Warren C. Raitt was born on 17 June 1910 in Hobson, Judith Basin, Montana, and died on 18 October 1995 in Lewistown, Fergus, Montana. Aged 25, he married Bess M. Ballard, 29, born Plymouth, Hancock, Illinois on 30 Aug 1933 in Circle, McCone, Montana. His father was given as Jack Raitt. In the 1940 census for 1009, 6 Avenue South, Great Falls, Cascade, Montana, we have Warren Raitt, 29, salesman for a tobacco company, born Montana; wife Bess, 35, born Illinois; and children Nancy, 4; and Connie, 10m - both born in Montana. In 1935 Warren and Bess were living in Helena, Lewis and Clark, Montana.
John and Grace Raitt's son Gordon T. Raitt was born on 10 March 1912 in Hobson, Montana and died on 30 August 1990 in California. Aged age 21, and living in Great Falls, Teton, Montana, he married Helen A. Tucker, of Great Falls, age 20, on 21 Oct 1933 in Grace Falls. In 1940 living in Fairfield-Greenfield, Teton, Montana, we have Gordon T. Raitt, 28, born Montana, occupied as a clerk in retail hardware and lumber, with his wife Helen, 26, a laundress in own home, born Montana, and children Barbara, 5 and Thomas G., 1 - both born in Montana. In 1935 Gordon and Helen were living in Helena, Lewis and Clark, Montana.
John and Grace Raitt's daughter Helena F. Raitt, age 25, born Hobson, Montana married Elmer C. Taurman, 27 in Hobson, Judith Basin, Montana on 19 March 1939. Witnesses were Rita Raitt and T. Gordon Raitt. Thomas Gordon Raitt, born 31 Oct 1938 in Montana, died on 7 September 1955 in San Bernadino, California.
John Raitt's brother Frank had moved to Montana from Wisconsin (see below) some time after 1905. The records show that Frank F. Raitt, age 25, born in Ashland, Wisconsin married Clarissa Pierce, 24, in Lewistown, Montana on 14 October 1909. His father was Thomas G. Raitt and his mother was Fyfe Chalmers. He died in Lewis and Clark County, Montana on 4 December 1942. Clarissa was born 21 Feb 1885 in Wayne, Montana and died 25 April 1917. Both Frank and Clarissa are buried in Lewistown, Fergus, Montana.
Frank Raitt's World War 1 Draft registration card dated 12 September 1918 gives his age as 34, born 24 March 1884 in Ashland, residing in Lewistown, Fergus, Montana where he was a photographer. The card lists his nearest relatives as children Margaret, Laurie and Grant living at 814, West Boulevard, Lewistown, Fergus. He was of medium height and build, with brown eyes and dark hair.
Frank Raitt's World War 11 Draft registration card dated 26 April 1942 shows him to have been born on 24 March 1884 in Ashland, Wisconsin and gives his age as 58 and his current address as 422 8th Avenue, Helena, Montana. He was unemployed and he gave as the name and address of someone who would always know where he was, Mrs Pat Gilfeather of 312, 19th Street North, Great Falls, Montana (this was, in fact, his daughter Margaret who married Patrick Gilfeather on 7 August 1937). He was 5ft 61⁄2 in tall and weighed 145 pounds. He had brown eyes, grey hair and a ruddy complexion.
In 1910, Frank F. Raitt, age 26, farmer, born Wisconsin (both parent born Canada) is at home in the Stanford School District, Fergus, Montano with this wife Clarissa, 25, born Illinois.
In the 1920 census, Frank F. Raitt, 35, widowed, photographer, born Wisconsin (parents Canada) is living in Fifth St, Harlowton, Wheatland, Montana. His children Margaret L., 8, and Grant P., 6, are living with their grandparents (their mother Clarissa's parents) in Boulevard Street, Big Springs, fergus, Montana.
In 1930 living at 706, Fifth Avenue, Helena, Lewis and Clark, Montano is Frank Raitt, 47, widower, born Wisconsin, proprietor of a grocery store, with daughter Margaret, 19 and son Grant, 16, both born Montana.
In 1940 lodging at 422 Eighth Avenue, Helena, Lewis and Clark, Montana, is Frank Raitt, 56, widower, retired, born Wisconsin (supplemantary questions say that father was born Sweden, mother Wisconsin). He was at the same place in 1935.
Frank's son Grant Pierce Raitt, born 26 July 1913 in Lewistown, Montana, died on 20 November 2002 and is buried in Billings, Yellowstone. Montana. Aged 25, he married Viola Bliler of Clyde Park, Montana, on 26 June 1939 in Boulder, Jefferson, Montana. His mother is given as Clara Pierce. In the 1940 census, the couple are to be found living at 3537 Lafayette, St Louis City, Missouri. Grant, 26, is a student at medical school, born Montana; wife Viola is 22, born Montana. Her inferred address in 1935 was Clyde Park, Pack County, Montana, while his is Missouri, Missouri. Grant served in the US Army as a physician during World War 2 and was awarded a bronze star medal. Grant and Viola had three children born in Billings: Melina Ellan, born 26 January 1947; Bonnie, and Gary G., born 19 August 1953.
A news item in the Billings Gazette for 7 May 1967 states that Melina E. Raitt, daughter of Dr and Mrs Grant P. Raitt of 3220 Poly Drive, Billings, married Lt James R. Thompson II on 29 April 1967 in Billings. The newlyweds were going to reside in Austin, Texas. Melina’s sister Bonnie was a maid of honour and brother Gary was an attendant.
Gary is probably the last male Raitt standing in Montana. An item in the Billings Gazette for 22 June 1975 states that Army Private Gary G. Raitt, age 22, son of Dr and Mrs Grant P. Raitt, 2410 Spruce St, Billings, received two letters of recommendation for his work demonstrating a radar mobile unit before British and German military officers. he was stationed at the time at Bitburg AFB, Germany and had been in the army for 18 months. In the mid-1990 and 2000s Gary was resident in Billings, but he was at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, Wisconsin in 1973.
Also in Montana we find David Raitt born to David and Isabella Raitt in Lachure, Quebec in 1867. He married in Montana and died there in Townsend, Broadwater in 1909. What details are known are currently to be found on the page.
For sake of completeness, it must be noted that my two great uncles, who started off their new life in America in Illinois (see above) where they both had several children, subsequently moved on to Nebraska. , who arrived in Illinois in 1863, moved there in 1899, following his younger brother who, after emigrating to Illinois in 1871, had moved to Nebraska in 1883. Unlike John, James had several other children born in Nebraska - many of the brothers’ grandchildren, and subsequent descendants were also born there, although a few did choose to remain in Illinois. Details about the two families will be found on their respective pages.
One of the , who had originated in Scotland, moved to Nevada. John Shaw Raitt was working in Wadsworth, Washoe, Nevada probably before 1890 as a locomotive engineer. His children were born there and he died there in 1930.
Another member of the family, William Forrest Raitt, moved with his family to New Hampshire before 1900, first to Dunbarton, Merrimack and then to Derry, Rockingham where he died in 1928. Several of his children were born in New Hampshire.
I have come across some other Raitts in New Hampshire and I will probably add them here for the moment - though Kenneth Raitt, the one I came across first was working in Iowa in 1917, but born in Massachussetts about 1892, though his father, Frederick was born in New Hampshire about 1862, but his father Jeremiah was born in Maine about 1824, as was the latter's father James about 1800. Details about Jeremiah and James can be found on the page.
Edward Duncan Raitt, a son of my grandfather’s elder brother, David, emigrated to New Jersey in 1923. He was followed there a few years later by his eldest sister Mary Purvis Raitt who was a nurse. Edward resided initially in Passaic, Paterson, New Jersey – moving later to Brooklyn, New York where he married. His only son, also Edward Duncan Raitt, married Carole Gegory from Passaic about 1950 and some time after the birth of their first child in Passaic in 1951, the family moved to Florida. Sister Mary, after moving around a bit, lived as a nurse with families in Farhills and Bedminster, NJ but stayed single and eventually returned to Glasgow. Further details about the family will be found on the page for David Dorward Raitt’s son .
However, there were other Raitts living in Passaic around the same time – also from Arbroath, Angus (where Edward Duncan Raitt had been born.) Samuel Bowden Raitt, an instrument maker in the aircraft industry like Edward, emigrated to New Jersey in 1927, following his sister, Louisa Mary Forbes Raitt, who emigrated to Passaic in 1923 (the same year as Edward Duncan Raitt) in order to get married. Their youngest sister, Janet Taylor Raitt, emigrated to New Jersey much later in 1952, getting married in Passaic in 1956. Since there is much to write about their families then I have created a separate page for the . Details on their ancestors will be found under the page.
And we must not forget the Raitts in New York - both in the city itself and in Delaware County and elsewhere. The 1860 census lists several families from Scotland, but others bearing the name were there long before, particularly in Bovina, Delaware, NY. Among the first of these was the family of Thomas Raitt and Elisabeth Thoms from Angus, Scotland who arrived in 1817. Thomas married Elisabeth Thoms on 9 Dec 1787 in Glen Isla, Angus and they had six children all born in Angus. Thomas seems to have died before 1817 when his widow and children emigrated to the United States - settling in Bovina, Delaware County. I have now found out quite a lot more about this family and their descendants (several in California and Iowa (see above) as well as elsewhere with brief details given on this page under the relevant state) and this information is contained on the page. However,
There are several other Raitt families to be found in New York in the early nineteenth century e.g. Robert Rait and Crichton S. Raitt (See - The Craftsmen) arriving from Edinburgh, and Bernard Reat; as well as in the early twentieth century (e.g. Edward Duncan Raitt, son of my grandfather’s elder brother, arriving from Glasgow; and Meska Rajdewski who emigrated from Poland with his family and quickly became known as Morris Raitt (see above under Michigan). Also included are details of John Thow Raitt who emigrated in 1907. Brief details about these families are given initially on the page which has links to other pages which provide much more information.
Although there are probably others that I have not looked into yet, we know that William Charles Raitt born 1891 in Iowa was in North Dakota from about 1917-1919 before moving on to Maryland (see under ).
Two brothers, named Reat, emigrated from Scotland to the United States during the war of the Revolution, one of whom espoused the cause of the rebels, the term by which the patriot colonies were then known, and served through that struggle with George Washington's forces. The other brother sided with the Tories (the British Crown and government) and as a result the two brothers became alienated and a total separation occurred between the two branches of the family
After the war the erstwhile rebel James Reat (1739-1823) settled in Frederickstown, Maryland where son James was born in 1790 (see under Maryland above). James Snr died in 1823 and at some point, possibly after his father died, James Jnr moved to Ohio, where he married Susannah Rogers, born in 1796 in Virginia, and settled with her in Fairfield County, Ohio.
The 1830 census for Madison, Fairfield, Ohio gives the household of James Reat – comprising nine individuals: James (aged between 40-49), Susanna (30-39); and children: one male under five; one male between 10-14; one male between 15-19; two females under five; and two females between 5-9. Later records show the children’s names to be John; Mary; Margaret; Hester; Robert C.; James Lee; and Susan R. In 1839, the family moved to Coles County, Illinois, where James purchased a farm on which they resided for a time. They then moved to Charleston and lived there up to the time of his death, in 1859. (See also under Illinois above as well as under - the Surgeon for further information about son James Lee Reat.)
In the Will Abstracts for Wood County, Ohio, we learn that Sally F. Raitt, wife of James Raitt, formerly Sally Cobran of Richland Co., Illinois left a will dated 7 April 1845. The executor was husband James Raitt and children mentioned were Elizabeth, Nancy and Sarah Jane Raitt.
The 1900 census for Cincinnati City, Hamilton, Ohio has the household of Nathan E. Raitt, aged 54, a railway postal clerk, born in Kentucky, where his mother was born, though his father was born in Maryland. With him are his wife Mary H., 44, born Illinois and married for 22 years; and children M. Sina., 25, born Illinois; John W., 20, civil engineer, born Illinois; Anna H., 12, at school, born Ohio; and Charles C., 9, at school, born Ohio.
In 1910, the family is Cincinnati Ward 2, Hamilton and comprises Nathan E. Raitt, 63; wife Mary H., 54; and daughters Mary S., 43 and Anna H., 22. Son Charles C. is living nearby aged 19. In fact,
Charles Crenshaw Raitt, born Cincinnati (mother’s maiden name is Hall), married Frances Ariel Chambers, aged 20, born Cincinnati, on 17 May 1917 in Hamilton.
In the 1820 census for Hamilton, we find a record for Charles Raitt, 22, female, daughter to head of household, widowed, born Ohio and William C. Raitt, aged 1, grandson, born Ohio. The relationships are possibly incorrect – Charles being perhaps dead and Ariel is meant and William being their son. This is perhaps born out in the 1930 census for Cincinnati, where we find William B. Raitt, 11, born Ohio, stepson in the house of Earl A. and Ariel F. Johns. Ariel, age 32, is surely his mother and had obviously remarried.
Still in Hamilton in 1920, Nathan Raitt is 73 and his wife Anna H. is 63. Daughter Anna H., 32, is living nearby.
In 1900 at Coshocton village (south part), Coshocton, Ohio is living the family of David A. Raitt, aged 47, employed at the water works, born Ohio as were parents; and his wife Edith C. 40, also born Ohio as parents married in 1885. With them is their son Frank A., 11, at school, born Ohio. Where the family is in later years is not known.
In 1920 also in Hamilton is Gerrit J. Raitt, 42, born Michigan, though both parents born Holland; and his wife Nilles, 41. The family comprises Cornelie, 15; Gerrit W., 14; Lucile, 9; and Calbin, 7. Also in the household is Cornelie Regtesman, 64, widowed, and mother-in-law to the head of the family.
Also in 1920 living with the Gillen family in Cuyahoga County, Ohio is Agnes Raitt, 27, widowed, born Maryland, though father was born Ireland and mother Scotland; and Robert Raitt, aged 3, born Ohio, though his father was born in Scotland. Agnes obviously remarried, for in the 1930 and in census for Lakewood, Cuyahoga, Ohio we find Robert Raitt, 18, stepson, in the household of William and Agnes Noetzel (Agnes is 37).
In East Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio in 1930 is William D. Raitt, 37, divorced, a roomer in the Hurbig household. He was apparently born Scotland as were his parents and he emigrated in 1900. This is possibly the husband of Agnes above (though it says she is a widow) and father of Robert. In fact William Raitt, born Scotland, married Agnes E. Stapelton, 23, born Lanaconing, Maryland on 29 July 1914 in Cuyahoga County. Actually, this was William’s second marriage as he wedded Thomasina Mitchel, age 22, in Cuyahoga County on 20 June 1911!
Then in Akron, Summit, Ohio in 1930 there is the family of John Raitt, aged 36, race negro, born Alabama (as were both parents); wife Bessie, 23, also negro, born Alabana as were parents; and daughter Johnnie May, 7, born Alabama. Also in the household is Leola MacNeal, 27, widowed, negro, born Alabama and sister to head of household.
Charles Raitt arrived as an immigrant in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1802.
Various members of the family lived and worked in Pennsylvania. Burton Clark Raitt married in Erie in 1888 and died there in 1908, his children having been born there in the 1890s. A son, James Thomas Raitt, of Presbyterian minster George Patterson Raitt, was born in Pennsylvania in 1888 when his father had a ministry there. That family eventually moved elsewhere.
Although he started off in Illinois, William Raitt, of Aberdeen, obviously moved to Rhode Island, presumably for work, where he applied for naturalization in 1896. His son Arthur Taylor Raitt (see above under California) was born there. Details about the family can be found under .
Colonel William Rhett was, according to his gravestone in St. Philip's Church Cemetery, Charleston, South Carolina, born in London on 4 Sept 1666 (though there is apparently no real proof of this) and who died on 12 January 1722, aged 57. He married Sarah Cooke in Brentwood, Essex on 1 September 1692 and both sailed for America arriving there as immigrants in South Carolina on 19 November 1694. George Rhett, possibly related to William, arrived in Carolina in 1671, and a Wm. Rhett arrived in South Carolina in 1719 - this may be Colonel William Rhett or it may be William Rhett, the younger, a merchant aged 26 who lived in South Carolina almost since birth until May 1719 when he went to London.
William Rhett Snr moved to the Province of Carolina in 1698 and soon became a successful leader and man of respect there. Among his many roles, he was the captain of the merchant ship Providence; Colonel of the Provincial Militia; Receiver-General of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina; Vice-Admiral of the Colonial Navy; Surveyor and Comptroller of His Majesty's Customs for Carolina and Bahama Islands; and Lt. General and Constructor of Fortifications. In 1706 he commanded a flotilla that fought off a Franco-Spanish attack on Charles Town. He captured the infamous pirate Major Stede Bonnet after a battle at Cape Fear in 1718 when he commanded the flagship Henry and Bonnet was aboard the Royal James (See ). He acquired a sugar plantation and in 1716 had finished work on his new house which, restored and now privately owned, still stands in its original location. William Rhett died suddenly when on the point of leaving Charleston to be Governor of the Bahamas.
Information about William was included in an article entitled "" which appeared in The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, v4, n1, January 1903, pp36-74. Details of descendants can be found on the web – the supposition that the family may have been descended from an old Dutch family called de Raedt has been discounted it seems. At 54 Hasell St., Charleston stands the Colonel William Rhett House, a historic, stuccoed brick two-story home built by Colonel Rhett in 1712 as the main house for Point Plantation later known as Rhettsbury, lying outside the walled city's limits. After Rhett's death in 1722, the house remained in his family until 1807. There is a placque giving details of his life outside the house.
Referring to the LDS International Genealogical Index many of the Rhetts there originate in South Carolina – the scattered few elsewhere in America may very well be descendants of the family of William Rhett.
However, the reason for mentioning William Rhett here is that his Coat of Arms included on his tombstones (at in Charleston as well as at St. Philip's Church Cemetery there) appears to be the same as that of the Raitts, namely or, a cross engrailed sable! (See also under ).
In fact it was whilst looking for further information on the Raitt Coat of Arms that I came across William Rhett, though I had seen the surname before, but not really given it any consideration. My desultory researches revealed that no-one seems to have associated Rhett with Raitt, despite the similarity in the Coat of Arms.
However, by chance I have just came across a brief article on a document in the Scottish Genealogist called the Families of Scotland which was compiled about 1672 - one of the families in the original manuscript is named Rait or Rhet. A transcription of the text of an early version of the document was made by the Scottish Record Society and I have managed to obtain a copy of the relevant pages for the family. Not only is the coat of arms described exactly the same, but Rait and Rhet are used interchangeably especially in the early years of the . The entry for the family can be found under at the bottom of the page. Interestingly, this is the oldest known history of the Raitt/Rait/Rhett family. Brief additional details on the Rhetts are included on the pages covering and in the 1880 US census.
And descendants of Grace Raitt, born in Nicaragua to Oswald Raitt of Nairn, Scotland (see ), currently live in Somerville, South Carolina.
Granville Raitt travelled from England to South Dakota in 1897, where he married and lived for some years before moving to Alberta, Canada and eventually to California. His story is to be found on the page .
Interestingly enough there was also a John Raitt, a farmer, aged 55, born in Scotland, living in South Dakota in 1925. He had been there for a couple of years. I will try and follow up on him.
And William Charles Raitt born 1891 in Iowa got married to Elva Ressler in Bison, Perkins, South Dakota in February 1917 and had a daughter born there. The family then moved to North Dakota and from there to Maryland (see under ).
In the 1880 census for E.D. 94, Lee, Texas we find the family of J. G. Reat, age 64, a farmer, born Virginia, though his father was born in England and mother Virginia (see below under Virginia); wife Elizabeth, 51, keeping house, born Arkansas, though both parents born Georgia; and children J. S. Reat, 21; and J. T. Reat, 20 - both born Mississippi. In the household are also G. E. Huckaby, 32, married and Gains Huckaby, 29 - also both born Mississippi and the relationship is given as sons. (In fact, wife Elizabeth, born Elizabeth Linecum on 31 Oct 1829 in Arkansas was married first to Jackson Huckaby before marrying into the Reat family about 1857.)
In the 1900 census for Dimebox, Lee, Texas there is Elizabeth Reat, 72, farmer, widowed (married 53 years and mother to five children - all living), apparently born Mississippi; and son James T. Reat, 39, farmer, born Mississippi; daughter Marcella Duty, 27, teacher, born Mississippi (though father born South Carolina); and granddaughter Estelle Duty, 7, at school, born Texas (though father born Missouri, mother Mississippi.)
The 1910 census for Justice Precinct 1, Lee, Texas has John S. Reat, 51, born Mississipi, father Virginia, mother Arkansas; wife Lelia A., 48, born Texas (father born Tennessee, mother Ohio); children Willie, M., 21; Clara D., 19; John A., 17; Grover D., 16; Eola R., 14; Haywood H., 11; Leila E. 10; Nannie E., 8 – all born Texas.
Also in the 1910 census for Justice Precinct 6, Lee,Texas we find John’s brother James T. Reat, 49, presumably still farming, born Mississippi, 49; Marcella J. Duty, 57, sister, widowed, presumably keeping house, born Mississippi (father born Alabama).
The 1920 census for Giddings, Lee, Texas has John S. Reat, age 61, a vet, born Mississippi; wife Lelia A., 58, born Arkansas; daughters Ruth, 24; Delia, 19; and Nannie, 18 - all born Texas and the youngest two being teachers in public schools.
Also in the 1920 census for Lee, Texas we have J. T. Reat, 59, born Mississippi, father born Virginia, mother Arkansas, still living with his sister Marcella Duty, 65, widowed, born Mississippi, father born Virginia, mother Arkansas.
In the 1930 census for Precinct 6, Lee, Texas there is James T. Reat, 69, single, born Mississippi; Marcella J. Duty, 77, half sister, widowed, born Mississippi; Marcellus, J. Duty, 52, half nephew, married, born Texas (father born Kentucky, mother Mississippi); Katy Duty, 27, half niece, married, born Texas (both parents born United States); Ottis Duty, 8, grandnephew, born Texas (as both parents); Louis Duty, 2, grandnephew, born Texas (as both parents); and Marjorie Duty, 0, grandniece, born Texas (as both parents).
J. G. Reat (it fact it should be J. F. Reat - see below) died on 20 June 1889 in Lee County, Texas; his wife Elizabeth died there on 10 October 1900; son John Strobia died on 8 October 1929; and son John Travis died on 18 January 1932. All are buried in Scott Cemetery, Lee County, Texas. Their descendants still reside in Texas.
The book entitled The Original Scots Colonists of Early America, 1612-1783 lists Margaret Raitt, born 4 September 1677 in Montrose, Angus to Robert Raitt and Margaret Orrock, dying in Virginia in 1714 (see )
The Reat family from Texas above appears to have (US) origins in Virginia. The first mentioned, J. G. Reat, would be the John Francis Reat, born 18 October 1815 in Richmond, Virginia (eight months to the day after his father died) and dying on 20 June 1889 in Lee County, Texas. On 26 July 1857 in Noxubee County, Mississippee, he married Elizabeth Huckaby (nee Linecum) born on 31 Oct 1829 in Arkansas and they had two sons both born in Mississippi: John Strobia Reat born 25 May 1858 and James Travis Reat born 25 1860. Clearly well before 1880 the family had moved on to Texas.
John Francis Reat was the son of James Reat and Catherine P. Strobia who married on 10 September 1810 in Henrico County, Virginia. James seems to have been born in 1782, in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the son of William Reat and his first (unknown) wife. (However, the 1880 census for John Francis gives his father as being born in England). Following the death of his wife, William married Ann Minor on 11 October 1785 in Spotsylvania Co., Virginia. They were involved in some land transfer in Fredricksburg in 1794 and 1796. The couple had two, very probably three children: Ann born 1785; David born 14 December 1792; and Catharine born 1794.
Besides John Francis, James Reat and Catherine Strobia had two earlier children: Mary born about 1811 and James L. born about 1813. Mary seems to have married Littleberry Stovall in 1830, but little is currently known about James L. Many of the known have been made available by later family members.
James Reat became a successful silversmith in partnership with Reuben Johnson from 1804 until his premature death on 18 February 1815 in Richmond. Records show that some of their work was owned by Thomas Jefferson. Some details about his silversmith career in Richmond can be found under - Craftsmen, but since there is much about the life and work of James Reat in a new book about Virginia silversmiths, then a complete page has been devoted to the .
The 1810 census for Richmond (Independent City) has the firm of Johnson & Reat, the household comprising 24 members including 17 free whites of varying ages and sex (one female over 26, presumably his wife) and 7 slaves. A Catharine Reat married Thomas Ware on 1 April 1807 in Fredricksburgh County, Virginia. The 1850 census has her as Catharine Sallifall (incorrectly transcribed from Taliafero) living in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania Co., Virginia, born about 1794 in Virginia. I would think that she was a daughter of William and Ann Reat. Other marriages in Virginia were between Mrs C. P. Reat and George Stoval in 1820 in Powhattan and Mary Reat and Littleberry Stovall in 1830 also in Powhattan.
In the West Virginia compiled census index for 1890 (and also the 1890 Veterans Schedule), there is Thomas Raitt in the WV Hospital for the Insane in Lewis County. This would appear to be the Thomas J. Raitt who enlisted as a Private in Company A, Virginia 36th Infantry Regiment on 8 June 1861, aged 16, at Camp Lee, Virgina. He died on 8 March 1912 in Lewis, West Virginia, aged 67, and single, and is buried in Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia. Given his age at enlistment and at death, then the inferred date of birth is 1845, however his gravestone gives it as 1843.
It is likely that this Thomas J. Raitt is the one born in Maine about 1845 and who is found in the census for Elliott, York, Maine in 1850, aged 5, in the household of Sarah A. Frost, 32, born New Hampshire. There are several other Raitts on the same page of the census. See also .
Yet another branch is being checked - that of Alexander C. Rait, son of James Reat or Rait who came to Brooklyn, New York in 1849. Now, I may have inadvertently found some details on this family whilst trying to find the who went to Wisconsin who I just thought might have been in the 1880 census. They were not, but I did come across an Alexander C. Rait! The census for Lanark, Portage Co., WI has Alexander C. Rait, age 55 (born 1825), farmer, born Scotland with both parents born Scotland; wife Frelove B., 46 (1834), keeps house, born VT (as were both parents); daughter Annie, 24 (1856), teacher, born NY (but both parents born Scotland); daughter Agnes J, 14 (1866), at school, born WI (but both parents born Scotland); son William, 10 (1870), at school, born WI (father born Scotland, mother VT); and son Ralf, 3 (1877), born WI (father born Scotland, mother VT).
If the census is accurate, then it would appear that Alexander was first married to a Scots woman (either back home in Scotland, or whom he met when he arrived in the US) because the first two children mentioned in the census have a Scottish mother. It transpires that an Alexander Rait got a land title transfer dated 20 Jul 1869 in Wisconsin for 40 acres. Thus he and his wife and eldest daughter Annie presumably moved from New York to Wisconsin between 1856 and 1866 since daughter Agnes was born in Wisconsin. However, it appears that either his wife died or they divorced between 1866 and 1870 because when son William was born, Alexander was married to Frelove. I have not yet been able to find either the marriages of Alexander and his two wives or the births of the children in New York or Wisconsin.
Daughter Annie Rait married John J. Tardiff (b 1858) in 1881 She died on 30 Mar 1934 and he in 1937 in McMinnville, Yamhill Co., Oregon.
The 1900 census for Lanark, Portage Co., Wisconsin has Ralph Rait as a newly married farmer (presumably on his father’s land) with wife, Alma (?) who was born Feb 1871 in Wisconsin, but both parents born New York. Alexander Rait and wife Frelove do not seem to be in the 1900 census for Lanark.
Looking for an Alexander Rait born in Scotland about 1825, I came across Alexander Reat chr 4 Aug 1825 in Old Machar, Aberdeen. Parents were James Reat and Elizabeth Reid. This could be the right chap - he’d be in his early twenties (like so many of the immigrants to America) when he arrived in Brooklyn. Why he (or immigration authorities) changed his name from Reat to Rait (and not Raitt!) is not known.
In the 1860 census for the town of Beetown, Grant, Wisconsin, there is James Reat, 26, born Michigan Ter.
In the 1900 census for Durand city, Pepin, Wisconsin there is Thomas Raitt, age, 53, photographer, born May 1847 in Canada (father Scotland, mother Ireland), emigrated to the US in 1881; wife Fyfe, 53, born October 1846 in Canada (both parents born Scotland); and children John, 24, printer, born October 1875 in Canada; Charles, 22, dry goods salesman, born May 1877 in Canada; Mazie, 20, assistant photographer, born March 1880 in Canada; Frank, 16, at school, born March 1884 in Wisconsin; and Grant, 14, at school, born November 1885 in Wisconsin. Thomas and Fyfe had been married for 26 years and Fyfe had born five children, all of whom were still living at the time of the census.
Thomas Raitt died in Pepin on 25 December 1904; his wife, Fyfe, had died a couple of months earlier in Pepin on 10 September 1904. Further details on Thomas in earlier censuses, his family and ancestors will be found on the page.
Following the death of their parents within months of each other the previous year, in the 1905 Wisconsin state census for Durand city, Pepin, we find living in the same household Charles H. Raitt, 28, salesman, born Canada, head of household; and his siblings: Mazie P., 25, photographer, born Canada; Frank F., 22, druggist, born Wisconsin; and T. Grant, 20, school teacher, born Wisconsin. Their brother John had moved to Montana (see above).
In the 1910 census for Durand Ward 1, Pepin, Wisconsin there is Charles H. Raitt, 32, born Canada, as were both parents; wife Josie, 24, born Minnesota (both parents born Iowa); and cousin Una Carrell, 21, born Wisconsin, as were both parents. Charles subsequently moved to Minnesota (see above), as did Thomas (see above), while Frank went to Montana (see above). Mazie ended up in Washington.
John Raitt, a 21 year old shepherd, born on 26 April 1887 in Aberdeen, is recorded as departing Glasgow on 21 March 1908 for New York aboard the Caledonia. He arrived on 30 March and his final destination was Gillette, Campbell County, Wyoming where he died 3 March 1949.
John's older brother, George Raitt, born on 27 April 1885 in Aberdeen, left for America on 8 March 1913 from Glasgow aboard the Caledonia. He was a farm servant, aged 27, and his destination was also Gillette. He died on 14 August 1867 in Fremont, Wyoming.
I have created a new page for these two families - . Their ancestors will be found on the page together with some details of their early life in Aberdeen.
James Rait, a coal miner, was born about 1834 in Wishaw, Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire and followed his son, Archibald, and younger brother, John, to America about 1889. Unlike them, he went to Hanna, Carbon County, Wyoming with his family (Archibald went first to Iowa, then Kansas; while John went to Colorado). James' son, John, was killed in the Hanna mine disaster in 1903. James' son Archibald died in Kansas in 1900 and his widow then moved with her children to Hanna, Wyoming. Although born as Rait in Scotland, for some reason in America their surname was spelled Raite.
I have included the details of James Rait/Raite and family (including Archibald) on a new page and I have created a new page for his brother John Rait/Raite and family. The earlier life and ancestors back in Wishaw, Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire of both John and James will be found on the same pages.
I will include fuller details on these American Raitt families as I find or get them as well as information on other families from time to time if requested. In the meantime I have created a page for recently arrived .
Since this website is primarily about Raitts with Scottish roots, then it is worth quoting here part of the Introduction from the book by David Dobson entitled The Original Scots Colonists of Early America: 1612-1783. He writes:
“The Scottish participation in the settlement of America dates from the early seventeenth century, and from that time until the American Revolution probably around 150,000 Scots emigrated to the New World. During the seventeenth century many Scots settled within the English, Dutch and French colonies, while others attempted to establish independent Scots colonies in Nova Scotia, New Jersey, South Carolina and at Darien. After the political union of Scotland and England in 1707 the Scots had unrestricted access to the English plantations in America. Emigration expanded slowly but steadily until 1763 when a combination of factors in Scotland and in America stimulated emigration, especially from the Highlands. Although Scots could be found throughout the American colonies, from Barbados to Rupert’s Land, areas such as Georgia, the Carolinas, upper New York, Nova Scotia and Jamaica had the greatest concentration of Scottish immigrants. This then was the general pattern of Scottish immigration and settlement in colonial America.”
Dobson goes on to note that there is a wealth of information on a minority of these early Scottish immigrants buried in all kinds of official and unofficial records and sources which he has endeavoured to unearth over the years (and his efforts are revealed in a number of other books.)
In this particular book though, only two Rait(t)s are mentioned - Margaret Raitt from Montrose who died in Virginia in 1714 (see under Virginia below) and John Rait of Inverkeilor who died in Nevis in 1675 (the son of Rev. John Rait, he is mentioned in and also on the pages). In another of Dobson’s books we learn further that Margaret Raitt’s father Robert was a shipmaster in Montrose.
Finding these two individuals inspired me to go through all the other immigration and emigration books available online on Ancestry.com checking for the names of Raitt, Rait, Reat, Rhett and Rhet arriving in America in the 16-18th centuries. There are not many and the details are very sparse! One would need to go back to the original source to find fuller information I believe. The earliest immigrants seem to be Rhetts. George Rhett arrived in Carolina in 1671. William Rhett arrived in South Carolina between 1670-1696 with wife Sarah. Wm. Rhett arrived in South Carolina in 1719 (whether this is the husband of Sarah arriving home after a trip abroad is not known, but il may be tWilliam Rhett, the younger, i.e. the son of William and Sarah.) Alexander Rait arrived as an immigrant in Boston, Massachusetts in 1746. Alexander Raitt arrived in Maine between 1722-1776. Alexander Rait arrived in New England as an immigrant in 1783. And Charles Raitt arriving as an immigrant in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1802. There are others who arrived a bit later, such as James Reat, aged 35, British, who arrived in Philadelphia from Cape Haytien (Haiti) on 19 June 1821 aboard the Argo. Bernard Reat, 30, arrived in New York in 1825.
I have not yet checked these immigration/emigration books for Raitts in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but I will do so. In fact, I also saw that the earliest censuses also list a number of Raitts and I will go through these and add them to the existing 1880 census page. Some names will, of course, already be included on their respective pages (e.g. Maine Raitts, Bovina Raitts etc).
This page provides first a note about some some information on my own American Raitt relatives and then details on other American families that either have contacted me as a result of this site, or whom I have come across in the course of my research. Additional pages are provided for some of these families (e.g. , , , , , , , .) The information below is not complete, either for all members of a family or for individuals themselves, and will hopefully be added to in due course. It also covers mainly early settlers. I have also created a page for recently arrived Raitt families found in the which identifies other families who may be looked at eventually.
Illinois and Nebraska Raitts
John Dorward Raitt and James Dorward Raitt
In 2005, I attended the International Astronautical Congress in Fukoka, Japan and one night at a function I was going back to my seat after the break and had to pass this chap standing in my row. He saw my name badge and said “Hmmm – David Raitt – that’s an unusual name – my mother’s maiden name was Raitt – the family had Dorward in the name and they came from Arbroath in Scotland”. Astonishing and exciting! It turned out that he, Dana Andrews, was the great grandson of , my own great grandfather’s brother, who had emigrated to the United States of America in 1863. This was news to me!
Shortly thereafter I was having a look on one of the genealogy sites and I came across a lady looking for details on of Arbroath. This surely had to be the other brother of my great grandfather! Indeed it was – James it seems had followed his elder brother to a new life in the States in 1871.
Quite apart from me (nor my father apparently) not knowing anything about my American relatives, the interesting thing was that neither of these two individuals knew much about each other’s branch in the USA – it was me (or so I claim!) who “re-united” the family. So now, for the first time, three great grandchildren - each living thousands of miles apart - of the three sons of are in contact with each other! Our little group has since expanded to include other great grand children, and other relatives, as well as the great grandson of one of the brothers’ two sisters, .
My new-found American cousins gave me copies of their family trees and together we have been able to fill in quite a few gaps and details – particularly on the Scottish ancestry side which was not nearly so well-developed as that of the direct American descendants. Since then I have found and made contact with other members of our extended family throughout the world, discovering that many of them were unaware of their ancestry.
Shown in the trees in these pages are the direct lines, not all the other siblings and relatives – and there will be some duplication of names for my own line. To protect the identities and privacy of some of those family members still living, then details such as date and place of birth have been omitted where requested. There still may be a few errors – but the bulk of it is correct.
The trees of John and James Dorward Raitt are the same up to a point because John’s son, John Dorward Raitt (1863-1930) married his cousin, Lilly Dorward Raitt (1871-1904), the daughter of James Dorward.
Although most of this site is about the Raitts and their immediate families, what is immediate family now was not necessarily immediate family then. So I have taken pains to try and find more about the families that the Raitts married into - particularly those families that emigrated to the United States.
The picture has emerged that John (Dorward) Raitt and his brother James Dorward Raitt were actually latecomers to Illinois and were probably urged to follow their in-laws (the Crabbs, Munros and Dorwards) who had already gone. Unlike the two Raitt brothers who later moved on to Nebraska, these other families seem to have remained in Illinois where they became pillars of society according to their
Fuller details, photographs and stories on these two branches of the family and their descendants in America can be found on and the .