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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Countess Ruby Ellen Van Rechteren

While researching the history of the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary I have run across an interesting woman, Countess Van Rechteren.

She was born Ruby Ellen Mitchell on 28 November 1901 in Clinton, British Columbia to George Mitchell & Charlotte Mundorf.

George is listed as a plumber in the 1911 census and living with the family in Vancouver.
Ruby marries Count Adolph Frederik Lodewijk de Heeckeren von Rechteren of Rechteren-Limpurg-Almelo, commonly known as Count Van Rechteren, on 17 May 1926 in Vancouver.

According to passenger lists they are living in the Pemberton Valley in the 1920s and are in Chilliwack by the 1930s. Why is the Count living in British Columbia and not in Holland?
The Count was a farmer and involved in the Chilliwack Plowing Society. A 1938 border crossing lists him as going to the Lynden Fair, undoubtedly to see the Lynden plowing match. (Source Information: Ancestry.com. Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.) It also states that his right leg was artificial, which explains his unique bicycle that is part of the collection of the Chilliwack Museum & Archives. He passed away in Holland in 1952.

The Countess was president of the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary from 1934-1937 and again from 1943-1944. The marriage record for the marriage to Count Van Rechteren lists her as divorced but I have not found out who was husband #1. In 1953 she marries Count Van Rechteren's brother, Count Adolph Sweder Hubertus von Rechteren of Rechteren-Limpurg. She passes away in Holland in 1973.

More research to follow on this interesting couple who were very involved in Chilliwack even though they only lived there for a short while.

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