Mary Frederica Reifferscheid

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Mary Frederica Reifferscheid (Donohoe)

Immediate Family:

Daughter of Patrick Donohoe and Mary Anne Donohoe
Wife of Gustav Reifferscheid
Sister of Charlotte Mary Anne Donohoe; Ellen Jane Philips/Savage (Donohoe); Blanche Donohoe; Vaudrey Glascott Donohoe; James Marcellus Donohoe and 2 others
Half sister of Eliza Julia Millard and Anna Harriett Emma Leonowens

Managed by: Stefan Mroczek
Last Updated:

About Mary Frederica Reifferscheid

Susan Morgan in her biography of Anna Leonowens (Bombay Anna, 2008) states "Then came another girl, in October 1841.....when the family was living in a cantonment to the north, Deesa." (in the Gujarat) p.35.

Morgan thinks that this child, Mary Frederica, must have died because she found no further record of her, but a letter in our family makes many references to her and her marriage to Gustav Reifferscheid (Poona, 1873 - attached) Gus was a German who was in business in Bombay and though they are recalled as having no children, records reveal a still-born son in Bonn, in 1874.

The same letter makes many other references to her and it would seem she was an important character who probably had a major role in helping the family of her sister, Ellen Savage (nee Donohoe) survive after their mother, father and grandmother (Mary Anne Donohoe) all died during 1872 and 1873.

The daughter of Thomas Arthur Savage (the headmaster of the Cathedral School in Bombay) describes Uncle Gus visiting them at the School and as being "big, blond, rather reserved and devoted to Aunt Mary". She also says that it was Aunt Mary, through her obviously numerous and far-reaching connections, who got Thomas Arthur his job as Assistant Master at St Mary's School in Poona and later a job as Headmaster at the Oranua School in Karachi. Finally she pulled numerous strings to get him his final post as headmaster of the Cathedral School, even though he did not have the requisite Holy Orders at the time. (letter to Richard Savage from Aunt Nell/Flora Ellen Savage. 26.11.57)

Perhaps she also helped his younger half-siblings to get their first jobs and education? Ruth Emily later became a headmistress in Byculla (a suburb of Bombay) and Alice Grace trained as a nurse/midwife and she would surely have been very much involved in the welfare of her sister's orphans....

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Mary Frederica Reifferscheid's Timeline