Forgotten tales

stories of my family

Ross origins

James Ross was born in 1827 in Kincardine, on the southern side of Dornoch Firth. His childhood was spent in the highlands. The 1841 census records him as living with his parents in Gledfield, which is at the inland (western) end of Dornoch Firth. His father was a blacksmith. Sometime between 1841 and 1851 he left Scotland for England. His granddaughter, who was my grandmother (Winifred Ross – Holford), later wrote that he lived in Ferintosh opposite Dingwall, so he may have lived there before he left for England.  His wife Mary grew up in Wales, where they seem to have lived briefly before they eventually settled in Birkenhead, near Liverpool. In 1870 the family migrated to Australia.

Ross and Cromarty, 1831

Ross and Cromarty, 1831

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4 thoughts on “Ross origins

  1. Brenda Diepeveen on said:

    Hi David, A fascinating read and will look forward to a better read when more time permits. I noted maybe a connection to Ross as well as Urquhart. Still have a lot to learn about the Ancestry and have been trying to put together extra info relevance.
    My husband lost his mother a couple of years ago and just starting to wade through and organise the ancestry updates. Found a diary and cuttings with some details. John Riddell B 1788 married Janet Stavert b 1796…Established Church Kincardine ……children Helen m John Clarke saddler, an others James b1829 Rosshire m 16.08.1853 to Jane Urquhart, Robert 25.03.1851 m Dianna Ross. Jessie m John Urquhart Bonar Bridge (Drapers shop?). etc.
    Our relatives cut out clippings and forgot to put on dates 😦
    John Clarkes daughter(Jessie?) m Robert Gair , the death notice clipping I have said “both she and her husband were ardent Free Church people and staunch supporters of the late venerable Dr Aird and his successors.In her sorrow, her thoughts rose to benevolence, and to commemorate those who were Dear to her she founded the Urquhart Clark Gair Bursaries for students entering the Free Church ministry. She was also largely the means of erecting for the Free Church congregation of Creich the beautiful Gair Memorial Hall. etc. The funeral took place in Dingwall to Kincardine cemetary Ardgay. The service was shared by Rev Dr Munro, Ferintosh; Rev D Macdonald, late of Cawdor: and Rev A D Cameron, Creich, her nephew in law .
    We live in Australia and the family were based generally around Belfast now know as Port Fairy Victoria etc.
    Kind Regards Brenda

    • Hi Brenda, nice to hear from you and thanks for taking the time to read my blog! I spent some time up in Ross shire last year (we live in Sweden so it’s not too far away). Ross is possibly the most common name up there, but there are lots of Urquharts too. My grandmother was Winifred Urquhart Ross before she married so her names represented both sides of the family. She lived out her life in Sydney. Her grandfather James Ross came from Gledfield which is now included in Ardgay, just down the road from Bonar Bridge. Her great grandmother was Catherine Urquhart who came originally from Golspie, a bit further up the coast in Sutherland shire. The Free Church of Scotland was founded in 1842 so your ancestors John Riddell and Janet Stavert obviously married before the Free Church existed. Kincardine Church seems to have been the main Established Church in the area, and the Free Churches of Gledfield, Creich and elsewhere would have taken many of their congregation. Unite a few of my Ross ancestors are buried in the Kincardine Churchyard, even if they had left for the Free Church. It’s a fascinating part of the world – have you been there?

      • Brenda on said:

        Hi David, Thanks for your response. Life must be fascinating in Sweden and the convenience of close distances for travel. Your blog is a great read and takes on on a journey.
        No have not travelled there yet as time is not convenient . My husband is looking to retire within the next two years so will follow the ancestry trail then. Its a fascinating journey and learning experience not only about ones own direct relatives but the history that create the life choices of many. My husband David family is a few generations of hoarders. We have some unusual ephemera from receipts of the original matrimonial bed, Victorian underwear, early war bits of the different wars ,a couple of diaries and albums of photos whom I will never be able to name and more. Shame.that people did not write on the back of photos. ..Thanks again and happy Blogging Regards Brenda

      • Well you have some adventures ahead. Family history research makes traveling that much more fun. You certainly have an eclectic collection of heirlooms. We have only a very few things, and I must say I find the written resources to be some of the most interesting. Only a few photos. It is frustrating when they are not labelled. We are heading back to Australia soon so we’ll see what we can find them. Good luck with your own hunting.

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