Forgotten tales

stories of my family

Migrating Highlanders (Rosses of Gledfield)

The following is from a record that I have from Don Robinson, who researched the Ross family in the 1990s. My grandmother was Winifred Ross, one of William Ross’s five daughters. William was born in Birkenhead, UK, the son of James Urquhart Ross, who was born in the Scottish Highlands. He migrated to Australia with his wife and children  in 1866.

James and Catherine Ross of Gledfield (died 1866 and 1887 respectively) had 13 children : Donald (b. 1823), Ann Aird (1824), John (1826), James Urquhart (1827), Helen Fraser Redstone (1830), Catherine (1831), Andrew (1833), George (1835), Alexander (1836), Mary Ann (1839), Malcolm (1841), Hector (1843), Jane Cuthbert Anderson (1844). Four of these children migrated to New South Wales, Australia, in the 1860s.

  • Helen, about 1860. She married James Redstone (from Winchester, England) in Sydney in 1862 and had four children. Remained in Sydney for some years.
  • Andrew, about 1865. Went to Bellingen, on the north coast of NSW some 300 miles north of Sydney, a beautiful farming area on the Bellingen River, near Coff’s Harbour, where a number of Scots had settled. He married Janet Anderson there in 1867. Her family was from Stirling, Scotland.
  • James, in 1866, with his wife, Mary Ann Marston, and four children. James, a journeyman joiner, had spent some years in England. His wife, Mary, was from Welshpool, and they had been living in Birkenhead prior to their emigration. The four children included William Frederick. James settled in Sydney, in the inner suburb of Newtown, where four more children were born, and then at Enfield, a suburb a little further out, in a house they called “Ferintosh”. James died in 1891 and was buried in the church yard of the parish church of St Thomas, Enfield
  • Jane, the youngest of the family, came out with James and his family. She went to Bellingen to her older brother Andrew, where she married David Anderson, brother of Andrew’s wife Janet.

Helen, Andrew and Jane all lie buried in the little bush cemetery at Fernmount, near Bellingen, along with some of their descendants. There are still Ross descendants living in that area.

Donald Robinson, September 1997

I have recently discovered that Helen and Andrew came out to Australia together in 1857, sailing in the ship, Alfred, out of Liverpool, arriving in Sydney in July. Helen, like Andrew and Jane, ended up in the Bellinger Valley of northern NSW.


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