Ramsays, Hamiltons and a Douglas

Ever since I found that I was listed on the Douglas Archives, I’ve been wondering how I might be connected to their family. I think I may have found out via the Ahnentafel sent by Rafael Alberto Madan (my 8th cousin twice removed, see more here). So I started with my (7th Generation) ancestor Alexander Gibson-Maitland, who married Susan Ramsay on 25 Mar 1819. She was the eldest daughter of George Ramsay, of Barnton, and Jean Hamilton, his wife. I then found George and Jean on Stirnet.com, and found a connection with the Douglas family as follows:

8th Generation

Jean Hamilton (b 26.01.1769, d 09.10.1841); m. (24.02.1791) George Ramsay of Barnton (d 02.1810)

9th Generation

Robert Hamilton, 6th of Wishaw, de jure 6th Lord Belhaven (b 03.05.1731, 3rd son); m. (11.02.1764) Susan Balfour (d 09.01.1789, dau of Sir Michael Balfour, Bart of Denmiln)

10th Generation

William Hamilton, 4th of Wishaw (b 02.02.1690, d 16.04.1756); m. (16.12.1726) Bethia Hamilton (b 31.01.1702, d 02.10.1785, dau of Charles Hamilton of Weatherley)

11th Generation

Robert Hamilton, younger of Wishaw (b 06.07.1664, dvp); m. (1668) Jean Hamilton (dau of Robert Hamilton of Brownmuir)

12th Generation

William Hamilton, 3rd of Wishaw (d c1726, 3rd son); m1. (1660) Anne Hamilton (dau of John Hamilton, 7th of Udston)

13th Generation

William Hamilton, 1st of Wishaw (d c1642); m. (08.1621) Beatrix Douglas (dau of James Douglas of Morton)

Seems like James was a popular Douglas family name, so I’ might need help tracking this one down. In the meantime, I found an interesting inclusion in the The Gentleman’s Magazine about William Ramsay Ramsay, esq:

WILLIAM RAMSAY RAMSAY, Esq. March 15. At Barnton House, near Edinburgh, in his 41st year, William Ramsay Ramsay, esq. of that place, and of Bannockburn and Sauchie, со. Stirling. He was the only son and heir of George Ramsay, esq. of Barnton, by the Hon. Jean Hamilton, second daughter of Robert Lord Belhaven. By the death of his father, which occurred in 1810 (when he was still an infant), he became possessed of estates in Midlothian and Stirlingshire to an extent popularly conferring on him the distinction of “the richest commoner in Scotland.” He was widely known on the turf for a considerable number of years. At the general election of 1841 he was returned to Parliament without opposition for the county of Midlothian ; but he retired before the dissolution of 1847. Mr. Ramsay married, Aug. 4, 1828, the Hon. Mary Sandilands, only daughter of the present Lord Torphichen ; and has left issue a son and heir, Charles William Ramsay, esq.

The Gentleman’s Magazine
Published by F. Jefferies [etc.], 1850
Item notes: v.188 1850 Jan-Jun
(see scan here)

I guessing that George was the brother of Susan Ramsey who married Alexander Gibson-Maitland, given dates and parents names. I can’t help smiling at the phrase “he was widely known on the turf for a considerable number of years”. None of the protestant work ethos for George, which shouldn’t be too surprising given that he was an MP and by the account above “the richest commoner in Scotland.”

No 3. Barnton House
No 3. Barnton House

This engraving above was one of four on a page in the book Old & New Edinburgh, published in 1890. Barnton House is the bigger one in the middles, which the book describes as standing in a magnificently wooded park of 400 acres. In earlier days it had been named Cramond Regis and was once a royal hunting seat. The house was demolished in the early 20th century and modern housing was built on the land.


6 thoughts on “Ramsays, Hamiltons and a Douglas

  1. From the 14th to the 17th centuries Cramond Regis passed through the hands of many families, the principle ones being the Cramonds of Cramond, the Mowbrays of Cammo, the Logans of Craighouse and the Logies of Logiesland. Some of these families would have been responsible for substantial building work, as by 1791 Cramond Regis had the appearance of a much-altered L-plan tower house of the 16th or 17th centuries.

    In 1718 John Douglas-Hamilton, the first Earl of Ruglen, bought King’s Cramond, as it was then known, adding it to his neighbouring property Barnton and combining them into one estate.

    Hamilton was succeeded in 1744 by his daughter, Lady Anne Hamilton, Countess of Ruglen, the widow of William Douglas, the 2nd Earl of March. King’s Cramond and Barnton passed to their son, William Douglas, the 4th Duke of Queensberry and 3rd Earl of March, upon his mother’s death in 1748, but he sold it in 1770 to John Campbell, Viscount Glenorchy, the son of John Campbell, the 3rd Earl of Breadalbane.

    Campbell died in 1771, and his wife Willielma lived part time at Barnton before selling the combined estate to William Ramsay, a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland, in 1785.

    Ramsay commissioned Robert Adam to remodel King’s Cramond for his son, George Ramsay. Large extensions were built onto the old tower, the steeply-pitched roof was replaced with a new lower one, surrounded by castellations, and a tall round tower was added to the front of the house.

    King’s Cramond became the principle residence on the new combined estate, and as such Barnton House became surplus to requirements. Barnton House was demolished around 1800, and King’s Cramond was renamed Barnton House.

    1. Hi William … many thanks for this information. I think we may have been in touch via email in the past because you know my cousins, Robert and Hamish MacLaren. I think you may have also met my mother. I did actually find some Douglas ancestor/s at some point along the way, but it was quite a way back via my Maitland ancestors, probably via Ramsays and then Hamiltons, but can’t seem to find the link now. I noticed that the granddaughter of the current Marquess was on ‘Britain’s Got Talent recently’. Funnily enough I went to her mum’s playgroup as a toddler.

      best and cheers


    2. Actually, found it again. It was Beatrix Douglas, daughter of James Douglas of Morton. She married William Hamilton, 1st of Wishaw. His great great granddaughter (via Robert Hamilton, younger of Wishaw >> William Hamilton, 4th of Wishaw >> Robert Hamilton, 6th of Wishaw) married Hon. Jean Hamilton married George Ramsay. Their daughter Susan married Alexander Maitland, and their great grandaughter (via George Ramsay Maitland >> George Keith Maitland) Alice Marie (aka Elsie) married George Henry Kirby and they are my great grandarents..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s