Descendants of Peter Ramsay and the Hon Susan Mary Belhaven Hamilton

It’s funny as the only people in my family that seem to be remotely interested in family history are my eldest brother, mother and my cousin Hamish Maclaren, although I’m not sure they bother to read this blog though. The reason I continue to blog about my ancestors and related families, is because every so often I’m contacted by distant relative or interested party that has some great story, photo, or new information. I was recently contact by Dr Christian von Westarp in Canada. He contacted me in response to my Peter Ramsay loose ends post and mentioned that the portraits of Peter Ramsay and The Hon Susan Mary Hamilton (see below) looked down on him as a boy eating his morning breakfast! Their daughter Agnes (sister of Dr Robert Hamilton Ramsay friend and colleague of Lord Lister) married his great grandfather Francis Beck. I explained that Jana Ramsay Best had been in touch (see here) and found Old Parish Registers records for Births & Baptisms of Peter Ramsay (innkeeper) senior (b. 15 Feb 1727) and William (of Barnton) Ramsay (b. 2 August 1732), sons of George Ramsay Stabler in the Canongate and his spouse Agnes Thom. So I think George and Agnes are our common ancestors. He sent me a wealth of information about the descendants of Peter Ramsay and The Hon Susan Mary Hamilton, including a family tree and photographs.

Peter Ramsay (Junior)
Lady Susan Mary Hamilton

It seems as if there are now no living male Ramsay descendants from either the Edinburgh banker William Ramsay of Barnton and Peter Ramsay the Innkeeper. The last was Peter Hamilton born 1906, Christian met him in 1985 and he gave him the picture of Dr Robert Hamilton below. Maybe there are some other Ramsay males descended from William and Peter’s male siblings, but I haven’t been able to find any so far.

Dr Robert Hamilton Ramsay

As mentioned above, Dr Robert Hamilton Ramsay was friend and colleague of Lord Lister. I’ve mentioned him in passing before here, and Christian has pointed out an article about Torquay where he’s mentioned here.

I think the picture above is Sir Robert Montgomery Hamilton of Wishaw, 8th Lord Belhaven and Stenton and that he’s the brother of Susan Mary Hamilton rather than her father (William Hamilton of Wishaw, 7th Lord Belhaven and Stenton). This would make Robert and his sister Susan cousins of Peter Ramsay – his mother was Bethia Hamilton, the sister to William Hamilton of Wishaw, 7th Lord Belhaven and Stenton. Their sister Jean and her husband George Ramsay of Barnton are my ancestors, and George is the cousin of Peter Ramsay’s father William. All very confusing indeed and not the only example of such interrelatedness amongst a number of these relatives, which probably explains my lysdexia.

Christian also sent the following photos of Peter Belhaven Ramsay and his wife Sophie Probert, grandson of Peter Ramsay and Susan Mary Hamilton:

Peter Belhaven Ramsay
Sophie Probert

Peter Belhaven Hamilton Ramsay (1864-?)
Farmer, businessman, soldier.
Born at Edinburgh, Scotland on 1 December 1864, son of William Hamilton Ramsay and Fanny Scarth, he articled in law then served as a lieutenant in the Third Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. He came to Manitoba in 1886 and located at Virden where he farmed until 1898 at which time he came to Brandon and opened a cigar factory. In 1896 he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Manitoba Dragoons, stationed at Virden and, in 1904, when the unit was converted into the Canadian Mounted Rifles, he was made captain of A Squadron.

He married Sophia Probert of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1886. They had four children: Susan Hilda Hamilton Ramsay (b 1889), Florence Hamilton Ramsay (b 1891), Daisy Hamilton Ramsay (b 1893), and William Hamilton Ramsay (b 1896). He was a member of the Brandon Board of Trade and, in 1903, president of the Brandon Club.
A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce

Captain Peter Belhaven Ramsay

21 thoughts on “Descendants of Peter Ramsay and the Hon Susan Mary Belhaven Hamilton

  1. Juzzie,
    My younger brother Dr. Christian sent me an email with your blog address.

    Just to confirm the info that I have. I am under the impression that there are no male Ramsays left in Canada.
    I met and knew well Susan, called Hilda, she married a Chesterton (related to G.K.) and had a son who died as a boy and a daughter, Diana, living in British Columbia. I also met Hilda’s brother William and his wife and they had a daughter Susan. Christian may have sent all the details to you. If not we can probably provide them if you wish as a I correspond with Diana and the other descendants who live in Ontario

    1. Hello Juzzie,

      Susan Hilda was my aunt and Diana is my first cousin. You are correct, there are no male Ramsays left in Canada. My Father was Peter Belhaven Hamilton Ramsay. I didn’t think my Uncle “Bill” had a daughter named Susan, however, I am Susan Hilda Hamilton Ramsay. I have all the pictures up on this website but not sure if they are originals. My cousin Diana sent them to me.

    2. Juzzie,

      I just reread by Grandfathers information. It is not correct. He and Sophie had 5 children, my father, Peter being much younger than the rest. He was born in 1906.
      Susan “Hilda” 1888 – 1965, Florence 1891-1962, Daisy 1893-1983, William Hamilton 1896-1965


      Susan Hilda Hamilton Ramsay – born 1946 – age 65

  2. Hey Juzzie, it really is a small world: I came across your blog recently whilst in a nostalgic mood, remembering a time when I came close to marrying into the Hamilton clan a number of years ago …….I was astonished to find the name of Christian von Westarp! He was my doctor when I was hospitalized for a couple of weeks a few years ago here in Victoria, and I screwed up royally by not getting my butt in gear to make him my endochrinologist after I was released. While I dawdled, he retired. He was an outstanding physician and an adorable man, absolutely edible :-)
    I have just been accepted by a wonderful new endochrinologist and I found out that he actually took over Christian’s practice when he retired! I remembered that Christian’s birthday was this month & popped over to the hospital to drop off a card, but they told me that he and his wife had just moved overseas ….. anyway,Juzzie, before you get eyestrain I will ask you to do me the favour of passing on this message to Christian, as I haven’t got an address for him.
    Thank you muchly, Juzzie, and now I will go back and read more of your blog, as I thought I spied a “Nesbitt” mentioned somewhere …….
    PEACE – Cathryn

  3. Hallo,

    Whilst in Durban, South Africa, ten years ago, my friend and I popped into a ‘Village Hall’ to shelter from the mist and rain and discovered an auction in progress. There was a small cabinet with an odd assortment of jewellery in job lots. I made a bid for one of the lots, without really looking closely at it. Afterwards I discovered an inscription on the back of one of two delicate matching bracelets. On one was ‘To Alice Robertson, Jan 1809 and on the other ‘From the Hon, Bethia Ramsay’. I think the metal is pinchbeck and I cannot identify the two green stones – they are too bright to be emeralds and just might be green garnets. They have lain in my jewellery box for a decade and now that the Internet is so sophisticated I decided to put in the name and up came your Blog. If you would like me to take a photo for you, I would be delighted. What an unusual name – Bethia. All good wishes, Jan Leeming

  4. I have been looking through my family history of late and decided to give google a try and came up with your blog. Florence Hamilton Ramsay was my great-grandmother (my paternal grandmother’s mother). She married Henry St. George Lee and settled in Stratford, Ontario.


    1. Aaron … great to hear from you and I have seen your name appear on a family tree put together by one of you cousins. I’ll introduce you via email.

    2. Hello Aaron,

      My name is Brandon Lee and Henry St. George Lee was my Great-Grandfather.

      He settled in Stratford and was married to a Ramsay. They had a number of children, Henry Hamilton Lee (my Grandfather), Richard Lee, Phyllis Lee, Nancy Lee, Barbra Lee, from what I can remember about my Grandfathers siblings.

      His job was in management for the Bank of Montreal, and the bank gave him and the family a house to live in. If any of this sounds familiar then looks like we are related :).

      I am trying to piece together the family tree before Henry St. George Lee. If you know anything please let me know.

      All the best,


  5. Florence Hamilton Ramsay was my granmother (my Mum is Nancy nee Lee Carruthers ) – Robert Ramsay -possibly an uncle to Nana … was purse bearer to Queen Victoria
    the branches are soooo interesting …
    Alicia Carruthers

    1. Thanks Alicia, and didn’t know about Ramsay purse bearer to Queen Victoria. I’ve sent you an email cc’ing Christian von Westarp who is also descended from your branch of the Ramsays. He has family tree which actually includes you on it. Best Justin

    2. Hello Alicia,

      Florence was my Aunt – I have a set of books belonging to Robert Ramsay which I display on a writing desk that has been in our family and given to me by my father, Peter Belhaven Hamilton Ramsay, Forence’s youngest brother. This desk dates back to 1790 – 1820 held in the Ramsay family. I also have a sterling silver salver bearing the Edinburgh mark for the year 1792 and makers mark of Patrick Robertson. I believe the salver also belonged to Robert Ramsay at one time.
      I have many other family treasures that my cousin Diana, daughter of Hilda (Susan), Florence’s sister has given me and I display and love them all.

      Susan Hilda Hamilton Ramsay

      1. Susan … I just found your email.. wonderful to hear of your treasures… my Mum has a writing desk that belong to Nana (Florence) who inherited it … I must ask Mum the story… Unfortunately last year Mum’s eldest sister .. Barbara passed away at the grand age of 96 and with it some of the history notes ! we have been doing some homework and discovered that the White Horse Inn (now pub) in Edinburgh still exists… my goddaughter is there at Edinburgh Uni and will go and have a drink and check it out ! in the mean time more work on the Ramsay – Hamilton and Belhaven connection ! intriguing .. and so far no horse thieves !!!

      2. Alicia … please ask you daughter to take a photo. Would be great to add that to the blog.

        Best and cheers


      3. Reply to Susan Griffiths from George von Westarp.
        I have been meaning to write a reply since your blog about the items you have inherited from the Ramsays.
        I believe that we met once when you were staying at Hilda Chesterton’s shortly before she died, some time in the 60’s. I worked on Vancouver Island for MB and came the odd weekend to Vancouver usually staying with Hilda. I still correspond with Diana Whittal
        I/We now live on Gabriola and occasionally come to the Mainland. As not too distant cousins we should meet again, we are under Westarp in the Gabriola section of the phone book. Hope to hear from you.

  6. Susan … they sound great and if you ever get a chance to take a photo then please send me a copy as I’d love to share them with your site of the family.

    Best and cheers


  7. Hello George,

    I would like to get together sometime. My email address is if you would like to arrange a meeting. I travel to Courtenay to visit family quite often if that is more convenient for you.



  8. Thought I would add my two cents worth. My name is Dene Hamilton Ramsay (born in Edmonton, Alberta 1941) the daughter of Peter Belhaven Hamilton Ramsay (born in Brandon, Manitoba 1906 died in Calgary, Alberta 1990) and sister of Susan Hilda Hamilton Ramsay (Griffiths) (born in Edmonton, Alberta 1946) now of Vancouver. As my father was so much younger than his siblings and Florence married and moved East probably soon after my father was born we never had much connection with family there). So it’s very interesting for me to read the comments from long lost relations. Our grandfather Peter Belhaven Hamilton Ramsay had a house in Chiliwack, B.C known as the Ramsay House for many years after which he moved to Vancouver.

  9. My husband and I plan on travelling to Edinburgh in June 2015 and I would like to visit our Grandfather’s castle. Peter Belhaven Hamilton Ramsay. Would anyone know the name of the castle? Please tell me more about the White Horse Inn?

    1. Not really sure where Peter Belhaven Hamilton Ramsay lived before he moved to Canada. I have a record showing that his father William Hamilton Ramsay lived for some time at Thistle Lodge, Glasgow. Christian may know more. I think it was William Hamilton Ramsay’s grandfather William Ramsay of Gogar who lived at Gogar Castle, but not sure who owns it now. It is very close to Edinburgh Airport and is on the market so you might be able to get a viewing:

      I’m also not sure if the White Horse Inn still stands because it was in the St Mary’s Wynd area that was demolished in the late 1860s, but you can more read more about the Ramsay Inn here:

  10. I just received a picture of Garion Castle and could forward it but not sure to whom. My Grandfather inherited this castle from his mother, Lady Susan Hamilton Ramsay. I am wondering if she and her family lived there originally. He left Scotland after selling it and moved to Virden Manitoba.

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