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.
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.
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 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