Mystery Ramsay Jewellry

Jan Leeming has very kindly sent me two photos of two delicate matching bracelets she picked up in an auction in a Village Hall in Durban, South Africa, ten years ago.  She later discovered they were inscribed. On the back of one was ‘To Alice Robertson, Jan 1809’ and on the other ‘From the Hon, Bethia Ramsay’ (see below). 

She thinks the metal is pinchbeck, but cannot identify the two green stones as they are too bright to be emeralds, although might be green garnets.  They’ve lain in her jewellery box for a decade and now that the Internet is so sophisticated she decided to put in the name and up came my Blog.

I’m pretty certain that the Hon. Bethia Ramsay was the (Hon.) Bethia Hamilton who was born on 24 December 1770. She was the daughter of Robert Hamilton, 6th of Wishaw and Susan Balfour. She married William Ramsay of Gogar (Banker in Edinburgh) son of Peter Ramsay, on 9 December 1791. She died on 30 August 1809 at age 38, the same year as she gave the bracelets to Alice.

I’m guessing Alice must have been pretty close to Bethia to have had the present inscribed. Makes me think that she’s a niece, grandchild or perhaps god-daughter.

I’ve found a small connection with the Ramsays and Robertsons on a family tree sent to me by Christian von Westarp who is a descendant of William Ramsay and Bethia Hamilton. It seems like the great great great grandchild of Hon. Bethia Ramsay (nee Hamilton) married the Gen. Alex Brown (Turvey) Robertson. This was about 100 years later so connection is pretty tenuous, but could be a lead of sorts.

Also Mel Goldman has shown me some snaps of a Ramsay family tree  from the Garst family who also descended from William Ramsay and Bethia Hamilton. It starts with George Ramsay who was born about 1705 in Edinburgh, and ends about 1890. It’s about 7ft wide and 18″ deep with about 22 family crests across the top. Who knows, maybe it will contain a clue about Alice Robertson and her family. Hopefully I’ll be able to share the info soon.


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