More Plantations: The Russell Family Revisited

Having looked recently at my plantation and slave owning Madan and Nisbet ancestors, I need to revisit my Russell ones (see earlier posts here). This is mostly going to be more genealogical because trying to fathom the complexities of how the estates of these and other related families got passed on from generation along with other legacies needs way more time to unravel than I can commit. And not least because that’s something that still appears to be ongoing at the Centre for the Study of legacies of British slave ownership (who have even cited this blog). I will try and tackle some of the ownership and passing on, but this post is also an attempt to check previous findings having found more about these families, including their plantation and slave owning.

Continue reading “More Plantations: The Russell Family Revisited”

Generation 5: Paternal 3x  Gt. Grandparents…

In theory, there should be 32 ancestors in this generation, but two ancestors (Fitzherbert and Mary Wright) in the last generation were siblings so shared the same parents. And we can’t confirm the natural father of our great grandmother Annie Birtwistle (née Hartley), so that branch is currently a dead end. That means we not only have a duplicate pair of ancestors at this generation, but also a missing pair.  And so there are actually only 28 possible ancestors we can currently trace in this generation.

Continue reading “Generation 5: Paternal 3x  Gt. Grandparents…”

Garion owned by Ramsays


Susan Griffiths is one of my Ramsay cousins. We share common Ramsay and Hamilton ancestors. Basically, William Ramsay of Barnton the Edinburgh Banker is my ancestor. Peter Ramsay the Inn Keeper and Stabler is Susan’s ancestor. I think they are the sons of George Ramsay, Merchant and Stabler in Edinburgh who married Agnes Thom, but there is a family tree that shows that Peter and William were the sons of a Peter Ramsay (see more here). Peter the stabler was William the banker’s older brother and I’m not sure, but I think he also ran the family coaching business.

William the banker’s son George married the Hon. Jean Hamilton. Peter the stabler’s son William married Jean’s sister Bethia. They were the daughter’s of Robert Hamilton6th of Wishaw and Susan Balfour. I’m descended from George and Jean, and Susan is descended from William and Bethia along with many of her cousins that follow this blog. Continue reading “Garion owned by Ramsays”

The digital portrait collection

The Wedding of Giles Simon Kirby and Angela Mary Julie Birtwistle 1952

This post is a version of my Genealogical dead ends revisted post, but it’s about the photograps and illustrations I’ve found of my ancestors rather than just their names. I’ll do one about places sometime, and also about biographies, etc. I have set up a photostream on FlickR so you can see all the images in a slideshow, and I will link to the individual photos from the names of ancestors I have identified below.  Continue reading “The digital portrait collection”

Mansfield, Ramsay and related banking families

Portrait of William Ramsay of Barnton (1732-1805) by Sir Henry Raeburn

I’ve been avoiding writing up this chapter of my Scottish ancestors from Edinburgh for a few years now because it involves some transcription from one of the only books/journals I’ve bought for this project: ‘From James Mansfield to Ramsays, Bonar & Company: some notes on the story of a private bank‘, by Zella Ashford, in ‘Book of the Old Edinburgh Club‘, vol 6 (2005). Continue reading “Mansfield, Ramsay and related banking families”

Dr Robert Hamilton Ramsay Revisited

Hamish Bain has been in touch with regard to Dr Robert Hamilton being the purebearer to the Queen (see here). He points out that he was actually pursebearer to The Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, who every year lived in Holyrood Palace while the Assembly was sitting, and enjoyed a sort of vice-regal status. Robert was first appointed while his uncle the 8th Lord Belhaven was Lord High Commissioner but kept the place for more than 40 years. Hamish has sent a photograph from the Wellcome Institute showing Robert in court dress with knee breeches and sword.

Captain James Mansfield Revisted

I’ve always wondered how the Capt James Mansfield who was killed in the Highland Mutiny of 1779 might be related (see story below from The Old & New Edinburgh). He married Margaret who was the daughter of Peter Ramsay the Stabler and Innkeeper. Margaret was niece of my ancestors William Ramsay of Barnton, who’d married Janet Mansfield. Thanks to Hamish Bain it now turns out that Janet was the sister of Capt. James Mansfield (See Edinburgh Burgess Rolls below). Continue reading “Captain James Mansfield Revisted”

Ramsay of Gogar Portraits

Peter Ramsay 1727-1794

Mel Goldman has just sent me some amazing miniatures of the Ramsay of Gogar ancestors. I’m not sure yet of the provenance of these, but the first is Peter Ramsay the stabler who ran the “White Horse” Inn, in St. Mary’s Wynd. According to Hamish Bain, the miniature is by Sir Henry Raeburn the inscription reads “The Tattersall of Scotland”, which is what his family have always understood he was referred to. It also says he was born in 1730 and died in 1794. From what I’ve found out he was actually born in 1727 and died in 1794. Cassell’s Old and new Edinburgh : its history, its people, and its places ([1881-83?]) by James Grant has the following to say about his fortunes and offspring:

Ramsay’s inn was chiefly famous for its stables, and in that establishment he realised a large fortune. … In 1776 he advertised that, exclusive of some part of his premises recently offered for sale, he possessed “a good house for entertainment, good stables for above one hundred horses, and sheds for above twenty carriages.” He retired from business in St. Mary’s Wynd in 1790, with above £10,000, according to one account, and his death is thus recorded in the “Scottish Register.” “Jan. 1. 1794. At his son’s house of Gogar, Co. Edinburgh, Peter Ramsay, Esq., formerly an eminent innkeeper at the Cowgate Port, in which station he acquired upwards of £30,000. He has left one son, William Ramsay, jun., Esq., banker in Edinburgh, and one daughter, the widow of Captain Mansfield, of the South Fencible Regiment, who lost his life at Leith in 1779, when attempting to quell a mutiny.”

The second portrait seems to be Peter Ramsay (banker in Edinburgh), the grandson of Peter Ramsay the stabler. He was the son of William Ramsay of Gogar and Hon. Bethia Hamilton, daughter of Robert Hamilton, 6th of Wishaw and Susan Balfour. Continue reading “Ramsay of Gogar Portraits”

Barnton House

I found this print of Barnton House circa. 1860 in The History of the Linlithgow and Stirlingshire Hunt 1775-1910. It was the home of my Ramsay of Barnton Ancestors. According to the book Old & New Edinburgh published in 1890, it stood 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.