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June Pelo
21-11-09, 00:29
Is anyone interested in the Ross family? I have a long letter from Vincent Erickson about his trip this year to the Ross Clan Interpretation Center in Scotland. Some of what he wrote was this:

The first important study of the Ross family in Finland was made by Donnar, published in the first issue of the Journal of the Genealogical Society of Finland. Three years later there was a rebuttal of Donnar's findings in the same journal. I forget who the author was of the rebuttal. Bengt seems to think that Donnar's study has problems. Among them is how and why William's father, George, came to move so far from Kindeace in Easter Ross to settle in Lauder where William was born around 1598.

He went on with:...suggests that William was born in Haddington, Scotland in the town of Lauder. I wonder if Haddington might be a misreading of Thriselstan. I have not been able to find Haddington on a map, but there is a Huddleston, to the east of Edinburgh. Thriselstan is the name of the castle owned by the family Maitland in the 16th and 17th centuries and it is located near Lauder. Huddlestan is not a part of the parish of Lauder.

If anyone wants to read the letter, I'll send it. I'm not related to Ross, but for some reason people channel their findings and questions through me.. :)

kivinen1
21-11-09, 01:23
June,

I'd be interested to see the letter.

Much speculation on my mother's direct paternal line and Scottish DNA matches has me more than a little interested.

Thanks.

virtanr
19-04-11, 22:33
Hi June,

If the letter is stll available I would also like to read it. William is my 10 GG.

Thank you,
Rainer

June Pelo
19-04-11, 23:46
Rainer,

Here is the letter - hope it fits here:

I do not remember whether I told you that Irmgard and I joined 58 other members of the Granroth family on an eight day trip to Tain, Scotland in August. Ingegerd Ekstrand had arranged this interesting trip with the Ross Clan Interpretation Center, and they proved to be very gracious and knowledgable hosts. Bengt Rostedt and Tom Sundius arrived in Edinburgh several days earlier and spent some time working at the National Archives of Scotland.

Bengt was my dinner partner during our last evening in Edinburgh and we discussed common geneological interests. I understand that the first important study of the Ross family in Finland was made by Donnar, published in the first issue of the Journal of the Genealogical Society of Finland. Three years later there was a rebuttal of Donnar's findings in the same journal. I forget who the author was of the rebuttal. Bengt seems to think that Donnar's study has problems. Among them is how and why William's father, George, came to move so far from Kindeace in Easter Ross to settle in Lauder where William was born around 1598. Personally, I do not find that a problem. Scottish men were carrying out trade with Bergen, Norway and there were extensive movements of Scotts to numerous places in the east Baltic, particularly Danzig and Koenigsberg. If other Rosses could find their way to Bergen they should not have had a problem going to southern Scotland. Bengt also said that there is a farm in Nykarleby which has a name similar to Lauder which could have led to the confusion between the two places. June, do you have access to these two studies and would you be willing to scan them for me and send them on as attachments to e-mails? If they are written in Swedish, I should be able to read them with the use of a dictionary, If they are written in Finnish, however, I am lost.

Some time ago Lasse Holm sent me additional data on the Rosses of Scotland. I did not get back to him about this, but I hope to do so in the next few days. His data appears to augment Donnar's. He suggests that William was born in Haddington, Scotland in the town of Lauder. I wonder if Haddington might be a misreading of Thriselstan. I have not been able to find Haddington on a map, but there is a Huddleston, to the east of Edinburgh. Thriselstan is the name of the castle owned by the family Maitland in the 16th and 17th centuries and it is located near Lauder. Huddlestan is not a part of the parish of Lauder. From their homeland near Tain in Easter Ross, the Ross clan apparently were on cordial relations with the Maitlands, but the evidence I have relates to the 1640s long after George Ross and his son had left for Sweden. The clan chief of the Rosses wrote the Countess Maitland and requested if he might be provided with a yearly pension because he had hit on hard times recently because of debts he had accrued from equipping, providing for, and sending a group of his clansmen in support of some Maitlands activity in southern Scotland. The pension was granted. If this degree of cooperation had been going on for a period of decades, it could well be that George Ross and his family were a remnant of an earlier force and had remained near the Maitland stronghold and were in some way in service to the family. If George indeed was sent into exile in 1618 by King James VI of Scotland, who was also King James I of England, it is difficult to see why, because several generations of Maitlands had been advisors to King James and his mother. If George had been so valuable to the Maitlands, why had they not come to his support and thwarted his exile?

Hasse, provides other genealogical data which look encouraging. He suggests that George's wife is Margaret McCullough, who was born in 1575 and died in 1606. The McCulloughs were a northern family associated with the administration of the town of Tain were and closely connected to the Ross clan. One source I read on the internet suggests that the McCulloughs of Tain purchased Kindeace in the early decades of the 17th century. There were several other families which were in the process of purchasing Kindeace, however large or small or intact or in parcels,too, around the same time so it appears that the Rosses of Kindeace had been going into decline for some time. At any rate a McCullough wife would have been a good match for George in the 1590s. Likely they were married somewhere in Easter Ross and Margaret joined her husband in Lauder. George's father Hugh , Lasse suggests, was born in 1532 and was married to Katherine Macleod born in 1538. There is a discussion about a Hugh Ross of Kindeace in 1620 being required to pay a considerable sum of money to the Ross clan chief because of properties his wife had inherited as part of a neary by farm in Easter Ross. The wife's name indicates that she was a Dunbar and not a Mcleod.

Hugh's father, Hasse suggests, was a Walter Ross of Kindeace, who died in 1569. He was married to Jean Douglas. The documents suggest that a Walter Ross of Kindeace, a generation earlier, was required to pay a lot of money to the Ross clan chief because of properties his wife had inherited. She, too, was a member of the Dunbar family, and the farm referred to was the same one as Hugh's wife a generation later had been involved. The clan Mclead was inportant northern clan, but not resident generally in Easter Ross, and the clan Douglas was a southern group. It is possible that clansmen especially clan chiefs could take their wives from further afield, but the Rosses of Kindeace were not in that category. The Dunbars had been important property owners in Easter Ross in the 16th century, but their properties, too, appear to have been lessening in importance about the same time those of the Rosses of Kindeace were.

I'm not convinced that the clan Ross once championed Norman claims to the throne of Scotland. The Rosses in the 16th and early 17th century were clearly of Keltic or Pictish descent. Later on the properties and rights associated with Balnagown, the seat of the Ross clan head, were sold to another Ross family, resident near Glasgow. This was a Norman family, but by the 18th century had intermarried extensively with Keltic clans. It is well possible that the Kindeace Rosses are ancestral in some way to Rosses of America in the colonial era, but, if so, I have to see the evidence. There are many different cadet branches of the Ross clan which have branched off from Ross clan chiefs in past generations.One earlier clan chief was named an Earl and Ross territories an Earldom by an early King of Scotland. Kindeace is only one of several of these cadet branches. Some continue to retain their identity and seat of residence. Kindeace has not. Initially it may have been given as property to the younger son of an Earl, but it is likely that in subsequent generations it passed on to the eldest not the youngest son. If there is evidence to the contrary it has to be pointed out.

June, forgive my ramblings and speculations. Donnar's information is too good to just toss out. If we knew his sources and those of the one who did the rebuttal, it might be possible to go beyond mere speculation.

Vincent