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John Ross (Plantation Cromarty)

For family tree see John Ross (Plantation Cromarty) on Ancestry [subscription required].

John Ross [c1769-1850) was a plantation owner in Berbice who returned to Scotland to become a farmer in Ross-shire at Rhives, Coulmore (parish of Killearnan) and Raddery (parish of Rosemarkie).

With his wife Jane Simpson, he had four children born in Guyana - probably in Demerara - whose births were recorded in Tain in 1808 [O.P.R. Births 082/00 0020 0008 Tain]. These were Christian [1800-71], James [1801], Alexander [1804] and John [1805]. Another daughter, Eliza [1811-48], was born in Scotland: her mother, Jane Simpson (Mrs Ross), was living in Cromarty but the birth was registered in Tain [O.P.R. Births 082/00 0020 0040 Tain].

James Ross was enrolled at Tain Academy in 1815, Alexander in 1816, Eliza in 1818 and John in 1819. James is not recorded after 1819 but the others remained until 1822 (with the exception of 1818 when Alexander was not enrolled). Their father, John Ross, is described being from the West Indies (1815), Demerary (1816), Berbice (1817), Demerara (1818) and after that he is referred to as 'John Ross Esq of Demerary' but was living in Tain [Highland Council Archive, Tain Academy Admissions Register]. He may have been the John Ross who subscribed 30gns to Tain Academy in 1809 - for details see John Ross of Demerary.

John Ross was resident in Berbice in 1817 when, as the owner of Plantation Cromarty on the Corentyne Coast, he made the return for 71 enslaved people [Berbice slave registers]. By 1819 the plantation was owned by Andrew Gallaway and George Lawson but Ross held a mortgage of £7393 17s 7d over 42 slaves. In 1836 he received compensation of £2371 13s 10d on the basis of this mortgage, although by the time of emancipation the claim was against Gallaway and Lawson in relation to plantation Hoff van Holland in Demerara [LBS British Guiana 2383A-C (Hoff van Holland)]

Ross seems to have returned to live in Tain in 1818 and later had leases of farms at Rhives (there are a number of farms of this name), Coulmore from 1836 or before, and finally Raddery (near Fortose) where he died in 1850. All his children, except Christian, pre-deceased him. Eliza had married Simon Fraser, the minister of the Free Church at Fortrose [OPR Marriages 080/0020 0234 Rosemarkie], and Christian lived in this family, presumably caring for the children after Eliza’s death in 1848.

At his death 1850 John Ross left property valued at £937 13s 6d but in his will also referred to money due from the sale of the Hoff van Holland estate in Demerara [SC25/44/5].

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