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William Ross of Skeldon

William Ross of Skeldon Plantation (1787-1840) was the son of Hugh Ross III of Kerse and Skeldon (Ayrshire).  The family were descended from the Rosses of Kindeace in Ross-shire. He married Helen Elizabeth Drummond Ross (1808-1863), daughter of Katherine Smith and Lt. Col David Ross, in Inverness on 4 September 1830.   

According to Alastair Strathearn Gordon's A Sutherland Trail (2004):
 
'. . . William had by his own account gone abroad in or before 1804 as a young man of about seventeen and was doing well in Berbice by the time he erected a memorial to his parents in the Greyfriars burial ground in Edinburgh in August 1829.  He already had two natural children of his own (assuming these were born before his marriage).'

According to another source these 'natural children' were Eliza and Alexander Ross: David Ross, The Family of Ross of Shandwick (Tain Museum, 2015)

A younger brother of William, Andrew, died of 'brain fever' in Berbice in September 1819 [Blackwoods Magazine]
 
Helen Elizabeth Drummond Ross and William Ross had 5 children:
 
William Munro Ross (1832/3-1879)
Jane (Janie) Ross (1833/34-1933)
John Cameron Ross (1834/5-1877)
Katherine Ross (1836/7-1919)
Edward Gordon Ross (1839-40)
 
William Ross died in Berbice in 19 February 1840.
 
His son William Munro Ross was a West Indies merchant in London, initially on his own account but subsequently as member of the firm Cottam Morton & Co. He died on 28 January 1879 owing substantial sums.
 
At Emancipation in 1834 William Ross claimed £17295 2s. 6d. for 326 slaves on Skeldon Plantation.

Thanks to Chris Rathbone for most of the information on this page.

 

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