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Ross (Boath)

Four brothers named Ross from Boath, near Alness in Ross & Cromarty, were planters in Guyana. They were among the ten children of Gordon Ross [1756-1815], tacksman (principal tenant) in Milton of Boath, and his wife Christina Munro [1759-1842]: Donald (d.c1824), Hector (d.c1825), and John (1793-1837) in Berbice; and George (b1798) in Demerara. In Berbice they were connected with plantation Spring Garden, on the west bank of the Corentyne.

In September 1815 ‘Donald Ross Esq of Berbice’ married, in London, Miss Martha Hulbert of Norton Street, Portland Place [European Magazine and London Review 1815]. Martha died in 1820, described on her gravestone in the cemetery of St John’s Wood chapel as the ‘wife of Donald Ross, late of the Colony of Berbice’. Donald returned to Berbice, where he drew up his will in 1823, and he was dead by 1825. In his will he asked that his cattle, sheep and hogs be sold with the proceeds going to ‘the mulatto woman Amelia’. The rest of his estate was divided between his mother, his two sister, and his brothers. [Prob 11/1701]

In 1817[Slave Returns] plantation Spring Garden was owned by Donald and managed by Hector, the two brothers owning, respectively, 22 and 25 slaves. By 1822 the number of slaves had increased to 107 and the plantation appears to have been in the hands of Hector. Hector, however, was dead by 1826, with John as executor of his estate and owner of the plantation [London Gazette]. In 1827 a slave, Belinda, formerly owned by Hector was in the process of manumission.

John was recorded in 1827 as one of those proprietors failing to administer punishments to slaves in accordance with the regulations, having kept a slave named Hiram in the stocks for three days. He had also failed to submit his record of punishments within the stipulated time.

John is said to have returned to Scotland and to have died there in 1837, having suffered sunstroke in Berbice.

Isabella Bethune Ross, a sister of these brothers, married William Ross (1783-1864), a farmer in Ardgay. In their household in 1851 was a nephew: 6-year of Gordan [sic] G Ross, born in Demerara. There is no record of the boy in later census returns. He may have been a son of George Ross (above).

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