Thursday, 21 July 2016

Brick Wall: Alexander Ross

According to the 1851 Scotland census my maternal great grandfather, Alexander Ross was born Abernethy, Elgin in Scotland. The problem in narrowing this down is that there are eight different Alexander Rosses recorded as being born in Moray between 1812 and 1817, all to different parents, of course. It's a big brick that I've yet to smash.

Not that I haven't tried. By the mid-1840s (another record that remains missing), he and Isabella Smith were married. They had at least four daughters:
  1. Marjory b 26 Jun 1846, Abernethy & Kincardine d aft 1874
  2. Margaret Grace Darling b 15 Dec 1847, Nethy Bridge, Abernethy  & Kincardine d 20 Jan 1932, Nethy Bridge, Abernethy & Kincardine
  3. Annie b 28 Nov 1849, Forres, Morayshire, d 24 Dec 1922, Nethy Bridge, Abernethy & Kincardine (my great grandmother)
  4. Alexandrina b 13 Apr 1856, Edderton, Ross and Cromarty, d 7 Jul 1872, Nethy Bridge, Abernethy & Kincardine
Alexandrina was a popular name at that time, as Queen Victoria's given names were Alexandrina Victoria. It was only after her 1837 accession to the British throne that she announced that she would be known as Victoria. The above Alexandrina, my great great aunt, was named after her father, but perhaps also Victoria. She was clearly born posthumously though, as Isabella married for a second time on 10 Jan 1856 to Angus McLeod in Cromdale, Inverallan and Advie in Inverness-shire.

I've never been able to locate a death record for Alexander. That's right. I can't find his birth or death records.

Alexander was a farmer, living at the address of Rydnack in Abernethy and Kincardine, Inverness-shire when the 1851 census was done, listing him, Isabella and their three eldest daughters.

Naming traditions in Scotland and Ireland typically, but not always, followed a pattern. The names of Alexander's daughters (isn't Margaret Grace Darling a grand moniker!) offer no clues in narrowing down his own parents from the eight possible Alexander Rosses. 

Scottish records are very difficult to find. One reason is that parish names changed through the years. As just one example, read about the former civil parish of Abernethy and Kincardine, which is mentioned above, and is where several of my ancestors lived, here

The never ending story (and hunt!) continues....


  1. Wouldn't Alexandrina be a McLeod since her mother was married to him when Alexandrina was born?

    1. Something else quite common, she might be a less than 9 month baby. It happened. And they might have named her after her siblings' father out of respect. All those things and more happened in my family.

  2. No. Alexandrina's baptismal record and census records all list her as Ross. She was Alexander's daughter, not Angus'.


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