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Donald Ross of Rathven, Banffshire

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Charles Report 28 Sep 2012 19:40

I am trying to trace a possible ancestor. He appears on the 1841 census living with his family in Rathven aged 10, parents John Ross and Margaret Ross. Margaret (nee Clark) and John married on 26/10/1826 in Knockando Moray. On the 1851 census Margaret is living in Enzie, Rathven but without her husband and the only possible match for Donald was a 17 year old living at 155 George Street Aberdeen as a lodger. By the 1861 census his mother had moved to Aberdeen living in Upper Kirkgate but I can find no trace of Donald her son. It may be he joined the army or navy or had died but I can find no trace. Has anyone any ideas or information they can provide to help me trace him?
Charlie Ross


ErikaH Report 29 Sep 2012 10:35



Cynthia Report 29 Sep 2012 13:08

Hi Charles,

I realise you are new to the boards :)

Most of those who help on here look at all of the boards to see what catches their eye. It's preferred that people stick to one thread so that the helpers aren't chasing all over the place duplicating information for you.

Hope this helps.



Charles Report 3 Oct 2012 00:09


I am learning how it works, please excuse my ignorance, to me they were two separate lines on enquiry, but as they are linked I see the confusion it can cause.


Cynthia Report 3 Oct 2012 14:38

No problem Charles. It takes a while to get use to things - I know from experience.


Suzanne Report 3 Oct 2012 15:36

hi charles

i also had relitives married and living in knockando in the 1800s ,,could never find them living together in the censes ,knockando is mostly mountains and farming land ,and men went far and wide to find work on one or another of the farms.
if i can help you please pm me . :-D :-D


ErikaH Report 3 Oct 2012 22:53


if you wish to communicate with Charles by PM, just click on his name............


Suzanne Report 4 Oct 2012 21:14

thanks REGGIE

but i was inviting him to pm me if he wanted any help about knockando as ive been there researching my family several times. :-D


Charles Report 13 Nov 2012 18:57

It has been a while since I last posted, not because I have lost interest but because there was nothing to say. I have however discovered a Donald Ross on an Ancestry tree with the same date of birth as I have discovered which is 28/09/1831 but the record states he was born in Aberdeen, I have checked on Scotland's Peoples website but there is no record of a Donald Ross being born in Aberdeen on this date. As he moved to Aberdeen I think this is possibly the same person, in which case he emigrated to New Zealand and married a Hannah Bartram on 05/01/1919 in Nelson New Zealand. I have tried contacting the owner of the tree for more information but have not received a reply as yet.
Does anyone have any ideas about how I can check marriage records in New Zealand, or emigration records ( a cursory search has proved inconclusive, but I don't really know what I am doing in this area)?
Many thanks


MarieCeleste Report 13 Nov 2012 19:26

Hi Charlie - would he really have been 88 when he married Hannah Bartram?

EDIT: Looked at Ancestry tree and according to that (if correct) they married 1875 and he dies 1919.


BeverleyW Report 13 Nov 2012 19:41

926/2759 Ross Donald 77Y
1920/1364 Ross Donald 56Y
1918/3099 Ross Donald Geoffrey 2H
1925/1826 Ross Donald 85Y
1919/5017 Ross Donald 89Y
1918/23980 Ross Donald NR
1918/23995 Ross James Donald NR
1923/6122 Ross John Donald 22Y

Take your pick!

There are a LOT of Donald Ross's marrying in NZ
The marriage to Hannah Bartram is DAN Ross

1875/1129 Hannah Bartrum Dan Ross

In my opinion it's not the same person.


BeverleyW Report 13 Nov 2012 19:45

name: Donald Ross
gender: Male
baptism/christening date: 28 Sep 1831
baptism/christening place: RATHVEN,BANFF,SCOTLAND
birth date:
death date:
name note:
father's name: John Ross
father's birthplace:
father's age:
mother's name: Margaret Clark


BeverleyW Report 13 Nov 2012 19:48


name: Donald Ross
event type: Census
event date: 1871
gender: Male
age: 40
birthplace: Banffshire
registration district: Rathven
county: Banffshire
estimated birth year: 1831


name: Donald Ross
event type: Census
event date: 1881
gender: Male
age: 50
birthplace: Banffshire
registration district: Rathven
county: Banffshire
estimated birth year: 1831


name: Donald Ross
event: Census
event date: 1891
gender: Male
age: 60
birthplace: Banffshire
registration district: Rathven
county: Banffshire
estimated birth year: 1831

You'll have to search on ScotlandsPeople to get the details.



MarieCeleste Report 13 Nov 2012 20:17

Here's that 1891 from FMP:

ROSS, Donald Head Unmarried M 60 1831 Slate Quarrier Keith, Banffshire

Piece: 164 Folio: 12 Page: 5
Registration District: Rathven
Civil Parish: Rathven

Address: Slatehaugh, Rathven County: Banffshire

1881 looks like the same chap, different occupation:

ROSS, Donald Head Unmarried M 50 1831 Crofter Of 18 Acres Of Which 10 Arable Keith, Banffshire
ROSS, Ann Aunt Unmarried F 84 1797 House Keeper Domestic Unknown, Rossshire

Piece: 164 Folio: 11 Page: 6
Registration District: Rathven
Civil Parish: Rathven

Address: Slateheugh, Rathven County: Banffshire

1871 appears to have a mistranscription for one of his aunts!

ROSS, Donald Head Unmarried M 40 1831 Quarryman Keith, Banffshire
ROSS, Donald Aunt Unmarried F 60 1811 Kincardine, Rossshire
ROSS, Anne Aunt Unmarried F 55 1816 Kincardine, Rossshire

Piece: 164 Folio: 2 Page: 9
Registration District: Rathven
Civil Parish: Rathven

Address: Slateheugh, Rathven County: Banffshire

Ancestry has the same details for aunts but has Donald as "crofter and marryman" (could be quarryman).


MarieCeleste Report 13 Nov 2012 20:29

The Donald Rope on this 1861 from FMP is transcribed as Ross on Ancestry's version:

HAY, Charles Head Married M 43 1818 Farmer Of 265 Acres Employing 6 Labourers Fordyce, Banffshire
HAY, Margaret Wife Married F 30 1831 Farmer's Wife Keith, Banffshire
ROPE, Donald Servant Unmarried M 28 1833 Ag Lab Keith, Banffshire <<
WILSON, William Servant Married M 27 1834 Ploughman Rathven, Banffshire
WEBSTER, William Servant Unmarried M 36 1825 Ploughman Daviot, Aberdeenshire
SIMSON, John Servant Unmarried M 19 1842 Ploughman Meldrum, Aberdeenshire
MCDONALD, Robert Servant Unmarried M 17 1844 Ag Lab Meldrum, Aberdeenshire
INGRAM, John Servant Widower M 61 1800 Ag Lab Fordyce, Banffshire
LEMMON, Isabel Servant Unmarried F 35 1826 Dairy Maid Grange, Banffshire
FIDLER, Mary Servant Unmarried F 18 1843 Domestic Servt Aberchirdie, Banffshire

Piece: 176 Folio: 0 Page: 9
Registration District: Bourtie
Civil Parish: Bourtie

Address: Lochend, Bourtie County: Aberdeenshire


MarieCeleste Report 13 Nov 2012 20:35

I think this is the same lad traced back to 1851, in which case it's probably the wrong one. The aunt tallies with later census but the father's name is wrong:

ROSS, David Head Widower M 48 1803 Miner Of Sclates Emp 6 Men Kincardine, Rossshire
ROSS, Ann Sister Unmarried F 52 1799 House Keeper Kincardine, Rossshire
ROSS, Donald Son Unmarried M 21 1830 Sclate Miner Keith, Banff
FLANGON, Mitchal Servant Unmarried M 22 1829 Farm Lab Ireland

Piece: 164 Folio: 414 Page: 7
Registration District: Maud
Civil Parish: Rathven

Address: Sheelbrom, Sheelbrom, Rathven County: Banffshire


Charles Report 13 Nov 2012 21:01

Firstly my sincere apologies particularly to MarieCeleste, must have been a senior moment, yes he died 15/01/1919 but was married 12/061875. There are lots of other messages and I thank you all, please give me a chance to read them all before replying.


Charles Report 14 Nov 2012 19:34


Thanks for the information about NZ records I have had a look and can see the marriage record for Hannah Bartrum and Dan Ross. It could be Donald as Donald and Daniel are interchangeable, I would have to order the certifictae to be sure if this was Donald Ross.
I was aware of the Donald Ross appearing on the 1871/81/91 cenuses, I believe this maybe a different Donald Ross as he states he was born in Keith or Cullen, although I can't find a baptism record for him. His occupation is Crofter 1871/81 and Slate Quarrier 1891 which is a bit of a coincidence as Donald Ross of Rathven's father was a Slate Quarrier on the 1841 census.
Trouble I have is that on the 1851 census is a Donald Ross age 17 living in Aberdeen a Baker and born in Rathven. Can't find a birth record to match him.
The Donald Ross of Rathven's mother moved to Aberdeen after the death of her husband, so I think this Donald Ross may be her son as another of her sons was also a Baker.
Thanks for your help


Charles Report 14 Nov 2012 22:14

Thank you for the information, it seems that this maybe the same Donald Ross that Beverley is referring to on the 1871/81/91 censuses, in which case he seems to have strated out working in the slate quarries and returned to it after a period as a crofter. If it is the same person then it's definately not the Donald Ross of Rathven that i am searching for
Thanks for your help.


Charles Report 22 Nov 2012 23:41

Thank you everyone who has contributed to my search. Good news I have traced Donald Ross (of Rathven). I have found his death certificate, in Nelson New Zealand, dated 05/01/1919 which states he emigrated about 1864. I think it may have been a little earlier as I can find him on the 1861 census in Scotland. He married a Hannah Bartrum (or Bartram) 12/06/1875 in Nelson New Zealand and had a son John Ross on 31/10/1875 who died on 15/07/1943. John married Edith Annie Coleman 30/11/1898 and they had 3 children Ernest, Doris and Stanley. Stanley married Katherine Fanny Cullen and they had a son Brian Kenneth Donald Ross born 28/10/1935 and died on 02/05/1996.
I would very much like to try and contact a living relative of this family as we may well be related.