Horatio Ross

Family and Homes

Rossie Castle

   Rossie Castle near Montrose  -   The home of Horatio Ross, ameteur photographer and Vice President of the Photographic Society of Scotland ©

Horatio Ross was born at Rossie Castle on 5 September 1801, son of Hercules Ross and Henrietta Ross [née Parish].   He was named after Lord Horatio Nelson.  Nelson was one of Horatio Ross' godfathers.

For more details of Horatio Ross' homes, please see 'Answer 4' below.

Hercules Ross and Lord Nelson corresponded over the period 1780-1802.   I have been told [by whom?] that a 16-page pamphlet of this correspondence was published [by whom?] around 1891.


Family History Research


Horatio Ross


Several people from around the world, including some of Horatio Ross' descendants have been researching the history of Horatio Ross and his family.

Please scroll down or click the links below to read the messages about several members of the Ross family including:

Horatio Ross

1.  A Abraham Holtzman, The Hague, Netherlands

2.  Janet Beale,  Sydney, Australia

3.  Stephen Beadle, Gillingham, Kent, England

4.  Alison Ramos, USA

5.  William J Roderick Craig, Oslo, Norway

Mrs Horatio Ross

1.  Andrew Cowie

2.  Steve Beadle, Gillingham, Kent, England

3.  Alison Ramos, USA

Daniel Ross

1.  Researcher, Hong Kong

2.  Alison Ramos, USA

3.  Charles Phipps

4.  Alison Ramos, USA

5.  Stephen Davies, Hong Kong

Mother of Daniel Ross

1.  R M Dalladay

2.  Dr Stephen Davis, Hong Kong

John Alexander Ross

1.  A Abraham Holtzman, The Hague, Netherlands

2.  Janet Beale,  Sydney, Australia

Parents of Horatio Ross

1.  Jack Stooks,  Zimbabwe, now Devon, England

Family Tree

1.  Amanda Briant-Evans,  near Montrose



Further Information from Charles Lochrane

Thank you to Charles Lochrane, a direct descendant of Horatio Ross, through his son, Colin George Ross, for telling me that:

-  he has portraits of Horatio Ross and his family.

-  he has lots of family papers. 

-  he may be able to answer questions about the Ross family.

If you'd like to contact Charles Lochrane to discuss Horatio Ross and his family, please email me, then I'll pass on Charles' email address to you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  June 13, 2012


Family History Research


Mrs Horatio Ross

and family


Thank you A Abraham Holtzman, an antiquarian bookseller from The Hague, Netherlands, for sending me the following information on the correspondence between Hercules Ross and Lord Nelson.

Abraham wrote:


Admiral Nelson  and Hercules Ross

"The book 'Letters from Admiral Lord Nelson to Hercules Ross, Esq., of Rossie, N.B., 1780-1802' does exist indeed. I have a copy in my possession. It was published, probably by the Ross family, "For private circulation only".

A note, on a printed letterhead "35, Sloane Court, S.W.3 Sloane 1913" says: "The original letters were presented by Admiral GP Ross C B to the 'Victory' museum, Portsmouth Dockyard.”

The present copy is the JA Ross' copy with his/her beautiful armorial bookplate, his/her inscription dated 1891, and his/her signature.

Who was JA Ross? - This is what I am trying now to find out."

A. Abraham Holtzman, The Hague, Netherlands:  15 January 2006



Thank you to Janet Beale,  Sydney, Australia for answering  the question:  "Who was JA Ross?"

 Janet wrote:

Admiral G P Ross

"Admiral GP Ross would be Rear-Admiral George Parrish Ross. (GP Ross is grandson of Horatio Ross via the oldest son Horatio Senftenberg John Ross.) 

He entered the Royal Navy in 1888 on HMS Britannia; Commander, 1908; Captain, 1914; retired, 1920; Rear-Admiral, 1925. 

He served: at Cape of Good Hope, Gambia Expedition (Gen West African Medal with clasp, 1894), Mediterranean fleet, HMS Surprise; the Balkan fleet on HMS Lord Nelson and at the Battle of Jutland, 1916.  See De Bretts Companionage and Clan Ross History"

J A  Ross

"JA  Ross would most likely be John Alexander Ross (also grandson of Horatio Ross and brother to GP Ross above).

I have no details on him - just his name."

(But see below  - Peter Stubs)

Janet Beale, Sydney, Australia:  16 January 2006



John Alexander Ross

Thank you to Stephen Beadle, Gillingham, Kent for sending me a John Alexander Ross Obituary and photographs of members of the Ross family.

This obituary also refers to two other members of JA Ross' family who served with the London Scottish Regiment:

-  his younger son Hercules Ross and

-  his uncle, Edward Ross


Thank you to Alison Ramos, USA, grand-daughter of Horatio S Ross, who emailed me in May 2005 telling me that Horatio Ross continued to live at Rossie Castle until 1853, then moved to Netherley, Kincardineshire.  He died at Rossie Lodge, Inverness-shire on 6 December 1886.

Alison added:

Nelson Correspondence

"The Nelson/Ross letters are in the archives of the Royal Naval Museum, having been donated by my cousin Ian.

They appear in a full collection of Nelson's correspondence published by Chatham Publishing but are spread out throughout seven volumes."

Alison Ramos, USA:  May 2005



Thank you to William J Roderick Craig, currently residing in Oslo, Norway for the following message:

William wrote:

Family History

"I have been doing some research into the Ross family (although not directly my own, it became compulsive once I started!), begun by my father and inspired by my great-great-grandmother, Elisabeth Ross. She was a great-niece of Hercules Ross and so cousin once removed of Horatio.

Born in 1819, she married my great-great-grandfather, James Craig of Pollokshaws, in the parish of Eastwood in Renfrewshire, on 16 June 1843. The couple had two children, one of which was my great grandfather, William Craig. Unfortunately Elisabeth died young in 1850; James Craig remarried and had further issue.

Family Items

"From this Elisabeth has come down, to my father and me, a number of articles of particular interest for her Ross line, including the following:.

1.  a bible belonging to Hercules Ross himself, in which he records in his own hand the names, dates and places of the births of the 13 children (nine sons and three daughters born variously in Edinburgh, Dumfries, Kilmarnock, Govan, Benholm and Port Glasgow) born to his father, John Ross (late officer of excise at Port Glasgow — quite a jammy job in those days, before the Clyde was deepened, around 1768, to allow ships to sail upriver to Glasgow itself) by his first wife, Janet Haldane, or Hadden, (married 28 May 1724, 3 children), and his second wife, Elizabeth Fullarton (Fowlertoun), grand-daughter of John Fullarton, Non-Jurant Bishop of Edinburgh, (married 29 July 1732 at Port Glasgow, 10 children).

2. a prayer book autographed by James Ross, the youngest of John Ross's sons, born in Port Glasgow in 1749: "James Ross to Mrs Helen Carmichael, Rossie, 22nd July 1787". (Helen Carmichael, née Ross, was an elder sister who married a James Carmichael in Port Glasgow. I venture that, as she was born in 1747, it was given on the occasion of her 50th birthday.)

3. a book of psalms belonging to Mary Colquhoun, another niece of Hercules and James, daughter of their sister, Margaret, who married a Humphrey Colquhoun also in Port Glasgow. Mary Colquhoun died unmarried in 1821 at Craig House on the Rossie Castle estate by Montrose and seems to have been something of "maiden aunt" figure to Horatio and his siblings. She was also named executor of Hercules Ross's estate. (Hercules Ross was himself born in the nearby parish of Benholm, so he seems to have gone back to the region of his roots to build his castle on lands he purchased in 1783/85 from the Trustees of Patrick Scott.)

More Family Members

"One of Hercules's brothers, Colin, was a doctor who settled in Hamburg and became secretary to the Association of Hamburg Merchant Adventurers. Among his descendents were the brothers Charles Ross, a leading landscape painter of his day, Gustav Ross, a pioneering physician, and Ludwig Ross, a classicist and epigrapher, as well as Edgar Daniel Ross, a liberal who became a prominent Hamburg politician, .

It is through this Colin that Hercules may have met the expatriate Hamburg merchant John Parish, whose daughter he married. The families may very well already have know each other as Parish, and his wife, Henrietta Tod, hailed from South Leith. Another brother, as Alison mentions, was Daniel, whom her family tradition has it fell foul of the law as a privateer or, as Charles Phipps suggests, got on the wrong side of Nelson and was hung from the yard arm. I suspect he ended up in America together with another brother, David, who became a iron-works entrepreneur in Virginia (around the same time as Hercules Ross's brother-in-law, David Parish, was doing the same along the St Lawrence in upstate New York)."

William J Roderick Craig, Oslo, Norway:  June 6, 2007



Family History Research


Mrs Horatio Ross


I was shown some photographs last year, reported to have been taken by Mrs Horatio Ross.  However Andrew Cowan (a collector of Horatio Ross photos) believes that these were probably taken around the 1930s.  How can this be explained?


Thank you to Stephen Beadle for the following possible explanation, and to Alison Ramos, USA for providing the year of birth and family details below of Horatio Ross' eldest son, Horatio Senftenberg Ross.

Mrs Horatio Ross


"Horatio Ross's eldest son was called Horatio Senftenberg Ross.  It was presumably his wife who took the photos."

Stephen Beadle


Even Horatio Ross probably lived too early for his wife to have been taking photos around 1930.  Horatio Senftenberg Ross was born in 1834.

Perhaps it was the wife of one of the next generation of the Ross family who took the photos.  Horatio Senftenberg Ross had eight children.

Alison Ramos, USA



Family History Research


Daniel Ross


I have received an email from a researcher at the University of Hong Kong [May 2004], who is researching  Captain Daniel Ross of the Hon East India Company's Maritime Service, later the Indian Navy.  He tells me:

"Daniel Ross was arguably one of the two or three greatest hydrographic surveyors of the 19th century and has been called 'the father of the Indian surveys'.

He was born in Jamaica in 1780 and was the half-brother of Horatio Ross."

If you know of any further information about Daniel Ross, or any of the brothers or sisters of Horatio Ross, can you please email me so that I can pass it on to the researcher in Hong Kong.    Thank you.

Answer 1

Thank you to Alison Ramos, USA, grand-daughter of Horatio S Ross, who emailed me in May 2005 telling me:

Hercules & Daniel Ross

"I am greatly intrigued with mention of Daniel and the Jamaica connection. 

There is a title in possession of the Angus Council of a short study of Hercules and Daniel Ross by M. Butterfield.

Unfortunately, owing I imagine to copyright, they are unable to supply more than a select number of pages to anyone interested.

This Daniel's career is not to be confused with Hercules' brother, Daniel, who ran afoul of the law as a privateer."

Alison Ramos, USA:  May 2005


Answer 2

Many thanks to Charles Phipps for providing the following additional comments on Horatio Ross and his family:

"I did not know about Daniel Ross, though Horatio had an uncle, Daniel Ross (1741-1788), who supposedly got into trouble in the West Indies. He seems in some way to have got on the wrong side of Hercules Ross's great friend, Horatio Nelson; however, the family tradition that Nelson hanged him from the yard-arm is certainly false!

Horatio Ross had four sisters: Henrietta (married William Ellice, MP for Invergarry), Elizabeth Margaret (married Lawrence Oliphant of Condie), Maria Georgina and Anna (married Daniel Colquhoun).

There is a romantic mystery over Hercules Ross's antecedents. His father was John Ross (1705-1753, married Elizabeth Fullarton) and his grandfather Robert Ross (married Mary Colquhoun). Robert Ross is supposed to have been an illegitimate son of Lord Ross of Halkhead and to have joined the wrong side in the Jacobite struggles, thereby falling out with the Hanoverian Halkheads and losing everything. Whether any of this is true or not I suppose we shall now never know."


Hercules in Jamaica

Thank you to Alison Ramos, USA,  who emailed me in October 2006 telling me:

"I recently got access to a book (unpublished) about Horatio's father, Hercules, thanks to my Parish cousins whose ancestor Henrietta was Hercules' wife.

Any rate we have learned about a whole new aspect of old Herc's early life in Jamaica.

If it's OK with her perhaps you could let me have your correspondent's address and we could go from there.."

Alison Ramos, USA:  October 10, 2006


Answer 3

Dr Stephen Davies, Director, Hong Kong Maritime Director, Hong Kong (possibly the same person as the researcher above) sent me a message on November 21, 2008.

Stephen wrote:

Daniel Ross  -  Family Tree

"I have created this family tree for Daniel Ross (the Indian Navy officer and wrong side of the blanket Ross) from such intelligence as I have gleaned.

Someone may be interested and if anyone has any more information on Daniel then I should like to hear from them and would be happy to share what I have

I am writing his biography (rather fuller and more comprehensive that either the chapter on him in Agnes Butterfield’s thesis in Montrose public library, or her brief essay in typescript in the archives of the Royal Society (Daniel Ross was made FRS in 1821))."

Dr Stephen Davies, Hong Kong:  November 21, 2008

The family tree provided by Dr Stephen Davies includes the names of Daniel Ross' father, six brothers and sisters, and ten sons and daughters.

If you'd like to contact Dr Stephen Ross, pleas email me, then I'll forward your message to him.

Thank you.  -  Peter Stubbs:  November 21, 2008


Family History Research


Mother of

Daniel Ross


I have received an e-mail asking this about Daniel Ross' mother.

Mrs R M Dalladay wrote:

"Please could you let me have any details that you have on Daniel Ross's mother, born around or after 1737 and probably died in childbirth about 1781 in Jamaica.  She might be buried in the Old Naval Cemetery, Port Royal, Kingston.  She is my great, great, great, grandmother.

I understand that there is a portrait of Capt Daniel Ross at the Bombay Geographical Society"

Mrs R M Dalladay:  January 21, 2005



Thank you to Dr Stephen Davies, Hong Kong researcher, for telling me that Daniel Ross' mother died in Jamaica in 1817, and that the Kingston Parish Records might show the cause of death.

Stephen Davies went on to quote from his own notes about Daniel Ross' mother.

Stephen wrote:

"Daniel Ross’ mother Elizabeth Foord died in Jamaica, ‘a woman of property with three houses, which she ran as boarding establishments, a pen with cattle and fifty-two slaves.’ (Butterfield, p.1 – this is Agnes Butterfield’s very brief life of Daniel Ross lodged as a manuscript with the Royal Society of London (DR was made FRS in on 13.6.1822))

In AB (this is Agnes Butterfield’s MA thesis (I think for Manchester University in the 1970s), in a copy lodged at Montrose Public Library, Scotland), p.95 ‘she owned 3 houses and a penn, with personal property valued at £6,903.3.4½ currency including 52 slaves, 35 sheep, £300 worth of silver teapots, coffee pots, waiters and other articles, and the furniture of her houses’ two of which she ran as boarding houses, the New House with 12 bedrooms, the older with 8 bedrooms both two storied buildings with piazzas front and back.

She left much of her property to her clerk, four of her slaves she freed and a few legacies.  The rest went 2/7 to Eliza and Jane, 1/7 each to Daniel, Hercules and David ‘all of whom she believed to be in the East Indies’. If Hercules was dead, his share went to Daniel’s eldest son so ‘it would seem she was getting some news of them and their whereabouts."

Dr Stephen Davies, Museum Director, Hong Kong Maritime Museum: Oct 23, 2007

Stephen added:

"The Bombay (Mumbai) retirement portrait, which was certainly around in the 1970s, seems to have disappeared. Both electronic and actual contact with the supposed location of the portrait in Bombay has turned up nothing.

The people there are aware that it did exist, but now say there is no record of what happened to it. I have a rather poor electronic image of a poor photocopy of the portrait."

Dr Stephen Davies, Museum Director, Hong Kong Maritime Museum: Oct 23, 2007



Family History Research


Parents of Horatio Ross


Amanda Briant-Evans writes:

"I am contributing to a new publication by the Montrose Basin Heritage Society. My subject is the Rossie Estate near Montrose, Angus, the home of Horatio Ross.

I am trying to track down images of his Father and Mother, Hercules Ross (1745-1816) and his wife Henrietta, née Parish  (1765-1811).

So far, the only portraits I can find are in an unpublished thesis by Agnes Butterfield who must be deceased by now. The only information I have about the portraits is that she reproduced them with the permission of Admiral G Parish Ross, no address supplied.

Would it be possible to post this request on your website which I believe has been very helpful to other researchers of the Ross family"

Amanda Briant-Evans, near Montrose, Angus, Scotland

If you can provide any information about portraits of Horatio Ross's mother and father can you please e-mail me, then  I'll pass on your message to Amanda.

 Thank you.  - Peter Stubbs, November 22, 2007


Family History Research


Parents of Horatio Ross


Thank you to Dr Stephen Davies, Hong Kong for sending me an attractive miniature painting of  Henrietta Ross, née Parish.

Stephen writes:

"I’m not sure where the miniature is now.  I found it on an auction site in 2004.

It was painted in 1788 by George Englehart, but I can find no trace of an 18th century miniaturist of that name via any sort of web search (e.g. nothing on the otherwise comprehensive ArtistIndex. site.

My guess would be that the miniature was probably painted in Hamburg where Henrietta’s father was an 18th century Hamburg equivalent of an Antwerp Fugger."

Dr Stephen Davies, Museum Director, Hong Kong Maritime Museum:  November 23, 2007

Who now owns the Miniature

It would be good to know who now owns this miniature of Henrietta Ross.

In particular:

-  Would the owner of the miniature be happy for me to add an image of it to the EdinPhoto web site?

-  Does the owner have an interest in the Ross Family history?

If you are the owner, or know who owns it, please e-mail me.

Thank you

 Thank you.  - Peter Stubbs, November 23, 2007


Family History Research


Ross Family

Family Tree


Jack Stooks, a Zimbabwean, now living in Devon, tells me that  he has been researching Horatio Ross and his family.

Jack says:

-  he has a huge family tree and is constantly trying to add to it.

-  he as lots of names but no photos.

-  he is looking for more information and photos of the family.

If you feel that you can help, please e-mail me and I'll pass on your message to Jack.

Thank you.

   - Peter Stubbs:  May 9, 2007.


Family History Research


David Ross

Brother of Horatio Ross

Clifford King Harbin wrote:


"I descend from David Ross, who was Hercules Ross' brother.  If any of the contributors to the EdinPhoto web site has any information that would help me to fill in holes in my family tree, I would appreciate hearing from them."

 Clifford King Harbin, Portsmouth Virginia, USA:  April 17, 2015

Reply to Clifford

If you'd like to send a reply to Clifford, please email me to let me know, then I'll pass on his email address to you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  April 20, 2015


Horatio Ross  -  Index Page

Ross Family Photos