Ross Family

by Doris Ross Brock Johnston

Our Ancestor George Ross, Scotland to Boston, MA > New Haven, CT > Elizabethtown, NJ > Fairfield Co., SC


 Descendants of our George Ross b. ca 1629 and of the Other Ross Family in Fairfield/Kershaw Cos., SC -- Isaac Ross from NJ and Mecklenberg Co., NC, have matching Y-chromosome DNA. More volunteers are needed for testing.

 Ross Dress Tartan 1766

Page Updated 26 Nov 2011

Except as noted, a major source for information on George Ross was Robert L. Ross's book, ROSS FAMILY OF NEW JERSEY.

A new source is the documented lineage of a DAR member descending from Abner Ross's daughter Molsey Ross Durham, proving there were three men named David Ross residing in Essex Co., NJ, who served in the Revolution and the birth/death dates we have heretofore used were for the wrong David. Ours was David Ross, Sr., born 1733 in Essex Co. (not 1721), descendant of early New Jersey colonists; and died 19 Nov 1796 in Elizabethtown, Essex Co., not 1795 in Susquehanna, NY. We had his wife's name correctly as Hannah Scudder.


George Ross of Scotland was taken prisoner by the Parliamentary forces (Cromwell's Army) at the Battle of Dunbar, Lancashire, England, September 3, 1650. Owing to his youth, scarcely 20 years old, he was sentenced to the New England Colonies [Nelia Huffman Henry records in Danville, Illinois, Genealogical Society, citing no sources].

Angry that the English had executed the Stewart king Charles I in 1649, the Presbyterian Scots decided to invite Charles’ son and heir, Charles II, to be their new king. In England, the ruling Council of State saw this act as a severe threat to the security and stability of their fledgling republic. It was therefore decided to send an army northwards to depose the new Scottish king.

Charles II concentrated on negotiating with the Scots, who were angry at the English Parliament's presumption in executing Charles I - who had been king of Scotland as well as king of England. The Council of State in London decided to mount an invasion of Scotland in order to forestall any Scottish move against England. Sir Thomas Fairfax was reluctant to lead an offensive against the Scots and resigned from command of the New Model Army. Oliver Cromwell was appointed Lord-General in his place.

Cromwell's army of eight regiments of horse and nine of foot, numbering around 16,000 men, marched north via York, Newcastle and Durham and crossed the border into Scotland on 22 July 1650.

All through August 1650 the Covenanter army, commanded by David Leslie, manoeuvred to avoid a pitched battle with the New Model. The Scottish army greatly outnumbered the Parliamentarians but, in a great military blunder, the Covenanting Committee of Estates which directed Scottish military operations insisted on purging the army of all but strict Covenanters. The veterans who were unable to serve were replaced by raw recruits, so Leslie played for time.

On 2 September, Leslie took up a commanding position overlooking the English encampment at Dunbar. Trapped between the sea on one side and the Covenanters' impregnable position on the other, and with the road back to England blockaded by the Scots, it seemed that Cromwell had no option but to evacuate his troops by sea. The new Scottish line stretched in a great arc with the coast on their right flank; the two armies were separated by the steep ravine of the Brox Burn.

During the night, while the Covenanters rested uncomfortably in rain-soaked fields, Cromwell prepared a surprise attack. In a daring night maneuver across difficult terrain, the bulk of the Parliamentarian army crossed the Brox Burn ravine in secrecy and reformed their lines on the other side. Just before dawn on 3 September, the Parliamentarian vanguard attacked, spearheaded by Lambert's cavalry and seconded by Monck's infantry regiments. Although taken by surprise, the Scots fought back fiercely. They succeeded in holding their position in the center and keeping the Parliamentarians at bay. Cromwell then delivered his master stroke by leading his reserves in a crushing flank attack on the Scottish right wing, which was cramped between the Lammermuir hills behind and the Brox Burn ravine in front.

Unable to maneuver, the Scottish horse were driven back through their own infantry. Cromwell's force broke through the Scottish lines. The Scottish position crumbled; the battle lasted two hours; 3000 Scots were killed in the rout and another 10,000 taken prisoner. Cromwell claimed that the Parliamentarians lost no more than 40 men.

Cromwell was able to march unopposed to Edinburgh. He quickly captured the Scottish capital, although Edinburgh Castle held out until the end of December. Of the 10,000 Scottish prisoners, Cromwell ordered about half to be released because they were unable to fight owing to their wounds. The remainder were force-marched south towards England in order to prevent any attempt to rescue them. The conditions on the march were so appalling that many of the prisoners died of starvation, illness or exhaustion.


 Cromwell at Dunbar, Scotland

Marched captured Scots to Durham Cathedral, Durham, England & imprisoned them there without food or blankets

By 11 September, when the remnants arrived at Durham Cathedral (which dates from 1100), where they were to be imprisoned, only 3,000 Scottish soldiers were still alive. Although the Cathedral offered a degree of shelter, the English failed to provide their prisoners with adequate food or fuel. For a time, the prisoners kept warm by burning all of the woodwork in the Cathedral with the exception of Prior Castell's Clock in the South Transept - thought to be spared because it carries a thistle, the emblem of Scotland.

By the end of October, cold, malnutrition and disease had resulted in the deaths of another 1600 of the Scots soldiers. The bodies of many of those who had died were simply thrown into a mass grave in the form of a trench running northwards from the Cathedral. Of the estimated 5000 Scottish soldiers that began the march southwards from Dunbar, over 3500 died either on the march or during imprisonment in the Cathedral - more than the total number killed on the battlefield. Of 1400 survivors, the majority were eventually transported to English colonies in the New World and the Caribbean. GEORGE ROSS was one.

On 3 Sep 1751 the Battle of Worcester was the final crushing defeat for King Charles II and the Royalist cause. The civil war ended at the place where it had started nine years previously. Charles II eluded capture for 45 days until he was able to slip away to France.

British Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate, 1638-1660.

Durham Cathedral & Castle: A UNESCO World Heritage Site. Battle of Dunbar,; see picture of 900-year-old Cathedral and Castle.

GEORGE ROSS was sentenced to transportation to the New England Colonies in the ship John and Sarah of London, John Green, Master, one of the ships in the Winthrop fleet, probably as an indentured servant since he was not listed as a passenger. Exiles had to repay their passage with a few years of servitude. George arrived in Boston before July 28, 1651, when the Rev. John Cotton referred to him in a letter, and he worked in Winthrop's Saugus Mine Works, probably Governor Jonathan (John) Winthrop, Sr's. Typical Indenture Contracts shown on the Virtual Jamestown website required five years of service.

Within six years George, a carpenter by trade, was free and made his way to New Haven, CT, where he was listed as a free man on 1 Oct 1657. New Haven Colony was independent of the Colony of Connecticut until 1663, and went west to Stamford, east to Guilford, south to Long Island Sound. In 1663 its governing council chose to join Connecticut rather than be annexed by the Catholic Duke of York, or the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam at New York. [Ancient New Haven Families and Genealogies of Connecticut Families. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1981].

The town of New Haven began in 1638 as Quinnipiac, home of a small tribe of Native Americans, the Quinnipiack, who built their villages around the harbor, harvested seafood, hunted with bow and arrow for food and furs and grew maize, the staple of their diet. A company of 500 Puritan colonists led by Rev. John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton, a wealthy London merchant recently arrived from England to Boston, who explored the New Haven area in Aug 1637, sailed into the harbor. They soon discovered that the Quinnipiacks and other local tribes were much distressed by raiding bands of Pequots and Mohawks from surrounding areas. It was for this reason that Momauguin, the sachem of the Quinnipiacks, and other tribe members agreed to sell the tribe's land to the Puritans. In return, the settlers pledged to protect the natives and to allow them the use of the lands on the east side of the harbor.

New Haven's founders not only hoped to create a Christian utopia, they also saw in New Haven's spacious harbor an opportunity to establish a commercial empire that would control Long Island Sound and possibly the coastline as far south as Delaware Bay.

A Puritan minister named John Davenport led his flock from exile in Holland back to England and finally to America in the spring of 1637. The group arrived in Boston on the ship Ann on June 26, but decided to strike out on their own, based on their impression that the Massachusetts Bay Colony was lax in its religious observances.

That fall Theophilus Eaton led an exploration party south to Long Island Sound in search of a suitable site. He purchased land from the Indians at the mouth of the Qinnipiac River. In the spring of 1638 the group set out, and on April 14 they arrived at their 'New Haven' on the Connecticut shore. The site seemed ideal for trade with a good port midway between Boston and New Amsterdam and access to the furs of the Connecticut River valley. However, while the colony succeeded as a settlement and religious experiment, its future as a trade center was some years away.

Land was purchased from Indian tribes in Nov 1638. By 1640 a complete government had been established and the settlement, originally called Quinnipiac, Indian for "long water" or "river place," was renamed Newhaven. The town plan was based on a grid of nine squares. In accordance with old English custom, the central square, now the Green, was designated a public common. By 1641 New Haven had grown into a community of approximately 800.

In 1639 they adopted a set of Fundamental Articles for self-government, partly as a result of a similar action in the river towns. A governing council of seven was established, with Eaton as chief magistrate and Cunningham as pastor. The articles required that "...the word of God shall be the only rule..." and this was maintained even over English common law tradition. Since the bible contained no reference to trial by jury, they eliminated it and the council sat in judgement. Only members of their church congregation were eligible to vote.

The colony published a complete legal code in 1656, but the law remained very much church centered. Eaton stayed as governor until his death in 1658, when leadership of the Colony was given to Francis Newman, followed by William Leete in 1660. When a new royal charter was issued to Connecticut in 1692, New Haven's period as a separate colony ended and its towns were merged into the government of Connecticut in 1695.

From 1701-1873 New Haven was co-capital of Connecticut, along with Hartford.

 "Geo: Rawse & Constance Little were married by ye Governor [Francis Newman], Decembr 7. 1658." [New Haven CT Ancient Families: New Haven Vitals, p. 1521. New Haven CT Vital Records 1649-1718, p. 16]


George Ross purchased land in New Haven in 1659, and their first son, JOHN, was born 23 Feb 1660. George was chosen a fence viewer in 1662.

Their son DANIEL was born 10 Oct 1663. Daughter ELIZABETH was born 16 Dec 1665. Daughter HANNAH was born 14 Aug 1668.

In 1667 George was chosen Corporal of the Trayne Band. The term "militia and train band" was still used in Connecticut's provincial forces participating 1775 in the Revolution.

In Oct 1669, George Ross was on the same census page with John Alling, Alling Ball, and Samuel Alling [New Haven Census: Appendix, p. 524]. Alling Ball's son Edward Ball, Esq., a signer of the New Haven Covenant, was among a Puritan group who moved on from New Haven to Essex Co., NJ, with Dr. Abraham Pierson and the Kitchells (ancestors of Sarah Kitchell who md. James Green in Greene Co., IL, whose son John Marion Green was the father of Mary Ann Green, wife of William Alfred Ross, my grandfather).

In 1670, George Ross and wife Constance Little moved to Essex Co., New Jersey, among its earliest settlers. After the move, their last son, GEORGE, was born in Essex Co., and it is from him that my family descends.

In May 1671, George was impannelled a juror. Back in New Haven, there had been no jurors until the colony became part of Connecticut, just a panel of judges. On 11 Sep 1673, George Ross signed the oath of allegiance.

In 1676 at Elizabethtown, Essex Co., NJ, he was granted a land patent for 132 acres in six parcels, being a house lot of 6 acres next to Jonas Wood and Caleb Carwithy, 18 acres of upland in the neck next to Barnabas Wines, William Johnson and John Gray; 40 acres of upland on the plains next to John LITTLE and Fresh Meadows; 50 acres of upland at Rahawack point to Elizabethtown Creek on the great river; and 12 acres at Rahway.

That year, on 4 Dec 1676, he was appointed Select Man to judge minor court cases. He had enough education that from 1677-1695, he made inventories of the estates of Robert Bond (1677), John Woodruff Sr. (1684), Lydia Toe, widow (1690), and Thomas Lee (1695). In 1683 he was one of six Essex Co. Tax Assessors, and was appointed Lieutenant (of the militia?). Again, on 1 May 1686, he was appointed judge of small causes.

From 1684-1695, he witnessed the wills of Matthias Hatfield (1684), John Winans (1688), Humphrey Spinning (1689), and George Allen (1695).

From 1687-1705, he was one of two Deacons of the church in Mr. Harriman's time, and was on the minister's salary list in 1694.

In 1690, George Ross was named executor of the will of DANIEL SPINNING, probably his brother-in-law, and his wife Constance Ross was a beneficiary. Clearly some of her Spinning family also moved to New Jersey. Constance had a brother Richard and was the daughter of JOHN LITTLE and wife MARY WHITE. Constance gave her age as 28 in 1664, and in 1662 she was listed as a member of New Haven's First Christ Church [Historical Catalog of the Members of the First Church of Christ in New Haven, Connecticut (Center Church): A.D. 1639-1914, by Franklin Bowditch Dexter, New Haven, CT, 1914, p. 18].

On 1 Jan 1703, George Ross deeded 1/3 of his 2nd lot in Elizabethtown to the widow and children of his deceased son John. George died after 1705, and his will is not listed in Essex Co.


His son, GEORGE ROSS, Jr. (ca 1670-1717), born in Essex Co., NJ, married HANNAH SPINNING, daughter of HUMPHREY SPINNING, by 1697 in Elizabethtown. More on George's siblings may be found in my data on Rootsweb (Gedcoms button link below).

In 1696/7, George was on the minister's salary list in Elizabethtown, perhaps indicating he had reached his majority, so could help pay the salary. On 12 Mar 1699, he signed a petition to be under the jurisdiction of New York. Elizabethtown, you may know, is right across the Hudson River from New York City. On 10 Sep 1700, he was noted as being present at a court house disturbance.

George and Hannah had nine children: JOHN 1698, THOMAS abt 1700, ABIGAIL 1703, GEORGE III 1705, SARAH 1708, WILLIAM 1710, SAMUEL 1712, HANNAH by 1714, and an infant in 1717.

The will of George Ross (II) in Elizabeth town, Essex Co., NJ is in a large, bold handwriting which matches the signature:

 In the name of God, Amen. The 26 day of Oct in the Fourth Year of the Reigne of our Soverign Lord George, By the Grace of God, King of Great Britain etc. Anno Domini One thousand seven hundred and seventeen (1717). I GEORGE ROSS sick and weak in Body, But of sound and perfect understanding and memory, (thanks to almighty God above), Do make this my Last will and Testament in manner and form following. That is to say, first I Commit my Soul and Spirit into the hands of God who gave it, and my Body to the Dust whence it was Taken, to receive a Decent, Christian Burial: and for that Temporal and worldly Estate which it hath pleased God to bestow upon me, I Give, Grant, Devise, Bequeathe, and Dispose of the Sam, In manner and form following.

That is to say, first, I will that all such Debts as I shall Justly owe to any Person or Persons at my Decease, Shall Be well and Truly Pay'd out of my Movable Estate, By my Executors of this my Last will and Testament herein named and appointed. --

Item, I give and Bequeath unto my Loving, and well loved wife HANNAH, the one Equal third part of all my whole Movable Estate (after all my Just Debts first Discharged out of the same) To have and To hold the unto the said HANNAH my wife, her heirs and assigns for Ever. I also give and Bequeath to my said wife HANNAH the whole and sole use and involvement? of the Best Room in my now dwelling house, situate and being in Elizabeth town aforesaid (with Egress and Regress thereto and therefrom,) During the whole term that remaineth to my Widow. --

Item, All the rest and remainder of my whole movable Estate I Give and Bequeath unto those of my children hereinafter mentioned, namely ABIGAIL, SARAH, GEORGE, WILLIAM, SAMUEL and HANNAH (together also with the child my wife HANNAH now goes Pregant with,) to Be Equally Divided to and among them all, part and part Equall and alike. --

Item, I Give Grant Divide and Bequeath, unto My Two Sons JOHN ROSS and THOMAS ROSS, their heirs and assigns for Ever all that my now Dwelling house and home lotts situate and Being in ye Said Elizabeth Town, and also all that (_hole__) of Land which I Bought of Downs & Baker adjoining to the Lands of Thom(___hole ____) Baker (as the Deed from D Harrick for the Land) To have and to Hold these Dwelling houses & hereafter ____ Lotts, and _____ of Land, with all Privileges and appurtenances thereunto Belonging, (Excepting only the use and Improvements of the Best Room of my said Dwellikng housing During the whole term of My Sd Wife HANNAH Remains Intirely my widow,) and to their heirs and assigns for Ever, to the sole and only Proper use, Benefit and Behoof of them that JOHN ROSS and THOMAS ROSS my Sons, their heirs and assigns for Ever.

Item, all the Rest and Remainder of all my Lands, Meadows, By Any manner of ways to me Belonging and Appertaining, Anywhere or wheresoever, within the whole Bounds & Purchase of Elizabeth Town aforesaid, I Give, Grant, Divide, and Bequeath unto my Three younger Sons, namely GEORGE ROSS, WILLIAM ROSS and SAMUEL ROSS their heirs and assigns for Ever To Have and to hold the said Premises to them my said Sons GEORGE, WILLIAM, and SAMUEL their heirs and assigns for Ever.

Item, I make appoint and ordain my trusty and well loved friend and Brother In Law, DANIEL RICE of Elizabeth Town agent to Be the Sole, whole, and only Executor of this my Last will and Testament. And I Do utterly Revoke and make Void and of no Effect all former wills and Testament By me at any Time heretofore, in any wise made or Declared. Hereby Ratifying and Confirming this to be my Only Last will and Testament. In witness whereof, I the Sd. GEORGE ROSS have hereunto Set my hand and fixed my Seal the Day and year first herein above written.
Signed, sealed, Published and Declared by
The Testator to Be his Last will and Testament

George Ross

In the presence of us witnesses.


THOMAS ROSS, son of George Ross and Hannah Spinning, was born abt 1700 in Union or Essex Co., NJ. He married SARAH MILLER, whose parents are unknown. They had three children, DAVID, ELIZABETH, and PHEBE.

Thomas died 4 Feb 1767 and his will and inventory were filed [Patents and Deeds and Other Early Records of New Jersey, 1664-1703, by William Nelson. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982, p. 466].


DAVID ROSS, Sr. (1721-1795), son of Thomas Ross (1700-1767) and his wife Sarah Miller, was described on a DAR application as "a descendant of early 17th century NJ colonists." He served as a Sgt. from New Jersey in the Revolutionary war [DAR Patriot Index, Part III, p. 2517.] He married HANNAH SCUDDER (1728-1779), daughter of SAMUEL SCUDDER, Sr., and PHOEBE MILLER.

David and Hannah had nine children: DAVID, Jr., 1746; PHEBE ca 1755, JOHN 1757, ABNER 1760, ELIZABETH 1762, WILLIAM by 1764, SARAH 1768, SAMUEL SCUDDER ROSS ca 1769, and HANNAH S. ca 1772.

In the 1780 Essex Co., NJ, census, David was enumerated on same page with David Ross, Jr. and Jesse Ross. On following page were Ezeliel Ross and George Ross, Jr.; and Elizabeth, Benjamin, Benjamin Jr., John, Mathias, Moses, and Thomas SCUDDER.

By 1790, David and wife Sarah had "moved up to Susquehana near Genesee Country in York State and lived there the last of their days and dyed there and buried there."

On 12 Oct 1813, David Ross's brother-in-law, Benjamin Scudder Jr., said in his diary, 12 Oct 1813, "William Ross and David Ross, the grandchildren of my sister Hannah Ross, live on the west side of Seneca Lake in Seneca Township in Ontario Co., in the State of New York, 200 miles west from Albany on the Turnpike Road."


ABNER ROSS, my ancestor, the son of David and Hannah, was born 1780 near Elizabeth Town, East New Jersey (as he stated in his will), and died 1830 in Fairfield Co., SC. He married MARY "Polly" WHITAKER on 20 Feb 1794 at Camden Dist., SC. She was the daughter of JAMES WHITAKER (ca 1740-1789) and CATHERINE WIGGINS. James was the son of John Whitaker and Martha Gough. Catherine was the daughter of Revolutionary Lt. John Wiggins (1720-1786) of Martin Co., SC, and his wife Catherine "Caty" Baker.

In Aug 1797, and Apr 1798, Abner Ross was drawn for the Grand Jury in Kershaw Co., SC. Fairfield Co. was created 1798 out of Camden Dist., which included Kershaw Co.

Because three of their sons preceded Abner and Mary in death, I believed they were buried in a burying ground on the Dutchman's Creek Plantation north of the Wateree. I assumed it was covered by the waters of Lake Wateree, since I was unable to locate it when visiting Fairfield Co. Wrong! The graveyard has been found, on the bank of Lake Wateree at Dutchman's Creek, in the yard of a home. I hope soon to have some pictures of it, including Abner Ross's vaulted tomb described in his will below. A note at the Fairfield Co., SC, Museum in Winnsboro states that Abner and Mary's daughter Harriot Robertson was buried a year and a half after Abner, in the Ross Family Burying Ground, and that her parents Abner and Mary Ross lived near Peay's Ferry on the Wateree.


 NOTE locations of Dutchman's Creek (upper Left) & Thorntree Creek (lower middle) where Abner Ross owned Plantations, N.W. & South of Longtown, and present-day Lake Wateree. Note also Rochelle Creek.

Though Abner Ross and wife Polly Whitaker are known to have had nine children, only five survived their father:

Harriot, born 22 Nov 1796, married Thomas S. Robertson

Molesey C., born 9 Aug 1798, married Robert Winfield Durham

James Whitaker Ross, born 4 Jan 1804, married Sarah E. J. Rochelle

Twins: William E. and John Alfred Ross, born 20 Jun 1806

Abner served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for two terms, 1814 and 1816, his bio in Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Vol. IV 1791-1815, by N. Louise Bailey (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1986, pp. 489-490), read:

ROSS, ABNER (Abraham) (1760-1830). Grandfather of Willam Ross Robertson (1818-1885); brother-in-law of Willis Whitaker (d. 1832).

Abner Ross, son of David Ross and Hannah Scudder, was born 1 Jun 1760 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He moved to South Carolina as a young adult and eventually settled in Fairfield District. Writing his will 1 Jun 1824, he mentioned a plantation on Thorn Tree Creek, another plantation on Dutchmans Creek, and a tract of undisclosed acreage and location. According to an inventory of his estate, he owned 35 slaves at death. Elected to the House, Ross represented Fairfield in the 21st (1814-1815) and 22nd (1816-1817) General Assemblies. While in the House, he was a member of the committees on roads, bridges, and ferries (1814-1817) and religion (1816-1817). Locally, he served as the following: commissioner of free schools for Fairfield (1811); commissioner, to superintend repairs of the Fairfield courthouse and jail (1812); and justice of te quorum for Fairfield (1812). On 20 Feb 1794, Ross wed MARY WHITAKER, daughter of JAMES WHITAKER (d. 1782?). They were the parents of nine children: Osmond, Harriet (m. Thomas Robertson [1790-1864]), Molsey (m. W. Durham), David Felix, David Felix II, James Whitaker, twins John Alfred and William, and Elizabeth Martha. Survived by his wife and several children, Abner Ross died 11 Jul 1830."

There was a sketch of Willis Whitaker, his wife's brother, a Representative as well.

In 1817, Abner bought land, " . . . I JAMES CRAIG of Fairfield Dist. in State afsd. Planter, for and in consideration of the sum of $208.50 to me paid by ABNER ROSS Planter all that Plantation or tract of land . . . on the west side of the Wateree River, Butting and Bounding as follows; on lands of JAMES CRAIG, JAMES SISK, WILLIS WHITAKER and ABNER ROSS and on the branches of Thornton . . . originally granted to said JAMES CRAIG . . . Mar 1817" [Deed Book _, p. 374-376.]

Abner owned a lot of land, as did his planter neighbors. In 1823 he deeded land to his daughter Harriet and her husband Thomas Robertson. In Dec 1825, "There was an academy near the Kershaw County line, with Professor McCandless (or McCandlers) in charge. He was said to have come from Georgia and was "an educator of high type." Boarding students came from Camden and Liberty Hill with day scholars from the entire Longtown area. The professor had many visits from irate mothers, whose sons he is said to have whipped on frequent occasions . . ."

The land for this school was the subject of a Gift Deed on 4 Aug 1825 from Isaac ARLEDGE planter to Abner ROSS, James ROCHELLE, Charles MOORES and John RIVES trustees of the Long Town Academy . . . for good will toward the present and rising posterity for their improvement and Education of all youth and more especially for all those which are in reach and also all those which may come in reach of the aforesaid Academy, also for the better maintenance and support of the aforesaid Academy . . . three acres of land inserted in a plat of five acres more which the aforesaid Trustees are to get a letter from Major W. WHITAKER for the same purpose. Witnesses: James W. ROSS, John A. Ross, Abner ROSS.

The deed plat shows the tract surrounded by Major WHITAKER land, Reuben HARRISON land, and Isaac ARLEDGE's land [Deed Book GG, p. 1].

Abner Ross wrote his will 1 Jun 1824, leaving considerable property including plantations on Dutchman's Creek (north of the Wateree River) and a new house on Thorn Tree Creek (south of the Wateree); named his son James W. as executor of his estate; and he added codicils dated 24 May 1828, 23 Mar 1830, and 21 Jul 1830:

I ABNER ROSS of Fairfield District, State of So. Carolina, citizen of the United States. born & brought up near Elizabeth Town East New Jersey; -- do make ordain and declare this instrument which is written with my own hand and subscribed with my name to be my last Will and testament revoking all others.

Item. to my dearly beloved wife POLLY ROSS. I give and bequeath the use profit and -- Benefit of the new house and plantation on Thorn Tree Creek where I now live for the use of herself & familey for the term of her natural life; also all my house hold & kitchen– furniture of every sort whatsoever also her horse and chair and harness; also OLD BOB -- the aforesaid furniture & chair and OLD BOB I leave at her own disposal. The stock of horses & mules–Cattle hogs & sheep to be for the general good of her and her three sons–also she is to have the use and benefit of working the land at Dutchman's Creek Plantation. All the slaves are to be kept. and worked together until all the Debts are paid, which I am indue at the time of my decease and for the support of the familey. and keep up the plantation; I also bequeath to my wife aforesaid the following slaves during her natural life: PHIL, VENUS, JACOB, DIANNAH & her 3 children BECK, EDMOND, NIMBLE or ANDERSON; LITTLETON, MARCH, LEWVIZER & JOHN; what Ever drop either in the field or house barn or otherwise. whatever is over and above. for the use of familey and plantation use at the time of my decease to be sold by my Executrix and Executors the nett proseeds thereof to be applied towards, paying the debts which may be against my Estate. My wife aforesaid is to have the use & benefit of the waggon work horses mules. geer plantation tools of every kind & sort whatsoever together with all the stock of Every kind as before mentioned for the general good of her & familey & for paying of the Just Debts to be at the discretion of my Executors herein after to be named.

Item. I give & bequeath to my beloved Daughter HARRIOT & her heirs of her body; negro MARY, her daughter EDEH, MAY, - BEN; ESTER which was gave before this will; also the tract of Land which I made THOMAS ROBERTSON a title to where he now lives I consider to be worth two common slaves at the rate I sold the land adjoining for, also at a convenient time for my Executors I bequeath a horse that may answer for her chair worth one hundred Dollars. also a mourning Dress worth fifty Dollars-- and at her mother, death I bequeath to her MARCH.

Item. I give and bequeath to my beloved Daughter MOLSEY & the heirs of her Body; the following negroe slaves to wit CHAINNEY, PAUL, NANCY, OLD MOLLY, MARIAH; NANCY's child; & CHARLOTT - OLD MOLLY's daughter. also a Chair horse worth one hundred Dollars. soon as my Executors can make it convenient to procure one &c-- also at my decease, a mourning dress worth fifty Dollars and at the death of her mother JACOB & LITTLETON I bequeath to her & her heirs forever -----

Item. I give and bequeath to my beloved son JAMES the following at the Death of his mother. the house where I now live and all the land attached to it and all the Improvement thereto belonging at the time of my decease. also the privilege of planting some part of the Dutchman's Creek land soon as the Debts against the Estate are paid until his - two brothers come of age. as may be agreed on by my Executors as he will be one &c I also give my saddle horse, saddle & bridle also the sword which belonged to his deceased brother & at Death of his mother one third Equal part of all the stock horses mules- Cattle hogs & sheep waggon & gear of all kind also all plantation tools of all kinds whatsoever. also one of the three shot guns by lot between the three Brothers. also the following slaves JAINNY. CLARICY. LINNA PETER -- BILL ANNA and at the death of his mother VENUS LEWVIZER & EDMOND --

Item. I give to my beloved son JOHN when he arrives at the age of twenty one years of age should the debts be paid the one half of all the Dutchman's Creek plantation to be Equally Divided between himself and his brother. WILLIAM by men of their own choise and at the death of his mother the one half of the gin machine screw and all other improvement also a horse from the stock of horses or one to be traded for worth one hundred Dollars also the one third of all the stock of horse horses Mules Cattle hogs & sheep. waggon geer of all kind. and also all plantation tools of all kind. also the Lever watch which belonged to his deceased brother. also one of the shot guns by lot as aforesaid; also the following slaves- MILLY & her mail child HAMPTON, ROBIN-- MARRIAH; CATE; old MOLLY's Children. JACK TOM- and at the Death of his mother PHIL and JOHN; as for the black smith tools and the horse mill to be and remain for the benefit and Convenience of both plantations.

Item. I give and bequeath to my beloved son WILLIAM when he arrives at the age of twenty one years should the Debts now against my Estate be paid if not soon as they are Paid the following Property the Equal part of the Dutchmans Creek plantation with his brother JOHN and at the Death of his mother, or agreeable to whatever -- arrangement that may be made and agreed to by my Executors I bequeath to my son aforesaid The following slaves SERREENAH. SAM CREECY. HENRY FOOGAN and at the Death of his mother DIANNAH BECK & NIMBLE or ANDERSON; I also bequeath to him my horseman's sword and one of the shot guns by lot as aforesaid also my watch my sulkey & harness my two trunks & Cloak also a horse from the stock or one to be bought or traded for worth one hundred Dollars and at the Death of his mother one third part of all the stock of horses mules Cattle hogs sheep also one Equal part of the waggon geer also of all plantation tools of all kind &c-

at the Death of my beloved wife should all the Demands against my Estate be satisfied and paid in that case the crop in the field or house, to be Equally Divided between my three sons aforesaid but should there still be out standing Debts against the Estate. in that case all the slaves which I own at my decease are to work on the plantation until all the Debts as before named are satisfied to be under the management & Controls of my Executors herein after to be named and appointed. and the neet proceeds of the crops over and above the supplies of the familey & plantation to be applied to the Discharge of the Debts at the Discretion of my Executors; it is further to be understood that all increase by the breeding wenches are to be attached and go with their mothers to whomsoever they may belong; I could wish my Daughters HARRIOT and MOLSEY to have Two Cows and calfs Each from my stock of Cattle. at the discretion of my Executors &c--

Lastly I constitute and appoint my Dearly beloved wife POLLY ROSS Executrix, my friend Col. AUSTIN F. PEAY, my son JAMES, also my sons JOHN and WILLIAM, when they shall arrive at the age of twenty one years; Executrix and Executors of this my will and Testament In witness of all and of Each of the things herein contained I have set my hand and seal this first Day of June in the year of our Lord 1824 - and of the independence of the United States the forty Eighth


Witness Present

Whereas I ABNER ROSS of Fairfield District have made and Execute my last will and Testament in writing bearing date 1 June 1824. and hereby given and bequeath to my wife and three sons and two daughters the names of which will be seen In the said will, my Estate as well real as personal whereas I the said ABNER ROSS- was so unfortunate Last fall as to Lose 2 negroes by Death namely JACK & MILLY which sd negroes I had willed in my last will to my beloved son JOHN ALFRED in the Event he has become sole sufferer; it is my further will that should he live to Inherit the said Legacy named in my sd will. that all the negroes be kept together on the Plantation until the neet proceeds of the crops be sufficient for the Executors be able To pay or make up his loss occationed by the death of the aforesaid 2 negros; or otherwise the Legatees Each of them pay him out of their part so bequeathed in order to make him Equivalent To theirs in value; its already understood should my Estate be much in debt at the time of my decease that all the negroes is to remain on the plantations and - work until the sd debts be paid; in witness thereof I have signed-- my own name and fixed my seal this 24 day of May 1828 --

SARAH WARD } ALEXANDER H. NEIL } The lever watch which belonged our poor son of my beloved wife is to have During her life then to be Disposed of as the above Directs in witness whereof I set my hand & seal this
JOHN A. ROSS } 23rd March 1830.
14 feet Long 5 feet Deep in the ground & the wall 2 feet above ground
7 feet wide inside the wall of rock the arch turned with good brick to
stand the weather -
(a vault
I Do hereby Enjoin the above on my Executrix & Executors of those who may be the Longest liver to carry the above piece of work into Execution and all my dear deceased children to be rased & lade with me & all the Rest and residue of my much beloved family; The expence to be paid out of my Estate not otherwise disposed of- at the Direction of my Executrix & Executors-- Given under my hand & seal the of my last will

A codicil to my last will
I not being satisfied respecting the vault with regard to not naming the amount of money which would be necessary for the completion of said vault I now appropriate $250 for completion of the vault if so much be necessary, this money is to be paid out of the neat proceeds of the crops- Furthermore my wish is that the property which I have left to my beloved daughters Harriot, and Molsey, shall be to them; and the heirs of their body Witness my hand and seal -----
MOLSEY E DURHAM Proven 21st July 1830
John R. Buchanan O. F.

Recorded in Will Book # 12, Page 145
8 June 1831, Apt. #63 File # 970

NOTE: The vaulted tomb described above matches the description of Reuben Harrison's tomb, which was moved to Longtown Presbyterian Church Cemetery when Lake Wateree was filled (See Fairfield Co., SC).



JAMES WHITAKER ROSS, son of Abner, son of David, son of Thomas, son of George, son of George, was born in Fairfield Dist., SC, 4 Jan 1804, died in Perry Co., AL 6 Apr 1848. His wife SARAH E. J. ROCHELLE was born in Fairfield Co. in 1810, daughter of ANDERSON ROCHELLE and NANCY ANN HARRISON. Sarah died Nov 1856 in Union Par., LA. Their families were wealthy planters (see Fairfield Co. SC Wills and Sketchbook).

Their story will continue on the next page.


  • ROSS Family 1, 2, 3
  • Abner ROSS & Mary "Polly" Whitaker Descendants
  • The Other Ross Family in Fairfield/Kershaw Cos., SC -- Isaac Ross b. 1708 from NJ and Mecklenberg Co., NC ~ His descendant's DNA matches those of George Ross b. ca 1629
  • WHITAKER Family
  • WHITAKER Ancestry
  • 3-way Descent of Mary "Polly" Whitaker from Charlemagne
  • Abner Ross's daughter Harriot Ross Robertson
  • Abner Ross's daughter Molsey Ross Durham
  • Donald Durham's site about Molsey Ross Durham and her husband Robert Winfield Durham, Sr.
  • Perry Co., AL
  • Union Parish, LA
  • Fairfield Co., SC WILLS, Sketchbook, and DEEDS
  • ROSS Photos 1, 2
  • ROSS Golden WeddingPix
  • ROCHELLE Family
  • My Family Pix
  • DAUGHERTY Family
  • Ancestors of Reuben Harrison's wife, Sarah Burge
  • Tinkling Springs Presbyterian Church, Augusta Co., VA (Daugherty, Magill, & Patterson Families)