The Ross-ter Icon is in the shape of a pentagon, which is composed of five smaller pentagons. Some persons have said that the shape reminds them of a stylized maple leaf. Each of the smaller pentagons represents a surviving branch of our family, the descendants of ALEXANDER ROSS (baptized June 10, 1781 - died 1863) and MARGARET NOBLE (born between January 18 and February 22, 1795 - died 1866). In the spaces between the small pentagons, the maple leaves represent families which terminated in Canada and the thistles represent children who died in Scotland. Their first eight children were born at Spital Shore, Redcastle estate, Parish of Killearnan on the Black Isle, and the final two girls were born at "Redhas" or the Shore-of-Drynie estate in Knockbain Parish, Black Isle.
Central to the Icon is the name of ROSS, the land from which we take our name. It is of special interest that the clan was not named after its "duthus", as instructed by Malcolm Ceanmor, King Malcolm III (r. 1057-1093). In the context that Mary Stewart/Stuart (for example) was Queen of Scots and not of Scotland, so too the earliest Earls/Chiefs received their designation. Although none of the first six Earls ever had the surname of Ross, you may be assured that (in 1160), when the clan was the first to be raised from the original seven paired Highland districts, the name of "Ross" began to be used more frequently by the common clansman. Just as quickly, however, Normanization eroded the traditional ways of the clan. [As John Prebble would say, the victims of the Highland Clearances are remembered by their descendants.]
The family of Alexander and Margaret consisted of the following children:
The following children died in Scotland, and they are represented by the thistles in the Ross-ter Icon:
Branches, which ended in North America, are as follows:
Without regard to any particular order, the smaller pentagons represent branches which survive to the present day.