At about the time of the first annual Ross Reunion in 1929, my grandfather, Reverend John A. Ross, who had just retired, began to record the descendants of Alexander Ross and Margaret Noble on sheets of cardboard. Upon his death on July 26, 1942, his collection of family history and letters lay in a box in the basement at 38 Woodycrest Avenue in Toronto. After the death of my grandmother, Mrs. Phoebe Louise (McGregor) Ross (his wife), on March 19, 1948, their eldest daughter bought the family home and the box was revisited from time to time. Very little had been added to the original records by my aunt, Mary Fraser (Ross) MacPherson, when she showed me the sheets of cardboard in the summer of 1951 and asked if the material could be duplicated.

I observed a couple of things when I made 25 copies of each of the 20 pages of records by Hektograph at that time. First, the older generations seemed reluctant to record dates of births, marriages or deaths except in family Bibles, privately kept Certificates or a few newspaper clippings such as Obituary Notices. Second, although numbers and letters of the alphabet were used to create some order, there seemed to be little consistency in their use. Frequently a letter on one page referred to a number beside the same individual on the same page. Still, I noticed that a system was being developed on a few pages with capital letters indicating the order of birth for the parent who was a Ross descendant and numbers indicating the order of birth for their children.

When Aunt Fraser died on April 22, 1965, the boxes in the basement were thrown out as trash ..... and I did not know at that time about the survival and distribution of those 25 copies of the records, which I had duplicated almost fourteen years earlier. Thus, when I hired one of historian John Prebble's researchers in 1973 to do some preliminary work on our ancestors, the only clues I had were a few names plus "Ross-shire" and Inverness as locations. None of the clues was particularly helpful, but my helper persisted until she had birth/baptismal records and Scottish Census reports for most of the family of Alexander Ross and Margaret Noble.

Pat and I visited Scotland in the summer of 1974, and spent a couple of days at the Register House in Edinburgh gathering more information. More contacts were made over the years by travelling to Scott and Minto Townships in Ontario. Eventually there were key sources in every surviving branch, and we thank many of our distant cousins for collecting, preserving and sharing the information in the indexed pages. Data and letters were carefully filed, and the Ross-ter Index system was well underway by the 50th Ross Reunion in 1980.


The "ROSS-TER" is an indexed genealogy which makes it relatively easy to identify the relationship of families and descendants to Alexander Ross and Margaret Noble.

The index is based, as noted, on a most simple plan. If you compare it with Canada's Postal Codes which came along later, you'll get the idea. In the previous section, you learned about the five surviving branches: A, D, E, G and I, representing children (and their families) descended from Alexander Ross and Margaret Noble. Two families, F and H, also have one page each, but they do not continue as branches.

Grandchildren of Alexander and Margaret add a numeral to the capital letter of the parents. These numerals (1 to 9) proceed with x for 10, e for eleven, t for twelve and r for thirteen (with f for fourteen and v for fifteen, if required).

Great-grandchildren of Alexander and Margaret add a capital letter to the index of their parents. A fourth generation descendant adds a numeral, and so on.

Spouses are recorded with the Ross descendants, and the same index characters are passed on to children, if any. Each set of characters is uniquely established by the rank of descent from Alexander and Margaret. Thus a unique new page is added to the "ROSS-TER" for new families with child(ren).

Please Use the "BACK" key of your Browser to return to this page.

Click on BRANCH A for the family of Alex and Jessie.
Click on BRANCH D for the family of Donald and Mary Ann.
Click on BRANCH E for the family of Isabella and William.
Click on BRANCH G for the family of Roderick and "Christie".
Click on BRANCH I for the family of Catharine and Malcolm.

The two branches, Table F [the family of Elizabeth Ross and Donald Fraser] and Table H [the family of William Ross and Anne McDermid], may be viewed if you Click Here.


© The Ross-ter Collection