Sir Bertram Home Ramsay (1883-1945)

Sir Bertram Home Ramsay (1883-1945)


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Sir Bertram Home Ramsay (1883-1945)

Sir Bertram Ramsay was a British admiral best known for his role in organising the evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940 and for planning the naval part of the D-Day landings in 1944.

He was the third son of Captain William Ramsay (at the time of Ramsay's birth), and was part of an army family, but while his older brothers entered the army, Bertram Ramsay decided to enter the navy. After serving on the cadet ship Britannia, he attended the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth (January 1898-May 1899), before joining his first ship in September 1899.

His first active service came in the Somaliland expedition of 1903-4. He is ofter said to have he earned a mention in dispatches for his work with the army and a promotion to lieutenant, but his promotion, which did come at this time, was not unusually rapid and he is not mentioned in the dispatches printed in the London Gazette. After serving in Somaliland Ramsay was given a posting on HMS Dreadnought during her first commission.

From 1909-1911 he attended the Naval Signal School at Portsmouth. He gave a number of reasons for this decision, which was unusual for an ambitious officer (at the time gunnery specialists were considered most likely to reach flag rank), amongst which was a dislike of getting his hands dirty, and an interest in moving fleets, not ships. Through his career Ramsay would be a moderniser, determined to sweep away outdated ways of working, while at the same time maintaining those naval traditions seen to be of value.

In the last years before the outbreak of the First World War the Royal Navy as a whole was being modernised, to make it fit for a new era of scientific and technical warfare. Amongst other things this saw the creation of a naval war staff in 1912, dedicated to planning future operations, and the opening of the Royal Naval War College at Portsmouth. In 1913 Ramsay was amongst the second cohort of students to attend the college, leaving with the rank of lieutenant-commander in the spring of 1914.

At the start of the war Ramsay was serving on the Dreadnought, part of the Grand Fleet. Early in 1915 he was offered the post of flag lieutenant to the commander of cruisers in the Grand Fleet, on the cruiser HMS Defence. This was an important role, but Ramsay was hoping for his own command. This was a lucky choice, for at the battle of Jutland the Defence exploded with the loss of 893 men. Ramsay spent a short time in the signal section of the Admiralty, before being appointed to command the monitor M.25, on the Dover patrol. By the end of the war he had risen to command the destroyer Broke, the ship chose to transport George V to France to visit the victorious army, and was created a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO).

After the war Ramsay began to rise through the ranks. In 1919 he served as Lord Jellicoe’s flag commander on his tour of the dominions. He was promoted to captain in June 1923, attended the senior officers’ war and tactical courses, commanded the cruiser Danae and then returned to the War College as an instructor.

In 1929 he was appointed flag captain on the China Station, and captain of the cruiser Kent. In July 1931 he returned to Britain to serve as the naval instructor at the Imperial Defence College. In November 1933 he was appointed to command the battleship Royal Sovereign.

Ramsay’s last inter-war promotion almost ended his naval career. In 1935 he was promoted to rear-admiral, and in August 1935 became chief of staff to the new commander-in-chief of the Home Fleet, Sir Roger Backhouse. They were old friends, but disagreed fundamentally on the correct way to run the fleet. Backhouse believed in an old fashioned centralized method of command, while Ramsay wanted to modernise the fleet and encourage delegation and decentralization. After only three months their professional relationship had broken down completely, and in December Ramsay asked to be relieved.

Naval opinion blamed both men for this breakdown. Their friendship survived the experience, and Backhouse even recommended Ramsay for further service, but it would be nearly three years before Ramsay would be employed again. He rejected an offer of a command on the China station (Flag Officer Yangtse), and when in October 1938 he reached the top of the rear-admirals’ list, he was placed on the retired list. Somewhat ironically at the same time as he was being retired, he was also carrying out an investigation into the steps that would be needed to reactivate the Dover command if war broke out. This investigation was instigated by Admiral Backhouse, by now First Sea Lord.

On 24 August, with the outbreak of war imminent, the Dover command was reactivated, and Ramsay was given the post. This was the start of a revived career that would see Ramsay take part in some of the most significant events of the Second World War.

At the start of the war the Dover command was part of the wider Nore command area, but in October 1939 Ramsay convinced the Admiralty to make Dover an independent command, accountable directly to them. He became vice-admiral, Dover. This was still a small command, responsible for the straits of Dover, while the opposite shore was either friendly or neutral.

That all changed in May 1940. On 10 May the German offensive in the west began, and only ten days later they reached the coast at Abbeville. On 19 May Lord Gort, the commander-in-chief of the B.E.F. had suggested that he might be forced to retreat to the coast, and on 20 May Admiral Ramsay held the first planning meeting for what would become Operation Dynamo, the evacuation from Dunkirk.

Ramsay was almost the perfect man to be in charge of this operation. His attention to detail allowed him to keep a grip on the complex, ever changing situation, and to keep some control of the fleet of perhaps as many as 1,000 ships that would take part in the operation. His willingness to delegate and to give subordinates independent authority meant that he was not overwhelmed by the task, and allowed the men on the beaches at Dunkirk to make important decisions. First Captain W. G. Tennant, and then Rear-Admiral Wake-Walker would act as senior naval office Dunkirk, with the knowledge that Ramsay would support their decisions.

At the start of the evacuation it had been hoped to rescue 45,000 men in two days, but in the end 338,226 British and Allied soldiers were rescued over the nine days of Operation Dynamo. Ramsay was rewarded with the KCB for his part in the evacuation.

Ramsay remained at Dover for another two years. In the aftermath of the German invasion of Belgian and the collapse of France Dover was now on the front line, with German troops only a few miles away across the channel. Once again Ramsay was required to cooperate with the army and the air force, this time to prepare for a possible German invasion. Dover would have been one of the first places to be attacked during any German invasion. The threat of invasion was at its highest during the last summer and autumn of 1940. We now know that in October 1940 Hitler postponed the invasion until the spring of 1941, by which time his attention had turned east, but this was not known in Britain. Even the invasion of Russia didn’t entirely remove the danger, for during most of 1941 it looked like it was only a matter of time before Soviet resistance collapsed, freeing the German armies to move back west.

By the start of 1942 the threat of German invasion finally faded. The Germans were no closer to a final victory in Russia, while the entry of the United States into the war saw American troops begin to arrive in Britain. Attention began to turn to the Allied invasion of Europe, and in May 1942 Admiral Ramsay was appointed as flag officer, expeditionary force, with the job of planning the naval aspects of the invasion, working with General Eisenhower. He would soon win the confidence of the Americans, essential in the years that would follow.

Over the next three years Ramsay would play a major part in planning for the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Normandy. In late 1942 it was decided to launch an invasion of North Africa. While command of the fleet went to Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, it was Ramsay who was responsible for most of the planning. He was then made commander of the eastern task force during the invasion of Sicily, working surprisingly smoothly with General Montgomery, who would later describe his as the only sailor to grasp the fact that the invasion was only the beginning of any combined operation.

In July 1943 Ramsay returned to Britain, and began to plan for the invasion of Europe. On 25 October 1943 he was appointed allied naval commander, expeditionary force (ANCXF), and on 26 October was promoted to acting full admiral. He was the first of the service commanders to being working on the plans for Operation Overlord.

This was his finest moment. Operation Overlord would be the most complex naval operation in history, involving 3,000 ships ranging from the smallest landing vessels up to some of the largest battleships in the British and American fleets. The planning had to look beyond D-Day itself to the crucial period when the Allied armies were being built up, and then on to the advance towards Germany.

Ramsay’s style of command was ideally suited to planning an operation on this scale. He believed that the key to success would be to put in place a detailed plan, so that every captain in the fleet knew what their role was, and then to let them get on with it. It was the ultimate vindication of his resignation in 1935 – there was no way an operation on the scale of the D-Day landings could have been centrally controlled in the way that Sir Roger Backhouse had favoured at the time.

Ramsay’s plans played a major part in the success of Operation Overlord. Despite stormy weather the Allied build up progressed fast enough to defeat any German counterattacks, and to allow the Allies to break out of the Normandy bridgehead. During September he unsuccessfully attempted to convince Eisenhower to focus on the quick capture not only of Antwerp, but of the channel that connected it to the sea, aware that there was a real chance that the advancing Allied armies would outrun their supply lines. The failure to seize Antwerp during September resulted in a long battle that only ended in November.

On 2 January 1945 Ramsay was killed in an air crash while flying to a conference at Twenty-First Army group. His funeral took place six days later, and was attended political and military leaders led by Eisenhower and Cunningham. He had been one of the most successful British military leaders of the entire war, understanding that modern naval operations needed detailed planning but not centralised control. His organisational skill and willingness to delegate played a major part in the successful evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940 and in the Allied return to France in 1944.


World War II Database


ww2dbase Bertram Home Ramsay was born in London, England, United Kingdom into a Scottish family. He attended the Colchester Royal Grammar School and joined the Royal Navy in 1898. He served aboard HMS Britannia and HMS Crescent before participating in WW1. In Aug 1915, he received his first command, M 25, a monitor. In Oct 1917, he became the commanding officer of destroyer Broke, with which ship he participated in the Second Ostend Raid on 9 May 1918. He remained in the Royal Navy through the inter-war years and resigned in 1938.

ww2dbase As the threat of the European War loomed, Ramsay returned to the Royal Navy at the rank of vice admiral. On 24 Aug 1939, he was placed in charge of the Dover, England area of operations. In 1940, he was placed in charge of the evacuation of British Expeditionary Force troops and French troops from Dunkirk, France, code named Operation Dynamo. He planned and executed the evacuation at a high level from his underground headquarters beneath Dover Castle. For the success of the evacuation, he was awarded the Knight Commander of the Order of Bath after personally reporting the operation to King George VI. Between 1940 and 1942, he continued to oversee the Dover area operations, largely involving the defense of the waters nearby from German attacks. On 29 Apr 1942, he was named the Naval Force Commander for the invasion of Europe although the invasion of Europe was postponed, his assignment transferred to an equivalent position, that of deputy naval commander of the invasion of North Africa in charge of amphibious landing operations. He operated in a similar role during Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, Italy, in Jul 1943. In 1944, he was named the Naval Commander in Chief of the Allied Naval Expeditionary Force, and oversaw Operation Neptune, which was the naval portion of the invasion of Normandy, France in Jun 1944.

ww2dbase In Jan 1945, Ramsay was killed his aircraft crashed on take off at Toussus-le-Noble, France.

ww2dbase Source: Wikiipedia.

Last Major Revision: Oct 2008

Bertram Ramsay Interactive Map

Bertram Ramsay Timeline

20 Jan 1883 Bertram Ramsay was born.
2 Jan 1945 Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, the mastermind behind the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940 and now in charge of Allied ports in France, was killed when his aircraft crashes on take-off at Toussus-le-Noble, becoming the fourth senior Allied leader to die in a plane crash. He was en route to a conference with General Bernard Montgomery in Brussels, Belgium.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Sandra Drew says:
3 Feb 2012 03:16:47 PM

My Dad, now 95, says he travelled with American troops on HMS Britannia of Liverpool in December,1942 from New York City area to Liverpool. I have been unable to find this ship and any information. It was among a convoy of many other ships.

2. Anonymous says:
25 Sep 2016 07:02:06 AM

My dad was Admiral Bertram Ramsy's chauffeur on that fateful day. As he watched his plane taking off, it blew up as if a bomb had gone off inside it. He had kept a large photo of him in a beautiful leather folder. He would show it to us when we were children but would always say the crash looked like sabotage not an accident.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.


Sir Bertram Ramsey – Britain’s Unsung War Hero

By Matt Chivers, Gale Ambassador at the University of Liverpool
I am in my third year studying History at the University of Liverpool. I am obsessed with golf and regrettably even more obsessed about football. But at school, History took my interest throughout sixth form and university I have loved studying the Cold War and, for my dissertation, the nuclear arms race. I am keen to pursue a career in sports writing and journalism – I couldn’t think of anything better than being paid to watch and write about the biggest sporting events in the world! I like film and tend to binge-watch a series or two.

If you hear the phrase ‘War Hero’ names such as Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower would naturally come to mind, as they were the key leaders in the Second World War that were instrumental in coordinating the Allied victory. I feel there is another leader who deserves recognition for his vital work during these significant years Sir Bertram Ramsay.

DUNKIRK EPIC RELIVED, The Times, May 1st 1970, The Times Digital Archive, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/8j3JDX

Bertram Ramsey was made Flag Officer at the port of Dover and was put in charge of the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Forces from Dunkirk. The evacuation of Dunkirk in May 1940, despite being a result of military failure, is known to be a triumph in human survival and the British trait of never giving up. Ramsey was the man responsible for gathering the giant fleet of boats that sailed across the Channel to save the Allied forces stranded on Dunkirk beach. Much is owed to the brave civilians who used their own leisure boats to pick up the Allied soldiers, especially as the beaches of Dunkirk and the English Channel were being aerially bombarded by the Luftwaffe. I found an article in The Times Digital Archive that relives the events at Dunkirk and the significance of the role of Bertram Ramsey.

The son of Captain William Ramsey of the British Army, Ramsey attended the Royal Colchester Grammar School before he entered the navy. His two brothers joined the army. During Ramsey’s career he had been on ships such as HMS Crescent and HMS Dreadnought. In 1918, he was given high command and led the destroyer HMS Broke in to a second raid at Ostend and was commended for his performance.

The original aim of Operation Dynamo (the official name of the Dunkirk evacuation) was to save 45,000 soldiers from Dunkirk the fleet Ramsey gathered managed to save around 338,000 soldiers. Operation Dynamo was an example of Britain’s resolve and also the strength of the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. The thousands of men that were brought home made up a valuable and experienced core of the British Army.

SEA SENSE OUR GREATEST ASSET, Evening Telegraph (Dundee, Scotland), 9th August 1944, from British Library Newspapers, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/8iyi46

Coordinating Operation Dynamo was extremely complex. Admiral Ramsey had approximately a week to conjure a plan that could save as many soldiers as possible from the French coast. He and was constantly urging the War Office and Ministry of Shipping to gather vessels and sent demolition parties to Boulogne and Calais to prevent the Germans occupying these ports. Some argue that the poignant image of soldiers being carried home aboard a fleet of small boats is a key reason Ramsey is this ‘forgotten man’ of the second war. The idea of the plucky British people uniting presents a shield in front of the key figures who were behind the evacuation.

Just as his role in orchestrating Operation Dynamo is sometimes overlooked, it is also important to recognise Admiral Ramsey’s work with Dwight Eisenhower after the Dunkirk evacuation. As this article on the University of Cambridge’s website suggests, Admiral Ramsey is in some ways ‘D-Day’s forgotten man’. During the inter-war years, Ramsey’s career had moved into logistical studies and he was instrumental in liberating North Africa in 1942 and the invasion of Sicily in 1943. This had given him the skills necessary to plan Operation Overlord, more commonly known as the D-Day landings, in June 1944. Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College, Cambridge, describes Ramsey as ‘the architect of Operation Neptune and a crucial part of the team that wins D-Day’. (Operation Neptune was the complex naval organisation of thousands of ships and even more soldiers, in preparation for D-Day.) As The Evening Telegraph in Scotland said on 9 th August 1944, the Channel became ‘a bridge of attack and not just a moat for defence’. With Operation Overlord, the English Channel became a symbol of victory.

Below is a special piece The Daily Telegraph ran in 1989 which discussed the D-Day landings, and the build-up to the operations that took place up to June 1944:

OVERLORD, The Daily Telegraph, 31st August 1989, The Telegraph Historical Archive,
http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/8kgPYX

Sir Bertram Ramsey is one of Britain’s most influential war figures and in 2000, a statue was erected of the Admiral, in Dover, the town of his most well-known triumph. I thoroughly enjoyed researching Admiral Ramsey in Gale Primary Sources. It gives me an enormous sense of pride to read about British military success, and I feel being from Dover myself increases my sense of pride as I can imagine the scenes of shattered and wounded soldiers trudging through the town – only to bravely continue fighting in subsequent months.

WINSTONS DAY OF VICTORY, The Sunday Telegraph, 24th August 1986, The Telegraph Historical Archive, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/9MFBR8


De Britse zeeofficier Bertram Kome Ramsay werd in 1938 gepensioneerd. Toen de Duitse oorlogsdreiging groeide, werd Bertram Ramsay weer opgeroepen. Bertram Ramsay was aan het begin van de Tweede Wereldoorlog commandant in Dover. Hierdoor werd hij verantwoordelijk voor een ordelijk verloop van de evacuaties van onder andere Boulogne, Calais, Duinkerke en Hoek van Holland.

Landingen in Afrika, Sicilië en Normandië [ bewerken | brontekst bewerken ]

In 1942 werd Bertram Ramsay benoemd tot plaatsvervangend commandant onder admiraal Andrew Cunningham. Ramsey stelde in deze functie de plannen op voor de landingen in Afrika en op Sicilië. In 1943 werd Bertram Ramsay overgeplaatst naar Londen, waar hij werd belast met de voorbereiding van de maritieme inbreng tijdens de invasie in Normandië. Hij werd ook bij de uitvoering van deze operatie betrokken. Bertram Ramsay kwam in januari 1945 bij een vliegtuigongeluk om het leven.


In film and fiction [ edit ]

His involvement in the Dunkirk evacuation and the D-Day landings has led to several appearances as a character in film and television drama – in Dunkirk (1958, played by Nicholas Hannen), The Longest Day (1962, played by John Robinson), Churchill and the Generals (1979, played by Noel Johnson), Dunkirk (2004, played by Richard Bremmer), Ike: Countdown to D-Day (2004, played by Kevin J. Wilson), Churchill (played by George Anton) and Darkest Hour (2017, played by David Bamber).


Ramsey Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

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Ramsey Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This family is said to have come from a market town in Huntingdonshire. The ancestor of this family was Symon (or Simon or Simund) de Ramesie, a nobleman who came from Normandy, France. It is a locational or habitational name denoting a person who came from a place in Huntingdonshire so called, deriving from the Old English word hrasmsa, meaning wild garlic and the word for island or low lying land. Hence, the theory is that this family came from an island where wild garlic grew.

There are other places in England named Ramsey, but historians are confident the locale in Huntingdonshire is the source of this Scottish family. It was spelled Hramesege in the Saxon Chartulary. Another source also mentions some came from a town named Ramsey in the south west of Harwich and Essex, which was spelled as Rameseia in the Domesday Book of 1086 AD (a survey of England and Wales ordered by William the Conqueror) and as Rammesye in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1224 AD.

Henry Harrison’s 1912 book, Surnames of Scotland, states this is an English and Scandinavian name from the same etymology/location mentioned above, stating that in old Anglo-Saxon charters the town is spelled as Rameseg and Hrameseg. The same book also mentions it was anciently Ramsöe, with the o umlaut being a Dano-Norwegian letter signifying an island. Mark Anthony Lower states, in his nineteenth century book, that “The name is totally distinct from that of Ramsey. The The Earl of Dalhousie’s family are said to be of German extraction. They are traced from Simon de Ramsay of Dalhousie, in Lothian, temp. David I. 1140. The lands of Ramsay are in Argyleshire”. A one Aethelstanus de Rameseia was documented in the Old English Byname Register of 1036 AD.

Spelling Variations
Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Ramsay, Rumsey, Ramasey, Ramesey, Ramssey, Ramisey, Remesey, Ramsa, Ramissay, Ramhishay, or Rameseye, and about 100 others. The Latin is de Rameseia.

Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Ramsey ranks 373 rd in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following three states: Tennessee, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. The surname Ramsey frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (1,257 th ), Scotland (1,847 th ), Wales (1,51 st ), Ireland (3,096 th ) and Northern Ireland (412 nd ). In England, it ranks highest in counties Durham, Northumberland, and Suffolk. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Shetland. In Wales, it ranks highest in Pembrokeshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in Donegal. In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in county Antrim. The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (2,547 thh ), New Zealand (2,296 th ), Australia (1,614th), and South Africa (10,268 th ).

The last name Ramsey ranks 4,347 th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following three states: and New Hampshire, Maine, and Florida. The surname Ramsey frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (869 th ), Scotland (127 th ), Wales (1,163 rd ), Ireland (2,580 th ) and Northern Ireland (1,995 th ). In England, it ranks highest in counties Northumberland and Durham. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Angus. In Wales, it ranks highest in Merionethshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in county Donegal. In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in Londonderry. The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (680 th ), New Zealand (414 th ), Australia (551 st ), and South Africa (1,571 st ).

Brechin Castle c. 1880, current seat of Earl of Dalhousie, chief of Clan Ramsay.

Clan Ramsay
This is a Scottish Lowland clan. The clan’s plant badge is blue harebell. They are seated at Brechin Castle, Angus, Scotland currently, but where ancient seated at Dalhousie Castle. Their tartans are modern, red and hunting, blue. Branches include Ramsay of Balmain, Ramsay of Banff, and Ramsay of Dalhousie. Septs include Ramsey, Ramsay, Dalhousie, Maule, Brechin, and Brechen. Their Gaelic name is Ramsaidh. Their Latin motto is Ora et Labora, which means Pray and work.

Ramsey Family Tree & Ramsey Genealogy
The following is a discussion of five different noble, royal, landed, or aristocratic families bearing this last name.

Straloch House
credit: Mount Blair Community Archive

Ramsay of Whitehill
The Ramsay genealogy begins with the ancient House of Wardlaw, Baron of Torrie, who lost many lands for its support of the cause of King John Baliol, but still retaimed the estate of Torrie, in county Fife, Scotland. Sir Henry Wardlaw of Torrie had two sons: Andrew (his heir) and Walter (Bishop of Glasgow who became a Cardinal in 1381). His son Sir Andrew married a daughter of the noble House of De Valoniis, and had two sons with her: William (his heir) and Henry (Archbishop of St. Andrew’s). He died in 1440. From his son William descended a length line of Wardlaws of Torrie and of Pitreavie. A one Sir Henry Wardlaw of Pitreavie became a Baronet of Nova Scotia (Canada) in 1631 during the reign of King Charles I of England. His third son was named John. This John married Jean, daughter of James Melville of Hulhill, and had a son also named John. This son John was of Abden and he married Christian Dewar and had two sons with her: John (married Katherine Pringle, had a son named Christian) and William. William married Janet Marshall, and had issue with her. One of his sons was Captain William Wardlaw of the Royal Navy who married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Balfour Ramsey of Balbirnie and Whitehill) and had the following issue with her: William (died in 1812 without posterity), Robert (discussed below), John (a general officer who married Anne, daughter of Gerard, 1 st Lord Lake, had issue), and Anne (died 1849). His second son, Robert Wardlaw Ramsay, was an Esquire and Captain H.E.I.C’s. Naval Service, who was the successor to the Whitehill estate at the decease of his maternal uncle. In 1811, he married Lady Anne Lindsay, 2 nd daughter of Alexander, 6 th Earl of Balcarres, and prior to his 1837 death, had the following four children: William, Robert Balfour (see below), Balcarres Dalrymple (Lieutenant Colonel in the army, married Anne Collins of Frowlesworth), and John (married Penelope Macdonall of Lison in 1847). His son Robert Balfour Wardlaw-Ramsay was an Esquire of Whitehill in county Edinburgh, Scotland and Tillcounty, county Clackmannan, Scotland, as well as a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant who was born in 1815. In 1841, he married Lady Louisa Jane Hay, daughter of George, 7 th Marquess of Tweeddale and Susan Montague, and had ten children with her: Robert George (Lieutenant of the 67 th Regiment), Susan Georgiana (married Reverend Frederick Abel Leslie Melville), Anne Charlotte, Louisa Jane, Elizabeth Caroline, Flora Catherine, May Alice, Edith Mary, Mabel Frances, and Emily Alexina. The Ramsay coat of arms has the following heraldic blazon: Quarterly: 1 st and 4 th , argent, an eagle displayed sable, beaked and member gules within a bordure sable charged with eight roses argent, for Ramsay 2 nd and 3 rd , azure three mascles or, quartering Valence, for Wardlaw. Crest: 1 st : A unicorn’s head erased argent charged with a rose gules: 2 nd : An estoile or. Mottoes: Sempter victor and, over the crests, Familias firmat pietas. The family seat was at Whitehall in Edinburg and Tillcoultry in Clackmannan, Scotland, in Great Britain and modern day United Kingdom of the British Isles of Europe.

Ramsay of Kildalton
John Ramsey was an Esquire of Kildalton, county Argyll, Scotland, Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, and Member of Parliament (for Falkirk) in 1874 who was born in 1814. In 1814, he first married Elizabeth, daughter of William Shields of Lanchester county Durham, and secondly Lucy, daughter of George Martin of Auchendennan, and had two daughters: Mary Anne and Elizabeth Lucy He was the son of Robert Ramsay of Stirling and Elizbaeth Stirling of Craigforth. The family seat was Kildalton, Greenock, Scotland.

John Ramsay of Kildalton (1814-1892), Scottish distiller, merchant, & MP

Jeanie Ramsay Kirsty Ramsay, aunt of John Ramsay Robert Ramsay, father of John Ramsay

Fasque House, property of the Ramsays of Balmain
credit: thecastlesofscotland.co.uk Sir Alexander Ramsay, 3rd Baronet of Balmain (1813-1875), MP for Rochdale William Ramsay Maule, 1st Baron Panmure (1771-1852), Scottish landowner & politician, son of George Ramsay 8th Earl

Bamff House, Perthshire, Scotland, home of the Ramsays of Bamff

Ramsay of Bamff
The lineage of this branch of the Ramsay family tree begins with Neis de Ramsay, the head physician to King Alexander II of Scotland, when the family owned lands, received from that monarch, in Bamff, county Perth and the adjacent areas in 1232 AD. His son and heir was Malcolm de Ramsay, who was documented in the prior of St. Andrew’s in 1284. He in turn had a son named Adam de Ramsay, a Scottish Baron who submitted to King Edward I of England in 1296 AD. He in turn had a son named Malcolm. This Malcolm in turn had a son named Adam. This Adam in turn had a son named Neil de Ramsay, of Bamff, who had a resignation from Mariote, widow of John Lutsale, of the third part of lands of Easter Malias. He was succeeded by his son Gilbert. Gilbert was one of an assize of 17 men upon a division of the lands of Aberlemnock, before Walter Ogilvie, Sheriff of Angus, in 1388 AD. He died toward the end of the reign of King Robert III of Scotland. He had a son named Thomas Ramsay, of Bamff, who had a land charter from Robert, Duke of Albany, in 1420. He in turn had a son named Finlay Ramsay of Bamff. He in turn had a son named Alexander. Alexander lived a long life and died in 1507. He had a son named Gilbert. In 1482, Gilbert married Margaret, daughter of James, 1 st Lord Ogilvie, and he had a son named Neis. This Neis Ramsay was the Sheriff of Perth. He in turn had a son named Alexander. This Alexander of Bamff married Elizabeth, daughter of Crichton of Ruthven, and had a son with her named George. This George Ramsay of Bamff married Elizabeth Wood of Bonnytoun, and died in 1580. He had a son also named George. This son George married Elizabeth, daughter of Mercer of Aidie, and had two sons with her: Gilbert and Alexander (physician to King James I and Charles I of England). He died in 1620 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Gilbert. This Gilbert married Isabel, daughter of Ogilby of Viova, and had a son with her named Gilbert. This son, Sir Gilbert Ramsay, 1 st Baronet, was Knighted in 1635. He was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1666 for the bravery of his son James at the Battle of Pentland Hills. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Blair, of Baithayock, with whom he had the following issue: Elizabeth (married George Drummond of Blair), Thomas (married Jean Lumsdain of Innergwelly, had daughter), and James. The son, Sir James Ramsay, 2 nd Baronet, married Christian, daughter of Sir Thomas Ogilby, with whom he had issue: John (3 rd Baronet), George (chief physician to the English at Madras), and Sophia. He died in 1731 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir John Ramsay, 3 rd Baronet, who married Lilias, daughter of Thomas Graeme of Balgowan. He was succeeded by his son in 1738. This son was Sir James Ramsay, 4 th Baronet, who marries Elizabeth, daughter of George Rait of Anniston, and had four issue with her as follows: Sir John (5 th Baronet), Sir George (6 th Baronet), Sir William (7 th Baronet), and Thomas (married Margaret, daughter of James Maxtone, had children). He died in 1782 and was succeeded by his son John. John, 5 th Baronet, was the Sheriff of county Kincardine, Scotland. He died in 1783 and was succeeded by his brother, Sir George Ramsay, 6 th Baronet. In 1786, Sir George married Eleanor, daughter of George, 14 th Lord Saitoun. He died in a duel with Captain Macrae in 1790, whereupon he was succeeded by his brother William. Sir William, 7 th Baronet, in 1796, married Agnata Francs, daughter of Vincent Biscoe of Hoodwood, and had three issue with her as follows: James (8 th Baronet), George (9 th Baronet), and William (a Professor of Humanity at the University of Glasgow, in 1834, married Catherine Davidson, had a daughter named Catherine Lilias Harrley who married Lieutenant Colonel James Wedderburn-Oglivy). He died in in 1807 and was succeeded by his eldest son James. This son, Sir James Ramsay, 8 th Baronet, was born in 1797. In 1828, he married Jane, son and heiress of John Hope Oliphant. He died in 1859 and was succeeded by his brother George. Sir George, 9 th Baronet, was born in 1800, and in 1830, married Emily Eugenia, daughter of Captain Henry Lennon, 49 th Regiment, and had the following three children with her: James Henry (10 th Baronet), William (of Bombay C.S., in 1867, married Harriot Wollaston, daughter of Major General Jullus B. Denys, had two sons named George and Arthur Dennys Gilbert), and George Gilbert (M.A. of Trinity College Oxford, in 1865, married Gertrude Schuyier Graham of Brooksbys, Lards, children named William Alexander, Sir Malcolm Graham, Reverend Gilbert Biscoe, Robert Eugene, and Gertrude Margaret Noel). Sir George passed away in 1871 whereupon he was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir James Henry Ramsay, 10 th Baronet. Sir James was a Deputy Lieutenant and Barrister-at-law who was born in 1832. He first married Elizabeth Mary Charlotte, daughter of William Scott Kerr of Chatto, and had three daughters with her as follows: Emily Mary, Chariotte Lilias, and Agnata Frances (married Reverend Henry Montagu Butler). In 1873, he second married Charlotte Fanning, daughter of Major William Stewart, of Ardvorlich, and had six children with her as follows: Nifel Neils (Lieutenant of the Black Warch, killed in action in South Africa at Magersfontein), Sir James Douglas (11tth Baronet), Katherine Marjory (born 1874, in 1899, married 8 th Duke of Atholl), Ferellth (Justice of the Peace, in 1910, married Colonel Paul Robert Birn-Clerk-Rattray), and Aima Imogen Mary (in 1916, married Sir Sidney A. Armitage-Smith, and had issue). Sir James Douglas Ramsay, 11 th Baronet, was born in 1878 and succeeded his father in 1925. He served in World War I and was educated at Harrow and Trinity College Cambridge. He was a Colonel on the 51 L.A.A Regiment of the Royal Army and a Major in the Scottish Horse Yeomanry. In 1908, he married Hope Anita Jane, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Donald MacGregor of the 92 nd Highlanders, and had two sons with her as follows: Neis Alexander (educated at Winchester, served in World War II as Lieutenant of South Africa Engineering Corps, married Edith Alix Ross of Khyber Lodge) and David James, M.C. (Captain and Major of the Scottish Horse in the Royal Army who served in World War II, in 1939, married Anne Sisson, killed in Normandy in June 1944). The Ramsay Coat of Arms has the following heraldic blazon: Argent, an eagle displayed sable, beaked and membered, gules, and charged on the breast with an escutcheon of the first. Crest: An unicorn’s head, couped, argent, maned and horned or. Supporters: Two griffins proper. Motto: Spernit pericula virtus. They were seated at Bamff, Alyth, county Perth, Scotland, in modern day Great Britain or the United Kingdom.

Dalhousie Castle
wiki: Roger W Haworth, CC2.5

Other Ramsey/Ramsay Pedigree and Family Trees
A one Ramseija A German Wiking was born in Germany (died in England was born around 1030 AD. He had a son named Symon or Simon, considered to be the progenitor or ancestor of the Ramsay/Ramsey family. This Symon de Ramsie was born in France around the year 1100 AD. He was a French Norman nobleman who went to Scotland. He accompanied David of Scotland, the Earl of Huntingdon. David granted him lands in Midlothian. This Simundus de Ramseia was the first to own land at Dalwolsie (modern day Dalhousie) and this family became famous/infamous border raiders. In the next century, there were five significant branches of this family: Ramsay of Dalhousie, Ramsay of Aucherhouse, Ramsay of Banff, Ramsay of Forbard, and Ramsay of Clatton, some of which are discussed in the above sections. The following is a pedigree or lineage from Symon, beginning with his son William:
William de Ramsie or Ramsay (born in Dalhousie, Scotland prior to 1170 AD)
William de Ramsay ((born in Dalhousie, Midlothian prior to 1230 AD)
William de Ramsay ((born in Dalhousie, Midlothian prior to 1250 AD)
William de Ramsay ((born in Dalhousie, Midlothian prior to 1270 AD)
William de Ramsay ((born in Dalhousie, Midlothian prior to 1290 AD)
Sir Patrick Ramsay (born in Inverleith, Scotland around 1330 AD)
Alexander Ramsay (born in Carnock, Scotland around 1350 AD)
Sir Alexander Ramsay (born in Dalhouisie, Midlothian, Scotland around 1370 AD)
Sir Alexander Ramsay (born in Dalhouisie, Midlothian, Scotland before 1402 AD)
William Ramsay of Balnabreich (born in Dalhousie before 1420 AD)
Captain Alexander Ramsay (born in Balnabreich, Scotland in 1520)
Captain Joan John “Hans” Ramsay (born in Balnabreich in 1550)
Anders Erik Ramsay (born in 1638)
Alexander Wilhelm Ramsay (born in 1680)
Gustav Ramsay (born in 1711)
Anders Johan Ramsay (born in 1744). He married Johanna Petersen and fathered the following children with her: Adam, Johan, Carl August, Aurora, Gusatav, Anders Edvard, Sofia, Jacob, and Maria. His son Carl August was born in 1791. He married Beara Peterson and had the following issue with her: Charlotta, Alexander, Wolter, Johan, Isabella, and Anders. His son Wolter Alexander Ramsay was born in 1825 and he married Emmy Beata Tham, having the following issue with her: Sofia, Charlotte, Wolter, Emmy, August, Gustav, Eva, Wilhelm, Henrik, Elsa, and Carl. His son Wilhelm Ramsay was born in Dalsbruk, Finland in 1865. He married Karin Helena Von Born and had numerous children with her as follows prior to his 1928 death in Helsinki: Helena Hulda Fransiska, Hulda Emmy Beata (Sumelius), Viktor Henrik Volter, Elsa Hulda Katarina (Dielh), Nene Hulda Barbara Frank, and Wilhelm August Wolter. His son Viktor Henrik Volter Ramsay was born in Perna, Finland in 1904. He married Virma Meri Ignatius and had issue with her prior to his 1977 passing, including a son named Mac. Mac was born in the 1940s.

A one Sir Robert Ramsay was born in Aucherhouse, Angus, Scotland in 1267, He had a daughter named Marjory (Ogilvy) and Malcolm. His son Malcolm was born in 1325 and was the Sheriff of Forfar. He had a daughter named Isabel who was born in 1350 and later married Walter Ogilvy in 1830, having issue with him named Walter, Alexander, George, and John.

James Ramsey was born in 1720. He was a Loyalist from the Cherry Valley, New York. He served in the Butler’s Rangers and settled in Detroit, but later moved to Niagara Falls. He was granted land in Stamford Townshop and Niagara Township in Canada. He had issue, including a daughter named Martha, born in New York in 1746, who married John Burch, having a son with her named John Burch Jr. who was born in Canada in 1784.

A one Thomas Ramsay was born in Chester, New Hampshire in 1748. He died in 1837 in Rumney, NH.

Early American and New World Settlers
Joseph Ramsey, age 30, came to Virginia aboard the Globe in August 1635.
Robert Ramsey, age 15, came to Bermuda aboard the Dorst in September 1635.
Robert Ramsey was buried in St. Michael’s parish, Barbados in April 1678.

Other early settlers in colonial America bearing this surname include Penelope Ramsey (Virginia 1636), Morgan Ramsey (Maryland 1653), Bar Ramsey (Virginia 1653), James Ramsey (Virginia 1654), John James (Virginia 1654), John Ramsay (Maryland 1716), John Ramsay (Virginia 1751), and John Ramsey (Virginia 1705).

In Canada, one of the first settlers bearing this last name was Elenor Ramsey, who at the age of 26, came to Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the Madawaska in 1833. The next year in 1834, a family bearing this name came to the same town aboard the Ambassador, including Robert and Jane Ramsey, husband and wife, age 23 and 20, respectively, farmers by trade, along with their two children William and Isabella. A one Ann Ramsay came to Nova Scotia in 1750. In Australia, Harriet Ramsey came to Adelaide aboard the Aden in 1849 and George Frederick Ramsey came in the same year aboard the Elizabeth. A one Ann Ramsay came to Adelaide aboard the Lord Goderich in 1838 and William Ramsay came there as well in 1839 aboard the Indus. In New Zealand, John Ramsey came to the city of Wellington in the year 1858, coming aboard the Oliver Lang. Charles A. Ramsay came to Auckland aboard the Bombay in 1863. In the same year, Andrew Ramsay came to Auckland aboard the Nimroud.

Nathaniel Ramsay (1741-1817), Revolutionary War Continental Army Officer & Continental Congressman

Early Americans Bearing the Ramsey Family Crest
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927) contains one entry for this surname:
1) Argent an eagle displayed sable, beaked and membered gules. Crest: a unicorn’s head couped argent, armed or Wax seal on the will of Dr. George Ramsay in clerk’s office at Norfolk, Va. Will dated 22 June, 1756.

Crozier’s General Armory (1904) contains three entries for this name:
1) Captain James Ramsey of Baltimore, Maryland, 1735, who descended from Sir James de Ramsey of Dalhousie, Scotland. Arms: Argent, an eagle displayed sable, beaked and membered gules. Crest: A unicorn’s head couped argent, armed or. Motto: Ora et labora.
2) William McCreery Ramsey, Esquire of Westover, who bore the same arms as Captain James.
3) Mrs. Clarise Sears Ramsey of Westover, who descended from Edward III through Kathrine, daughter of John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, bore the arms of Richard Sears of Plymouth, Massachusetts (ie. Gules, a chevron argent between three eaglets proper. On a chief ermine, an escallop, between two mullets of the first).

Matthew’s American Armoury and Bluebook (1907) does not contain an entry for this name.

Mottoes
I have identified eighteen Ramsey family mottoes or Ramsay family mottoes:
1) Ora et labora (Pray and labor)
2) Dum varior idem (While I change, I remain the same)(?)
3) Haec dextra vindex principis et patriae (Shall this right arm of the captain of the avenger of his country)(?)
4) Semper victor (Always conqueror)
5) Familias firmat pietas (Piety strengthens families)
6) Probando et approbando (By trying and approving)
7) Superna sequor (I follow heavenly things) (Ramsay if Methven)
8) Spernit pericula virtus (Excellence scorns danger)
9) Fear nought (Fear not)
10) Migro et respicio (I come forth and look back)*
11) Virtute me involve (I wrap myself up in my virtue)
12) Perrumpo (I break through)
13) Avance (Advance?) (Preview?)
14) Prudentia decus innocentia (Prudence, grace, innocence)
15) Ornatur radix fronde (The root is adorned by the foliage)
16) Migro et respicio (I depart and look back)
17) Aspiro (I aspire)
18) Dum varior (Unit I am changed)

*This is an allusion to the crest of the family arms: An eagle reguardant (looking behind itself).

Grantees
We have 41 coats of arms for the Ramsey surname depicted here. These 41 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore an Ramsey Coat of Arms (or mistakenly called the Ramsey Family Crest) include:
1) Sir John Ramsay, Earl of Holderness, supporters, etc., dated at the Great Seal 22 January 1620-1

Notables
There are hundreds of notable people with the Ramsey surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Alexander Ramsey (1815-1903) who was the 34 th United States Secretary of War during the Hayes and Garfield Administrations, 2 nd Governor of Minnesota from 1860-1863, and a United States Senator from Minnesota from 1863-1875 who was born in Hummlestown, Pennsylvania, 2) Ben Ramsey (1903-1985) who was the 34 th Lieutenant Governor of Texas from 1951-1961 and the 59 th Texas Secretary of State from 1949-1950 who was born in the city of St. Augustine in said state, 3) David L. Ramsey III (1960) who was an American businessman, radio host, and author on personal finance who was born in Antioch, Tennessee, 4) Admiral DeWitt Clinton Ramsey (1888-1961) who was a U.S. Naval Office and aviator who served in World War I and II, born in Fort Whipple, Arizona, 5) Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Price Ramsey (1917-2013) who was an officer in the US Army who was a guerilla leader during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II, having been the last person to lead a cavalry charge in American military history, born in Carlyle, Illinois, 6) Frank Plumpton Ramsey (1903-1930) who was a British mathematician, philosopher, and economist from Cambridge, England, 7) Paul Ramsey who was a member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly in Prince George North, Canada and a member of the New Democratic Party, 8) Norman Foster Ramsey Jr. (1915-2011) who was an American physicist born in Washington, DC who won a Nobel Prize in 1989 who invented the separated oscillatory field method and held various positions in governmental and international organizations such as NATO, 9) Robert Ramsey (1780-1849) who was a member of the US House of Representatives from Pennsylvania from 1833-1835, 10) Allan Ramsay (1686-1758) who was a Scottish poet and playwright born in Leadhills, Lanarkshire, and 11) James Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937) who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1929-1935 during the Monarchy of King George V, born in Lossiemouth, Morayshire, Scotland.

Admiral Sir Bertram Home Ramsay (1883-1945)
wiki: Dalhouise Castle James Ramsay (1733-1789) surgeon and slavery abolitionist General the Hon. Sir Henry Ramsay (1816-1893), son of 8th Earl Dalhousie Colonel Robert George Wardlaw-Ramsay (1852-1921)

Ramsay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ramsay is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ramsay family lived in Essex. Their name, however, is a reference to the Castle of Rames, at Bolbec, in the arrondissement of Havre, France, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Richard de Ariete (Ram) was listed in Normandy temp. King John. [1]

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Early Origins of the Ramsay family

The surname Ramsay was first found in Essex where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Metinges. Roger de Rames was granted sixteen acres at Metinges, as well as land at Ramesdune under Robert Grenon. In Breseta in Suffolk, Roger de Rames was chief tenant. These lands were granted to Roger for his assistance at the Battle of Hastings by William, Duke of Normandy in his victory over King Harold.

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Early History of the Ramsay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ramsay research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1599, 1605, 1615, 1684, 1564, 1634 and 1599 are included under the topic Early Ramsay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Ramsay Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Ramm, Ram, Rams, Rame, Rames, Rammes and others.

Early Notables of the Ramsay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Ram (1564-1634), English prelate, Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, born at Windsor and educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge. In.
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ramsay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ramsay family to Ireland

Some of the Ramsay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ramsay migration +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ramsay Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Ramsay Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Ramsay, who settled in Maryland in 1716
  • Andrew Ramsay, who settled in St. Kitts in 1716
  • George Ramsay, who settled in America in 1748
  • John Ramsay, who settled in Virginia in 1751
  • Elizabeth Ann Ramsay, who landed in America in 1760-1763 [2]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ramsay Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Ramsay, who arrived in America in 1800 [2]
  • Alexander Rafalsky, who immigrated to New York in 1854 [2]
  • Hugh Ramsay, aged 29, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804 [2]
  • John Ramsay, aged 27, who landed in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Cuthbert Ramsay, who landed in New York in 1819 [2]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Ramsay migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ramsay Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Ann Ramsay, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. Henry Ramsay U.E. who settled in Willoughby [Niagara Falls], Ontario c. 1780 he served in Butlers Rangers, discharged in 1779 [3]
  • Mr. William Ramsay U.E. who settled in Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 listed with the Loyalists and Disbanded Soldiers whose names appear as Passamaquoddy New Brunswick Loyalists [3]
  • Mr. David Ramsay U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784 [3]
  • Ms. Esther Ramsay U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 smember of the Cape Ann Association [3]
Ramsay Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Ramsay, aged 7, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833
  • Jane Ramsay, aged 22, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833
  • John Ramsay, aged 22, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Matthew Ramsay, aged 28, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Prudence" in 1838
  • Matty Ramsay, aged 18, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Prudence" in 1838

Ramsay migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ramsay Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Ellen Ramsay, (b. 1796), aged 30, Irish house servant who was convicted in Antrim, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 3rd October 1826, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, listed as having 1 child on board [4]
  • Ann Ramsay, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lord Goderich" in 1838 [5]
  • William Ramsay, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Indus" in 1839 [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Ramsay, English convict who was convicted in Durham, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "China" on 154th January 1846, arriving in Norfolk Island, Australia[7]
  • Samuel Ramsay, aged 47, a tinsmith, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Navarino" [8]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Ramsay migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ramsay Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Ramsay, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th August 1859 [9]
  • Mr. John Ramsay, Australian settler travelling from Melbourne, Victoria aboard the ship "Dunedin" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 12th March 1860 [9]
  • Andrew Ramsay, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1863
  • Charles A. Ramsay, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
  • James Ramsay, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Ramsay (post 1700) +

  • Sir William Ramsay (1852-1916), Scottish chemist who discovered the noble gases, awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1904, Matteucci Medal (1907), Elliott Cresson Medal (1913), Leconte Prize (1895), Barnard Medal for Meritorious Service to Science (1895) and the Davy Medal (1895)
  • William Ramsay (1806-1865), English-born, Scottish classical scholar
  • Admiral Sir Bertram Home Ramsay KCB, KBE, MVO (1883-1945), English naval officer during World War II who made contributions in the field of amphibious warfare
  • John Graham Ramsay CBEFRS (1931-2021), British structural geologist from London
  • Mr. David Robertson Ramsay B.E.M., British recipient of the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for services to Heritage, to Special Needs Education and to charity in Kincardineshire
  • Ms. Allison Cook Ramsay O.B.E., British Lead Nurse for Learning Disabilities with NHS Forth Valley, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Learning Disability Nursing [10]
  • Peter Douglas Kenneth Ramsay QSM (1939-2019), New Zealand academic, known for his contributions to daffodil breeding
  • William Norman Ramsay (1782-1815), Scottish major in the royal horse artillery, eldest son of Captain David Ramsay, R.N. (d. 1818), and belonged to the family of the Ramsays of Balmain in Kincardineshire
  • Thomas Kennedy Ramsay (1826-1886), Scottish-born, Canadian judge and jurist, born in Ayrshire, Puisne Judge of the Court of Queen's Bench for the Dominion in 1873
  • Robert Ramsay (1842-1882), Scottish-born, Australian politician, son of A. M. Ramsay, a minister of the United Presbyterian church, born at Hawick in Roxburghshire his father emigrated in 1847 to Melbourne
  • . (Another 21 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Ramsay family +

HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Ernest Wilson Ramsay (1918-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Wiluna, Western Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [11]
HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Royal Oak
  • William David Ramsay (1915-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk he died in the sinking [13]

Related Stories +

The Ramsay Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Quod tibi vis fieri, facias
Motto Translation: What you wish done, do yourself.


Sir Admiral Bertram Ramsay, c 1943.

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Who was Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay?

Born in London in 1883, Ramsay became a midshipman in the Royal Navy as a teenager and went on to command a destroyer in World War One.

He became a rear admiral in 1935 and retired as a vice-admiral in 1938, acquiring the estate in the Borders around the same time.

His retirement would not last long and with the collapse of the Allied front in northern France in 1940 he was put in charge of organising the evacuation from Dunkirk which earned him a knighthood.

By 1943 he was appointed naval commander in chief for Operation Overlord, the projected Allied invasion of northern France.

The ships under his command landed one million troops in France in one month starting from D-Day in June 1944.

He had been made an admiral shortly before the invasion.

Ramsay would die the following year, killed a plane crash in January 1945.


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