Isabella McCulloch - Notes and Questions from Descendants
Home ] Up ] Photo Galleries ] Town Guides ] Notables ] Community ] News ] Places ] History ] Search ] Contact Us ]

James RAMSAY and Isabella McCULLOCH had 10 children, all born in Maybole parish, though  I found the 10th one in Fisherton records.  Three descendants, one in Canada, one in Spain, and me in South Australia, are working together to fill in the many gaps.  I  would appreciate any further help I can get. I have been through all available Maybole censuses, 1841 to 1891, also Maybole OPR to 1854 as filmed by the Mormon Church. I know nothing about the McCULLOCHs except that
1. The 1851 and 1861 censuses gives Isabella's birthplace as Carsphairn in Kircudbright
2. The 1861 census has her sister, Janet McCULLOCH aged 60, and also born in Carsphairn, living with James and Isabella.
How do we know that Isabella's mother was Mary TEMPLETON?  The name 'Mary' was not given to any of Isabella's children.   Joan Stenson (j_stenson @

 Click here for a larger image

Additional notes about the family have also been provided below by Bruce Ramsay from Australia

See also notes from Joan Stenson and  notes and from  John Kinloch and images from the family bible: births & deaths

Notes from Bruce Ramsay

My family research so far has made the connection between Scotland and Australia, for your historical information my details to-date are as follows:-  Of James and Isabella Ramsay's (Kirkbride Churchyard) children, 4 of them separately emigrated to South Australia during the 1860's. Most of their descendents have remained in the Adelaide area. Their son James Armstrong Ramsay, born Maybole Parish on the 13/07/1841 (my Great Grandfather), emigrated to South Australia, arriving on the ''Castle Eden'' on the 26/12/1862, he farmed in the very dry area of Yongala near Jamestown, about 250klms north of Adelaide, he married a Scottish immigrant a Miss Annie Cram (from Perthshire), on 09/07/1868, they farmed in the Yongala area for 21 years before drought forced them off the land. They then moved to the mining town (Silver, Lead and Zinc) of Broken Hill (New South Wales) in 1889. James died on the 17/11/1901 in Broken Hill and was buried in the Methodist Section of the Broken Hill Cemetery.  They had a total of 11 children, 9 were born in the Yongala area and the remaining two in Broken Hill. Of the 11 children, 4 were boys and the remaining 7 girls.  His wife Annie Cram died on 11/10/1921 aged 73 years.

Life in Broken Hill was very hard, it is situated in Western Outback New South Wales, in a very dry and arid area. They were continually plagued by extreme heat, dust storms, lack of water, lead pollution from the mining and smelting operations and disease such as Typhoid Fever.  The mining management exploited the miners very badly, as a result the union movement in Australia commenced in Broken Hill during the 1890's, however it took about 30 years before conditions began to improve for the miners.  As you could imagine life expectancy was quite low, especially for the miners, lead smelter workers and children.  Considering these hardships, life for the emigrants at this time may have been better in Scotland?  Fortunately for me my Grand Parents and their children left Broken Hill and moved to Sydney in 1917, where my father Robert Ronald Ramsay was married to Dorothy Stanbury (my mother) in 1934, I was born in 1945 and have lived in Sydney all my life.
Bruce Ramsay

Notes from Joan Stenson

1. Margaret - your details are correct except for date of birth which we thought was 18 November 1828.  We are still trying to find out whether she is the Margaret RAMSAY who married John BLACKLEY in Maybole parish on 22 June1851.  If so, she probably moved to Dunscore in Dumfriesshire.  We believe she had 2 or 3 children and died in 1876.

2. Janet born 9 May 1830, married James FLETCHER 13 December 1852 (Newton on Ayr), migrated to South Australia in 1864, settled in Adelaide, had 7 children, died 9 August 1894.

3. Jane born 21 April 1832 - likely children, all born in Ayrshire -
     (1) Robert RAMSAY born 1857, married Eliza GILMOUR 1886 (Kirkoswald)
     (2) Agnes 1859, married John PATON in 1884 (Coylton or Maybole)
     (3) Jane 1862
     (4) James 1867

4. William born 1 October 1834, possibly married Jane (?), had 7 children and may have lived in Dumfries.

5. John born 20 October 1836, migrated to South Australia in 1858, married Mary SNODGRASS on 22 December 1863, had 3 children, farmed at Orroroo in mid-north of SA, died there 23 Jan 1901.

6. Sarah born 22 April 1838 or 1839.  Likely children
     (1) Thomas RAMSAY born 1861
     (2) William born 1866
     (3) Jessie (Janet/Jen) boen c1880

7. James born 13 July 1841, migrated to South Australia 1863, married Ann CRAM 9 July 1868, farmed in mid-north of SA, had 11 children, died in Broken Hill (New South Wales) 17 November 1901.

8. David (my grandfather) born 13 July 1842, migrated to South Australia 1862, married Isabella FLETCHER 11 March 1876 (4 children), then Elden BENNET  27 January 1887 (9 children), publican and farmer at Warooka (SA), died there 19 Jun 1930.

9. Thomas born 27 August 1844(?), married Janet McEWAN 15 June 1875, 7 children; we think he was a sawyer and died in Troon in 1916.

10. Elizabeth born 23 Feb 1850, lived most of her life at Lagg, agricultural worker  and Ayrshire poetess (A Garland of Verse published 1904, enlarged edition in 1914), died 26 Jan 1916, buried in Ayr.  One son, David RAMSAY 1883-1959, farmer, sawyer then traveller in agricultural products, Ayrshire poet (Ruminations of a Rambling Rhymer published in 1946 and  Wayside Gleanings in1957).

As you can see, we still have lots of research to do.  I can provide further information about the descendants of the 'Australians' (2,5,7 and 8) and some of the others.

Joan STENSON  (j_stenson @

Notes and Questions from John Kinloch [ John Kinloch passed away in 2010]


My -great-great-grandfather was James RAMSAY, born c. 1802/3, died 06/01/1895 at Lagg Cottage, married Isabella McCULLOCH on 08/06/1828, and both are interred at Auld Kirkbride No. 37.


Their youngest daughter, Elizabeth, wrote family record dates into a Family Bible which I inherited from her son, my Grandfather, thus igniting an interest in our family heritage.


I have visited Maybole cemetery and found the lairs of many RAMSAYs, of whom there were many in and around Maybole at the time and there probably still are.  But how they relate to one another, and probably to us, I do not know.


I have a copy of a letter written in 1866 ( and I believe I know the location of the original) by the then Professor of English at the University of Buenos Ayres, Gilbert RAMSAY, to his sister Agnes at Straiton, and I am in contact with a direct descendant of his who has done much research on the subject.   Gilbert was actually born at Dalmellington, but elder of his siblings were born in Maybole where his father, David RAMSAY, lived for a time. 


I have yet positively to establish a connection between my  G.G. grandfather, James RAMSAY, and Gilbert RAMSAY, but I am certain there must be one; thus I seek help.


James Ramsay died at Lagg Cottage, then the home of my Great-grandmother, Lizzie RAMSAY, whose poetry was published, as indeed was that of her son David (illegitimate) and her grandson who still lives in Ayr at the grand age of 92.   That Grandson, Allan Ramsay, is well known in Ayrshire and Galloway farming circles


When Lizzie RAMSAY left Lagg in  1912, she was presented by Dunure Burns Club with a silver Tea Service in appreciation of her literary ability, and I have that inscribed Tea Service here in Spain where I have now retired. 


I know that the lady whom I remember as a boy kept the Post Office at Minishant was a RAMSAY before her marriage to Alex HEARTON


I also have information on another family whose resting place is Maybole cemetery, the ORR family, and according to the listing in your website is the only family buried there whose name begins with the letter O.   My grandmother was Margaret ORR   And we have connections with Culroy Smiddy too.