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Family History

Origins of

the Surname

Variations of

the Surname

Armorial Bearings

and Motto(es)

Ancestral Lineage


by Location

Migrations of the

American Family

Source Documents


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Family history



Family History


         The Ross family line has been traced back to our 6th great-grandfather John Ross, born 1750 in Pennsylvania, possibly in that vast area west of the Susquehanna River that became Cumberland County in 1750.  He married Mary Armstrong sometime just prior to the American Revolution.  John Ross resided in Pennsylvania up to about 1798 whereupon he, and his family, migrated to Loudoun County, Virginia.  It was here that he passed away before 1804. 

    According to the 1810 Federal Census, John’s son, Joshua Ross and his family were firmly established in Loudoun County.   The extended Ross Family removed west from Virginia to Ohio prior to 1819.  According to the 1820 census Joshua settled in that area of Ross County which now encompasses the townships of Paint and Twin.  Joshua and his wife Jane produced at least eight known off-spring between 1798 and 1820 one of whom is our 4th great-grandfather Joseph Ross.  The Joshua continued to live in Paint Township until his death in 1842.

     In 1821 Joseph Ross married Anna Eubanks, daughter of Richard and Alice (Peachee) Eubanks, in nearby Highland County.   It is most probable that Joseph and his family lived in Paint Township between 1823 and 1842 eight known children were born to them including our 3rd great-grandmother Elizabeth Ross.   Joseph Ross passed away in 1854, and is buried at the Bourneville Methodist Church Cemetery, in Twin Township.

    It is believed that Elizabeth Ross was born in Ross County around 1824.  She married James McVicker in 1843 with whom she produced at least 9 known children between 1844 and 1863.  In 1870 Elizabeth, now a widow, took her children and moved west to the eastern side of the Mississippi River and settled for a time in Keithsburg, Mercer County, Illinois near her brother Daniel Ross.  Some time around 1871-72 the family picked up and moved further west across the Mississippi river to Sedgwick County, Kansas a distance of about 550 miles.   By 1872 the family had settled near the town of Maize located in what was then Union Township, now in Park Township.  A review of the history of this area reveals that the McVicker's were probably among the first families to settle in this area by virtue of the date when they arrived in Kansas.  Elizabeth remarried on 29 June 1873 to a man named Smith Riley.  Elizabeth and Smith Riley are found in the 1880 census living next to her son John R. McVicker in Sedgwick County.  It is not know when Elizabeth passed away or where she is buried.


Origins of the surname


Origins of the Surname

An Introduction

to the Surname


of the Surname

History of

the Surname

More About Surnames


An Introduction to the Surname

                 The practice of inherited family surnames began in England and France during the late part of the 11th century.     With the passing of generations and the movement of families from place to place many of the original identifying names were altered into some of the versions that we are familiar with today.  Over the centuries, most of our European ancestors accepted their surname as an unchangeable part of their lives.  Thus people rarely changed their surname.  Variations of most surnames were usually the result of an involuntary act such as when a government official wrote a name phonetically or made an error in transcription.  Research into the record of this Ross family line indicates that the variations, meanings and history of this surname is most likely linked to that area of Europe where English, Scottish, and Irish linguistic traditions are commonly found. 



Source(s) & Meaning(s) of the Surname

               Most modern family names are a means conveying lineage.  For the most part, Anglo-Saxon surnames were developed from the following major sources: (1) patronym or matronym, names based on the name of one's father, mother or ancestor, (Johnson, Wilson); (2) occupation (i.e., Carpenter, Cooper, Brewer, Mason); (3) habitational or locational (Middleton, Sidney, or Ireland); (4) topographical (i.e. Hill, Brook, Forrest, Dale); (5) descriptive nickname (i.e., Moody Freeholder, Wise, Armstrong);  (6) status (i.e. Freeman, Bond, Knight); and (7) acquired ornamental names that were simply made up.

              Ross is primarily a Scottish and English surname of Gaelic. Local origins and, depending upon the origin of the family, could have several different meanings.  (1) As a topographic name it  is derived from the following words: ros, meaning  a peninsula, isthmus, or promontory signifying someone who lived on a headland;   rhós, Welsh for "moor or bog"; signifying someone who lived near a moor or ‘upland’;  or rose and rosh, signifying a valley or dale between hills.  (2) A descriptive name from the Middle English rous, meaning "red-haired."  (3) A habitational name from any of various places called Ross or Roos(e) such as the district of Ross, in Scotland.  Other known sources of the surname include Roos in Humberside (formerly in East Yorkshire) and the region of northern Scotland known as Ross. Other possible sources are Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire, Ross in Northumbria (which is on a promontory), and Roose in Lancashire.   (4) Ross may also be of Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century origins, and a derivation of the personal name "Rozzo" meaning renown.

         The Ross family name can also be of Old High German origin, and an occupational name for a breeder or keeper of horse. This is from the word "hros" meaning horse. 



History of the Surname

     Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th century. They were not in use in England or Scotland, before the Norman Conquest of 1066, and were first found in the Domesday Book of 1086. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans who had adopted the custom just prior to this time.    Soon thereafter it became a mark of a generally higher socio-economic status and thus seen as disgraceful for a well-bred man to have only one name.  It was not until the middle of the 14th century that surnames became general practice among all people in the British Isles.

     The Anglo-Scottish surname of Ross has several sources.  The most common source is in the Scottish Borderlands in southern Scotland.  Here many persons with this surname came from a Yorkshire family called Ros, Ross or Rosse, who held land in Ayrshire in the 11th and 12th centuries.  Originally these people came to England with William, Duke of Normandy, in 1066.  Before this they were Norman-French who come from the village of 'Rots' located near Caen, in Normandy.  

     The Clan Ross take their name from the region of Ross in the “highlands” of Northern Scotland and are designated in Gaelic as “Clann Andrias”. Their traditional progenitor Fearchar Mac-an-t-sagairt (son of the priest) of Applecross, was a powerful supporter of Alexander II and for his services was created Earl of Ross in about 1234.  His grandson, William, led his clan at the Battle of Bannockburn, and Hugh, 5th Earl, was killed at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333.  His successor, William, 6th Earl, died without male issue, and the succession passed through the female line, a circumstance which later led to the struggle for the earldom between the Lord of the Isles and Regent Albany. The chiefship of the clan passed to William´s brother Hugh Ross of Rariches, who obtained a charter of the lands of Balnagowan in 1374.  In 1424, the earldom reverted to the Crown, but King James I. restored it to Margaret, mother of Alexander, 3rd Lord of the Isles, and it remained with the Lords of the Isles until the Lordship was forfeited in 1476, when the earldom became vested in the Crown.  David Ross, the last of the direct line of Balnagowan, settled the estate on the Hon. Charles Ross, son of Lord Ross of Hawkhead in Renfrewshire. Balnagowan devolved upon George, 13th Lord Ross, in 1745. On the death of the unmarried 14th Lord Ross, Balnagowan went to Sir James Lockhart, 2nd Baronet of Carstairs.

     The name is found in the English Domesday Book of 1086 as Serlo de Ros, as well as the mention Rozo (without surname).  Other early records of this surname include Bernard de Ross of Yorkshire in 1177.  Geoffrey de Ros who obtained from Richard de Morevile, the lands of Stewarton in Cunningham in 1189, Robert Rosce in the pipe rolls of Kent in 1199, Sir Godfrey de Rose of Irvine, Scotland in 1205, and Donaldus de Ross of Perth, Scotland, in 1413. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.  Ulster King of Arms in 1884.  Registered in Scotland to the Earl of Ross.

     Some noteable bearers of the name are: John Ross (Arctic explorer) (1777–1856), British naval officer;  Betsy Ross, flag maker; Diana Ross, American singer; Katharine Ross, actress;  and Sir Charles Ross, 9th Baronet.   A listing of other prominent persons with the Ross surname can be found at Ross (name).

        The great majority of persons having the Ross surname emigrated to America from the United Kingdom with the most coming from Scotland.  Some individuals with this surname also came from Germany.  Ross is the 89th most popular surname in the United States.  Today about 911 persons per million in the United States have this surname.  The heaviest concentration of the name is found in  a wide variety of geographical locations. In the United Kingdom almost about 959 persons per million have this surname.    The most significant clustering of the name is found in the various counties of Scotland.



More About Surname Meanings & Origins

English Surnames

Although the Domesday Book compiled by William the Conqueror required surnames, the use of them in the British Isles did not become fixed until the time period between 1250 and 1450.  The broad range of ethnic and linguistic roots for British surnames reflects the history of Britain as an oft-invaded land. These roots include, but are not limited to, Old English, Middle English, Old French, Old Norse, Irish, Gaelic, Celtic, Pictish, Welsh, Gaulish, Germanic, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.  Throughout the British Isles, there are basically five types of native surnames. Some surnames were derived from a man's occupation (Carpenter, Taylor, Brewer, Mason), a practice that was commonplace by the end of the 14th century.  Place names reflected a location of residence and were also commonly used (Hill, Brook, Forrest, Dale) as a basis for the surname, for reasons that can be easily understood.  Nicknames that stuck also became surnames.  About one-third of all surnames in the United Kingdom are patronymic in origin, and identified the first bearer of the name by his father (or grandfather in the case of some Irish names). When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day.  Acquired ornamental names were simply made up, and had no specific reflection on the first who bore the name. They simply sounded nice, or were made up as a means of identification, generally much later than most surnames were adopted. 


Variations of the surname


Variations of
the Surname


Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to unfold and expand often leading to an overwhelming number of variants.  As such one can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames because in early times, spelling in general and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized.  Later on spellings would change with the branching and movement of families.  Spelling variations of this family name include:  Rosse and many others.   


The complexity of researching records is compounded by the fact that in many cases an ancestors surname may also have been misspelled.  This is especially true when searching census documents.   The Soundex Indexing System was developed in an effort to assist with identifying spelling variations for a given surname.  Soundex is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census, and can aid genealogists in their research.  The Soundex Code for Ross is R200.  Other surnames sharing this Soundex Code:  RAASIO | RACE | RASEY | RASH | RAUCH | RAUCK | RAUSCH | REASE | REECE | REES | REESE | REHG | REICH | REIS | REISS | RESCH | REUS | REUSS | REX | REYES | REZEAU | RHYS | RIACH | RICCI | RICE | RICH | RICHEY | RICHIE | RICK | RICKEY | RICKS | RIES | RIESE | RIGG | RIGGS | RISK | RIX | RIZZO | ROACH | ROCHE | ROCK | ROESCH | ROGGE | ROOK | ROOKS | ROOS | ROOSA | ROOSE | ROSA | ROSCOE | ROSE | ROSS | ROSSI | ROSSOW | ROUGH | ROUSE | ROUSEY | ROUSH | ROUSSEAU | ROUX | ROWZEE | ROWZIE | ROYCE | RUCH | RUCK | RUGG | RUIZ | RUSCH | RUSH | RUSK | RUSS | RUSSEAU | RUSSO | RYSE |.


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Coat of arms


Armorial Bearings & Motto(es)

In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armored warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.  In the British Isles the College of Arms, (founded in 1483), is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.


Coat-of Arms

Image Gallery

Descriptions of the

Armorial Bearings

Motto(es) of

this Surname

More About Hearldic Bearings

Image gallery

Coat-of-Arms Image Gallery

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Fig. 12


Descriptions of the Armorial Bearings

The associated armorial bearings for this surname and close variant spellings are recorded in Burke’s General Armorie and Reitstap’s Armorial General.  The additional information, presented below, is offered with regard to the armorial bearings depicted above:

FIGURE 1: This shield is indicative of the designs utilized by Ross of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  The basic design can best be described as a gold shield with a chevron counter embattled between three black water bougets. 

     Armorial Bearings of this design were granted to a Ross of Ireland in 1681.  This particular coat-of-arms would also contain a thistle between ermine two cinquefoils and a crest containing a rose tree bearing roses.  The motto of this Ross would be “Floreat qui laborat.”

     Robert Ross, aka., Ross-of-Bladensburg who was seated at Rosstrevor in County Down was granted arms of this general design.  His coat-of-arms is described as a gold shield containing a chevron embattled counter-embattled between three black water bougets.  General Robert Ross was killed at Baltimore, Maryland during the War of 1812.  As a result of his service Ross’s descendants were given an augmentation of honour to the Ross armorial bearings (namely, a second crest in which an arm is seen grasping the stars and stripes on a broken staff) and the family name was changed to the victory title Ross-of-Bladensburg, which was granted to his widow.

FIGURE 2: This coat-of-arms has been attributed to the surname of Ros. It features a silver shield containing a red lion rampant.  The country of origin for this coat-of-arms is unknown although armorial bearings have be granted to persons with this surname from England, Spain, Zeeland, and Aragon.  

FIGURE 3: This coat-of-arms has been attributed to the surname of Rossa.  It shows a gold shield containing a silver lion rampant. The country of origin for this coat-of-arms is unknown although armorial bearings have be granted to a person with this surname from Verona, a city in Veneto, northern Italy.

FIGURE 4: This shield has been attributed to a Ross of Maine, USA.

FIGURE 5: The Ross clan badge depicts the clan crest of a dexter hand holding a garland of laurel and the clan motto “Spem Successus Alit” (Success nourishes hope).

FIGURE 6: This, the most common Ross coat-of-arms, originated in Ross a region of the Scottish Highlands.  It was granted to the chief of Clan Ross who originally resided at Balnagown Castle.  These armorial bearings feature a red shield containing three silver lions rampant with a crest showing a hand holding a garland of laurel.  The motto of Clan Ross is “Spem successus alit” meaning “Success nourishes hope”

FIGURE 7: These arms belong to a Ross of Germany.  The golden shield contains a silver rearing horse.  The crest (not shown) features a horse with a crown.

FIGURE   8: Dress Tartan – ancient design

FIGURE   9: Hunting Tartan - ancient design

FIGURE 10: Hunting Tartan – modern pattern

FIGURE 11: Dress Tartan – modern pattern

FIGURE 12: Hunting Tartan – muted (weathered)


Motto(es) of this Surname

     A motto is a word or sentence usually written upon a scroll and generally placed below the shield, but sometimes, especially in Scotland, above the crest.    Many ancient mottoes were war-cries such as the Douglas motto of “Forward.”    Many mottoes refer to the name of the bearer, for example “cole regem” for Coleridge.   In general most mottoes convey a sentiment, hope, or determination, such as the Cotter motto “Dum spiro spero” where the meaning is “While I have breath I hope“.     Mottoes are often used by several successive generations, but may be changed at any time by the grantee. The languages most in use are Latin, French, and English.  Exceptions are seen in Scotland where they are often in the old Lowland dialect, and in Wales, often in the language of the principality.    

 The following listed mottoes and their translations are attributed to Ross:

Agnoscar eventu -  I shall be known by the results;  Caute non astute -  Cautiously, not craftily;  Constant and true -  Constant and true;  Floret qui laborat - He is prosperous who labours;  Non opes, sed ingenium - Not wealth, but mind;  Per aspera virtus - Virtue through hardships;  Qui spinosior fragrantior - The more thorny the more fragrant;  Rosam ne rode - Gnaw not the rose;  Spe aspera levat - He lightens difficulties by hope;  Spem successus alit - Success nourishes hope;  Think on - Think on;  Time Deum - Fear God;  Virtute et valore - By virtue and valour;    Virtutis gloria merces - Glory is the reward of valour.

Heraldic bearings

More about Heraldic Bearings

The art of designing, displaying, describing, and recording arms is called heraldry. The use of coats of arms by countries, states, provinces, towns and villages is called civic heraldry.   A Coat of Arms is defined as a group of emblems and figures (heraldic bearings) usually arranged on and around a shield and serving as the special insignia of some person, family, or institution.  Except for a few cases, there is really no such thing as a standard "coat of arms" for a surname.  A coat of arms, more properly called an armorial achievement, armorial bearings or often just arms for short, is a design usually granted only to a single person not to an entire family or to a particular surname.  Coats of arms are inheritable property, and they generally descend to male lineal descendents of the original arms grantee.  The rules and traditions regarding Coats of Arms vary from country to country. Therefore a Coat of Arms for an English family would differ from that of a German family even when the surname is the same. 

Some of the more prominent elements incorporated into a  coat of arms are :

Crest - The word crest is often mistakenly applied to a coat of arms.  The crest was a later development arising from the love of pageantry.  Initially the crest consisted of charges painted onto a ridge on top of the helmet.

Wreath or TorseThe torse is a twist of cloth or wreath underneath and part of a crest. Always shown as six twists, the first tincture being the tincture of the field, the second the tincture of the metal, and so on.

Mantling – The mantling is a drapery tied to the helmet above the shield. It forms a backdrop for the shield.

Helm or Helmet - The helmet or helm is situated above the shield and bears the torse and crest. The style of helmet displayed varies according to rank and social status, and these styles developed over time, in step with the development of actual military helmets.

Shield or Arms - The basis of all coats of arms.  At their simplest, arms consist of a shield with a plain field on which appears a geometrical shape or object.  The items appearing on the shield are known as charges.

Motto - The motto was originally a war cry, but later mottoes often expressed some worthy sentiment. It may appear at the top or bottom of a family coat of arms.

Direct ancestors


Ancestral Lineage

Descendant Register

Generation 1


John Ross-1 was born on Abt. 1750 in Pennsylvania. He died on Bef. 1804 in Loudoun County, Virginia. He married Mary Armstrong.  

Children of John Ross and Mary Armstrong are:


i.     Joshua Ross, B: Abt. 1775 in Pennsylvania, D: 1842 in Ross County, Ohio, M:  Bef.                    1798 in Pennsylvania?.


ii.        Armstrong Ross, B: Pennsylvania, D: 1833 in Ross County, Ohio.


Generation 2


Joshua Ross-2(John Ross-1) was born on Abt. 1775 in Pennsylvania. He died on 1842 in Ross County, Ohio. He married Jane Ross (nee?) on Bef. 1798 in Pennsylvania?. She was born Abt. 1775 in Pennsylvania. She died on Aft. 1860 in Ross County, Ohio.


Children of Joshua Ross and Jane Ross (nee ?) are:


i.        Joseph Ross, B: 16 Apr 1798 in Pennsylvania, D: 18 Sep 1854 in Ross County,  Ohio, M: 12 Jul 1821 in Highland County, Ohio.


ii.        Moses Ross, B: Abt. 1799 in Virginia, D: 1876 in Livingston County, Illinios, M:  1826 in

           Ohio ?.


iii.               David Ross, B: Abt. 1800 in Virginia, D: 1869 in Paint Twp., Ross Co., Ohio, M: Nov 1829 in Ross County, Ohio.


iv.               Lydia Ross, B: 1805 in Loudoun County, Virginia, D: Highland County, Ohio, M: Mar 1843 in Ross County, Ohio.


v.                 Joshua Ross Jr., B: 03 Jan 1807 in Loudoun County, Virginia, D: 24 May 1883 in Ross County, Ohio, M: 10 Jan 1833 in Ross County, Ohio.


vi.               Rebecca Ross, B: Abt. 1810 in Loudoun County, Virginia, D: Bef. 1850 in Ross County, Ohio, M: 21 Aug 1834 in Ross County, Ohio.


vii.             Jane Ross, B: Abt. 1814 in Loudoun County, Virginia, D: 1898 in Lyons, Rice Co, Kansas, M: 16 Feb 1842 in Ross County, Ohio.


viii.           Sarah Ross, B: Abt. 1820 in Ross County, Ohio, D: Aft. 1860 in Missouri.


Generation 3


Joseph Ross-3(Joshua Ross-2, John Ross-1) was born on 16 Apr 1798 in Pennsylvania. He died on 18 Sep 1854 in Ross County, Ohio. He married Anna Eubanks on 12 Jul 1821 in Highland County, Ohio, daughter of Richard Eubanks and Alice "Elcy" Peachee. She was born on 05 Sep 1803 in Mason County, Kentucky?. She died on 1842 in Ross County, Ohio. He married Julia A.  Middleton on 08 May 1844 in Ross County, Ohio.  She was born on Abt. 1812 in Pennsylvania.


Children of Joseph Ross and Anna Eubanks are:


i.                   Richard William Ross, B: 03 Jun 1823 in Paint Twp., Ross Co., Ohio, D: 25 Feb 1888 in New Albany, Wilson Co., Kansas, M: 25 Dec 1845 in Ross County, Ohio.


ii.      Elizabeth Ross, B: Abt. 1824 in Ross County, Ohio, D: Aft. 1880, M: 06 Apr 1843 in Hocking County, Ohio.


iii.               Joseph Ross Jr., B: Bet. 1826-1830 in Ross County, Ohio.


iv.      James H. Ross, B: Abt. 1826 in Ross County, Ohio, D: Bet. 1880-1900 in Indiana, M: 08 Feb 1847 in Clinton County, Indiana.


v.                 Daniel Ross, B: Abt. 1831 in Ross County, Ohio, D: 15 May 1864 in Ross County, Ohio, M: Abt. 1843 in Ross County, Ohio?.


vi.               Joshua C. Ross, B: Abt. 1834 in Ross County, Ohio, D: 27 Mar 1862 in Clarksburg, West Virginia, M: 1855 in Ross County, Ohio.


vii.             Jane D. Ross, B: Abt. 1840 in Ross County, Ohio, M: 03 Sep 1861 in Ross County, Ohio.


viii.           George E. Ross, B: Abt. 15 Apr 1842 in Ross County, Ohio, D: 29 Jul 1842 in Ross County, Ohio.


Child of Joseph Ross and Julia A. Middleton is:


i.                   Mary Susan Ross, B: 04 Oct 1847 in Ross County, Ohio, D: 1917 in Humansville, Polk Co., Missouri, M: 22 Apr 1877 in Allen County, Ohio.


Generation 4


Elizabeth Ross-4(Joseph Ross-3, Joshua Ross-2, John Ross-1) was born on Abt. 1824 in Ross County, Ohio. She died on Aft. 1880. She married James McVicker on 06 Apr 1843 in Hocking County, Ohio, son of Dennis McVicker and Catherine McVicker (nee?). He was born on Bet. 1813-1815 in Monroe Twp. Muskingum Co., Ohio. He died on 01 Jul 1864 in Larkinsville, Jackson Co., Alabama. She married Smith Riley on 29 Jun 1873 in Sedgwick County, Kansas.  He was born on Abt. 1820.


Children of Elizabeth Ross and James McVicker are:


i.                   John Robert McVicker, B: 29 May 1844 in Washington Twp., Hocking Co., Ohio,  D: 01 Feb 1929 in Porterville, Tulare Co., California, M: 01 Apr 1877 in Wichita,  Sedgwick Co., Kansas.


ii.                 Mary McVicker, B: Abt. 1846 in Washington Twp., Hocking Co., Ohio, D: Bef.  1873 in Illinois ??, M: 12 Jul 1865 in Sheffield Twp., Tippecanoe Co., Indiana.


iii.               Catherine McVicker, B: 10 Apr 1848 in Washington Twp., Hocking Co., Ohio, D:  02 Jun 1930 in Joplin, Jasper Co., Missouri, M: 16 Feb 1867 in Sherman, Ohio Twp., Bureau Co., Illinois.


iv.               Rebecca Jane McVicker, B: 17 Dec 1850 in Washington Twp., Hocking Co., Ohio,  D: 23 Nov 1927 in Rocky Comfort, McDonald Co., Missouri, M: 23 Jul 1872 in  Selby Twp., Bureau Co., Illinois.


v.                 David McVicker, B: 20 Dec 1852 in Washington Twp., Hocking Co., Ohio, D: 11 Aug 1927 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon, M: Abt. 1885 in Kansas.


vi.               Sarah Ellen McVicker, B: 11 Jun 1854 in Ohio, D: Kansas?.


More About Sarah Ellen McVicker:  b: 10 Jun 1854 in Ohio


vii.             Elizabeth A. McVicker, B: 17 Nov 1856 in Indiana, D: California, USA.


More About Elizabeth A. McVicker:  b: 16 Nov 1855


viii.           Theodosia McVicker, B: Abt. Dec 1859 in Lauramie Twp., Tippecanoe Co.,   Indiana, D: Bet. 1860-1870 in Indiana or Illinois?.


ix.               Moses B. McVicker, B: 13 Apr 1862 in Lauramie Twp., Tippecanoe Co., Indiana, D: Jul 1919 in Tulare County, California.


Additional information about our DIRECT ANCESTORS    as well as a complete listing

of individuals with this surname may be reviewed by clicking on this LINK.

Free Genealogy Surname
 Search From Google

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that will likely improve your results. The different searches will give you many different ways of using Google and the Internet to find ancestry information about this or any other Surname. 

Ancestral locations



by Location


Researching the locations where our ancestors lived has provided us with valuable evidence needed to fill-in the gaps in our family trees.  It has also led us to many interesting facts that enhance the overall picture of each family group.

Locations of

Direct Ancestors

Locational Distribution

of  this Surname

Where In the World

are my Ancestors?


Locatiof Direct Ancestors

Locations of Our Direct Ancestors


The names of states and counties on the following list were derived from the known places where the Direct Ancestors in the “Ancestral Lineage” (see above) were born, married, and / or died.






Sedgwick County


Hocking Co.;  Ross Co.




Loudoun County

Use this LINK to find out more about the locations listed above.


Locational distributionstors

Locational Distribution of This Surname

     Knowing the geographical areas where the surname you are researching is clustered and distributed is an indispensable tool in deciding where to focus your research.  We believe that the “Public Profiler” website will open up to you a wide range of solutions which implement current research in spatial analysis.  This site provides an array of local spatial information tools useful to the genealogist.

          The information presented below shows where the ROSS surname is distributed within the United States as well as in the United Kingdom, the country of origin of this family.   Australia is found to be the country in the world where this surname is the most highly clustered having almost 1,4 persons per million of population.  

United States of America


European Country of Origin

Click on the LINK to the right to see more information about the World distribution of a surname.  You can

get greater detail for any of the following maps by clicking on the area, i.e state, county that you are interested in.

Wjere are my ancestors Ancestors

Where in the World
are My Ancestors?

Resources which enhance our knowledge of the places inhabited by our ancestors are almost as important as their names. The LINK to the right will take you to Maps, Gazetteers,   and  other  helpful   resources 



that will assist in discovering Ancestral Locations.  These web sites comprise only a small portion of what is available for researchers interested in learning more about where their ancestors lived.

Migration routes


Migrations of the
American Family

       Tracing our own family’s paths of migration can prove crucial in identifying previous generations and eventually, figuring out where and how they arrived in the “New World” as well as where they eventually settled.  Knowing the network of trails American pioneers traveled can help you guess where to start looking.  The trail map(s) provided below may assist you in understanding the routes that our direct ancestors of this family may have taken to find new homes and opportunities in the vast area now encompassed by the United States.

      During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Europeans made the perilous ocean voyage to America.  For many it was an escape from economic hardship and religious persecution.  For most it was an opportunity to start over, own their own land, and make a better future for their descendents.  Immigration records show a number of people bearing the name of Ross, or one of its variants, as arriving in North America between the 17th and 20th centuries.  Some of these immigrants were:  James Ross who came to America in 1652, and Alexander Ross who arrived at Philadelphia in 1693.   By 1840 the Ross surname was found mostly in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Use the following links to find more early immigrants with this surname:

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The Development of an Historical Migration Route

It is understood that in many if not all cases we do not know exactly what routes our ancestors took as they migrated throughout the United States.   As such certain assumptions have been utilized to re-create the migration path presented below.  With regard to 18th and 19th century land routes we assume that they travelled along few trails and roads that were in existence at the time.  Research shows that a great many of these old paths and trails are today designated as U.S. Highway Routes.  For example, a major east-west route of migration known as the National Road is now U.S. Route 40, and a primary north-south migration route of the 18th century followed the Great Indian War and Trading Path is now U.S. Route 11.  In some situations the re-created migration route may travel along state routes that connect or run through the seat of a county as that populated place is probably the oldest settlement in the area. The use of water as a migration route is also likely.  For example, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries many families travelled west on the Ohio River as they moved on the new lands in Missouri or the Old Northwest Territory.  As such when applicable water routes have been included as the possible migration route.   

Migrations of the Ross Family 1798 - 1872

     The American migrations of this Ross family began around 1798 when our 6th great-grandfather John Ross and his family migrated from Pennsylvania to Loudoun County, Virginia.  It is quite probable that they took the old road from Gettysburg, PA through Frederick, Maryland and across the Potomac River at Point of Rocks, MD into Loudoun County.   Today   this   way   follows U. S. Highway Route 15.   The family  resided  hereuntil Joshua Ross removed west from Virginia to Ohio prior to 1819.   It is likely that they travelled west from Loudoun County along a course that follows present day U.S. Highway Route 50 all the way the Chillicothe, the seat of Ross County, Ohio.  The distant they would travel would have been at least 345 miles which in those days would have taken the family almost five weeks to complete.  By 1820 Joshua Ross had  settled in that area of Ross County, Ohio which now lies in Twin Township.  The Joshua continued to live in Paint Township until his death in 1842.   Our 4th great-grandfather Joseph Ross, son of Joshua, continued to live in Twin Township until his death in 1854.

     It was our 3rd great-grandmother Elizabeth Ross who made the greatest contribution to the overall migration miles of this Ross family.   Elizabeth married James McVicker in 1843 and removed to Washington Township in nearby Hocking County.  She and her family resided until about 1855 whereupon they migrated west to Tippecanoe County, Indiana.  It is most probable that from there home near Ilesboro in Hocking County they travelled some 70 miles northwest to join the throngs of migrants going west on the National Road.  On this highway of the 19th century they would proceed about 150 miles due west to Indianapolis, Indiana.  They eventually settled near the town of Stockwell, Indiana located about 50 miles north west of Indianapolis.  The McVicker family established a farm and remained here until after the American Civil War.  Elizabeth’s husband died in 1863 during his service in the Union Army leaving her with nine children between the ages of  1 and 19 years old.

     After her eldest child John R. McVicker returned from service in the Union Army in 1865 Elizabeth decided to again “pull-up stakes” and remove further west to the town of Keithsburg, Mercer County, Illinois.  It is believed that they went to this locality at the advice of Elizabeth’s brother Daniel Ross.  Both families are found to be living at this place in 1870.  It is about 265 miles between Stockwell to Keithsburg.   A possible route for this journey from would be along today’s Indiana Road 28 west to Illinois were it becomes Road 119 and then U.S. Route 136 west to the junction with U.S. Route 150 north west all the way to Galesburg, Illinois.  From Galesburg they may have taken Illinois Road 169 to the village of Oquawka on the Mississippi River, then a road north along the river to Keithsburg. 

    In 1872 the family again picked up and moved further west across the Mississippi river to Sedgwick County, Kansas a distance of about 550 miles.  From Keithsburg they may have taken the opportunity to travel by water to Kansas City, Kansas.  This water route would have taken them down the Mississippi River to St. Louis then up the Missouri River to the aforementioned Kansas City a distance of about 510 miles.  The land route between these two locations is at least 300 miles in length.  Although much shorter in length the land route could take 3 or 4 weeks of difficult travel where as the water route could take as little time as 9 or 10 days.   It is also possible that this group could have travelled some of the distance by rail.  The choice of routes would depend greatly on the family finances.  From Kansas City they would have to continue on another 90 miles to Wichita, Kansas.  This part of the journey may have been taken by rail because by 1872 a branch of the Santa Fe Railroad arrived at Wichita, and the town "busted-wide-open." A sign was erected at the outskirts of town proclaiming: "Everything goes in Wichita."    The family soon settled near the town of Maize located in what was then Union Township, now in Park Township.   A review of the history of this area reveals that the McVicker's were probably among the first families to settle in this area by virtue of the date when they arrived in Kansas.  Elizabeth remarried on 29 June 1873 to a man named Smith Riley.  Elizabeth and Smith Riley are found in the 1880 census living next to her son John R. McVicker in Sedgwick County.  It is not know when or where Elizabeth passed away but it may be surmised that she lived the remainder of her days in Sedgwick County, thus ending the migrations of this family line that took 75 years to complete and covered approximately 1,500 miles.

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Source documents




The documents contained within this “Source Documents Archives” have been located during our research of this family, and used as evidence to prove many of the facts contained within the database of this family’s record.   Use the LINKS below to view our collection.

·      Elizabeth Ross - James McVicker marriage record

·      Elizabeth ROSS McVicker - 1870 Census

·      Elizabeth ROSS McVicker Riley - 1880 Census

·      Elizabeth ROSS McVicker -Smith Riley marriage certificate

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You are welcome to download any of the documents contained within this archive that does not cite a copyright.  Should you encounter a problem obtaining a copy you may get in touch with us via the contact information found at the end of this web-page.

     Most of these documents can be considered as primary or secondary evidence.  Primary evidence is usually defined as the best available to prove the fact in question, usually in an original document or record.  Secondary evidence is in essence all that evidence which is inferior in its origin to primary evidence. That does not mean secondary evidence is always in error, but there is a greater chance of error.  Examples of this type of evidence would be a copy of an original record, or oral testimony of a record’s contents.  Published genealogies and family histories are also secondary evidence.

     Classifying evidence as either primary or secondary does not tell anything about its accuracy or ultimate value.  This is especially true of secondary evidence.  Thus it is always a good idea to ask the following questions: (1) How far removed from the original is it, (when it is a copy)?; (2) What was the reason for the creation of the source which contains this evidence?; and (3) Who was responsible for creating this secondary evidence and what interest did they have in its accuracy?

SOURCE:  Greenwood, Val D., The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 2nd edition, Genealogical Publishing  Co., Baltimore, MD 21202, 1990, pgs. 62-63

If you have any source 
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