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Rev. George Aeneas ROSS
Male 1679 - 1753


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  • Title  Rev. 
    Birth  1679  Balbair, Shire of Ross, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender  Male 
    Died  18 Nov 1753  New Castle, DE Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID  I2344  Families
    Last Modified  09 Aug 2012 

    Father  David ROSS,   d. 13 Apr 1710, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Margaret STRONACH 
    Family ID  F1078  Group Sheet

    Family 1  Joanna WILLIAMS,   b. Abt 1690, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Sep 1726, New Castle, DE Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  Abt 1708  New Castle, DE Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Children 
     1. David ROSS,   b. 1708, New Castle, DE Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1753, Albany NY Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Margaret ROSS
     3. John ROSS
     4. Aeneas ROSS
     5. Ann Catharine ROSS
     6. Jacob ROSS
    Family ID  F953  Group Sheet

    Family 2  Anna Catherine VAN GEZEL,   b. 1689, New Castle, New Castle Co., DE Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  Abt 1728  New Castle, New Castle Co., DE Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Children 
     1. George "The Signer" ROSS, Jr.,   b. 1730,   d. 1779
     2. Gertrude ROSS,   d. 1802, New Castle, DE Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Catherine ROSS
     4. Elizabeth ROSS
     5. Susanna ROSS
     6. Mary ROSS
     7. James ROSS
    Last Modified  09 Aug 2012 
    Family ID  F1082  Group Sheet

  • Documents
    Obituary Notice -- Rev. George Aeneas Ross
    Obituary Notice -- Rev. George Aeneas Ross
    Published 22 Nov 1753 in the PENNSYLVANIA GAZETTE
    Status: Located

  • Notes 
    • "SECOND GENERATION

      "3. Rev. George ROSS3,4 was born in 1679 in Balblair, Parish of Fern, Ross-shire, Scotland.5 In a brief autobiography he was said to have written for his son John, Rev. George Ross said he was "born in the North of Scotland in the Shire of Ross in the Parish of Fern, about four or five miles from the Shire between two Firths, one the Firth of Murray, the other the Firth of Dornoch. The land lying between the two Firths terminates in the noted point called Tarbat Ness." He died on 18 NOV 1753 in New Castle, New Castle Co., DE. He was buried in Immanuel Church, New Castle, New Castle Co., DE. In the autobiography written by Rev. George Ross he said "There was great hope of seeing worthy Mr. George mount the Presbyterian pulpit, but Alas! the closer he applied himself to reading the stronger his aversion grew to the party then uppermost in Scotland, he observed the leading men of that side to be sour, censorious and hypocritical. The young student decided to attach himself to the Church of England and after a diligent study of its principles, wrote to Aeneas McKensie, Chaplain of the Earl of Cromarty, Secretary of State for Scotland, then at London, inquiring as to his prospects for advancement in England, and receiving an encouraging reply, with the assistance of his brother and the leading men of the Episcopal party in Scotland was enabled to make his way to London with a recommendation from the Bishop of Edinburgh. On his arrival he presented himself to the Bishop of London, who received him kindly and ordered him to attend the next ordination, at which time he, his friend McKensie and several others were put in Deacon's orders, nine days after his arrival in London. He was soon promoted to a chaplaincy on board a man of war, at a salary of eighty pounds sterling per annum; but not liking the captain he returned to London and found his friend McKensie making application to the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, then newly incorporated, for a mission abroad. Mr. Ross was easily persuaded to join him in the application, and their applications resulted in both being appointed missionaries, McKensie to Staten Island, and Ross to New Castle on the Delaware, in America."

      "Rev. Ross graduated from the University of Edinburg in 1700 and the Divinity School in 1703. He emigrated to the United States, arriving in Philadelphia 23 Aug 1705. He was ordained by the Bishop of London (Episcopal) and was rector of Immanuel Church, New Castle, Delaware, from June 1705 to July 1708, and then again from October 1714 to his death in 1754. Immanuel Church still stands at the corner of Second and Harmony Streets.

      "Rev. Ross took up his position as rector of Immanuel Church in New Castle and reported to the Society 17 May 1706 that there were but few church people at New Castle. "We have many Opposers, both from without and from within; yet, blessed be God, we faint not, neither are we discouraged...The Presyterians have a meeting in Town, and the Anabaptists have another in the Country." The Anglican church In New Castle was organized in 1703 as a result of services held from ocasionally in private homes since about 1689. A church was built in 1706 on the site of Fort Casimir but was not consecrated at that time because there was no Bishop of the Church of England in America.

      "By 1708, Rev. Ross was complaining of financial difficulties: there was no legal provision for the support of the clergy, and he was obliged to pay thirty pounds a year for his accommodations. He could not live there except for the generosity of a man whose son he instructed in Latin. In 1708, somewhat discouraged, Rev. Ross moved to Chester, PA. He had recently married and hoped to better maintain his family by keeping a boarding school, in addition to his ministerial duties at St. Paul's Church. Rev. Ross excused himself to the Society for moving away, saying he had suffered grievances which the congregation refused to redress, and expressed his hope the Society would approve his move. The Society did not, and suspended his stipend during his Chester ministry. Rev. Ross then went to Maryland but did not remain long, moving on to Philadelphia where he was accused by Rev. Evan Evans of trying to take over a school there. The Bishop of London felt that Rev. Ross's conduct was blameworthy and complained to the Society. Rev. Ross felt it was incumbent on him to vindicate himself in person before his ecclesiastical superiors, so he returned to Great Britain in 1710. He evidently convinced the Bishop that his conduct was excusable because the Bishop wrote "I am so well satisfied in Mr. Ross' innocence, that I am of the opinion we ought to pay him his arrears when we can, and that it will be best to send him to Chester for the convenience of his family." Thus reinstated, Rev. Ross started for America, however he fell into the hands of the French and was carried prisoner to France. His release was secured in 1711 and he was back in Chester, PA by Jan 1712. Here he was much concerned over the progress of Quakerism, which was then regarded as a pernicious heresy and subversive of patriotic principles.

      "Rev. Ross held services not only at Chester, PA , but also Concord, PA (St. John's Church 1708-1712) and Chichester, PA. He was reappointed as rector of Immanuel Church in New Castle, DE in 1714, and remained until his death in 1754. Rev. Ross was buried under the chancel of Immanuel Church, but the church has no record of his date of death and his grave is unmarked. On a wall of the church is a commemorative tablet erected by his great-granddaughter Mary Ross which reads: "To the Glory of God and in memory of Rev. George Ross First Rector of this Church, sent as a missionary in 1703, by the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts. He was the son of David Ross, of Balblair, Ross-shire, Scotland. Born 1680. He graduated at the University of Edinburgh in 1700, and after serving this Parish faithfully for fifty years, died at New Castle in the 75th year of his age. He was eminent for his piety, learning, and zeal for the cause of Christ."

      "He was married to Joanna WILLIAMS about 1707 in New Castle, New Castle Co., DE. Joanna WILLIAMS was born about 1690 in RI. She died on 29 SEP 1726. She was buried in Immanuel Church, New Castle, New Castle Co., DE. Her tomb is near the eastern gable of the church. Rev. George ROSS and Joanna WILLIAMS had the following children: . . . ." [3]

  • Sources 
    1. [S129] Website -- Descendants of George Ross Rev., Carol Hepburn (chepburn@cox.net), (http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~cheps/family/trees/ross/index.htm#TOC), Data entered 5/18/2006.

    2. [S146] Pennsylvania Gazette, (Benjamin Franklin (Philadelphia, PA)), 22 Nov 1753.

    3. [S140] Ross Ancestry Text File, Rebecca Barefoot, (Received from Michelle Q. Hayes via email dated 3 Oct 2002).