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Ramsay Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: ORA ET LABORA (pray and work)

Let me unveil a captivating chapter from your family’s history – it’s a story that spans ages and realms. The legacy of your family name, Ramsay, echoes with a rich and vibrant tapestry. Picture a Norman knight, Sir Symon de Ramesie, who is believed to have accompanied David I on his journey to Scotland in 1124 to claim his kingdom. As part of this grand retinue, Sir Symon received a grant of land in Midlothian and was witness to pivotal charters, including one to the monks of Holyrood in 1140. A flourishing path unfolded for the de Ramesie family, giving rise to five major branches by the 13th century: Dalhousie, Auchterhouse, Banff, Forfar, and Clatto.

In the year 1400, the valor of Sir Alexander Ramsay shone brightly. He valiantly held Dalhousie Castle in Midlothian against a siege led by Henry IV of England. With unyielding resolve, he thwarted the English forces, forcing them to retreat. This spirit of courage resonated through the generations. A descendant and namesake, Alexander Ramsay, met his fate at Flodden in 1513, passing the mantle to his son, Nicolas. A staunch supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots, Nicolas Ramsay continued the legacy.

Amidst the tides of history, your family name intertwined with dramatic events. In 1600, John Ramsay, a great-grandson of Nicolas, emerged as a hero, thwarting the Gowrie Conspiracy by defeating the Earl of Gowrie and his brother, Alexander Ruthven, who sought to kidnap the king. The grateful monarch rewarded John by bestowing upon him the titles of Earl of Holderness and Viscount Haddington. Further, George Ramsay, John’s elder brother, ascended to high rank, becoming Lord Ramsay in 1618.

From there, your family’s journey continued in impressive strides. The echoes of your name reverberated through the great campaigns of the 18th and 19th centuries, marking military and public service across the Continent, Canada, and India. Your family’s stalwart commitment was truly exemplary. The 9th Earl served as Governor of Canada from 1819 to 1828 and later commanded India from 1829 to 1832. This legacy of service and dedication is etched in history.

The family’s remarkable influence extended beyond military endeavors. Allan Ramsay, born in 1686, shone brightly in Edinburgh’s literary ‘Enlightenment’ of the 18th century, etching his name as a celebrated figure. Andrew Michael Ramsay (1686-1743), known as the Chevalier de Ramsay, held a crucial role as Tutor to Prince Charles Edward Stuart and Prince Henry Stuart. Notably, the Ramsays made their mark in various fields, including art and science, with figures like Sir William Ramsay and Sir William Mitchell Ramsay.

Your family’s heritage is a tapestry woven with valor, service, and distinction. From medieval knights to celebrated poets and academics, your lineage has left an indelible imprint on history. Embrace this legacy with pride, for you are part of a family that has journeyed through time, contributing to the world in remarkable ways.


The Family Crest

Wherever in the world you live, embrace your family heritage and adorn your home with a timeless symbol of your family legacy with our crafted Family Crests.

Family Crest Motto: ORA ET LABORA
(pray and work)



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