Digging For Our Ross Roots

By Elda Ross Hall

I must confess that it was with no great enthusiasm that I entered the realm of genealogy.   My sister-in-law, Pat Hall, who had been immersed in this hobby for years had tried to recruit me, but, as I said to Pat, "I can't imagine anything more boring than poring over a lot of old dusty books for house on end!"   (This, of course, was before the advent of the computer).

What happened?   I came into unexpected possession of copies of some pages from the old Ross Family Bible.   I was about nine years old when I first saw the Bible, resting on a bookstand in the parlor of my grandmother's (Edna Heller Ross) home.   With idle curiosity, I opened it and slowly turned the pages to the front section where it proclaimed it was the Bible of Samuel and Rachel Ann Ross and I noted several pages of handwritten entries of births, deaths, and marriages.   This bible is now in the possession of Mrs. Robert Truman (Betsy) of Apalachin, N.Y.

My grandmother commented that, for some reason, they had changed the spelling from Rofs to Ross.   Having previously noted in school that curious spelling in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights where words with a double "s" were written like "f's", I explained to my grandmother that this represented only the style of writing in those days.

At this time also she made the comment, "Those Rosses were a strange lot.   One would wander off into the woods and never come back and nobody ever bothered to go look for him."   (This remark was to have real meaning for me later on).

Another time she volunteered the information, "Rachel Ann always claimed that she was related to half the valley!"   My later research was to prove that there was an element of truth to that statement.

Anyway, my sister-in-law Pat, with true genealogist fervor, pointed out that I should begin to check out this windfall of ancestry information.   After all, wasn't I the least curious as to the entry of a Hannah Moor born in 1762 or why all those Montanyes were listed in the Ross family bible pages?   What relationship were these people to the Ross Family?

And then there was the mysterious deed which had been inserted between the pages of the bible.   This deed was dated April 13, 1827 and details the sale of 10 acres of land in Worcester, MA by one Ivers (?) Phillips to a Rufus Hastings.   I have yet to solve this mystery and what connection these two individuals have to the Ross Family.

However, my curiosity had been truly piqued so I found myself delving into those "dusty old books" as I endeavored to put the puzzle together.   It became a real challenge and I found I was "hooked".

Happy Hunting to All, Elda

Elda Ross Hall
Copyright 2007

© MCMXCIII  Hank Ross