John T. Ross was baptized in Marblehead, Massachusetts, in 1774; however, the “T” in his name is still a mystery. John’s parents were almost certainly Alexander Ross (1739–1800) and Sarah Girdler (1745–unk.) of Marblehead. John married Margaret Bubier Nance (c.1784–1827) with whom he had nine children.

In 1828, John married Eliza Hardy, daughter of Dudley Hardy (1770–1857) and Dudley’s second wife, Sally Chase, who died in 1805. Eliza Hardy was born in 1800 and died in New Haven, Missouri, in 1865. John and Eliza had seven children.

Like his father, John T. Ross was a mariner, active as a ship master, captain, and owner from 1809, when he was thirty-five, until 1831, when he was fifty-seven. Home for him was Newburyport, Massachusetts. He transported cargo vessels up and down the east coast, to and from New Orleans, and to and from ports in the Caribbean, including Cuba and Haiti. The shipping registries of Newburyport and the local newspapers chronicled many of his voyages.

During the War of 1812, John served as an enlisted man in the “Sea Fencibles,” a company that protected the mouth of the Merrimac River against the British. They did not see any action.

With Newburyport in economic decline, the Ross family sold their house and household goods at auction and moved to Missouri in 1838. John was sixty-two, so he must have moved west, not for himself, but for better economic prospects for his children.

The family who moved to Missouri included the first Mary Woart Ross (1817–1838) and Margaret (Ross) Allen, John T. Ross’s daughters by his first wife, and Margaret’s husband, William Stickney Allen (1805–1868).

The immigrant family also included John and Eliza’s children: Ellen Eliza Ross (1828–1909), Caroline Elizabeth Ross (1830–unk), Sarah Blunt Ross (1831–1879), Charles Edward Ross (1834–1908), William A. Ross (1838–1897), and Emma Ross (1845–1923). Some of the Ross children—like Sarah Blunt Ross—were born in Newburyport, and others—like the second Mary Woart Ross (1840–1936)—were born in Missouri.

They first settled in St. Charles. In 1848, ten years after the move west, John T. Ross died, and by 1850 the extended family was living together in a household in Carondelet headed by John’s daughter, Margaret (Ross) Allen and her husband, William S. Allen. In 1858, the family relocated to New Haven, Missouri.

William S. Allen was a lawyer and judge, a journalist, and a government official of considerable distinction. He died in 1868. His wife, Margaret, survived him by twenty-eight years.

Margaret died in 1896, at age 85, living at 34 Benton Place in St. Louis, the home of her half-sister, Mary Woart (Ross) Gilbert Hubbard, and Mary’s second husband, Robert Morris Hubbard (1830–1918).

Written by McKelden Smith
March 2022

© 2022, St. Louis Genealogical Society

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Last Modified: 24-Jul-2022 11:12