Family History



A brief history of the ancrum line




 The ANCRUM is an old family name originating in Scotland. The some total of all the Ancrum's over the last 3 or 4 centuries is only a few hundred.

 Leonard F Gebbett (descended from SAMUEL 1796-1838) has devoted many years to the research of the Ancrum's and their descendants including the GEBBETT's, BUCHAN's and others. The majority of all the early family history included in this text originated from letters written to Freda Whyatt of Cardiff (an Ancrum descendant through the Buchan line), Leonard Gebbett and Tony Ridler of Farnborough,(descended from KATE ELLEN 1867-1920).

 The "crum" is the equivalent of the modern German "krumm" for bent and twisted and "an" which also turns up in the west country means river. Inspection of a map of the Border areas will show the village of Ancrum less than 10 miles south west of Kelso nestling in a bend of the Ale Water and the Teviot.

 It is believed that all descendants with the ANCRUM name are descended from the Earl of Ancrum.

 The Ancrum trail led back to Kelso, Edinburgh and Northumberland and the Bristol branch from America. Some early references to the ANCRUM's are listed below.

 1223c.  Richard de Alncrum - Dean of Teviotdale.

1252                 John of Alnecromb - Witness to charter to the monks of Melrose.

1296                 Richard de Alnecrum - land restored in Roxburgh.

1316                 William de Alncrom - Abbot of Kelso.

1358                 John de Allyncrom - Clerk of Register and Auditor of accounts, Kelso.

1362                 John de Alncrum and Andrew de Alncrum - received permission from Edward III to study at Oxford or Cambridge University.

1370                 John of Alncrum - Arch Deacon of Teviotdale.

1410c.              William de Alyncrome - Abbot of Kelso.

1426                 John of Alncrom - burgess of Edinburgh.

1539, 1540, 1548, 1555, 1571, 1576 - references on charters to James Ancrum, monk of Kelso.

1567                 John Ancrume, James Ancrum and Michell Ancrum - tenants of Kelso Abbey.

1574                 Robert Ankrum - discharge for teind sheaves of lands of Wodheides.

1593                 Michael Ancrum - (of Kelso) stood surety for James Sandelands, a Kelso inhabitant cautioned with others for communing with Earl of Bothwell.

1609                 Jacques Ankerou (James Ancrum) - marrying Scottish soldiers in Tiel, Holland.

1632                 Walter Ancrum - serving in army of King Gustus Adolphus of Sweden.

 It is after 1600 that we start to get a more coherent picture. Edinburgh keeps coming into the story but the real ancestral homes are Kelso and Duns. The Duns branch appear to die out about 1700 so the line of descent is from the main Kelso tribe.

 There are fairly complete details from the Kelso registers from 1600 to 1690 but the great problem arises in the period 1690 - 1720 when nearly all the families moved over the border to Kirknewton and later Wooller, Chatton and Scremerston.

Some went Ardagh, Northern Ireland where they became known as ANKRUM's and these Scottish-Irish later went to Pennsylvania and subsequently migrated to Ohio and elsewhere. They are sometimes named ANKRIM.

 The Kelso registers are deficient in the 1690's and because the Ancrum's were staunch Presbyterians they were clearly involved in communities where not all the non-conformist registers have survived. Worse, in 1789, the cottage of the parish clerk of Kirknewton caught fire and these registers were reduced to "burnt fragments". Photocopies of these reveal tantalising partial references to Ancrum's.

 Wills, Chancery proceedings, etc., have partially made good these deficiencies but the links between all the families are not complete.


 From the research of Leonard Gebbett and Tony Ridler there is good reason to trace the line of descent of the Bristol branch of the Ancrum's from GEORGE ANCRUM (Born Kelso before 1595) AND JANET DONALDSON. Their 2nd child, WILLIAM ANCRUM of Kelso, who was a Messenger, Maltster and Chamberlain to the Earl of Cassillis. William was born in 1618.

 Williams son, SAMUEL ANCRUM ANCRUM (1660) was also born in Kelso and his son, SAMUEL ANCRUM (c1694), who describes himself as Samuel Junior was born in Tweedmouth. Samuel Junior was a schoolmaster at Leith after graduating from Edinburgh University.

 The details around this period are still a little hazy because none of the Roxburghshire wills have survived. The Ancrum's owned a large amount of land around Kelso (Leonard Gebbett has copies of many documents) but a lot of history has been lost due to the destruction of the wills.

Samuel (c1694) of Tweedmouth had five sons and a daughter. GEORGE and SAMUEL are very shadowy although they are confirmed by MICHAEL's 1761 will. ADAM was a farmer and more details are known of him from his will and other sources.

The two sons who concern this short history most are MICHAEL (1724) from whom the Bristol Ancrum's descend and his younger brother JOHN (1732). John moved to Wilmington North Carolina. Michael also went to Wilmington where he was a lieutenant in the militia and seems to have set up some of his business connections that became important later when he returned (1750) to Edinburgh and became a prosperous merchant.

 MICHAEL died young in 1762 and his only son MICHAEL (1750), (mother and date of birth unknown) was placed in the care of several guardians including his uncle JOHN in America, by this time a prosperous Merchant, Judge, etc., in Wilmington, North Carolina.

 Young Michael was brought up and educated by his Uncle John in North Carolina and appears to have come to Bristol in the early 1770's, when he was about 21 years old. He worked for a Merchant, Samuel Spon, and lived for a number of years in Clifton.


 He married the mother of all his children, GRACE HOLBROOK, rather mysteriously in Newton St.Looe only a few weeks before the birth of SAMUEL ANDREW ANCRUM (1796-1838), their fifth child.

 Samuel grew up and moved to London. He married CARUS WRIGHT, the daughter of John Wright of Bermondsey, a Customs officer.

 Michael’s first two sons MICHAEL (1787) and HARRY (1788) died young with no issue. CHARLES (1792 - 1835) was a seaman in Antigua as was his son, CHARLES, mother unknown.

 SAMUEL (1794-   ), died in infancy and the following son was given the same name Samuel Andrew as mentioned previously.

 JOHN ANCRUM (1798 - 1862) was the next born and became an Accountant working for John Hare and Co of Bristol.  He married EMMA LAWSON, (1806 - 1881), and had 11 children.


 JAMES SEPTIMUS ANCRUM (1803-1860), was the youngest child of Michael and Grace and was the gt.gt.gt.grandfather of Tony James Ridler. JAMES also became an Accountant working for John Hare and Co and married MARY ANN WILLIAMS at St.James Church in April 1825.

 James and Mary had seven children, 4 girls, MARY (1826), ROSETTA (1829) CLARA (1830) & ELLEN (1834), and 3 boys, MICHAEL (1826), HARRY (1828) & ALFRED (1841), Alfred being the youngest child and the continuing line of descent.

 ALFRED did not follow his father and uncles into the accountancy profession but trained as a machinist and at a later date was described as a Brass Finisher and Gas Fitter. In 1863 he married KATE WEBBER and they subsequently had 12 children, ALFRED (1864), ADA (1865), KATE (1867), ROSE (1869), HERBERT (1872), GEORGE (1874), WALLACE (1876), FREDERICK (1878), NELLIE (1880), ARTHUR (1881), CHARLES (1833) & WALTER (1887).

 KATE ELLEN ANCRUM, (1867 - 1920), at the time of her marriage to WILLIAM RIDLER (1867 – 1891) on the 18 of April 1869 at the Church of St.Philip and Jacob, she was living with her family in Cheese Lane, Bristol. Following the wedding they moved into 35 Regent St, Newtown with William's sister and her husband, EMILY ELIZA (nee RIDLER) & WALLACE JOHN LUKE.

 The story continues in the outline of the RIDLER history.

 The known ANCRUM tree starts with George Ancrum


George Ancrum  (born before1595 - died after1627)

 William Ancrum (1660 alive in 1716)

 Samuel Ancrum (1660- )

Samuel Ancrum (1694 - Alive in1774)

Michael Ancrum (1724 - 1762)

Michael Ancrum (c1750 - 1806)