Esther Ross Innes (1849-1938)

Just 12 years after photography was invented, Esther Ross was born on 25 Apr 1849 in Old Machar parish, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Esther Ross Innes photo

Esther Ross Innes at her home, 20 Auchmill, Aberdeenshire, c. 1936.

So finding a labeled photograph of my great-great aunt Esther, was both a surprise and a delight. Discovered at the bottom of a useless pile of unidentified family photos, this image prompted the following review of Esther Ross Innes’ long life.

Esther’s Childhood

Esther was the fifth of seven known children of George Ross and Mary Ross. (Yes, two different Ross lines married…in Ross-shire, of course! ) Her parents, both born in the Highlands near Tain, left for Aberdeen, where they married in 1837. George Ross found work as a stoker, keeping the boilers fired at the Stoneywood Paper Mill.

At 10, Esther’s schooling ended. She joined her father and older siblings at Stoneywood as a “paper cutter.” Ten years later, Esther had graduated to the position of “paper folder.” In total, Esther worked at the paper mill 27 years.

Eleven-year-old Esther Ross, a

Eleven-year-old Esther Ross, a “paper cutter” at the local mill, in the 1861 Scotland Census.

Esther Marries

Esther Ross and John Innes, a tailor, married in Newhills parish on 30 Sep 1876, nearly three years after the birth of their first child, Mary Ann. If there was an impediment to the marriage, I have not found it yet. Esther and John had four more children: George (died at the age of 10), Sarah, Jane, and Maxwell. None worked in the paper mill.

John Innes and Esther Ross marry in Newhills Parish in 1876.

World War I

In 1915, Esther sent her unmarried and only surviving son Maxwell to war. A bank clerk in civilian life, Maxwell remained in the reserves until called up in 1918 as a machine gunner. He was wounded but made it home.

Maxwell Innes Enlists in 1915, British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920.

Maxwell Innes Enlists in 1915, British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920.

Esther Ross Innes Registers to Vote

In 1925, Esther is listed in the Electoral Registers of Aberdeen and Aberdineshire, 1832-1976, together with her eldest daughter, Mary Ann, at the same address.

Esther Innes and Mary Innes, 1925 Electoral Register, Aberdeen City and Former Counties of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1832-1976

Esther Dies at Home

My great-great aunt died at her long-time home at 20 Auchmill Road in Newhills, on 17 Jul 1938, of “senile decay.” Her eldest daughter, Mary Ann, was withEsther Ross Innes when she died at the age of 89. Esther Ross Innes is buried in the Newhills Kirkyard, Bucksburn, Aberdeen, Scotland, with her husband John and son George.

Esther Innes died at home on 17 Jun 1938.

Esther Innes died at home on 17 Jun 1938.