Hebron Rae 1835-1893

I love looking at some of my father’s line because they have such great names – unusual names so it’s difficult to confuse them with others and almost as if they knew that one day I’d come looking for them they would give them surname middle names just so I can be doubly sure I’ve got the right person.

Hebron Hamilton Rae was my 2nd great grandfather, Thomas Rae’s sister.  She was named after her grandmother and my 4th great grandmother, Hebron Hamilton.  Young Hebron was born on 13 June 1835 in Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire in the South of Scotland.  Her parents were James Rae, a coal miner and Grace (or Grizal, another great name) Halliday.


By 1841 the family had moved to Lanarkshire and were living in miners cottages in Carluke.

The 1851 census shows that Hebron had left the family home and was living in Ayrshire where she was employed as a general servant.  The address given would not appear to be her place of work.

Shortly after the census was taken Hebron married Robert Ronney.  Like her father, Robert was a coal miner.  They married in Dalmellington, Ayrshire on 21 November 1851.


They had ten children that I know of –

  • Grace Born 1854
  • James Born 1858
  • Robert Born 1860
  • Mary Born 1862
  • Isabella Born 1865
  • John Born 1867
  • William Born 1870
  • Andrew Born 1874
  • Thomas Born 1876
  • Christina Born 1879

During this time they moved house on at least three occasions.  In 1881 they were back in Lanarkshire but this time in New Monkland.  Daughter Mary had left the house but the other children were there.  Isabella was working as a general servant and Robert and John were employed as coal miners.  John would have been 13 years old at that time.  His younger brother who was 11 was listed as a scholar but I imagine that his school days were coming to an end.

Robert died in 1883.  His death would surely have brought great hardship to the family.  I do know that Hebron married again but I have not yet found the date of this marriage.  In 1891 she and her new husband were living in Stirlingshire along with Hebron’s two youngest children, Thomas and Christina.   Her new husband was also a coal miner.  The census gives his name as James Meddon but her death certificate shows her second husband as James Sneddon.

Hebron died in 1893 aged 58.  The cause of death is given as a burn of forearm and chronic pyaemia.  I hate to imagine the pain she must have suffered and what time of accident led to her injuries.  Her death was reported by son, James.


I would love to know where the name Hebron came from an who was the first Hebron in the family tree.   It’s something I can work on. And that’s another thing I love about family history.  There’s always something new to discover.

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