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Manitoba History No. 89

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Memorable Manitobans: Peter Belhaven Hamilton Ramsay (1864-1952)

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Peter Belhaven Hamilton Ramsay
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Farmer, businessman, soldier.

Born at Edinburgh, Scotland on 1 December 1864, son of William Hamilton Ramsay and Fanny Scarth, he articled in law then served as a lieutenant in the Third Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. He came to Manitoba in 1886 and located at Virden where he farmed until 1898 at which time he came to Brandon and opened a cigar factory. In 1896 he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Manitoba Dragoons, stationed at Virden and, in 1904, when the unit was converted into the Canadian Mounted Rifles, he was made Captain of A Squadron. He was an early proponent of the Brandon, Saskatchewan and Hudson’s Bay Railway.

In 1886, he married Sophie Hamilton Probert (c1867-1934) of Edinburgh, Scotland. They had five children: Susan Hilda Hamilton Ramsay (1889-1966, wife of Copley W. Chesterton, daughter-in-law of Walter Chesterton), Florence Hamilton Ramsay (1891-1962, wife of Henry St. G. Lee), Daisy Hamilton Ramsay (1893-1983, wife of Sidney L. Smith), William Hamilton Ramsay (1896-1965), and Peter Belhaven Ramsay (1906-?). He was a member of the Brandon Board of Trade and, in 1903, served as President of the Brandon Club. He moved to British Columbia in 1911 where, on 14 February 1939, he married Aileen May Cowdry (?-?) at Vancouver.

He died at Vancouver on 8 August 1952.


A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Sophie Hamilton Ramsay], Chilliwack Progress, 4 October 1934, page 5.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Obituary, Chilliwack Progress, 13 August 1952, page 5.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Darryl Toews.

Page revised: 2 December 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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