Cato Ramsey

Cato Ramsey aged 45, travels in to Nova Scotia on the Providence with his wife China Godfrey and children James, Betsey and Nelly Ramsey. Cato was owned by Dr George Ramsey and later by his son John Ramsey while his wife and their three children were owned by Matthew Godfrey in Norfolk County. When Cato first appears in Dr Ramsey's tithables in 1757 it is in the same area of Norfolk (the South Side of Tanners Creek) as Mathew Godfrey his wife China appears in Godfrey's list in the same year.

Cato, his wife and the children all run at the same time and they travel together. In the Birchtown Muster Cato's occupation is listed as 'farmer' but the war he appears to have worked as a seaman aboard British privateers. It is interesting to note that China is called 'Jane' here and has taken the last name Ramsey. She is listed with her husband, Nelly and Betty (Betsey). James is listed by himself and in a different Company in the Muster. China and James are named in Godfrey's claim of losses to the British.

There is an interesting notice from the Royal Gazette in New York in July 17, 1782 that suggest that Cato Ramsey was with Luke Wilson on board a loyalist privateer, The Fair American, which had been involved in a fire-fight off Baltimore in June 1782 viz: “Ten Guineas Reward. RUN AWAY from their master’s service, and are known to be lurking about this city the four following Negroes, viz, CATO RAMSEY, a stout able bodied man, formerly lived with Mrs. Willoughby Morgan, in Dover-Street. DANIEL FISHER, a tall stout man somewhat marked with the Small Pox, and of a yellowish complexion ‘tis said he lives on Staten Island where he has a wife and children. LUKE WILSON, a short man, has a wife somewhere in town, and is well known among the blacks. – The above three Negroes were all of them out in the privateer brig Fair American on her last cruise. SAM, a short chunky man, about twenty five years of age, and has often been seen at Ellis’s Island. --- Whoever will secure the above Negroes, and gives information to the Printer, that they be had again, shall receive the above reward, or in proportion for either of them.” This notice is ambigous as the the status of the men, but it implies they are regarded as freemen, and that they have deserted from indentured service. The reference to Mrs Willoughby Morgan is interesting; she was wife to the master of the privateer, Fair American.

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1738

Born

1757

Tithables for South Side of Tanners Creek - 1757 - South Side of Tanners Creek

The first page of this tithable list is missing, but it is assumed to relate to the South Side of Tanners Creek in 1757.

Source for this event: Norfolk County Virginia Tithables, Volume 2, 1751 - 1765
Name Owner [Narrative]
Cato Dr. George Ramsey - Norfolk [Enrty reads: 'Doctor Geo: Ramsey for sons John and James...']

10/ June
1765

Tithables for the Eastern Division - 1765 - Eastern Division

Source for this event: Norfolk County Virginia Tithables, Volume 2, 1751 - 1765
Name Owner
Cato -

1767

Tithables for the Eastern Division - 1767 - Eastern Division

Source for this event: Norfolk County Virginia Tithables, Volume 3, 1766 - 1780
Name Owner
Cato -

1768

Tithables for a Division of Norfolk - 178 - Norfolk

Source for this event: Norfolk County Virginia Tithables, Volume 3, 1766 - 1780
Name Owner
Cato John Ramsey - Norfolk

1770

Tithables for the Eastern Division - 1770 - Eastern Division

Source for this event: Norfolk County Virginia Tithables, Volume 3, 1766 - 1780
Name Owner
Cato John Ramsey - Norfolk

1773

Tithables for the Eastern Division - 1773 - Eastern Division

Source for this event: Norfolk County Virginia Tithables, Volume 3, 1766 - 1780
Name Owner
Cato John Ramsey - Norfolk

1774

Tithables for the East Side of Church Street- 1774 - East Side of Church Street

Source for this event: Norfolk County Virginia Tithables, Volume 3, 1766 - 1780
Name Owner
Cato John Ramsey - Norfolk

7/ Nov
1775

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Lord Dunmore's Proclamation - Norfolk

  • John Murray, Lord Dunmore -

    John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore (1732 – 25 February 1809), was the  colonial governor of Virginia at the outbreak of the American Revolution.

Source for this event: Lord Dunmore's Proclamation

1776

Small Pox outbreak - Gwynn's Island

  • Small Pox -

    In January 1776  smallpox made an appearance in Virginia. Although smallpox had been present in the colony at times before there had never been such a serious and widespread outbreak.

1776

Ran

1782

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Treaty of Paris - Paris France

  • Treaty of Paris -

    In November 1782 a provisional peace treaty was hammered out between the British and the Americans in Paris.

Source for this event: Treaty of Paris

1783

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Evacuation of New York - New York

  • Evacuation of New York -

    In April 1783 the first evacuation fleet left for Nova Scotia. A week later  the British Commander, Sir Guy Carleton, sailed up the Hudson River to Orangetown for a conference with General Washington to discuss the evacuation. As the victorious commander, Washington opened the meeting by reiterating the resolution of Congress regarding “the delivery of all Negroes and other property.”

Source for this event: The Book of Negroes
Vessel Names and their Commanders Where Bound Names Age Description Names of the Person in whose Possession they now are Remarks
Providence
Master: John Richee
Port Roseway Cato Ramsey 45 slim fellow Stephen Shakespeare Formerly Slave to John Ramsey, Norfolk. Left 7 years ago. Certificate from General Birch.
Cato Ramsey's Relationships

1784

Birchtown Muster - Birchtown

Source for this event: Birchtown Muster of Free Blacks
Name Age Occupation Families they lived with Companies they belong to Remarks Company They Are Now With
Cato Ramsey 48 Farmer Stephen Shakespeare Shakespear's Company Lived with him a 12 mth and was paid received a 12mth provision with him arrived on the 5th of May Captain John Coffin's Company
Cato Ramsey's Relationships