My grandfather William Stewart Rae was born a citizen of Scotland, where in Scotland was he from?

+5 votes
My maternal grandfather, William Stewart Rae, was born off of the coast of Malta on a Hospital Ship, because his father was in the military in India. My Grandfather's mother died in childbirth and my grandfather spent his first 3 years aboard this ship being raised by the nurses on board. I don't know the details of how or when he emigrated to America. He served in the United States Military during the second world war and died in a military nursing home in Port Orchard, WA called Retsil in approximately 1971-1972. Can anyone give me information re: who his people were and where his father was from in Scotland? He had two children in the USA William Stewart Rae, Jr. and Joanne Roselee Rae, born in Bend, Oregon
in Genealogy Help by
retagged by Terry Wright
An amazingly difficult start of this man's life. I wonder if the nurses wanted to keep him. Oh, my what a story!

6 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer

Not sure if you've seen this one already, but...

On, I found a 1922 passenger record that could possibly be him:  William Stewart Rae, age 17, born in Malta, traveling from Glasgow to New York on the S.S. Cameronia.  He is accompanied by Emilie Rae, age 44, and on the following page it says they are both headed to Bend, Oregon to the address of Alex Rae, who is identified as Emilie's husband.  He could possibly be William's father (in fact, the word "father" is crossed out), so I looked up Alexander Rae and found him in the 1940 census, and also in the 1920 census with a son named "Stewart", birthplace Malta.

by Vicky Majewski G2G6 Mach 8 (83.0k points)
selected by Living Berg

With that information, I found a World War I draft card for Alexander Milne Rae listing his exact birth date, which then led me to this birth record here.  IF this is the right person, then his birthplace was Fordyce and his parents were James Rae and Ann Kerr.  On Scotland's People, his birth record's registration number is 153/2 67 and of course you can view it for a fee. :-)



(and I've just noticed that this question was asked almost 5 months ago!  hehe... well, I hope this helps someone someday!  cheers!  :-D  )
That is great work, Vicky Majewski!!!!!
+4 votes

Get his death cert and his marriage cert. It might tell you something about his parents. If it doesn't, then you go to their information: death certs, marriage certs etcIn the case of your g grandfather, there should be information in the India Records ( or military records.

familysearch has this information on him (I think it's him):

William S Rae

United States Census, 1930

Name William S Rae
Event Type Census
Event Date 1930
Event Place Bellingham, Whatcom, Washington, United States
Gender Male
Age 25
Marital Status Married
Race White
Race (Original) White
Relationship to Head of Household Head
Relationship to Head of Household (Original) Head
Birth Year (Estimated) 1905
Birthplace Malta
Immigration Year 1914
Father's Birthplace Scotland
Mother's Birthplace India
Sheet Letter B
Sheet Number 11






William S Rae Head M 25 Malta
Mildred M Rae Wife F 20 Washington
Joan R Rae Daughter F 2 Oregon
William S Rae Son M 0 Oregon


"United States Census, 1930", database with images, FamilySearch( : 8 December 2015

There is a photo of the original document too. Great stuff.


by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 7 (73.4k points)
edited by Susan Scarcella
Thank you, Susan Scarcella!!!
+1 vote


take a look at this site it may help you
by E G G2G6 (6.7k points)
+1 vote
My great grandfather was Matthew Rae from Dumphries, Scotland.

He emigrated to Nova Scotia in the 1800's.  The name Rae became Ray when they moved to Boston. It was common to anglicize the name at that time.  My paternal grandfather was William Thomas Ray. They settled in Norfolk, Ma where there are now 5th generation Rays growing up on the same piece of land!
0 votes
I have both Rae and Kerr in my direct line.  Both of my families are from the Aberdeenshire section of NE Scotland.  I would be interested in sharing any information I have on Kerr and Rae with you,
by Living Anonymous G2G6 (6.2k points)
0 votes
Hi Ky, this is Bonnie, your Uncle Bill's wife.  I just accidentally came onto your query.  I had no idea that you were interested in the family history.  I have it all on  One thing that is new is that I I made a connection with Scotty's birth father and their descendants.  Scotty's birth name was Halford.  I think you can sign up for for two weeks for free and would be able to see everything.  I'd be glad to send you copies.  I'm still at the same address.  And same phone number.

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