RALPH FAMILY – Hopeman posted Oct 2018
During the 1700s the ancestors of the Hopeman RALPH(Raff) family lived in the Ardersier / Petty register areas to the east of Inverness along with other old Hopeman fishing families such as the Davidsons, Mains, McPhersons, More (Moore/Moir), and Tolmie (Ptolmy). They were all very close knit at that time living in close proximity to each other and marrying between families as they continued to do after moving to Hopeman.
Research has shown that there were a considerable number of Ralph families in the Ardersier area during the 1700s and there are still Ralphs residing there (2018). They were generally all fishermen and in addition to settling in Hopeman they also settled in Burghead.
So when did they arrive in Hopeman and where did they live? — We are fortunate to have a copy of the ‘Estates Register No 1’ for Hopeman which covers the period 1806 to 1820 and this gives information on the allocation of land for houses and in which street they were built. The register starts at 1806 and although there were a few dwellings built by the owner William Young for the house builders and first arrivals, 1806 was when leasing from the landowner commenced. The register indicates that during 1806 Alexander Ralph leased a plot of land on Dunbar Street and this house still stands on the corner of the lane down to McPherson St – number 25. James Ralph leased a plot on Petrie Street (Coal Row/McPherson St) and they would have certainly been amongst the first inhabitants of the village. Alexander and James were brothers and aged around 26 and 23 at the time.