The Hamilton family have a strong affiliation with Freemasonry. Robert born 1837 was initiated into Lodge Torphichen Kilwinning No. 13 on 27 December 1865 and he received the Second and Third Degrees in that Lodge on 8 January 1866. (There was no record of an occupation or age at this time.) This same Lodge has records of Robert and Alexander Hamilton registered as Freemasons on 2 May 1822. These men are the probable relatives, father and uncle of Robert Hamilton born 1837.

Kilwinning (Scotland) was the second head lodge of the Schaw Statutes of 1598. The Lodge’s first Minutes are dated 1642. Also, the Lodge had its own version of the Old Charges in 1665. The First Charter is dated 1729. At Perth, Scotland, in 1658 there was already a tradition in existence of masonic lodges proceeding from Kilwinning.

Yarrowee Holy Royal Arch Chapter

The registration of Robert Hamilton (born 1837) at Lodge No. 63 Ballarat, contains comments that he attended Kilwinning No 13 S.C. (Scottish Constitution) E 18/12/1871 and also the date 23/3 1871. This is one way the name of Hamilton was traced back in Scotland.

Lodge No. 63 (Victorian Constitution) was formerly Sebastopol Lodge No. 452 (Irish Constition). It first met in 1869. Robert Hamilton and his family lived in Sebstopol adding credence to the evidence that he belonged to the Sebastopol Lodge. The thistle emblem embroidered on a masonic apron kept in the archives at the Ballarat Masonic Centre.



Robert Hamilton was born on 21 September 1837. The birth certificate is in the Old Parish Registers for Cambusnethan #628/3. Robert Hamilton, natural son to Robert Hamilton, Shotts Works and Janet Millar born 21st September 1837 and baptised 3rd December 1837. The term ‘lawful’ means born within a marriage while the term ‘natural’ means born out of wedlock.

Robert Hamilton and Janet Miller were the parents of Robert Hamilton born in 1837. The marriage certificate of their son Robert, states Robert senior was a clerk at Shotts Iron Works and his mother Janet Miller had died by 1861.

Shotts, known for its mining and ironworks, was part of the Lanarkshire parish of Bothwell. The ironworks was first established in 1801, but by the time Robert Hamilton senior was a clerk at the works it had changed hands and was operating under the name Shotts Iron Joint Stock Company. Shotts Iron Works Part of the remains of Shotts Iron Works opened in 1802 and demolished in the 1980’s.

Robert Hamilton married Alice Webb Russell who was born on 8 March 1841 at Torphichen, Scotland and baptised on 4 April 1841. The localities of Shotts and Torphichen are around 13 miles apart or about 24 minutes travel by car. This meant that Alice Webb Russell and Robert Hamilton were living in the same geographical area of Scotland.



When she was aged 13 years, Alice Webb Russell embroidered a tapestry on fine linen, depicting Linlithgow Palace, with swans on a lake and a hare and a dog. The initials of her family are on each side of the main image.


It reads Alice W Russell,

aged 13 years,

Torphichen 1854.


Torphichen is a small village located north of Bathgate, Lothian Scotland. It is notable for the Torphichen Preceptory, the headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller of the Order of St John of Jerusalem in Scotland. A sanctuary stone in the kirkyard marks the centre of the area of santuary. These stones are possibly of Neolithic and pagan in origin. The east and west sanctuary stones still stand one Scots mile from the centre stone, in their original positions. These stones possibly relate to the important Neolithic henge and burial mound at Cairnpapple Hill to the east. The preceptory was built over a vast wooden platform beneath which lay a manmade island and causeway. It was possibly a place of Pagan worship in earlier years, with a circle of carved standing stones. Evidence exists that the stones belonged to an earlier (Neolithic) time and an earlier site.

 Torphichen Kirk with the Preceptory of Knights Hospitaller ruins in the background was built upon ancient Neolithic sites with the Cairnpapple Hill archeology site in close proximity. The Russell family lived at Cathlawhill near this locality. Russell graves and graves of other relatives are numerous in this kirkyard.


Alice Webb Russell’s grandparents were:

William Russell (1798-1835) and Janet Donaldson (1795-1875).


Their children were:

James Russell (1816) married Janet Black,

Isabella Russell (1821),

William Russell (1823) married Jane Mellis,

Georgina Todd Russell (1826-1868),

Elisabeth (1829)married Janes Erskine,

Janet Russell (1831) married Andrew Marshall,

and Jean Burns Russell (1835-) married James Taylor.


Our Hamilton line descended from James Russell and Janet Black who had the following children.

Jane Smith Russell (1836-1920) who married 1. George Rodger (1824-1875), 2. Hugh L. Shanks (1833-1911)

Jennet Russell (1839-1845)

Alice Webb Russell (1841-1923) who married 1. Robert Hamilton (1837-1887) 2. Joseph Weir (1841-1925)

Agnes Russell (1844-1875) who married Robert Cowan (1839-1908)




Hamilton Ellis Marriage Ps Low Res