Missionary Rev. John Ross

This gravestone is located in the Newington Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland.

John Ross belonged to the United Presbyterian Church which was famous for its missions. As soon as he was ordained as a minister in 1872 he married M. A. Stewart and they departed for China. His wife died the following year giving birth to their first child, a son named Drummond. In 1876, he married Catherine, a sister of one of his fellow missionaries. He lived in China for 40 years as a missionary in Manchuria and Korea. His study of linguistics gave him an understanding of 11 languages. He began translating the New Testament into Korean, a project that took 10 years to complete, and which led to the spread of Christianity in Korea. Throughout his lifetime he wrote several books on the subject of missionary work in Manchuria. He returned to Edinburgh, Scotland in 1910 due to ill health.

Edinburgh_Cameron Toll_Ross

The Scottish Bible Society designed this gravestone and arranged for it to be made in Korea then shipped to Scotland. It is engraved in both English and Korean.


Loving Memory
Rev. John Ross D. D.
For over forty years missionary
Of the U. F. Church in Manchuria,
Died in Edinburgh 7th August 1915,
Aged 74 years.
Also his children
Hugh, Findlay, Jackie,
And Cathie Jane,
Who died in infancy,
Buried in Newchwang, N. China.
Findlay M. Ross M. C.
His youngest son,
Lieut. 9th Batt. The Royal Scots,
Killed in action in France 1st. Aug 1918,
Aged 25 years, and buried at
British Cemetery, Raperie, Nr. Soissons.
Also his wife
Isabella Strapp McFadyen
Who died in Glasgow
19th December 1930

A dedication stone beneath the gravestone

The Korean Church
Thank God for
John Ross
Who Translated The New Testament Into Korean
Between 1877 -1887
And Gave Them The Word Of Life


2 thoughts on “Missionary Rev. John Ross”

    1. Books by John Ross

      1876 Mandarin Primer, Being Easy Lessons for Beginners, Transliterated According to the European Mode of Using Roman Letters. Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press. (a Chinese language textbook entitled Mandarin Primer, the format of which formed the basis for his language studies with Yi Ungch’an)

      1877 Chinese Foreign Policy. Shanghai: Celestial Empire.

      1877 Corean Primer: Being Lessons in Corean on All Ordinary Subjects, Transliterated on the Principles of the Mandarin Primer. Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press.The first textbook of the Korean language, which was intended as a teaching aid that missionaries and commercial traders would need when Korea opened to the outside world. (Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, MDCCCLXXVII)

      1879 History of Corea, Ancient and Modern, with Description of Manners, Customs, Language, and Geography. Paisley, Scotland: J. & R. Parlane. (London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster row, 1891)

      1880 The Manchus; or, the Reigning Dynasty of China: Their Rise and Progress. Paisley, Scotland: J. & R. Parlane.

      1882 Korean Speech, with Grammar and Vocabulary. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh.

      1887 Yesu syonggyo chyonsyo (The complete writings of the holy religion of Jesus). Shenyang: Wenkuang shuyuan. Complete Korean translation of the New Testament.

      1889 Old Wang, the First Chinese Evangelist in Manchuria: A Sketch of His Life and Work, with a Chapter upon Native Agency in Chinese Missions. London: Religious Tract Society.

      1901 The Boxers in Manchuria. Shanghai: North China Herald.

      1903 Mission Methods in Manchuria. Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier.

      1908 The Marvelous Story of the Revival in Manchuria. Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier.

      1909 The Original Religion of China. Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier.

      John Ross, ‘Christmas at Moukden’, WMM, Vol. 10 no, 110 February 1910, p. 36.

      1916 The Origin of the Chinese People. Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier.

      Selected Articles by John Ross

      1874 “Visit to the Corean Gate.” Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal 5, p. 347-54.

      1883 “Corean New Testament.” Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal 14, pp. 491-97.

      1885 “Journey to the Corean Valleys: Religious Awakening, Numerous Baptisms.” Missionary Record of the United Presbyterian Church, pp. 321-26.

      1890 “The Chinese Missionary Problem.” Missionary Review of the World 3, no. 12, pp. 901-07.

      1890 “The Christian Dawn in Korea.” Missionary Review of the World 3, no. 4, pp. 241-48.

      1891 “Paul the Missionary,” Missionary Review of the World 4, no. 9, pp. 677-81.

      1892 “How the Gospel Spreads in China,” Missionary Review of the World 5, pp. 97-100.

      If you would like to read more about his life story – http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+Legacy+of+John+Ross.-a057815598

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s