Ross, Betsy (1752–1836), by tradition the designer and maker of the first Stars and Stripes flag. According to a paper presented to the Pennsylvania Historical Society by her grandson William J. Canby in 1870, she was commissioned by General George Washington in 1776 to make a national flag. The story gained widespread popularity, but historical records do not support the account. Ross did, however, make flags for the Pennsylvania Navy during the Revolutionary War.
Elizabeth Griscom was born in Philadelphia. She married John Ross, an upholsterer, in 1766 and carried on his business after his death in 1776. In 1777 she married Joseph Ashburn, a sailor, who died in an English prison in 1782 after his ship had been captured. In 1783 she married John Claypoole, who had been a friend and fellow prisoner of Ashburn. She was widowed again in 1817. She remained in Philadelphia until her death at age 84.