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Family origins


The three main Scottish branches of our family are the Wilsons, the Andersons, and the Proudfoots. The fourth branch is the Brewsters from Coleraine in County Derry, Ireland.


The map opposite shows the Andersons were from Angus. The records locate them in a thin strip consisting of Dundee, Broughty Ferry, and Montifieth, on the shores of the Firth of Tay. A claim to fame is that our Anderson line is on the Celtic Royal Genealogy web site although we don’t appear to have a claim on any Scottish castle anywhere, or even a Dundee mansion.


David Charles Anderson emigrated to New Zealand where he met and married Rebecca Finlayson in 1879, in Dunedin. The Finlaysons were Highlanders, with census data showing they moved between Knockbain, Contin, Alness, and Lochcarron over the years. It was probably years of hard grind, with no end in sight, in the Highlands that persuaded the Finlayson family to emigrate on a Government passage to New Zealand.


Until 1871, the head of the household, Finlay, had been a forester/deer stalker. On his final Scottish census record his occupation is “(formerly) gamekeeper”, suggesting he was one of the many unemployed in the Highlands after decades of “reform” that, as David Mitchell said on his episode of Who Do You Think You Are, saw people replaced by sheep. 


The Wilsons and Proudfoots occupied a bigger area than the Andersons and Finlaysons, in the Borders. Many of the extended family were farmers or mill workers.

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