John Bain Anderson
(ca1846-20 March 1914)
John B (CR) was the youngest Anderson sibling and the first of them to migrate beyond British shores. Other than being listed in census records until 1861, I have found nothing about his early life. However, assets in the inventory in his father’s will include a promissory note (£40/1/8, including interest) and an advance (£257/11/10) made to John B, with the clear expectation these would be repaid. It was noted that he was abroad at the time of the inventory in 1876. It is likely he was already in Dunedin although I have found no migration records.
Certainly, he married Agnes Gardiner Horn (ca1852-1932) in Dunedin’s Knox Church in 1878, the same year his two brothers migrated to Dunedin. The wedding announcement says they were both from Broughty Ferry.
I have found a census record for a Broughty Ferry Agnes Horn in the 1861 Scottish records. Make of this what you will: the mother is Margaret (a grocer), there is a boarder (Peter Fairweather), a sister (Elizabeth) and a brother (George). We will return to these names when we get to John and Agnes’s children. I have not found a Gardiner in my searches around the people in this census record.
John and Agnes
Margaret Fairweather John Bain Jessie Ferrier Elizabeth Mary
(1879-1957) (1880-1881) (1889-1956) (1891-1972)
Back to John B, there is an advertisement in the 23 June 1877 Evening Star
asking for a John B Anderson to collect mail from home (Dundee) but this may
not be our man. I don’t know if John was in Halifax with most of the rest of his
siblings before he migrated. However, his trade was dyeing, complementing his
brothers’ roles in Dunedin’s burgeoning wool industry. Indeed, looking at the
advertisements for Anderson Brothers, Ravensbourne, it seems that dyeing was
their primary function. Perhaps their UK agent was twice brother-in-law, Donald
Ramsey Edgar, drysalter and specialist in analine dyes.
In 1881, John’s qualification for the electoral roll was freehold sections 20 and
27 in Rothesay. (William B had sections 23 A and B.) I must say, I’d never heard
of a Rothesay in my home town but Mr Google tells me it was one of the pretty
little villages that “flecked” the district of Dunedin’s West Harbour. In 1905, the
area was “a popular residential borough for city business people” – shades of
Broughty Ferry. In 1911, John and Agnes were still in Rothesay, in Montague
Street, and his occupation was still dyer, indicating he not retired, just three
years before his death aged around 68 years.
John B was possibly the most adept of the Anderson siblings at flying under the
radar, or just living a quiet, stable life. I have found no record of his or Agnes’
migration to Dunedin. There is a near decade-long gap between the births of his
middle two children for which I have no explanation. He didn’t make the papers
as his brothers and sister, Elizabeth, did. A search brought no probate records.
There doesn’t appear to be any descendant to approach to ask about his life. As
with his life, a quiet end to his story. John, Agnes and infant son, John Bain, are
buried in Dunedin's Northern Cemetery.
Otago Daily Times
31 July 1878