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Louisa Anderson/Farrar

(17 September 1835- )






Louisa (CR) was baptised on the 17 September 1835. There is no entry in the “named after” column of the parish register although, as suggested earlier, her nephew, Louis Bain Willison, may have been named after a family member. If this is so, Louisa may be the feminised version of Louis, she would not have been given his family name. Louisa spent her childhood and early adulthood in her parents' households in first Dundee then Broughty Ferry. But, by the 1860s, Louisa was living in sister Maria’s Halifax household. Although her occupation in 1861 census was “banker’s daughter”, she was possibly living with her sister to help care for the regularly increasing Oldfield family.

On 16 September 1864, she married Thomas Henry Farrar Esq. (1840- ) in Dundee’s St Salvador Episcopalian church. The reception was

hosted by her father at Mount Rosa. The entry in the Dundee Courier’s marriages column stipulated ‘no cards’. Thomas’s father, John (1819- ), was a minor when he married Thomas's mother, Mary Ambler (ca1815- ), in 1838. When Thomas was born, John was a wool sorter. In 1851, ten years later, Thomas was living with his aunt Sarah and cousin John, another wool stapler. At the time of his marriage, Thomas was a Halifax wool stapler/merchant and Halifax is where the couple made their home. When their second son was born, Thomas’ occupation was ‘gentleman’ and the family’s address was 45 Victoria Place, Savile Park, Halifax. Mr Google tells me that Savile Park, where the Farrar family lived until their final 1891 entry in the English census, was developed from farmland into a built community for the wealthy, away from the smoky pall of industrialisation that hung over Halifax central. A bit like Broughty Ferry’s escape for the well-to-do from Dundee’s disease-bearing miasma.


Louisa and Thomas





John Anderson     John      Bertha Mary     Ellen Martha     Louisa Maria

                                               (1868-1869)              (1870-1942)             (1871-)                     (1873-)                    (1875-1934)




Thomas’s business prospered. By 1881, he was the employer of six men and one woman (who may have been the household servant).

Then, sometime in the 1890s, Louisa and Thomas emigrated to South Africa. We know this because they were still in Halifax for the 1891 census then Johannesburg was Louisa’s location when she was bequeathed £500 from Aunt Janet/Jessie’s estate in 1897. There is a record of a Mr, Mrs and Miss Farrar (plus two maids) travelling to “Cape” (presumably Cape Province, South Africa) on the Tartar in 1895 (when Louisa was aged 60) but no clue as to whether they might be our Farrars. Then the trail runs cold. Neither Louisa nor Thomas are in the South African databases I’ve found; these include newspapers, births/deaths/marriages, probate, business directories, and other similar sources. There were Farrars already in South Africa when Louisa and Thomas migrated. One, George, was a parliamentarian, miner and army man with a turbulent life. His brother, John Percy Farrar was a soldier and mountaineer. Another brother, Sydney, paid £25,000 to have commuted a death sentence handed down to George for his part in an uprising against the South African Republic during the 1895-96 New Year. I have found no link between Thomas and this other Farrar family.

Louisa’s home may have been well known to Andersons of the next generation who travelled to South Africa for career and other

opportunities.  A nephew, Stan, assured the NZ authorities that his South African contacts were influential people, perhaps Louisa and Thomas were related to the Farrars already making their mark in the colony. UK nephews and nieces also made the move to the Cape, some enlisting in the armed forces of their new country. WD’s album has a Farrar photo but no more than one. Louisa and Thomas were parents of five children.








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