When I wrote the album Wilson-Anderson Tree, in mid-2015, I said that “our” Andersons had a small footprint in Scotland along the north bank of the Firth of Tay, from Dundee to Monifieth, centred in Broughty Ferry. 

Since then, I have found that footprint stamped all over West Yorkshire, then around the world: in Canada, the

United States of America, South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and possibly further afield, yet to be discovered. From the first sweep into Yorkshire, there has been no looking back for many of the family although some stayed behind or returned to our ancestral origins in Broughty Ferry after years living elsewhere. There is a similar pattern in our New Zealand line. My great-grandfather, Charles, and his brothers, arrived in Dunedin in the mid-1870s. From the next generation, we began moving on around New Zealand and beyond. None of us is now in Dunedin.

        It seems I also was wrong when I reported there has been no Anderson Clan chief for 500 years. A Hope-Vere Anderson was elected head in 2010 after the position being vacant for 425 years. He and his estate are in Dumfries and Galloway, a Borders region a long way, in Scotland’s terms, from the Highland's Badenoch or Angus’s Dundee. If you are passing, the estate offers luxury cottages and houses for hire and guests may enjoy a day’s killing things, escorted by the gamekeeper. To be fair, the copywriter for the website confesses a preference for shooting with a camera rather than with a gun.

In this overview of our Andersons, I have begun with Alexander who is the earliest I have a record for but I have

noted the earliest known of his in-laws who, after all, we are descended from, too. I have gone down the male line through Alexander’s son, James, and grandson, David, before expanding to include all of David’s children then their children and, in some cases, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. Availability of reliable information has been the determining factor. In some cases there is a lot, in others very little, occasionally reliability is suspect.


These are my major sources. I have asterisked or linked to incidental sources as they arose.


Historical sites: Friends of Dundee City Archives; Gold Fields Ltd; Royal Bank of Scotland archives.

Databases: ancestry.com; Australian Cemeteries Index; the Dundee City Archives; Dunedin's Cemeteries; the General

Register Office (UK); NZ Archives; NZ Births, Deaths and Marriages; the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) and the General Records Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI); rootsweb Celtic Royal Genealogy; Scotlands people; Scottish Probate Records; South Africa Online Genealogy Records; Wikipedia.

Ancestry groups: Causeway Coast and Glens Family Society (Coleraine)(with special thanks to Kate Connolly); Genes

on the Web (more thanks, to Pat Carson).

Newspaper archives: The British Newspaper Archive; Papers Past (NZ); Trove (Australia).

Family: first (Anderson) cousin, Sandra and Brian Drumm; third (Anderson) cousin once removed, Mark Beaumont-

Thomas; third (Anderson) cousin Tom Lund; second (Brewster) cousin, John Kirkness; the family compilations by first (Brewster) cousin once removed Aileen Kirkness and second (Brewster) cousin once removed Diane Brewster; fourth (Finlayson) cousin, Sue Whitwell; and the photo albums of my grandfather, William Douglas (WD) Anderson.


I have put two buttons at the bottom of most pages. The "contents" button will take you to that page so that you may click around our family. The "next" button works like a page-turner, as though you are leafing through a book with its sequence of sections.


The Scots are renowned for their wanderlust. There is an old French proverb “Rats, lice and Scotsmen: you find them the whole world over”*. I think we’ve done our bit to prove the point.







* Armitage D (2005). The Scottish diaspora. In J Wormald (ed.) Scotland: A history.

Oxford University Press, Chapter 9, 225-249.