Many families in South
Africa have long and proud histories. Find them here!
William of Griquatown
Launching this website was
inspired by my father Dr Ralph Anderson who studied his own
family's history for over 15 years. The result is a website he
http://www.griquatownandersons.com which records the families
linked to the Anderson family over seven generations and
including over 4,000 individuals.
The work started with attempts to
establish the genealogy of the Andersons descended from the
Reverend William Anderson born 1769, pictured here, who left
London, England in 1800 for Cape Town. In February 1801 he left
with Kicherer for the North West Cape to mission among the nomadic
Griquas. After 2 months they were 150 miles north of the Zak river
on the banks of the Orange river. Growing tired of the nomadic
life of the Griquas, he and Nicholas Kramer, another missionary,
decided to settle in 1804 at Klaarwater (Griquatown) where they
started making gardens and cultivating the soil. The community
around them apparently grew as in 1805 a smallpox epidemic carried
off about 300 of them. Soon after, William became seriously ill
with fever, and was taken back to Cape Town to recover. After his
marriage to Maria Johanna Schonken in 1806, he returned to
Klaarwater for 3 years, then after a rest again in Cape Town, he
returned in 1811, this time with Mr and Mrs Kramer.
William's father, also William was
born in 1724 in Aberdeen, Scotland but moved to London where he
became a successful merchant. According to a scrapbook compiled by
Alice Kitching, married to George Elliot Caldwall Anderson, there
is a statement by Maria Elizabeth Anderson that William was a silk
merchant in partnership with Messrs Reid and Green in London. Note
that on the marriage certificate for William Anderson and
Catherine Turner one of the witnesses was a Thomas Reid.
There was considerable confusion
over who William senior's father was as William Wardlaw Anderson
in a short genealogy named him also William. However Dr Ralph
Anderson in several visits to London and Aberdeen became convinced
that that was an error, and that his name was George. This has
been confirmed to very reasonable certainty in Ralph's recent
visit to Aberdeen at the age of 93.
From Ralphs notes:
strongly supports the idea that the father of the 5 children was
indeed named George and not William Anderson. The naming of
children follows normal custom in that the first child was female
and thus named Margaret after her mother, Margaret Taylor. The
second child a male was named after his father, George. The third
child being a male would have been named possibly after his
grandfather, say William which seems to have been a common family
name. Peter Stafford Anderson, who has the biblical record of the
family states that there is no record of the name William for the
Anderson born in Aberdeen about 1697, but we have found that my
father William Wardlaw Anderson had used this name as the original
name of the earliest family head in his booklet "A Pioneer's
In hindsight, I can well understand why he assumed this name, as
it was certainly a traditional first name of a number of his
forefathers. He could also have assumed that he was born 20 years
earlier than his first born child, Margaret (1717-) and hence he
entered the birthdate as Abt 1697.
Thus I am led to believe that our first known Anderson was indeed
named George and not William, and furthermore, his spouse was
Margaret Taylor, who we have not previously had any information
about. I have therefore taken the liberty of making this very
important change to the Anderson family tree, and I hope that it
will be accepted for at least until it could be further
investigated and only changed if then found to be to the contrary.
Ralph Anderson. (21 July 2006)
Poll Tax, 1696,
Wagley, Newhills Aberdeen. In trying to obtain more
information about George Anderson we found that name in the records
of the Family Society on the 1696 Poll Tax in Scotland. In the
Parish of Newhills there were a total of about 1200 people, but in
Wagley there were only two who paid tax and one was a George
Anderson, described as a weaver, and I am informed that he would
have had to be at least 16 years old before he could be liable for
tax. William is reported to have been a partner in a firm of silk
merchants in London, and there may be some connection therefore with
his work as a weaver father in Aberdeen. The only other factor is
that of the very small population of the parish Newhills of only
1200 and Wagley must have been much less so that there could not
have been too many George Anderson's in Wagley. I would be happier
to accept this George as the father of the 5 children if we could
find further evidence in records of his birth and death, for
example, and/or an actual record of his marriage to Margaret Taylor.
In his most recent visit, Ralph
says he found conclusive evidence that George Anderson married to
Margaret Taylor records for all five children. Formally it was
thought that there was an anomally in the fact that one son given
in the biblical record, namely Peter Anderson, could not be found:
However, it is established that the first name "Peter" was
interchangeable with "Patrick" at the time they living in the
early 1600's. A record was indeed found for Patrick Anderson, son
of George Anderson of Walgley in the Parish of Newhills, Aberdeen.
Therefore, any doubt that may have existed as to who the father of
the five children were, is now dispelled. George Anderson married
to Margaret Taylor were the proven parents of the five children
Once that matter was cleared up,
it was easier to go further back and find both George's father and
grandfather. His father was also named George was born in 1663,
while his grandfather was Thomas, born about 1635. More details of
these extrordinary finds are found in
Dr Ralph Andersons Website.
And again, thank you to those contributing
daily to our Genealogy website.
Mike Anderson - Webmaster
The main work of the genealogy in this website
is done on a program called Legacy Family Tree by Millenia.
You can download a free version from their website at
Legacy Family Tree.com
best way to send information for inclusion in this website is
to download that program, enter the information into the
program and then email a file to the webmaster.
How To Have Your Family
Genealogy Incorporated Into This Website
1 If you already have a website,
email us a link.
2 If you don't yet have a website
and already use Legacy, or some other genealogy software, just
export a GEDCOM file and attach it to an
3. If you have not used any
genealogy software before, .......