Select Anderson Miscellany

Here are some Anderson stories and accounts over the years:

Anderson Clan Origins

The Kinrara manuscript of 1676 stated that a “sick‑like” Donald MacGilleandrich came with Moira MacDonald from Moidart near Lochaber to Badenoch near Strathpey sometime before 1400. 

In Badenoch
MacGilleandrich later anglicized as MacAndrew and they became associated with the Chattan clan.  It is probable that many Andersons came from this sept.

The Andersons of Finshaugh

Alexander Anderson was the most noted member of this family from Aberdeen.  He published various works on geometry and algebra in Paris between 1612 and 1619.  But his cousin David Anderson was more locally renowned for his mathematical skill. He earned the nickname of Davie-Do-a'-Things, as his most famous achievement was to remove a large rock that had obstructed the entrance to Aberdeen harbor. The family talent also passed through his sister Janet to her son James Gregory, the inventor of the reflecting telescope.

Sergeant John Anderson in America

According to family tradition, John Anderson from Perthshire in Scotland came to the American colonies with Braddock’s troops during the French and Indian Wars.  After the defeat at Fort Duquesne, he accompanied Washington back to Virginia. 

According to research, there was a Sergeant John Anderson, a Scotsman, who in the late 1750's was in Captain Lewis’s militia company and was shown to have accompanied Colonel Washington to Winchester, Virginia.  By 1762 he was living in western North Carolina near the present site of Wilkesboro.  In the 1780's he obtained a land grant for land in Kentucky under grants reserved for veterans of the French and Indian Wars.  He probably died there. 

There is no information as to his wives. From references in land records he is believed to have had at least two brothers, William and Isaac, who located near him.  It is thought that John H. Anderson was his first born child and that he had several other sons bearing the names of William, Isaac, James and possibly Matthew and Daniel

Armistead Anderson in Virginia and Kentucky

Armistead Anderson was descended from a line of carpenters of the name Anderson, beginning with a ship carpenter who had come to Virginia in 1636 and was believed to be descended from those who worked on the defense to the Spanish Armada. 

He was born near current Blackstone, Virginia in 1756 and upon reaching adulthood enlisted in the local militia first in the campaign against the Cherokee Indians and then in the Revolutionary War.  By this time he had married and settled in Henry county. 

In 1784, however, he was indicted for suspicion of felony.   Just what he had done was lost to a fire in the judge’s home.  But he was one of the two suspects and the sheriff was paid for transporting him to jail and attending his trial.  One of the earliest court orders in Henry county was the garnishment of Anderson’s personal properties including his wife’s feather bed and her spinning wheel.   It is thought that the notoriety over his felony indictment made it judicious for him to move.  

Sometime around 1787 he and his family began the trek to Kentucky.  He bought land at Sinking Spring near the Red river in Logan county.  Here he cleared the forest and began his farm.  Fortunately most of the serious Indian trouble there was over by that time.  In 1803 Armistead’s wife died and he remarried and moved to Union county, Kentucky where his new wife had land.

Erik Anderson from New Sweden

There was for a short time a Swedish colony, called New Sweden, along the lower reaches of the Delaware river.  It lasted from 1638 to 1655 and attracted an estimated 600 Swedish immigrants.  The colony was taken over by the Dutch but it did not formally disappear until 1681 when the British divided its lands between Delaware and Pennsylvania.  

Anders Joransson from Sweden was the forebear of an Anderson family that was to be found in New Castle county, Delaware from 1664 to 1787.  His oldest son Erik (or Ericus) was born there sometime in the 1660’s. He was still living almost a hundred years later.  The 1764 census for the Holy Trinity church in Wilmington, Delaware listed Erik as a widower, blind and allegedly about 100 years, although this might have been an exaggeration.  

Anderson descendants were to be found in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Alfred Anderson from Sweden

Alfred Anderson (as he was in America) was born in 1863 in Vastergotland province in Sweden to Andreas Johansson, a farm hand, and his wife Maja Stina.  Times were tough.  Three years later his parents and three of his six siblings were dead either of pneumonia or tuberculosis. 

Alfred worked for a time as a farm hand in Sweden and then emigrated to America with his brother John sometime during the 1880’s.  The cost of the passage from Sweden to the Great Lakes at that time was about fifty dollars.  The voyage took about two weeks, from Goteborg to New York and then to Albany and Buffalo for a lake steamer to Chicago or Milwaukee. 

His first record in America was his marriage in 1888 to Amanda Olivia Johnson in Marshall county, Minnesota. Both he and his brother John and their wives were charter members of the Elim Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church there when it was completed in 1893.  Amanda died three years later.  Alfred remarried, his second wife being also Swedish, and they later settled north in Saskatchewan.

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