Gravestone 856 at Kirkcudbright records a family by the name of Anderson who resided there. Head of the family was Thomas Anderson, a merchant in the town, who died 30th June 1820, aged just 52 years. It also records the death of his wife Janet McNaught who died at Castle Douglas 26th February 1848, aged 74 years. Among the members of Thomas’s family listed it mentions his grand-daughter Grace, daughter of Thomas Anderson, Netherwood, West Port, Australia, who died in Kirkcudbright on 15th October 1865, aged 16 years.

Thomas Anderson of Netherwood, West Port, Australia, emigrated to that country in early age, as did two of his brothers. The obituary of his brother Hugh, who died in 1898, was published in the 28th July edition of the Kalgoorlie Western Argus. The interesting story of all three brothers is contained in the article which is reproduced below.

The Anderson brothers of Kirkcudbright and Melbourne

The Growth of Melbourne.

There are but few colonists remaining among us who have conversed with John Bateman, seen the tall figure of John Buckley, the wild white man, striding along the banks of the Yarra, and witnessed the growth of Melbourne from a few wattle and daub huts to a city of palatial buildings, and the increase of the population of the colony of Victoria from a mere handful to over 1,000,000. Such a one, however, was Mr Hugh Anderson, J.P., who died at his late residence, "Netherwood," San Remo, Western Port, on June 22 last, in his 90th year (states the Melbourne Age). Mr Anderson was born at Kirkcudbright, Scotland, in 1808, and was 7 years of age when the battle of Waterloo was fought. He well remembered the stir which that great event caused in his native town, which had contributed soldiers to the field of renown.

The brothers Anderson, three in number, were all early colonists. The eldest brother, Samuel, who went over to Western Port from Tasmania (then called Van Diemen's Land) in 1835, was born in 1803. He died in 1863 at San Remo (then called Griffith's Point) at the age of 60 years. The youngest brother, Thomas, who is still living at "Netherwood," at the advanced age of upwards of 80, entered into partnership with his brother Hugh in a farm at Darebin Creek, a few miles from Melbourne, in 1839. Thomas, the only one of the three brothers who married, lost his wife at San Remo in 1888. The three children of the marriage are grown up, and Hugh and Thomas divided their property among them some years ago, leaving themselves only sufficient to live on.

Hugh Anderson, before quitting the Old Country, studied medicine, but never obtained a diploma. Thomas, his father, being a merchant and ship-owner, followed the profession of the sea for a time. Hugh sailed to Tasmania as surgeon to a ship in 1837, the year of the Queen's accession, and he remembered seeing, as the vessel lay at Plymouth, the illuminations in honor of that event. After a year's residence in Tasmania he crossed over to Western Port, Victoria, to join his brother Samuel, who had been settled on the Bass River for about three years. Samuel had previously been negotiating with the Henty's and intended to take part in the settlement at Portland, which they founded in 1834, but a letter miscarried, and instead of going to Portland he determined to establish himself at Western Port. Hugh joined him there in1838, but shortly proceeded to Melbourne and took up a farm at Darebin Creek.

Mr Hugh Anderson's first experience on reaching Melbourne in the early part of 1839 was the boiling of a billy to make tea with wood which he chopped down in the thick bush which covered the site of the present Post Office. That was little more than three years after Bateman first moored his boat on the banks of the Yarra, near the site of the present Queen's Bridge, and had entered in his diary the line, '' This will be the place for a village." The settlement consisted of a couple of hundred of men, women, and children, living in huts. The life was rough, for the pioneers had to carve for themselves homes out of the wilderness, but they knew there was a great future before them, and all hearts beat high with hope. The men dressed in blue, or red serge shirts, worn over the trousers, with a leathern belt and large straw hat. The ladies followed their own caprice, for the laws of fashion were not rigid in those days. The community was distinctively an agricultural and pastoral one. The excitements of the period were explorations (chiefly in the Western District) and occasional conflicts with bush-rangers from Tasmania.

Bateman and his family were settled on a hill known as Batman's Hill (till its removal in the sixties), which was ornamented with sheoak trees, and the graceful figures and open healthfully blooming countenances of his daughters attracted much attention when they marched on Sunday morning to the low-roofed wooden church. About 18 months had elapsed since the holding of the first land sale. John Pascoe Fawkner, who had already brought out a manuscript newspaper, called the "Melbourne Advertiser," was struggling with the difficulties of bad type and incompetent workmen in connection with the publication of the "Port Philip Patriot." The farm taken up by Mr Hugh Anderson at Darebin Creek prospered, and the adventurous colonist saw with satisfaction the gradual expansion of settlement in the colony. When the gold discoveries occurred he witnessed the enormous influx of population from the old-world, and was the observer of the advance to the gold fields of as fine a body of men as ever trooped over the startled solitudes of an un-peopled land. Some of them achieved wealth, more were worsted in the struggle, and not a few met with a violent end. The addition of thousands of people to the population every week increased the price of provisions enormously. Mr Anderson had a large quantity of hay, for which he had nouse, and he thought of burning it. All at once he found himself able to dispose of it for £70 a ton. He was also the owner of a number of pigs, which he proposed to boil down for their fat, and he sold them at £10 apiece.

In the year 1852 Mr Hugh Anderson removed with his brother Thomas to Western Port. They settled as agriculturists and graziers on the north-eastern shore of the bay, a few miles from the Bass, and never afterwards removed. In the course of time they became large and prosperous landowners. Among their early difficulties were the troubles caused by a number of Tasmanian blacks, who, being regarded as comparatively civilised, had been brought over to Port Phillip to humanize the Victorian aborigines. Some of these immigrants, thinking they could walk to their homes, made their way as far as Western Port, where they helped themselves to what stores they could find. Truganini, the daughter of a Tasmanian chief, and since remembered as the last of the Tasmanians, was among those unwelcome visitors, who murdered several of the white settlers. Mr Thomas Anderson had a narrow escape from them. His brother Hugh lost his dress coat, and afterwards found Truganini clothed with it and nothing more.

The Andersons were the real pioneers of Western Port. Anderson's Inlet is named after Samuel Anderson. They were aware 40 years ago of the existence of coal measures at Cape Paterson and Kilcunda. They used coal from the latter place for domestic purposes, but never claimed the reward offered by the Government for the discovery of coal, on the ground that the field was not likely to become a permanent one. Mr Davies is now working the Kilcunda mine with two or three men. He supplies the residents of San Remo and the steamer Genista — which runs daily between Stony Point and St. Remo—with fuel, but none of it is sent to Melbourne. The company which was formed to work this mine did not persevere with the undertaking and the tramway which they laid from Kilcunda to San Remo was taken up by the Railway Department within the last few weeks. The Great Victoria Colliery Co., however, are developing their mine in the Bass Country.

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