The First Cousins

Unidentified Anderson-Seton family members

Unidentified Anderson-Seton descendants

First cousins are special. They are almost brothers and sisters; they are someone you have known all your life, if you are lucky enough to have known them at all. They are friends and they share stories and genes, and common experiences too. So I am writing today about some of Alexander Caulfield Anderson’s first cousins, and as you will see, they are spread all around the world!

I have covered the two most best known cousins in other posts:

Alexander Seton at

General Sir James Outram here:

Anyway, this post is a result of a tweet that I received from a Twitter follower, who said this: “A student in #hist2809 just mentioned @Marguerite_HBC’s blog in their analysis of a 1844 painting by Major George Seton #smalltwitterworld.” A small world indeed!

Please feel free to print this out and use this information and get in touch with me if you want further information on any of these family members. If you are a descendant of any of these people, please get in touch. We (the fourteen or so of us Anderson-Seton descendants) have a lot of information to share with you.

Fur trader and explorer Alexander Caulfield Anderson was a younger member of the Anderson-Seton family of Aberdeen, Scotland — a family that resulted from the marriage of a stubborn young gentlewoman, Margaret Seton of Mounie, who took as her husband a tenant farmer. The man Margaret chose to marry became the eccentric and intellectual Dr. James Anderson, LLD, Scottish economist, self-trained agriculturalist, inventor of the Scotch plough, and editor of the magazine The Bee. This dreadful man was A.C. Anderson’s paternal grandfather.

Should I omit my personal opinions? In this case, I think not. He was a bad father, and that, alone, explains a great deal about his children and grand-children, their failures and their successes, and their need to succeed.

The first of James’ and Margaret’s children was Alexander Anderson, who changed his named to Seton to inherit Mounie Castle from his mother, as he was required to do. He was involved with the fur trade indirectly, as solicitor and partner in the Wedderburn-Colvile business. The business owner, Andrew Wedderburn/Colvile, was a director on the Hudson’s Bay Company board in London — hence the strong Anderson-Seton family connection with the fur trade. By the way, the Setons, and Anderson-Setons, had many connections over the years with the powerful Wedderburn family.

Alexander Seton had nine children, including:

Lt. Colonel Alexander Seton (1814-1852) of the 74th Highlanders (British Army), who drowned in the sinking of the Birkenhead off South Africa. He was a brave young man.

Major George Seton (1819-1905) of the 93rd Highlanders and the Royal Canadian Rifles (British Army). Seton came to Lower Fort Garry, Red River, in advance of his troops and in July 1857, met John Palliser, of the Palliser Expedition. Palliser then made his way west to Victoria, where he met Alexander Caulfield Anderson.

Alexander Seton’s younger brother, James Anderson, J.P, of Bridgend, Brechin (1776-1864), was also a corn merchant whose publication on wheat pricing is in the British Library. His children were:

James Anderson (1814-1874), called James Anderson (B) of the HBC. James followed his cousins into the fur trade and served his apprenticeship in Montreal and St. Maurice Districts (where he was assigned the job of catching live moose calves to be shipped to Governor George Simpson for some questionable reason). Between 1837-1845 he served at Kibocock on Esquimaux Bay. A few years later he returned to the north and managed Governor Simpson’s experimental whaling operations at Eastmain and on the Great Whale River. James Anderson made Chief Factor in 1860 and retired from the HBC in 1871.

Lieutenant William Andrew Anderson (1820-1848) of the 1st (Bombay) European Regiment. As Assistant to the Resident at Lahore in India, Lieutenant Anderson was ordered to accompany Mr. Patrick Vans Agnew to Mooltan (Pakistan) to receive the resignation of the Dewan Maulraj. The brutal massacre of Lieutenant Anderson and Mr. Vans Agnew at that place, by Goodhur Singh, brought on the 2nd Sikh War. (Interestingly, we have talked to a descendant of Goodhur Singh).

Lt. Colonel John Cumming Anderson (1825-1870) of the Madras Engineers, Honorable East India Company Army [HEIC]. He was responsible for planning the British defenses in India, and was designer of the water supply for Madras. He was engineer at Residency of Lucknow when the Indian Mutiny broke out and the place was put under siege. Because of the death by war or disease of all his senior officers, he became the engineer-in-charge of the defenses of Lucknow Residency. Those of you who know a little about the Siege of Lucknow know that this was a brutal war, and he survived it.

James’ (James Anderson B of HBC) daughter, Mary Emily Anderson (1815-1840) married the man who became Major General George Joseph Mant who had a huge career in India and survived it to die at home in Bath. He has many Mant descendants in Australia who have not made the connection to the Anderson-Seton family (the problem with researching Andersons). One of George and Mary Emily’s children was Major Charles ‘Mad’ Mant, who constructed many beautiful buildings in India, and then lost his mind because he thought they were built with a flaw that would bring them crashing down. The buildings still stand; he worried for nothing.

Another son of James Anderson of Brechin, Bridgend, was Peter Dalgairns Anderson, who went to Australia to manage Gigoomgan, a large sheep-station in Queensland near Maryborough, owned by the Mants. There are many descendants in Australia, I have been told.

James and Margaret’s most famous daughter was Margaret Anderson (1778-1863) who married Benjamin Outram of Alfreton and later of Butterley Hall. Outram was a distinguished canal engineer and involved in the planning of railways around England. Their most famous son was:  

General Sir James Outram (1803-1863), Bayard of India. His name is preserved in Outram Lake, and Outram Mountain in the Coast Range is also named for him. There is another Mount Outram in the Rockies, named by and for one of his descendants.

James’ brother, Francis Outram, was an engineer in the Honorable East India Company and probably built some of the roads that are attributed to his older brother. He committed suicide, apparently when he was feverish.

James’ and Margaret’s son, Robert (1781-1840) was Alexander Caulfield Anderson’s father. He was an officer in the New South Wales Corps, British Army, a London merchant, and emigrant to Upper Canada. His children include:

Henry Anderson (1810-1845), ship captain and trader who owned his own boat. He died in a mutiny in Calcutta. He had a Native wife, and descendants in India who bore the Tait name, and we would love to hear from them. Henry’s cousin, General Sir James Outram, was unbearably cruel to one of the children, who committed suicide as the result of Outram’s refusal to help.

James Anderson (1812-1867) of the HBC, who joined at the same time as his younger brother Alexander. This is James Anderson (A) in HBC records. He has a big story, that will be told at a later date.

Alexander Caulfield Anderson (1814-1884), of the HBC, whose story is told in my book and on this blog.

Margaret Anderson (1817-1867) joined her brother Alexander at Cathlamet and married the American artist William Henry Tappan. Her death is a mystery, as she seems to have visited her brother some years after she died. Further information appreciated.

George Anderson (1820-1905) of the HBC, shortly. George worked well if properly supervised, but from early days had a reputation for heavy drinking. He was fired from the HBC, emigrated to Australia by way of the California goldfields, and died at Tibooburra in 1908, of senile decay. Tibooburra is a place of burning sun and red rocks where miners live underground to avoid the heat, and dig for gold and opals. I will write his story sometime.

William Anderson (1823-1905). William came from Cathlamet to Victoria with his brother Alexander in 1858, where he served as purser on his brother’s steamships. He returned to Ontario and later served under Edgar Dewdney, Indian Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, as Indian agent at Regina and Edmonton.

I wonder if I have missed anyone who is important — we have so many people in our family tree it is hard to keep them all in mind. As I have said before, if you find you are a member of our family, please get in touch through my website.

Oh, and by the way — if anyone can identify the people who are in the photo at the top of the page, please let us know who they are. They are probably Anderson-Seton descendants of Alexander Caulfield Anderson’s eldest daughter, Eliza, who married James Beattie and emigrated to Feilding, New Zealand, where they raised a large family.

Copyright Nancy Marguerite Anderson 2014. All rights reserved.

One thought on “The First Cousins

  1. Robert Cutts

    Lt Anderson features in one of the chapters of a book I’m writing about William Schaw Lindsay. Would you like me to send you a copy? Regards, Robert Cutts.