Bengal to Madras Presidency (mid 19C)

Our story starts with John Anderson (b1802). We dont know much about him except that he moved to Kolkata (Calcutta) as an employee of the East India Company along with his wife Mary Alison (b1801).

His son Thomas Anderson (b1832) and Harriet Louisa Moore/Etheridge (b1847) were Don’s great grandparents. Harriet, a widow with a toddler, married Thomas in 1866, in Kolkata. Most likely the family moved to Madras Presidency (possibly to Bolarum) after Thomas retired from active service.

Of their four children, the eldest, Douglas Stuart Anderson, was Don’s grandfather. He was born in Kolkata while one daughter Elspeth was born in Rawalpindi (today’s Pakistan), the other Mabel in Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh). We are unsure where their second son Forbes was born but we do know that he moved to South Africa, lived, and died there (he is buried in the town of Wilderness). 

The image below is a studio portrait, taken in 1886. It shows Thomas, Harriet and their daughter Elspeth (the one born in Rawalpindi) likely posing in their “best” formal outfits, in one of the oldest photo studios of the world, Bourne & Shepherd, in Kolkata. The continuously running 176 year old studio, which shut down in 2016, was much patronized by upper-class members of the British Raj.

The studio portrait was taken in 1886. It shows Thomas, Harriet and their daughter Elspeth (the one born in Rawalpindi) likely posing in their “best” formal outfits, in one of the oldest photo studios of the world, Bourne & Shepherd, in Kolkata. The continuously running 176 year old studio, which shut down in 2016, was much patronized by upper-class members of the British Raj.

Featured image: Cameo portrait of Harriet Anderson