Laidlaw / Anderson

Martha ANDERSONAge: 79 years18411921

Birth November 9, 1841 40 40
Birth of a brotherJoseph ANDERSON
October 1846 (Age 4 years)

Death of a fatherJoseph ANDERSON
December 10, 1862 (Age 21 years)
MarriageWilliam Alexander DUNBARView this family
October 10, 1866 (Age 24 years)
Birth of a son
William Davison DUNBAR
October 1867 (Age 25 years)
Birth of a daughter
Jessie May DUNBAR
1870 (Age 28 years)
Marriage of a childWilliam Davison DUNBARMatilda FORBESView this family
about 1889 (Age 47 years)
Death of a brotherJohn ANDERSON
June 5, 1891 (Age 49 years)
Marriage of a childGeorge A. LISTERJessie May DUNBARView this family
February 13, 1895 (Age 53 years)
Death of a motherMartha ROSS
December 15, 1895 (Age 54 years)
Death of a daughterJessie May DUNBAR
December 26, 1905 (Age 64 years)
Death of a brotherWilliam ANDERSON
December 26, 1906 (Age 65 years)
Death of a brotherRobert ANDERSON
September 5, 1914 (Age 72 years)
Death of a sonWilliam Davison DUNBAR
January 20, 1919 (Age 77 years)
Death of a husbandWilliam Alexander DUNBAR
October 15, 1920 (Age 78 years)
Death June 1, 1921 (Age 79 years)
Family with parents - View this family
Marriage: 1822County Armagh, Ireland
2 years
elder brother
3 years
elder brother
3 years
elder sister
3 years
elder sister
3 years
elder brother
3 years
elder brother
2 years
elder sister
3 years
elder sister
2 years
5 years
younger brother
Family with William Alexander DUNBAR - View this family
Marriage: October 10, 1866Florence, Euphemia Twp., ON.
13 months
3 years

Shared note

Martha Anderson, the youngest daughter of Joseph Anderson and Martha Ross, was born into very primitive surroundings on the family farm lot 12, Conc2 of Nassagaweya township in Halton County. According to the 1842census her father did not yet own any horses, although he had arrivedfrom Ireland and settled on the same lot in 1830. She was able toobtain some early education due to some progressive steps toward publiceducation initiated by Rev. Egerton Ryerson when he was appointed to thenew ministry of education. This was verified to me when I consulted her handwritten Last Will inWinnipeg. It was a holographic will in which she made bequests of some personalitems. all of course in her own hand.

Martha married William Alexander Dunbar on the 10th of October 1866, weassume it was in Florence Ontario. We must assume that she was inFlorence to assist her aunt Mary Ann Gordon (Mrs. W.A.) The Gordons had moved toFlorence from Cayuga, Haldimand Co., in 1863. Mrs. W.A. Gordon neeAnderson had two young children by 1864, Elizabeth in 1862 and Penelopein 1864. Her husband had entered in business in Florence as a druggist. In 1864 Martha was aged about 23, and she would have been available to help heraunt and uncle with domestic duties, perhaps also in the store.

Her future husband is first noted on the assessment roll for Florence in1863. He had left his family in Bedford, Ohio to enter the blacksmith trade inFlorence. He arrived in Canada about 1858. Martha reported on his deathcertificate he had resided in Canada for 62 years. Her husband died inWinnipeg on the15th of October 1920.

They were of the same age and no doubt acquainted in the village ofFlorence and were married there on the 10th of October 1866.

A year later their first and only son William Davison Dunbar was born tothem and three years later their only daughter, Jessie May Dunbar was born.

About 1868, Martha's brother Joseph moved to Florence and became anapprentice to his brother-in-law William Dunbar. In the 1871 censusJoseph lived with the Dunbar family.

Martha's husband William decided to become a veterinary surgeon. About1874, he entered the Veterinary College, then a private college inToronto. The degree course was two years at that time, but if a candidate couldhandle himself well, the course could be completed in a year and a half.He graduated in 1876 and returned to Florence where he continued as aveterinary surgeon, until 1882 and they moved to Winnipeg. This was ayear of great expansion in Winnipeg, as the Canadian Pacific Railroad wasexpanding and reached Regina in that year. In 1881 the population ofWinnipeg was 8,000 and grew to 12,000 in 1882 and then to 22,000 in 1883!

Martha was predeceased by her daughter, two grandchildren then her son,followed by her husband. Her photograph appeared in a Winnipeg paperwith her obituary and was entitled "Scotswoman Dies" . The writer didn'tknow that she was the daughter of immigrants who came to Canada fromIreland. The family names of Ross and Anderson are of course Scottish,but Martha may have had an Irish accent. She was identified with herhusband's Scottish connections, Knox Presbyterian church, Clan Stewartauxiliary, etc. Her funeral was conducted by the Rev. Dr. DuVal.Interment in Elmwood cemetery in the same lot as her late husband, herdaughter and grandson. This is located in Section 9, lot 146, frominformation supplied by the office at Elmwood cemetery. Theirson-in-law George A. Lister had erected a a tombstone and had itsuitably engraved to honour his wife and infant son, but I found nomarkings to record the Dunbars. I noted that there was adequate spaceon one of the four sides of the red granite monument to engrave theirnames and dates. An estimate was obtained from a nearby monumentdealer on Main Street. The engraver verified the location of the monumentand in a month I received a photo of the completed inscription. Marthamade no reference to this work in her Last Will. Dr. Dunbar's Will couldnot be found.

The Dunbars had a parrot at one time according to Great Aunt PearlTerlson (nee Anderson) . The parrot was frequently on the frontverandah of their home at 464 Elgin St., Winnipeg. When visitors wouldring their doorbell, the parrot would say " Doctor's not at home,doctor's not at home." Martha would run out saying "Yes, the doctor isat home!". This location was across from a schoolyard, where some boysplayed ball, the parrot had picked up swear words in this manner. Theremedy for this was to keep the parrot off the front verandah after that.

When Martha's brother Robert, (my great grandfather) died in September1914, at Webb SK., Martha suggested to his widow Bella (nee Stephenson),his second wife, that she would take care of their youngest child Pearl,and ensure that she had a good education in Winnipeg. She was only 7years of age when her father died at age 81. Pearl noted that eventhough the family circumstances were extemely modest that her motherdecided she would keep her with her. Pearl thought that her mother mightbecome lonely. Pearl felt that she and her mother became very good pals, and her mother went over many family stories with her during her growingyears, which she passed on to me during two visits with her in SwiftCurrent prior to her death (20 November 1990).

My father Josh and his cousin Jack visited the Dunbars in Winnipeg on atleast two occasions as the two cousins passed through Winnipeg on theirway to a mission field in Saskachewan according the diaries of the lateReverend John (Jack) F. Anderson, now being transcribed by his daughterMrs. Marjorie Hollands of Toronto. A photo was taken by her fatherJack possibly on or near the 21st of May in 1914. Jack noted that he hadobtained a developing outfit prior to departure. The picture shows Dr.and Mrs. Dunbar on their verandah with my father Josh. The pictureevidently taken by Jack. Jack noted that there was a repeat visit withthe Dunbars in May of 1915. On both occasions they were going toadjoining mission fields, and shared living quarters in what they looselytermed the 'manse'. The roof leaked and was not mosquito-proof. Marthawas their great aunt.

In her Last Will, Martha disposed of various items mostly silver to hernearest relatives. I record some items here that she bequeathed asfollows; To my grand daughter Edna C. McDonald her Father's and Aunt Jessie Listerenlarged pictures. To my great grand daughter (Jessie McDonald) my goldwatch and chain and ring with green stone, to be kept in trust until herfifteenth birthday. (Jessie was then about 10 years.) To my brother Joseph Anderson, Napinka, his father's Family Bible, hismother and Father sisters and brother John pictures. My husband's goldheaded cane. To my niece Mina Phelan (nee Anderson) I bequeath her Uncle W.A. Dunbarand my enlarged picture (Likely taken at their Golden Wedding andpublished at that time). AND THE FIVE GENERATIONS PICTURE. (Emphasisadded.) In memory of my husband Dr. W. A. Dunbar I bequeath two hundred dollarsto the Forward Movement of Knox Church. Her will was dated 25 January1921 and she died I June the same year.

The reference to the five generations picture, reminded me of theobituary notice of Martha's mother Martha Anderson (nee Ross) preservedby cousin Marjoie Hollands which stated that "she had lived to see the fifthgeneration of her descendants" at the time of her death in 1895. Afterthis I wrote numerous letters hoping to locate the picture. I finallyfound a picture that met the specifications I had drawn up from censusdata those most likely to be in it, when we visited cousin OrvilleAnderson and his family near Success SK., a few years later. With thehelp of a cousin the late Duncan McPhedran I was able to locate the samephoto in the home of another cousin, the late Dr. Benson Wingrove, also aveterinarian. The babe in arms in the photo was his father. I now had confirmation of those in the photo. Benson did not know thenames of these ancestors of his in the photo until I informed him.Duncan and Benson had been good friends for many years having gone toMexico on vacation with their wives at an earlier time. As we sat aroundBenson's kitchen table I realized that each was a distant cousin to meand they didn't know earlier that they had some common relatives!

I was very intrigued to find if possible, the family bible of Joseph (herfather) which Martha had bequeathed to her niece Mina Phelan. Extensivecorrespondence with her descendants did not locate this genealogicalinformation. The names of the family members have been gathered frommany other sources, mostly the Canada census.

H.S.A. 16 May 1999. Sources as noted in the text above.