John Anderson 1811-1875 eldest son of Matthew Anderson 1784-1867 and Jane Wanless 1787-1841, born 1 April 1811, baptised 14 April 1811 at Presbyterian chapel in Redesdale called ‘Birdhope Craig Scotch Church’, Birdhopecraig, near Otterburn, Northumberland, England and died at Mayo Cottage on 19 June 1874 aged 63 years, buried in the Church of Ireland graveyard Mayo Abbey, Co Mayo, Ireland.
John’s life in Northumberland
John’s parents, Matthew and Jane had been brought up in Alwinton in Upper Coquetdale, where they were married. There first two offspring John and Mary were born in Redesdale about 8 miles south. Various members of the Anderson family had already moved to the more viable farmland around Otterburn in Redesdale. These included Matthew’s cousins at Shittleheugh, the second generation of Andersons to have farmed there and Matthew’s brother Ephraim b 1780 at Silloans. Matthew and Jane may have been at Silloans or Shittleheugh for the birth of John and Mary before returning to Upper Coquetdale where the rest of their offspring were born.
We do not know when John returned to Redesdale, but at the time of the 1841 census return John was living at Silloans in Redesdale. The head of the household was John’s Uncle Ephraim Anderson, and other members were Ephraim’s wife, her brother and James Bolam who would eventually inherit the property. Both John and James Bolam were described as MS [=male servants]. By 1851 Margaret Stokoe had joined them as a ‘servant’. Two years later John and Margaret were married and moved to Ireland. It is not known if John had visited County Mayo before the marriage.
John Anderson and Margaret Stokoe were married on 30 April 1853 at Birdhopecraig, Northumberland in the presence of witnesses John Bolam and Margaret’s sister Isabella Stokoe.
Margaret Stokoe 1828-1906 born 6 July 1828 at Bellshieldburnfoot, baptised 5 August 1828 at Birdhopecraig, died at Knockroe on 21 October 1906. Her father was shepherd John Stokoe who lived with his wife Christian (or Catherine) nee Newlands at Bellsheilburnfoot near Silloans. John and Catherine had been married on 23 December 1820 at Alwinton. There are two written pieces of family history from the 1920s and 30s giving these names. Margaret appears to have been their eldest offspring, all of whom were baptised at ‘Birdhope Craig Scotch Church’. John Stokoe may have come from the area around the Chollerton, about 15 miles south of Birdhopecraig where Stokoes were baptised, married and buried from the late 1600s until the early 18oos. Unfortunately it appears that John and Catherine Stokoe died before the 1851 census so they did not have a chance to tell us where they were born.
John, Margaret and their daughters in County Mayo
Their second daughter Jane Anderson 1855-c.1910 was born 25 December 1855 at Brize House, married Andrew Dowie Hardie 1847-1923, a farmer, of Lochannie, Scotland son of James Hardie, a farmer, in Hollymount Presbyterian church on 24 December 1877 (witnesses: Robert Gardiner and John Anderson), emigrated to the USA in 1879. Their daughter Margaret, born in 1888 Emmet, Iowa did not marry and had no issue.