The Anderson Family

Richard and Mary Ann Anderson (nee Gay) arrived in Australia in January 1871.  They came from Kent where they were married at Northfleet in 1852.  In 1871 they sailed from Southhampton on the “Nineveh” with their eight children.  Richard was a builder and a brick maker.

The Nineveh ran onto a reef on King Island, but fortunately floated off again.  The captain was so eager to avoid the horrors of the Cape Otway coast that he sailed too far south.  They disembarked at Williamstown, took the train to Ballarat, they then walked out to Sebastopol.  They fossicked for gold in the area, plus the men went back to brick making, walking as far as Beaufort for work. During this time the three youngest children were born.

In 1877 Richard and the older boys (William and Dick) decided to walk to Lorne to make bricks for the Pacific Hotel.  They lived in a cottage “Mathoon” near “Varna”, setting up a clay hole and pug mill on the land he purchased (which indicates some success on the gold fields), now bounded by Otway Street, William Street, Polwarth Road and Clovelly Court.  Sarah also came to Lorne a little later to work for the Mountjoys at Erskine House.

In 1878 the remaining members of the family travelled to Lorne in a covered van drawn by two horses.  Richard met them at Benwerrin where they camped that night, travelling to Lorne the following day.

Extract from the writings of Jim Anderson, the first pupil on the roll at the Lorne School, he later became a school teacher.  Richard and Mary Ann are my great-grandparents.  I met Jim in the late 1950s who lived to celebrate his 100thbirthday.

(Source: Gary Allen 2024)