The surname ANDERSON
is usually thought of as being Scandinavian; however, it is also common
throughout the British Isles and is derived from "Andrew's son."
In the highlands of Scotland, families of this clan are often called
"MacAndrew", but in the lowlands the name is usually "Anderson".
The original Gaelic name was GILLEAINDREAS ,
which means "a servant of St. Andrew", Scotland's patron saint.
The Scottish Anderson clan has a tartan and crest, and they are said to
be noted for their strength of intellect.
MARGARET ANN ANDERSON (1823 - 1893), who became the wife of
was born in Glasgow, Scotland, 28 November 1823.
Margaret Ann's father was William Anderson (1798-1859), a "dresser"
by occupation (one who finishes cloth to give it a smooth nap), born in
Catrine, Ayrshire, Scotland, the son of John Anderson (1761-1820) and
Agnes King (1771-1840). Her mother was Elizabeth Gourley (1801-1888),
born in Plymouth, England and grew up in Paisley, Scotland; the daughter
of John Gourley III (1775-1835) of Midlothian, Scotland, and Margaret
Graham (1778-1844) of London, England.
(NOTE: Margaret Graham's parents were Edward Graham and
Elizabeth Brown, of London. Elizabeth Brown's parents were probably
Edward Brown and Margaret Gibb. This is 9 generations back on direct
William Anderson and Elizabeth Gourley Anderson were parents of the
**MARGARET ANN ANDERSON, born 28 Nov 1823
JOHN ANDERSON, born in 1826 -- died as an infant
WILLIAM ANDERSON, born 7 Sep 1828
JOHN ANDERSON, born in 1830, -- died as an infant
JAMES ANDERSON, born 14 Feb 1833
ARCHIBALD KING ANDERSON, born 13 Sep 1835
ELLEN (HELEN) ANDERSON, born 28 May 1838
ELIZABETH ANN ANDERSON, born 25 May 1841
PETER ANDERSON, born 11 Nov 1844
JOHN ANDERSON, born abt. 1847 before the family left Scotland,
died in 1850 in New Orleans.
The book, Finding Your Roots in the British Isles,
by Angus Baxter, gives some useful information about traditional family
naming patterns during the 18th and 19th centuries:
The first son was named after the father's father,
the second son after the mother's father,
the third son after the father,
the fourth son after the father's eldest brother,
the first daughter after the mother's mother,
the second daughter after the father's mother,
the third daughter after the mother,
the fourth daughter after the mother's eldest sister.
"There were exceptions to the pattern when the naming system produced a
duplication of names. In that case, the name was taken from the next on
the list; i.e., if the eldest son was named John after the father's father,
and the mother's father was also John, then the second son could not be
named after him and was, therefore, named after the father.
"Another break in the pattern could be caused by death. A century or so
ago it was not unusual for at least half the children to die in infancy.
Nowadays, parents who lose a child by death are not inclined to use his
name for a subsequent child, but this is a comparatively recent development."
In the family of William Anderson and Elizabeth Gourley Anderson, listed
above, both grandfathers were named John. That fact undoubtedly explains
why they used that name for three of their babies. Tragically, all of them
died at a young age.
Margaret Ann Anderson received a good education in Glasgow and also
worked in the woolen mills there. She was an excellent weaver. She
attended church in the old Barony Parish near the waterfront -- it is
still standing, used now for a neighborhood house to care for the children
of working mothers. Volunteer women were cooking food for the many
children playing around it as we (Margaret's youngest granddaughter
Nell Creer Frame and her husband Dr. J. Wallace Frame) visited it
in 1958. Nell wrote,
"My mother had told me of the certain pew the Anderson family had there,
and how grandmother Margaret Anderson loved to go each Sunday. It was
quaint and beautiful inside and out, but too small for the big and bustling
Glasgow of today."
In 1847 the Anderson family met the Mormon missionaries and received
their message. Mother Elizabeth Gourley Anderson was the first in the
family to be baptized -- 11 Jan 1847. Father William Anderson followed,
baptized on 3 Apr 1847. At the age of 24, Margaret Ann Anderson was
baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
14 Apr 1847, in Levrickshire, Scotland, by Andrew Cahoon. Her brother
Archibald, 12, was also baptized that same year.
More about BRITISH IMMIGRATION TO UTAH
Margaret Ann was the first in her family to emigrate to the New
"Zion." She left in 1848 with a company of other saints from Scotland
to America, landing in New Orleans and then traveling by river to St.
Louis. When she arrived in St. Louis, she took a job to help earn money
to come across the plains, and she was asked by her employer to stay
there to teach the American girls how to work the weaving looms in the
knitting factory -- with her previous experience in Scotland she could
run four looms at a time. She stayed in St. Louis for four years and
was all the time employed in the weaving factory. In 1849 her parents,
brothers and sisters joined her in St. Louis. Not having enough means
for the whole family to gather to Salt Lake City all at once, they had
to split up and work and save until they were able to come, a bit at a
time. In 1852 Margaret and her father crossed the plains to Salt Lake,
while the others stayed in St. Louis to work until the next year.
Margaret and her father came in the Huntington-Johnson company, which
arrived in Salt Lake in the fall of 1852.
About her family leaving Scotland, her sister Ellen Anderson Holmes
writes in her own diary (vol. 32 UTAH PIONEER BIOGRAPHIES pp. 29-32):
"I was born at Glasgow, Scotland, May 28, 1838. On
Saturday, November 10, 1849 we sailed from Liverpool, England in
the ship "Zetland" (a British square-rigged sailing ship, "large,
new, and splendid" according to the Millenial Star; the ship was
only a year old), with a company of 250 Saints under the direction
of S.H. Hawkins, and arrived in New Orleans December 24, 1849.
There I received my first baptism in February of 1850. We
remained at New Orleans five months, and while there my mother
(Elizabeth Gourley) was called upon to part with her little babe
in death (John, born in 1847). But this was only the beginning
of sorrow, for when we embarked May 2, 1850 to go up the Mississippi
River for St. Louis, a salute was fired from the cannon just
as my oldest brother William (who was 21) was passing, and it
killed him instantly, and my mother did not see him and was denied
the news of his death until some time afterwards.
"We lived in St. Louis three years, then in 1853 my mother,
sister Elizabeth, two brothers, Peter and Archibald, and myself
left for our journey across the plains in the company of Captain
Clawson (My father and sister Margaret having gone on before us).
I was accorded the arduous experience of walking most
of the way across the plains, wading the streams and gathering
buffalo chips for fuel; seeing herds of buffalo that looked
almost like moving mountains, and on some occasions impeding our
travel and stampeding our animals. My only chance for a ride now
and then was to take a spell driving my brother's outfit of two
yoke of oxen, riding on the tongue of the wagon. At night my
sister and I would lay under the wagon, an old carpet serving as
a curtain, and the howl of the wolves would verily make our hair
stand on end, as we could look out and see their glaring eyes
like balls of fire. We were assigned that place as our bedroom
to afford better accommodations for a young couple, the wife soon
to become a mother. When her child was born my mother took care
of her. However, we had but little difficulty in traveling, nor
in sickness, only the death of one child and two births, and
arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in September of 1853 before the
October conference. We found my father and sister Margaret well,
she having married and had a babe three days old when we arrived.
We stopped with my sister until father could get a place for us.
I ... went to work in the family of President Brigham Young at the
Lion House. The impressions made on me by the system and family
order will always remain with me ... I remained at the Lion House
for several months, finally having to give up the work because of
a very bad (sore) on my hand ... during the cricket war (I) helped
to fight them while living on barley bread, weeds and sego roots.
So in demand were the sego roots that a five acre plot of ground
belonging to Parley P. Pratt was dug up solidly in search for
Six weeks after arriving in Salt Lake City, Margaret
married James Miller, on 24 November 1852. (She had probably been
acquainted with him previously in St. Louis and maybe even in Scotland --
both the Miller and Anderson families had lived in or near the city
of Glasgow.) When they married, Margaret Ann
was almost 29, and James was almost 23. They had the same birth date:
November 28th.) They stayed in Salt Lake City for nearly five years.
Their first child was born there on 15 September 1853. The baby was
Mary Elizabeth Miller. At this time Great-grandmother (my 4th Great
grandmother) Elizabeth Gourley and the rest of Margaret Ann's brothers
and sisters came to Utah. (Margaret Ann's five brothers and sisters
who had crossed the plains later married and settled in different areas
of Utah. James Anderson married Catherine Mary Cowley on 4 Apr 1856 in
the Endowment House in Salt Lake. On this same date, mother Elizabeth
Gourley and sisters Margaret Ann Anderson Miller and Ellen Anderson also
received their endowments. Two years later, Mother Elizabeth Gourley
Anderson and Father William Anderson both received their patriarchal
blessings (on 25 January 1858) in Salt Lake City, from patriarch John
Of Margaret Ann's brothers and sisters, Ellen Anderson married Henry
Holmes in 1857. She died in North Ogden in 1916. Margaret Ann's brother
Archibald King Anderson married Hannah Acomb in 1857, and he died
in 1917 in Malad, Idaho. Margaret Ann's other sister, Elizabeth Ann
Anderson, married John Mathias Cowley in 1860 -- he was a brother of
James Anderson's wife Catherine Cowley. Elizabeth Ann died in 1909 in
Salt Lake City. The youngest member of the family who crossed the
plains, Peter Anderson, married Laura Nicol or Nichols, and lived until
On 25 January 1856 another girl was born to James and Margaret Ann
Anderson Miller. They named her Margaret Ann after her mother. When
she was eight months old, the family moved to Spanish Fork. Here they
built an adobe home and reared their family of six; 3 girls and 3 boys:
1. MARY ELIZABETH MILLER, b. 1853 in Salt Lake City
(married George Foster BOWEN).
"She was a gay, out-going personality and liked to be
with people. Visiting friends and relatives was always
a great joy to her." MARY and GEORGE had ten children.
2. MARGARET ANN MILLER, b. 1856 in Salt Lake City
(married ALMA CHARLES DAVIS)
They had twelve children.
3. CHARLES WILLIAM MILLER, b. 1859 in Spanish Fork, Utah
(married Minnie Alice CRAMER).
"CHARLES was a kind, gentle and generous man. He did not
possess many worldly goods, but what he had he was willing
to share with others ... He did not attend church much, but
he was religious in his own way. He was a student of the
Bible, reading the scriptures ardently almost every day."
CHARLES and MINNIE had eight children.
4. JAMES DAVID MILLER, b. 1861 in Spanish Fork
(married Emily Rebecca SNELL).
"He was a wonderful father and a good provider, thinking
first of his children's future and well being. He was an
avid sportsman, and liked nothing better than to lay his
spoils of game on the family table for his wife EMILY."
JAMES and EMILY had four children.
5. AGNESS ELLEN MILLER, b. 1863 in Spanish Fork
(married Joseph Edward CREER).
"She was a quiet, cultured mother and saw to it that her
daughters had every advantage to make them fine homemakers,
and well liked socially ...
She was very ambitious, hardworking, and thrifty."
AGNESS and JOSEPH had four children.
6. JOHN ARCHIBALD MILLER, b. 1866 in Spanish Fork.
"John never married; as a young man he worked on the
railroad, later as a freighter for the railroad company,
hauling their supplies back and forth. All his nieces and
nephews remember him coming to our homes for a short visit;
always very well dressed, with plenty of money, bringing
for each of us a big silver dollar.
My mother often said to him, 'John, when are you going to
stop sporting around and settle down?' But he never did."
"In Spanish Fork, Grandmother Miller was active in the Church.
She loved to go to meetings and take part in doing good wherever and
whenever she could. She became a counselor in the Relief Society.
When they wanted to build a Relief Society house, she was put in as
chairman of the building committee. The membership all worked hard and
sacrificed much, and soon the building was finished. She made a fine
chairman as she was accustomed to organizing women in work groups.
"My mother told me much about Grandmother Margaret Ann Miller. I
wish I could have known both her and Grandfather James Miller. Mother
spoke of her as a very patient, soft-spoken, and cultured woman, very
well trained in the art of being a good mother and wife. She taught
her children many Scotch songs and readings -- my mother could remember
many. My brother Will gave us some, at our first Miller reunion. Mother
had taught them to him.
Grandmother was a fine seamstress, and did beautiful hand work -- I still
have some of her woven wool flowers my mother gave to me (Nell Creer Frame)."
Jane Bowen Boyack, her eldest granddaughter, wrote:
"I remember as a child how I liked to go to Grandma's. She always
had a smile and a friendly greeting for us. She would often tell us
of her leaving her home and family, coming in the ship to America, and
how it took six weeks to cross the ocean in the sailing ship; how the
Lord had blessed her; how she loved the Gospel and wanted to do all
she could in living for others. She would say to me, "We must love
one another; if we do this the Lord will love us, for he is the giver
"How I used to love to go with her when she went around her Relief
Society beat. She would sometimes let me take the things she had
gathered to the President. I thought it was nice to do something for
Grandma in Relief Society. She would take me to meeting with her
sometimes. I always liked to hear her and other good sisters bear
their testimony. Grandmother used the paper called the "Exponent."
It was the paper they used in those days as we use the Magazine in our
Relief Society now. She would read to me from the paper and tell me
how the Prophet Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society in Nauvoo
on March 17th, 1842 so that the women of the Church could help the
poor and needy, and how the women in Nauvoo gave their jewelry and
other good things to help the Prophet and keep the Church going. She
would say, "Sacrifice brings the blessings of Heaven."
"Her home was always clean and everyone was welcome to come.
They always had pretty flowers in the garden and climbing roses around
the porch. In memory I can see the good things my grandmother taught
me. I love Relief Society work and I reverence the teachings of my
grandmother. This poem well befits her:
More than queen and more than goddess,
Oft she ruled and loved and taught;
While the honor that they gave her,
Men have often vainly sought.
Always hers was wondrous beauty,
Viewed through eyes that saw with love;
Hers was wisdom of the ages,
Equaled just by God above.
More than queen and more than goddess,
Though her life was filled with care;
Yet the little brood about her
Saw an angel standing there.
We are thankful to our pioneer ancestors and the heritage of
faith they have given us.
Margaret Ann Anderson Miller died 9 May 1893 in Spanish Fork, Utah,
at 69 years of age, and is buried in the Spanish Fork cemetery with her
husband James Miller.
Margaret's father William Anderson had died in Salt Lake City in 1859,
at age 60, and is buried in the Salt Lake City cemetery, plot A-8-5.
Margaret's mother Elizabeth Gourley Anderson, after being a widow for
nearly 30 years, died in 1888 at age 86, at the home of her son Archibald
in Wanship, Utah. Elizabeth is buried in the Salt Lake City cemetery,
plot I-19-10, next to her son James and his family.
by Karen Bray Keeley
by Sandra Shuler Bray