John Lane and Margaret Anderson

Great great grandfather

John Lane, taken c 1905

Lane family about 1888

Back Row: Sam, Jim, Will, Edwin, Clara, Sarah Middle Row: Margaret (mother), Emily, John (father), Ben, Martha, Jack Front Row: Albert, Alice

John Lane and Margaret Anderson

Written by Gaye Gibbs (nee Jessep) and Bob Wilson, edited by Grahame Thom.

John Lane was born on 12 July 1830 in Sydney; the son of William Lane of the 39th Regiment and Sarah Boyd. He was baptised at St. Philip’s on 1 August 1830. When he was 2.5 years old his father transferred to the Mounted Police and was stationed at Windsor, so the family moved to Windsor. John completed his school term, which was considered more a luxury than an essential in those days. He soon engaged in the boot trade. As quite a young man he embraced Methodism, with much opposition from his father.

On 22 September 1851 John married Margaret Anderson in the Wesleyan Chapel, Windsor. He was 21 and Margaret was 18. Margaret was born in Seven Hills on 24 February 1833, the second child of Thomas Anderson, a school teacher, and his wife Charlotte (nee Manning). Click on the link below to see the Anderson story.

On 4 January 1854, Margaret’s father, Thomas (retired schoolteacher, now a carpenter of Windsor), settled land for his wife Charlotte to be held in trust for the use of his son-in-law John Lane in consideration for 10 shillings from John. The land consisted of three adjoining blocks between Windsor Terrace and George Street totaling 27.75 perches in the Parish of St. Matthew’s Windsor, on the site of the Old Government Cottage. The allotments were granted to Thomas in 1852 by the Crown.

In 1858 John was granted, by the Crown, a block of land in Macquarie Street Windsor (2ch 50l) and also acquired a smaller block (1ch 25l) in Bell Street Windsor from John Boulton Laverack. On 24 November 1860 John, a cordwainer (shoemaker) of Windsor, is recorded as selling one rood, four perches of land, granted to him by the Crown on 13 June 1860, to William Harwood of Windsor for £20. It was a block in Bell Street, Windsor

The couple had 13 children, born between 1852 and 1866; eight sons and five daughters. They lived in The Terrace, down from St. Matthew’s Church of England, Windsor. John moved into various shops in George Street, one on the corner of New Street. There, during the June 1867 flood, he watched the waters rising up the stairs, step by step, and eventually removed his wife and family (then numbering eight) into his boat, which was boarded from the top storey window. He pulled round the hill and then landed them near the Methodist Church (burnt down in 1874), which took in many people. Margaret was heavily pregnant at the time with her son Albert who was to die as a baby. Her family doctor was Dr Fiaski, an Italian.

On 4 December 1871, John Lane, shoemaker of Windsor, sold to George Yates, gardener of Windsor, two blocks of land – one in Bell Street, Windsor (1ch 25l) which John had acquired in 1858, the other in Macquarie Street, Windsor (2ch 50l) which John had been granted by the Crown in 1858.

For 37 years prior to his retirement in about 1907, John occupied the old two-storey brick building opposite the Post Office on the corner of George and Fitzgerald Streets (pulled down to make way for the picture show). He continued in the boot business until he was 76.

John was a man of stalwart build and robust health. He was of very short stature, as were his children; however, he hardly knew what sickness was. Once, when he was about 58, he sought medical aid to obtain relief from some temporary trouble; with this exception, none of the family could recall his needing to trouble the doctor.

John demonstrated his concern for his family and business, and commitment to the community of Windsor when he took quick action in helping quell a riot in the town in 1876, see report from the Sydney Morning Herald by clicking on the link below.

John and his family took a very active interest in the Windsor Methodist Church. The whole of the family were distinguished in their musical talents and were nearly all vocalists of note. John was superintendent of the Sunday-school for over 40 years, was a lay representative, a good supporter of the Bible Society in the late 1800’s, and was one of three trustees appointed to the Methodist section of the McGrath’s Hill Cemetery Trust. The Methodist Jubilee Conference Album 1855-1905 by Rev James Colwell lists John Lane as one of 13 chief laymen in the 1870’s in the whole circuit and included his photograph, see above.

A family photograph taken in about 1888 shows Margaret, John and their large family, see above. Clara and Martha wear Salvation Army brooches. Alice was very annoyed with Emily (aged about 13) for not wearing her Sunday frock; she is wearing a very plain shift (cousin Pam Prince’s mother’s recollections).

Margaret was always much occupied with her family, friends, and the church. Her obituary notes that care for those in trouble, to nurse the sick, to alleviate pain, to cheer the suffering, became the most cherished service (she) loved to perform.

Martha, with her membership in the Salvation Army, was greatly involved with the care of the sick. It was thus that she met with her early death on 2 July 1901 aged 32 years. She had nursed a Salvation Army Captain’s wife through a bout of typhoid fever after returning from Bourke, where she had been nursing a mother with a new born baby. She was exhausted by the heat and was physically run down. Her father had opposed her nursing the Captain’s wife, who recovered. Martha contracted the disease and was looked after in a tent in the Windsor Hospital grounds (the hospital was full at the time). John found his daughter dead and unattended in her tent and was irate that the Salvation Army had not taken better care of her. He refused to let them bury her and so she was buried at McGrath’s Hill, the Methodist cemetery, where her parents were later buried. The Salvation Army held a memorial service for her (from the memory of Gloria Sims, grand-daughter to John Lane).

In his later years John took a sea trip to Melbourne annually, finishing up with a dip in the breakers at Manly. For the last two years of his life he was a follower of the fresh air brigade and slept out, winter and summer; the colder the night the better, with a morning shower the next day.

Margaret died at Windsor on 3 November 1904 aged 71 years from a carcinoma of the stomach. She was buried in the Methodist Cemetery, McGrath’s Hill, Windsor. Her headstone still stands and is inscribed She hath done what she could. Mark 14.8.

John died at the home of his son-in-law William Pinkstone of Richmond on 12 September 1913 aged 83 years. On the Thursday he attended a public meeting in the Presbyterian School Hall. Next morning he ate a hearty breakfast and then went out to garden, a hobby in which he took great delight. At 9.30 when swinging his hoe, the heart suddenly ceased and he died immediately. It had been his wish that he would die standing up.

The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon, leaving John’s residence at 2.30pm the cortege reached the Methodist church, Windsor, after the arrival of the afternoon train. Many friends and relatives had travelled by train. Rev J E Carruthers gave a very fine address (President of the Methodist Conference) to the very large gathering; the old church was filled. At the cemetery, McGrath’s Hill, another touching address was given by Joseph Anderson (brother-in-law and colporteur of the Bible Society) and, just as the sun was westering behind the distant hills, the casket was lowered. It was a pretty scene, rather than a mournful one. He left eight children, 38 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren (including Thelma Rowe).

Windsor and Richmond Gazette, 12 November 1904 – Obituary

The death of Mrs John Lane, wife of one of the most respected residents of Windsor, which occurred on the 3rd inst., was not unexpected, for the good lady had been gradually sinking for some time. She had been four months bedridden, and passed away most peacefully at the age of 71 years. Only in August last her mother , Mrs Anderson, passed away at the age of 92. The late Mrs Lane was sensible right up to the last, and knew and conversed with all the family who were able to get to her bedside for the last moments. The Lane family, which includes more than one clergyman, were always noted for their piety and devotion to their church; while of the Anderson family, from which the subject of this notice sprang, the same can be said. The fact is both families are famed for their Christian work and musical talents. Mr John Lane has been for very many years superintendent of the Methodist Sunday school, and his family have always been a great acquisition in church work and in the choir. The late Mrs Lane was a good and benevolent woman, and was beloved by all classes in the district. The remains were laid to rest in the Methodist Cemetery, Magrath’s Hill, on the 4th instant. A service was first conducted at the Church by Rev H Jones, and several hymns were sung. At the graveside the hymn, “Jesu, lover of my soul,” was rendered. The body was solemnly committed to mother earth by Rev H Jones. The funeral was a large and representative one.

The late Mrs Lane was the mother of 13 children, three of whom predeceased her. Those living are : Mr Samuel Lane, Rev Benjamin Lane (Taree), Messrs W H Lane (North Sydney), Edwin Lane (Redfern), John T Lane (St Peters), Miss Clara Lane (a Staff Captain in the Salvation Army, and who is in charge of the largest Rescue Home in Melbourne), Mr James M Lane (North Sydney), Mrs S W Sims )”Kamilaroi,” near Moree), Mr Albert Lane (Balmain), and Miss Emily Lane who resides at home. Staff Captain Lane reached home half an hour after the death of her mother.

At the funeral were all the sons, most of whom were accompanied by their wives and children. Among deceased’s brothers and sisters are : Mr James Anderson, of Waverley; Mr Joseph Anderson, of the British and Foreign Bible Society; Mrs James Smith, and Miss Anderson, of Windsor. Representatives of the various branches of the Anderson family at Kurrajong, Botany, and Burwood also attended the funeral. The wreaths sent by sorrowing relatives and friends were a beautiful lot, while many telegrams, cards, and letters of condolence were received from the following, among others : Wire from the President of the Methodist Conference (Rev W Halse Rogers); letter from Hon J Cook, MHR; letter from Mr Brinsley Hall MLA.

On Sunday evening last a memorial service was held in the Windsor Methodist Church, on the occasion of the death of Mrs John Lane, who for over fifty years had been identified closely with that Church. The thronged audience testified to the esteem in which the deceased was held, while the numerous assemblage of her children and grandchildren, and the prominent positions in the Church service held by them, bare eloquent testimony to the permanence of her christian influence, and its far reaching operation. The service was conducted by the Rev H Jones, whose address was based on John xiv, 1, 2 – “Let not your heart be troubled … In my Father’s house are many mansions,” and who emphasised the consolatory and definite message of the Redeemer to those who believing in Him, were passing through affliction. The hymns were peculiarly appropriate. The solo “He wipes the tear from every eye,” was rendered with much sympathy by Miss Sullivan, of Richmond, Mrs Page of that town assisting at the organ. The rostrum was suitably draped in black, relieved by groups of white flowers. The whole service proved a fitting recognition of a long and devoted life, worthy of thus being honored at its close.

Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Saturday, 27 September 1913

One of the oldest and best known identities of Windsor, Mr John Lane, passed peacefully over to the silent majority at the residence of his son-in-law, Mr W H Pinkstone, at Richmond, on the 19th instant. He had reached the mature age of 83 years. Born in Sydney, the late John Lane came to Windsor when an infant 2 years old. Having completed his school term, which in those early days was looked upon as more of a luxury than an essential, he soon engaged in the boot trade, and for many years conducted business in the old two-storey brick building which stood on the corner of George and Fitzgerald streets. He continued in business till about seven years ago. He married Margaret Anderson, whose mother lived in O’Connell-street, Sydney, and who died in 1904. The issue of the marriage were :- Samuel (Windsor), Rev Benjamin (Hurstville), William Henry (Sydney), John T. (St Peters), Clara (Brigadier in the Salvation Army, and Matron of “Bethesda” Hospital, Richmond, Victoria), James M (North Sydney), Mrs Stephen Simms (Murrurundi), Albert (Sydney), and Mrs Pinkstone (Richmond). Two sons and two daughters predeceased their father, namely Alfred and Edwin, and Martha and Sarah. The whole of the family were distinguished for their musical talents, and were nearly all vocalists of note. A long line of descendants are living, there being 38 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. On retiring from business the late John Lane lived with his daughter (Mrs Pinkstone). He was always of robust health, and scarcely knew what sickness was. Of late years he took a sea trip to Melbourne annually, and invariably indulged in surfing at Manly before returning home. On the morning of his death he was gardening, a hobby in which he took a great delight, when suddenly his heart failed, and he expired immediately. During his life the late John Lane took a very active interest in the Windsor Methodist Church, as did also the whole of his family. He was superintendent of the Sunday-school for over 40 years, and his memory will be revered by hundreds of the men and women of to-day who were scholars under that earnest and sincere Christian, John Lane. The burial took place in the Methodist cemetery at Magrath’s Hill, after a service had been conducted in the Church he loved so well, and where he had worshipped for so many years. The old church was filled, and the Rev. J E Carruthers, President of the Methodist Conference, delivered a sympathetic address and referred to the noble, robust Christian life of him they were about to commit to mother earth, and whose soul was in the keeping of the Master he loved and served so faithfully. Their deceased brother, the Rev President said, were the white flower of a blameless life, and, as Shakespeare had said, Mr Lane had “love, honor, reverence, and troops of friends.” Rev. D A Gilsenan conducted the burial service, and a short address was delivered by Mr Joseph Anderson (colporteur of the Bible Society). Mr Chandler had charge of the burial arrangements.

Mr Samuel Lane has received the following eloquent eulogy of the character of his late respected father :- Pymble, Sept 18, 1913. Mr Dear Sir – I saw two or three days ago the announcement of the death of your honoured father. I was much impressed when I saw it, for I knew your father very well, and held him, and still hold him, in high regard. He was a fine sample of the Christian worker – a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a man of sterling honesty in his religious life. He loved the sanctuary and the fellowship worship of God. He was a Godly man, and upright in all his ways. He had no patience with affectation or vanity in the Church or in profession of Religion. He has gone to be with his Lord and Master. It is splendid for the Church to have such a member, and happy for the family to have had such a father. With kind regards, I am, faithfully yours. Rev R Caldwell.

The children of John Lane and Margaret Anderson were all born in Windsor:-

1) Samuel – born 22 June 1852, married Catherine Maria Parker, became a draper and had five children. He died 26 January 1932 aged 80 years. Click on link below to see the story of Sam and Kate.

2) Benjamin – born 14 May 1854, married Elizabeth Rebecca Lesterin 1888 and had six children; Rozetta E (1889, Murrurundi, married Frederick E Allison in 1914), Ellie Mildred (1891 Murrurundi), Albert Lester (1894, Lismore), Edgar Murray (1896, East Maitland, died at Bullecourt on 2 May 1917), Reginald Ewart (1898, Tenterfield, died 1962 at Chatswood) and Florence Victoria (1901, and Parkes, married George Talbot Farroll in 1936 in Woollahra). Benjamin became a Methodist minister, training in Newcastle from 1879 to 1882. From 1883 to 1916 he preached in various country towns, retiring to a supernumerary position from 1917 until his death on 2 June 1927 aged 72 years. His residence was at Colinda, Spruson Street, Neutral Bay. His brothers and sisters considered him a pain in the neck according to Will Anderson, nephew of Ben’s mother Margaret. Ben was over religious and his family ribbed him about it. His photo appeared in the Methodist Jubilee Conference Album. Elizabeth died on 4 October 1943 aged 81 years at Thomas Street, Roseville.

3) William Henry – born 11 March 1856, married Evangeline L Meale in Newtown in 1889. They had three sons; Gordon L (1892 at Balmain), William Roy (1890, Windsor, died 1890 at Windsor) and William Roy (1894, Balmain South, died 1894 at Balmain South). Evangeline died in 1902 at Petersham. She was the daughter of Louis and Sarah Meale. William lived at Emoh, Ryedale Street, Eastwood. He remarried a widow, Caroline Manley in 1920. This was two years before he died on 24 April 1922 aged 66 years. He was buried at Rookwood (Methodist) Cemetery, Sydney

4) Edwin – born 20 April 1858, married Ellen Clara Neal in 1888 and had three children; Claude Edwin (1889, Leichhardt, died in 1950 in Chatswood), Norman Clamp (1891, Leichhardt, died in 1949 in Randwick) and Amos Neal (1902, Redfern, called Neal, died in 1978). Edwin was a tailor and lived at Bon Accord, 27 John Street Petersham. He died early the same year as his father, on 10 April 1913 aged 55 years. Ellen died on 27 July 1946.

5) John Thomas – born 21 June 1860, married Louise Lambeth on 26 January 1885 at the Methodist Church, Windsor. At the time of their wedding he was a carpenter, living in Newtown. Louise was living at St Peters. She was born in Brisbane Queensland, the daughter of John Lambeth, a builder. William and Clara Lane were witnesses. They had six children all born at St Peters except for Florence who was born in Ashfield; Harold (1887), Leslie (1898), Mabel (1890), Stella E (1893, died 1893 at St Peters), Florence L (1885), Muriel M (1896 married Frank E Favell in 1920 at Newtown). One of the daughters is recorded as Mrs. Erickson in the death notice. John became a carpenter, storekeeper, Alderman and member of St Peters Red Cross Association. He died 18 November 1925 aged 65 years at 94 King Street, St. Peters. Louise died on 5 October 1952 aged 88 years.

6) Sarah Ann Llewellyn – born 9 March 1862, married David George Teys, a grazier of Templecourt Murrurundi NSW, on 25 December 1890 at the Wesleyan Church, Windsor. The witnesses were Andrew G. Teys and Alice Lane. David was born at Murrurundi, the son of Alexander Teys, a grazier. Sarah and David had three children all born in Murrurundi; Oscar Hedley Lane (1892, a bachelor), Stanley Wycliffe (1894) and Alma Victoria (1897, McKenzie). Sarah died 1 January 1901 aged 38 years. David died on 10 May 1939 and both were buried at Murrurundi.

7) Clara – born  9 January 1864, a spinster. She joined the Salvation Army as an officer in Windsor on 10 April 1889 aged 24 years. She became a Brigadier and matron of Riddell Girls’ Reformatory from 1900-1910, then at Bethesda Hospital, Richmond, Victoria for 5 years. Her last appointment was as Women’s Social Secretary for Western Australia. She was pensioned off before retiring age due to ill health on 9 August 1922. Thelma Rowe remembers seeing her as a child, an old woman in her army bonnet. She died on 9 December 1925 at Newtown aged 60 years and was buried in the Independent Portion of Rookwood Cemetery (section B, plot 2029), see Find A Grave.

8) James Manning – 14 October 1865, married Elizabeth Jessie Leggo (born 1868) in 1890. She was born in Redfern in 1868 and her parents were William and Sarah Leggo. James and Elizabeth had four children; Cecil Manning (1891, Sydney, died 1976), Elma H (1894, Paddington), Lillian G (1896, St Leonards) and Stanley M (1906, St Leonards). James worked in insurance and gave a lot of his time to the Far West Children’s Home. He lived at 31 Wentworth Street, Manly, where Blanche Rowe, his niece visited him. He was a keen bowler and bright as a spark into his 80’s. He died on 19 September 1955 aged 89 years. Elizabeth died on 23 July 1959.

9) Alfred Wesley – born 25 July 1867 died 1867.

10) Martha – 8 November 1868, a spinster. She became an ensign in the Salvation Army at Windsor in December 1891. The whole of her career was spent in the field in NSW. After returning to her parents’ home for a short rest, Martha volunteered to nurse Mrs. Ensign Kirgan, sick with typhoid fever, and caught the illness herself. She died within a few days on 2 July 1901 at Windsor and was buried the next day. She was 32 years. Her headstone still stands and reads, She lived to bless others and died at her post.

11) Alice 15 August 1870, married Stephenson Walter Sims in 1899. He was a grazier at Kamilaroy Millee, Moree (his parents Reuben and Sarah came from Murrurundi, where they were storekeepers). They had four children – the first three at least born in Murrunundi; Stephenson J W (1901, called Jack? married Grace T Richardson in Manly in 1933), Reuben S (1906, lived in Roma), Alice Pamela (1908, called Pamela, married Donald Gray in 1932 in Manly) and Gloria (born after 1908). Stephenson and Alice later ran a property at Yuleba (near Roma) in Queensland. Alice died at 75 Crown Road, Queenscliff, NSW on 17 September 1946 aged 75 years. Stephenson died on 6 July 1941 aged 72 years ay Wyong, NSW.

12) Albert – 21 July 1873, married Martha Louise Settree in the Wesleyan Church, Redfern by Rev Stephen on 11 April 1900. At this time Albert was 26, a draper, living at Balmain, and Martha was 25 and also living at Balmain. She was born in Brisbane Waters, the daughter of Alfred and Mary Settree, a shipbuilder. Albert was educated at a State primary school to become an accountant and manager of the time-payment department for Edward Arnold & Co., Oxford Street Sydney. He settled in Balmain in 1892 and was an MLA for Balmain from March 1922 to September 1927 (defeated) and an MHR for Barton from 1931 to 1940 (defeated). He was a councillor for the United Australia Party from 1941-42, was active in establishing the NSW Home for Incurables, a councillor for NSW Prohibition Alliance 1911-18, an Orangeman, Freemason, and generally worked very hard for charities. He had five children; Eric Wesley (21 March 1901), John (1902, died 1902), Albert Stephen (21 March 1904), Ronald Settree (22 February 1906) and Edna Mary (20 February 1910). Eric was born at 16 Gipps Street and the others at 51 Louisa Road, Balmain. One son became a champion football player. Albert preached as a supernumerary and used to come to the Bondi Junction Methodist Church once a year and, on those occasions, he would call in at his niece Blanche’s home. He was not overbearing in his religion, preached a sermon with a few jokes (Thelma heard him preach) and liked to talk to children. He died on 29 December 1950, aged 77 years, at his home at 8 Westbourne Street, Bexley. Martha died on 30 August 1965 aged 90 years.

13) Emily – born 17 February 1875, married William Henry Pinkstone on 8 August 1906 at the Methodist Church, Windsor. He was born in Kiama, the son of Frederick Pinkstone, a journalist. In turn, William became a journalist at Windsor, then a painter at Richmond, and later a journalist at Cootamundra. They had four children; Henry (baptised 31 October 1909 at Windsor, died 1958 at Newtown), Etta, Clare and Richard R (died 1915 at Richmond). William died at Cootamundra on 27 February 1953 and Emily died there on 5 August 1963 aged 88 years.


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Samuel Lane and Catherine Maria Parker

Sam and Kate’s story

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The Anderson family in early NSW

Court Appearance by John and sons

Sydney Morning Herald 19 June 1876