1785 - 1868 (83 years)
||George Elder |
||26 Jan 1785
||Edinburgh Parish, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
||1 May 1868
||'Adelaide House' Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
GEORGE ELDER (1785-1868), the son of William Elder, merchant, South Leith, had come to Kirkcaldy by 1812, when he had married JOANNA HADDON LANG (1795-1857), dau of Alexander Lang, candlemaker, South Leith, and opened business as a hardware merchant and shipowner in the High Street. He was the father of four sons who established a great merchant house in Adelaide, eventually known as ELDER SMITH & CO.
In 1839, it was decided at a family conference to extend the business to the newly established colony of South Australia, and, accordingly, his son, ALEXANDER LANG ELDER (1815-1885), set sail from Kirkcaldy on July 16 1839 as sole passenger on the family schooner, the 89-ton "Minerva," with a cargo of rum, whiskey, brandy, tar, fish, biscuits, tinware, gunpowder, agricultural machinery, and seed. South Australia was reached on Jan 2 1840, and by July 1840 he was trading in Adelaide under the title of A L ELDER, general and commission agent at Flaxman and Rowland's store in Rundle Street. By September he had found his own premises in Hindley Street, where he continued until 1849, when he removed to larger premises in Grenfell Street.
As the Adelaide business expanded, reinforcements in the form of other brothers, and a brother-in-law, were sent from Scotland. CAPTAIN WILLIAM ELDER (1814-1882), a merchant captain, who had first visited Adelaide on June 27 1840, when he brought out 183 Scottish and Irish immigrants from Greenock and Dublin in the "William Nichol," again visited his brother in Feb 1844 as commander of the barque, "Symmetry," 408 tons, and this time decided to stay. CAPTAIN JAMES MALCOLM (d 1865), the brother-in law of Captain William Elder, arrived in 1846 from Bahia, Brazil, on board the "Malcolm," and was appointed the firm's agent at Port Adelaide, and was later manager at Wallaroo. GEORGE ELDER, JNR (1816-1897) arrived in 1849, followed in 1854 by the greatest of all the brothers, SIR THOMAS ELDER (1818-1897).
As quickly as the brothers followed one another to Australia, so did they leave. Alexander Lang Elder was the first to go, resigning at the end of Jan 1853, and with his wife and three children, settled in London in 1855. There he acted as London agent of the Adelaide company until 1884, when he took his two eldest sons into partnership in the firm of A L ELDER & CO. Captain WIlliam Elder left Australia soon after Alexander, and returned to Scotland, where he became proprietor of 'St Margaret's," North Queensferry.
This left George Elder, jnr and Thomas Elder as sole partners in the business, which became ELDER & CO. However, this designation did not last for long, for George Elder returned to Scotland in 1855, and settled in Ayrshire.
The firm then became ELDER, STIRLING & CO. in a partnership consisting of THOMAS ELDER, EDWARD STIRLING (1804-1873), JOHN TAYLOR (d 1865), and ROBERT BARR SMITH (1824-1915), Elder's brother-in-law (Smith had m JOANNA ELDER at Tivoli, nr Melbourne, on April 15 1856). Edward Stirling retired in 1861, followed by John Taylor 2 yrs later, and on Jan 31 1863, the firm assumed its historic title of ELDER SMITH & CO, with Thomas Elder and Rbt Barr Smith as sole partners.
The prosperity of this new firm was lain during the partnership of Elder Stirling & Co, when they financed Sir William Watson Hughes' (from Pittenweem) newly-discovered copper mines at Wallaroo and Moonta, which, after initial losses, brought huge returns. With this sound foundation, under their direction, and also under that of their successor, PETER WAITE (1834-1922) - from Pitcairn, nr Kirkcaldy, who had come out to Melbourne in the "British Trident" on June 8 1859 - who became Chairman in 1883, the firm of ELDER SMITH & CO diversified into pastoral concerns, and became one of the world's largest wool selling firms, and also had interests in Adelaide Steamtug and Adelaide Steamship Companies. It was incorporated into a limited liability company in 1882, and celebrated its centenary in 1939. [A J Campbell, Editor]
- (Research):1851 Census
Elders Brae No 16 , Kirkcaldy, Fife.
George Elder, head, Mar, 66yrs, Merchant, born Leith.
Joanna Hadddow Elder, Wife, 56yrs.
Thomas Elder, Son, 32yrs, General Merchant, born Kirkcaldy.
Elizabeth Elder, Daughter, 26yrs, born Kirkcaldy.
Address: Adelaide House
George Elder 76 Retired Australian Merchant
Thomas Elder 42 Son, Australian Merchant
Janet Jameson 46 servant
Cecellia Law 31 servant
Isabella Trail 22 servant
||Simpson & Elder
||17 Jan 2013 |
||Joanna Haddow Lang, b. 26 Jan 1795, Leith, Midlothian , d. 17 Dec 1857, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland (Age 62 years) |
||4 Jun 1812
||South Leith, Midlothian, Scotland
| ||1. William Elder, b. 25 Mar 1813, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland , d. 6 Apr 1882, Cannes, France. (Age 69 years)|
|+||2. Alexander Lang Elder, b. 18 Apr 1815, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland , d. 5 Sep 1885, Kensington, London (Age 70 years)|
| ||3. George Elder, b. 17 Nov 1816, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland , d. 22 Jul 1897, Ayrshire, Scotland. (Age 80 years)|
| ||4. Thomas Elder, b. 5 Aug 1818, Kirkcaldy, Scotland , d. 6 Mar 1897, Mount Lofty, South Australia (Age 78 years)|
|+||5. Jemima Elder, b. 17 Feb 1821, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland , d. 1846 (Age 24 years)|
|+||6. Elizabeth Elder, b. 19 Jan 1825, d. 10 Mar 1858, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland (Age 33 years)|
|+||7. Joanna Lang Elder, b. 11 Oct 1835, d. 23 Oct 1919, Adelaide, South Australia (Age 84 years)|
||18 Oct 2007 |
||Ellen Turner Or Kennedy |
||2 Jan 1862
||Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
- At Kirkcaldy, on the 2d inst., by the Rev. Henry M. D. Douglas, George Elder, Esq., to Ellen Turner, relict of John Kennedy, M. A., sometime master of the Grammar School there.
Fife Herald Thursday 9 January 1862
||17 Jan 2013 |