By Aberdeenshire Silver descendant Warren Nunn

John Silver

John Silver is a bit of mystery man. An older, unmarried brother of my great grandfather James Silver, he is an interesting character to investigate but his final resting place is uncertain.

John and his brother Alexander (Sandy) were successful tenant farmers at Harvieston south of Stonehaven and overlooking Catterline Bay.

The “Harvieston Silvers” are mentioned in an undated letter by Silver descendant George Robertson which the late James Murray Silver shared with me.

It is not known where John Silver lived after he left Harvieston farm in 1907. He is not found on the 1911 census but below is a record of his probable arrival in Australia in 1920.

There are two other pieces of information that confirm this to be John Silver. One is a newspaper report that lists passengers aboard the Orsova (see image).

We also find the brothers John and James Silver together at a masonic lodge meeting at Millmerran in December 1920.

This confirms that the J. Silver who arrived in 1920 aboard the Orsova was indeed our John Silver who joined his brother James in Queensland.

No record is found of his death in Australia, but James Silver’s grandson Robert recalls his father saying that John may have gone to New Zealand.

There is a New Zealand death in 1930 for a John Silver aged 75 which potentially fits. However, his parents are not named on the death certificate and his birthplace is given as Glasgow.

However, there are no other death records anywhere else in the world that potentially fit this John Silver.
So, the following may be his burial place in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The wonderful image below, which most likely was taken in 1890, is of the Harvieston Silver family. John Silver is standing left with my great grandfather James Silver (middle) and brother Alexander. The insert images are of each of the siblings at a younger age. Seated with their mother are sisters Helen (left) and Isabella.

The image was taken shortly before James Silver left Scotland and emigrated to Australia. He left London in September 1890 aboard the Orient.