David Cairncross, third son of William of Prestonpans, was born at Cockenzie, near Edinburgh, on 26th March, 1790, and, like his four brothers, he was a baker. By the time of the Moodie Expedition (1817) he had a wife and three children - David (c.1811), William (1812) and Margaret (c.1815). On 28th October, 1819, he arrived in Simons' Bay in the transport brig "Barossa" from St. Helena, his "Permission to remain at the Cape" being dated 19th January, 1820, and registered at the Resident's Office, Simons Town, on 21st January. This indicates that he was living at Simonstown, though a Field Cornet's "opgaaf" dated 14th June, 1824, shows him, his wife, three sons and a daughter, living at Wynberg, together with his brothers William and James. On March 13th, 1822, among the passengers of the "Garland" to arrive in Table Bay from Falmouth, 5th January, were "Mrs. Caringcross and three children", David's wife (Mary Laughton) and children. On 30th November, 1822, his wife gave birth to another son, James; but a few days later she died. In 1825 David set up in business in Cape Town as a hairdresser, but evidently did not prosper, for on 18th December, 1825, he sailed for St. Helena in the "Success", his "Permission to leave the Colony" being dated 23rd November, 1825. On 5th December, 1826, he married Mary Larkins (1804 - 1861) of Hastings. Six children were born of this marriage;
George (1828 - 1828); John (1829 - 79); Thomas (1831 - 97); Richard (1834 -1910); Jane (1837 - 86); and George (1842 - 1912). David died on St. Helena on 26th August, 1857, aged 67. About the middle of the last century the economic position of St. Helena deteriorated to such an extent that most of the Europeans left, many coming to the Cape. Among them were some of David's children, their subsequent histories being dealt with below :
1. David, the eldest son, born about 1811, went to sea and was never heard of again.
2. William, the second son, born in 1812, was a whaler in his youth, with headquarters at St. Helena. However, he tired of this, and went to Australia about 1835. In Sidney (sic) he married Miss Edmonston, by whom he had seven daughters. Later he moved to Brisbane, where he died about 1890.
3. Margaret, born about 1815, married McGregor.
4. James, born in Cape Town on November 30th, 1822, apparently spent his youth in St. Helena, returning to South Africa in the "Haddington", which arrived in Table Bay on 27th January, 1847. On 15th April, 1848, he was one of the passengers in the "Colony" to land at Algoa Bay. A wheelwright, he settled in Grahamstown, where he died on 3rd June, 1878. He married Mary Hannah Webb (1831 - 1906), the daughter of 1820 Settlers, Christopher Webb and his wife Mary. James was one of the signatories to an Address of Sympathy dated at Fort Beaufort on 8th November, 1851, (vide The Cape Monitor of 2nd December, 1851), to the officers and men of the 74th Highlanders on the death of their gallant Colonel, Fordyce, killed in the fight at Waterkloof during the 8th Kaffir War, 1850-53. The War caused great hardship to the settlers and a "Relief fund for Sufferers from the Kaffir War" was started in Cape Town. Among the donations acknowledged on 8th August, 1851, by the Cape Monitor, is one reading "W. Cairncross and Son - £2." A total of over £3,200 was collected by the end of that year.
The children of James were:
a. Mary (1855 - 1913), who married Sykes.
b. David (1858 - 1921), a merchant of Pretoria and partner in the well-known firm of Cairncross & Zillen from about 1885.
c. James Richard (1860 - 1903), who married Margaret Shaw. After his death, in 1903 his wife and only child, Thomas Richard (1902) went to England, taking up residence in Leeds, where Thomas is now a bank official, married, with three sons; - George (1937), David (1940), and James (1943).
d. Emma (1862 - 1950), who married Mills.
e. John W.E. (1865 - 1936), who went to Australia in 1886. He was the manager of the Bank of New South Wales, Sidney.(sic) He had a daughter, Margaret.
f. Helen (1868 - 1942), a spinster.
g. Christopher (1871 - 1936), who joined his brother David in firm of Cairncross & Zillen about 1890, afterwards owning the his own pottery business in Pretorius Street.
He married Ellen Tuddenham and left a son Robert James (1909), a civil engineer on the staff of the Pretoria Municipality. Robert married Charlotte Helen Lockett and has a son, Christopher (1943) and a daughter Jacqueline.
h. George, a bachelor, born in 1874, who died in Rhodesia in 1944.
5. George, David's first child by his second wife, was born in January, 1828, and died in the following April.
6. John, (1829 - 1879). His history is unknown.
7. Thomas (1831 - 1897), a bachelor, was at one time employed by his cousins William and Thomas Cairncross in their baking business in Cape Town.
8. Richard, born in 1834, was a carpenter and died in Wankie, Rhodesia, in 1910. a bachelor.
9. Jane (1837 - 1886), married Sgt. Kitchen and went to Ireland.
10. George (1842 - 1912), was a compositor at Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. He married Emily Dorothea Noble (1848 - 1906) and had six sons and a daughter:
a. John F. (1875 - 1898). He joined the Cape Mounted Rifles and was kicked to death by a horse in Umtata at the age of 23.
b. Frank E. (1877 - 1919) a bachelor.
c. Frederick T. (1879 - 1919), a bachelor.
d. Thomas G. (1882 - 1918), who married Ellen Retief. Their only child, George, was born in 1907 and died the same year.
e. Georginia, born in 1885, died in the same year.
f. James R. (1886 - 1953), an insurance Agent of Cape Town, who married Maria Smit and had three children: Richard G. (1917), commercial traveller, who married Gwyneth Lewis and has a daughter, Lorin, and a son, Ian (1947); Leonard W. elec trician, whose wife,-Joy Martin, died in 1953; and Dorothea (m. Scalabrino).
g. William D. (1890 - 1935), a bachelor, was a book-keeper in Cape Town.
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