The Buist family

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The Buist family

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The Buist family were a local family of prominence within the Dundee textile industry, and this material consists of the private and business papers of three generations of this family, the Reverend John Buist, his sons James Jafferson Buist and Alexander Jafferson Buist, his daughter Isabella Buist, and Alexander's son John Charles Buist. The Reverend John Buist was born in Abdie in around 1762 and in 1802 he married Margaret Jafferson and went on to have nine children; he died in 1845. Alexander Jafferson (A. J.) Buist (1818-1901) was born in Tannadice, Forfarshire, As a young man he joined the business of his elder brother James Jafferson Buist (1810-1844) who was engaged in spinning at Ward Mill Dundee The Buist family had strong links to Dundee and the thriving textile industry, indeed Alexander Jafferson Buist was one of the first mill owners to provide a crèche and a school for the children of those who worked in his mills. In 1865, sometime after John James Buist's death, A. J. Buist entered into partnership with William and John Don to form Don Brothers, Buist & Company, a company that still exists today in the form of Don and Low, Forfar . A. J. Buist went on to become a Governor of University College, Dundee, an Elder of the Free Church, a Justice of the Peace, and a Deputy Lieutenant of Dundee. He was also involved in politics as a Unionist. John Charles Buist (1852- 1944) was the son of A. J. Buist and was born on 17th March 1852. He was educated at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh before joining Don Brothers, Buist & Company in 1874. He eventually became managing director of that firm, a position he held until his retirement in 1933. Dr Buist was a member of the Council of University College, Dundee, President of Dundee Chamber of Commerce and a Director of Dundee Royal Infirmary for over five decades (being Chairman of the institution on three separate occasions) . He was awarded an LLD by the University of St Andrews in 1925. Like his father he was involved in politics as a Unionist. John Charles Buist married Isabella Watson of Bullionfield, Invergowrie. He died at his home, Balgillo, Broughty Ferry on 27th August 1944.


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