Chris Watson

Birth Name: John Christian Tanck

Date of Birth: April 9, 1867

Place of Birth: Valparaíso, Chile

Date of Death: November 18, 1941

Place of Death: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

*father – Austrian or German
*mother – Irish

Chris Watson was an Australian politician. He served as Prime Minister of Australia, from 27 April, 1904 to 18 August, 1904. He was also Leader of the Labour Party, from 20 May, 1901 to 30 October, 1907, Treasurer of Australia, from 27 April, 1904 to 17 August, 1904, and Leader of the Opposition, from 18 August, 1904 to 5 July, 1905, among other duties.

Prime Minister Watson was the son of Martha Elizabeth (Minchin) Watson and Johann Christian Tanck. Johann was a sailor, and Martha went to sea with him, after marrying him in 1866, at age seventeen. The year after Prime Minister Watson’s birth, his parents separated, and his mother married George Thomas Watson, an English seaman, in 1869. Chris took the surname of his stepfather, whom he believed to be his biological father his whole life. Prime Minister Watson spent most of his younger years in New Zealand, where his family resided, and immigrated to Australia in 1886.

Prime Minister Watson’s father is often described as an Austrian, or a Chilean of German descent. His mother was an Irish-born New Zealander. Some sources suggest that her maiden name might have been Skinner.

Prime Minister Watson’s maternal grandfather was named William Minchin.

Prime Minister Watson’s maternal grandmother was named Ellen.

Prime Minister Watson was the first person with significant non-British Isles ancestry to serve as Prime Minister of Australia. The other Prime Ministers of significant non-British Isles ancestry were/are:
*Harold Holt (who served for the Liberal Party from 26 January, 1966 to 17 December, 1967; two of Holt’s great-grandfathers were German)
*John Gorton (who served for the Liberal Party from 10 January, 1968 to 10 March, 1971; one of Gorton’s great-grandfathers was German)
*Malcolm Fraser (who served for the Liberal Party from 11 November, 1975 to 11 March, 1983; Fraser’s maternal grandfather was Jewish)
*Tony Abbott (who served for the Liberal Party from 18 September, 2013 to 15 September, 2015; Abbott’s maternal grandfather was Dutch)
*Anthony Albanese (who has served for the Labor Party from 23 May, 2022; Albanese’s father is Italian/Arbëreshë)

Source: Genealogy of Chris Watson (including information about his ancestry) –

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