David Wilson was the fifth child and fourth son of James Wilson and Catherine Boak. James and Catherine's fourth child was also named David but he died in infancy. David was baptised on 20 June 1790 in Kirknewton, Midlothian, Scotland with the baptism record reading as follows:
This day James Wilson in Corstown and Catherine (Boog) his spouse had a son baptised named David. Witnesses Robert Millar & James Hunter.1
Catherine's surname is in brackets because it seems to have been added as an afterthought, appearing above the line of text with a carat underneath. The variation in Catherine's name is discussed elsewhere. The witnesses performed the same task for the previous three baptisms and so were probably church elders rather than close friends of the family. Corstown is probably Corston farm which is discussed further on the page devoted to James Wilson and Catherine Boak.
According to Don Norman, an early Wilson researcher, David Wilson was later a doctor (basing his work on the even earlier research of Lillian Archbold) but this has not been substantiated by any historical evidence.
David Wilson married Jean Crawford on 6 April 1821 in Muiravonside, Stirling, Scotland, their union having been proclaimed the previous month on 23 March 1821.2 Jean (or Jane) was born on 13 November 1791 in Muiravonside, Stirling, Scotland, and baptised on 27 November 1791, the daughter of Alexander Crawford and Agnes Brown:
The which day Alexander Crawfurd & Agnes Brown his spouse had a daughter baptised named Jean before their witnesses Patrick Taylor and John Ferguson. The said child was born the thirteenth instant.3
The variation is the surname was a common style of the time, and reflects changes in the English language rather than any confusion about the name itself. It must also be remembered that at the time literacy rates were very low and the spelling of surnames varied far more widely than it does today. The alteration of Jean and Jane was also a common occurance in the Scottish records, and was perhaps an artifact of dialect and diction.
David and Jean's first child was a son, Thomas Wilson, born on 28 January 1822 in Muiravonside, Stirling, Scotland. Thomas was christened on 10 February 1822 in Muiravonside, Stirling, Scotland. The witnesses to that event were the boys father Alex Crawford and Alex Walker.4
Their second child was another son, Alexander Crawford Wilson, named in honour of his maternal grand-father with both his first and middle names. He was born on 5 May 1824, and baptised on 24 May 1824 in Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland.5
David and Jean's third child was their first daughter. Agnes Wilson was baptised on 17 June 1827 in Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland.6 The family were obviously highly mobile, recording every new birth or baptism in a different location, and the same was true for their fourth and last child Catherine Wilson. Catherine was born 24 June 1829, with the birth registered in Corstorphine, Scotland. For that last event David's occupation was recorded as a farm labourer at Lighthill.7
Wilson Related Locations West of Edinburgh, Scotland
Image Reproduced Courtesy of Google Maps
The various changes in location would seem to reflect David's status as an itinerant farm labourer, certainly not the doctor of later Wilson mythology, and this is confirmed in the 1841 census by which time the family were living in Ecclesmachan Village in Midlothian, Scotland. David was described as a labourer, aged 45, his wife Jean aged 40, and their children Alex, aged 15, Agnes, aged 12 and Catherine, aged 10. Thomas is working on the farm of John Glen at West Bangra, nearby to the rest of the family.8
Alexander Crawford Wilson married Margaret Smith on 12 December 1845 in Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland.9 Margaret was born on 14 April 1826 and baptised on 7 May 1826 in Ratho, Midlothian, Scotland, the daughter of William Smith and Isobel Baxter.10
Jean Wilson, nee Crawford, died on 17 December 1849 in Ecclesmachan, West Lothian, Scotland and was buried in the churchyard on the 20th December.11
The year after Jean's death her son Thomas Wilson married Catherine Hay on 7 June 1850 in Uphall, West Lothian, Scotland. The wedding registration follows:
Thomas Wilson & Catherine Hay, the former residing in the Parish of Linlithgow, the latter in this parish, having been regularly proclaimed in order to marriage & no objections offered to the same were married this day.12
The marriage was also registered in Linlithgow
Thomas Wilson, ploughman, resident Linlithgow, born Muiravonside, father: David Wilson, labourer and Catherine Hay, residing Uphall, father: William Hay, labourer. Proclaimed 19th, 26th May, 2nd June 13
Catherine was christened on 21 November 1827 in Torphichen, West Lothian, Scotland, the daughter of William Hay and Margaret Shields.14 Thomas and Catherine would go on to have eight children that have been traced. Catherine's brother John would later marry Thomas' cousin Agnes Byres, the daughter of Margaret Wilson and William Byres.
By the time of the 1851 census David Wilson was on his own following the death of his wife some years earlier. He was still in the village of Ecclesmachan but only Agnes was living at home, no doubt caring for her father. David was described as a Stone Cutter, aged 60, and widowed. He is noted as being born in Kirknewton. Agnes was described as aged 22, and was noted as being born in Kirkliston.15 Its possible Catherine was a servant for minister William Bruce in Cowgate (right age and birthplace). The families of Thomas and Alexander are on farms under the parish of Linlithgow (Little Ochiltree and Oatridge respectively). Thomas is shown as 27, born in Moravonside, Stirling and Catherine Hay is 23 born Torpichen, Linlithgow. Also in the household is David 2 and unbaptised daughter 3 days (census taken on 30/31 March) and Catherine's mother Margaret 48 whose occupation is listed as 'domestic duties' and place of birth as Bathgate, Linlithgow. Alexander is listed as 26 and a Farm Labourer and his place of birth is Bathgate, Margaret is 24 with place of birth listed as Ratho, the children are Jane 4, William 2 and Isabella 1 month, all born in Linlithgow.16
Just two years after the census David Wilson is recorded as dying on 30 June 1853 at Ecclesmachan at the age of 63 years and was buried in the churchyard there on the 4th July. 17 18 Don Norman has a different location for the event, and reiterates the early inaccuracies about David's occupation:
Dr. David died on 30 June 1853 at the age of 63 at Ecclesmachan, about 5 miles from Bathgate, where he lived and practised his profession for most of his life. His wife, Jane, died on 17 December 1849 at the age of 53. These details were obtained by Mrs Lillian Archbold from the actual tombstone of Dr. David and his wife during her visit to Scotland in 1988.19
The headstone has subsequently been transcribed by Christina Shaw and reads:
1850 ERECTED BY DAVID WILSON In memory of his Wife
JANE CRAUFORD, who died the 17th December 1849
Aged 58 Years.
The above DAVID WILSON who died 30th June 1853
Aged 63 Years.
Also WILLIAM WILSON his Grand Son died 1st March 1854
Aged 23 Months.
Headstone of David, Jane and William Wilson
Image provided by Christina Shaw
The child William Wilson was the second son (third child) of Thomas Wilson and his wife Catherine Hay. He was born about April 1852. 20
The year after his death his daughter Agnes Wilson married Thomas Eadie on 11 April 1854 in Ecclesmachan, West Lothian, Scotland.21 Thomas was born about 1831 in Scotland.22 Agnes and Thomas would go on to have seven children, their eldest born on the journey to Tasmania, as the Eadie family, along with a number of other Wilson related families, decided to emigrate to Tasmania in 1854 aboard the Chatham.
In all there were 23 Wilson related individuals who made the journey on the Chatham which departed London on 10 November 1854. Prior to that the families would have had to make the journey to England from Scotland. The passengers were: William Byers and Margaret Wilson and four children; James and Janet Byers; Thomas Eadie and Agnes Wilson and their son Thomas who was born on the voyage; Alexander Wilson (ploughman) and Margaret Smith (general servant) and their five children; Thomas Wilson and Catherine Hay and their four children; Robert Wilson (ploughman) and Catherine Wilson (general servant). The ship arrived in Tasmania on 19 February 1855. While Thomas and Agnes Eadie had a child on the journey, James and Janet Byers unfortunately lost their son William at the same time.23
SHIPPING REPORT-ARRIVALS-19-Ship Chatham, 574 tons, from London November 10. Passengers-Dr Oldmeddows, Mr and Mrs Joseph Taylor, two Messrs Edwards. Rev Whyte, DD. Steerage-Smallwood 3, Fredk Stagg, George Stanford, Eliza Stone, Robert Syke, Farrells 5, Sam Taylor, Wilson 5, Spert 2, Williams 2, Wilson 13, Mary Wingfield, Alfred Woolfe, Jaretts 6, Anderson 2, Gray 8, Brown, Davis, Adams 2, Boam 3, Bryan 6, Byers 3, Campbells 7, Compton 5, Cook 4, Dellwood 2, Fenwick 6, Dan Forbes, Allen Fraser, Garrett 6, John Hay, Edward Hill, Hill 2, James 8, Lamb 6, Letbury 4, Henry Lowett, John Male, Marks, Mark, David Mill, Donald Miller, Amos and William Mole, George Morris, W and James Palmer, W Rolsten, Reading 7, Mary Ralf, David Russell.24
Catherine Wilson, aged 28, married Alexander Scott, aged 29, on 20 January 1860 in Oatlands (Mount Seymour), Tasmania.25 Alexander was probably born about 1826 in the Linlighgow area (he and Peter Greenlaw were stonemasons brought out to VDL by George Wilson 26.27
In April 1863 Thomas Eadie was before the courts for not paying an account:
OATLANDS POLICE COURT.
Monday 27th April, 1863
Before the Worshipful the Warden and Councillor Roe.
Thomas Eadie appeared to a summons issued against him upon the complaint of Thomas Fleming, to show cause why he should not pay the sum of 12s. 6d. money owing for work done at reaping.
The defendant said he did not admit owing the money.
The complainant stated that he engaged to reap with his son a three corner paddock of barley last harvest for the defendant, at ten shillings an acre. Witness went out on a Thursday and reaped till the following Saturday, during which time he did 1 acre 1 rood 3 perches, when he fell poorly and was compelled to return home. He sent a man in his place on the Monday following, who went on reaping for the defendant. When it was over, witness applied for payment. At first the defendant said he had not measured the ground. Upon a second application he refused to pay, and told witness he had no right to quit the job.
John Baker deposed that at the request of the complainant, who went out to the defendant to do some reaping, that the former had left undone. The defendant told him that he was glad complainant had sent him out. Witness told defendant that the complainant had sent him out. Defendant did not put witness to reap the barley which the complainant had been reaping.
Charles Fleming son of the complainant proved having taken the 1st witness out to the defendant's in the place of the complainant.
The defendant strongly denied his liability, and asseverated that he had been a considerable loser in consequence of the grain not having been got down in sufficient time through the act of the complainant.
The bench after slight deliberation made an order for payment of the amount with costs. The Court then rose.28
Thomas Eadie, the husband of Agnes Eadie (nee Wilson), died on 21 June 1867 in Oatlands, Tasmania at the reported age of 38.29
Agnes Wilson married Peter Greenlaw on 31 July 1878 in Oatlands, Tasmania.30Peter had been a widow since the death of his wife Mary in 1874.31 Unfortunately Peter only survived for just under another four years after his marriage to Agnes, dying on 1 April 1882 at Oatlands.32
GREENLAW.-On April 1. at Woodbank, Oatlands, Peter Greenlaw, aged 67 years. The funeral will leave Woodbank, on WEDNESDAY, at 11 a.m.. and Oatlands station at 3 p.m. Friends respectfully invited to attend.33
SCOTT.-On April 23,1885, at Spring Valley, Oatlands, Catherine, the beloved wife of Alexander Scott, in the 54th year of her age. Funeral will take place on SATURDAY NEXT, at 12 noon.36
Margaret Wilson (nee Smith), the wife of Alexander Wilson, died on 20 November 1896 in Oatlands, Tasmania at the reported age of 70.37
WILSON.-On November 20, 1896, Margaret Wilson, the beloved wife of Alex. Wilson, and daughter of William and Isabella Smith, of Ratho, Scotland. Deeply regretted by all that knew her. New Zealand and Home papers please copy.38
Alexander Scott, the husband of Catherine Scott (nee Wilson), died on 21 June 1897 in Oatlands, Tasmania at the reported age of 71. The cause of death was Prostatis Cystitis.39
Agnes Greenlaw (formerly Eadie, nee Wilson) died on 16 July 1902 at Parattah, Tasmania.40 Her family placed the following notice of memoriam the following year:
GREENLAW.-In loving remembrance of our dear mother, Agnes Greenlaw, who departed this life on July 16, 1902, at Parattah. "Dearest mother, thou host left us, We thy loss most deeply feel; But 'tis God who hath bereft us; He can all our sorrows heal." Inserted by her loving daughters, Ellen and Agnes.41
Alexander Crawford Wilson (known as Sandy) died on 15 November 1906 at "The Braes" in Antill Ponds, Tasmania.42 He was buried in Oatlands, Tasmania.
WILSON - On Thursday, November 15, 1906, at his late residence, Glenmorey, Antill Ponds, Alexander Wilson, in the 83rd year of his age. Funeral at Oatlands, at 2 o'clock on Saturday.43
WILSON.-On the 15th November, at his residence, Glenmorey, Woodbury, Alexander, son of David Wilson, Esq., Linlithgow, Scotland, and beloved father of Mrs. J. C. M'Gillivray, Queenstown. "He giveth his beloved sleep."44
Thomas Wilson died on 13 January 1907 at Mount Seymour in Tasmania.45
- 1. GROS OPR Births 690/0030 0236 Kirknewton and East Calder
- 2. GROS OPR Marriages 486/00 0020 0107 Muiravonside and IGI Batch No. M114862.
- 3. GROS OPR Births 486/00 0010 0299 Muiravonside
- 4. IGI Batch No. 7426826, Sheet 18, Source Call No. 0935198. Form submitted by a member of the LDS Church which is not considered a reliable source. Witness information provided in an email message from Margaret Rackham 5 Aug 2001.
- 5. GROS OPR Births 662/00 0040 0018 Bathgate
- 6. GROS O. P. R. Births 667/00 0030 0030 Kirkliston and IGI Batch No. C116675
- 7. GROS OPR Births 678/00 0040 0032 Corstorphine
- 8. GROS Census 1841 666/00 001/00 005
- 9. IGI Batch No. Batch No. M119943
- 10. GROS OPR Births and Baptisms 698/A00 0030 0022Z Ratho.
- 11. GROS OPR Deaths ECCLESMACHAN /WEST LOTHIAN 666/00 0102 1849 Dec 17 Jean Crawford aged 58, buried on the 20th. Headstone of Jane or Jean Wilson; Rackham, Margaret, Family Group Sheets, "Wilson Descendants," Book 2, Page 32 and West Lothian Monumental Inscriptions.
- 12. GROS OPR Marriages 672/00 0030 0215 Uphall or Strathbrock
- 13. GROS OPR Marriages Linlithgow /WEST LOTHIAN 668/ 0120 0452
- 14. IGI Batch No. C116715
- 15. GROS Census 1851 666/00 001/00 005
- 16. GROS Census 1851 668/ 10/ 16 Linlithgow
- 17. GROS ECCLESMACHAN /WEST LOTHIAN 666/00 0020 0105. Funeral 4th July 1853 David Wilson aged 63.
- 18. Rackham, Margaret, Family Group Sheets, "Wilson Descendants," Book 2, Page 32.
- 19. Norman, Don: Some Notes on George Wilson Snr. of Mount Seymour; His Brothers and Descendants; Privately Published, 1989.
- 20. GROS OPR Death ECCLESMACHAN /WEST LOTHIAN 666/00 0020 0106. 1854, March 6th William Wilson Little Ochiltree Aged 23 Months.
- 21. IGI Batch No. M116664
- 22. Date of birth calculated from age stated at death.
- 23. AOT Shipping Arrivals CB7/12/1/3 B6
- 24. The Hobarton Mercury Wednesday 21 February 1855
- 25. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1860/581
- 26. The 1841 census for Linlithgow has an Alexander Scott 20, Mason Journeyman, resident at Linlithgow Bridge, together with a family called Ross and two other Mason Journeymen - John Scott 25 and Thomas Somerville 20. This is most likely the correct entry as Peter Greenlaw is also from this area. There are other Scotts in Linlithgow listed as Masons, also George 50 High St, and James 15 Apprentice. The only other Alexander Scott listed as a Mason in this census, within 10 years of the approximate age, is 15 and at Jura Manse in Argyll.
- 27. Date of birth calculated from age stated at marriage is 1831.
- 28. The Mercury Monday 27 April 1863 and The Mercury Thursday 30 April 1863
- 29. AOT Death Registration RGD 1867/361
- 30. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1878/743
- 31. The Mercury Saturday 4 July 1874
- 32. AOT Death Registration RGD 1882/538
- 33. The Mercury Tuesday 4 April 1882
- 34. AOT Death Registration RGD 1885/976
- 35. Grave 1020
- 36. The Mercury Friday 24 April 1885
- 37. AOT Death Registration RGD 1896/554
- 38. The Mercury Tuesday 22 December 1896
- 39. AOT Death Registration RGD 1897/548
- 40. Federation Index Death Registration RGD 1902/1525
- 41. The Mercury Thursday 16 July 1903
- 42. Federation Index Death Registration RGD 1906/1248
- 43. The Mercury Friday 16 November 1906
- 44. Examiner Saturday 24 November 1906
- 45. Federation Index Death Registration RGD 1907/615