It has been long known through the various arms of our families in Australia that our Wilson origins were to be found in Scotland, and that our Australian beginnings were to be found in Tasmania from 1820. By the late 1850s some arms had moved to Victoria, and later again some had moved up to Queensland whilst others had emigrated to New Zealand.
Our Scottish Origins – John (the mason) Wilson and Margaret Bowman were wed in 1772 at Dunnichen Church a few weeks after the banns were read at both John’s Monikie Kirk parish and at Margaret’s parish at Dunnichen from which village or nearby Margaret originated. Thereafter they lived firstly in the Drumsturdiemuir (Drumsturdy today)/Laws area adjacent to the extensive Laws Farm. These locations are highlighted on the 1788 Ainslie Survey Map below (Dunnichen is not seen here – see it on the attached enlargeable map at the foot of the page).
The strip settlement of Drumsturdiemoor (old Scottish: moor=muir) stretches out along the Drumsturdy Road and today comprises homes only on the opposite side of the road to Laws/Laws Farm. Both sides of the road are within the area known as Drumsturdy Moor – often called Drumsturdiemuir at that time. At the time of Ainslie’s survey there were homes along both sides; it would be correct to say the homes on both sides were within Drumsturdy Moor. The birth records for the Wilson siblings, with the excepton of their last born, record some as being born at Drumsturdy and some at Laws, however it is likely all were born at the same home along the strip and it was probably on the Laws Farm side, hence could be recorded under either Drumsturdy or Laws as the location.
Rediscoveries in Australia – Our Victorian and Tasmanian arms seemed to have lost contact with one another somewhere around the 1920s, and did not resume until 1994 when Victorian researcher Shirley Davies made contact during a visit to Hobart. Shirley found the Tasmanians had much more vivid stories of the Scottish links than did the Victorians, including more precise locations and occupations in Scotland, as well as many fascinating legendary stories.
Shortly after her discovery, Shirley and I went to Hobart to attend the 170th anniversary celebration at Scots Church at which William’s role as architect was acknowledged. The group image above recorded our presence outside the Church with members of our Tasmanian family arm – those in ths image from l to r are – Molly Wilson, Laurie Wilson, Shirley Davies, Jocelyn Lonney nee Wilson, Ann Watchorn (daughter of William Keith Wilson), Kath Brown (Agnes Kathleen nee Wilson), Des Hallett, Dianne Hallet (daughter of Kath), and William Keith Wilson.
Since that time many researchers have united to dramatically extend our knowledge of places, people and family genealogy. More recently ‘lost’ arms from the John Bowman Wilson line which moved to Queensland early 20th century, re-established contact when researcher John Wilson of the Edwin Wilson arm searched out the Victorian links. John’s connections in due course also led to re-discovery of the fate of Edwin’s brother Arthur and his family who had also gone to Queensland.
Five and Nine Generation Charts – In the ‘Generations’ category we present various charts (Acrobat Reader required) depicting the whos, the whens and the wheres of our Wilsons from Scotland to the many parts of Australia and New Zealand in which Bonnie William’s clan now live.
The “Nine Generations” is the most complete record (as at April 2013) of all the descendants of William & Margaret Wilson in Australia, and, of William’s parents and siblings in Scotland, that we have at this time. For privacy reasons this file requires password clearance to download – this is available to members of Bonnie William’s clan only, and may be obtained by reference to the website administrator using the ‘Home’ page email link. This link connects to the Nine Generations page.
Also attached above is a Five Generations chart covering persons born prior to 1910 – this chart is open to all site visitors.
But there are many gaps in our knowledge (and no doubt some errors) – only you our readers can help us fill and correct them. We hope that ultimately no one who was a member of Bonnie William’s clan will be forgotten.