A number of our contemporary cousins, some now passed others still with us, but all of the era of the 20th and 21st centuries, took the time and effort to write about our families of old – from the 19th century and even earlier. We are pleased to assemble these writings here for all to peruse and enjoy. Some of these tales are also featured within older site articles.
Reminiscences of Mrs Nancy Black, AM – Nancy (nee Boulter) who passed on in 2001 was a great-grand-daughter of William Sorell & Eliza Wilson, via their daughter, her grandmother Elizabeth Wilson. She recorded her memories of family within the William Sorell/Eliza Wilson line during the last 10 or so years of her life. These were published as a series in the Newsletter of the Hastings Family History Society. To the right is a very nice image of Nancy as many of our researchers would remember her – she was indeed a most delightful lady. Nancy was awarded an AM for services to the Anglican community of Melbourne. Nancy’s daughter Jenny Brown today continues in Nancy’s stead as a member of our research group with research into our Wilson and related families’ history. Nancy’s reminiscences range across aspects of her early childhood life and the members of her family, and reach back to her grandparents and great-grandparents recalling stories passed down. See Nancy’s stories here – Nancy’s Stories
Lilian May Wilson, b.1883 – Lilian was a grand-daughter of John Bowman & Agnes Eliza Wilson, via their son Edwin Wilson. She maintained extensive diaries during her life. Our cousin Karen Roe has produced this one page summary of certain of the items which Lilian wrote about – our seafaring Captain William McDonald, Agnes Eliza and her mother Agnes, and Tuerong. It has some particularly interesting observations about Agnes Eliza’s education in Tasmania including in regard to her tutoring in music and about her tutor. Lilian (BTW – the spelling with only one ‘l’ is unusual but correct) was married to Theodore Troedson in 1912 and her wedding group photograph is featured in an article about the Queensland Wilsons under Stories. Read it here – Lilian’s Memories
Rabbit Skins, by Mike Wilson – a set of memories recorded by Mike (great-grandson of John Bowman via his son Albert Wilson) from his days as a lad at his father’s town of origin, Broadford, prompted by a collection of dried rabbit skins hanging on a wall of the old shed. Mike tells of the poignant reminder of past and happy times at Broadford when his Dad grew up with his brothers who went of to the Great War, one of whom Uncle Charlie, did not return, the other, Uncle Albert, returning with a lovely French wife, but also with lifelong injury from his exposure in the field as an Army medic to poison gas. Read Mike’s story here – The Rabbit Skins
Readers might like to round it out with reference to our Honours page with the official records of Charlie’s service, and that of other Wilson family members who went to the War, another other of whom, Frederick Ernest Wilson, son of William McDonald Wilson lost his life from injuries received on the first day’s landing at Gallipoli.
Florence (Flo) Bubb nee Wilson – Memories of Family and Mornington – For many years when the late Florence (Flo – seen at right) Bubb (nee Wilson) was living in the Mornington area she was very active in local affairs; she also had a keen interest in both the history of Snapper Point (Mornington) area, and in that of her Wilson family.
Many years back Flo, whose family pedigree is attached below was bequeathed a trunk filled with family memorabilia – many photographs of the old Wilson family and connections, newspaper clippings, postcards, letters from family members, and so on. The trunk was passed on to Flo by her aunt Amy McDonald Wilson, another lifelong Mornington resident and sister of C B Wilson, and one of our earliest family history memorabilia collectors.
Flo was the great-granddaughter of John Bowman via his daughter Ellen Wilson. Her father was Charles Bowman Wilson a noted Mornington resident who was also active in civic affairs having served for many years on the Mornington Council including terms as President of the Shire. He was also a noted journalist for local media. Flo’s writings may be seen here – Flo Bubb Papers
Tales of Gin Stills, Shearing Prowess, and Longerenong College – by Jennie Towan: Jennie has done some excellent research and produced interesting summary notes about certain 19th century exploits of William Sorell Wilson, his nephew Albert, and his son-in-law John Niven who married William’s oldest daughter, Margaret Williamson Wilson. It would be true to say that some of the descendants of William Sorell were a little shocked when Jennie discovered his little ‘run in with the law’ a century or more back.
But other of us saw William’s exploit as one exhibiting great innovation and entrepreneurial ‘spirit’. Then it appears that William’s nephew Albert was also active in the fleecing game being something of a star performer in the shearing shed. John Niven was noted in agriculture and within the Longerenong College. And a comment on the missing (and never to be found) son of William Sorell, Frederick Sorell Williamson Wilson, and also on John Wake, William Sorell’s farming partner at Truganina. Read Jennie’s great work here – Jennie’s Research Notes
Letters from Home – in an era well before all the advanced means of communication we enjoy today, family just sat down and and hand wrote letters to one another – here are a few examples between members of the Wilson families. Sometime the price of paper was a little high so folks wrote not only left to right but diagonally as well, and surprisingly what they had to say was still adequately legible. (TBC)