Month: October 2017

The Story of Agnes Smith and her daughter Agnes Eliza McDonald Smith

One of the several gaps in the lore of our Bonnie William’s family is that of the origin of Agnes Smith and her childhood family. Agnes was spouse (in defacto law) of our illustrious Captain William McDonald. Our earliest information based on publicly available records, essentially the pair’s death certificates and daughter Agnes Eliza’s marriage and death certificates, have long indicated Agnes Smith as being the (assumed) spouse of the Captain, and Agnes Eliza as having been born on board a British ship in Antwerp Harbour, Belgium. These documents indicated that Agnes Smith was born in Liverpool, England. That was about all we had about her. Unfortunately no images of either Agnes or the Captain have so far been discovered, and possibly none exist; the Captain died in 1846 in Hobart and Agnes died there in 1864, the Captain prior to the availability of the more accessible form of photographic process of that age. However from mid 1850s film based processes were more commonly in use so perhaps we might hope that one day an image of Agnes might be discovered. An image of Agnes Eliza is shown here. Our early research was published in a paper by Laurie Wilson initially for our 1995 family reunion at Hastings, subsequently updated about 2003 with new discoveries from the official Archives of the City of Antwerp. A copy of that paper...

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About our Research and Researchers

The stories of family which are presented here have derived from extensive research undertaken, firstly by a hardcore of a dozen or so amateur but collectively experienced family member devotees of family history research which our broad Wilson family is fortunate to have had in its ranks over the years; and those years of research have extended from the 1930s right up to today and are ongoing; secondly this research has been supported by occasional amateur and professional genealogists working on our behalf in Scotland and Tasmania. Our earliest known researchers are shown here. Additionally, our research group is actively supported by a further 15 or so more family members from across the breadth of the family who whilst not engaged in research themselves have willingly made available large amounts of family photographs, documents, memorabilia and anecdotal records, information and stories from their memories from childhood and beyond. The earliest family researchers of whom we are aware were David Hartley Wilson of our Tasmanian arm (from William & Margaret’s son Frederick Langloh) who was active in the 1930s searching for connections in Scotland whilst visiting there on a business trip. From Frederick’s brother, John Bowman descendants, John Francis Wilson was actively researching during the 1950s onwards – John Francis was also liaising with his cousin Amy McDonald Wilson who was also actively assembling family memorabilia: photographs, newspaper clippings, postcards,...

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