Month: January 2018

Scottish Roots & Aussie Beginnings

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. Today there are descendants and close family links in many parts of the world – UK, Argentina, USA, France, et al Our Scottish Origins – John (the mason) Wilson and Margaret Bowman were wed in 1772...

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John Wilson (the Mason) of Laws – Home Sweet Home

It is interesting to observe the identification of the Angus ‘cities’ and villages of our forebears in old maps of Angus. In a map of Britain dated about 1250 (partial image below – click to enlarge), in the region which is today Angus, Dundee can be identified, whilst Hadrian’s Wall is highlighted to the south. Also in the gallery below, Ainslie’s 1788 map is contemporary with the period when the young family of John Wilson of Laws was growing up and no doubt roaming the fields and hills about Laws Farm and district. The recent image in the header...

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Scottish Origins – Margaret Bowman of Dunnichen

Dunnichen, in the old Gaelic ‘Dun Nectan’ meaning ‘Hill Fort’ or ‘Stronghold of Nectan’. Nectan was a Pictish King, whilst Dunnichen became famed in that period of history classed as ‘the dark ages’ as the place of a great battle between Pictish and Angle forces, the local Picts inflicting a massive defeat and slaughter of the Angle force led by Angle King Ecgfrith, in the Battle of Dunnichen in 685. A scenic panorama of the attractive and gently undulating countryside adjoining Dunnichen village is seen in the header above. It was at Dunnichen Church seen here that the Banns...

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Scottish Origins – Newbigging Village

Newbigging (an Anglo-Saxon word literally meaning ‘new house/building’) village nestles in the beautiful Scottish lowlands some 30 km north of Dundee, and 10 km west of Monifieth township on the coast. It locates within Monikie Parish just outside of Monifieth Parish boundary. In the feature image above we see the village surrounded by post harvest summer fields, the Drumsturdiemuir  strip settlement spanning the mid-distance right to left, Laws (Hill) and farm beyond, and just visible in the far distance the Tay Estuary and County Fife. Our Wilsons from at least mid 18th century lived and worked, and had their...

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Scottish Origins: of Monifieth, Monikie, Barry; and older times past

Baptism, marriage and death records show that during the period 1770 to 1800 our Wilson family were identified as living at Laws or Drumsturdy. Sometime after 1782 they moved just a couple of hundred metres along the Drumsturdy Road to a location and home known as Templehall, across the road from the Newbigging Toll. It was at Templehall where Margaret and shortly after, their daughter Matilda died in 1784. John and his family remained here apparently for many years; in 1788 John remarried to Margaret Ferrier and they continued living here with the children of the first marriage. These locations are all highlighted on the 1788 Survey map segment below. Prepared at Government initiative by surveyor John Ainslie in 1788 it was the equivalent of today’s Ordnance Survey Maps, recording every geographic and topographical detail. The little black boxes are homes and farm buildings – our Wilsons lived in one or more of these at that time, along the Drumsturdiemuir (Drumsturdy Moor) strip of households on either side of the road (the Arbroath Pike of that time), those on the south side known as Laws Cottages, all of these homes we are advised were tenanted by farm workers, both at the very large Laws Farm as well as farms on the north side of the roadway. John and Margaret Ferrier had two children, James b.1788, and Isobel b.1790 but...

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