A discovery which we came across a few years back when we had a professional researcher in Scotland working on our origins, was the existence of an earlier ‘relationship’ which Bonnie William had in Scotland prior to marrying Margaret and emigrating to Van Diemens Land.

It seems Mary Archer was a servant in the household of William in Newbigging in 1819 when they had ‘la liaison’ resulting in Mary becoming pregnant, all subsequently acknowledged in a Kirk session in which they were fined, admonished and sent on there way. Mary gave birth to a son, John in 1819, whilst William did indeed go his own way, marrying Margaret Williamson a year later and leaving for Van Diemens Land. He left ‘under a cloud’ with his family according to family legend.

Mary reared John alone and they lived out their lives in Newbigging. It seems she never married. Son John married and had a fine family although he died young with cancer of the stomach at age 35. We have traced his family and established some years ago there were living descendants in the west of Scotland. Discreet but unsuccessful enquiry was made in 1995, and a further attempt late 2003 was also unsuccessful so no further attempt at contact is now proposed.

More recently we have been contacted by a John Waddell, resident in Scotland, who is a distant marriage connection; Mary Archer’s son John Barrie Wilson married Margaret Rennie and John Waddell derives from Margaret Rennie’s sister Catherine, his main interest being the Rennie line. But it was useful to see his research independent from our own confirming our data, including some information we had on descendants of the children of John Barrie Wilson and Margaret nee Rennie

The Archer genealogy to the extent we know it from that research is included in the William Hartley Wilson Charts under the ‘Generations’ section. It is further listed here with descendants from Mary Archer’s son John (Archer) Wilson only – and we have excluded the further living generation for privacy reasons. [Note the surname appears as both Archer and Archar in the records – Archer appears to be correct from the Monikie Kirk session record.]

A fuller story of the relationship, its likely part in the reasons that William and Margaret emigrated is explored on our ‘STORIES’ page under the ‘Bonnie William from Dundee’ – a Synopsis’ story, within the attached .doc file.