Month: December 2017

William & Margaret’s Tasmanian Abodes

From stories passed down within our Tasmanian families and from official records we know of several of the places where William & Margaret and family lived after arrival in Hobart in 1820. Their first abode appears to have been in Campbell St, Hobart or close by and within earshot of the Campbell St gaol – it is said Margaret insisted on leaving that place because she could not stand the perpetual screams of the convicts incarcerated and being punished there. The next location seems most likely to be lodgings somewhere in the newly named hamlet of Sorell – their...

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Architects and Masons, and Bonnie William Wilson

It seems appropriate that our first recognition for achievement ought to go to our forebears who excelled in the noble arts of stonemasonry and architecture – and there are three such noteworthies. Firstly John Wilson (The Mason) of Laws Farm/Drumsturdy and Templehall in Scotland, there followed by his son who is the leading man in our story, Bonnie William of Newbigging (Angus), Scotland and of Hobarton, Van Diemens Land (his full name, William Hartley Wilson). Thereafter we see William followed by his grandson David Hartley (‘Hart’) Wilson (down the Frederick Langloh Wilson arm), a notable architect who was also...

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Reminiscences – Stories and Letters of Times Past

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...

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William Sorell Wilson: Farmer, Merchant, and ‘Spirited’ Entrepreneur

The first child of William Hartley and Margaret was a son whom they named William Sorell Wilson, was born in 1821 whilst they lived in the Pittwater region of Van Diemen’s Land, where the village was named Sorell by touring Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1822. The village and our forebear William Sorell Wilson were named after the then Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen’s Land, William Sorell. Van Diemen’s Land at that time was still part of the Colony of New South Wales. Later in his life our William Sorell wrote a little note, copies of which have survived in several arms of the broad family today which states he was the first child born in the Pittwater area and that his father was Colonial Architect, and ‘a great favourite of the Governor’. Together with his two brothers William worked with their father on the family farms, initially at Sorell, and from about 1848 at O’Brien’s Bridge (Glenorchy today). He was married in 1856 to Eliza Wilson (not a related Wilson) daughter of William Borradaile Wilson and Grace Terry from nearby New Norfolk, and formerly of ‘Clarendon on the Derwent’, Gretna near Hamilton. Later that year William and his family together with brother John Bowman and family left Tasmania for Victoria and worked initially on the property of W J T (Big) Clarke at Rockbank. It seems clear that in Tasmania...

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