William Wilson

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William Wilson
(1839 – 1914)
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Birth: 1839
Death: 1914
Parents: William Wilson snr.
Janet Wilson (née Garrick)
Siblings: William Wilson (1839 – 1914)
James Mitchell Wilson (? – ?)
Robert G. Wilson (c. 1830 – ?)
Partners: Mary Wilson (née McHarg) (– unknown)
Children: James Herbert Wilson (6 February 1872 – 1 June 1942)
Andrew Oswald Wilson (16 August 1866 – 19 June 1950)
Charles William McHarg Wilson (September 1873 – 1957)
Margaret Rae Wilson (17 July 1880 – 12 January 1959)
William Garrick Wilson (1865 Jan 18 Wed – 1933 Oct 18 Wed)
Jessie Susan Wilson (16 August 1876 – 1889)
Mary 'Maimie' Agnes Wilson (11 May 1868 – 6 October 1957)
Robert 'Bob' Crichton Wilson (4 March 1870 – 22 February 1935)
Agnes Hay Wilson (17 August 1878 – 1958)

William's formal education ended when he was 18. The family business had failed and it was necessary for the older boys to earn money so that the younger son James could complete his medical training at Edinburgh University. He did this, and was in turn able to educate his own sons, one of them became a leading surgeon in Sheffield, England.[1]

The Wilsons had been tenant farmers in Ayrshire for many years. They prospered, and moved to Stirling and started milling woollens. This was a good move, but in time there were too many mills for the amount of water available for the waterwheels, and their mill failed.[1]

So it was that William, with his older brother Robert who had already had some trading experience, set off for Melbourne to make their fortunes. Robert soon decided to go to America, where he later started The American Trading Company, trading between America and Australia and various places in the Pacific as well as England. William stayed in Melbourne, trading mainly with Scotland, in drygoods organised by his father. He was never a money-maker, but there is no doubt that he was a well-loved family man. He married in 1864. His wife was Mary McHarg, born in Barrhill in Scotland and had come to Australia with her parents as a child. They were married in North Melbourne.[1]

William wrote many letters to his father, one of them somehow came back to Melbourne and Rae had part of it in the 1990s, giving a very good description of Melbourne as it was them. It was probably given to one of William's sons when they visited Scotland.[1]

William and Mary had ten children including twin girls one of whom died soon after birth, the other one, Jessie died as a young girl, of consumption. The others lived well into old age.[1]

Family tree

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Storage locations: Folder 1, Congdon shelf 13 (box 1, box 2)