The global family name of Wilson ('son of William') is one of the commonest in the English-speaking world, ever since the days of William the Conqueror. The particular branch of the family in which this page takes an interest is of Scottish Nordic origins from within the predominant Gunn clan descent from north-east Scotland.
This family (which, of course, is certainly not the only Wilson family recorded in Banffshire) came to some prominence in the 18th and 19th centuries as almost hereditary factors to the vast Cullen (Banffshire) estates of the Earls of Findlater and Seafield, and subsequently to the Huntly (Aberdeenshire) estates of Dukes of Richmond and Gordon.
In 1936, the history and genealogy of the family was traced back, covering some 300 years to 1635, with some conviction by Dr Andrew Cassels Brown, whose wife, Rachel, was a daughter of John Wilson of Castle Park in Huntly, the then head of the family. The results were published in 'The Wilsons - A Banffshire Family of Factors'. Included in this book was a necessarily quite brief reference to one of John Wilson's brothers, the artist, George Wilson, whose life and work are specifically addressed in a brief biography on this website.
At the date of the publication of the Wilson History, there were still several male Wilson descendants still alive, some having travelled to the four corners of the world in true adventurous Scots fashion to seek their fortune. Subsequently, a preponderance of female offspring, combining with a number of early male deaths, added to the consequences of the Second World War, in particular, in largely decimating the family - to the extent that the male line is, so far as is presently believed, now extinct. There are a number of interested descendants of quite recent female Wilson descent, but it is to try to identify any members of the family who might have escaped the knowledge of Andrew Cassels Brown and his wife Rachel (nee) Wilson's immediate family that this page has been written.
Although Rachel Cassels Brown's father, John Wilson, is recorded as having believed that his forebears were tenants and stewards on the Findlater estates as far back as the late 1500s, the documented descent of this branch within the History originates from one George Wilson who is estimated from extant records in 1936 to have been born around 1635. Furthermore, Andrew Cassels Brown also records that the state of the available early records within the region, as well as the multiplicity of repeated family names such as George, Alexander and John, rendered the whole question of many other extant but otherwise unproven records consulted at the time as too unsubstantiated to be included with adequate conviction.
It is therefore entirely conceivable that there are indeed other familial connections from within the region who were omitted for this reason, as well as others descended from those who emigrated abroad and with whom contact was lost.
Andrew Cassels Brown produced a detailed family tree, which it may or may not be possible to reproduce on this website in due course. Meanwhile, if any readers feel they have good researched reasons to believe that they might be able to contribute to, or improve the information about, this particular Banffshire family of Wilsons, then we shall be very pleased to hear from them. Please use the appropriate link on the contacts page.
However, please note that, with regret, general enquiries about the enormous world-wide clan of assorted Wilson families can not be responded to - as we simply will not have the answers!