*** Contributed by Judy Coppa


William James Wilson - Born at Dunns Corner Queens County NB

William James Wilson born on May 9 1851, son of William and Cynthia (Smith) Wilson. His sister Ella was married to Richard (Dick) Graham of Coote Hill. (See list of Coote Hill Property Owners-5a by Austin Graham). According to family history William J. obtained his early education at the Illinois Wesleyan University from which he graduated with a Degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. He taught for a number of years in the grammar schools around Saint John and lived at 36 Peters St. in 1877.

He kept a daily journal for the year 1877. The Journal starts out (below) when he is home for the holidays at Christmas and New Years. The entry for Wednesday Jan 3 1877 is an account of a journey to Welsford for a minister to marry his brother John and Elizabeth Kerr, parents of Beautrice (Sutton), Blanche (Clarke) , Annie (Russell), Willard and George who owned the farm at the time of the expropriation in 1953.

William married Elizabeth Jane Wood 1849-1933 from Saint John. Their family included Harold, who died young, a daughter Gertrude, and a son Percy Dixon Wilson 1888-1974 who later became a prominent Ottawa lawyer and was the Official Guardian of Ontario at the time of the Dionne Quints.

Early in life, William James Wilson showed a distinct liking for botanical research and in 1891 moved to Ottawa and commenced as a geologist in the Geological Survey Branch. While there he carried on extensive exploration around James Bay, Hudson Bay, Lake Superior and other parts of Canada. He made a number of rich discoveries. Later he devoted himself exclusively to work in paleo botany. William was reputed to be the leading paleo botanist in the country and his findings gave him a niche in the Canadian History of Botany. He was a contributer to many important journals and some of his diccoveries now rest in the British as well as the United States National Museums. He also contributed articles to the Encyclopedia Britannica. He died in Ottawa on Aug 21 1920.

The above information and a photocopy of the Journal were sent to me (David McKinney) by his g. grand daughter Judy Coppa in Woodinville Wa. The Journal has daily entries on teaching, visiting relatives, commenting on conditions and attending church on Sundays.