Q and A
WAS HE A BUILDER OR A RAILWAYMAN?In the Christmas 2007 issue of FHM you very kindly answered my query regarding the WILSON family, looking in particular at the parentage of William WILSON. I am writing to you again to try and establish, once and for all, the truth of my great-grandfather’s parentage. I took your advice and managed to establish the parentage of James R WILSON (possibly William’s elder brother). His parents are, according to his birth certificate, Robert WILSON and Mary Jane DICKINSON. This tallies with the details of Williams’ parents. One of the discrepancies highlighted in your previous reply was the contradictory occupational details with regard to Robert (J) WILSON, father of James, William and their other siblings. On James’ birth certificate Robert’s occupation is stated as being ‘pointsman’, but on almost all documentation Robert is described as being a ‘bricklayer’ or ‘bricksetter’. During an approximate period (1874–1877), however, he seems to have worked on the railways – if the occupational details on James’ and William’s birth certificates are to be believed. Another potential fly in the ointment is that the only marriage I can find between a Robert WILSON and a Mary Jane DICKINSON is the one that took place in Liverpool in 1866, in a Roman Catholic church. It is the only Catholic marriage I have come across in my branch of the WILSON family thus far. Most, if not all, of the others have been Methodist. Could it be possible that even if only one of my great-grandfather’s parents was actually Catholic, this took precedence when it came to deciding where the marriage service took place? I am still very uncertain as to whether I have established the correct facts regarding this part of my WILSON family tree and would once again appreciate your advice.
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Q: Who invented the printing press in the Holy Roman Empire in 1440?