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Friday, 5 October 2012

Edward Leviolette Wilson and Agnes Jane Anderson

Edward Leviolette Wilson was born on 19th August 1872 in Edenderry, Portadown, Co. Armagh, to the grocer, Edward Wilson and Elizabeth Hinds.  His father, Edward, may have been working as a spirit merchant in Edenderry at the time of his birth, since the street directories show up an Edward Wilson, spirit merchant, resident in the town at this time.

The Wilson family made the move to Belfast shortly after Edward Leviolette's birth, but his father, the older Edward Wilson, died there on 7th May 1878, aged only 32.  At the time of his death he was living at 121 Hilland Street (which was in central Belfast close to the Donegall Road) and was still working as a grocer - his brother Joseph Wilson was present at his death.  Joseph himself died not long after.

The family stayed in Belfast following Edward's death, and were living at 40 Eblana Street in the Cromac area of the city in 1901.   It is said that the widowed Elizabeth Wilson ran a poultry farm, and she was known to travel by horse and trap in later life to Drumaghadone townland near Dromore to collect chickens for the kitchen.  Her family, the Hynds, lived in Skillyscolbane, the townland next to Drumaghadone, and her brother and sister were still living there in later life.

The 1901 Census:
Elizabeth Wilson, aged 54, widow, born Dromore, Co. Down, keeping house.
Edward Wilson (ie: Edward Leviolett Wilson),son, aged 28, Methodist, Grocer, born Portadown.
Lillie Wilson, Daughter, aged 24, Draper, born Portadown, Co. Armagh.
Richard Wilson (also known as Richard William Wilson), son, aged 23, born Co. Armagh.
Florrie Curry (ie: Currie), granddaughter, aged 5, Church of Ireland, born Bangor. (This was the daughter of Annie Wilson who was married to John Currie.)

Edward Leviolette Wilson married Agnes Jane Anderson on 21st August 1901 in Westbourne Presbyterian Church, Knockbreda, Belfast.  Both were still at home with their parents, Edward at 40 Eblana Street, and Agnes Jane at 412 Woodstock Road, East Belfast.  Her parents were William John Anderson and Agnes Keating.
The witnesses to the wedding were Edward's widowed mother, Elizabeth Wilson (née Hynds) and Agnes Jane's brother, Samuel Anderson, who was a pawnbroker.

Agnes Jane Anderson had been born on 25th March 1881 in 56 Templemore Avenue. My father recalls that she had lost an eye in childhood during a snowball fight.  Her husband, Edward Leviolette Wilson, had a grocery shop at 110 Castlereagh Street and was well-known for giving credit - later, when the IRA tried to murder him, the local women rallied round and saved him from assassination, purely because of his generosity. He was unable to turn away a sick animal or someone in need, although my father remembers him as being remarkably tight-fisted at home.  He grew vegetables in the back garden of the family home, Croom, on the Ravenhill Road, and kept chickens there too.
I believe Edward retired from business when his grocery shop on Castlereagh St. was bombed during the Belfast Blitz in 1941.  My father, Paul, and his younger brother, Anthony, lived with Edward Leviolette and Agnes Jane, during the war while his father, Bertie Stewart, was stationed in England with the RAF.

Edward L. Wilson's grocery shop, 110 Castlereagh Street

Edward Leviolette Wilson died of a cerebral haemorrhage in the Claremont Hospital, Belfast, on 7th June 1953.  Following his death, his widow, Agnes Jane, moved out to Dundonald.
Agnes Jane, died of a traffic accident in Dundonald on 30th July 1961.

In 1911, Edward Leviolette Wilson and Agnes Jane were living at 357 Woodstock Road, three doors down from Agnes Jane's father, William John Anderson, who was living at No. 360.   (By 1911, the widowed William John Anderson, who had previously worked as a pawnbroker, had become a cycle agent.)

The Wilson Family 1924.  Left to right: Doreen, Vera, Ernest,  Edward Leviolett Wilson,  Edward, Edna, Agnes Jane Anderson, Ronald, Nessie and Kay.  The photo was kindly sent to me by Edward Junior's son, Stuart Wilson.
Their children of Edward and Agnes Jane were:

1) Elizabeth Catherine/Kathleen Wilson (born 6th May 1903 at 389 Woodstock Road - 15th February 1970.)  She was always known as Kay, and would later marry a policeman, Edward/Ted Watts.  At the time of her death in 1970, she was living at 11 Slievecorragh Avenue, Newcastle, Co. Down.

2)  Agnes Keating Wilson, our paternal grandmother, was born on 23rd November 1905 at 389 Woodstock Road.

Agnes Jane with her daughter, our grandmother Nessie Stewart.  Taken in the 1930s.

3)  Edward Leviolette Wilson (born 18th September 1908 at 412 Woodstock Road - 7th May 1984.)  Edward moved to Scotland where he married Mary Ann Lyall on 16th September 1944 in Dundee. Mary Ann was the daughter of James Lyall and Mary Cobb of 50 Ferry Grove, Dundee. She had been born in Dundee on 12th September 1909 and died there on 23rd June 1990.  
Edward worked, first, as a catering manager for Martin's Bakery, then as a travelling salesman for JW Greig & Co.
Edward and Mary Ann Wilson lived, from 1950 to 1970 at 81 Grove St., Edinburgh.  Their children were Edward Lyall Wilson, Stuart Aexander Wilson and Alison Jane Anderson Wilson.

4)  Mary Veronica Wilson (6th September 1910 - 9th September 2002.)   She was born at 412 Woodstock Road and married Jack Brooks, who worked in the bank, then as a fruit juice salesman.  Their children were Ingrid Brooks and Colin Brooks.

5)  Margaret Doreen Wilson, known as Doreen (born 7th January 1913 at 412 Woodstock Road - September 2005.) Doreen was married to the building contractor, Bob McNeill (Robert John Holmes McNeill);  they lived in Weybridge, Surrey, England.  They had Jennifer McNeill and Nicholas McNeill.

6)  Edna Isobel Wilson (born 15th July 1914 at 416 Woodstock Road - 24th April 1998.)  Edna never married.  Following her father's death in 1953, she and her widowed mother, Agnes Jane, moved south to Dundonald, where we visited her in about 1969. I remember chickens in the garden next door and a ceramic hot water bottle in the bed I shared with Auntie Edna. She remained in close contact with her sister, Nessie, (our grandmother) who died of aural encephalitis in Dublin in 1965.   In later life, Edna moved further south to Annalong on the Co. Down coast where her brother, Ernest, lived with his wife Essie, and daughter, Deborah.

Edna (to the right) visiting us at home in Dublin in the early 1960's.  With her is her friend, Betty Mackle, and our cousin, Janice Stewart.

7)  Ernest W. Wilson (1919 - 5th February 1996.)  Ernest married Nettie Beattie who emigrated to Canada along with their two daughters, Carol Wilson and Janice Wilson.  He married again - his second wife was Esther/Essie (1918 - 19th December 1994).  Ernest and Essie had one daughter, Deborah Wilson.  Both Ernest and Essie lived in Annalong, Co. Down.

Ernest Wilson with his sister, our grandmother Nessie Stewart,  and her springer spaniel,  Kerry.  The photo was taken  in the early 1960s in Claddaghduff, Connemara. 
Taken in Sweeney's pub, Claddaghduff:  left to right - Bertie Stewart,  our dad  Paul Stewart, Ernest Wilson and Nessie Stewart. 

8)  Richard Ronald K. Wilson (1921 - May 1971.) Ronald, who worked for the Firestone Tyre Company,  married Mary Robertson who had been born on 2nd May 1927 to Frank Robertson and Jean Lyall.  They had Richard Wilson and Katherine Wilson.

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