Papers of the Wilson family of Peterhead

Scope and Content

A small collection of family papers of the Wilson family of Peterhead, comprising obituaries of James Wilson (1838 - 1920), n.d. [1920]; poem sent from [James Wilson] in Greenland, lamenting homeland and anticipating return, unsigned, 30 Jun 1864; 2 photographs of James Wilson, ? with his wife and son, n.d.; receipt of bond paid by Alexander Wilson, cooper, to the North of Scotland Bank Company, May 1845; apprenticeship agreement between Andrew Wilson and William and James Cooper, coopers, Peterhead, Nov 1864; letter from Andrew Wilson to his mother, discussing the hardship of his present circumstances and requesting that she not say a word of what I say in this letter, Dunbar, May 1887; printed poem, To a Brother, n.d.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Wilson family of Peterhead to whom this collection relates, may have comprised 3 brothers, James, Alexander and Andrew.

James Wilson (1838 - 1920), began his working life on whaling boats in the Arctic, and later entered into partnership with his brother, Alexander Wilson, as boat-builders in Peterhead. In his retirement he served on various public bodies in the town, including the town council, harbour trustees, the old parochial board, the feuars managers, and the magistrates' court, of which he was Baillie for 8 years. He was married with one son, James Robert Wilson, a fish salesman and drift owner in Peterhead.

Alexander Wilson, a cooper by trade, entered into partnership with his brother James Wilson (1838 - 1920), as boat-builders in Peterhead. No further details have been established.

Andrew Wilson may have been a sibling of James and Alexander, though it has not been possible to verify this on the basis of the records deposited here. He was apprenticed in 1864 as a cooper, with William and James Cooper, coopers in Peterhead; and in 1887 was living in Dunbar.


None observed - listing in progress

Access Information

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Gifted to the University in Dec 1985, by Mrs Wilma Aitken.

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures


No accruals expected

Related Material

No related material identified in this repository


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original