Wilson Clan Crest: A demi-lion.
Wilson Clan Motto: Semper Vigilans (Always watchful).
History of Clan Wilson:
The surname is widespread throughout Scotland, and, in the north, is sometimes given as a Sept name of Clan Gunn or Clan Innes. Meanwhile, in the south of Scotland, lands at Carnwath in Lanarkshire were acquired by James Wilson in 1655. The kiltmakers William Wilson & Sons were established at Bannockburn, near Stirling in 1760.
James Wilson (1742-1798) was born in Ceres, Fife, before emigrating to America in 1765. He was a signatory of the American Declaration of Independence. Alexander Wilson (1766-1813) was born in Paisley and became a weaver. His satirical verses directed at a mill-owner brought him into trouble with the law and he emigrated to America in 1794. He produced seven volumes of American Ornithology, and was a maternal ancestor of Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America.Andrew Wilson (1780-1845) was a pupil of the painter Alexander Nasmyth. He became Master of the Trustees' Academy, Edinburgh. John Wilson (1785-1854) wrote under the name of Christopher North. He was Professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University. Robert Wilson (1800-82) was born in Dunbar and was associated with the invention of the screw propeller for ships. John Wilson (1804-75) was born in Lauder and became a Missionary to Bombay. He founded the Oriental Christian Spectator and in 1832, the English School in Bombay. Sir Daniel Wilson (1816-92) became Professor of History and English Literature at Toronto University. Hugh Wilson (1833-77) was born in Ross and became Editor of the Manchester Evening News and launched the Edinburgh Evening News in 1873. Charles Thomson Rees Wilson (1869-1959) invented the Cloud Chamber, a tool for particle physics, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1927. Brian Wilson (1948- ), born in Dunoon, was Minister for Energy in the Blair Government.
Surname distribution: The Wilson surname is widespread throughout Scotland with particularly high concentrations in Fife, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Clackmannanshire, Ayrshire, Edinburgh City, the Lothians (Linlithgowshire, Edinburghshire and Haddingtonshire) and Dumfries and Galloway (Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire) and the Scottish Borders (Berwickshire, Peeblesshire, Roxburghshire and Selkirkshire).
Places of Interest:
Paisley Abbey, Glasgow. Ancestors of Alexander Wilson, are buried here. He began his working life as a weaver in Paisley, but was forced to emigrate to America.
Wilsontown, Lanarkshire. Village established by three industrious Wilson brothers of Cleugh Estate, Carnwath.