William Wanless

William Wanless[1]

Male 1828 - 1901  (73 years)

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  • Name William Wanless 
    Alt Birth 6 Apr 1827  Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Born 6 Apr 1828  Longformacus, Berwick, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Residence Abt 1847  Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • per obituary
    Census 1851  Longformacus, Berwick, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • With father: William son, 22, grocer
    Moved Abt 1858  Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Census 1861  Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Sarnia Town, Lambton County, Ontario
      WANLESS, William Scot 32 FC Merchant
      Jane Ont 22 FC
      John Scot 30 FC $1,200 invested, 1 horse worth $85, 1/4 acre
      -- John is almost certainly William's brother, as his marriage in the Sarnia Observer describes him as "of Sarnia". This is the only Wanless family in Sarnia in the 1861 census.
    Occupation 1864  Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    merchant 
    • (per child's birth record)
    Census 1871  Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • (FHL 349137, ED 4 Lambton, ES G, Div. 2 page 9, Sarnia Town)
      WANLESS, William 42 b. SCOTLAND C. Presby, SCOTCH origin, GROCER, married
      Jane 34 b. Ont, C. Presb, Scotch origin, married
      William 10 (all children b. Ont, same religion & origin as mother)
      Jane 8
      Alexander 6
      John 4
    Census 1881  Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Sarnia, Lambton, Ontario, Canada
      Source: FHL Film 1375913 NAC C-13277 Dist 179 SubDist A Div 1 Page 14 Family 64
      William WANLESS M M 51 Scottish Scotland Occ: Merchant Religion: Presbyterian
      Jane WANLESS F M 43 Scottish O. Religion: Presbyterian
      William WANLESS M 19 Scottish O. Occ: Merchants Clerk Religion: Presbyterian
      Jessie WANLESS F 17 Scottish O. Religion: Presbyterian
      Alex WANLESS M 15 Scottish O. Religion: Presbyterian
      John WANLESS M 13 Scottish O. Religion: Presbyterian
      Robert B. WANLESS M 9 Scottish O. Religion: Presbyterian
      Norval WANLESS M 6 Scottish O. Religion: Presbyterian
      Walter WANLESS M 4 Scottish O. Religion: Presbyterian
      Frederich WANLESS M <1 Scottish O. Religion: Presbyterian, Born: Jan; 3/12
    Census 1891  London, Middlesex Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • East Middlesex district, London East subdistrict
      William Wanless, 63, self & parents b. Scotland, burser at asylum, all C. Presby
      Jane, 52, wife, b. Ont
      William, 28, son, all children b. Ont, clerk in a shop
      Jessey, 24, dau
      Alexander, 24, son, G.T.R. dep store
      John, 22, son, carriage wood
      Bruce, 20, son, clerk in wholesale(?)
      Norvel, 18, son
      Walter, 16, son
      Frederick, 11, son
    Occupation 1883-1893  London, Middlesex Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • assistant bursar to the London Asylum
    Census 1901  London, Middlesex Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • London City
      Film: T-6481, Ward: 3 & 4, Div: 3, Page: 12, Entry: 49, Family: 128
      Wanless William head age 73, born Apr 6, 1827 Scotland immigrated 1849?, Scotch origin, Presbyterian, retired
      Wanless Jane wife age 63, Mar 25, 1838 Ontario
      Wanless William son age 39, Nov 22, 1861 Ontario, clerk in dry goods
      Wanless Robert B. son age 29, Nov 13, 1871 Ontario, commercial traveller
      Wanless Fredrick son age 19, Jan 17, 1881 Ontario, bookkeeper
      -- NOTE: The immigration year is written in a different hand and is unclear - looks like 1899 or 1879, but could be 1849. We know he was in Canada between 1851 and 1861.
    Residence 1901  London, Middlesex Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Dundas street 
    Died 8 Sep 1901  London, Middlesex Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Obituary 8 Oct 1901  Berwickshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Berwickshire News and General Advertiser - Tuesday 08 October 1901 - page 3
      The Late Mr William Wanless
      We regret to announce the death of Mr William Wanless, sen., which occurred at his home, Dundas-street, London, Canada, on Sunday morning, Sept 8. He was born April 6, 1828, at Longformacus, and when quite young went to live in Edinburgh, where he remained until 1848, when with his brother John Wanless, the well-known jeweller of Toronto, he came to Canada. He remained in Toronto till the opening of the Great Western Railway, when he removed to Sarnia, and engaged in business successfully for over 21 years, during 15 of which he was a member of the Town Council. While there, he was a personal friend and supporter of the late Hon. Alexander Mackenzie. In 1883 he became assistant bursar at the London Asylum and occupied that position until failing health compelled him to resign it about seven years ago.

      His father, William Wanless, was schoolmaster at Longformacus from 1821 until 1866, and "Glimpses in the past in Lammermuir" inform us that after his funeral, "that night, in manse, farmer's parlor, shepherd's cottages scattered over the moor, and in village homes, words of affection and gratitude were expressed towards the worthy old man who had served a people well and faithfully for 45 years, and words of sympathy for the family who were no more to inhabit the dear old schoolhouse that had been to them always a pleasant home."..."A good man who has dwelt in one place for 45 years must from our natures have entwined himself round the hearts of those who were to him children, men, and women." Out of a family of 17, four died young and thirteen survived their parents. Andrew Wanless, the well-known poet, who recently died in Detroit, was one of these, and of his mother and father wrote:
      "My mother! Thou wert kind to me,
      Although the grave did early get thee;
      The tear still rises in my e'e;
      My mother! I will ne'er forget thee.
      And there my other parent lies,
      Set free from care and carking strife;
      An honest man, sedate and wife,
      As ever drew the breath of life."
      The subject of this sketch and his brothers, John, Andrew, Robert, Alexander, and James, and five sisters, all came to Canada. He was a typical Scotchman, while fond of Scotland, as loyal to Canada. He was warm-hearted and kind in all relationships in life. It might as truthfully be said of him as was written by his brother Andrew. He loved
      "To wander by the murmuring stream,
      To pull the roses, fresh and fair,
      And learn to dream life's idle dream,
      And build the castle in the air."
      Sentiment had much to do with his actions, and those who knew him always felt they had in him a genuine friend.
      He had been an invalid for over seven years, gradually failing day by day, until his death. His wife has been a true one, and he leaves behind him his widow and seven sons and one daughter to mourn his loss. William, Alexander, Bruce, Norval, and Frederick are at home; John is at Moline, Ill., and Walter at Seattle. Mrs. Alexander Purdom is the only daughter.

      ---------------
      In the same paper, on page 4, is another notice titled "Beriwckshire Native Dies in Canada" with most of the same information, but adds, regarding Sarnia: "for fifteen years he was a member of the Town Council. Mr Wanless carried on a very extensive business and was a leading figure in the business community in Sarnia during the period of his residence. His place of business was the brick store on Front, South of Cromwell, which now forms part of the Vendome Hotel. Mr Wanless built the brick clock of two stores on Front Street north of the Bank of Montreal, now occupied by George Wenino and A.C. Palmer." and "Three of the brothers survive - James, of Colorado Springs; John, of Toronto; Robert of Sarnia; four sisters, all married, 3 in Canada and one in Scotland. Deceased was a full cousin to Mrs Playfair, Longformacus, Duns."
    Notes 
    • Initial info on this family group from son Walter's SSN application.

      There are 3 Williams buried in the same mausoleum as his wife, so presumably he is buried there. Could get cemetery records for exact dates and other members of this family listed in OCFA.

      Obituary says he lived in Edinburgh while young (which is strange because his father apparently never left Longformacus) and that he emigrated with his brother John in 1848 - but he was in Longformacus for the 1851 census, so emigration was probably after that. The obit also says he lived in Toronto until the Great Western Railway opened (which was 1853-54, but the branch to Sarnia opened in 1858).

      Obit says "Deceased was a full cousin to Mrs Playfair, Longformacus, Duns." - who is that?
    Person ID I4357  2: George Wanless & Bessie Cairns of Auchope Farm, Yetholm Parish, Roxburghshire, Scotland
    Last Modified 28 Jun 2016 

    Father William Wanless,   b. 29 Mar 1797, New Edmiston, Roxburgh, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 May 1866, Longformacus, Berwick, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Mother Margaret Graham,   b. 28 Oct 1803,   d. 2 Nov 1847, Longformacus, Berwick, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 44 years) 
    Married Est 1818 
    Family ID F1435  Group Sheet

    Family Jane King,   b. 25 Mar 1838, Vaughn, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Nov 1923, London, Middlesex Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married 25 Dec 1860  Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Children 
     1. William Wanless,   b. 22 Nov 1861, Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 May 1902, London, Middlesex Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 40 years)
     2. Robert Dye Wanless,   b. 27 Jan 1864, Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Mar 1870, Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 6 years)
     3. Jane "Jessie" Dye Wanless,   b. 27 Jan 1864, Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Aug 1935, Kingsway, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     4. Alexander Wanless,   b. 1865, Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1948  (Age 83 years)
     5. John Albert Wanless,   b. 4 Mar 1868, Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. Robert Bruce Wanless,   b. 13 Nov 1871, Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1935  (Age 64 years)
     7. Norval King Wanless,   b. 17 Jun 1874, Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. Walter Muir Wanless,   b. 26 Aug 1876, Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. May 1964, Seattle, King Co, Washington, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
     9. Frederick Wanless,   b. 17 Jan 1881, Ontario, Canada (probably Sarnia, Lambton Co) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 4 Feb 2006 
    Family ID F1537  Group Sheet

  • Sources 
    1. [S41] Oral, LETTER 6/2000 , SHARON WILBER (Reliability: 1).

    2. [S142] Surname Index to Christenings in Berwick, Scotland, C117504 FR 348 (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S159] Sarnia Observer, (extracts of mrgs, brths, deaths in the Sarnia, ONT newspaper), FRIDAY, JANUARY 4, 1861 (Reliability: 3).
      Marriage - on the 25th ult., by the Rev. R.G. Baird, William Wanless, Esq., to Miss Jane, daughter of Robert King, Esq., both of Sarnia.

    4. [S30] Marriage Register.
      Groom: age 30, born Berwickshire, Scotland, lives Sarnia Twp, parents William & Margaret
      Bride: age 22, b. Vaughan Twp, lives Sarnia Twp, parents Robert & Jane