William Wilson, the pioneer ancestor of this family, emigrated from Stewardstown, County of Tyrone, Ireland, in 1732, when 19 years of age. The Town of Stewardstown is in the parish of Donagheny in the province of Ulster and eighty-two miles northwest of Dublin, long noted for its very superior linen cloth.
James Robert Gowan, Judge of the Judicial district of Simcoe, was born in the County of Wexford, Ireland, December 22nd, 181i; his parents being Henry Hatton and Elizabeth (Burkitt) Gowan. In 1832 the family emigrated to Upper Canada, and for years the father of our subject was Deputy Clerk of the Crown and Pleas for the County of Simcoe. He died in 186:3. The son was educated chiefly in Canada; studied law with Hon. James E. Small, of Toronto, Solicitor-General for Upper Canada; was called to the bar in 1839, and practiced in partnership with Mr. Small until January, 1843,