I am researching my family history and am presently trying to put together the life of my grandfather, James Innes Wilson. My father never talked about
his father and my grandfather died before I was born. I know that my grandfather died in Birmingham
in August 1940. I have been able to locate only one record of a person with this name who died at this time. In the deaths register he had been living at No.75 Highbridge
Road, Sutton Coldfield and the occupation was given as a brewer's engineer. Would there be any records available in any archives where I could research and find which
brewery he worked at and any other relevant information?
Lossiemouth, Scotland, August 29th 2009.
Sutton Coldfield is not a million miles away from the many breweries that were located in Aston so perhaps your grandfather commuted to work. In which case you have quite a task determining the brewery at which he worked. As far as I know there was no major brewery in Sutton Coldfield so Aston seems the most likely. Birmingham City Archives does have some material for Ansell's brewery but I am not sure if this includes details of employees. I have looked at No. 75 Highbridge Road in the previous year and, indeed, it was occupied by a James Innes Wilson. In this year he was recorded as a general gardener. Interestingly, in brackets it also states that he was formerly a Colonial Civil Servant. He was born on November 20th, 1882. I have found records for a James Innes Wilson leaving Liverpool bound for Argentina  and the Falkland Islands  - possibly the same person given his listed occupation. Recorded as a farm manager, he arrived back in Liverpool in November 1924, along with Jean Innes Wilson. Another avenue of exploration for you is a newspaper article dated December 1949 which records the death of Jane Robertson. She was recorded as the widow of James Innes Wilson, late of the Falkland Islands. She died at No.1 Dundonnie Street in Boddam, the residence of her son Arnold James Innes Wilson. Indeed, Arnold was listed on the boarding records of 1914, the 2 year-old sailed on the steamship Ortega. I believe that this James Innes Wilson was formerly a travelling school teacher, later appointed the first resident magistrate of South Georgia. He held this post until 1914 when he subsequently worked as the manager of Fox Bay East sheep farm. Kieron