William A. Dickson b. 27-08-1866

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Programme Collector
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William A. Dickson b. 27-08-1866

Post by Programme Collector » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:07 pm

Hello.

I have a query as to what the "A" stands for in the above player's name. Most sources say it is Alexander and say he was born on 27th Aug 1866 at Crail but Scotland's People doesn't return any results for this but does show a William Anderson Dickson born on that date in Crail, Fife.

If the birth date and place are correct then I guess it is too much of a coincidence to suggest his name wasn't Anderson.

Has anyone come across this gentleman before and have any information that can confirm his middle name at all?

Dickson started out at Dundee Strathmore and was the first player from a city club to be selected for Scotland. He gained 1 cap in a game v Ireland in 1888 scoring 4 goals in a 10-2 win. He moved to England shortly after with short spells at Sunderland and Bolton before moving to Aston Villa where he turned out in the 1892 FA Cup final. He moved to Stoke thereafter where he saw out his playing days. He died in Stoke in 1910.

He was affectionally known as Billy Dickson at Villa.

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Re: William A. Dickson b. 27-08-1866

Post by leicester » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:00 pm

Sorry to muddy these waters, but I can see where the 'Alexander' comes in...

Entry from the government's Find a Will site:

Dickson, William Alexander, of Prince of Wales Inn, Liverpool Road, Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, died 1 June 1910. Probate London, 18 July, to Jessie McLaren Dickson, widow. Effects £2092.3s.8d.

Given conflict, it's probably worth your while checking the wedding records for Billy & Jessie.

PT

EDIT:

William Alexander Dickson, 22, boilermaker (iron) m. Jessie McLaren at Dundee on 30.11.1888. Groom's parents were John (railway signalman) & Isabella.
Crail-born William Anderson Dickson (27.8.1866) was the son of Thomas & Margaret. You'll need to trawl the Scotland's People birth records among those registered as plain William to find one with the John & Isabella parentage.

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Re: William A. Dickson b. 27-08-1866

Post by Programme Collector » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:08 pm

Thanks for this. Was just looking at the marriage details there and had concluded the same thing. The Crail Dickson's father died before he was born. I was unaware of the Find a Will site- very handy.

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Re: William A. Dickson b. 27-08-1866

Post by ScottishFA » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:16 pm

Tricky one, this. However, I think he was born as William Alexander McFarlane in Rattray, Perthshire in 1866 to Isabella McFarlane. She already had a son Frederick born 1863.

His mother then married John Dickson. I can't find him in the 1871 census but the whole family is in Liff & Benvie in 1881 (he is recorded as Will Dickson).

I don't have full access to scotlands people just now to get further details and dates, but hopefully this will give some pointers.

I see he was described in the papers in 1895 as 'elephantine', in the great tradition of Scottish centre forwards....

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Re: William A. Dickson b. 27-08-1866

Post by Programme Collector » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:45 am

Thanks for the info. It has certainly confirmed that we can forget about the Crail birthplace and DOB listed on a number of sites. Definitely something I'll pursue.

I think he was past his best by 1895, but still, that's no way to speak about a player who notched a double brace in his only international!

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Re: William A. Dickson b. 27-08-1866

Post by ScottishFA » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:01 pm

It took a while, but I've now confirmed his (illegitimate) birth on 5 July 1866 at Rattray, Perthshire.

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