Derry’s Neil Armstrong link

Mrs. Eileen Wilson, a distant relative of first man on the moon, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, who recently passed away, pictured at her Richburn Gardens home yesterday looking over some family history of the connection. 2808JM144
Mrs. Eileen Wilson, a distant relative of first man on the moon, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, who recently passed away, pictured at her Richburn Gardens home yesterday looking over some family history of the connection. 2808JM144

A family in the Waterside has more reason than most to mourn the death of the first man on the moon, astronaut Neil Armstrong. For they have his fourth cousin in the house!

Speaking to the Journal yesterday, Eileen Wilson, told how the man who spoke the immortal words ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’ wrote to her after she discovered he was a distant relative of her husband Jim.

The 82 year-old, who was born in the same year as the spaceage icon, later sold the letter to a collectibles dealer for just £80.

Eileen said she was very sad to hear of the pioneering astronaut’s death on Saturday.

“I wrote to him when I discovered that he was related to my husband. I started delving into the Armstrong connection because Jim’s mother was Armstrong from Enniskillen. She was from a very elite family at Belturbet, she was of Scots-Ulster descent. When I knew there was a connection I wrote to him and he wrote back to me, the letter was addressed ‘Dear Eileen’ and I felt very privileged. A dealer from Edinburgh heard about it and kept contacting me to sell it. I refused and he tortured me for ages - eventually I sold it to him for £80. That was in about 1975 so I suppose it’s long gone now.”

Neil Armstrong (82) died due to complications from recent heart surgery.