There are roughly 31 family trees for Robert Wilson on Ancestry, the majority of them saying he was born in London. Some produce a baptism entry in Bristol for a Robert Wilson in Bristol in 1788. This may well be our man but I doubt he was the only Robert Wilson born in England around that time. What is recorded is that a Lieutenant Robert Wilson RM was entitled to the Naval General Service Medal and also won a clasp for participating in a naval action against the French at Anse-le Barque in Guadeloupe on 18th December 1809.
Now, the big lighthouse at the very highest point of Inis Mor was only exhibited for the first time from 1st May 1818 (along with Cape Clear) so it is unlikely that the elder two children were born on the island. It might have been possible if the half-pay lieutenant had joined the Coastguards on the island and then transferred to the lighthouse service but I've been unable to find RW in the ranks of Coastguards.
What is probable is the fact that Wilson and Kelly were the first keepers on the island. (Incidentally, one Bryan Dirrane was one of the seven victims nineteen years later when the lighthouse tender capsized on its way to Arran, drowning both lightkeepers at the same time. It seems that Bryan may well have been one of those local helpers on a retainer from the Ballast Board who crop up around the country. They do not appear to have been subject to transfers)
A fourth child, Maria appears to have been born on the island in 1822 but these were turbulent times and I am extremely grateful to Stephen A. Royle for his paper Irish Famine Relief in the early 1820s - the 1822 famine on the Aran Islands for further information on RW.
Famine relief was not orchestrated by Government agencies on the island but by 'the key members of the islands' very small middle class' - Patrick O'Flaherty, the only magistrate and de facto King of the Islands; Patrick Naughton, the Constable; Digby Devenish, the coastguard master; the Rev. Francis O'Flaherty, the Catholic parish priest; and Robert Wilson, the lightkeeper, probably Protestant, in light of later events at Cape Clear. (Evidently, Richard Kelly was considered a bit of a pleb.)
The lightkeeper was given two projects - one to build a road, and the other to build a chapel at Oghil, in the centre of the island where the lighthouse was situated. The Archbishop raised funds specifically for Wilson's projects, including at least 15 tons of barley meal and £110.
The Archbishop's response has been lost in the mists of time. But, five days later, Wilson found himself summarily transferred to the lighthouse on Arranmore Island off the coast of Donegal.
The lighthouse went up for sale in 2020 for €550,000, described as a restoration project. Locals are keen for restoration to take place, as abortive efforts to do so have been made down the years. I am not sure if the property is still on the market. It was in Autumn 2021.