My feeling would be that Robert Chambers, who is porportedly the author of a paper Reflections on the Vestiges of Creation
which was published in the 1840's, would be remembered as the father of evolution because he came up with the "tree of descent" and the concept of transmutation through common ancestry. Chambers is, however, given short shrift as anyone other than a popular science author. WELL la dee dah, Darwin wasnt what wed call UIniversity trained . He learned most of his geology from field tripping with trained guys like Lyell and even Sedgewick (who later wound up really hating all "Evolutionists" starting with Chambers and adding DArwin to his list.
I dont like Wallace as the father of nat selection because his paper was lacking specificity and mechanisms. I do like Wallace as the first goy to really embrace biogeography and how animals adapt via transmutation when they are adrift on islands. He was one of the first to speculate on transmutation by ISOLATION (didnt know nothing about reproductive isolation). His greatest line, IMHO was
EEVERY SPECIES HAS COME INTO EXISTENCE COINCIDENT IN SPACE AND TIME WITH A PRE-EXISTING CLOSELY ALLIED SPECIES