Monday, February 6, 2017
Thank you, Uncle Hugh
3rd Great Granduncle’s legacy to 2nd Great Grandfather Walter Wilson led me to my 3rd Great Granny from Scotland.
Walter’s parents, James and Marion Wilson, emigrated from Scotland, Great Britain. They spent time in New Jersey and later Norwich, Connecticut. 3rd Great Grandfather James Wilson had a brother, Hugh, in this country. Grandfather and Uncle resided in the Norwich area and operated a business together.
I’m assuming Great Grandfather James died by 1850 since he didn’t appear in the 1850 federal census with the family. Walter lived at home with his widowed mother and siblings Ann, Janett, Hugh, and John November 1850.
Ancestry.com; 1850 Federal Census; Norwich, New London, Connecticut;
Roll: M432-48; Page: 190A; Image: 382
3rd Great Granduncle Hugh lived to be an old man outliving his wife and son passing away May 19, 1881. Uncle Hugh remembered his brother’s children in his will written Feb. 19, 1881:
I do give & devise unto my brother’s children Walter Wilson, John Wilson, Marion Davis & Ann Wilson the sum of three hundred dollars each & unto his other James Wilson’s children the sum of three hundred dollars.
Only four of James and Marion’s known children inherit in Uncle’s will—Walter, John, Marion, and Ann. Where’s siblings Janett and Hugh from the 1850 census? I find the words “unto his other James Wilson’s children” odd and don’t know how to interpret this. Did Great Grandfather James have a family with a former wife? Unfortunately, I couldn’t find answers to my questions.
For years I attempted to locate more records for Grandfather Walter’s mother and siblings with no success … that is until this past week. Tuesday morning I successively typed Marion Wilson, Ann Wilson, Janett Wilson, Hugh Wilson, and John Wilson into the search box at ancestry.com. It wasn’t looking good. Grandfather Walter’s sister Marion Davis was my last hope. She must have been an older child already married and out of the house by 1850.
The first search result that popped up was ‘New Hampshire Death and Disinterment Records, 1754-1947’ collection. Marion (Wilson) Davis, wife of Alonzo Davis, died in Somersworth, New Hampshire Dec. 22, 1922. Her father was James Wilson and her mother, Marion Moore. Both mother and father were born in Scotland. (Finally, Gran’s family name!)
Next, I searched the 1860 federal census. Marion and Alonzo Davis lived in Newfield, York Co., Maine with their three children, two Davis family members, and two Wilson family members. What a surprise to find 3rd Great Grandmother Marion and her youngest son John R. Wilson in the house. (Newfield was Alonzo’s birthplace.)
Ancestry.com; 1860 Federal Census; Newfield, York, Maine;
Roll: M653_451; Page: 672; Image: 229
The Somersworth, Stratford Co., New Hampshire census enumerator found Great Grandmother Marion in Alonzo and Marion Davis’ home along with grandchildren Maria and Fannie July 29, 1870.
Ancestry.com; 1870 Federal Census; Somersworth, Strafford, New Hampshire;
Roll: M593_849; Page: 346B; Image: 186160
What I would like to know is when and where Grandmother Marion died. My ancestor, Walter Wilson, became an engineer for the Erie Railroad and settled in Orange County, New York but what became of his brothers and sisters. That’s my new quest.
I could use some help so please feel free to share your thoughts. I’m not familiar with York Co., Maine or Stratford Co., New Hampshire resources and appreciate any advice you want to give.
3rd Great Grandfather James Wilson and wife Marion Moore
2nd Great Grandfather Walter Wilson and wife Mary Peck
Great Grandfather Jerome W. Wilson and wife Grace L. Clark
Grandmother Viola L Wilson and husband Frank Leroy Doty