Friday, February 24, 2017
The Wilson Sisters—Marion, Ann, and Janett
In my last blog post, Thank You, Uncle Hugh, I began a quest to learn what became of my 2nd Great Grandfather Walter Wilson’s brothers and sisters. I made little headway with the Uncles but found 2nd Great Grand Aunties Marion, Ann, and Janett Wilson.
Great Aunt Marion married Alonzo Davis Sept. 28, 1847, at Somersworth, Strafford County, New Hampshire.
Ancestry.com; New Hampshire, Marriage and Divorce Records, 1659-1947
After 3rd Great Grandfather James Wilson’s death, Grandmother Marion Wilson lived in Norwich, Connecticut with her children. Gran’s daughter Marion and husband Alonzo Davis were close by in Preston August 1850. Aunt Marion and Uncle Alonzo welcomed Great Gran and the youngest Wilson boy into their home at Newfield, York County, Maine (where I found them in the July 1860 federal census). The 1870 census states Alonzo resided in Somersworth, New Hampshire employed as a worker in the iron foundry. He still provided for Great Gran—a good trait for a son-in-law. By 1880, Alonzo worked as a molder in the foundry. Grandmother Marion wasn’t in Alonzo’s home, but he was still taking care of the family. His widowed daughter, Fanny A. Dorman, lived with Alonzo and Marion. Right next door was their eldest girl, Maria A., husband Albert A. Ham and five-year-old Eve.
Alonzo died Nov. 17, 1889, when he was 60 years of age. Aunt Marion remained in Somersworth sharing a home with her daughter Fannie until she passed on Dec. 22, 1910.
Next, I turned my attention to Ann Wilson. Aunt Ann was alive when named in Uncle Hugh’s will written Feb. 19, 1881, but I couldn’t find any clues to her whereabouts.
The1850 census indicates Aunt Janett’s birth occurred in New Jersey about 1833. I suspect she was not an heir of Uncle Hugh because she died before he wrote a will.
I located a Norwich, Connecticut marriage between Janett Wilson and John Swasey Oct. 14, 1851, in the Town of Norwich Vital Records:
Norwich July 1st 1851
This is to certify that Mr. John Swasey and Miss Janett Wilson, of
Norwich, were married by me, July 1st 1851.
Recorded Oct. 14th 1851, by A. L. Loveland
Othniel Gager Town Clerk Clergyman
I needed to know more about this couple.
The District 10, Davidson Co., Tennessee 1860 federal census included:
You can see John Swasey worked for the railroad. Jennett was born in New Jersey about 1833 just like my Grandfather Walter’s sister. The first child, John, was born in Connecticut. Then the family moved to Georgia by1856 where Vashti was born. The new baby Thomas arrived June 1860 in Tennessee.
By 1870, the Swasey’s had moved to Huntsville in Madison County, Alabama. John was still employed as a locomotive engineer, and Janett took care of the house. Their children John and Vashti were at home; sadly, Thomas was not.
I found a widowed John Swasey in Huntsville June 1, 1880, when the federal census was enumerated. This record tells me Janett died sometime between 1870 and 1880 much too young; she was in her late 30’s or early 40’s. Of course, this would explain why Aunt Janett was not among her Uncle’s heirs.
While the1880 census let me know Aunt Janett was gone, it also led me to Aunt Ann. Ann M. Wilson, the sister-in-law of John Swasey, was a housekeeper in the home. Yes, her birth date and place match what I know about her from the 1850 federal census. She was born in New Jersey about 1831 and her parents both born in Scotland.
My Great Grandfather Walter thought highly of his brothers Hugh and John and named two sons in their honor. I’ll continue my quest to find the Uncles.
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