Monday, April 17, 2017

Scotsmen James Wilson and Hugh Wilson

More about the Scots I call family . . .

1840 Norwich, New London Co., Connecticut

It was easier to find 3rd Great Grandfather James Wilson in the 1840 federal census than in earlier census years.  Brothers James and Hugh lived near each other in the Town of Norwich, New London Co., Connecticut with Erastus Huntington 2nd enumerated between them.

You’ll notice from the census image below, James was known as James Wilson 2nd. When Hugh Wilson mortgaged his property to Jedidiah and Jonathon G. Huntington, James witnessed the agreement. Grandfather’s name was transcribed into the Norwich court records as James Wilson 2nd by the town clerk. I’m uncertain how the suffix 2nd applies in this case, but it differentiates him from other men of the same name.

1840 Federal Census, District No. 14,  Town of Norwich, New London Co., Connecticut

1840 Federal Census, District No. 14,
Town of Norwich, New London Co., Connecticut
Roll: 30; Page: 189; Image: 384; Family History Library Film: 0003022

I found each man had a larger household than I expected.

Nine people resided in 3rd Grandfather James Wilson’s home:

   1 male under 5 years—Son Walter Wilson.
   2 males between 5 and ten years—Son Hugh and unknown male.
   1 male between 10 and 15 years—unknown male.
   1 male between 30 and 40 years—James Wilson, head of household.
   1 female between 5 and 10 years—Daughter Janett.
   2 females between 10 and 15 years—Daughters Ann and Marion.
   1 female between 30 and 40 years—Marion (Moore) Wilson, James's wife.
   1 male employed in manufactures and trades--Grandfather James.

3rd Great Granduncle Hugh Wilson’s dwelling housed five people:

   1 male between 20 and 30 years—Son James.
   1 male between 40 and 50 years—Hugh Wilson, head of household.
   2 females between 20 and 30 years—Louisa, daughter-in-law to Hugh/wife to James and unknown female.
   1 female between 40 and 50 years—Charlotte, wife of Hugh.
   1 male employed in manufactures and trades—Uncle Hugh.

The 1840 census represents the last instance where I find my Great Grandfather James Wilson in any document. The opposite is true for Uncle Hugh. His name can be found in city directories, census, deeds and probate estate.

When I learn more about the Scots that I call family, you’ll hear about it at Barb’s Family Stories.

My Ancestry
3rd Great Grandfather James Wilson 2nd and wife Marion Moore
2nd Great Grandfather Walter Wilson and wife Mary Peck
Great Grandfather Jerome W. Wilson and wife Grace Clark
Grandmother Viola L. Wilson and husband Frank Leroy Doty
My Mother

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Grandfather James and Uncle Hugh Immigrate to the United States

Yesterday I began the story of the Scots I call family. Today’s post tells the Wilson family’s beginning in the United States.

In the United States

James immigrated to the United States by 1829. I know because James and wife Marion Moore resided in Paterson, New Jersey March 28, 1829, where their daughter, Marion, was born. New Jersey was the birthplace of the next two Wilson children—Ann born in 1831 and Janett in 1833.  The Wilson family welcomed three sons, Hugh, Walter, and John, born in Connecticut from 1836 to 1842.

I hoped to find James’ family in Paterson, New Jersey in the 1830 federal census. Paterson is currently part of Passaic County, but when the 1830 census was taken, Paterson was part of the Acquackanonk Township in Essex County. I located three men in Acquackanonk named James Wilson and can’t say any of them are Grandfather James. The census included a column, “ALIENS—Foreigners Not Naturalized” which I was sure would lead me right to my Grandfather. Not so! None of the three James Wilson’s contained a tick mark for this category. An explanation might be Grandfather James wasn’t a head of household, the enumerator simply made a mistake, or he was somewhere else.

In 1830 Hugh lived in Griswold, New London Co., Connecticut with his wife Charlotte and two males. No doubt one male was his son, James, born 1817 in Scotland and the other a 20-30-year-old man not known to me. The census enumerator noted all members of the household were aliens not naturalized.

Uncle Hugh buys land in Connecticut

Sept. 12, 1836, Hugh bought a small lot in the Village of Greenville, Town of Norwich from William C. Gilman and William P. Greene, all residents of Norwich, New London Co., CT for $87.50.

The property as described in Deed Book 46, Pages 520-521:

   “Beginning at the Northeasterly corner of the premises at a point in the Southerly line of ninth Street and also adjoining land that said Gilman and Greene sold to George Brooks, thence, Northwesterly and adjoining said ninth street twenty feet to an alley of fifteen feet as width laid out through Square No. 3 from eight to ninth street thence southwesterly and in line of the easterly side of said Alley fifty feet, thence Southeasterly and at right angles with said alley twenty feet to said Brooks land thence Northeasterly and adjoining Brooks land fifty feet to the place of beginning being twenty feet front on said ninth street and fifty feet deep on said alley with right angles and is part of lot No. 4 on said Square No. 3 as laid down on the plan of the Norwich Water Power Company lots at said Greenville.”

The town clerk, John H. Grace, recorded the transaction May 20, 1837.

H. & J. Wilson Company

Hugh mortgaged his lot March 10, 1838, to merchants Jedidiah and Jonathon G. Huntington for $363.79. (Deed Book 47, pages 246-247)

  “I the said Wilson do by these presents bind myself and my heirs forever to warrant and defend the above granted and bargained premises to them the said Huntingtons their heirs and assigns against all claims and demands whatsoever  Always provided that these presents are upon condition that whereas the aforesaid Hugh Wilson with his brother J. Wilson associated in business under the name and firm of H & J Wilson are justly indebted to J & J G Huntington in the sum of $363/80 (Three hundred & sixty three 79/100 dollars) by note dated 24th Feby 1838 for that sum signed by s’d H & J Wilson in their co name payable to said Huntingtons six months from date with interest”

Hugh signed the mortgage which had been witnessed by James Wilson 2nd and the Justice of the Peace Jesse Fuller. Uncle appeared before the Justice of the Peace March 28, 1838, with the agreement recorded by the town clerk the same day. At first, I thought James Wilson 2nd was Hugh’s son, but then I recalled young James had not yet reached the age of 21 years. He was still a minor and not old enough to appear in official court documents. James Wilson 2nd must be my Great Grandfather.

Later that year Uncle Hugh acquired a lot from George Brooks of Griswold, New London Co., CT (August 20, 1838). George Brooks owned the property bordering Uncle Hugh’s parcel. (Deed Book 47, pages 395-397)

H. & J. Wilson Machine Business Dissolved

April 24, 1839, Hugh and James officially dissolved their partnership. A legal notice ran in the Norwich Courier, Norwich CT May 1, May 8, and May 15, 1839.

The brothers mutually agreed to end their partnership. Uncle Hugh would continue operating the machine shop and promised to pay all debts. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Grandfather James and Uncle Hugh

Earlier this year I renewed my efforts to find the ancestry of my 3rd Great Grandparents James Wilson and Marion Moore of Scotland. Grandfather James’ brother, Hugh Wilson, has become my lucky charm always helping me piece the family together. In his will, Uncle Hugh bequeathed monies to James’ children. After finding my 2nd Great Grandfather Walter Wilson’s surviving siblings, I found 3rd Great Grandmother Marion (Moore) Wilson living with a daughter. You can read my earlier post Thank you, Uncle Hugh, for details. I soon began a quest to learn about my 2nd Grandfather Walter Wilson’s sisters and brothers (all children of James Wilson and Marion Moore). On Feb. 24th I dedicated a post to The Wilson Sisters—Marion, Ann, and Janett and earlier this month I did the same for The Wilson Brothers—Hugh, Walter, and John.

Today I’ll post what I’ve been able to learn about the Scots I call family.

Ties to Scotland

3rd Great Grandfather James Wilson and his brother Hugh both were born in Scotland. I estimate Grandfather James’ birth about 1800 and believe he died before 1850. According to Uncle Hugh’s tombstone, his birth date was Sept. 23, 1794, and death May 19, 1881. Census records confirm their birthplace to be Scotland. As of this writing, I have no clue about their parentage.

Meet the Wives

Both brothers married women born in Scotland. My ancestor James Wilson married Marion Moore probably in the 1820’s. I don’t know if James wed Marion in Scotland or if they married in the United States. After following Marion in the census records, I calculate her birth to be approximately 1800. The last time I found her in a census was 1870. You can read more about Grandmother here.

Hugh Wilson married a lady named Charlotte. Hugh’s son, James, born 1817 in Scotland indicates Hugh and Charlotte wed in Scotland. Charlotte’s tombstone engraving at the Greenville Cemetery (also known as Hickory Street Cemetery) in Norwich, Connecticut provides a birth date of June 21, 1792, and death on October 18, 1877.

Speculation has ‘Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910’ in their collection. I searched for any ‘Hugh Wilson’ that married ‘Charlotte’ and got two results similar to each other. Both marriages took place in December 1816. Hugh wed Charlotte Scrimgeour Dec. 15th in Barony, Lanark, Scotland. The Dec. 31st ceremony took place in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland marrying Hugh to Charlotte Scrimper


Is this my 3rd Great Granduncle Hugh who immigrated to New London County, Connecticut around the 1820’s? If you say the brides’ surnames, it possible Charlotte Scrimgeour and Charlotte Scrimger could be the same individual. If this turns out to be true, I would like to know why the marriage dates and event places differ. 

Any advice is welcome!