In "The Wilson Family - Somerset and Barter Hill Branch" (Observer Printing
House, Charlotte, NC, 1950) author Harry Herndon McLean asserts that our
Wilson line's first ancestor to arrive in North America was JAMES FELIX
WILSON, an English lawyer who had lived in Scotland prior to departing for
the colonies, and who had once served as solicitor to Queen Elizabeth.
According to McLean, James Felix Wilson's family arrived in Jamestown,
Virginia in 1650, but the newcomers were not welcomed by the
previously-arrived colonists, who had endured several years of terrible
Iıve found no evidence yet to either prove or disprove McLean's account.
In any case, historical evidence shows that Col. William Wilson, owner of
the "Ceeleys" homestead in Virginia was born in 1646 and died June 17, 1713,
aged 67 years (tombstone now destroyed). The Wilson arms engraved on tomb
were described as a "Sable on a Cross engrailed, between four Cherubims, or,
a human heart of the first, wounded on the left side ppr. And crowned with a
" Crown of thorns, Vert."
Col. William Wilson's spouse is believed to have been Anne or Jane Milnor.
They had at least one known child: Mary Wilson, who was married in 1711 to
Archibald Blair. Archibald and Mary had one daughter, Elizabeth Blair, born
on April 4, 1712 in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Colonel James Wilson (middle name ---?) was a brother of Colonel William
Wilson, ³founder of the prominent Elizabeth City Wilson family². This is
proven by a deed from Col. William Wilson to his nephew Willis Wilson dated
June 10, 1713, as follows: "Whereas James Wilson, gent., my deceased brother
did buy from me 300 acres on the Southern Branch in Norfolk and dwelt
thereon upwards of 40 years, but never had any conveyance for said land,
whereas the said James in his last will bequeathed same to his son Willis
Wilson, therefore that the said Willis may quietly enjoy the said land being
contented and paid for his said land, do hereby grant same to said Willis
Wilson (D. B. 9-1710-17).
Colonel James Wilson is said to have been born about 1644 and his wife is
said to have been Elizabeth, daughter of John Willis. (No date of birth or
other information is yet known about Elizabeth Willis.)
Col James Wilson was Sheriff of Norfolk county, Colonel of Militia and a
member of the House of Burgesses 1710-12. He was also a Feofee of the Crown
Land, and Attorney for the College of William and Mary. His will was dated
Nov. 12, 1712, and probated Dec. 19, 1712.
THE TEN CHILDREN of Col. James Wilson & wife Elizabeth Willis Wilson:
I. John (mentioned first in father's will. May have m. Frances Newman.)
II. Willis, mentioned 2nd in fathers will; named Executor with mother,
Elizabeth Willis Wilson, and charged with taking care of mother. Received
deed from Uncle Col. William Wilson of Elizabeth City Co., Hampton, Va., to
clear title of home plantation, which Col. William had sold to his brother
Col. James Wilson more than forty years before 1712, but not recorded. (Col.
James Wilson's Will, Norfolk Co., Deed Book 9, p. 220).
III. Thomas, deceased before 1712, mentioned third in will which devised to
"Grandson James Wilson. son of dec'd. son Thomas Wilson, the plantation
whereon my Negrow Sambo lives".
IV. Samuel Wilson, who married Dinah Mason Thorowgood, was a son of Colonel
James Wilson of Norfolk. Dinah Mason was not married at date of father's
will; but soon married (1) Capt. Robt. Thorogood of Princess Anne Co., who
had died before Jan. 7, 1702-03 and Dinah was Executrix of his will. Dinah
Mason Thorowgood married (2) SAMUEL Wilson who died before Jan. 12, 1710. on
which date his estate was appraised and Dinah Wilson signed the Inventory.
Their son WILLIS WILSON was born after death of his father Samuel Wilson.
Before Feb. 1, 1713, Dinah Mason Thorowgood Wilson had married (3) William
Trevathan of Princess Anne Co., who filed settlement of estates of Capt.
Robt. Thorowgood, and of Samuel Wilson dec'd in favor of their respective
orphans. (P.A. Co. Va., D. B. 2, p. 195).
V. Solomon, who was a minor at death of his father, Col. James Wilson. This
Solomon Wilson married and settled in Norfolk, Va., and reared young WILLIS
WILSON, son of Samuel Wilson, deceased. Soloman Wilson was at one time Clerk
of County Court. It was to this Solomon Wilson that WILLIS Wilson sold the
400 acres left to him by his Grandfather Col. James Wilson, the three
Indentures being dated Jan. 1731-32. (Citation Norfolk County Deed Book II,
page 15 et seq. "Test Solo Wilson, Clerk").
VI. James received land, pistols and sword. This son became Major James
Wilson, "who was also Sheriff and Magistrate of Norfolk County, whose Will
signed Jan. 18, 1749-50, was proven Feb. 7, 1756. His daughter Elizabeth
married several times. Her first husband to whom she was married in 1727-29
was a Sweeny; her 2nd was Maximilian Boush of Princess Anne Co., by whom she
had two children, Frederick Boush and Elizabeth Boush; her third husband was
Thomas Thelaball, by whom she had two daughters, Prudence Thelaball and
Abigail Thelaball. Frederick Boush married Jacomine Hunter, and his sister
Elizabeth Boush married Gershom Nimmo in 1753, and after his death she
married, in 1766, Jacob Hunter, a brother of her brother's wife, by whom she
had several children, among whose descendants the name of WILSON as a given
name has been quite frequent. " (The above ten lines are quoted from the
Richmond CRITIC, Vol. 3. No. 39, Sat., June 14. 1890, p. 8, re WILSON
VII. 100 acres of land to Capt. George Newton, 1710, husband of Affiah
Wilson, dau. of Col. James Wilson. Affiah also received one-fifth of
personal estate subject to life estate of Elizabeth Willis Wilson, widow).
[Note: In June 1999, I encountered two knowledgeable researchers of Affiah
Wilson and George Newton: C1FTaddic@aol.com and SALLYLAPIN@aol.com. They
have passed on data regarding George Newton and Affia Wilsonıs line, which I
have appended to the end of this posting.)
VIII. Mary - one-fifth of personal estate subject to life interest of
Elizabeth Willis Wilson, widow.
IX. Elizabeth, wife of Henry Grigany of Philadelphia: "Five pounds current
money in full of her part of my estate. She had her part before. " (This is
probably the eldest daughter.)
X. Lemuel - five shillings in full of his portion, he having had a
sufficient part already. He is probably the eldest son. He was Clerk of
Norfolk Co. Court at time of probate of his father's will. - Dec. 18, 1722.
His eldest son was Lemuel Wilson, and there is a statement that he took the
Record Books of the County home with him in order to record immediately the
birth of his son Lemuel Wilson.
WILLIS Wilson, the only son of Samuel Wilson, was born about 1710 and died
1794 in Norfolk County. He married June 7, 1728, in Norfolk, Elizabeth
Goodrich, dau. of Benjamin Goodrich of Chickahominy, James City Co., Va. She
was a granddaughter of Col. Thomas Goodrich (See Goodrich H. S. F. 1-6). Her
marriage bonds were signed Willis Wilson and Solomon Wilson (M. B.
Willis Wilson and his wife, Elizabeth, on Jan. 20, 1731-32 "as of
Chickahominy gent". sold to his Uncle Solomon Wilson of Norfolk "that tract
and plantation of 400 acres, bequeathed to me by my grandfather Col. James
Wilson. The consideration was 100 pounds and although in the deed he is
referred to as Willis Wilson, Jr., he signed same "Willis Wilson". His
eldest son Benjamin was born Dec. 26, 1733, at the home of his maternal
grandfather, Benjamin Goodrich, on Chickahominy River. His second son, John
P. Wilson, was born about 1736. He settled in Berkeley County, Va., where he
married and had two children. One child, John P. Wilson, Jr., married his
cousin, Maria Wilson, daughter of Lt. Willis Wilson, of "Bonbrook",
Captain Willis Wilson was Burgess from Norfolk in 1748-49. He to said to
have died in Norfolk in 1794.
Benjamin Wilson, known as "Col. Ben Wilson", served in the Army through the
entire Revolutionary War with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel (list of the
Colonial Soldiers of Virginia in the State Library in Richmond, Virginia).
He was the eldest son of Capt. Willis Wilson, moved from James City County
to Cumberland County, Va., where he died Oct. 27, 1814. He married in that
County on March 25, 1754, Anne Seay, born in York Co., March 6, 1735, died
April 25, 1814, at "Somerset", Cumberland, April 25, 1814. She was the
daughter of the Rev. James Seay. Huguenot. of York County.
Colonel Benjamin's will was probated Nov. 28, 1814 (O B 1811-15, p. 464).
THE TWELVE CHILDREN OF COL BEN WILSON AND ANNE SEAY:
I. Capt. Matthew Wilson, born ------ 1755, at "Somerset", Cumberland Co.,
Virginia, served in the entire Revolutionary War and participated in the
battle of Guilford Court House in North Carolina alongside his brother
Willis. He married Elizabeth Trent, and lived at "Barter Hill, Cumberland
Co., near Trent's Mill on Willis River". Reared 10 children, one of whom,
Samuel Wilson, born Jan. 17, 1811, married (1) Susan A. Jones on Dec. 7.
1835. She died Apr. 27, 1843, survived by three children, Victoria, Matthew
and Mary. Said Samuel Wilson m. (2) Cornelia W. McLaurine, daughter of Mrs.
Jane McLaurine, on June 11, 1849, by Rev. Henry Brown. Their first three
children were born in Cumberland Co. Va., at "View Mont", the plantation of
the said Samuel Wilson; their first child, Flora Willie Wilson, b. Apr. 29,
1850; 2nd child, Dr. Samuel Eston Wilson, b. Dec. 185 1. 3rd child, Lelia
James Wilson, b. Aug. 11, 1853; married William Stanley McFadden, in San
Augustine Co., Texas, on Dec. 25, 1875, and they had four children, one of
whom, Mabel McFadden, b. 1886, married Walter Hamilton Peck of Norwalk,
Ohio. They moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they had two children: Alyne Peck
and Philippa Peck. Alyne Peck married William Miller, Jr., and lived In
Tulsa, Okla., at 1304 South Urbana; and have two children: Cass Miller and
Four children of the first-mentioned Samuel Wilson and his 2nd wife,
Cornelia W. McLaurine, who were born In San Augustine Co., Texas:
1. Rosa St. Claire Wilson, b. April 1855, m. Clark Nash Nov. 4, 1874 6
2. Courtney Jennetta Wilson, b. Feb. 1857; m. Bonneau Brodnax, Nov. 1873.
3. Alice Virginia Wilson, b. Dec. 1858, d. July 23, 1867.
4. Eglantine Cornelia, b. Feb. 14, 1861; m. Sam Beckham Dec. 20, 1877. 4
Samuel Wilson, b. Jan. 17. 1811, died Nov. 26, 1886, San Augustine Co.,
Texas. His 2nd wife. Cornelia W. McLaurine Wilson died Feb. 15, 1891, aged
71, at the home
II. First Lt. Willis Wilson was born 1756, d. at "Bonbrook" in Cumberland
Co., Va., on Feb. 10, 1822 served in the entire Revolutionary War and
particiapted in the battle of Guilford Court House in North Carolina
alongside his brother Matthew. He had married Mrs. French Black, and they
had one child, Maria Wilson, who married her cousin John P. Wilson, Jr., of
Berkeley Co., West Va., who was the son of the second son of Willis Wilson
(1710-1794). They had two children; for descendants, see p. 33, The Wilson
Family: Somerset and Barter Hill Branch by Harry Hearndon McLean. (Observer
Printing House, Charlotte, NC, 1950).
The Will of First Lt. Willis Wilson is filed in Cumberland Co.,Va., Will
Book 7, p. 105, wherein he named his wife "Elizabeth" (Elizabeth French
Black Wilson), two grandsons, William Wilson and Willis Wilson, and
son-in-law, John P. Wilson, the latter being the Executor.
III. Elizabeth Wilson, b. April 22, 1758. unmarried.
IV. Benjamin Wilson, born Oct. 22, 1759, in Cumberland Co., settled in
Woodford Co., Kentucky, where he married on Dec. 5, 1789, Barbara Bullock,
b. Sept. 1, 1768, d. Feb. 4, 1837. Benjamin d. Sept. 8, 1839. He was a
member of the Committee of Safety during the Revolution (D. A. R.81352).
This Benjamin Wilson is the ancestor of Miss Virginia Wilson, P. 0. Box 532,
Children of Benjamin and Barbara Wilson:
1. Ann Wilson, b. 1-26-1791, d. Apr. 1838, m. 8-9-1825 Benjamin Moore
2. James Wilson, b. 2-2-1793, d. 4-2-1824. studied medicine in Philadelphia,
Univ. of Pa.
3. Willis Wilson, b. 5-27-1795, m. 8-20-1819 Eliza Cosby.
4. Rebecca Wilson, b. 12-3-1797, m. 3-31-1841 to S. E. Burton.
5. Samuel Wilson, b. 1-2-1800, d. B-31-1840, m. 1-211829 to Jane Steele.
6. Benjamin Wilson. Jr., b. 4-3-1802, d. 1-19-1853. m. 10-17-1843 to
7. Elizabeth Wilson, b. 1-26-1805.
8. Mary or Maria Wilson, b. 6-2-1807, m. 1-30-1827 to Lotus B. Chamberlain.
9. Barbara Wilson, b. 6-24-1810, m. 3-20-1835, to Dr. Robert Thompson of
10. Unity Wilson, b. 12-24-1812, d. 11-29-1847, m. 9-251834 to William
V. Ann Seay Wilson, b. Sept. 11, 1762, unmarried.
VI. James Stuart Wilson, b. Feb. 6, 1765 (Old Family Bible owned by Miss
Clementine Reid Wilson in 1915, at Stovall, N.C.). He took part in the siege
of Yorktown. He married a Miss Cox and settled at "Clay Bank", Cumberland
Co., Va. Their children were: Anne Seay Wilson, b. 1792, who married Dr.
John Meredith about 1818 in Missouri, and they had four daughters:
1. Nancy, who married James Trent, 1844, and had 7 children.
2. Hettie Meredith, b. Feb. 25, 1828, m. Dr. James Willis Wilson, the 8th
child of Dr. Goodridge Wilson and his wife Elizabeth Woodson Venable Wilson.
3. Sarah Cox Meredith, who married her cousin Samuel Venable Wilson in 1842,
the 7th child of Dr. Goodridge Wilson and wife Elizabeth Woodson Venable
4. Lavinia Meredith in 1801 m. Frederick Bates, Jr.; (2) Samuel Conway; m.
(3) Benjamin Kenny. She died in 1910 in Calif.
VII. Mason Wilson, a daughter, b. Dec. 21, 1768, m. John Meredith.
VIII. Dr. Samuel Wilson, b. Mar. 30, 1770, never married. Educated in
Edinburgh, Scotland, practiced medicine at Cartersville, Cumberland Co., Va.
Will Book 10, p. 319, was signed Dec. 24, 1841. He bequeathed to nephew Dr.
Benjamin Wilson of Farmville, Va., and nephew Dr. John Meredith, but left
main estate to nephews Samuel, Benjamin, Matthew and Goodridge Wilson, sons
of his deceased brother Matthew Wilson, remainder to 6 other children of
brother Capt. Matthew.
IX. Mary Wilson, b. 1772, m. Thos. Mumford.
X. Alexander Wilson, b. April 1, 1774.
XI. Dr. Goodridge Wilson, b. 3-26-1776, m. Elizabeth Woodson Venable. (See
XII. Martha Wilson, b. 6-1-1778, m. James Aiken, 2 children.
MM. Unity Wilson, b. 2-22-1783, unmarried.
Dr. Goodridge Wilson. b. March 26, 1776 at "Somerset", County of Cumberland,
and died Sept. 30, 1849, at Johnson Shoals, Kanawha County, West Va. He
married Nov. 4, 1802, at "Slate Hill". Prince Edward Co., Va., Elizabeth
Woodson Venable b. Nov. 21, 1784 d. March 1, 1851, whose distinguished
ancestors included Dr. John Woodson (1586-1644) of Pierseyıs Hundred, VA and
the Indian chief Powhatan. Her father, Nathaniel Venable, was founder of
Hampden Sydney College, b. Nov. 1, 1753, Hanover Co., Va., died Dec. 27,
1804, at Slate Hill, Prince Edward Co., m. March 29, 1755, Elizabeth
Micheaux Woodson, b. June 6. 1740, daughter of Richard Woodson and his wife
Anne Madeleine Micheaux (who was born at Manakintowne, Va.), and died Sept.
29, 1791, at Slate Hill.
Dr. Goodridge Wilson practiced medicine 35 years at "Millwood", Prince
Edward Co., then removed to Johnson Shoals. He was a trustee of
Hampden-Sydney College and was educated at Univ. of Penna. and Oxford,
I. Anne Thomas Wilson b. Dec. 7, 1806 m. Capt. Charles Friend Woodson (see
II. Dr. Benjamin Wilson, m. Mary Elizabeth Wilson (dau. of Allen Wilson of
Cumberland Co., Va.) They had four children, moved to St. Charles Co.,
Missouri, where they built a fine brick mansion on Upper Dardenne Prairie.
The eldest daughter married Fleming Bates, son of Hon. Edward Bates of St.
Louis, Mo. Dr. Benjamin and his entire family moved to Texas before the
outbreak of the War Between the States.
III. Nathaniel Venable Wilson, b - ------- moved to Charleston, W. Va.,
where he married Miss Betsy Ruffner. They had 8 children.
IV. Elizabeth Woodson Wilson, b - ------- m. Col. Charles Ruffner. Their
grandaughter, Naomi Simmons, married Dr. George T. Klipstein, of Alexandria,
Va., and she is now living at 565 West Sierra Madre, Sierra Madre, Calif.
(1958). (See later for Charles Ruffner)
V. Dr. Goodridge Alexander Wilson, b. Oct. 7, 1815, m. 1837 Miss Margaret
VI. Rev. Wm. Venable Wilson, D. D., m. Miss Grace Ann Wilson; they had 8
children. He died 1908.
VII. Samuel Venable Wilson, to Mo. 1846, married his cousin Sarah Cox
Meredith. 9 children
VIII. Dr. James Willis Wilson, moved from Kanawha County W. Va. to St.
Charles Mo. in 1846. He married his cousin Hettie Meredith, granddaughter of
James Stuart Wilson (see above). They had nine children, known names
1. first child John, married Miss Betty Cooper and moved to Texas
2. second child Charles Woodson Wilson, married his first cousin, Julia Ann
Frayser. They had five children, including first child James Willis Wilson
III (a lawyer who died in 1939, Charleston, W. Va.) father of Charles
Woodson Wilson III (1924- , retired physics professor, Univ. of Akron, Ohio)
father of James Willis Wilson IV (1951- ) [Thatıs me, folks!
IX. Martha Agnes Wilson, after the death of her parents moved to Mo. with
her eldest sister, Anne Thomas Wilson Woodson (Mrs. Charles Friend Woodson),
where she married as his 2nd wife, Judge Robert Bentley Frayser, of St.
Charles Co., Mo. They had two children.
X. Samuel Venable Wilson, Son of Dr. Goodridge Wilson (1776-1849), m. 1842
Sarah Meredith, daughter of Dr. John Meredith and Ann Seay Wilson and he was
a farmer in St. Louis, Co., Missouri. Children:
I. Goodridge, b. 1843, d. age 20.
II. James Meredith m. M. F. Combs (see later).
III. Nancy m. Thadeus Sparkman.
IV. Samuel Venable m. Mattie Batterton.
V. Robert Farris, m. Georgie Combs, sister of M.F. Combs.
VI. Benjamin Franklin, m. Nancy M. Wilson (cousin).
VII. Elizabeth Venable, m. John Sparkman, brother of Thadeus.
VIII. Sarah Stonewall, m. Nathaniel V. Wilson (cousin).
IX. Hettie Meredith died age 10.
James Meredith Wilson b. Sept. 23, 1845, at Kanawha. W. Virginia, died Dec.
14, 1933, at Dardanne, St. Charles Co., Mo. Married Sept. 22, 1870 at Cane
Creek, Butler Co., MO., Mary Francis Combs, daughter of Rev. Wm. Ryan Combs,
and Francis Catherin Orr. She was born Dec. 14, 1854, at Lexington, Ky.,
died March 28, 1926, St. Charles, Mo. James was a farmer, Baptist, and
resided at Butler Co. (Ten Mile Creek).
I. Hettie Meredith Wilson, b. Aug. 19, 1871. m. Bernard Chenoweth.
II. William Combs Wilson. (See later).
III. Sarah Agnes Wilson, b. Oct. 24, 1875, m. Harry Hatcher.
IV. Elizabeth Venable Wilson, b. March 25. 1877; m. Dr. John F. Bumpus, D.
V. John Meredith Wilson, b. Oct. 7, 1882; m. Mable Campbell Watson.
VI. Mary (May) Frances Wilson, b. Feb. 17, - 1885; m. George Muschany.
VII. Martha Viola (Matt) Wilson, b. Jan. 1, 1888; m. Henry H. Yates Yates.
VIII. James Venable Wilson, b. Aug. 2, 1898; m. Hazel McCormick.
Dr. William Combs Wilson, son of Mary Frances Combs and James Meredith
Wilson, was born August 10, 1873, at Cane Creek, Butler County, Mo., married
Oct. 9, 1902, at O'Fallon, St. Charles Co., Mo., Carrie Harris Watson,
daughter of Ada Harris and Thomas Watson, who was born Oct. S. 1877, at
Dardenne, Mo. William is an Osteopathic Physician and was educated at
Kirkwood, Mo. (A.S.O.) He resided at 401 N. Kingshighway, St. Charles, Mo.
I. Clifford Combs Wilson, d. April 18, 1905, at the age of two years.
II. Catherin Hannis Wilson, b. April 16, 1908; m. Rev. Andrew McGaffin.
III. Gordon Goodridge Wilson (twin), b. April 16. 1908. m. Margaret E.