Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
The family of Wilson have been resident in Maine from early pioneer times, as early as perhaps 1635, and descendants of the immigrant have been honored and influential citizens of the region of his settlement for almost two centuries and a half.
(I) Gowen Wilson, immigrant, and the ancestor of a numerous progeny, is traditionally reputed as having been from Scotland. Some have said that he came from Paisley, but it is impossible to trace this statement back to its solurce; however, it seems to have been handed down from early times. He was born in 1618 and resided early in Kittery, Maine. Information about him is very limited, and affords very slight ground for any inferences. He had a son and a daughter, who apparently were born betwen 1650 and 1660. From this it can be reasonably inferred that Gowen was born between 1615 and 1635. He was a member of the town of Kittery in 1647, which sets the date of his birth back before 1625, presumably. So that the indications are that Gowen Wilson settled in Kittery at some time between 1635 and 1647 - unless he came over with his father, of which there is no evidence.
Jan. 19, 1658, land was allotted by the town to Gowen Wilson; this grant contained twenty-four acres. Fifteen years later he received a second grant of twenty-one acres. The record was as follows: "Kittery ye 12th of June 1673 - at a leagall town meeting for ye granting of lands in ye lower part of ye river and town of Kittery there was granted unto Gowen Wilson and his heires forever an addition to his house lot Joyning to Richard Endles. This is a true copie taken out of the origenall, Aprell 30, 1674 - as Attest Francis Hook." "Measured and layd out unto Gowen Wilson his additional grant dated June 12, 1672 - between his house lot and Richard Endles house lot a hundred and sixty poles in length North East from Spruce Creek, and one and twenty poles in breadth with Richard Endles sd lot and ye Goose Case on ye South East, and Contains one and twenty acres, I say layd out this 20 of December 1678. per me, John Wincoll Survr."
This land is situated at the junction of the Norton road with the main road up the creek. Gowen Wilson was one of the men who signed their submission to the government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1652. In June, 1674, and in June, 1675, he was elected to the board of selectmen of the town. The next mention of him is in 1680, when he and Enoch Hutchins made an inventory of the estate of John Phillips. He signed a deed of gift to his son-in-law, Andrew Haley, June 2, 1684. On Aug. 6, 1686, one of his sons signed his satisfaction with his portion of his father's estate, which shows that Gowen had died some time previously.
Nothing is known of the wife of Gowen Wilson - not even her name. The absence of mention of her in the settlement of his estate shows that she was dead at that time. Three children are mentioned:
John, Joseph and Deborah; as living after the death of their father.
(II) Sergeant Joseph, son of Gowen Wilson, was probably born between 1650 and 1665. The first mention of him in any records is dated March 2, 1672, when he and his brother John were witnesses to a deed from Jonathan and Mary Mendum to John Fenwick. It is worthy of note that on this paper Joseph Wilson signed by making his mark, while John Wilson wrote his name. The next mention of Joseph is the following:
"Measured and layd out unto Joseph Wilson his grant of 20 acres of land dated June 12, 1673 - at ye head of the Eastern Creek a hundred and sixty pole in length East North East and twenty pole in breadth North North-West and bounded with Enoch Hutchens land South South-east, John Wincoll Survr."
This was the first land owned by Joseph Wilson in Kittery. Succeeding this there were several grants located in three different places in the town. Joseph Wilson also possessed a considerable estate now owned by the heirs of the late Colonel Gowen Wilson, of Kittery. The first mention of Joseph Wilson in this vicinity is in 1682. In 1685 he obtained twenty acres at this place, ten of which has been mentioned as granted to him in 1682. The next grant to him was made in 1694 and laid out in 1697. In 1699 he was granted forty acres more, and in 1703 he had still other grants of twenty-four and six acres. The original forty-five acre lot which belonged to Gowen Wilson is marked on a map of that time as "Sergeant Wilson's Home Lot."
An inventory taken after the decease of Joseph Wilson credits him with one hudnred and eighty-six acres of land. Besides these holdings he owned quite extensively in sawmills. At the time of his death he owned one-half of a large mill, in partnership with Elihu Gunnison Jr. and Andrew Haley. He was also an owner in two other mills. One of these mills was on Spruce creek, one on Goose creek, and the other north of Crocketts Neck at a place now called "the mill dam."
Joseph Wilson held various offices in Kittery from time to time. He was chosen surveyor of highways and fences in March, 1694, and was re-elected yearly until 1699. In 1697 "Sargt. Joseph Wilson was appointed one of a committee of five to supervise the construction of a meeting-house, probably the first building erected in Kittery expressly for a chuch." A record of other service to the town is as follows: "At a Legall town Meeting held at Kittery, May 24th, 1699 Lt. John Shapleigh was Chosen Moderatr for sd day John Heard Joshua Downing and Joseph Wilson were Chosen to Set with ye Selectmen for to Allow of all grants of Land that be Made this day." Joseph Wilson was elected to the board of selectmen of Kittery in 1703-04-05. The last record of him as an office holder in the town is in 1708, when he was again chosen surveyor of highways and fences.
Joseph Wilson's militlary title was held in the organization of the people of the town for protection against the Indians. The town records contain no references to these matters, but it is known from unofficial papers that throughout the town suitable houses were chosen in which a half dozen or so of the nearby families took refuge in times of trouble with the Indians. An old map shows a building marked "Mr. Wilson's Garrison," and this is proof that Segeant Wilson kept such a house. His title did not come from this, however, for his son Josep maintained a garrison but had no military title, and Sergeant Wilson's widow, Hannah Wilson, also kept a garrison house.
Sergeant Wilson died probably in the early part of 1710. He died suddenly, and in such a manner as to require a coroner and a jury, as shown in a list of funeral charges, but in what manner he died there is neither record nor tradition. The inventory of Sergeant Wilson's estate shows property valued at 619lbs 15s. 8d., a very comfortable estate for those times.
Of the two hundred and forty-one names on the list of freeholders of Kittery in 1711, only sixty-four had a yearly income of ten pounds or over. The receipts from Sergeant Wilson's estate are stated to have been ten pounds. In a deed he is described as a 'house-wrught: or carpenter.
Joseph Wilson married, Hannah, daughter of Richard Endle, about 1682. He was then about thirty years of age, and his wife some years younger.
Hannah, Joseph, William, Ruth, Gowen, Agnes, John, Rebecca, Deborah, Mary, Anna and Elizabeth.
Sergeant Wilson's widow Hannah was appointed administratrix of his estate, May 10, 1711. A record of an accounting rendered by her in 1714 is on the probate books of York county. She had set apart for her use about thirty acres of the Goose creek property. There are records from time to time of several sales and purchases by her - party in connection with her position as administratrix of her husband's estate, and partly on her own account. The reason of her being chosen in 1722 to set up a garrison house was probably done because the place was the best situation for a garrison house in the vicinity, and not on account of any special ability on her part as an Indian fighter. These thing rather indicate, however, that she was an energetic woman, not living in that quiet inactive manner which, perhaps, might have been expected of a woman in her position. She died in the early part of the year 1748, aged above eighty years. Administration upon her estate was granted to her eldest son, Joseph Wilson. Her appraisement dated July 1, 1748, showed a total of property values at 212lbs, old tenor.
(III) Gowen (2), fifth child and third son of Sergeant Joseph and Hannah (Endle) Wilson, was born in Kittery, Jan. 29, 1690. He received a fourth part of the real estate of his father and also became the owner of a tract of land on the west side of Spruce creek containing sixty acres which was a part of three hundred acres granted Hugh Gunnison. In 1748 he sold this Spruce creek property, and it does not seem that he ever became permnently located in Kittery. Gowen Wilson moved from Kittery to Falmouth some time between the years 1730 and 1736. He seems to have been a quite extensive dealer in real estate in Kittery, for the records show that his transactions were not in the nature of acquisitions for his own personal use. They seem rather to have been for investment only. At the time of his removal to Falmouth he still owned a considerable quantity of land in his home town, but during the succeeding ten years he sold it all - or very nearly all.
On account of the damage to the records of Cumberland county by the fire at Portland in 1866, it is very difficult to get any official knowledge of the acts of this man in Falmouth. In one deed made while he resided at Falmouth he is described as a "carpenter"; in another as "gentleman." In 1735 Gowen Wilson was taxed eleven shillings and eight pence in Falmouth, which was the amount of two poll taxes, thus indicating that he owned a slave or noadman; on real estate one shilling eight pence; and on personal property one shilling and six pence, says a local historian.
He came from Kittery to Stroudwater, and was a millwright. His great-grandson stated that he was the master workman of the first mill on Presumpscot Falls in Falmouth. Dec. 28, 1736 he received title to the lot for which he was taxed in 1735, and it was the third land record transfer made by Messrs. Waldo & Westbrook at Stroudwater. This place he sold soon after, and seems to have removed to Presumpscot Falls. He had grants of land easterly of Allen's Corner. The proprietors' records of the common and undivided lands show that on March 30, 1737, he had a sixty-acre lot laid out to him in that vicinity, adjoining one hundred acres of land purchased by Nathaniel Locke. In Oct., 1740, Gowen Wilson obligated himself at the "Court of Generall sessions of the Peace Held at Falmouth" to keep a ferry over the "Pezumpscott River near the Great Works," that is, near the mills erected by Waldo & Westbrook at the Falls. For the privilege of keeping this ferry he bound himself, his heirs and administrators to pay or cause to be paid unto the treasurer of the town or his successor in said office ten shillings per annum for rent of the same and as an acknowledgement of their right in and to the same ferry.
Gowan Wilson died in 1773, aged eighty-three. There is no record in Kittery of his marriage, but Oct. 10, 1730, "Anne, the wife of Gowen Wilson owned ye Covenant, and Baptized seven children":
Gowen, Mark, Ichabod, Hannah, Sarah, Joanna and Olive.
(IV) Gowen (3), eldest child of Gowen (2) and Anne Wilson, was born in 1716, and died in 1754. He married, in Falmouth, Oct. 31, 1739, Martha Sargent, at which time both were residents of Falmouth.
(V) Major Nathaniel (1), eldest child of Gowen (3) and Martha (Sargent) Wilson, born in Falmouth Nov. 28, 1740, died Oct. 28, 1818. He resided easterly of Allen's Corner in Falmouth. He was a patriot soldier in the revolution, and a monument to his memory stands on the southerly side of Allen avenue in Portland. His revolutionary record is as follows: Nathaniel Wilson, second lieutenant, Capt. Joseph Price's (Third) company, Col. Peter Noyes' (First Cumberland company) regiment, of Massachusetts militia; list of officers chosen by the several companies is said regiment; ordered in council Feb. 1, 1777, that said officers be commissioned; reported commissioned Feb. 1, 1777; also second lieutenant Capt. Jesse Partridge's company of Volunteers; list of officers of Cumberland County Militia; commissioned April 9, 1778.
He married April 3, 1762, Ann Huston. She died and he married (second) Ann March, of Scarboro, who lived to be one hundred and three years of age.
There were nine children by the first wife and by the second, one child, John.
(VI) Nathaniel (2), eldest son of Major Nathaniel (1) and Ann (Huston) Wilson, was born in Falmouth Aug. 22, 1763, and afterward resided at North Falmouth, where he died Oct. 15, 1835.
He married Jan. 27, 1789, Sarah Pride, of Westbrook, born Aug. 17, 1767. Family tradition has it that Sarah Pride was a woman of strong character, and headed a genuine temperance movement in the community of her residence by stopping the sale of liquors in the tavern which was conducted by the earlier generations of Wilsons at the ancestral home for the accommodation of travelers to and from Portland. The marriage of her daughter Martha was always referred to as "Sally Pride's temperance wedding," and from her day no liquors for use as a beverage were ever allowed in the house.
Cyrus, Elmira, Priscilla, Anna, Nathaniel, Joseph, Olive, Hannah, Caroline and Martha.
(VII) Nathaniel (3), second son of Nathaniel (2) and Sarah (Pride) Wilson, was born June 22, 1797, at what is known as Poplar Ridge in Falmouth, about eight miles from the site of the residence of his ancestor who first settled in Falmouth, and died in 1870.
He married Jan. 9, 1817, Elizabeth, born Feb. 7, 1793, died 1869, daughter of Elisha and Temperance (Ham) Baker, of Brunswick.
Leonard, Russell, Olive, Sophronia, Luther, John W., Nathaniel B., Mahaly, Elizabeth H. and Sarah P.
(VIII) Nathaniel (4) Baker, fifth son of Nathaniel (3) and Elizabeth (Baker) Wilson, was born on the ancestral homestead July 25, 1827, died in Cumberland June 26, 1896. He was a carpenter by trade but resided on the old homestead, which he cultivated and increased in size until it was one of the largest and best cultivated farms in that section. He was of a retiring and unassertive disposition, never sought or held a public office, but was highly respected in the community for honesty and integrity.
He served as a private in Company B, of the Twenty-fifth Maine Volunteer Infantry, in the civil war, from Sept. 30, 1862 to July 17, 1863, and was stationed on Arlington Heights near Washington, where it did guard tuy and constructed fortifications until April 1, when it removed to the vicinity of Chantilly and picketed the country during the remainder of its period of service. See "Maine in the War," pp. 423-26.
The last thirteen years of his life he resided at West Cumberland, where he was a trader. Both he and his wife were leaders in the Methodist church, and their house was a stopping place for all the presiding elders and ministers of that faith in their travels over that circuit. Their house was famed for its generous hospitality among the relatives of the family, and one who has a clear recollection of their home in those days has written: "It seems to me as I look back on my childhood that on every pleasant Sunday one or more of the numerous aunts, uncles, or cousins from Portland and the surrounding towns was seated at their table which was abundantly supplied."
Nathaniel B. Wilson married Nov. 7, 1850, Loemma Pearson, born in Cumberland, May 15, 1831, daughter of Moses and Hannah (Pierson) Leighton, of Cumberland. Mrs. Wilson was always a dispenser of alms among the needy and is today, at the age of seventy-six, more concerned in doing for others than for her own welfare. Sickness among her neighbors has generally found her at the bedside of the sufferer. With a mind always peculiarly active and receptive of outside impressions, she still retains a keen interest in the world at large and take pleasure in out-of-door works in her garden and among her domestic animals.
George N., Alnah L., Orman H., Herman M. and Scott.
(IX) Scott, youngest of the five children of Nathaniel B. (4) and Loemma P. (Leighton) Wilson, was born in Falmouth, Jan. 11, 1870. He attended the district schools until he was fifteen years of age, and then entered the Greeley Institute at Cumberland, where he attended one year. The two following years he spent at the Nichols Latin School in Lewiston, where he prepared for college. In 1888 he entered Bates College, from which he graduated with honors in the class of 1892. A part of his expenses in college were paid with money obtained by teaching at intervals during his course.
After receiving his diploma he began the study of law in the office of Symonds, Snow & Cook, of Portland. At the end of the summer he became a teacher in the College grammar school at Haverford, Pennsylvania, where he taught two years, employing his vacations in reading law in the office in Portland, except a part of the second year, when he studied in the office of Henry C. Terry, in Philadelphia. During the second year of his stay in Philadelphia he attended the law school of the University of Pennsylvania and complete his law studies in the office of Symonds, Snow & Cook and was admitted to the bar in April, 1895. In the same year he opened an office and entered upon the practice of his profession. From 1900 he has been associated in business with Eugene L. Bodge. In 1898, before Deering became a part of Portland, he was elected city solicitor of Deering and filled that position one year. In March, 1899, he was elected to the common council of Portland, and the following year was president of that body. In 1901-02 he was assistant county attorney of Cumberland county, and in 1903-04-05 was city solicitor of Portland.
Mr. Wilson is a Republican and active and energetic in the advancement of the measure of his party. He is also a good citizen and a successful lawyer, and as a reward for services to his party and in recognition of his professional ability these places have been given to him. For ten years he has been attorney for and a director of the Deering Loan & Building Association. He is a director of the Fidelity Trust Company, and of the Maine Insurance Company, and a member of the board of overseers of Bates College, and was president of the board in 1905-06. He is a member of the Portland, the Deering, the Lincoln and the Economic clubs, but not of any secret or fraternal orders.
He married, in Windham, Dec. 24, 1895, Elizabeth M., born in Windham April 1, 1871, daughter of John Jackson and Martha Maria (Webb) Bodge, of Windham.
Nathaniel Webb, born June 29, 1900.
Frederick Wilson, of Derry, N. H., was a descendant of the pioneer stock of Shapleigh, Maine. He married Eunice Low, of Wells, Maine.
Simon, Lovey, Dolly and Timothy.
Timothy Wilson, M. D., son of Frederick and Eunice (Low) Wilson, was born in Shapleigh, Maine, June 26, 1809, died April, 1880. His early education was acquired in the schools of his native town, and there he developed into manhood. In the early twenties he was agent for a Salem, Mass. firm at Majunga, Madagascar. He studied medicine at Bowdoin and Dartmouth colleges, receiving his diploma from the former institution, and entered upon the practice of his profession at Ossipee, N. H. He practiced for a time in Sanford, and then established himself permanently in Orleans, Mass., where he was highly successful.
He was a member of Barnstable County (Mass.) Medical Society. He was a Republican both before and during the war, and an ardent Abolitionist.
He married Mary B. Kimball, who was also a descendant of the early settlers of Shapleigh.
Charles, who became a dentist; Mrs. J. Wentworth; John, a resident of Boston; Frank, see forward.
Frank, youngest child of Dr. Timothy and Mary B. (Kimball) Wilson, was born in Orleans, Mass., Sept. 1, 1849. He was educated in the public schools of his native town, then attended Harvard College, being graduated from its Law School in 1877, and admitted to the bar the following year. He read law in the office of the Hon. Increase S. Kimball, and opened a law office in Sanford in 1878. He has since that time been actively engaged in his profession, in which he has been decidedly successful.
He is a staunch supporter of the Republican principles, and has been a member of the Republian committee of Sanford for many years, and the chairman of that body for some time. He has served his town as a member of the board of selectmen, and has been chairman for some years. He was register of probate for York county from 1885 to 1900, and is a charter member of the Sanford Loan & Buildling Association, which was incorporated in 1890.
He is a member of Preble Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of Sanford; White Rose Royal Arch Chapter; St. Amand (or Armand?) Commandery, Kennebunk, Maine; Maine Council, Saco; Kora Temple, Lewiston; and Maine Consistory.
He married (first) Nov. 16, 1880, Abby J. Hobbs, daughter of Benjamin F. Hobbs, of Somersworth, N. H. She died Sept. 15, 1891.
Child of 1st wife:
May, born March 7, 1885, educated in Sanford and at Roxbury high school, Boston, Mass.
He married (second) Nov. 17, 1892, Alice L. Pike, daughter of Ivory H. Pike, of Shapleigh, Maine.
Robley C., b. 1898; Donald M., b. Sept. 9, 1901; and Milton G., b. Jan. 10, 1904.
Both children were born in Sanford, Maine.
Numerous people bearing this name were among the pioneer settlers at Londonderry, New Hampshire, which makes it rather difficult to distinguish in some cases. Reliable records seem to show the line herein traced. The several families were similar in charcter, and have contributed their share to the progress and moral development of the nation.
(I) James Wilson was born in 1639, in Londonderry, Ireland, and came to this country when about eighty-six years old, accompanying some of his children. He settled in Chester, N. H. in 1725, and there testified that his age was one hundred years in 1739.
(II) James (2), son of James (1) Wilson, was born about 1665, in Londonderry, Ireland, and settled in Chester, N. H. in 1725. He had sons William, James, Robert and Hugh.
(III) William, eldest son of James (2) Wilson, was born about 1690, in Londonderry, Ireland, and died in Stratham, New Hampshire in May, 1764. He came with his father and grandfather to Chester, N. H., in 1725, and settled in Stratham as early as 1727. He owned home lot No. 40, and was fence-viewer in 1728 and selectman in 1729-30. His will was dated August, 1761, and proved June 27, 1764.
His wife's name was Elizabeth.
Robert, Martha, James, Elizabeth, Jane, Mary and William.
(IV) Robert, eldest child of William and Elizabeth Wilson, was born about 1730, in Stratham, N. H., and settled in Chester, same colony, locating first on additional lot No. 100, whence he removed to no. 102. He was a member of the committee of safety during the revolution, and also served as a soldier in that struggle, and was representative in the assembly from 1776 to 1780. He died Oct. 2, 1791.
He married Nov. 13, 1759, Jane Aiken, who died Sept. 29, 1821, aged eighty-six years, having lived a widow nearly thirty years.
John, Jonathan, Mary, Susannah, William, Margeret, Anna, Nathaniel, Sarah and Elizabeth.
(V) Jonathan, second son of Robert and Jane (Aiken) Wilson, was born in 1762, in Chester, N. H., and was drowned in Eastport Harbor, Maine, April 13, 1833. He settled at Belfast, Maine, in 1785, and was selectman of that town from 1790 to 1800, and town clerk for the succeeding fourteen years. He was colonel of militia in the war of 1812.
He married, in 1784, Eleanor, daughter of John Mitchell, junior. She died Feb. 12, 1846, surviving her husband nearly thirteen years.
Alice, Jane, Nathaniel, Elizabeth, Nancy, John Mitchell, Henry K., George Washington, Caroline and Jonathan Dayton.
(VI) Alice, eldest child of Jonathan and Eleanor (Mitchell) Wilson, was born March 22, 1785, in Chester, New Hampshire, and was married Dec. 7, 1800, to Martin Patterson.
John (2) MITCHELL, father of Mrs. Eleanor Wilson, was a son of John (1) Mitchell. The last named was born in Londonderry, Ireland, and arrived in Boston Aug. 4, 1718, with the Scotch-Irish immigrants who came that year. He settled in Londonderry, N. H. His son John (2) was then five years old and became a joiner by trade. In 1768 he became the founder of the town of Belfast, maine, where he cleared up land and engaged in agriculture, and died in 1801. He took up lots Nos. 1, 12, 21, 35 and 51. He married in Chester, in 1735, Elizabeth, second daughter of William and Elizabeth Wilson. Children: John, George, Samuel, Robert, Joshua, Anna, Mary, Elizabeth, Eleanor and Hannah. The fourth daughter, Eleanor, was born in 1760, and became the wife of Jonathan Wilson, as above noted.
John Aiken was born in 1689, in Londonderry, Ireland, and came to America, landing in Boston in 1724. He settled in Chester, New Hampshire in 1730, and died there Dec. 1, 1750. His real estate was valued at four thousand pounds, and his personal estate at one thousand nine hundred eighty-two pounds.
He married, in Ireland, Jane Karr.
John, James, Jane, Margaret, Martha, Elizabeth and Mary.
The eldest daughter, Jane, was born in 1739, and was married in 1759 to Robert Wilson, of Chester.