James Wilson

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The Wilson family in Butler County, Pennsylvania,as descended from James Wilson, is well documented. James Wilson is the earliest known, and he has not been traced back beyond his appearance in Butler County, about 1844 (per the 1895 History of Butler County), or by 1840 perhaps,(1840 census, Muddy Creek Twp., Butler Co. PA) He was said to have come from Berks Co. PA. The 1850 census suggests a birth year of 1805, which would indicate "2nd Berks" configuration of the county. He married Mary Baum. Four children are named in the 1895 History (Tamson, Lot, William, & Martha Jane). The 1850 census indicates two additional children - Jesse and George. Jesse is about two years older than Tamson, the next oldest; George is about 7 years younger than Martha Jane.
Son Jesse disappears from the Butler Co. census in 1850, but a match appears in Scioto Co. Ohio. This corresponds with the indication in the 1895 History of Butler County PA that James Wilson migrated on to Portsmouth Ohio after several years in Butler County. No records of any kind have yet been found for James Wilson in Ohio. It is unclear where he and Mary Baum were married, when she died, & whether she also went to Ohio. Nothing further is known of her.
Of the remaining children, Tamson, Lot, and Martha Jane lived out their lives in the area of Prospect, Butler Co. William moved to Slippery Rock Twp., Lawrence Co. PA. George has not been traced.

Date Location Notes Sources
Birth ~1805 possibly Berks County, PA [2][4]
Marriage ~1825 Berks Co., PA To Mary Baum [4][10]
Death after May 1867 Portsmouth, Scioto Co. OH [4][10][11]

Ancestry chart segment

 Generation 5     Generation 6       Generation 7
                                 +-- [unknown]
                                 |   (????-????)   
              +-- James Wilson --+
              |   (1805-????)    |
 Lot Wilson --+                  +-- [unknown]
 (1831-1906)  |                      (????-????)
              +-- Mary Baum
                  (1806- ????)

Sources: [4]


(all children presumably with Mary Baum)

Name Gender Date of Birth Birthplace Spouse Notes Sources
Jesse Wilson M 1826 PA, possibly Berks Co. Ruth Anna Muelheison [2][10]
Tamson Wilson F 4 Oct 1828 PA, possibly Berks Co. James Cratty, Jr. [3][4][8][10]
Lot Wilson M 10 Feb 1831 Westmoreland Co., PA Nancy Gallagher Direct line [2][4][6][7][8]
William Wilson M 1833 expect Westmoreland Co. PA res. LancasterTwp., Butler Co.PA [2][4][8][10]
Martha Jane Wilson F 1835-6 expect Westmoreland Co. PA Hiram Milhausen [2][4][6][7][8][10]
George N. Wilson M ~1843 PA, expect Westmoreland or Butler Co. [2][10]

Places of Residence

Location Dates Notes Sources
Berks Co., PA [4]
Westmoreland Co., PA 1831 [4]
Muddy Creek Twp.,Butler Co., PA 1840 [1]
Connoquenessing Twp.,Butler Co., PA 1850 [2][4]
Portsmouth, OH early 1860's [4]


Old Town Portsmouth, Scioto Co. OH
Gravestones of Ruth Anna & Jesse Wilson, Greenlawn Cemetery, Portsmouth OH


Ref. Num. Description Image of original
1 1840 United States Federal Census, Muddy Creek Township, Butler County, PA.
  • James Wilson household with 2 males under 5, 1 male 15-20, 1 male 30-40, 1 female 5-10, 1 female 30-40. This may correspond to James & Mary Wilson & children John, Lot, William, and Martha. Tamson, at age 11, may have been working as a servant in another household; George was not yet born.
    This entry is followed by that of Thos. Christy, then Wm. Christy, then John Wilson (relationship if any unknown, but same age bracket as James Wilson):
  • John Wilson household with 1 male & 1 female under age 5, 2 females 5-10, 2 females 10-15, and 1 male & 1 female age 30-40.
1840 census pa butler muddy creek pg 7.jpg
2 1850 United States Federal Census, West Connoquenessing, Butler County, PA, Page 101, lines 25-31 lists James Wilson, 45, married to Mary Wilson, 44. They are listed as living with five children: Jesse Wilson, 24; Lot Wilson, 19; William Wilson, 17; Martha J. Wilson, 15; and George (A./N.?) Wilson, 7. All family members are listed as having been born in PA. Lot and William are listed a "laborers," John is listed as a "Tanner" or possibly "Farmer". James' occupation is possibly "Carpenter". Lot, William, Martha, and George are listed as having attended school within the year. The census is dated August 23, 1850.
1850 census pa butler west connoquenessing pg101.jpg
3 1850 U.S. Federal Census Franklin Twp., Butler Co. PA, ancestry.com pg. 12. Date of census 3 Apr. 1850.
Lines 10&11: James Cratty Jr., age 28, farmer; wife Tamzen, age 21. Both born in PA.
Next door is the famiy of James Cratty Sr. Nearby are the families of John Gallagher (age 67) & wife Frances; James Gallagher (age 70) & wife Mary (age 40) and 8 children; John Gallagher (age 38) & wife Sarah.
Note: Nancy Gallagher, the daughter of John & Mary Gallagher, married Lot Wilson, the brother of Tamson Wilson Cratty.
1850 census pa butler franklin pg 12.jpg
4 1895 History of Butler Co. PA, Brown & Co., p. 1277: "Lott Wilson was born in Westmoreland county Pennsylvania, February 10, 1831, son of James and Mary (Baum) Wilson, and came with his parents to Butler county in 1844. His father was a native of Berks county, whence he removed to Westmoreland county, and afterwards to Butler county. After a few years' residence in Connoquenessing township, he removed to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he died. By his marriage to Mary Baum he became the father of ...Martha J., who married Hiram Milhuisen; Tamson, who married James Cratty; William, of Lancaster township, and Lott..." (Complete text, Lott Wilson sketch, 1895 Hist. Butler Co. PA)
5 Early Bounty Hunters of Butler County, Pennsylvania, ed. David K. Webb & John M. Stevens, 1934; reprinted by Southwest Pennsylvania Genealogical Services, Laughlintown PA

Date of Warrant Issue: Dec. 5, 1837,Hunter: James Wilson, killed 1 fox; p.5, Bounty for foxes listed as $0.50.

6 Butler County Cemetery Inventory, Vol. 2, Emanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Franklin Twp., Borough of Prospect, Butler Co. PA
Millison, Martha J. died 04-05-1867, Wife of Hiram
Lot Wilson born 02-10-1831? died 04-14-1906
Nancy Wilson born 02-18-1829 died 03-09-1904
Wilson, Infant died 08-22-1863, Dau. of L. & N.
7 Gravestone Transcriptions, Emanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Franklin Twp., Prospect, Butler Co. PA; transcribed June 2007 by Elizabeth Wilson Williams.
"Nancy Wilson Feb. 18, 1829 - Mar. 9, 1904 (same stone) Lot Wilson Feb 10, 1831 - Apr. 14, 1906."
"Infant dau. of L & N Wilson died Aug 22 18(67?)"
"H. A." on small stone oriented sideways and next to stone of Lot & Nancy Wilson.
Maria C. (dau. of?) L & N Wilson died Aug 1877 age 9 yrs 11 mos 7 da.
Martha J. wife of Hiram Millison died Apr. 5, 1867 in her (78th?) year.
8 Manuscript of John T. Wilson researched 1975-1985, including personal knowledge and interviews of McDeavitt cousins and of his aunts Stella Wimer (McNeese), Lizzy Wimer (McDeavitt), Meda Wimer (McDeavitt), and Mary Gahagan.
9 Personal correspondence from Elizabeth Wilson Williams.
10 Jan Heckathorn (Finke) correspondence 2008-ongoing; and research manuscript "Descendants of James Wilson", including recollections of her mother, Dorothy Frances Wilson (Heckathorn), who was a granddaughter of James L. Wilson.
  • Supplemental data on descendants of James Wilson, with dates, spouses, source data.
  • 4 children of James L. Wilson, their dates & additional data; descendants of sons James Garfield Wilson and Bert Winford Wilson, with spouses and source data.
  • Records from Greenlawn Cemetery, Scioto Co. OH, gravestone transcriptions for Jesse Wilson & wife Anna. Cemetery representative (email) listed the funeral home handling the burial of Jesse & Anna Wilson; nothing on the funeral home available on line; per Portsmouth Library, the funeral home & all records are gone.
  • Current research (2010): regarding a George Wilson also buried at Greenlawn;
  • Portsmouth newspapers searched for obituaries for James or Mary (Baum) Wilson, Jesse or Anna (Mueller) Wilson, or George Wilson; none found to date.
  • Estate papers of Martha Jane Wilson Millison, dated May 1867 (from Butler Library, Butler PA); brother Lot in renouncement mentions that their father James Wilson is living out of state (i.e. still alive in May 1867).
11 Estate Papers for Martha Milison, filed May (1?) 1867, file # M 189. Provided by contributor Jan Finke June 2011.
  • Names of purchasers at sale of her goods include Lot Wilson, Mrs. Cratty,John A. Dickey/Dicky, John Grier, Jas. Dodd, Jas. Forrester, W. W. Dodds, Elias Green/Greer, Wm. Berry,W. Beiry, Lewis Hoon,(James) Haan, Mrs. E. Kins, Mrs Blum, Seth De(garme), J. L(o/a)ilas, J Ferguson.
  • In an amendment note, Martha Wilson Milison's brother Lot Wilson seems to decline appointment as administrator and explains that Martha's husband Hiram Milison is deceased, and that her father is not in the state of Pennsylvania.
Transcription, Estate Papers of Martha Jane Wilson Milison
12 Gravestones of Ruth Anna Wilson and Jesse Wilson at Greenlawn Cemetery, Portsmouth, Scioto Co. OH; transcribed June 2007 by Elizabeth Wilson Williams.
  • Ruth Anna Wilson 1825-1909 (matching stone, beside that of Jesse Wilson).
  • Jesse Wilson 1825-1900
    See also the website for Greenlawn: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohscogs2/Greenlawn/sec5.pdf
    These Wilson graves are in Section 5, located in the east central section of the cemetery. Enter from Garfield Ave. gate, turn right at first lane, follow to third section on left.

Source notes

  • John T. Wilson's manuscript, researched in about 1975-1985, lists the names of four children of James Wilson & Mary Baum as Tamson, Lot, William & Martha J. We expect that there was no direct family memory of the James Wilson generation, and that he had access to the 1895 History of Butler County as his source. The census record suggests the additional children, Jesse and George.
  • 1810, 1820, or 1830 census: none can be positively tied to James Wilson.
  • 1840 Census: the ages given for William and Lot indicate that they should be no more than 14 & 15 in the 1850 census, but are in fact listed as 17 & 19; errors of 2 years are common in early census. No other plausible match for this family in the 1840 census could be found. Also on this census page is an entry for the John Wilson household: 1 male under 5, 1 male 30-40, 1 female under 5, 2 females 5-10, 2 females 10-15, 1 female 30-40. Two households separate James & John Wilson in the census report. No known relationship, though it seems plausible that James & John could have been brothers or cousins. James did name a son John.
  • 1850 Census: Tamson is not in the James Wilson household; she is already married to James Cratty. They appear in the 1850 census in Franklin Twp., Butler Co. PA John Wilson, listed in 1850 may be the male age 15-20 in the 1840 census.
  • 1860 census not found for James and Mary Wilson. Repeated searches of both Pennsylvania and Ohio records give no sign of James Wilson after 1850.
  • Source 11: Estate Papers for Martha Milison, implies that her father James Wilson was alive in May 1867.
  • Source 12: Gravestone of son Jesse Wilson in Portsmouth, Ohio ( and daughter-in-law Ruth Anna Muelheison) would tend to corroborate the statement in (Source 4) 1895 History of Butler County, Pennsylvania, that James Wilson migrated to and died in Portsmouth, Ohio.


  • Elizabeth Wilson Williams visited Greenlawn Cemetery, Portsmouth, OH, in June 2007. No stone was found for a James or Mary Wilson. Subsequent research on the website of the Scioto County Historical Society, specifically the inventory of graves at Greenlawn Cemetery, also did not list James & Mary Wilson. See http://www.rootsweb.com/~ohscogs2/Greenlawn/index.htm
    Greenlawn is the only cemetery in Portsmouth in use in the time period of James (and Mary?) Wilson's move to Ohio.
    It is now presumed they were buried in a smaller cemetery somewhere in Scioto County other than Portsmouth.


Wilsons in Butler County; no known relationship

  • Catherine unknown, consort of James Wilson, died 1850; Catherine Wilson, daughter of C. & J. Wilson, died 1850; Mt.Zion Cemetery,Franklin Twp Butler Co. PA.
  • Annie Wilson 1824 - 1907 married James McGowan; gravestone at West Liberty Cemetery, Brady Twp Butler Co. PA. Relationship if any unknown; same generation as children of James Wilson but younger.
  • 1810 Census Centre Twp Butler Co., household of W. Wilson with 1 male under age 10, 1 male age 10-15, 2 males age 16-25, 2 females under 10, 1 females age 10-15, 1 female age 16-25, and 1 female 26-44. No known relationship.
    These age groupings suggest a widow and her children, the oldest male being between 16 & 25, probably closer to 16 if the woman age 26-44 is his mother.
    1810 census pa butler center pg 2.jpg

  • Butler library obituaries on Anna Wilson, Laura Dengler and John Dengler. Anna was the widow of a Joseph Wilson. They were former residents of Bruin. This Anna Wilson d. 9/6/1910. Her daughter Laura lived to be 67, d. 1/14/1933. Laura's obit mentions nothing of either parent. John Dengler d. 3/4/1920 at age 63. All 3 are buried at the McKeesport-Versailles Cemetery in McKeesport, Allegheny Co., PA. See census 1900-1920 below.
Ref. Num. Description Image of original
R1 1900 United States Federal Census, Center Township, Butler Co, PA,Enumeration district 61, page 7 on Ancestry.com. Census dated 9 June 1900.
Lines 16-23: George Vangordes, head, 37, b. Jan 1863, married 14 years, farmer; Leota, wife, 33, b. Jan 1868, Married 14 years, 5 children born, 5 living; Elsie G., dau., 11, b. Jan 1889;, Mabel R., dau., 10, b. Sept 1890; Efhie B., Dau, 7, b. Apr 1893; Carle M., son, 2, b, June 1897; John A., son, 11 mo, b. July, 1899; Ann Wilson, aunt, 74, b. July 1825; married. All and all parents b. PA. All except two youngest can read, write and speak English.
1900 census pa butler center dist 61 pg 7.jpg
R2 1910 United States Federal Census, Center Twp., Butler Co. PA, Enumeration District 77, pg. 7 on Ancestry.com. Date of census 21 April 1910.
Lines 22-24: August Dengler, head of household, age 53,married (24 or 25?) yrs., farmer, general farm, he & both parents born in Germany; Laura, wife, age 44, married (24 or 25?) yrs.; Annie Wilson, mother-in-law, age 84, widow, bore 12 children, 4 living. Annie, Laura, & their parents all born in Pennsylvania.
1910 census pa butler center dist 77 pg 7.jpg
R3 1920 United States Federal Census, Butler (city), Butler Co. PA, Enum. Dist. 22, Pg. 4 on Ancestry.com. Date of census 7 Jan 1920.
Lines 92-95: John A. Dengler, head, age 62, immigrated in 1876, naturalized 1881, he & both parents born Germany. No occupation. Laura D. wife, age 54, she & both parents born PA. Joseph S., son, age 32, occupation: burial undertaker, he & mother born PA, father born Ger. Rose M. Green, maid, age 16, she & both parents born PA.
1920 census pa butler butler enum dist 22 pg 4.jpg

Wilson families of Prospect, Franklin Twp. Butler Co. PA; no known relationship

It is not known whether James Wilson followed other relations to this area. Three of his children settled in Prospect.

Wilson Tax records in Berks

See: Wilson Research in SE Pennsylvania for sources re. Wilsons in Southeastern Pennsylvania, relationship unknown.

  • Old Berks County PA was formed 1770, and included parts of present-day Berks, Schuylkill, Northampton, Columbia, Montour, eastern Snyder and Union Counties. It was reduced to half size in 1785, ("2nd Berks") excluding what then became part of old Northumberland County, but still including present day Schuylkill County. In 1811, Schuylkill and present day Berks were separated. Thus James Wilson, born 1805, could be a "native of Berks Co"., by birth in "2nd Berks" ,which later became Berks and Schuylkill Counties.
  • Several Wilson families are recorded in the tax records of Berks County in the 1760's and 1770's. There appears only one Wilson in the 1780 tax record for Berks County, a John Wilson. Since this "2nd Berks" County was formed in 1790, and in 1780 there is only one Wilsons listed, it appears that, either John Wilson is our James' father or grandfather, or the Wilsons moved into the (2nd Berks) area between 1780 and 1805, from other eastern PA counties, other states, or by immigrating. The possibility remains that they were landless and thus do not appear in the tax record, or for other reasons were overlooked by the census.
  • In the 1820 census, only one Wilson family (Robeson Twp, page 8: Charles Wilson {2 males <10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 256-44; 1 female <10, 1 female 26-44.} in Berks county has a male in the 10-15 age range. Also, there are no Wilson families in the census for Schuylkill County with the correct age male. Schulkill split from Berks in 1811.
  • 1850 Census East Nantmeal Twp., Chester Co. PA, family # 14: Lot Wilson age 28, shoemaker; Mary Wilson age 50,real estate $70; Levi Wilson age 30, schoolmaster; all born in PA.

Locating George Wilson b. ~ 1843

  • 1880 census, Rockland T., Venango Co. PA: George Wilson age 41 (b~1839), laborer; wife Jennie, son Wildred age 5.
  • 1880 census, Pawnee, Smith Co. KS: George W. Wilson, age 37 (b. ~1843) , Mary E. age 27, William M. age 6, John M. age 5, Mary Emma age 3, James age 1.
    Note: The birth year agrees and the child James age 1 could be named for George's father James (b. 1~805).
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