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Memoirs of the Wilkinson Family in America, 1869

Fourth Generation, cont.

The peculiar views of the Friends continued and in Pennsylvania the peace principles prevailed as well during the revolution as before it, and John glowing with enthusiasm, and his heart swelling with patriotism, burst the straight jacket, and he went into the councils of his native state with more zeal than become sic a follower of George Fox, and they excluded him! He was really blameless, and we honor him for his love of country.

The following is some account of that affair:

"At a Monthly Meeting held at Wrightstown, 10th month 1st, 1776, one of the Overseers reported that he had spoke with John Wilkinson concerning his acting as committee man, and one of the members of the late convention."

On "the 5th month 6th, 1777," they make the additional charge of his being a member of the Legislature, "and it being a violation of Friends Discipline to be instrumental in building up, or pulling down any government,they continued to deal with him from time to time until 11th month 4th, 1777, when they issued their testimony against him," "it being thirty-seven years after he was married." "From his conversation with the different committees that were appointed to wait upon him, by the meeting, there is no doubt, it was a great trial to him to be disowned from membership with Friends in his old age, but his love of Liberty was so great that he was willing to sacrifice everything else, in order to build up a free and independent government of our own, although he was a magistrate by authority of the British Government." Samuel continues, "So it appears from the records of the Wrightstown Monthly Meeting of Friends, that John was committee man from Bucks Co., and a member of the Convention of 1776, and also, a member of the first legislature of Pennsylvania. He was a thorough-going business man, influential and respected in his neighborhood, and even now in 1866, it is not an infrequent thing to hear old men speak of Esq. Wilkinson as being one of the most active and influential men of his day. And notwithstanding he was so much engaged in public affairs, his private business was well attended to. He accumulated a large estate, the most of which was in land. In Aug., 1778, four years before his death, he deeded to his son John, lying on his death-bed, 133 acres of land in Warwick, and when he made his will in 1782, he left 300 acres in Bucks County, besides 900 acres in the forks of the Susquehanna, to his surviving children. Also, £779.13s.11d, and a remainder out of his personal estate. He died as he had lived, honored and respected by all who knew him."

VI.  Joseph, married Barbary Lacy, Oct. 13, 1748, resided for a time at Wrightstown and in 1762, moved to Chester Co., Penn., where the following from the court records appears "James Day and wife gave a deed dated Apr. 1, 1762, to Joseph Wilkinson formerly of Wrightstown, Bucks Co., Pa., of a tract of land in this county," and that on the 7th day of October, 1774, Joseph Wilkinson and Barbary his wife of Springfield Township, County of Chester (now in Delaware Co.) conveyed the same or another tract to Wm. Harris.


William Wilkinson3   [10] Samuel2 [2], Lawrance.1 [1]
      and
Mary ______

Of London, England.


42.  I. Hannah Maria,4 b.       d.      


I.  Hannah Maria was born ______ in England. Her mother's maiden surname is not known. A letter written to her father-in-law, Samuel Wilkinson, after the death of her husband is preserved by Mrs. T. K. Newhall of Providence. The letter contains her christian sic name, alludes feelingly to the death of her husband, and desires aid for her daughter. A deep religious tone pervades the epistle, and bespeaks a person of christian sic refinement.
Hannah Maria married in England, became a widow, made a visit to America, and returned to her native land. Nothing more is known of her, unless the following receipt may be of a later date. Its antiquity, together with the names mentioned therein is our apology for inserting it:

"Rec'd of Joseph Wilkinson of Scituate, in the County of Providence, yeoman, Administrator of the Debts, Goods, and Chattles sic of his Father, Samuel Wilkinson, late of Providence, deceased, in the Colony of Rhode Island, yeoman, the sum of Sixty-Eight Pounds, One shilling and five pence in bills of credit and ten ounces of Silver at fifteen shillings oz; makes seventy-five Pounds, Eleven Shillings and five pence, being the Seventh part of the personal Estate of said Samuel, deceased, which fell to his son William Wilkinson, who died leaving one only child named Hannah Maria Wilkinson, whose mother Mary Wilkinson, her Gardean sic, appointed me, Thomas Richardson of Newport in the Colony of Rhode Island, Merchant, her attorney to receive the same, also rec'd of S'd Joseph Wilkinson, seven pounds, one shilling and nine pence Bills of Credit for Interest of part of the above mentioned money for the time it lay in his hands, The whole being Eighty-two Pounds, Thirteen Shillings and 2d, I say Rec'd this 18th of 3d mo., caled sic May A. Dom. 1732.
me, Tho. Richardson"
In presence of
Nehemiah Marks,
Tho's. Leach.


Joseph Wilkinson3     [11] Samuel2 [2], Lawrance.1 [1]
      and
Martha Pray

Of Scituate, R. I.

43.I.Susannah,4 b. June 10, 1708, d. June 12, 1720.
44.II.Prudence,4 b.   d.  
45.III.Ishmael,4  (117-8) b. Nov. 13, 1712, d. Nov. 3, 1742.
46.IV.Benjamin,4 (119-27)  b. Oct. 9, 1713, d. Oct., 1803.
47.V.Christopher,4 b. Sept. 9, 1715,d. Aug. 30, 1739.
48.VI.Martha,4 b. Jan. 11, 1718, d.      
49.VII.Mary,4 b. Apr. 21, 1720, d. Feb. 20, 1740.
50.VIII.Joseph,4 (128-32) b.             1721, d. Sept. 28, 1755.
51.IX.John,4  b. July 29, 1723, d. Jan. 25, 1743.
52.X.William,4 b. Sept. 8, d. Nov. 20.
53.XI.Samuel,4 b. Feb. 8, 1726, d. Feb. 3, 1748.
54.XII.Susannah,4 b. d.
55.XIII.Sarah,4 b.       d.           1759.
56.XIV.Ruth,4 b. d.
57.XV.William,4 (133-141) b.           1734,d.           1818.


I.  Susannah, the oldest child of Joseph, died aged twelve years two days. No family records have been found, and much labor has been expended to collect from the record of deeds, wills, tomb-stones, &c., the dates of this family's births, marriages, and deaths. Those given above are in the main reliable.

II.  Prudence, married Dec. 31, 1732,* Isaiah Angell, son of Thomas. He inherited his father's Estate in Scituate below Clayville, which is now owned by David Field, Esq. Thomas, father of Isaiah, moved from Providence to Scituate in 1709, and in 1710, built a two story tavern house, which was taken down about twenty years ago by Andrew Angell who was of the fifth generation from the builder, all the intervening generations having inherited the property by their father. Isaiah was a lineal descendant of Thomas Angell, who came with Roger Williams in 1636, and settled in Providence, the descent being as follows:  Thomas, John (oldest son), Thomas (youngest son), Isaiah. Dr. A. F. Angell, of Providence, author of the Angell Genealogy in MS, says, "Isaiah and Prudence were married March 17, 1704." Evidently an error since she was not born at that time. They had but one child.
(1) Prudence, b. June 6, 1734, m. Feb. 18, 1753, Gideon Austin. They had several children, of whom was Angell Austin.

III.  Ishmael was born in that part of Providence which became Scituate. His school advantages were limited, but his opportunities for becoming an active business man were well improved. He was admitted freeman in 1733, and married Feb. 27, 1734-5, Sarah Mowry of Smithfield, being about twenty-two years of age. He was one of the most enterprising sons of Joseph, and, being aided by his father was put in possession of a farm of 80 acres, and a comfortable outfit in life, and was endowed with all the privileges of a freeman as soon as he was able to exercise the elective franchise. He built a very fine dwelling house and took possession of it soon after he was married, and commenced house-keeping under the most favorable circumstances. It was situated near the Glocester line half a mile northwest of his father's residence, and is still standing and occupied. It was originally built after the model of his father's house, being nearly square, two stores high, stone chimney, four rooms below and six above, and was painted red, but it has been remodeled, and its color changed to white. Two porticos, one on the east and the other on the south have been built by later occupants, and a small addition contiguous to the kitchen has been made. The house was finished off in panel work, with a large beam crossing the parlor ceiling. It is surrounded with fruit trees and the road is lined with rock maples. The place was purchased by James Aldrich after the death of Ishmael. At the present time, the mansion has a very genteel and comfortable appearance. Ishmael's farm was well cultivated and in good condition, well fenced with stone wall, good out-buildings, fine orchard, and a healthy location.
His first child, Anna, was born about 1736, and his son Stephen, about 1738 or 9. These are approximations. On the death of his brother Christopher, Nov. 5, 1739 sic, he received certain legacies which increased his property. His father dying the following year he was named executor of his will, and his patrimony was further increased. The original receipts which passed between Ishmael and his brothers and sisters settling his father's Estate are in the hands of the compiler, bearing date Nov. 8, 1740. The signature of Stephen Hopkins who was guardian of John and Joseph would hardly be recognized by one who was only familiar with his autograph on the Declaration of Independence.
In 1742, Ishmael was appointed one of the Surveyors of Highways in Scituate, and November following, he was drowned while crossing Seekonk river on a Ferry with a yoke of oxen. They became frightened, and, in endeavoring to arrest them, he fell overboard. This sad event cast a gloom over the community where he lived. His loss was deemed a public as well as a private calamity.
The following letter of Administration was granted to his widow:
"Whereas Ishmael Wilkinson of Scituate in the County of Providence, yeoman, Departed this Life on the Third day of November, A.D. 1742, and Died Intestate, and Sarah Wilkinson, Widow of the said Ishmael Wilkinson appeared before this Council, and Prayed that she might have Letters of Administration of the Personal Estate of her Husband, the Said Ishmael Wilkinson, Deceased, which being granted.
Therefore:

These are in his Majesty's name, George the Second King of Great Britain, &c., To order, authorize and Impower sic you the said Sarah Wilkinson to take into your possession, Care and custody all and singular the Goods, Chattels, Rights, and Credits of the said Ishmael Wilkinson, Deceased, and the same to administer according to law, and in all things to act and Do as the Law requireth and Impowereth sic an Executor Relating the Premises, and True and Perfect Account of said Estate and your doings therewith to render to this Council or their successors which you are thereunto Lawfully called, and for your so Doing this shall be your sufficient Authority.
Given att sic a Town Council held in Scituate in the County of Providence, the 12th day of November in the Sixteenth year of his s'd Majesty's Reign. Annoq. sic Dom. 1742.

"Signed by Order of said Council and sealed
with their seal, Gideon Harris, Their Clerke."
The inventory of his personal property enumerates the following:  Indian Corn, Wheat, Rye, Oats, Tobacco, seventeen head of cattle, horses, sheep, swine, £100 of hay, £227 in Bonds and notes, in all amounting to #0163;1035.16.4.  His Real Estate is not given, but consisted of about 200 acres lying in Scituate and Gloucester. This indicates a thrifty young farmer (he being about thirty years of age,) and had he lived, he would have undoubtedly made his mark in the world.
Notwithstanding more than 120 years have rolled by, Ishmael is still remembered by the town's people of Scituate, and the mention of his name is always coupled with his sad death. Rev. Mr. Bemen says "the house made sad by that event was rendered still more forlorn by the death of his widow, who had hardly been appointed administratrix before she, also, was called to depart this life, and Uriah Mowry and Benjamin Wilkinson, her husband's brother, both of Smithfield, were empowered by the Town Council of Scituate to take an inventory of the property." She died Feb. 3, 1743. The two children were now orphans, but they had kind-hearted relatives who cared for them. Anna, on attaining her majority, married Thomas Bussy, and moved to Berkshire Co., Mass., and had a large family, and Stephen remained in Scituate, married and had four daughters, but no sons. The name therefore is extinct in this line.

IV.  Benjamin was born in Scituate, and at the age of twenty-two received a deed of one hundred acres from his father, the consideration being "the love, good-will and affection," which he bore his "loving son."* This deed is dated Dec. 31, 1735, and the land was on the easterly side of the highway which led by Ishmael's house in the town of Glocester. sic His brother Christopher dying Aug., 1739, willed him a portion of his property, and on the death of his father in 1740, he received a full share of his estate. His sister Susannah being then under age chose him guardian.
He married in 1740, Mary Rhodes, daughter of Zachariah who was the grandson of Zachariah Rhodes, one of the first settlers at Pautuxet, R. I. He was very prominent among the Pautuxet settlers, and held many important positions and offices in the infant colony.
July 1, 1742, Benjamin was elected Lieut. of the "Train'd Band" of Scituate, and the following is a copy of the original commission in my hands.
By the Honorable Richard Ward, Esq., Governour sic, and Captain General, in and over his Majesty's Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England.

To Benjamin Wilkinson, Gent. Greeting.

You, Benjamin Wilkinson being by the General Assembly of this Colony, elected and chosen to the Place and Office of Lieutenant, of the third company, or Train'd Band, of the Town of Scituate in the Colony of Providence, in the Colony aforesaid, are hereby in His Majesty's name George the Second by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, &c., authorized, impowered, sic and commissioned to exercise the office of Lieutenant of the company aforesaid, and to command, guide, and conduct the same, or any part thereof; and in case of any Invasion, or Assault of a common Enemy to infest and disturb this His Majesty's Plantation you are to alarm and gather together the company under your command, or any Part thereof, as you shall deem sufficient, and with them to the utmost of your skill and Ability, you are to resist expulse, expel, kill and destroy them, in order to Preserve the interest of His Majesty, and His good Subjects in these Parts. You are also to follow such further Instructions and Directions as shall from Time to Time be further given forth, either from the General Assembly, the Governour sic, and General Council or your other Superior Officers. And for your so doing, this commission shall be your sufficient Warrant and Discharge.
Given under my Hand and the Seal of the Colony aforesaid, the First Day of July in the Sixteenth Year of His Majesty's reign, Annoq. Domini, 1742.
R. Ward, Gov.

"Sealed with the seal of said Colony
by order of his Honorable Governor."

Jas. Martin, Sec'y."


Benjamin afterwards became Captain.
Upon the death of his brother, John, he was appointed the Executor of his Last Will and Testament, and executed the trust with fidelity. Jan. 21, 1743-4, Seventy-eight and three-fourths acres of land were laid out to him west of the seven mile line on the original right of Lawrance Wilkinson. He was extensively engaged in land speculations, and exerted great political influence in his part of the Colony. He was also made executor of his brother Samuel's will Feb. 3, 1748-9, and was one of the legatees. He purchased real estate in Killingly, [now Windham Co.,] Ct. and resided there in 1763. He went into Massachusetts north of Rhode Island, and established a village to which he gave the name of "Wilkinsonville," [now in Worcester Co.] which is about forty miles west from Boston. Samuel Slater and sons engaged in the manufacturing business at this place at a later period. In 1784, he granted a deed of gift to his youngest son William in Gloucester.* He is described as being a resident of Smithfield in 1754. At a later period he became owner and occupant of his father's old homestead, where he lived till his death in 1803, at the advanced age of ninety. He is buried with his father in what is now the Harris field.
Only two females now bear the name of Wilkinson in the line of Benjamin. Upon their death or marriage the name becomes extinct. He had a family of nine children. Mary, Lydia, and Rhodes married and lived in Woodstock, [now Windham Co.,] Ct. Lydia sic married a Morris and became the grandmother of the distinguished Com. Morris of the United States Navy. Samuel and Esther died unmarried, and are buried in Scituate. Rebecca married and lived in Thompson, [now Windham Co.,] Ct. Olive married, and lived in Gloucester, sic R. I. [probably now Town of Glocester, Providence Co., R. I.] John became a doctor, and lived on the old homestead in Scituate, and William resided in Providence, R. I.
Benjamin's wife died Jan. 7, 1783, aged 63.

V.  Christopher died at the age of twenty-three, unmarried, and was much lamented by all who knew him. His affectionate remembrance of his brother sic and sisters is exhibited in his *will, where he gives Benjamin, Martha, Mary, and Joseph each £4 each, giving the latter his great coat, and "a Buckskin dressed into washleather sic" and John forty shillings, and Ishmael the rest of his property, naming the latter his executor. The subscribing witnesses were Sarah Whitman and Stephen Hopkins. The will is dated Aug. 27, 1739, and he died three days after according to the Council records; but an old paper found among the documents of Joseph Wilkinson, sen., says, "Christopher died August, ye 31, 1739, aged 23 years & 10 months, & 19 Days."
All public business papers and records of this period, bear the unmistakable marks of the masterly hand of Stephen Hopkins.

VI.  Martha, married Benjamin Phetteplace of Scituate. They had no children. The name is common in Scituate, Smithfield, and Gloucester, sic, R. I. Time of her death and place of burial not known.

VII.  Mary, was born in Scituate, and died at the age of twenty. An old paper contains the following in regard to her:  "Mary Wilkinson Died February, ye 28th 1740, was born April ye 21."  "Martha was 37, ye 11th day of Jan'uy, 1755, and Moley [Mary] was 15 months younger."  From this we ascertain her birth, April 12, 1720, sic O.S.

VIII.  Joseph, married Alce sic Jenks, and kept a public house in the town of Scituate, R. I. He is mentioned in his father's will as follows:  "I give to my son Joseph a part of the Homestead farm lying on the south side of the highway, and as far east as the fence called 'the old house meadow fence,' he paying to my son William, when of age £200, and if Joseph die before twenty-one, then my sons John and William shall have the land." Again, "I give to Joseph 10 acres of land lying in Scituate adjoining Joseph Williams, deceased," Also, "I give to Joseph one yoke of oxen, ten cows, sheep, &c., for five years towards looking after my two youngest children, Ruth and William,   *   *   after five years the 10 cows, yoke of oxen, sheep, &c., shall be divided among my three sons, John, Joseph and Samuel."
Joseph had five children whose names are recorded in the Town Clerk's office of Scituate. His will dated July 3, 1755, mentions them all as follows:

John was admitted freeman in 1742.
The name of Wilkinson is perpetuated in the line of Joseph, and his descendants are living in Worcester, Mass., Albany, Troy, Lockport, and Waterville, N. Y., Keokuk, Iowa, and St. Joseph, Mo.

IX.  John was never married and died at the age of twenty. He was probably engaged to a young lady by the name of Whipple, but death blasted their prospects.
His will bears date Jan. 19, 1743-4, and is as follows in its devisees:

I appoint my brother Benjamin executor."

The old paper above alluded to says, "John Wilkinson was born July 29th _____, aged 20 years & a half Lacking 4 days, Died January, ye 25th."
The Council record says John died Jan. 25, 1743-4, consequently, he was born July 29, 1753, O.S.

X.  William was never married, died young. It is difficult to ascertain the date of his birth or death. An old paper previously alluded to, has the following:
"William Wilkinson was born Sept. ye 8th, and would have been if living now, 24 years old, Died November ye 20th, aged 9 years, 2 months & 12 days." Unfortunately, the paper is not dated, and contains no mark by which the year of his birth can be ascertained.

XI.  Samuel was never married, but died in his 22d year. His will dated July 17, 1748, is worthy of note as it mentions probably all of the living members of his father's family. His mother was living at the time, his father having died eight years before, and his brothers, John, Christopher, Ishmael, and one William, and his sisters Mary, Prudence, and one Susannah had gone to that bourn sic from whence no traveler returns. The angel of Death seemed to hover over this household, and like flowers they withered away.
Samuel's will is as follows (Extract):

1."I give my Honoured Mother, Martha Wilkinson,

(old tenour,)    £150
2.My Brother Benjamin,150
3.My brother Joseph,150
4.My brother William,150
5.My Sister Martha,250
6.My Sister Susannah Westcott, 250
7.My Sister Sarah, 250
8.My Sister Ruth, 250
9.My Brother Benjamin's Son, now born
& interest when 21.
100
10.I give John Westcott, Son of Oliver Westcott 100
11."   "   Anne Wilkinson, dau. of my bro. Ishmael, dec'd 25
12."   "   Prudence Angell, dau. of my Sister Prudence, dec'd 25
13. I give Alce Wilkinson, dau. of my bro. Joseph,
to be put at int. till 21.
50

I appoint my brother Benjamin Wilkinson Executor of this my Last Will & Testament."*

Rev. Mr. Bemen says, "Nine brothers and sisters only are mentioned in Samuel's will which casts some doubts upon the reputed number of fifteen children as belonging to Joseph."
From the above it will be seen that the number fifteen is correct. Again, he says, "Samuel, a favorite name in the Wilkinson genealogy (& in fact all the family names are repeated generation after generation) was the name given to Joseph's first-born Son." There were at least six sons older than Samuel, and he was the eleventh child.
The old paper above alluded to, containing a record of the deaths in the family written not later than 1755, contains the following:
"Samuel Wilkinson was born ffebruary sic ye 8th, and died ffebruary ye 3d, aged 22 years Laking sic 5 days."
In the inventory and Council proceedings, Probate Court of Scituate it appears he "died Feb. 3, 1748-9." So he must have been born Feb. 8, 1726-7.

XII.  Susannah, married Dec. 31, 1744, Oliver Westcott, who was b. Sept. 5, 1720, and lived a little removed from Ishmael's on the same road. He was a son of Capt. Josiah Westcott The house built by Westcott about 1745, is still standing, and is used for storing old looms, spinning wheels, reels, &c., the musical instruments of olden times. It is a small one story house, wood color, gamble roof, with a large stone chimney. The garden spot is still visible, and the out-buildings have an aspect of decay.
Here were born their children, viz:


*Town Records of Scituate
2 Book of Deeds, p. 252, Scituate, R. I.
*2 Book of Deeds, p. 250, Scituate, R. I.
*See Record of Deeds, Gloucester, R. I.
Ibid.
*1 Probate Book, p. 52, Scituate, R. I.
*1 Probate Book, p.       Scituate, R. I.
For record of the Westcott family see, 1 Book of Marriages, p. 84, Providence, R. I.
*See Biography No. X.  [Note:  Pages where this biography appears in the
    original book were not scanned, and the text does not appear here.]


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