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Memoirs of the Wilkinson Family in America, 1869

Fifth Generation, cont.

IV.  Israel married Silence Ballou, (or Bolough) daughter of Elisha Ballou of Mendon, [Worcester Co.,] Mass., Feb. 14, 1772. Her mother's maiden name was Hephzibah Thayer, daughter of William Thayer, son of Captain Thomas Thayer of Mendon, Mass.
The children of William Thayer were (as mentioned in his will) 1, William; 2, Alexander; 3, Increase; 4, Amasa; 5, Hepzibah; 6, Beulah; 7, Silence; 8, Abigail; 9, Beriah.
The oldest son William married and had a son, Alexander, who seemed to be a great favorite with his grandfather.
The second son, Alexander, married Parley ______.
Hephzibah sic m. Elisha Ballou and had daus. Lucy, Silence, &c., Beulah married a Ballou; Abigail m. Phineas Lovett.
Silence m. an Ammidon, and Beriah an Eaton, and had Mary M., Sarah, John E. and William.
The will alluded to makes provisions for Hepzibah sic as long as she remains a widow. She died in Mendon, "about the ninth hour of the morning, June 30, 1804, aged 73 years, 6 mos., 18 days. She was," says Israel, "Widow to Elisha Ballou, and mother to my wife." Her husband died "In Penn. at the Yellow Springs, Nov., 1777, aged about 48." "Lucy Ballou the youngest dau. of Elisha, died Sept. 3, 1802, aged 32 yrs., 6 ms., 15 ds. Lived with her mother many years before her death."
The will speaks of land lying near "Caleb's Hill" in Mendon, and the old homestead was in that vicinity. A deed of gift from William's father, Thomas, describes him as a wheelwright,* and is dated Feb. 25, 1728-9.
Israel was a farmer, and purchased the old homestead in Smithfield, of his father, in 1776, and engaged extensively in buying and selling Real Estate. The following are some of the purchases made by him:

In 1763, of William Gaskell, 25 acres in Cumberland, paid 200 Spanish mill dollars.
In 1772, of Tho's. Arnold, 107 acres on Crookfall River, paid £570
 "   "       of Hosea Steere, 3 acres on Cedar Swamp, Smithfield, paid "Valuable Sum of money."
In 1773, of Dan. Jer'h Wilkinson, 8 acres, Rehoboth N., Purchase 6.10s.
 "     "     "   Daniel Stanly, 10 acres Rehoboth N., 9.
 "     "     "   Oliver Mann,  12    "     Attleboro, Mass., paid 1.16s.
 "     "     "   Benj. Tower, 11    "     Attleboro, Mass., paid 9.9s.
In 1774, "   Sam Cooper,  8    " Rehoboth, Mass., paid 6.3s.
 "  1775, "  Abner Lapham, 1/8 Iron Mill & Refinery, Smithfield, paid 50.
In 1776, "   David Wilkinson, 20 acres, Smithfield, paid 300.
 "     "     "   Israel sic Wilkinson, sen. 1/2 Homestead farm, paid 600.
 "     "     "   Rob't. Wilkinson, 1/4 Homestead farm, paid 300.
 " 1780,  "   Nat. Randall, 25 acres Cumberland, paid 25 Spanish m. dols.
 " 1781,  "   Stephen Inman, 23 acres Cumberland, paid 150 Spanish m. dols.
 " 1783,  "   David Wilkinson, 22   "    "Bellingham Propriety," paid 88 Spanish m. dols.
 " 1784,  "   David Wilkinson, 8 Com. Right Dedham Purchase, paid 1.
 " 1787,  "   Welcome Capron, 23 acres, Cumberland, paid 100.
 "    "       "   Robt. Wilkinson, 3 pieces Cumberland, paid 200.
 " 1788,  "   Samuel Arnold, 1/8 Iron Mill & Coal Barn Purchase, paid 30.
 " 1816,  "   Jo. & Dav. Wilkinson, &c., 1/8 Homestead farm, paid $608.

He owned a saw-mill on Crookfall river, and what with his farm, his traffic in real estate, and saw-mill he managed to keep himself busy.
James Wilkinson, the only surviving son of Israel, says:  "My father never held any office. He and his brothers were Quakers, birth-right members, but as he married out of their society against their rule, I Cor. 6:14, and would not acknowledge that he was sorry for so doing, he was dropped from their communion; but he always attended their meetings and dressed plain." Joseph Metcalf says, "he was a small, spare man, very quick in speech and action." He was in his prime during the war of the Revolution, and although his pacific principles would not allow him to bear arms, yet he aided otherwise, and saw with delight the triumph of

"This firm Republic, that against the blast
Of opposition rose;"

and rejoiced in the establishment of our National Independence. He did not seek notoriety, but was content to be a tiller of the soil, and an active business man in that department, rather than a popular, public character.

His old account book is still in existence, and the earliest entry is as follows:

This is the characteristic of the man. He was a friend of schools, and education found in him a ready advocate.
He was an honest man, noted for his veracity, and was highly respected as a citizen, and lived and died in the midst of a large circle of acquaintances, and relatives on the old homestead in Smithfield. The decease of his wife occurred several years before his own, and the following record was made by him:  "In Smithfield, Oct. 8, A. D. 1805, then Silence Wilkinson, wife to Israel Wilkinson, Departed this life, aged 55 years, 6 months and 6 days, between the hours of 1 and 2 in the day."

"She passed through glory's morning gate,
And walked in Paradise."

V.  Robert married Dec. 29, 1768, Mary Lapham, and had eight children. He was a farmer and lived two miles south of Woonsocket, on the Blackstone River near Mott's dam; the same farm was subsequently occupied and owned by his son Joseph. He built a good substantial house which still stands. He received a gift deed from his father Israel, the description being as follows:  "One quarter part of my homestead farm, whereon I now Dwell, Situate, Lying and being within the Township of Smithfield—Together with one-quarter part of the buildings thereunto belonging." The Consideration was "Fatherly love and affection which I, the said Israel Wilkinson, have and do bear towards my son Robert Wilkinson of Smithfield." Dated the "Third day of August, and in the fifth year of of His Majesty's Reign, George the Third, King over Great Britain, Anno. Dom. 1765."*
This same property was sold by Robert to his brother Israel, jr. for £300, Feb. 27, 1776, a few months before the Declaration of Independence, and these old deeds bear marks of the people's rejoicing.
Robert owned real estate in Cumberland, and 1787, he sold his brother Israel, jr., three parcels lying on the east bank of the Pawtucket river.

VI.  Wait married David Buffum and lived in Smithfield. Their children are:

VII.  David married Apr. 25, 1773, Lydia Spear, and had five children, all sons. Two of them married and became quite noted men in their native town and state. David was a farmer and occupied lands originally laid out to Lawrance Wilkinson.  [See also, Eliab Wilkinson Family Papers.]

VIII.  Martha married Joseph Buffum—lived in Smithfield, R. I. They had no children.


Ichabod Wilkinson4     [35] Samuel3 [8], Samuel2
      and   [2] Lawrance.1 [1]
Sarah Chapman

Of Wrightstown, Bucks Co., Penn.

105.I. Joseph,5 b.           d. Oct.     1785.
106.II. John,5 b.   d.  
107.III. William,5 b. d.  


Several daughters.


I.  Joseph never married. His will was written Oct. 11, 1785, and proved Oct. 28, 1785. He left his property to his mother, Sarah Wilkinson, and to his sisters.
John and William probably died without issue, and perhaps were never married. The Land of Ichabod which was deeded to Joseph, was in Solebury right, where Newhope now stands.


John Wilkinson4     [40] John,3 [9] Samuel2
Mary Lacy, and   [2] Lawrance.1 [1]
Hannah Hughes

Of Wrightstown, Bucks Co.,Penn.


First wife.
108.I.  Mary,5 b.     about 1741, d. April 2, 1802.
109.II. John,5 (135-38) sic b.     d.            1778.
110.III. Stephen,5 b. d. March   1768.
111.IV. Tamer,5 b.       d.        
112.V. Rachel,5 b. d.


Second wife.

113.VI. Martha,5 b.     about 1770, d.
114.VII. Ann L.,5 b. d. April   1842.
115.VIII. Hannah,5 b. d.  
116.IX. Elisha,5 (239) sic b. d.  


I.  Mary married 4th mo. 18th, 1765, Stephen Twining, who was born 5th mo. 4th, 1733.
They had eight children:

II.  John married Jane Chapman.
He received upon his death bed a deed of one hundred fifty acres of land from his father being a part of the original purchase of his grand father in Pennsylvania.
They had four children.

III.  Stephen, perhaps, was never married.
His Will was written March 14, 1786, proved April 11, 1786, he left his estate to his stepmother, and to his brothers and sisters. He was a farmer, lived in Wrightstown.

VI.  Martha,, married a Bennett, lived in Wrightstown, Pa.

VII.  Ann Lacy, married, 1792, Samuel Smith of Zion, Cecil Co., Md. He was a Captain the Army of the Revolution, and was in several battles during the struggle for Independence. In the war of 1812, he was promoted to Brigadier General.
Their childen were:

VIII.  Hannah, married Abner Reeder of Trenton, N. J.

IX.  Elisha, married Mariah Whiteman sic, resided at Wrightstown, Pa.



Joseph Wilkinson4     [41] John3, [9] Samuel2

      and   [2] Lawrance.1 [1]

Barbery Lacy

Of Wrightstown, Bucks Co., Penn.

Joseph moved to Chester Co., Pa., but no trace of the family has been found.



Ishmael Wilkinson4     [45] Joseph3, [11] Samuel2

        and  [2] Lawrance.1 [1]

Sarah Mowry

Of Scituate, R. I.

117.I. Ann,5 b.           d.        
118.II. Stephen,5 (240-243) b.     d.        


I.  Ann, married Thomas Bussey, moved to Berkshire Co., Mass. They had a family, but their names have not been furnished.

II.  Stephen, married Sarah Sprague, April 9, 1760, and had four daughters. He was a farmer, and lived in Scituate, R. I. He purchased a farm of Dudley Wade, June 6, 1767.* The Wilkinson name is extinct in this line.



Benjamin Wilkinson4     [46] Joseph3, [11] Samuel2

        and   [2] Lawrance.1 [1]

Mary Rhodes

Of Scituate, R. I.

119.I. Mary,5 b. Aug. 26, 1741, d.           1807.
120.II. Lydia,5 b. Aug. 23, 1743, d.           1798.
121.III. Samuel,5 b. Dec. 5, 1745, d. Feb. 6, 1766.
122.IV. Rebecca,5 b. Oct. 11, 1747, d. Jan.     1821.
123.V. Rhodes,5 (244-49) b. Oct. 10, 1750, d. Dec. 2, 1825.
124.VI. John,5 (250) b. Feb. 16, 1753, d. Dec. 26, 1836.
125.VII. Esther,5 b. Aug. 8, 1755, d. Dec. 1, 1793.
126.VIII. Olive,5 b. Mar. 3, 1758, d. May 10, 1807.
127.IX. William,5 (251-64) b. June 19, 1760, d. May 15, 1852.


I.  Mary, married Stephen Lyon and lived in Woodstock, [now Windham Co.,] Ct. She was born in Scituate, and died in Woodstock, about 1817. sic  She had no children.

II.  Lydia, married Lemuel Morris of Woodstock, [now Windham Co.,] Ct. They had ten children, eight sons and two daughters, viz:  Charles, Samuel, Rufus, Pardon, Nobadiah, Lemuel, Mary, George, Robert, and Lydia.
Charles married Marium Nicols sic and lived in Woodstock, Ct. They had several children, the most distinguished of whom was Charles, b. Oct. 1784, died at Washington, D.C., Jan. 27, 1856. He was a commodore in the U.S. Navy, and had several children. See Biography No. XIII.
Samuel, married Betsey Bradford.
Nobadiah, married Prudence Hart, lives in Boston, Mass.
Mary, married a Steere.
The author has been unable to get much information concerning this family. The Biography of Com. Morris will be read with thrilling interest. He was one of the ablest officers in the U.S. Navy. Lydia died at Woodstock, Ct., aged about 55 years.

IV.  Rebecca, married Gen. Daniel Larned of Thompson, [now Windham Co.,] Ct. They had ten children.

V.  Rhodes, married Clara Marcy of Woodstock, [now Windham Co.,] Ct. He had six children. His son Samuel was alive in 1865, and has an only daughter. Rhodes was a farmer and died in Woodstock. The name of Wilkinson is extinct in this branch.

VI.  John, who lived in Scituate on the farm first settled by Joseph, his grandfather, in 1700, married April 23, 1780, Mary Mowry of Smithfield. He was a surgeon in the Revolutionary War. After the restoration of peace he was a practicing physician in Scituate for more than forty-five years till his death. He had but one child, an only daughter who still lives (1866) on the old homestead of the first Joseph. See Biography No. XIV.

VII.  Esther never married. She appears to have been an active, energetic woman, full of enterprise and business, and had she been a man, would have accumulated a fortune under most any circumstances. As it was she preferred to take care of her own affairs, and she managed them with great prudence, and economy, as her Will, made Nov. 22, 1793, (only eight days before she died) and the Inventory of her personal property, plainly show. The former is recorded in the Town Clerk's Office of Glocester, R. I. She mentions her brothers, John and William. A copy of the latter is in the compiler's hands, and may be found in the appendix.  [Note: None of the pages of the appendix were among the scanned pages available online.]
The amount of her real estate is not given. No one can read this inventory without seeing the woman in full rig, with her "dark Palch Green dress," "Caster hatt" and riding whip mounted upon her horse upon the road to Providence, nor without being impressed with the idea that she could have married had she been so disposed.
The mention of the Bible bespeaks for her a love for the Creator and Redeemer of souls. She was much respected by the community. She is buried in the homestead burying ground of Joseph in Scituate. A stone is erected to her memory bearing the following inscription:
Miss Esther Wilkinson
Daughter of Capt. Benjamin Wilkinson,
Died, Dec. 1, 1793, aged 39 years.
The mighty God, the Wise and Just,
Knows that our frame is just feeble dust!
Like grass we spring and die as soon,
As morning flowers which fade at noon!

VIII.  Olive married March 29, 1778, Asaph Wilder, of Glocester, R. I. He was a farmer. Their children are:  (1) William Rhodes, b. 1779 m. Eliza Maybury, resided in Newport, R. I. He went to Havana, Cuba, on business, and died there May 16, 1810, was brought home and buried in Scituate. (2) Benjamin Wilkinson, b. 1781, was never married, died Dec. 4, 1800, and is buried in the family burying ground of Joseph Wilkinson, in Scituate. (3) Stephen married Betsey Harris, moved to Ohio near Cincinnati; is a very wealthy and enterprising man. (4) James m. Susan Wilmarth, moved to Montgomery, Ohio and has a family. (5) Asaph m. Polly Mowry, lives in Glocester, R. I. (6) Sarah m. Jeremiah Boss, lived in Providence, R. I. (7) Olive m. Philip Mowry, lived in Scituate, R. I., d. 1736. (8) Nancy m. a Wilmarth.
The family and their descendants are quite numerous and prosperous. Abel Wilder, great grandson of Benjamin Wilkinson, lives on his grandfather's estate in Glocester. Olive's husband, Asaph Wilder, died May 10, 1799, aged 49 years, and is buried in the family burying ground of Joseph Wilkinson in Scituate.

IX.  William was born in Killingly, [now Windham Co.,] Ct., and at the early age of fourteen prepared to enter Rhode Island College. The breaking out of the Revolution interrupted his studies, as the college buildings were taken at first for quartering troops, and used afterwards as a hospital by the American and French forces. He engaged in his country's strife for freedom and won an honorable fame for a young man in that memorable contest. He married for his first wife Chloe Learned, dau. of Dea. Ebenezer Learned of Killingly, Ct., and by her had six children, all of whom are dead, as well as all of their descendants. Chloe died 1797. In 1798, William married Marcy Wilkinson for his second wife. She was the daughter of Oziel Wilkinson of Pawtucket, and was a distant relative—the lines of descent meeting in Lawrance and diverging through his sons John and Samuel. They had eight children, only three of whom are now living. William was one of the first to engage in the manufacture of cotton goods in this country, and in company with Samuel Slater, his brother-in-law and others, he did an extensive business, and realized a return commensurate with his labors. He lived in Providence, the city where his paternal ancestor, Lawrance, first landed, and died at the advance age of nearly ninety-two. He was greatly interested in tracing his kindred however remote, and a sketch of the Wilkinson Family in his own handwriting is still preserved. He was noted for his hospitality and benevolent disposition, and his kindness of heart was felt by all who came in contact with him. Actually superior, but never known to manifest that superiority in a haughty manner, he was always ready to converse with his inferiors in such a bland, genial way, that they felt quite at ease in his presence. The following anecdote illustrates this peculiar trait of his character. Meeting one morning in front of his residence on George St., a boy by the name of Wilkinson—a distant relative, and who at that time was driving a milk cart, he proposed to the lad to abandon peddling milk and come live with him—run of errands sic, cut wood, build fires, and wait upon the ladies, &c. "No Sir!" was the prompt reply, "I prefer to be my own waiter." Mr. W. smiled, and, as he turned away, remarked:  "That boy is a genuine Wilkinson."  That boy to-day, is one of the best practical chemists in the country—a successful physician, and holds a position as assistant and Professor in two of the best colleges in New York.
Mr. W. graduated in 1783, and entered upon the business of teaching immediately, taking charge of the College Latin School, where he remained ten years. Dr. Manning, Prest. sic of the college in a letter to the Rev. Mr. Smith, 1784, says:  "Mr. Wilkinson is a good master." Mr. Guild in his work entitled "Manning and Brown University," says:  "He was eminently successful as a teacher, and fitted for College many of its distinguished alumnae. In 1785, he was appointed librarian of the College."
This testimony coming from the source it does carries weight beyond similar expression from ordinary sources. He was a thorough Greek and Latin scholar, and the following advertisement from the Providence Gazette of 1786, will give some idea of his school:
"William Wilkinson informs the public, that by the advice of the School committee, he proposes moving his school from the College edifice, on Monday next, to the brick school house; and sensible of the many advantages resulting from a proper method of instruction in the English language, he has, by the committee's approbation, associated with him Mr. Asaph Learned, as an English instructor.  Those Gentlemen and Ladies who may wish to employ them in the several branches of the Greek, Latin and English languages taught grammatically, arithmetic, and writing, may depend on the utmost attention being paid to their children.  Greek and Latin at twenty-four shillings per quarter; English at sixteen shillings.
Wilkinson and Learned.
Providence, Oct. 20, 1786.

The Hon. James Burrell, L.L.D. was prepared for college by Mr. W. and many other very eminent men. At the age of ninety he was accustomed to talk playfully of going to the College commencement to see his boys, some of whom were sixty years of age. He has long enjoyed the reputation of being "the most eminent classical and mathematical teacher in Providence."
He was always vivacious and cheerful, "filling his place as head of the household, a husband and father, with wisdom, forethought, calm dignity, and unaffected cheerfulness."
He outlived most of his numerous family, only three daughters now survive; and notwithstanding they feel no particular interest in this Genealogy, not approving of such researches, yet Mrs. Tibbitts has very kindly furnished the following:  Biography No. 15.



*Records of Deeds, Liber I, page 252, Worcester, Mass.
*Record of Deeds, Liber 6, Fol. 86, Smithfield, R. I.
Record of Deeds, Liber 6, Fol. 470, Smithfield, R. I.
*See Record of Deeds, Glocester, R. I.


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