This page tells the story of the search for the English roots of William Wilkinson (d. 1663), pointing out some flaws in various proposed lines of descent, then tells his story and that of his twice-married daughter Rebecca Wilkinson Dent Addison (d. 1726), and their families. I am hopeful that readers may be able to help provide more information about any of these characters. If you have documentation, I would be very grateful if you would e mail me at .
The Wilkinson family was centered in the West Riding of Yorkshire and Westmorland.
We shall start with Reverend Gabriel WilkinsonA, who was born in 1576 in Yorkshire, and died 17 December 1658. He graduated from Merton College, Oxford. He married Margery __, the daughter of Robert __ of Uxbridge in Middlesex, gent. Gabriel left Yorkshire and served as vicar of Bishops Wooburne, Buckinghamshire, until his death 17 December 1658. Wooburn was a Saxon settlement that William the Conqueror gave to the See of Lincoln, thus its name. In time it was divided into a manor around the Bishop's Palace, and a second manor called Wooburn D'Eyncourt. They merged in 1580, before Gabriel arrived there, when Ann Spenser of D'Eyncourt married Sir John Goodwin of Bishop's Wooburn. "St Paul's church at Wooburn has had so many additions and alterations that it is hard to ascribe it to any one historical period. Whilst the list of vicars goes back to 1216, the bases of the pillars are Norman, part of the nave is 12th century, and the north chapel was added in the 14th Century. The latter was built as a burial place for the Bertie family, then owners of the Manor. The tower was constructed in 1488 by John Goodwin, but it was not until 1869 that the church fully took on its present-day appearance, when an outer shell of flint was built around the existing structure."
Children of Gabriel and Margery (__) Wilkinson:
i. Thomas1 of Laurance [Waltham], Berkshire
ii. William1 followed in his father's career as clergy in the Established Church.
iii. John Wilkinson, presumably d.y.
iv. Margaret Wilkinson
v. Mary Wilkinson
vi. John Wilkinson
vii. Arthur Wilkinson
viii. Richard Wilkinson
ix. Matthew Wilkinson
x. Gabriell Wilkinson
xi. Robert Wilkinson
William Wilkinson1 was born in 1603 or 1612, the son of Gabriel Wilkinson. He died in 1663 in St. George's Hundred, Maryland. William matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford, on 9 June 1626 at the age of fourteen, and received an A.B. 3 February 1629/30 and an M.A. 25 October 1632.
He then married Naomi HUGHES and settled in Virginia. Familysearch, the LDS website, supplies her last name, along with a birthdate of 1616 in England, and death in 1634 in Norfolk County, Virginia. She was only eighteen and already had three daughters? As usual, no sources are given, so take it as a suggestion rather than as fact. On 20 November William received 700 acres in "Linhaven, commonly called Chisopeian River" opposite Capt. Adam THORROGOOD (whose daughter later married a DENT). William served in the Lynnhaven Parish in Princess Anne County from 1635 to 1637.
After William's first wife died, he married secondly the widow Margaret BUDDEN, who had a young daughter, Eliza.
After fifteen years in Virginia, William emigrated to Maryland. On 10 October 1650 he applied for 900 acres and for permission to bring in his daughters Mary, Rebecca, and Elizabeth Wilkinson; his now wife Margaret and her daughter Elizabeth BUDDEN; and three servants, William WARREN, Robert CORNISH, and Anne STEVENS. He was a preacher and planter, a minister who was involved in the trade of the Province. William received a special warrant for 1000 acres on the Eastern Shore. However, he settled on the western shore at Chaptico in what later became King and Queen Parish in St. Mary's County. (Click on the map to enlarge it.)
The Reverend William Wilkinson was the first Anglican clergyman to be accredited to, and to officiate in Maryland. He probably first led worship services at Trinity Church in St. Mary's City. It had been built in 1642, before there was a clergyman for it. He became the first rector at Poplar Hill, three or four miles due west of St. Mary's City, on the Potomac River. The existing building, now called St. George's, was erected in 1750 some fifteen feet south of the original church. It has recently been repaired and restored.
William died in August 1663 in what was later King and Queen Parish, St. Mary's County. He signed his will 29 May 1663 in the presence of two illiterate witnesses. It was probated on 21 September that year. In it he mentioned Eliza BUDDEN, daughter of Margaret Budden, his last wife (presumably deceased), two grandsons: William DENT, eldest son of his daughter Rebecca, and William HATTON, eldest son of his daughter Elizabeth. He bequeathed half of his property, real and personal, to each of his sons-in-law, reflecting the legal fiction of femme covert that a married woman was subsumed into her husband; they were one person in the eyes of the law, and that person was, of course, the man. A married woman could not own land in her own right. Thomas Dent and William Hatton were also made executors.
Children of William and his first wife Naomi (Hughes) Wilkinson (may be incomplete, order uncertain):
Daughter of Margaret (Hughes) Budden Wilkinson by her first husband:
Rebecca Wilkinson2, daughter of William and Naomi, was born in Virginia, and died in 1726 in Maryland. She emigrated to Maryland with her father and his second wife in 1650. Rebecca married first, in St. Mary's City in 1660, Thomas DENT.
Between 1658 when he arrived in the Province, and 1676 when he died, Thomas paid the transportation for at least 75 people, thereby gaining their 50 acre headrights. Thomas had a political career as justice, sheriff, and coroner of St. Mary's County, alderman in St. Mary's City, and member of the Provincial Assembly. He died in 1676, leaving Rebecca a wealthy widow.
Rebecca had remarried, in 1677, John ADDISON. It has been said that Col. Addison profited from this marriage and that this alienated the Dent children from their mother.[18a] A decade later the family moved to Charles County. John, too, was a justice and coroner, but for Charles County. He was deeply involved in partisan politics with the Protestant Associators' cause when William and Mary assumed the throne of England and Lord Baltimore was dispossessed of his Province. John died between November 1705 and April 1706 while on a business trip to England. He left Rebecca an even wealthier widow.
Rebecca died in 1726. She signed her will in Prince George's County on 5 November 1724, and it was probated 20 August 1726. Alexander CONTEE, John HOWARD, and Mary DELIHUNT testified to it. She left £20 to her son Thomas. To her grandchildren by her daughter Barbara, namely Lucy, Baker, and Thomas BROOKE, she left £200 to be divided equally among them. If they all died, it was to go to her grandson Benjamin Brooke. The residue of the estate was left to Barbara, who was named Executrix. The unusual inequality of the bequests makes one wonder about the family dynamics. Presumably her estate at the time of the death of her second husband was considerably more than the £220 mentioned in her will. It is particularly curious because her estate was valued at only £20.3.3, obviously not enough to cover her bequests. Her son Thomas Addison was her only kin to approve the valuation. Had other children already received significant settlements? Had her daughter's husband squandered Rebecca's fortune with gambling or other misuse of funds? I have not yet found answers to these speculations.
Children of Rebecca (Wilkinson) and her first husband, Thomas Dent (order uncertain):
Rebecca (Wilkinson) Dent and her second husband, John Addison had one son:
If you have additions or corrections to this web page, I would be delighted to hear from you. Contact me via e mail at .
The Wilkinsons and their colonial Maryland relatives and descendants are described in The Southern Connection: Ancestors of Eleanor Addison Smith Holliday Price. It describes the social system, economics, religion, and politics that developed in colonial Maryland. The white elite considered themselves the pinnacle of civilization, while their wealth and power were dependent upon a horrifically brutal and increasingly racist enslavement system. This hardback, print-on-demand book provides the context for our colonial Maryland plantation elite ancestors. It also explores the Wilkinson family back in England for several generations before immigration, including some apparently spurious pedigrees. The book is available at lulu.com. Click on the title, then on "preview" to see the table of contents and a few sample pages. The price is the cost of printing and binding, plus shipping. I make nothing on it.See some other colonial Maryland families that link one way or another with these Wilkinsons: Addison, Bale, Brooke, Browne, Dent, Dorsey, Ely, Hall, Hatton, Holliday, Howard, Isaac, Molton, Norwood, Owings, Randall, Ridgely, Sim, Smith, Stone, Tasker. and Warfield.
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