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SIXTH GENERATION on Glen's Father's side

Reuben WILSON *(55) (57)

Reuben was born 19 April 1777, in Spencer, Worcester County, Massachusetts. (68)   He died on 10 March 1862 in the Village of Wilson, Niagara County, New York, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Section C, Row 7.(41)   His original gravestone was broken, repaired, and is now on display at the Wilson Historical Society Museum.   A replacement stone has since been laid on his grave site.   Upon his death he was 84 years, 10 months and 21 days old.   He lived in marriage with Esther Parkman Oliver 33 years, 11 months and 3 days, producing 14 children.    There were no children from his 3 year, 11 month and 5 day marriage to Chleo (Byrne) Shepherd, or from his 22 year, 8 month and 6 day marriage to Elizabeth (Oliver) Pettit, she outlived him (she was sister to Esther, Reuben's first wife).   At age 83 he was living with his son Oliver in the Town of Wilson.

Reuben's arrival at the place which is now named in his honor is well documented.    There are several excellent accounts of his early years.   One was an interview conducted by O. Turner in 1849, "Pioneer History of the Holland Purchase", pages 548-550 and 593 [see comments below and detailed in source file].   Others are, "History of Niagara County, New York", page 334, 385; "Wilson Sketchbook (A History of Wilson", by Donald W. Croop, 1991, and the "Wilson Centennial, 1858-1958" pamphlet produced by the Historian of the Village of Wilson.

Reuben and Esther migrated from Spencer, Massachusetts, via Upper Canada (Ontario), to their final stop on the banks of Lake Ontario that would become the Village of Wilson, Wilson Township, Niagara County, New York.   Their route can be traced by the places where their children were born and died.   They left Spencer, Massachusetts, soon after they were married and arrived in the Town of Broadalbin, Montgomery County, New York, sometime before their first child was born; Luther (Dec 1789).   Reuben's parents were living in Broadalbin, at the time, having arrived there before 1789.   A few years after Reuben arrived his parents resettled a few miles North of Broadalbin in Gifford Valley along the Sacandaga River across from Northville.   Reuben and Esther stayed in Mongomery County until sometime between when Calvin (July 1800) was born in Northville, and Oliver (December 1801), was born in Otsego County.   For some unknown reason they moved to the Town of Richfield in neighboring Otsego County.   Although they purchased no land there, Oliver was born and a couple years later Alexander (April 1803), and Zeriah Lerush (October 1804).   Records indicate Zeriah died here but his grave site cannot be found in the local Lake View Cemetery.   They left Richfield after Zeriah's death, October 1806, and traveled to Upper Canada where Anna (September 1807), Orson (March 1809) and Elizabeth (April 1810) were born.   Orson and Elizabeth died during or shortly after birth and the location of their grave site is assumed to be in Hamilton Township [Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada].   However, burials in Upper Canada during this time period were seldom ever recorded and there were few organized cemeteries; any evidence of burials has long been lost.   Where we believe Reuben settled, burial sites were usually so close to the lake front they eventually disappeared into the lake [grave site markers, other than field stones, did not come into common usage until the 1830's and 1840's].

An early 1810 Census of Hamilton Township indicates Reuben owned 200 acres, not cultivated, and worth 37 pounds.   The family consisted of 1 adult male (Reuben), 1 adult female (Esther), 4 male children (Luther, Calvin, Oliver, Alexander) and 1 female child (Anna).   This information is consistent with known facts.   Four male children were in the family when they arrived in Canada, 3 children were born in Canada and two of these died and were buried in Canada.

A published interview with O. Turner in 1849(55) indicates Reuben and family departed from Coburg [Cobourg], Haldimand Township in 1810.   Mr. Turner's interview has been found to be questionable in many respects, the least of which is Cobourg didn't exist at the time Reuben's family lived in Upper Canada (Ontario), nor did it exist when the 1849 interview reportedly took place.   [A fellow researcher who has lived in the area for many, many years, and is presently writing a historical and genealogical account of the early settlers of that region, and states.   There was never a place called Haldman or Haldimand in Ontario, Canada.   There is a Haldiman County in South-Western Ontario and a Haldiman Township but it is immediately east of Hamilton Township in Northumberland County.   A majority of early settlers choose land close to the lake, not inland.   There are differences of opinion where Reuben settled and stayed for three years, however, We believe the place where Reuben lived for three years was Hamilton Township, near where Port Hope appears on todays maps (west of Cobourg).   Cobourg did not exist in 1810.   The area known today as Cobourg was a low lying, uninhabitable swamp land, and first known as "Buckboard", named after Elijah Buck who settled there in 1808.   It was also known as "HardScrabble" until after Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg when it became Cobourg.   The old Danforth Road that traversed Upper Canada, east to west, swung north near Port Hope to avoid the swamp area.   Also, the name Toronto was only used by Indians and Traders during this period but Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe decided to name the area on the west bank of the Don River, York (Town of, and Township of).   Two major settled areas of Upper Canada were the Towns of York (est. 1793), and Hope, the latter being more populated but not as well known because it did not have a garrison nor was it referred to as "the Capitol".   For a period of time Port Hope was referred to as Toronto but officially established as Port Hope in the 1820's]. (137) An early 1810 Census of Hamilton Township indicates Reuben owned 200 acres, not cultivated and worth 37 pounds, the family consisted of 1 adult male (Reuben), 1 adult female (Esther), 4 male children (Luther, Calvin, Oliver, Alexander) and 1 female child (Anna).   This information is consistant with known facts.   Four male children were in the family when they arrived in Canada, 3 children were born in Canada and two of these died and were buried there, Anna (b.8 Sep 1807), Orson (b/d.9 Mar 1809) and Elisabeth (b/d.30 Apr 1810).

Sometime after April 30th, 1810, Reuben and Esther, with their children, embarked from the shores of Lake Ontario with John Eastman's family, and boatsman Gilbert Perry, in two open batteaux (flat boats).   [It is believed the point where they embarked was near Port Hope].   Sailing close to shore they were able to make camp at night.   One batteaux carried the families and the other household effects and farm tools.   They traveled close to shore so that their livestock could be driven along as they traveled around the lake.   In early July they arrived near the mouth of Twelve Mile Creek on the south shore of Lake Ontario.   At first they used their uprighted flat boats for shelter until more perminent houses could be erected.   In 10 August 1810 Reuben obtained a deed for land in T(ownship) 15, R(ange) 7, Lots 72 and 73.   On 20 March 1817 he obtained Lot 71 of T15R7; Lot 82 of T15R7 on 5 Nov 1818, and Lot 8 of T14R8 on 11 April 1820.

Reuben and Esther's 9th child, Orrin (June 1811), was born in the Town of Cambria, where his father had been named to the office of Constable.   In August 1814 they were living in the Town of Porter where Charlotte was born (August 1814).   They stayed in Porter through the birth of Lucinda (June 1816) and Caroline (March 1818), finally settling in the area that would soon be named the Village of Wilson.   It was here that Luron (November 1819) and their last child Esther (February 1823) was born and a perminent cabin built on what is now Young Street (a historical marker exists today on site).

Soon after Reuben established his final residence he purchased 175 acres of land, promising to pay $2.50 an acre, paying nothing down and agreeing to pay 5% in a few months (conditions were usually waived if the land was improved).   The first year he obtained most of his provisions from Canada; the second year he raised his own.   When they first set foot in what was to be known as Wilson, there was scarcely an acre of land cleared.   At the end of two years he had cleared 15 acres.   By the time his sons were old enough to help he had cleared and improved 70 acres, all by his own hand.

Over twenty years he and many of his descendants held the office of Supervisor in the Town of Wilson.   Reuben was elected as the first Supervisor at a town meeting held 6 April 1819, and served for over ten years.

Esther Parkman OLIVER *(58)

Esther was born on 14 Apr 1779 in Worcester County, Massachusetts.   Her gravestone indicates she died on 22 March 1831 in Wilson, Niagara County, New York, and buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Section C, Row 7.(41)[Greenwood Cemetery records indicate Esther died on 03/22/1834, at age 52.   Based on this date and her birth date, she would have been age 54 at time of death.   It is believed the readers of the gravestone made an error and the date recorded as 1834 should be 1831.   This date would coincide with the 33 years of marriage with Reuben, they married in 1797, and would make her actual age at death as 51 years, 11 months, and 8 days (a few days shy of 52)].  Esther was Reuben Wilson's first wife and the mother of all children sired by him.   She was the pioneer woman that was friendly to the British and that courtesy saved their cabin from being burned by the British on their sweep through the area in the War of 1812.   A picture of her and Reuben hangs in the Wilson Historical Museum in the Village of Wilson, New York.   She appears to be a very petite person for being a mother of 14 children.

Children of Reuben and Esther were:

i.   Luther WILSON (1) (59) (60) (73)

Luther who was born on 18 December 1798 in Broadalbin, Montgomery County, New York.   He died 18 March 1890 in Wilson, Niagara County, New York and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Section B, Row 1.(41)Luther had reached the age of 91 years and 3 months, upon his death.  

Luther was a large factor in the development of the town and more prominently identified with business enterprises than his father.   He laid out part of the Village of Wilson, was a merchant, produce dealer and miller, built several ships and gave land for a cemetery (later named Greenwood).   He was active in municipal affairs serving as supervisor from 1833-42, 1855-56.   In 1844 he became a member of the New York State Assembly and was delegate from Niagara County in 1845.   He was one of the founders of the Wilson Collegiate Institute.   At 70 years he became a christian and identified himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church that his wife had served faithfully for many years.

The 1860 Census for Wilson, Niagara County, shows Luther Wilson (61), Farmer, b. NY; Sarah (59) b. CAN; and May E. (21) b. NY attending school.   The 1870 Census for Wilson, Ridge Road, shows Luther Wilson (71) and Sarah (70), no children  . In the 1880 Census for Wilson, Luther is shown as age 81, livng with his son Reuben F. Wilson.

ii.   Calvin WILSON(75)

Calvin who was born on 17 July 1800, in Northampton, Montgomery County, New York, died 24 May 1877, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Section D, Row 26 (41).

The 1850 Census for Cambria, Niagara County, entry 386/392 shows: Calvin Wilson (50), b. NY; Hannah (48) b. VT; Ann (22); Calvin (20); Lucinda (18); Alvin (15); Malissa (13); Cloe (11); Sarah (7); James (5); Calvin (4); Reuben (3), and living with them is Lucinda Sherwood (65), b. MA [mother-in-law].   In the 1860 Census, Calvin Wilson is shown as age 59, a farmer wife the wife Hannah, age 58; Olive (20), Taileress; Chloe (19), School Teacher; Sarah (17); James K. (15); Calvin (13); Reuben (11) and Anna (7).   Mother Sherwood is shown as age 76.

iii.  Oliver WILSON(76)(77)

Oliver who was born on 14 December 1801 in Richfield, Otsego County, New York.   He died on 9 December 1884 in Wilson, Niagara County, New York,(10c) and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Section D, Row 32.   (41) A monument located at this site lists Oliver on the westside, "Born in Richfield Otsego Co./Husband of Mellisa [Sherwood] & Rachel P.[Parker]".

Oliver married Mellisa Sherwood in Wilson, New York, about 1822.   In 1844 they relocated to Burton, Geauga County, Ohio, and were there until September 1844.   Prior to this time a spotted fever epidemic took the life of Mellisa, age 38, and four children, Caroline, age 20, Nathaniel, age 16, Kiler, age 13, and Reuben, age 11. Although they are buried in Ohio there are memorials located at Greenwood Cemetery in Wilson.   As a result of this tragedy, Oliver's father Reuben sent son Luther with a team of horses and sleigh to Ohio to bring the remaining members of the family home to Wilson.   Mellisa and Oliver had eleven children.

After 1844, Oliver married Rachel P. Parker.   She was born 4 September 1806 in Hoosick Falls, New York, and died at age 76 in Wilson.   They setttled on the Andrew Hamblin farm on Townline Road in Wilson.

The 1860 Census for Wilson, Niagara County, shows Oliver Wilson (58), Farmer; Rachel P. (61); Lorenzo (20); Lucinda (17); Oliver Jr.   (16), and living with them are Harry Hutchins (23), Farm Laborer and father Reuben (83).   The 1870 Census for Wilson, Ridge Road, shows Oliver Wilson (68) and Rachel P. (71), no children.

iv.   Alexander WILSON *

v.   Zeriah Lerush WILSON

LeRush was born on 17 October 1804 and died on 6 October 1806 in Richfield, Otsego County, New York.   Although his gravesite cannot be located in the local Lake View Cemetery, records indicate Zeriah was born and died in Richfield, Otsego County.

vi.   Anna WILSON

Anna was born on 8 September 1807, Hamilton Township, Northumberland County, Canada... She died on 6 June 1825 in Wilson, Niagara County, New York, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Section C, Row 7.  (41) She was the wife of Luman Case when she died at age 17 years, 11 months and 2 days.   Her gravestone reads, "In memory of, Anna, wife of Luman Case, who departed this life in 1825 in the 18 year of her age"... She is shown in the Greenwood Cemetery listing under the name Case.

vii.   Orson WILSON

Orson was born on 9 March 1809 and died the same day in Hamilton Township, Northumberland County, Canada.   Burial site is assumed to be on the land they owned near Port Hope, Upper Canada.

viii.   Elizabeth WILSON

Elizabeth was born on 30 April 1810 and died the same day in Hamilton Township, Northumberland County, Canada.   Burial site is assumed to be on the land they owned near Port Hope, Upper Canada.

ix.   Orrin WILSON

Orrin was born on 3 June 1811 in Cambria, Niagara Coungty, New York and died 8 December 1896 in Wilson, Niagara County, New York.  (10d) Orrin was 86 years and 6 months of age when he died and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Section B, Row 6.  (41) He was the first white child born in what is now the Town of Wilson.   His name is often seen spelled with only one "r".

Orrin married Sibyle Hurlburt in 1843 and they had two children... The 1860 Census for Wilson, Niagara County, shows Orrin Wilson (49); Sybil (36); Esther M. (15); Martha E. (14) and Elizabeth Waggoner (5) [unknown relationship] .   In 1870 the Census for Wilson, Ridge Road, shows Orrin Wilson (58), Sybil (46) and Esther (25).   At age 68 he is shown on the 1880 Census for Wilson living with Timothy and Elsie Wilson and their three children [unknown relationship].

x.   Charlotte WILSON

Charlotte was born on 29 August 1814 in Porter, Niagara County, New York and died on 9 March 1831 in Wilson.   She is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Section C, Row 7.(41) Her gravestone indicates she died, "In the 18 year of her age".

xi.   Lucinda WILSON

Lucinda was born on 7 June 1816 in Porter, Niagara County, New York. She died on 6 August 1843 in Wilson and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Section C, Row 7 (41).   Her gravestone reads, "Lucinda, wife of Orin H. Cole & daughter of Reuben & Esther Wilson".   More engraving may be on the stone but the bottom is buried and cannot be seen.   At the time of her death she was age 27 and the wife of Orin Cole. It is believed she died either in childbirth or shortly after the birth of son Ezra.   1850 Census for Niagara County, New York, shows Ezra at age 7 living with his father Orin and step-mother Rosannah in the Town of Wilson.   Neither Orin, Ezra or Rossanah are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, although two son's of Orin and Rossanah are buried there; Homer, b.13 Sept 1847, d.15 Aug 1850 and Dewey, b.29 May 1849, d. 13 Aug 1850.

xii.   Caroline WILSON

Caroline was born on 17 March 1818 in Porter, Niagara County, New York, and died on 17 December 1819, in Wilson Township. New York.   Her burial site is unknown.

xiii.   Luron D. WILSON (1)

Luron was born on 21 November 1819 in Wilson, Niagara County, and died 9 December 1893 in Lockport, Niagara County, New York.   Luron's gravestone reads, "Luron D. Wilson, Capt. Co. F, 151 Reg. NY Vol., Died Dec. 9, 1893 aged 74 years, 18 days", and is located in Greenwood Cemetery, Section C, Row 7.(41)

At age 43, Luron enrolled at Lockport to serve three years in the 151st Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry.   He was mustered in as Captain, Company F, on 28 September 1862 (commisioned as Captain 10 November 1862), and discharged for disability (poor health), on 12 June 1863.   It is said he was a kind and humane officer, and was well liked by his company, but poor health compelled him to resign his commission and leave the service.(82)

On 8 January 1840, Luron married Hester Ide, and they had two children.   Hester is not listed as being buried in Greenwood Cemetery, however, when this researcher visited the cemetery in June 2001, a picture was taken of Hester's grave stone, it reads, "Hester M. Ide, wife of Luren D. Wilson, Died Aug. 10, 1863, Aged 43 years".   After her death Luron married Helena Miller, 5 November 1863.   She was born in 1833, died in 1898, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Sec. D37, listed as a Miller in Cemetery records.

xiv.   Esther WILSON

Esther was born 25 Februay 1823, and died 9 August 1836, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York.   She was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Section C, Row 7. (41) Cemetery listing reads, "Esther Wilson, (no birth date), died 08/09/1810, Daughter of Reuben and Esther Wilson, 'In her 11th year of her life'".   This listing would place her birth in 1789 if she was 11 when she died.   This is an obvious error as Reuben and Esther had just arrived in New York from Canada in 1810 and Elizabeth, their eighth child, was born and died in April of that same year in Canada [the entry in the Greenwood Cemetery listing is obviously in error; either the gravestone was mis-read or the date was entered incorrectly].   Birth and death dates for Esther are based on the Wilson Family Bible (1) that indicates Esther was born in 1823 (3yrs,3mo,4dy after Luron), and died 13 years later (5 months and 16 days).   This would establish her birth as 25 February 1823 and death as 9 August 1836, or age 13 instead of age 11.