After James and Mehitable married they were prominent in the First Parish Church of Killingly where she was "received into full communion" on 12 Apr 1720. Most of their children were baptised in the Killingly Church although the family appears as one that is residing in Leicester in 1721. That same year, James is listed as one of a few that agree to supplement a ministers salary as there is no organized church in Leicester [History Sketches of Leicester, MA, by Emory Washburn]. It would appear until a church was established the family traveled frequently between Leicester and Killingly, a distance of between 25 to 30 miles, at least a days journey by wagon. The birth of their first child recorded in Leicester is 1725 although they had children born in 1721 when they lived in Leicester. Perheaps the children born in 1721, 1722 and 1723 were born in Killingly on one of their visits. Records cannot be found to callaborate these conclusions. However, at some point in time James lived in Charlton, about 8 miles due south of Spencer before relocating to Stockbridge.
In 1730 James acquired title to Lot 5 in the western area of Leicester later to be called Spencer. That same year he became a Deacon in Rev. John Fisk's Killingly church. In Jan 1754 James sells two parcels of land in Spencer to Ephraim Brown [recorded in Worcester Deeds]. It appears he stayed in Spencer until about 1758 when his son James and his family settled on Lot 5. In Sept 1757, he purchased land in Stockbridge, MA, and settled there shortly thereafter. He was admitted to the Stockbridge Parish Church in 1758. There is no record of his wife Mehitable in Berkshire County.
James, Jr., lived to about age 90. The last recorded event of his life occured in Stockbridge, MA, 21 Sept 1784, when he deeded land to his widowed daughter Abigail Hartwell. He was married to Mehitebel LEAVENS * on 17 Nov 1718 in 1st Parish Church of Killingly at Putnam Heights.
Children of James and Mehitebel Wilson were:
After his marriage to Lydia Vinton in 1748, they settled on Lot 5 in Spencer, Massachusetts. Accounts exist that James became one of the first Deacons of Rev. Joshua Eatons church in Spencer, and subscribed to its formation in 17 May 1744. He was one of the first selectmen when the town of Spencer was organized on 14 May 1753. He also served as selectmen in Leicester from 1746 through 1748, and again in 1751.
Records show that James and Lydia sold land in Spencer that contained a sawmill and gristmill to James Proute on 24 Mar 1765. Sometime before this sale it is believed they had already moved to Nova Scotia, Canada. Early records of Onslow, one of the Cobequid Townships (Truro, Onslow and Londonderry), indicate James was commissioned to build a saw mill there in 1761. These Townships were being settled as a result of Massachusetts Govenor Lawrence's proclamation of January 1759 [Murdoch's History of Nova Scotia, Vol.II, pg 359]. Fifty-two, 200 acre grants of land, were given to New England settlers as an inducement to relocate (the land was part of that confiscated from the Acadians). At an Onslow Township meeting on 28 July 1761, James and David Hoar were to build a saw mill "on One Dam against or near above sd. Wilson's house." They had three months to complete the mill and were required to keep it in good repair for seven years or forfeit there land grants. A plot map of Onslow shows the name J. Wilson on nine seperate parcels of land; his son Peter's name appears on one parcel. In the original allotment James was granted 1-1/2 shares (300 acres), 18 stock (?) and an additional 1/2 share which included 40 acres adjoining his house lot.
Onslow Census of 1770 lists James Wilson, 2 males and 4 females. On 3 April 1769, "James Wilson of Onslow, Nova Scotia, yeoman..." purchased three parcels of land, one of 50, one of 18 acres, and a third of 1-1/2 acres with a house and barn in Spencer, Massachusetts. The land was near where his old property was located (Worcester Deeds 60:296, 297, 298). How soon after the census did James and Lydia return to Massachusetts is not known. It would appear his grants of lands were either sold or willed to his daughter Mehitable. Their son Peter is shown in the Town Record as having died on 17 March 1770; the Census of 1771shows one male had died in the family. Their daughter Mehitable remained in Onslow as she marries there in 1781. Whether daughters Elizabeth and Abigail stayed in Onslow is unknown, town records do not list marriages for either. However, on 8 September 1771, Deacon James is shown as being admitted from the church in Spencer to the Congregational Church in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
iv. Mehitable WILSON (151)was born about 1722 in Leicester, Worcester Co., MA. She died on 1 May 1785 in Spencer, Worcester Co., MA. She was buried in Old Norwich Hill Burial Ground. Mehitable and Joshua had ten children recorded at Spencer: Phineas, 1740; Lemuel, 1742; Beulah, 1745; Elisha, 1747; John, 1751; Sibbillah, 1754; Mehitable, 1756; Joshua, 1758; Suanna, 1762 and Polly, 1766.
xi. Abigail WILSON (108)was born about 1735. She died after 1784 in Charlton, Worcester Co., MA. Abigail and James had two children recorded in Stockbridge: Elizabeth, 1765 and James, 1766. After her husbands death she resettled in Charlton, 8 miles due south of Spencer, and joined the church there in 1769. On 21 September 1784, one of the last things her father did before death was deed land located in Stockbridge "to my widowed daughter, Abigail Hartwell".
xiii. Mary WILSON (151)was born about 1746. Mary and Edward had eleven children, the first five recorded in Stockbridge, the others probably born in Oneida County, New York: James, 1771; Lucy, 1773; Stephen, 1774; Daniel, 1776; Anna, 1778; Edward, 1781; Mary, 1782; Levi, 1784; Sarah, 1786; Isaac, 1790, and Jesse Munger, 1792. In 1819, she was living as a widow in Mexico, Oswego County, New York.
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