There are literally thousands of William Wiseman descendants living throughout the United States, and the story of William Wiseman has been recounted numerous times by various family historians. The most thorough and best documented history is probably that compiled by Wiseman descendant and researcher Thomas C. Chapman, who dispells numerous myths concerning William Wiseman. The following material is primarily based on Chapman's research.
William Wiseman was born in London, England on February 2, 1736 (not 1741 as is often stated). He came to America as a young teenager in the 1750's. Apparently he came to America as a stowaway and was sold as an indentured servant to pay for his passage. After working for a cabinetmaker he earned his freedom. According to legend his first marriage was to a Sadie Brown in Charleston, SC, but such a marriage has never been documented and Chapman doubts the truth of this legend. In 1761 Wiseman married Mary Davenport in Culpeper County, VA. About 1763 William and Mary moved south from Virginia. Daughter Dorothy was born in South Carolina, and by the 1770's the family had moved to Johnís River, Caldwell County, NC. William and Mary Wiseman had 12 children.
CHILDREN OF WILLIAM WISEMAN AND MARY DAVENPORT
1. Thomas Wiseman (April 30, 1763- November 12, 1806) m. Cordella
2. Dorothy Wiseman (February 5, 1765- August 23, 1855) m. David Baker
3. William Wiseman (b. 8- 5- 1767)
4. Mary Wiseman (b. 4- 11- 1769) m. John Puett
5. Davenport Wiseman (August 28, 1771- Feb. 2, 1820) m.1st ____ ? m.2nd Sophia White. Moved to Mississippi.
6. Martin Wiseman (August 24, 1773- 1838) m. Sarah White
7. James Wiseman (b. 8- 18- 1775)
8. John Wiseman (February 21, 1777- October 26, 1864) m. Elizabeth White
9. Celestial Wiseman (b. 10- 22- 1779)
10. Susanna Wiseman (Dec. 16, 1781- May 20, 1873) m. Thomas Baker
11. Nancy Wiseman (b. 10- 30- 1782) (Perhaps a granddaughter instead of daughter)
12. Robert Wiseman (b. 7- 14- 1784)
William Wiseman worked as a school teacher. According to tradition,
Wiseman supported independence during the Revolutionary War and may
taken part in the march to King's Mountain.
Mary (Davenport) Wiseman and perhaps some of the younger children died from milk poisoning on June 17, 1796. In 1798 William Wiseman remarried. His second wife was Lydia Bedford, who according to Chapman may be descended from early Plymouth settlers. Wiseman and his second wife lived at Sunny Brook Farm on the Toe River, near the present Mitchell-Avery county line.
CHILDREN OF WILLIAM WISEMAN AND LYDIA BEDFORD
1. Bedford Wiseman (October 3, 1799- October 24, 1881) m.1st Mary
Chambers/Jenkins m.2nd Mary Croson
2. Alexander Wiseman (March 28, 1802- March 15, 1877) m. Delilah Fox
3. Jemima Wiseman (b. 5- 6- 1804) m. Daniel English
4. Josiah Wiseman (July 24, 1806- ca.1885) m.1st Sarah Carver m.2nd Martha Gilbert m.3rd Eliza Gilbert
5. Elizabeth Wiseman (April 25, 1809- March 1, 1889) m. Boston Ollis, II.
6. Lydia Wiseman (b. 5- 20- 1812) m. ___ Baker
7. Anthony Wiseman (February 9, 1814- November 9, 1883) m. Lovina Dellinger (McCandless)
William Wiseman is buried near his home at Sunny Brook Farm. Although his gravestone gives his date of death as 1830, he probably passed away in the winter of 1822/ 1823. His widow Lydia filed estate papers for his estate in March 1823 in Morganton.