John Wilson is believed to have been born in the late 1620s in England although no record of his birth or his parentage has been found. His parents are unknown at this time per all reputable sources. [Kindly do not add parents to this record without consulting with the profile managers.]
The research of Ken Stevens (see citation and link below) indicates that John and his family arrived in Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1652. Their son John, believed to be the infant who came from England with his parents, died 1 February 1735, age 84. This places the family in England in February 1652 and they are proven, through property records, to be in New England thirteen months later.
As with no birth record having been found for John Wilson, there has been no marriage record located with his wife, Hannah James, leaving a marriage date an educated guess. There does not appear to be a documented record of Hannah’s maiden name being James. However it is known from various records that her husband after the death of John Wilson was Thomas Fuller (though no marriage document has been found).
In March 1653, John Wilson purchased two acres of land with a house in Salem for 16 pounds. This was sold in July 1657.
The Wilson family first appears in Woburn town records in 1661 (via a grant of four acres of meadowland) although their move date from Salem is not known with certainty. Woburn was not founded until 1640 (Hannah’s last husband Thomas Fuller was an original subscriber of Woburn in 1640) so the several genealogies placing this Wilson family in Woburn prior to this date are in error. Stevens believes the birth entry for son Samuel in Woburn town records as 1658 was in fact entered in the town record several years later and is thus not indicative of residence there in that year.
The Wilson farm was near North Woburn located in what is now Bedford. In the Woburn Record of Marriages it is noted that they were associated with those of the “Schismatical assembly of Anabaptists.” This association appears to have brought about social challenges for the family and even John Proctor for associating with his mother-in-law in her later years.
John Wilson died 2 July 1687 in Woburn, Massachusetts. There is no record of Hannah’s death.
John Wilson is a 5th great grandfather of US President Grover Cleveland.
The children of John Wilson and Hannah (James) Wilson:
It should be noted that there has been extensive misinformation of this Wilson family published and repeated since the work of S.C. Newman in 1867. The research of Ken Stevens appears to be the most complete and documented to date and may be found at https://archive.org/stream/descendantsofjoh00stev#page/n13/mode/2up
There is misinformation about this John Wilson posted in various places from various sources dating back to the 1860s.
Perhaps the best discussion on the topic is found in Ken Steven's 1991 book Descendants of John Wilson of Woburn, Massachusetts. The e-book is available on free loan at this location (create an account for free if you do not have one): https://archive.org/stream/descendantsofjoh00stev#page/n7/mode/2up
Please note that Source references without documentation have been removed from the Source listing. There are certain sources listed below which do contain information that has later been proven incorrect.
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On 16 Jun 2019 at 16:33 GMT S (Hill) Willson wrote:
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Additional suggestions on the clean-up copy are most welcome.
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