Neither the parents nor the birthplace of Colonel James Wilson is known, but it is believed the family came from England or Scotland to Virginia about 1650, first to Jamestowne and then to Norfolk County. Col. James Wilson was born about 1648 and married Elizabeth, who may have been the daughter of John Willis. His first land purchase was likely 300 acres in Norfolk County, bought in 1672 from his brother, Col. William Wilson (1646-1713), who served as a Burgess from Elizabeth City County from 1684-1695 and 1700-1702. William also served as a justice and sheriff of that county.
Col. James Wilson was a justice in Norfolk County in 1693 and Presiding Justice by 1710 until his death in 1712. He was sheriff, 1695-1697. In 1699 he was a major in the Norfolk County militia and by 1702 had been promoted to colonel. He served in the House of Burgesses in 1698, 1702-05 and 1710-12. In 1701 he served as the Crown Feofee (Trustee) for the sale of lands in Norfolk. He was listed in the 1704 quit rent rolls as holding 2800 acres. He also served as the churchwarden of Elizabeth River Parish. His will was dated 12 Nov 1712 and probated 19 Dec 1712.
The ten children of Colonel James Wilson and his wife Elizabeth are as follows: (1) Thomas (b. abt. 1669; d. bef. 15 Sep 1696), wed Isabella Burgess; they had one child, James (b. abt 1691; d. 1718), who was named in Col. James’ Will. (2) James, Jr. (b. 1671; d. bef. Feb 1756), married Prudence Butt, daughter of Thomas & Elizabeth, who had 13 children. After her death, he married Grace Phillips who died childless. He then wed Dinah Nicholson, who bore three daughters. He was a major in the militia and Norfolk County Court Justice 54 years, 1702-1756. (3) Elizabeth (b. abt. 1673; d. May 1741), married Henry Tregany, Jr., mariner of Philadelphia. (4) Lemuel (b. abt. 1675; d. 1731), married Katherine and was captain in the militia and County Court Clerk, 1699-1718. (5) John (b. abt. 1677; d. bef. 4 Jun 1728), wed Margaret and was sheriff in 1719, captain in the militia and Norfolk County Justice 1723. (6) Samuel (b. abt. 1680; d. bef. 3 Jan 1710/11), married Dinah Mason, widow of Capt. Robert Thorowgood and had one son, Willis Wilson. (7) Willis (b. abt. 1683; d. 1760), married Mary Chichester. He was executor with his mother, Elizabeth, of his father’s Will. He was a County Court Justice in 1713, sheriff in 1724 and 1732, a major in the militia and a Burgess 1718 and 1720-22. (8) Affiah (b. 1689; d. aft. 30 May 1753), married Capt. George Newton in 1706 and had nine children. (9) Solomon (b. abt. 1694; d. abt 1775), wed Tabitha Mason, and they had 5 children. He served as County Court Clerk 1718-1751 and major in the militia. (10) Mary (b. abt. 1697; d. bef. May 1772) wed Nathaniel Butt, son of Thomas & Elizabeth Butt.
First Mississippi Company Descendant of James Wilson: Admiral Thomas Gerald Lilly
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