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
Twenty-second in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619, meeting of the first representative governmental body in America at the 1617 Church on Jamestown Island.
John Washington, the great grandfather of George Washington, the first President of the United States, was the son of Reverend Lawrence Washington and born about 1631 in England; he came to Virginia in 1656.
John’s interest in importing tobacco from Virginia to England brought him to America, for he owned a one-half interest in a ship named the Sea Horse with a business partner, Edward Prescott. Their ship, loaded with tobacco bound for England, ran aground on a sandbar in the Potomac River and sank in 1657. Before it could be raised, repaired and readied to sail again, Washington had decided to stay in Virginia. However, Prescott said John owed money for half of the damages, and Nathaniel Pope, who had befriended Washington, offered him a bond in the form of beaver pelts, making Washington indebted to Pope.
Washington married Nathaniel Pope’s daughter, Anne, in 1658. When Pope died in 1660, his will cancelled Washington's debt. The 700 acres of land deeded to him when he married Anne gave him the start he needed in Virginia.
By 1660, he had carved out a large estate in Westmoreland County and served as vestryman of Appomattox Parish in 1661, Justice of the Peace in 1662, and Major of the militia in 1662. Eventually. he rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel and was elected to the House of Burgesses, serving first in 1666 and then in 1675-1676 for Westmoreland County.
By 1668 Colonel Washington was busy growing tobacco on holdings that exceeded 5,000 acres, and Anne had presented him with five children, of whom three would live to maturity. That same year Anne died and soon thereafter he married a second time to another Anne by whom he had no children. Late in 1675 his second wife died and he married for the third time Frances, the daughter of Dr. Thomas Gerard. She had previously been married to Colonel Thomas Speke, Captain John Appleton and Colonel Valentine Peyton.
During Bacon’s rebellion in the summer and fall of 1676, Washington’s estate was plundered and was temporarily seized by Bacon’s supporters.
The approximate date of his death can be determined by his attendance at a meeting about taxes in 1677. His will was admitted to probate on 26 September 1677. His estate consisted of more than 8,500 acres.
Colonel John and Anne (Pope) Washington left three surviving children: (1) Lawrence born 1659 who married 1st unknown and 2nd Mildred Warner; (2) Anne born ca. 1661 who married Francis Wright; and (3) John Jr. born ca. 1663 who married Anne Wickliffe.
First Mississippi Company Descendants of John Washington: Christopher Charles Rankin Arinder, Lannye Olivia Bridewell Arinder, Elizabeth Barrett Arinder Cooper
To Our Contributors
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