Saturday, May 23, 2020

Alexander Family from Harpswell, Maine in Manuscript Genealogy of William Willson of Harpswell, Maine, and St. George, Maine

Pages 116-120 relating to the Alexander family of Harpswell, Maine, in a manuscript genealogy of William Willson (about 1750-1801), also seen as Wilson, his descendants and related families of Harpswell and Saint George, Maine.

A page of Clark and Wilson genealogy is included, but not the more extensive record found on pages 160-173, featured in another post.

The genealogy was handwritten by Willson's great grandson William Blake Josephs (1854-1918) of Portland, Maine, in 1901 [with later entries by both himself and others].

The manuscript is discussed in installments, as noted below.
  • Pages 1-12          Title Page; Preface; Ancestry - Early Willson Family - Images and                                                Transcription at the end of this post
  • Pages 13-22        William Willson (2) and Descendants
  • Pages 23-48        Militia and Continental Army; Advance of Burgoyne; Evacuation of                                               Ticonderoga; Battle of Hubbardtown [Battle of Hubbardton]           
  • Pages 48-65        Captain Enos Stone's Journal - Enos Stone of Lenox, Massachusetts
  • Pages 66-92        The Penobscot Expedition
  • Pages 93-101       William Willson (2)William Wilson (3)Andrew Marshall 
  • Pages 102-115     1782 militia rosters of Harpswell, Brunswick and North Yarmouth
  • Pages 116-122     Alexander Family from Harpswell, Maine; Clark & Wilson record
  • Pages 122-133     Calendar for 1777; many war entries
  • Pages 134-136     Blake Family of Harpswell, Maine
  • Pages 137- 152    Wilson Family of Harpswell and St. George
  • Pages 160-173     Clark Family of Harpswell, Maine
  • Pages 174- 178    Journals of Elisha Fisher and Rev. John Wiswall; letters of General Peleg                                   Wadsworth
  • Pages 179-201     Josephs Family

The manuscript measures approximately 7-1/2" by 5"and contains 201 numbered pages, with pages 182-183 and 199-200 missing.  William Blake Josephs wrote the vast majority of the information.

Note: most of the entries are unsourced, but information may have come from people with direct knowledge. Take all with a grain of salt, knowing there may be nuggets here not found anywhere else.

Be aware: the compiler used very little punctuation, including periods at the end of sentences, and was not careful about pronoun antecedents and spelling.  All of this makes some of his information difficult to nail down.

Toward the end are a few pages of entries in a more contemporary hand, perhaps entered by Joseph's widow Mary Jane (Blair) Josephs or one of their children. The missing pages are in this section.

From the title page, shown above, the manuscript contains:
  • earlier Willson genealogy
  • genealogy of William Willson of Harpswell, Maine, and Saint George, Maine
  • an account of the participation of William Willson (abt 1750-1801) in the Continental Army in 1777 and 1779, including names of many officers and men
  • families that married into the Willson/Wilson family, including sections on:
  • Alexander family of Harpswell, Maine - back to David Alexander who came to Topsham, Maine, from Ulster, Ireland, in 1719 and was killed by Indians in the 1820s
  • Blake family of Harpswell, Maine - back to Jacob Blake, who published to Thankful Baley in 1776; Simeon Blake, who married Mary Wilson [daughter of William Willson (abt 1750-1801]; and John Blake, who married Jenny Webber
  • Clark family of Harpswell, Maine - back to Revolutionary War soldier Josiah Clark and his wife Sarah, who were in Harpswell as early as 1763
  • Josephs family - going back to Manuel Joseph Frates Govia, who dropped his last two names upon coming to the United States


Page 3
Having some family records and
wishing to preserve them is what led 
me to prepair this Book the early trad-
itions of the family herein quoted
have been handed down to me and
are Know doubt correct the principle
part of this work is the Military His-
tory of my great grand Father William
Willson his record of service in the Am-
erican Revolution i got from the 
Secretary of the State of Mass. (Maine
Was a part of Mass until 1820) this rec-
ord was taken from the Revolutionary
Archives of the State of Mass. The accou-
nt of the Battles he passed through
Was taken from the best works in pr-
int on the Revolutionary War Viz
Carringtons Battles of the American
Revolution, Lossings Field Book of
The Revolution. Paul Allen's History
of the American Revolution (Published
in 1819). Dr. Thatchers Military Jour-
nal. The part that relates to the 
Penobscot Expedition was taken from 

Page 4
Williamsons History of Maine also
Nathan Goulds History of Col Jona-
than Mitchells Reg. of Cumberland Co
The experience of the Regts to which Will-
iam Willson was attached was also his 
Experience so I have given the Battles
In detail which is very interesting rea-
ding especially that part which has refer-
ence to Cap Enos Stones Journal in
These few extracts it shows what beca-
me of the Prisoners taken by the British
in the Battle of Hubbardton Vermont it
can not be found in any history that
I ever saw. our Ancestor William Willson 
was one of the Prisoners

Chapter I - Ancestry - Early Wilson Familys
Chapter II - William Willson and Descendants
Chapter III - The Militia Co and enlistment into Continental Army
Chapter IV - Advance of Burgoyne
Chapter V - Evacuation of TiconderogaBattle of Hubbardton
Chapter VI - Capt. Enos Stones Journal
Chapter VII - Penobscot Expedition
Maine Historical Soc Safe [ page 174
Additional entries

 As noted above, this post features pages 116-121 of the manuscript, shown below, with transcriptions.  You'll have to untangle run on sentences and pronoun antecedents as best you can and validate your interpretations through other sources.

Pages 116 and 117

Alexander Family of Harpswell

This family was connected with the
Willson family by marriage.

1 - David
The pioneer came to Topsh-
am from Ulster Ireland in 1719
date of birth and marriage and
name of his wife unknown he was
probably killed by the Indians in
1722-25 he had at least two child

2 - William
born in Ireland about 1706
died after 1773 - James born in
Ireland about 1709 had at least
three Children Robert - William - Mar

2 - William Alexander Descendants

2 - William
Son of (1) David came with
his Father from Ulster in 1719 Mar-
ried Jennet or Jane Wilson daughter
of James Wilson who came from
Ulster in 1719 Jennet died after
1773 they had Six children

(3)  David    born   1737  died Oct 29 - 1792
(4)  James       "     1739
(5)  William     "     1741
(6)  Samuel     "      1743
(7)  John         "      1745
(8)  Hugh        "     1751  died 1807

(3)  David
Son of (2) William born in
Harpswell in 1737 married in 1761
Anna daughter of Joseph Ewing of
Harpswell Died Oct 29 - 1792 Anna born
1736 died Sep 22 - 1809 - nine children

(9)   William   born  Nov 13 - 1762  died Oct 19 - 1847
[overlooked in numbering order]:
        Joseph      "   Mar 16 - 1765
(10)  David       "     "    13 - 1767
(11)  Anna        "   Sep 3 - 1769

Pages 118 and 119

Alexander Family

[overlooked in numbering order]:
        James         born    Oct 12 - 1771  died Dec 1786
(12)  Issac [sic]     "         "   10    - 1774  [twin]
(13)  Isabel            "         "    "    -    "      [twin]
(14)  Jennet           "       July 9 - 1777
[overlooked in numbering order]:
         Rebecca        "      Sep 10 - 1779  died Aug 21 - 1797

(4)  James
Son of (2) William married
Martha daughter of William Mustard
of Harpswell nine children

John        born  May 15 - 1758
Jennet         "    Jan 14 - 1760
James         "      "     4 -  1762
Elizabeth    "     Feb 14 - 1764
Abigail       "     May 7 - 1765
William      "     Apr 27 - 1767
Catherine   "     Jan 13 - 1769
Elipha        "     Sep 16 - 1770
Joseph        "    Aug 20 - 1773

(5)  William
Son of (2) William born in 
Harpswell in 1741 supposed to have
moved to Boston the records of Harpswell contain no mention of him

(6)  Samuel
Son of (2) William married
Rose daughter of Josiah Clark Feb 7 
1771 [Jan 11 crossed out and Feb 7 written in pencil] they had seven children she died
Aug 2 - 1831

Samuel Jr - born May 7 - 1771
he married Sarah dau-
ghter of William Willson of Harpswell
See page 15

Mary       Born   Nov 15 - 1772
Abigail      "       June 27 - 1776   d - Oct 1 - 1857
Elizabeth   "       Nov 17 - 1778
Hannah      "       Dec 20 - 1780
John           "       Oct 8 - 1782
Jane           "       Apr 15 - 1784

Jane - married Capt. David
Perry there Homested was on

Page 120

Alexander Family

Baileys Island the same that is now
owned by Capt Hugh Sinnett 86 yrs old
who married Capt Perrys daughter
Margaret who is now about 86 years old

(7)  John
Son of (2) William married Mar
31 - 1768 Elizabeth daughter of Josiah
Clark of Harpswell. there children

John Jr. Born - Feb 2 - 1769 - died May 11 - 1854
married first Lydia daughter
of John Rodick (2d Elizabeth daughter
of William Wilson all of Harpswell
see page 17 for family record

David     Born  Feb 9 - 1771
Martha     "      Dec 18 - 1772
Ezekiel      "     Jan 21 - 1775 - d - Sep 23 [or 28] - 1837
Henry       "     Apr 13 - 1777 - " - Dec 4 - 1854
Josiah        "                   1779

Page 121

Clark and Wilson record

Taken from the U.S. Census of 1790
Josiah Clark - family Town of Harpswell
Males over 16 years old including
himself - 2 - females - 2

William Willson of Harpswell Me
An item from the Revolutionary 
rolls in the Mass. State Archives

Subsistence allowed from date of
enlistment Jan 13 - 1777 to time of 
arrival at Bennington Vt credited
with 68-1/2 days allowance 370 miles
travel allowed said Willson

P.S.  (They walked from Beverly Mass
        (to Bennington Vt

If you notice transcription errors or have information on any of the people mentioned above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

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