Pages 1-12 of a manuscript consisting of the genealogy of the ancestors, descendants and relatives of William Willson (about 1750-1801), also seen as Wilson, of Harpswell, Maine, and Saint George, Maine, compiled by William Blake Josephs (1854-1918) of Portland, Maine, in 1901 [with later entries]
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 116-121 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
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 Ticonderoga; Battle of Hubbardton
Chapter VI - Capt. Enos Stones Journal
Chapter VII - Penobscot Expedition
Maine Historical Soc Safe [ page 174
As noted above, this post contains pages 1 through 12 of the manuscript, shown below, with transcriptions.
Page 1, below - Title Page
William Willson of Harpswell, Maine, his Family and some of his Descendants
Also - What he passed through as a Soldier in the Continental Army in 1777 and 1779
and - three generations of Willsons who descended from the Willsons of Braintree, Mass
also - Genealogical Notes on other Familys Connected by Marriage with this Willson Family
by William Blake Josephs
Portland Maine November 1901
Page 3, above - Preface
Page 4 - Preface - see transcription farther above
Page 5 - Contents
Page 6 - Contents - see transcription farther above
Page 7 - Chapter I
Chapter I - Ancestry - Early Willson Familys
The Ancestor of our Willson Family
Emigrated from the Isle of Jersey in
The English Channel to Braintree Mass
And married a Spear Just what date we
Do not Know the first of the family in
Maine was Wm Willson* who [was
born in Braintree - crossed out] and came here probably
Before 1750 it is said that he lived in
Falmouth and Harpswell we do not
Know the name of his wife but we are
Sure they had five children* perhaps mo-
re there names were William David
Susannah Abigail and Mary [superimposed over Lydia, which is crossed out] (we find
In the records of the first Parish of Fal-
mouth that David Willson Son of Will
iam was baptised Jan 8 - 1775) of these
Five children we will say that David...
* See page 152 - William Willson and Elizabeth Spear were married in Boston Oct 1 - 1747 She may have been a daughter of Nathaniel and Thankful (Woodward) Spear born Jan 4 - 1728* their children were baptised in Boston. Elizabeth bap Sept 18 - 1848
Susannah bap April 10 - 1757
This was taken from the New England Historical & Gen Register Vol 61 - 1907 Page 131.
I believe the above is our ancestor for he married a spear of Braintree they had a son Nathaniel Spear Wilson who died with throat trouble Jan 3 - 1775 aged 3 yrs the other names are also the same as in our ancestors family. *in Braintree Mass
* there were 6 children the last being Nathaniel Spear Wilson
Note: although not stated, David Willson is No. 1 in a list of the 4 siblings discussed in this chapter. The genealogy of another sibling, William Willson, great grandfather of the compiler William Blake Josephs, and other descendants, takes up the bulk of the manuscript.