Saturday, November 26, 2016

The family of David Wilson 1747-1795 - updated- and the family of Simon Wilson

Its been a busy week genealogically speaking for me.
This was prompted by my last weeks layout on David Wilson and the discovery of a whole new branch of the family which necessitated me redoing last weeks layout

David Wilson was my 6x Great Grandfather. He was baptised at Longnor Staffordshire on 22nd November 1747, and married Jane Sleigh at Alstonefield . Very early in their marriage they lived at Under Longnor Edge, probably in the same house or close to Davids father who also lived at this location, however before long they moved to Dunbrook, where most of their children were born, and remained there for the rest of David’s life as his burial record attests. After Davids death, Jane remarried to William Slack but they dont appear to have remained in the district.
It is unknown what occupation David held, however we do know from his marriage record that he could at least write as se has signed his name. The marriage of David and Jane Sleigh was witnessed by Peter Wilson who was Davids brother .
We do not know for sure what occupation David held but it is likely he was either a farmer, or a miner, or even a stone mason, as his son Simon was and his grandsons Edward and Isaac.  based on the location of his cottage at Dunbrook, and the occupations of his children some of whom became lead miners.  Davids son Joseph, my 5x Great Grandfather, was the first in my direct line to move to Winster in Derbyshire.

The cottage that the Wilsons probably lived in along with its detached 2 story barn, at Dunbrook is still standing and though it has had significant modernisation, it still retains the character it likely had when it was lived in by my 6x Great Grandparents David and Jane had a total of 9 children. The eldest, Elizabeth, baptised as Betty was born while the family still lived at Under Longnor Edge however all the rest were born at Dunbrook .Later it seems youngest son Simon, with the help of his son Issac, built another house just across the road - a more modern 2 story stone cottage which he left in his will to his son Edward.  One of the conditions of the will was that if Isaac wished to build a similar house Edward should pay half towards it. Apparently Isaac took his father up on that offer, because now 2 stone houses are on the same property. Isaac stayed at Dunbrook until 1866 when he emigrated with his family to New Zealand.

I will probably do a separate layout which covers the following information about Simon - but before I forget all Ive learned this week I will post it here

While there is no record of his birth, it is presumed that Simon Wilson - who is living at Dunbrook in the 1841 and 1851 census is the son of David Wilson.
Unfortunately we are not likely to ever prove this conclusively as the records from the church at Longnor where Davids children were all baptised are missing several years covering the period where Simon was born, however the fact he is living at Dunbrook, and his children all take names strongly linked with Davids family ( including one named David) would indicate that our assumption would be correct.

What we discovered is that there is more than one house at Dunbrook - we originally thought just the old cottage now known as Poole Cottage was where David lived.
However we also discovered a cottage called Dunbrook Cottage- this apparently is a 19th century dwelling so probably not Davids,- it is far more likely he lived in the cottage above, which dates from the 1700s  The house below - called Dunbrook cottage was most likely built by Davids son Simon who was a stone mason

On the same section as Dunbrook Cottage, just behind it hidden in the trees is another very similar house called Dunbrook House

From Simon's will we know that he left his house to his son Edward, and that his son Isaac had helped him build the house . One condition of this was that Edward should pay for the building of another house for his brother Isaac if Isaac wished.

One of the two houses is obviously the first house that Simon and Isaac built, and the other is the one Isaac built after his father died . 
We know Edward was for some time living at Dunbrook as there seems to have been an disagreement between Simons daughter Elizabeth and Edwards wife Jemima 

However Edward is not living at Dunbrook in any of the census records- In 1861, 1871 and 1881  he is living at Sheen ,about 3 miles away. 

Here is a transcription of Simon Wilsons will

This is the last will and Testament of me Simon Willson of Dunbrook in the township of Longnor in the parish of Alstonfield in the County of Stafford. First I direct that all my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses be paid by my executors hereinafter named out of my personal estate. I give and bequeath subject to the privisoes hereinafter made until my son Edward Willson his heirs and assigns for ever All that my freehold Dwellinghouse in which I now reside situate at Dunbrook aforesaid together with one morety or have part and sall be set off and divided by my executors of my Cow house, Coal house Garden adn Croft with all rights roads and appurtenances thereunto belonging I give and bequeath unto my son Isaac Willson his heirs and assigns for ever all that other morety or half part of my said cow house coal house garden and croft as shall be set off or divided by my executors with all rights roads and appurtenances thereunto belonging provided always my will and mind is that if in case my son Isaac shall within Twelve calendar months make up his mind and elect to erect therafter upon the premises hereby bequeathed to to him a Dwellinghouse I do hereby charge my Dwelling house which is bequeathed to my son Edward with half the cost of the materials and workmanship of the masonry plastering flagging tiling or staking for a similar dwellinghouse as to value as that now in my occupation. This charge I consider equivalent to Issacs share for help in the erection of my dwellinghouse but in the event of my son Isaac Willson electing to receive the sum of Forty Pounds at the end of Twelve Calendar months next after my decease in lieu of the half or morety of my cow house coal house garden and croft and for the share of building materials and workmanship as a ove provided and charged I wish my son Edward or his heirs and assigns to accede to the terms and pay that sum to my son Isaac in lieu of his morety and Building Materials as above bequeathed to him with charge for workmanship and the erection of a Dwellinghouse and the release of my said son Isaac his heirs and assigns shall be a good discharge to his brother or his heirs or assigns for the same after which being executed my son Edward or his heirs and assigns will take the whole of my real property. Provided further in the event of either of my daughters Elizabeth or Sarah being left Widows and needing a dwelling house my wish and desire is and I do hereby will and bequeath that one or both of them my said daughters as the case may happen may have free use and tenure during her life or lives respectively of my parlour and my bedroom over my parlour with ingress and egress to and from the said rooms without any payments of rent whatever or it may be optional with all parties concerned for my son Edward his heirs and assigns to allow rent to one or both of my said daughters equivalent to the value of the above named rooms for her or them to reside elsewhere in case of needing a Dwelling house in widowhood only and as to the rest and residue of my property whether in Money Book Debts Stock Implements or other effects whatsoever, except tools which I wish my two sons to take equally between them, I hereby give and bequeath the same to be equally divided between my two daughters Elizabeth and Sarah as soon as convenient after my decease.  I dp hereby nominate constitute and appoint my two friends Joseph Millward and Joseph Grindey both of Tunstead in the township of Longnor aforesaid Executors of this my last will and testament and direct that they shall be the arbitrators in the division of my cow house coal house garden and croft as herein before declared I do hereby revoke and make void all former and other wills by me at any time heretofore made and declare this alone to be my last will and testament contained on two sides of this sheet of paper in witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand this third day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Sixty. 

Isaac marries Ann Chedwick   in Alstonfield before heading to Lancashire to an area which is now part of Downtown Manchester, for reasons yet to be known, however likely to be work related as the people around him are all in the brick, stone  or masonery business. 
After his fathers death in 1860 he is back in Dunbrook with his 6 children, but by the end of 1865 he had made the decision to emigrate to New Zealand and the family with wife and 5 children  packed up and left the small village his family had lived in for over 100 years and aboard the Mermaid they arrived in Canterbury on 1st January 1866. 
Isaac and Ann had 2 more children in New Zealand before Isaac died in Christchurch aged only 59 in 1879.

Simons daughter Elizabeth had already emigrated to New Zealand in March 1860. Later she married a second cousin - David Wilson Hamilton, who had also chosen to emigrate to New Zealand sometime before. David Wilson Hamilton, owned a house, “the Grange”, and was proprietor of a coach service, the precursor of the tramway system, which ran from Sharlands Corner via Stanmore, Shirley and the New Brighton roads to the New Brighton Hotel in Seaview Road where he was “mine host”.

My thanks to Dawn Scotting and Hugh Stark for their assistance in this research which will no doubt be ongoing!


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