#16 – Clarence Stuart Wilson

(52 Ancestors #16 – Live Long)

Today I’d like to discuss the last surviving child of John and Mary Wilson, my grandfather’s brother Stu.  He lived to the age of 98!

stu

Stu was the 9th of 10 children born to John Wilson and Mary Thompson.  He was born in Pittsburgh Township (now Kingston), Ontario on April 21, 1914. In the 1921 Canadian census, Stu is living on the Wilson farm in Pittsburgh Township with his parents, his paternal grandmother, and 7 brothers and sisters.  The oldest son, Hugh, had moved out.  The oldest daughter, Annie Maude, had died at the age of 4 in 1904.

Stu crossed the border at Buffalo, N.Y. on April 26, 1948 in order to reside in the United States. He lists my grandfather, Charles, as his contact in the U.S. At the time, Stu was a machinist living in Toronto.

stu_arrival

His Declaration of Intention for U.S. citizenship is dated March 18, 1949 in Houston, Texas. Stu married Willa Mary Craig (Aunt Mary) on July 30, 1949 (I’m assuming in Canada). On October 18, 1949, his new wife Mary came through Port Huron, Michigan on her way to her husband’s residence in Houston.  Within the next few years, they had a son. By 1952, the Wilson family was living in Flint, Michigan where, according to the city directory, Stu was a machinist at Buick.

This is all I know about Uncle Stu from the documents.  I know they moved to Ottawa, but I’m not sure when.  I remember them coming from Canada to visit my grandparents in the 1980s.

Today is the third anniversary of Uncle Stu’s death. His obituary from The Ottawa Citizen of Jan. 9, 2013 reads as follows:

WILSON, Clarence Stuart (longtime resident Fraser Ave.) Passed away in Ottawa on January 7, 2013. Born April 21, 1914 in Pittsburg Township (Kingston), Stuart was the surviving member of his family of 10 brothers and sisters. He is predeceased by his beloved wife Mary (nee Craig of Tamworth/Kingston) and survived by his son, Gordon, daughter-in-law, Joanne, and grandsons, Mark and Jeff. Stuart lived a long and wonderful life, characterized by a positive attitude, quick wit and concern for others. He will be missed by all who knew him. Thanks to all who have assisted Stuart in various ways over the past few years. There are no words to adequately express our gratitude to Chris and Astrid whose capacity for caring made such an immense difference in the quality of Stuart’s later life. A private family service will be held. Online condolences can be made at http://www.colefuneralservices.com.

__________

Image citations:

The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Manifests of Alien Arrivals at Buffalo, Lewiston, Niagara Falls, and Rochester, New York, 1902-1954; National Archives Microfilm Publication: M1480; Roll: 159; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; Record Group Number: 85

#11 – Robert Gibson

(52 Ancestors #11 – Luck of the Irish)

Yikes, I’m really behind on my 52 ancestors.  Now to play catch-up.

https://i0.wp.com/c1316757.r57.cf3.rackcdn.com/130/sllocmap.jpg

Robert Gibson, my 3rd Great-Grandfather, was born about 1805 in Ireland.  His family was from the Ards Peninsula (shown on map above) in County Down, Northern Ireland.  They likely moved to Ireland from Scotland.  According to Catharine Anne Wilson, Scotch-Irish families “emigrated from 1820 to 1860 from the United Parish of St. Andrews in Northern Ireland to Amherst Island, Ontario, Canada.” (Wilson, C. A. (1997). The Scotch-Irish and Immigrant Culture on Amherst Island, Ontario. In H. T. Blethen & C. Wood (Eds.), Ulster and North America: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Scotch-Irish (134-145). Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press.)  St. Andrews was six miles north of Portaferry, from which many ships departed.

Robert married Mary McCormick in Ireland in the 1830s.  They had at least five children between 1837 and 1850, including my great-great grandmother Mary Ann.  According to her 1911 Canada Census entry, Mary Ann arrived on Amherst Island in 1857, which is when, I assume, the rest of the family came.  This also fits the emigration time frame put forth by Wilson.  She was married with a daughter by 1859 on the island.  In the 1861 and 1871 censuses, Robert and Mary were living on Amherst Island.  He was listed as Presbyterian and she was listed as Roman Catholic.  In April 1881, they were living with their son Hugh (1848-1881) and his wife Elizabeth and their two children, William and Mary Ellen.  Hugh died in June 1881 and a son, also named Hugh, was born in February 1882.

Robert died on May 5, 1882 of dyspepsia.  He might be buried in St. Bartholomew’s Cemetery on Amherst Island.  His wife Mary died on January 13, 1886 of dropsy of the heart.

#5 – John Alfred “Jack” Wilson

(52 Ancestors #5 – Plowing Through)

From left: Cecil, Jack, and Hugh (1905)
From left: Cecil, Jack, and Hugh (1905)

John Alfred Wilson was born March 25, 1905 in Pittsburg Township, Ontario in Frontenac County.  He was the fourth child and third son of John and Mary (Thompson) Wilson.  In 1911, Jack was aged 6 and living with his parents John (37) and Mary (38), his brothers Hugh (9), Cecil (8), Charles (4 – my grandpa), William (3), his sisters Marjorie (5), Theresa (1), and his grandmother Mary (Gibson) Wilson (74).  He is listed as Swedish because his grandfather, John Wilson, came to Canada from Sweden.

From left: Charles, Cecil, Marjorie, Theresa, Hugh, Jack (seated), and William (about 1915)
From left: Charles, Cecil, Marjorie, Theresa, Hugh, Jack (seated), and William (about 1915)

In 1921, Jack was 16 and living with his parents John (47) and Mary (49), his brothers Cecil (18), Charles (14), William (12), his sisters Marjorie (15), Theresa (11), and his grandmother Mary Wilson (84).

At age 24, in April 1929, Jack passed through Detroit on his way to Dearborn to join his brother Hugh who was living on Park Street.  In the 1930 census, Hugh was rooming on Park Street and was a salesman at a creamery.  My grandfather Charles had arrived in 1928 and in 1930 was living on Columbia Street in Dearborn and was a truck driver at a creamery.  Jack, in the 1930 census, was employed as a crane operator at a foundry.  He was living with Fred and Mary Curtis on W. Lafayette in Detroit.

On September 2, 1930, Jack married Bessie Winnifred Eastwood (her mother’s maiden name was Curtis).  In the 1940 census taken on April 11th, Jack and Winnie were living on Military Street in Detroit and he was a crane operator at a brass factory.  According to this census, Jack had completed 8th grade while Winnie had completed 2 years of high school.  In 1935, they had been living in the same place.

Jack and Winnie's Wedding, September 2, 1930
Jack and Winnie’s Wedding, September 2, 1930

On April 29, 1940, Jack’s mother died at the farm in Pittsburg Township. On May 16, 1940, Winnie gave birth to a son in Detroit.  The family moved back to Canada soon after to run the farm.  On September 23, 1945, they had a daughter.  According to William J. Patterson’s Lilacs and Limestone: An Illustrated History of Pittsburgh Township, 1787-1987, Jack won Farmer of the Year in 1963 from the Frontenac Soil and Crop Improvement Association.  Jack died June 11, 1987 and Winnie died in February 2001.

Those Places Thursday – Wilson Farm

John A. Wilson Farm

A special place to my family has always been my Great-Grandfather’s farm in Pittsburgh Township, Ontario.  I just found out from Wikipedia that Pittsburgh is a former township and became part of Kingston in 1998.  The farm was located on R.R. 2 near the Howe Island Ferry Road/Joyceville Road.  In the last few years, I’ve learned through Google Maps that the farmhouse, barn and outbuildings were torn down.

I did a post in 2008 about an architectural survey done about the farmhouse, formerly the Robert Way house.  Find that post here.

The Wilson family owned the farm since 1903.  The first two children, Annie Maude and Hugh, were born on Howe Island.  But the rest of the children were born on the farm, including my grandfather Charles in 1907.

After it ceased being a working farm in the 1960s, it was a place for family reunions, family vacations and a place to get away from it all.  It was located right on the St. Lawrence River.  The photo above is from the 1950s, I believe.

 

Maritime Monday – John Wilson of Amherst Island

sweden_tombstone
Headstone of John Alford Wilson in Glenwood Cemetery, Amherst Island

John A. Wilson, my great-great grandfather, was born 9 Apr 1833 in Sweden.  Family legend says he stowed away on a ship when he was 16 and was “adopted” by the captain who gave the boy his [the captain’s] name.  But we all have stowaway stories, right?

Anyway, by 1859 John lived on Amherst Island, Ontario and married Mary Ann Gibson and had a child name Rose.

In the 1871 Canadian Census, the Wilsons’ have several more children and John’s occupation is listed as mariner.  According to my great aunt, John was a “lake captain.” Furthermore, Captain Wilson loaded grain on Amherst Island.  In 1881, John is listed as a farmer and I have no further information at this time about this mariner in the family.