Thursday, March 29, 2007

Brickwall: Wilson

I was puttering around in my genealogy the other day, not sure which direction to go, when I received an e-mail from a "new" cousin. Bob had either seen my database online on Rootsweb or one of the several messages I have floating around the message boards...but either way, he contacted me suggesting that we were probably searching for the same people. It's always nice to have someone to research with, so I was glad to hear from him.

The couple that our mutual family line seems to stop with are Cornelius Wilson, born about 1823 in Kentucky and Jane Boyd, b. about 1822 in Ohio. They were married in 1841 in McLean County, Illinois, but lived in the county next door, Tazewell County.

We find the couple in Mackinaw, Tazewell County, Illinois in the 1850 census, with three children:

C. Wilson, 27, M, Farmer, KY
Jane Wilson, 26, F, OH
Mary E. Wilson, 5, F, IL
Alex'r C. Wilson, 2, M, IL
Jane Wilson, 2/12, F, IL

Six years later, Cornelius died, and is buried in Hardscrabble Cemetery, in Deer Creek Township, Tazewell County.

In the 1860 census, Jane appears, still in Mackinaw Township, Tazewell County, Illinois:

Jane Wilson, 34, F, $75-Personal Estate, OH
Mary Wilson, 15, F, IL
Alex. Wilson, 12, M, IL
Caroline Wilson, 9, F, IL
Wm. E. Wilson(twin), 7, M, IL
Emily Wilson(twin), 7, F, IL
Franklin Wilson, 6, M, IL

In 1862, Jane Boyd Wilson married Obediah Hall, in McLean County, Illinois. What become of Mr. Obediah Hall is currently still a mystery to me...however he does not appear on the next census (1870), although it appears that he and Jane did have a child together:

Hall, Jane, 45, F, W, Keeping House, $200-Real Estate, $100-Personal Estate, OH
----, William, 18, M, W, Farm Laborer, IL
----, Franklin, 16, M, W, Farm Laborer, IL
----, Grant, 5, M, W, IL
Sullivan, William, 2, M, W, IL

William and Franklin above are listed with the last name of "Hall", but their surname is actually they are children from Jane's first marriage to Cornelius Wilson. William Sullivan, age 2 listed in the 1870 census is the son of Jane's daughter Mary, who I believe married John Sullivan in Tazewell County in 1866. I have not located Mary or John in the 1870 census yet.

We know that daughter Emma (the twin) married Mark Asbury Short in 1867 in Tazewell County. My "new found" cousins that contacted me and got me working on this family again descend from Emma Wilson Short. We also know that Mary E. Wilson Sullivan eventually settled in Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois. She shows up in Normal, IL in the 1880 and 1900 censuses, and in Bloomington in the 1920 and 1930 censuses. Although the 1900 census claims that she has six living children, William is the only one that I can connect with her. There may well be other Sullivans out there that connect to this Wilson line, but I haven't located them yet!

Like all genealogical puzzles, every time you get an answer, you find at least two more questions! Here are mine:

1. Did Obediah die before 1870? If so, where is he buried?
2. When and where did Jane Boyd Wilson Hall die, and where is she buried?
3. What became of Mary E. Wilson Sullivan's husband John, and the rest
of her children?
4. Where in Kentucky was Cornelius Wilson born, and who was his family?
5. Where in Ohio was Jane Boyd born, and what about her family?

Obviously, there is much to be done here, and I love a good puzzle!

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