The Wilson Surname lineage - A Short Summary

    As indicated by the tone and structure of Elvin Wilson's overview of family history, attention of Dan Wilson's children seemed to focus on their Swiss ancestors, i.e., the family of their mother.  The effort to extend Elvin's exploration of family history presented here has centered, mostly, on information available via the internet (more or less easy pickings) that allows tracking the path of the Wilson clan beyond that charted by Elvin.  The 'end point' of the current enterprise is the point of contact with North America.  While the story of Margaret Grossen Taylor is interesting and well documented (her journals and past family trips to her ancestral home; Frutigen, Switzerland), the story under development here stops with her in that she traveled to North America with her parents in 1881.  Thus, she marks the contact of her lineage with North America and the story of her European ancestors is, perhaps, a path for future family historians to follow.  It is an important path in that all descendants of Dan and Margaret Grossen Wilson carry a strong Swiss genetic legacy (50%) that should be examined in more detail.  Actually, with recent help from Cordetta Grossen Valthauser and research by Robert Germann-Bucher in the early 1980s, the Grossen lineage of the Fruitgen area is roughly defined back into the 1500s.

    However, I am inclined to pursue the more complex story of North American Wilsons represented by the ancestors of Daniel.  This complexity is masked by the fact that we have firm information on only three generations of Wilsons prior to Daniel, i.e., his father John, his grandfather Amos, and his great grandfather Ezekiel.  My gleanings from internet-based sources has not extended the paternal line beyond that present in Elvin's initial effort.  A better future understanding of Ezekiel and his ancestors will probably come from family sources associated with either his wife, Elizabeth Dungan, their children, or - perhaps - his Y chromosome.  At any rate, this page provides a summary overview supplemented with output from a family history database program with is described below.

Ezekiel Wilson (1789-1854) married (ca. 1814) Elizabeth Dungan (1794-1850)

    We know from the written record that Ezekiel Wilson was a private in Captain William Purdy's company in the war of 1812-14, serving at Camp Dupont, Marcus Hook, under Colonel Thomas Humphrey (1).  He is buried with his wife Elizabeth, and many other Dungans, at the Southampton, Pa, Baptist Church Cemetery (2).  Elizabeth was part of an interesting family with deep North American connections that are well documented (3).  Her father, John Dungan (1753-1798), was a lieutenant in Captain Andrew Long’s company, Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment, under the command of Colonel Samuel Miles. Four of her five uncles (Benjamin, Jonathan, John, and Jesse) also served in the Revolutionary War.  The Great Great Grandfather of Elizabeth Dungan Wilson, Reverend Thomas Dungan (1632-1688), came from England as a child to Newport, Road Island in 1637.  He eventually moved West to settle in southeastern Pennsylvania where he established, at Cold Spring in Bucks County, the first Baptist church in the State (1).  Documents maintained by Jerry and Mary Kay McCallum include hand-written accounts of Laura Wilson McCallum that include information gleaned by "Aunt Lydia".  Aunt Lydia or "Aunt Lide or Lida" appears to be Eliza Wilson Balfour.  When Laura Wilson  McCallum "was a girl' Aunt Lydia visited Uncle Charles and Aunt Hettie Ryan in New Jersey.  Aunt Hettie appears to be the fourth child of Ezekiel and Elizabeth, Ester; born in March of 1819.  Aunt Lydia also apparently visited the Folkers in Philadelphia.  The seventh child of Ezekial and Elizabeth, Elizabeth, married David Folker and the Folker/Dungan connection has produced much useful information with regard to the history of Bucks County and its families (overview).  Laura Wilson McCallum indicates that "Howard Folker visited us at our home on Union Ave. when I was about 14 (ca. 1893).  His parents lived in Philadelphia".  The few bits of infomation from these interactions that have been passed down have been summarized by a letter, apparently from Eliza Wilson Balfour to Arwilda Wilson, that relates the sad story of Ezekiel Wilson's childhood.  Both of his partents died in the Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic of 1793, when he was four years old.  This, perhaps, explains the profound lack of information about the origins of Ezekiel Wilson.  After the death of their parents, Ezekial and his sister (apparently the only sibling), cared for by neighbors or relatives, were separated, lost contact, and apparently never saw one another again.  One assumes that, as a child, he moved from the urban setting of post-epidemic Philadelphia (then the largest city in the U.S.) to the rural environment of greater Bucks County.


1.  Davis, William.  1905.  History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  The Lewis Publishing Company Volume III, pages 205, 206.  Extracted (2006) from Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb.  See also pages 207, 208 for an overview of the Dungans.
2.  Adams, Diane. 
Southampton, Pa, Baptist Church Tombstone Inscriptions.
3.  Alfred Rudolph Justice. 1922.  Ancestry of Jeremy Clarke of Rhode Island and Dungan Genealogy. Extracted (2006) from MyLines: Dungan Ancestry / Genealogy.

    My gleanings from sources of the type referenced above are added to a family history database, Personal Ancestral File, that is under development and provided free of charge by the Mormons (FamilySearch).  This program, and another LDS package (PAF Companion) provide various reporting options and these outputs from the current database will be provided here in various forms (word documents, Adobe Acrobat [PDF] files, and image files [BMP or JPG]), either as parital summaries for individuals (immediately below) or general files the represent the full dataset (at the end of this page).  Initial products of this database show various errors and record duplications that should decline with each new version.

Output files:

Ancestors of Elizabeth Dungan Wilson (
chart) pdf file
Descendents of Elizabeth Dungan Wilson (
chart) pdf file
Ancestors of Elizabeth Dungan Wilson (
chart) word document
Ancestors of Elizabeth Dungan Wilson (
book or Ahnentafel) word document with notes, sources, etc.

Amos M. Wilson (1832-1888) married (1853) Charlotte Borton (1826-1916)

    Elizabeth and Ezekiel had 12 children in Bucks County, Pennsylvania from 1815 to 1836.  Amos M. Wilson, the tenth child, was born October 1, 1832.  All but two of his siblings were sisters.   Information on his siblings is limited but his sister Elizabeth married amos wilson
        (from Sandy)David Folker, producing four children.  Folker descendants have generated some information on the network regarding family history and they could be a potential future source (see Folker reference above).  Amos was a blacksmith by trade and at the breaking out of the Civil War was living at Sandyville, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. He enlisted as a private in Co. K., 80th Regiment, Ohio, Vol. Inf. November 20, 1861, and was in service until his honorable discharge near Farmington, Mississippi., 21 May, 1862 on a Surgeon's certificate of disability.  The specific reason for his early departure, wound vs. illness, is not known.  Information passed down from Laura Wilson McCallum (see references above) indicates that Amos learned blacksmithing from one Simeon Brooks in Bucks County, Pa. prior to coming to Ohio.  Amos and Charlotte Borton were married 3 November 1853 at Lisbon, Ohio.  They had six children from 1854 to 1865 with two, John and Eliza, surviving to reproductive age.  Amos  (d. 27 May, 1888), Charlotte (d. 29 May, 1916), and four of their six children are buried at Pentz Cemetery (Columbiana County along Hartley Road, ca. 2 mi. e. of jct. with Homeworth Road).  Charlotte's clan, like that of Elizabeth Dungan, represents another American colonial family with a rich North American history that has been well documented (1).  Chalotte's Father, Daniel, Jr., was born in Evesham, Burlington County, NJ in 1802 and traveled with his father to Ohio in 1816.  Due to his early entry into Ohio, Daniel is listed by the Ohio Genealogical Society's 'First Families of Ohio' Roster.  Daniel Borton Sr's Great Grandfather, John Borton, Jr., came to Evesham, New Jersey from Aynho, Northamptonshire, England as a child of 10 years with his father, referred to by Mann (1) as 'the colonist', around 1679.  The Borton Quaker tradition, carried to Ohio from New Jersey, was apparently linked to their departure from England.

Photos:  Amos/Charlotte Wilson tombstone with
Sandy McLachlan/Joan Summers Green, Quentin Wilson and Christen, Derek, Toni Wilson and Trinity Lewis.

1.  Betty M. Mann (ed.).  1979. 1679-1979 300 Years of Bortons in North America. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas Texas. Vol. 1

2.  A
Borton Family Web Page from the Alliance, Ohio area (descendants of Charlotte's brother, Cyrus)

John Wilson (1857-1936) married (1877) Mary Emma Grimes (1861-1931)

   We know that John Wilson was born somewhere in Ohio, probably the Sandyville area since his father, Amos, joined the Civil War from there in 1861.  His early history is poorly known, essentially limited to the brief overview by his daughter Laura regarding his early years with Mary Emma.  We do not know how (or where) he spent his first 20 years.  He appears to have been a stone mason and builder when work was available and also a farmer.  Laura's discussion suggests that he was energetic and aggressive with regard to business; characteristics that eventually brought the family great success via the John Wilson Company on 62 E. Summit St. in Alliance.  The company apparently supplied basic building materials and coal to the general population and also contracted with the City of Alliance for major building projects, i.e., roads and schools.  It apparently grew as Alliance grew as an industrial center during the early 1900s.  He is remembered by Fern Wilson as a prominent Alliance citizen with a big car, fine house, and vast land holdings just South of Alliance.  He was active in local/Regional politics (as a Republican) and the community.  He helped establish Mt. Union Cemetery, just across the road from his home.  Family lore regarding John's story is reflected by his grandson's (Elvin Wilson) words:

John was a stone mason by trade, went into the contracting, retail coal and builders supply business, and located his operation at 62 East Summit Street in Alliance. He became one of the leading road builders in the area, paving many streets in Alliance and surrounding areas. He lived on a suburban farm just south of Alliance, almost across from the Mount Union Cemetery, and had another large fruit farm known as the Barnaby farm, on the south side of the Beech Road.
    When the great depression started in the 1930's, John delivered thousands of tons of coal to many people who could not pay for it. Being a very compassionate man, he kept this up until his death in 1936, consequently his modest wealth disappeared. Knowing he was dying he deeded his home to his son, Daniel, to partially repay him for operating the business in the last years. Dan never filed the deed, believing the property should be sold to help payoff the creditors, which it was.

    John's marriage to Mary Emma provided a connection to two well established families (Grimes and Shaffer) of Washington Township and this linkage probably helped expand the Wilson Company. 

under development

Daniel Wilson (1877-1943) married (1898) Margarith Grossen Taylor (1875-1937)

    Daniel was the first child of John and Emma and the only male.  While his sister Laura was not sure, it appears that he was born at the initial John/Emma homestead "near the Mahoning River close to the old Ramyser place" in that he was born during their first year of marriage.  His son, Elvin, provides an overview of this life (here) that will be expanded when (if) we learn more via reference to Margaret Grossen Wilson's journals and other sources.  It should be noted that Dan's parents were not happy with his marriage and did not attend the wedding.  This might relate to the fact that Margaret was an immigrant from Switzerland with minimal formal education (more detail provided by Elvin here) that worked as a staff member of the Fairmount Children's Home.  Whatever the initial problem, all evidence available suggests that the Dan Wilson family enjoyed - eventually - a close relationship with John and Mary Emma.

under development

Elvin Wilson (1917-1989) married (1937) Fern Donaldson (1920)

under development
Output, in various forms, from database under Personal Ancestral File database under construction by Hugh Wilson - current version has some duplicate records that I am trying to fix as time permits - see the 'Wilson Clan Database front page to download the current GEDCOM file:

Kinship listing
, Quentin Wilson (pdf file)
Kinship listing
, Lily Maddalyn Wilson (pdf file)
The Wilson Clan Database -
(web output from database)
The Descendents of Margaret and Daniel Wilson
(family listing)