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    1. Re: [SC-Gen] John WILSON SC Loyalist 1755-1825
    2. Harriet Imrey
    3. The early records for Georgetown County (1786 - ~1860) were not preserved, but the colonial/provincial records of South Carolina are generally intact. The colonial land records and deeds are indexed by the SC Department of Archives and History at Unfortunately, these documents provide no means for determining which of the numerous John Wilsons is involved in a given transaction. The place names for his residence might be recorded as Craven County--an old/proprietary county which did not function as a unit of government, but included most of the northern half of the province. A reference to Georgetown might refer either to the town or to the judicial district created in 1769. The parish of residence of "your John Wilson" was Prince George, which included more than one Wilson family. The first reference to this specific John Wilson, besides his marriage, is the 1778 listing among the Grand Jurors of the Parish of Prince George. The jury lists are online at Scroll down the page to Georgetown District and click on Grand Jurors, then use the search function to locate John Wilson. His brother-in-law Thomas [Morritt] Hasell is on the same list. All Grand Jurors were also included on the Petit Juror list compiled from tax lists of all property owners. Grand Jurors were the subset who paid (or owed) at least £5 in annual taxes. Land taxes were low (3 shillings per 100 acres), so a £5 tax bill implied substantial amounts for improvements such as homes, stables or businesses, plus livestock and slaves. The currency used was "SC money" (also called "proclamation money"); the conversion rate was £7 (SC) = one pound sterling. Two different John Wilsons appeared on the 1782 Proclamation List (banishment of Loyalists and confiscation of their property). This list is online at The first one was a Lt. John Wilson "of the British army". This could be one of several same-named men with commissions in Loyalist units active in SC. The second entry, under the heading "Obnoxious Persons", specifies "John Wilson of Georgetown". Yet another John Wilson was a Lieutenant in the Queen's Rangers. He was from York Co PA, and was coincidentally stationed at Georgetown SC in 1780-81. However, he was not a resident and property owner of SC, so could not have been included in the Proclamation List. Murtie June Clark's Loyalists of the American Revolution, Volume II, p. 488, includes a brief summary of your John: Wilson, John. Of Georgetown, South Carolina. Banished and estate confiscated. Went to England. His wife, who "descended from one of the most respectable and affluent families" of that State, and who "without hesitation, bade adieu to her native country and numerous relatives, to share his fate", died at London in 1814. Robert S. Lambert, South Carolina Loyalists in the American Revolution (Columbia SC: Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1987) includes slightly more detail on p. 277: ...Among many other examples were the Georgetown schoolmaster John Wilson, who had come to England when Charlestown was evacuated [Dec 1782], was then turned away when he tried to rejoin his family in South Carolina under the terms of the treaty of peace, and then wandered from Philadelphia to New York to Jamaica before reaching England once again in 1786. Lambert used a single footnote for a large paragraph in which Wilson was the second of four Loyalists covered. The references listed for that footnote are the Loyalist Transcripts (at the British Public Records Office) Volume LVI, 213-20, 314-22; LVII, 311-17. The Lambert book is online in pdf format from Clemson University. The full text of Wilson's deposition in his claim in the Loyalist Transcripts is likely to provide the most information about Wilson's background, perhaps including his place of birth. The will of Elizabeth Hasell, older sister of Margaret Hasell Wilson, was signed in Charleston on 7 Oct 1794, proven 31 Oct 1794 (Charleston Will Book C, 1793-1800, p. 162). Her legatees were her brother Thomas Hasell Sr. [Thomas Morritt Hasell, son of Thomas and Alice Morritt Hasell] and her sister Margaret, wife of John Wilson. Her nephews were named as Thomas, Morritt, James and Christopher Hasell, under 22 years. Her nieces were named as Eliza Hasell [Wilson] and Anna Sophia Wilson, under 16 years. Elizabeth Hasell did not refer to her nephew John Hasell Wilson, and may have been unaware of his birth in England. She covered all contingencies by leaving the annual interest from a bond for the use of her nieces until marriage, after which the principal was to be divided "between all my sister's children". The colonial deed and will abstracts are informative about some families (e.g., the Hasells), but offer no clues about the specific John Wilson who lived in Prince George's Parish, Georgetown District. His claim for reimbursement in the Loyalist Transcripts (as cited by Lambert) may be the only source for information about his background. Harriet Imrey On 2/13/2013 3:51 PM, Charlotte Tebbutt wrote: > Hi All, > > I am looking for some help in tracing one of my ancestors who hails from South Carolina. > > His name is John WILSON (bc.1755-dc.1825). > > I will go through what I do know about him below. I am anxious to find out more about his early life in SC and who he was and came from. I know WILSON is a popular name and there are a number of possibilities for families he could be connected to. Unfortunately as I live in sunny England > I have no access to records that might enlighten the matter – and to be fair I wouldn’t even know where to start. I do know that a lot of Colonial records were lost in the Civil War and am therefore aware that I might never know the answer as to his origins. > > Birth - Some later secondary sources claim he was born in 1755 and that he was from Georgetown, SC. I have found no record of his birth or any later documentary evidence to support an age. I know he was married in 1777 so a birth of around 1750 seems fair. > > Marriage – He married Margaret HASELL in Georgetown, SC on 12th June 1777. > > Wife – His wife came from a prominent SC family with a long history going back to early Colonial times. She counted amongst her relatives Christopher GADSDEN (uncle) and William GIBBES (cousin). For me she is a gateway ancestor and I can trace her lineage back through aristocratic families in England. > > Children – They had four children that I can locate – although only two (John and Anna) reached maturity and only John had descendants. > > Anna Sophia WILSON (b.1782-d.1852) > > Gadsden Christopher WILSON (b?-d.1786) > > John Hasell WILSON (b.1789-d.1835) > > Eliza Hasell WILSON (b?-d?) > > Loyalist – What I know from later sources is that he calls himself “An American Loyalist from S. Carolina”. His stance is somewhat surprising seeing that the majority of his wife’s family are Patriot’s – and outspoken ones at that. He ends up back in London (more of which I will write about below). I can find no records of him fighting in the War but there are a few possibilities of John Wilson’s who are dispossessed or just mentioned as a loyalist from SC. > > London – All I can tell for certain is that he was in London by 1789. Anna was born in SC in 1782 (the last time I can fix all the family together in the USA) and John Hasell was born in London in 1789. Their other son (Gadsden Christopher) was buried in London in 1786 but that doesn’t suppose that the father was with the family at this stage, although it was probable. Both > the evacuations from Charleston and Savannah are possibilities, I understand, with these dates. > > European Museum – As a side-note (although somewhat interesting to show his standing and education) he became the proprietor of the European Museum in London from 1789 which was successful for over twenty years. He was described as a Barnum-type figure and certainly had friends in high places (who helped setup the enterprise) and appeared to have a high understanding of Art and History (good education?). > > Later life – He married a Mary DOVE in 1815 (a year after his first wife’s death). And there followed a decline in his business ventures leading to a failed enterprise in turning his home into a theatre. His son had been made bankrupt in 1819 and then lived with his father and the property they lived in was sold in 1823 to Christie’s auction house. Secondary sources say he > dies in 1825 but I have been unable to find a record of his death in this period. > > So what I am hoping for is someone to help me (or point me in the right direction) to help find out where he came from, who his parents were and if we can work out which loyalist John WILSON from SC he was. I’d also love to know when he left SC for England. > > Yours hopefully,Charlotte

    02/14/2013 04:07:14