m. BEF 1734
Facts and Events
Isaac Wilson was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Records of Isaac Wilson in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:
Information on Isaac Wilson
Credit Where Credit Is Due The major portion of the information presented in this document was originally compiled by Marshall Wilson of Knoxville, TN and presented in his document “Isaac Wilson, Tennessee Frontiersman and His Successors 1776—1975.” Using the tools available today (computers, software, and the Internet) I have attempted to expand on the information. More so by the inclusion of source documents (census, death certificates, etc.) rather than by the addition of new individuals, although some have been added.
The following is a partial quote from the Introduction of the aforementioned document.
Mrs. Clara Wilson Grupe Mrs. Geraldine Brown Buland Mrs. LaVelle Cox Hogg Miss Nell Wilson Mr. Ollie Price (“O.P.”) Wilson Mrs. Sandra Ratledge
Additionally, I need to credit those who have spent countless hours gathering the information that I have compiled into this book. First, I must credit Mr. Steven Sherlin of Athens, Tennessee who gathered much of the information presented before Charles Wilson Sr. Next is one of the unsung heroes of the world of Genealogy, Mr. Richard Meador who has photographed each of the tombstones in the Gilliam Cemetery in Sebastian County, Arkansas. At last count there are 72 individuals listed in this report that are buried in the cemetery. Next is Mrs. Sandra Tedford of Fairview, Texas who supplied the information on the Sarah Wilson Winkle family that moved from McMinn Co., Tennessee to Murray Co., Georgia in the mid-1840’s and then to Franklin Co., Texas in the mid-1860’s. And finally, all those within the world of Genealogy too numerous to mention that have freely and willing provided family information. Too all a huge thanks.
The following is extracted from the aforementioned book “Isaac Wilson Tennessee Frontiersman and His Successors 1776-1975” compiled by Marshall Wilson of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Very little is known of Isaac Wilson, Senior, and nothing certain is known of his ancestry, nor the dates of his birth, marriage and death. However, there is enough evidence of events in his life, and enough is known of the country and circumstances in which he lived, to formulate a reasonable and interesting account of this frontiersman. He is seldom, if ever, mentioned in popular histories of the regions in which he lived; neither fame nor notoriety is attached to his name; yet he is typical of the pioneers who conquered and first settled the great American wilderness west of the Appalachian Mountains, and whose descendants have carried on that pioneering instinct and tradition for two hundred years to the fartherest reaches of this continent.
Our Isaac Wilson is first identified as a resident of Augusta County, Virginia, and a narrow valley through which the South Fork of South Branch of Potomac River flows between the Shenandoah and North Mountains, west of the Blue Ridge. He was there in 1775 but the land owned by him and his wife came within the bounds of Rockingham County, Va. in 1777 and of Pendleton County Va. in 1788. It is now (1975) in Pendleton Co., West Virginia.
This writer has no knowledge of the antecedents of Isaac Wilson but it is reasonable to suppose that his parents were immigrants from Great Britain, and quite likely from the Province of Ulster in Northern Ireland. It was customary in the early eighteenth century for groups of related families to migrate together and to settle in the same general regions. In light of that custom, it is interesting to note a few other Wilson's who settled in the western valleys of Virginia at a time approximate to the youth of Isaac.
Virginia historians Wm. H. Foote and Jos. A. Waddell have written that a John Wilson arrived from Ireland on July 6, 1737 and soon thereafter settled on lands near Opequon Presbyterian Church, in the Shenandoah Valley a few miles south of Winchester, Va. He, his wife and two children were buried in the cemetery of that church, and the original inscribed grave marker was still there in 1960. John's brother Robert settled nearby in the village of Kernstown and his stone house was a temporary headquarters of Colonel George Washington while in command of Virginia troops constructing a line of forts on the western frontier for protection against French inspired Indian attacks. Foote has stated that Robert's family married into the Glass and McDowell families and removed to Kentucky and Tennessee.
One William Wilson also emigrated from the Province of Ulster in 1737 and settled in the Shenandoah Valley. He was thought to be a son of David Wilson who was born in Scotland and migrated to Ireland in 1715. William Wilson, with his wife, Elizabeth Blackburn and several children, moved westward from the Shenandoah Valley sometime between 1747 and 1760 and settled near present Wardensville, in Hardy County, West Virginia. That county, a part of which was once in Augusta Co., adjoins Pendleton Co. on its northwest boundary. William died on Jan 12, 1801. He had eleven children, the most prominent of whom was Col. Benjamin Wilson who, in turn, had three wives and thirty children.
The most intriguing speculation as to Isaac Wilson's lineage arises from what little is known of one Charles Wilson, Sr. who, according to the more plausible of two traditions (and not conflicting with the other), came with his wife and children from the Province of Ulster about 1737, first landing in Pennsylvania but settling later in the western valleys of Virginia. There are so many parallel bits of evidence relating to Isaac and Charles Wilson and their families that it would be unreasonable to assume that they were only coincidental, and most reasonable to assume that the two men were closely akin.
One Charles Wilson was a witness to land conveyances in Augusta County in 1746 and 1749, the lands being on the North Fork of the James River and "Tees" (Tye?) Creek, in what is now Nelson County, Va., but the first positive reference to the Charles with whom this record is concerned, is in his appointment as a lieutenant of Augusta County militia in 1756, during the French and Indian War.
The French and Indian War began in 1754 and ended in 1760. During that period the Augusta Militia, under command of Col. George Washington, constructed, among others, Fort Seybert on the South Fork of South Branch of Potomac River, and Fort Upper Tract on the main South Branch, about ten miles north-west of Fort Seybert and, in 1756, we identify Charles Wilson on the tax lists of "--ye lower end of Augusta County" and as an appraiser of the estate of Jacob Zorn who, it is said, was the first settler to die in the South Branch Valley. In 1758 Indians (probably Shawnees) attacked Fort Upper Tract and massacred all of the twenty one inhabitants and, on the day following, attacked Fort Seybert, laid siege to it for three days, and finally captured it. All of its inhabitants were killed or carried into captivity, and only one captive, James Dyer, ever returned. There were no Wilsons among the few persons whose names are known but at Fort Upper Tract, about eight miles from the home of Charles Wilson, one Josiah Wilson was killed and later James Wilson, his brother, was appointed administrator of his estate.
On May 28, 1761 Charles Wilson purchased a tract of 131 acres in Augusta Co. on South Fork of South Branch and on Kettle River (actually a creek), and on Wilson's Run (a creek bed that is often dry in summer). The tract, a few years later, lay partly in Rockingham and partly in Hardy Counties. Charles dies sometime between 1768 and August 1775. On August 14th of the latter year Joseph Wilson and his wife, Mary Sears, sold to Charles Wilson, Junior, their half interest in the same land their father had purchased in 1761. The deed describes it as the, "--- one hundred and thirty one acres which was devised by Charles Wilson, deceased, to the said Charles and Joseph in joint tenancy". Evidently, Joseph, with his wife and at least three adult sons, thereupon moved to the North Carolina "Western Country" and settled on Mill Creek (now called Carson Creek), a branch of Big Limestone Creek, in what is now Washington County, Tennessee.
It is not known whether Charles, Sr. had other children. Charles, Jr. left a will which was probated in Hardy County on August 9, 1815. Its legetees were his wife, Easter (later identified as Esther), his sons John, Charles (3rd), Isaac and Joseph, and his daughters Sarah, Rebecca Fowler, Rachel Neff, Jane Neff, and Mary Wilson.
Documentation of the foregoing information regarding Charles Wilson, Sr. and his family, and more detailed information about them, is forthcoming in a revision of a booklet, YOU TAKE IT FROM HERE, first published by this writer in 1958. He is a descendant from Joseph, son of Charles, Sr.
We turn our attention to the Isaac Wilson with whom this record is primarily concerned. His wife was Ann States.
John States purchased two hundred acres from Christian Tosher on April 1, 1775, the land lying in Augusta County, on the South Fork of South Branch of Potomac. The South Fork is now known as Moorefield River and it winds through a very narrow valley on the eastern side of Shenandoah Mountain. John States was killed at Brook's Gap within four months after the purchase and, on August 22, 1775, "Ann Wilson, formerly Ann States, John's only child who had married Isaac Wilson --- conveyed said land to John Gardner".1 It may be noted that the date of sale was eight days after Joseph Wilson sold his land interests to Charles, Junior.
The activities of Isaac and Ann between August, 1775 and July 5, 1776 are not known. However, on that latter date, Isaac Wilson signed a petition of the Watauga Association, consisting of settlers on the land which became Washington District thirteen months later, to the Provisional Council of North Carolina, pleading for "annexation" and the establishment of government by that colony.2 Also, the activities of Joseph Wilson and his family between August, 1775 and August, 1777 are not known for certain but he appeared as a justice of the Court of Washington District at its first and organizational meeting on the fourth Tuesday of August, 1777.
Isaac and Ann Wilson were living in Washington County, on the north side of Nolichucky River, below the mouth of Little Limestone Creek, on May 25, 1778, on land Isaac purchased from Jacob Brown on Nov 24, 1778.3 However, because the title was not sufficient under N.C. law, Isaac entered a claim for the land, 350 acres, on December 31, 1778, and received a North Carolina grant, no. 256, for the same on October 23, 1782.4
Merely to show again a close relationship between Isaac and Joseph Wilson, it is noted that Joseph first entered a land claim on 26 Feb, 1778, for land on which he was then living on Mill Creek, a branch of Big Limestone, and about six miles north of the Isaac Wilson home; and Joseph's sons, James, Robert and Adam, in 1778, entered and received grants adjoining Joseph's and each other's, all within two to six miles of Isaac's home. Adam became a member of the County Court and Captain of Militia in 1779.
Another significant hint of that relationship, in the light of customs of that time, is found in the naming of children. Both Joseph and Charles Wilson, Jr. had sons names Isaac, but Joseph's son, born 1772 was much the younger of the two. Charles, Jr. also had sons, Charles (3rd) and John; and there was a Charles Willson who, along with Joseph, signed a "Petition of the Inhabitants of the Western Country" to the North Carolina General Assembly, received there in December, 1787.5 Although Isaac Wilson's only known son was Isaac Junior, his first grandson was named Charles and his second grandson was name John.
On October 5, 1787 the Clerk of Rockingham County, Va. wrote to the Clerk of Washington County, N.C. stating that on a previous date (The date obliterated by fire), Isaac Wilson and wife, Ann States, had sold a tract of 100 acres in Rockingham Co. (previously Augusta Co.) to Jacob Holderman and the letter requested that a member of the Court go to the house of Isaac and examine his wife, Ann, and request that she relinquish her right to dower. This was done and the documents, signed by marks of Isaac and Ann, was recorded in the Rochingham Clerk's Office on Jan. 28, 1788.6
As stated earlier above, the actual dates of Isaac Wilson's birth, marriage and death are not known. However, a reasonable deduction by Mrs. Clara W. Grupe, from a review of Washington County tax lists, indicates that he was born ca 1740-42.7 Probably he was born in Augusta County, Va., and died in Washington County, Tennessee soon after 6 November, 1805, at which time he sold all of his land in that county to his son Isaac, Jr. The land consisted of 350 acres and the consideration was $3,500. (County Deed Book 9, p. 351).
The dates and places of birth and death of Ann States Wilson are, also, unknown.
Isaac Wilson, Jr. is the only known son of Isaac and Ann Wilson, but it is probable that they had a daughter, Anna. One Anna Wilson, not otherwise identified despite intensive searching, married Henry Glaze8, a son of Lawrence J. Glaze who lived on the south side of Nolichucky River, opposite the home place of the two Isaac Wilsons.
There were a few other Wilsons in the same general area of Washington and Greene Counties in the late 1700s whose family connections are unknown, particularly a Charles, a Spencer and a David. Their antecedents challenge further research.
Footnotes: ____________________ 1. Chalkey, Lyman S., CHRONICLES OF SCOTCH-IRISH SETTLEMENTS IN VA., Vol. II, 512 2. The name, Isaac Wilson, appeared twice on the petition. There certainly was another adult Isaac Wilson living in the Watauga area ca. 1776, he being the husband of Nancy Morris, sister of Gideon and Shadrack Morris who also signed the petition. 3. N.C. land warrant issued by John Carter, Entry Taker, to George Gillespie; copy in Tenn. State Archives. 4. The land acquired by Isaac Wilson either adjoined or was within one mile of the home of John Crockett, father of the famous "Davy", and a brother of David bore the name, Wilson Crockett. Washington District became Washington County in late 1777, and held its first meeting as a county, Feb. 23, 1778. 5. Williams, S.C. HISTORY OF THE LOST STATE OF FRANKLIN, Appendix B, p. 339. 6. The documents were located by this writer in a special file of papers that had been badly damaged and salvaged from a fire which burned the County court house during the Civil War. 7. McCown, Mrs. L.W., et al, WASHINGTON COUNTY LIST OF TAXABLES, 1778-1801. 8. Anna Wilson m. Samuel Wilhoit in 1789, Greene Co., and had daughter Susannah, b. 16 April 1791 and Mary, b. 6 Sept 1784, and twin sons James and John Wilson Wilhoit, b. 2 Oct 1798. It was Susannah Wilhoit who m. Henry Glaze and moved to Monroe Co. in 1824.