52 Ancestors · Maternal · Prompts

#5 – John Alfred “Jack” Wilson

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.

52 Ancestors #5 – Plowing Through

Maternal · Prompts · Those Places Thursday

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 · Maternal · Prompts

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.

Maternal · Prompts · Wednesday's Child

Wednesday’s Child: Annie Maude Wilson, 1900-1904

johnandmarytomb

Annie Maude Wilson was the first child of John Wilson and Mary Thompson who had married on 1 November 1898.  She was born on 8 March 1900 on Howe Island, Ontario.  Annie died 26 July 1904 in Pittsburg Township, Ontario.  According to her death certificate, Annie died of infantile convulsions. (Annie was my grandfather Charles Wilson’s oldest sibling.  He was born in 1907).

Daily Blogging Prompt: Wednesday’s Child

Maternal · Those Places Thursday

Wilson Family Homestead

John A. Wilson Farm

Robert Way House
Location: Lot 19, Concession 2
Original owner: Robert Way
Date of construction: 1848-1858ca
Present owners: Mr. & Mrs. J.A. Wilson, R.R. 2, Kingston

Architectural Description:
The Way House is a frame farmhouse that is now covered over with aluminum siding.  The 1 1/2 storey centre gabled kitchen tail was probably the original house.  Under the siding it is constructed of logs.  It is attached to the south end of the main block.  The main block is also 1 1/2 storeys.  The roof of the main block is end gabled and of medium pitch.  There is a single new brick chimney at the west gable end.  All the windows in the main block are new.  In the main (north) facade there is a 1 light per sash window on either side of the plain trim door.  The awning over the door and the shutters are new.  On the east side of the main block there is a large picture window in the lower storey and two 1 light per sash windows in the upper storey.  There is a small recent porch addition on the lower storey.  There is one window on the south side of the main block and on the west side there are two upper and two lower storey windows.  The east facade of the kitchen tail has been largely obscured by a closed in porch.  There is a medium pitched centre gable with a window in it.  On the south side there is one window above the garage.  The west facade of the kitchen tail also has a medium pitched centre gable with a window in it.  There is a lower storey window and a porch addition.  It is quite difficult to tell what the original house looked like since it its covered with siding and so many changes and additions have been made.  The interior walls of the kitchen tail are very deep which leads one to believe that it is probably constructed of logs.

History:
The property on which this house was built was orginally owned by Donald MacDonell.  Robert Way, the original owner of the house, bought the property in 1848.  The 1860 Wallings Map shows a house on this lot owned by Robert Way.  In 1868 Robert Way sold the property.  Until 1902 when the Wilson family bought the property it was owned by John McRorey.  The Wilson family has owned the house since 1902.

-Previous information from a survey done sometime before 1987

Maternal

Mary Gibson of Portaferry

Glenwood Cemetery, Amherst Island, Ontario

Mary Ann Gibson of Portaferry, County Down, Ireland was born to Robert Gibson (birthplace: Scotland) and Mary McCormick (birthplace: Ireland) on April 11, 1837. In A New Lease on Life: Landlords, Tenants, and Immigrants in Ireland and Canada by Catharine Ann Wilson, my relatives – my relatives! – are mentioned on page 231. Mary Gibson married John Wilson sometime in the 1850s on Amherst Island, presumably. They had 4 daughters and 3 sons. One son, a twin named Robert, died in December 1871 at the age of 4 months and 10 days (see picture at right; the stone was broken off at the base when we found it. I swear!). He is buried in Pentland Cemetery on Amherst Island. Mary Ann died September 7, 1923 and is buried on Amherst Island in Glenwood Cemetery.

Next time: John Andrew Wilson, my great-grandfather.

Maternal

John Wilson of Stockholm

 

jawilsonrhustat

Now that I think I’ve figured out how to add pictures on here, I’m going to try to make some posts pertaining to the Wells’, Wilson’s, Belknap’s, Oakes’, Moore’s, and anyone else I can “dig up.” Speaking of digging up, here is the tombstone for our lone Swedish ancestor: John Alford Wilson. Born April 9, 1833. Died January 6, 1889. He emigrated to Canada, maybe in the early 1850s and lived on Amherst Island and Howe Island, Ontario. I visited there in 2004 and took this picture. On the base of the stone, it says “Meet Me in Heaven.”  This grave is located in Glenwood cemetery on Amherst Island. It is next to my Uncle Hugh and Aunt Grace. Uncle Hugh died in February 1979 and they had to wait until the Spring thaw to bury him because the lake was frozen over.

Next time: Mary Gibson of Portaferry