Esther Woodward Wilson Page

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Esther Woodward was the oldest child of Richard Woodward, Jr. and his first wife, Esther Davis Woodward., of England and Chester County, Pennsylvania. Esther, jr. married (1) Christopher Wilson and (2)Thomas Wilson who are supposed not to be closely related. Researchers should be aware that there is much controversy over whether Esther was daughter of Esther Davis Woodward or of Deborah Stanfield Woodward. No true proof exists either way. We are including her as daughter of Esther as "more likely" because of her probable birth date. However it would not be unusual for a second wife to have a daughter named after the first wife in that time period.

The parents of Christopher Wilson are not known. He was born in Yorkshire, England, but came to America on a certificate dated 4/7/1712 from County Meath, Ireland, as an unmarried man. The parents of Thomas Wilson are not known. J. Gary Woodward has a small amount of information in his book "The Woodward Family of Chester County, Pennsylvania." His book is well researched and we have no fear in quoting his information (by permission). We examined many of the Quaker records ourselves on this family.

Christopher Wilson
born abt 1690 Yorkshire, England
died 7/11/1740 Newcastle Co, Del
burial Center Burying Ground
Esther Woodward
born about 1696 Chester Co, Pa
died unknown
  Married: 8/22/1719 at Concord Monthly Meeting, Newcastle County, Delaware

Ann Wilson born 7/5/1720 Pennsylvania; married Swithin Chandler
Thomas Wilson born 3/14/1722 Pennsylvania; married Ann Dixon
Joseph Wilson born 8/17/1724 Pennsylvania; married Ann Woodward
William Wilson born 7/17/1726 Pennsylvania (no further information)
Hannah Wilson
born 10/12/1729 Pennsylvania; married Thomas Chandler
Christopher Wilson born 3/15/1733 Pennsylvania; married Dinah Gregg
John Wilson born 5/12/1735 Pennsylvania; married Dinah Cook
James Wilson born 9/26/1738; married (1) Amy Gregg, sister of Dinah; (2)Elizabeth Clark

(The birthdates given above are as listed in Kennett meeting records except for James whose date is unreadable, so we have used the date from J. Gary Woodward for him.)
More on children, except William, below.

Pennsylvania Records for the Wilson Family

It is difficult to know how to express the children's birth places, Christopher's death place, and the marriage place. Children's birth dates are recorded at Kennett/Newark Monthly Meeting which served Delaware County as well as parts of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Delaware was originally a part of William Penn's grant. It was not officially set off from Pennsylvania until 1763 when the Mason-Dixon line was established. Early records spoke of Newcastle County on the Delaware but were referring to the Delaware River, the County was still in Pennsylvania (and parts in Maryland) until 1763. When the circular portion between Pennsylvania and Delaware was set off it split Thornbury Township but Richard Woodward Jr's land remained on the Pennsylvania side so we know he lived right at that line; hence it is not surprising to find that the Wilsons probably actually lived in Delaware County, Delaware. That they were nearby is confirmed by their attendance at many weddings at Bradford Monthly Meeting in Chester County. Throughout this site we have tried to express places of birth and/or residence by the name that coincides with the date, hoping that this will help in knowing where to obtain family records. This may not apply in the case of Delaware County since technically it was a county of its own at a very early date. Different genealogists handle this differently; some giving place names as the modern name (see About Places for more on this.)

"Immigration of the Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania (" refers to a letter of James Steel (dated 11/7/1718) in which he said "about a month agoe I agreed with Christopher Wilson a Weaver who dwells at John Griggs for a parcel of Land on ye lower side of Brandywine, 200 acres next below Valentine Hollingsworth." We do not find anything in "Abstracts of Chester County Land Records" for either Christopher or Thomas Wilson but their land records may be filed in Delaware. Note that Christopher married the next year after obtaining land, probably after having built a cabin. He was nearly 30 years old when he married, but it was customary for young men to wait for marriage until they had their own land and a means of supporting a family.

Christopher Wilson became a well known Quaker minister after his arrival in America. A testimonial was written at his death at Newark Monthly Meeting in New Castle county on the Delaware. Testimonials were rarely given as the Quakers did not believe in agrandizement of the self, but in rare and special instances they were given:
"He was born in Yorkshire Old England of parents who were members of the church of England. In his youth he was inclined to vanity, but his mind being reached thro' the visitation of divine grace. When he grew up, he joined in fellowship with friends; and came to America in 1712 being well recommended by certificate, tho' then a servant. About 1728 he appeared in the ministry, first in a few words, but growing therein, his appearances were seasonable and savoury, and attended with a degree of that life that 'makes glad the heritage of God;' being likewise servicable in the discipline of the church according to ability. He began the world with little, but being industrious in the creation, and concern'd for truth's prosperity, the Lord blessed his labours, so that he lived conmfortably and maintained his family reputably, supporting the character of an honest peacable man, and was often instrumental in restoring peace amongst others. In his last sickness, being asked by a friend 'How it was with him?' He answered, "if the messenger of death comes, I see nothing in my way.' Keeping mostly still and quiet, he, in a resigned, composed frame of mind, finished his course the 11th of the seventh month 1740, in the fiftieth year of his age, a minister about 12 years, and was interr'd in Center burying ground."

The marriage certificate of Esther & Thomas Wilson contains several interesting items. It lists both of them of Christiana Hundred of Newcastle on the Delaware (Christiana Hundred was in Delaware County). The date is written as Sixteenth Day Eleventh Month One Thousand Seven Hundred & Forty Four Five (11/16/1744/5). Since November is near the end of the year it was most likely 1744. Thomas Wilson signs with his mark which is very unusual for a Quaker as most were well educated. The marriage is also unique in the very large number of family members in the wedding party. The family outnumbered the other guests and included: Richard Woodward, John Newlin, James Woodward, William Woodward (father of Abraham Woodward), Evan Jones, James Loughlin, William Vance, Thomas Wilson, Thomas Wilson (yes there were three of them), John Gregg, Swithen Chandler, Nathaniel Newlin, John Young, Samuel Gregg, Richard Woodward, Henry Hayes, Ann Chandler, Jane Hayes, Mary Newlin, Elizabeth Loughlin, Mary West, Joseph Wilson, Elizabeth Gregg, Ann Wilson, Elizabeth Dixon, Mary Enterkin, Hannah Shortledge, Hannah Wilson, Sarah Thomas, Sarah Downing, Phebe Kirk, Judith Hollingsworth, Ann Gregg, Esther Newlin, Elizabeth Young, Rachel Hays. This large attendance shows the respect that Esther Woodward Wilson was accorded in the family.

Children of Christopher and Esther Woodward Wilson

Ann Wilson Chandler

Oldest daughter, Ann Wilson, married Swithin Chandler on 9/21/1739 at Kennett Monthly Meeting in Chester County Pennsylvania. (See our page, linked at the top of the page as Swithin Chandler, for more information.)

Thomas and Ann Dixon Wilson

Kennett Monthly Meeting records report that Thomas Wilson, Jr. married Ann Dixon, Jr of Christiana Hundred on 7/28/1743 at Centre Meeting. There is some possibility Thomas is not son of Christopher and Esther but a son of one of the Thomas Wilsons. Bear in mind however, that two Thomas Wilsons in the same area might not be related at all and be referred to as Thomas, Sr. and Thomas, Jr., merely recognizing their age difference to identify them. Generally in the 1700's Jr. and Sr. was used in this way and did not necessarily convey any relationship. Ann Wilson and Elizabeth Dixon signed side by side as family at the wedding of Thomas Wilson and Esther Woodward Wilson, hence we think it likely that this is the correct Thomas Wilson, Jr.

Joseph and Ann Woodward Wilson

Son Joseph Wilson married Ann Woodward, January 1747, at Old Swede's Church, Wilmington on the Delaware. Ann Woodward was daughter of Thomas and Rachel Martin Woodward (link at the top of this page). Ann was first cousin of Esther Woodward Wilson and second cousin of Joseph. Linda Kramer is a direct descendant of this family and will share information. As far as we know Joseph and Ann had only one child: Esther Wilson.

Hannah Wilson Chandler

Daughter Hannah Wilson married Thomas Chandler 9/15/1749 at Center Monthly Meeting (see our Chandler Families Page linked at the top of this page for more information.)

Christopher and Dinah Gregg Wilson

A Hannum Family History states that Christopher Wilson married Dinah Gregg, daughter of Thomas and Dinah Gregg about 1759 at Kennett Monthly Meeting. We did not find the marriage in the Kennett records but it seems credible, as Christopher's brother James married Dinah's sister Amy and such brother/sister combinations were not at all unusual. Children of Christopher and Dinah Wilson are listed at Kennett Monthly Meeting as: Eli (9/27/1760); Christopher and Hannah, died at birth; and Thomas (4/9/1763).

John and Dinah Cook Wilson

Son John Wilson married Dinah Cook, daughter of Isaac and Mary Cook, on 10/31/1759 per a Hannum Family History. Cane Creek, South Carolina, Monthly Meeting records tell us that John and Dinah Wilson moved from Pennsylvania to Bush River Monthly Meeting in South Carolina in 1770. They had children (as documented in the South Carolina Quaker records): Mary Wilson, (b. 12/18/1760, d. 6/8/1843); Jehu Wilson (b. 1//1/1763 married Sarah Hawkins 12/2/1790); Seth Wilson (b. 12/7/1764 married Mary Evans 9/5/1792); Phebe Wilson (b. 2/18/1769, d. 3/27/1857); Esther Wilson (b. 2/9/1771, d. 9/13/1795, married John Furnas 11/25/1790); Sarah Wilson (b. 5/19/1773, d. 3/26/1871); Christopher Wilson (b. 8/15/1775, d. 4/3/1859), Hannah Wilson, b. 7/28/1778).

Mary Wilson married Samuel Spray, son of Jesse and Sarah Spray about 1788 per Cane Creek records (this date may be in error as there are more children listed for Mary and Samuel born before 1788 at Bush River). They had children, listed at Cane Creek MM, S.C.: John Spray (2/15/1790); James Spray (9/17/1793); Dinah Spray (10/9/1794); Samuel Spray (4/30/1796); Mary Spray (6/30/1798); Jesse Spray (2/5/1801). There is a listing at Bush River MM, S. C. for Samuel and Mary Spray of children: Hannah Spray, died 8/5/1784; Sarah Spray, died 8/8/1784; Dinah Spray, b. 10/9/1784; Rebecah, born 10/20/1788. An earlier marriage date is quite likely since Mary was born 1760 and 28 would have been very late for a marriage for her.

Phebe Wilson married Amos Hawkins, son of Isaac and Margaret Hawkins, 12/6/1791 at Cane Creek MM, Union County, South Carolina. They had children: Jonathan Hawkins, b. 9/24/1792; Mary Hawkins, b. 9/14/1792 (twin), married Charles Mills 3/5/1818 at Cane Creek; Margaret Hawkins, b. 3/15/1797, married James Parnell 12/12/1816 at Cane Creek; Christopher Hawkins, b. 3/24/1801, married Mary Edwards 10/6/1825 at Cane creek; Ruth Hawkins, b. 11/28/1808.

Sarah Wilson married James Hawkins, son of James and Martha Hawkins, 6/7/1792 at Cane Creek MM, S.C. They had children: Ruth Hawkins, b. 3/14/1793, married Abraham Cook, 9/10/1812, Cane Creek; Dinah Hawkins, b. 11/22/1795, m. William Mills 12/7/1815, Cane Creek; Jehu Hawkins, b. 10/30/1796, m. Susanna and had son Isaac Hawkins; Benjamin Hawkins, b. 4/1/1808, married Phamy Morgan, daughter of Thomas and Ann Morgan, 4/3/1834 at Caesars Creek MM, Clinton Co, Ohio, and had children Sarah and Martha; James Hawkins, b. 6/1/1810, married Patty Compton, daughter of Joseph and Christian Compton 9/29/1836 at Caesars Creek MM in Ohio, and had son Joseph Hawkins; Amos Hawkins, b. 5/23/1813, m. Massey Spray, daughter of John Spray and Sarah Sanders, 1/30/1840 at Caesars Creek MM, Ohio and had children James, Jehu, John, Jesse, and Benjamin Hawkins. Sarah Wilson Hawkins, age 78, born South Carolina, was living with Amos and Massey Hawkins in Chester Township, Clinton County, Ohio in 1850.

Christopher Wilson married Mary Cox, daughter of Thomas and Tamar Davis Cox, 12/25/1800 at Cane Creek MM, Union County, S. C. They had children: John Wilson, b. 11/26/1801; Thomas Wilson, b. 8/2/1803; Hannah Wilson, b. 7/8/1805, m. David Barnet; Tamar Wilson, b. 7/21/1807, m. Samuel Compton; Eli Wilson, b. 10/06/1809; James Wilson, b. 3/3/1811, m. Elizabeth Spray; Charles Wilson, b. 2/4/1813; Dinah Wilson, B. 9/20/1815, m. John Spray; Martha Wilson, b. 1/27/1819; Jehu Wilson, b. 6/11/1821; Seth Wilson, b. 5/24/1823, d. 9/15/1833; Huldah Wilson, b. 8/10/1825, d. 7/13/1826.

Hannah Wilson married Robert Furnas 2/11/1796 at Cane Creek MM, Union County, S. C. They had children: Mary Furnas, b. 11/25/1796; Esther Furnas, 1/5/1799; John Furnas, 3/6/1801; Seth Furnas, 3/26/1803; Joseph Furnas, 9/9/1805; Isaac Furnas, 11/12/1807; Dinah Furnas, 5/5/1810; Robert Furnas 11/22/1812; Rebecca Furnas, 2/9/1815; Hannah Furnas, 1/3/1818; Sarah Furnas, 5/29/1822.

James and Amy Gregg and Elizabeth Clark Wilson

Son James Wilson married Amy Gregg, daughter of Thomas and Dinah Gregg, about 1761 at Kennett Monthly Meeting. They had children: Stephen (9/30/1762); Lydia (5/14/1764); Dinah (11/1767); and Joshua (6/7/1771). Amy died 6/25/1771 as a result of the birth of Joshua. James next married Elizabeth Clark 11/13/1772 at Kennett and they had a son John Wilson, born 10/25/1774. Elizabeth died 6/19/1775 as recorded at Kennett Monthly Meeting.

Stephen Wilson married Lydia Pusey, daughter of David and Sarah Dixon Pusey. They had a son Jonathan Wilson born 1798 in Delaware County, Pa. He married Sarah M. Jackson and they had a son Pusey Wilson, born 1827 in Delaware County, Pa. Pusey Wilson married Rebecca Pusey and they had daughter Sarah H. Wilson, born 1867 in Burlington County, New Jersey. Sarah Wilson married Nathan Hunt Conrow II.