A Virtual Archive Available

by Glenn N. Holliman

A Virtual Archive now Available for Family Materials....

My production for this web site has been reduced lately.  A large part of the reason for my absence has been my work establishing a new web site, a platform for storing manuscripts too large to be placed on Ancestry.com.

May I draw your attention to www.bholliman.com/ .  This is a site my wife, Barb, with the help of design professional daughter Cyndi, and I have constructed to 'hold' those manuscripts that often decay in one's attic or get tossed by an uncaring descendant. One will find at the site materials for extended families, including of course my material relations - the Osbornes, Stansberys, Wilsons, Greers, Donnellys, McCray, Wilcoxsons, Boones and many more.

I have uploaded recently two documents of significant importance to Wilson families and descendants. Google the above web site and click on Records in the top task bar.  Please, of course, read the other pages and our philosophy behind our methods.

Go to the Search location and type in two interesting items:

- Isaac Wilson Notebook

- Wilson Reunion of 1919

The Isaac Wilson notebook was written in 1863 and 1864, just prior to the untimely death of Isaac Wilson at the hand of bushwhackers in the Civil War.  He was weeding corn with the help of his children when shot twice in the back and died within a few hours.  In this photocopied work, not easy to read, one will find his handwriting on farm prices, the cost of labor and his activities as an officer in the Confederate Home Guard, including time at Camp Mast.

Sadly Isaac records on two pages of his diary a hymn concerning being with the angels someday.  It was written not long before his death.

Annie Greer Heaton of Banner Elk has the original notebook, and she kindly let me photograph the pages several years ago.  Now the entire manuscript of 40 plus pages can be shared with others from this virtual archive!  

The 1919 Wilson Reunion in Sutherland, North Carolina is especially remembered in family narratives because of the photograph shown below.  What is not known is that my great uncle Bishop Osborne, grandson of Isaac and Caroline Greer Wilson, wrote a flowery three page commentary about the reunion with confirmation of birth dates of the couple's children.

Call up these manuscripts and others you will find in the Records division, down load and then save to your own computer. There is no charge except to inform me when one finds an error or wishes to share your own materials with present and future generations.

Again, the address is www.bholliman.com/  . The 'B' is for my wife Barb.

Your input and advice and most definitely your own materials welcome!


Who are our Wilson Ancestors?

by Glenn N. Holliman

"The more I know of my maternal ancestors, the more I realize they moved the frontier forward before the American Revolutionary War.  They fought the Native Americans, the French, Tories, the British twice and then in the Civil War, their neighbors.  They were one feisty bunch! - GNH

Below the writer in Boone, 
North Carolina on the beautiful campus of Appalachia State University
Five years ago, I began writing this blog on my maternal ancestors.  My mother, Geraldine Stansbery Holliman Feick, died this past July 12, 2015. Before she slipped into dementia, she and I, along with my two sisters and a nephew were able to make a trip to Damascus, Virginia, Bristol, Tennessee and Sutherland, North Carolina to visit ancestral sites.  Later my son and grand daughter made the trip to Sutherland.
As a child, my mother had told me of her grandmother, Frances Wilson Osborne, walking behind her father in his Ashe County, NC corn field during the Civil War.  It was a chilling tale of a young 13 year old girl, born 1851, who witnessed her father, Isaac Wilson (1822-1864) shot in the back from ambush by neighboring Union sympathizing bushwhackers.

Decades later, I found the story on the Internet and in the book Neighbor to Neighbor, largely written by Frankie's brother, The Rev. William Albert Wilson (1861-1950).  About Uncle Will and Great Grandmother Frankie, I have written many times in this space, and I hope to do so more in the future.

But for now, I wanted to share more information on our Wilson line.  July 1, 2010 on this blog site, I wrote what I knew at the time of Isaac Wilson and his lineage; that is to say very little about his own grandfather and line before the middle 1700s.   (One can go to the Blog Archive, bottom left column, to retrieve the 2010 article.)

Several years ago, I did visit the Appalachian State University archives to research the Wilson line.  Here are my findings, basically 'raw data', inconclusive but intriguing.  Perhaps this will encourage someone reading these words to dig deeper and help connect the dots.

First a snip-it from Ancestry.com on my Wilson very great grandparents.  Isaac's father, Hiram, appears in Neighbor to Neighbor, a grandparent to my great grandmother, Frankie, who greatly assisted his daughter-in-law Caroline Greer Wilson, when her husband was murdered.

According to my great grandmother's notes, Hiram's father was John Wilson (1749-1812) and his father was Charles Wilson (1733-1781) who died of wounds after the Battle of Guildford Courthouse.  The dates of  Charles and John's births are a bit suspicious but could be accurate.

But what do we know of their lives?  The data below might help.

In the ASU Center for Appalachian Studies is a volume, the Marriages of Rowan County, NC, 1753-1868, compiled by Brent H. Holcomb, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1981. I found: 

 -P. 144, John Wilson, bondsman for Frost, John and Rebecca Boon 23 Aug 1793.
- P. 271, John Wilson, bondsman for Mealy, John and Mary Linn, 20 March 1797.
- P. 341 John Wilson, bondsman for Roark, William and Margret Rose, 25 Nov 1768.

Hmmm...if this our John Wilson who witnessed these marriages?  Notice the marriage of Rebecca Boon; perhaps a first cousin?  There is much more on John Wilson.

Next I looked into the multi-volume Journal of the Rowan County Genealogical Society,  1989.

Vol. 3
- P. 61, Marriage deed between John Wilson and Sarah Boone April 1782. Same page Benjn Wilson m. to Margret Bowman on 12/30/1788.  This John and Sarah would be Isaac Wilson grandparents, or my generation's fourth great grandparents.  

- P. 97, Alexander Wilson m. Jean Brandon on 2/11/1778. James Wilson m. Hannah Bryant on 9/1/1783. Was James Wilson a brother of John Wilson?  Notice the Bryant connection.  Daniel Boone, this writer's sixth great uncle, married Rebecca Bryan.

- P. 112 one Elizabeth Wilson, b 1754 and d 1825 was second wife of Wm. Frost, who bore him 14 children.

- P. 133, James Wilson m. Jean Caldwell on 5/6/1788.  Is this the widower of Hannah Bryant above?

Vol. 4 

- P. 107, Elizabeth Wilson m. David Enochs 1/29/1794.  Oh me, is this the same Elizabeth as above or a different Wilson?

- P. 113 John Wilson and Sarah Smith witnessed a Jacob Wiseman deed. Notice in the snip-it above the close relationship between Wilson and Smith families.

Vol. 5

- P.  85 Katherine Wilson m. Joseph Hall,8/7/1788  and Elizabeth Wilson m. Wm. Hall 1/7/1783.

- P. 111, Elizabeth Wilson m. Joseph Holman 4/12/1768.  Yet more Elizabeth Wilson marriages.

- P. 113 Samuel Wilson m. Margaret Jack on 4/6/1768.

- P. 119, one Capt. Wilson listed on 1778 list in Second Creek area.  This may very well have been Charles Wilson, John's father, and my 5th great grandfather.

Vol. 6

- P. 19, John Wilson m Marey Kimsey on 2/24/1769.

Below the lovely campus high in the western North Carolina highlands, a college serving the community and nation.

Now with these nuggets of information, and so many overlapping Wilsons, let us step back a generation.  In The Rowan Story by James S. Brawley, 1953, Salisbury, NC, Rowan Printing Co., we find on page 357 a listing of a Charles Wilson as a taxable in Rowan County in 1759.  Salisbury was county seat.  Catawa Indians lived in and around Rowan.  Cherokees lived more to the west.

I propose this is the father of John Wilson and grandfather of Hiram.

On page 18 is another ancestor.  Squire Boone in 1754 appointed one of the commissioners.  Indians wars in 1760s reduced the taxables.  Squire is my generation's 7th great grandfather.

Below the library and Appalachian archives at ASU in Boone, North Carolina, 3,300 feet above sea level with cold winters and moderate summers.

So let us take a look at the Rowan County, NC Tax Lists 1757-1800 by Jo White Linn, 1995.

- P. 35, 1759, Charles Wilson listed as one taxable.

- P. 53, 1761 tax list has Charles Wilson.

- P. 76, 1768 tax list – 2 taxables for Charles Wilson.

- P. 120, Charles Wilson and John Wilson listed in 1772 Rowan Co. tax list as well as James Wilson and son and two Negroes – 4 taxables. 

- P. 211, 1783 Charles Wilson has 200 acres, valued at 75 pds.  Uh oh... Hmmm…this can’t be Charles Wilson who died at Guildford Ct. House in 1780!  Is this a son, another Charles Wilson, a brother of John, my generation's 4th great grandfather.

On my to-do list is to return some day to this fabulous archive filled with information on my frontier ancestors.  My thesis is Charles Wilson migrated, probably from Pennsylvania, possibly a neighbor of the Boones and Wilcoxsons, who like thousands were migrating south by the 1750s, moving to cheaper and abundant land in North Carolina.  The Shenadoah Trail, now I-81 was a busy road, but not much more than a wagon path in the middle 1700s.  

I hope the above helps other researchers, and encourage all to share information and theories with us.   

All are invited to join in building a family tree at Wilson-Greer-Osborne-Forrester-Donnelly and Associated Families of Western NC at Ancestry.com.  Just write to glennhistory@gmail.com for an invitation.  Saving our family history one ancestor at a time.  Thanks!


The Cousin with the Hat, the Chicken and the Exhausted Wife!

by Glenn N. Holliman

After the publication of the last blog on the Wilson and Osborne Cemeteries in Ashe County, North Carolina, I received a photograph from distant cousin Gary Paisley. He kindly granted permission to reproduce pictures and relay some information on a grandson of Isaac and Caroline Greer Wilson.  Below is Charles Smith Wilson wearing a bowler hat and feeding a chicken perhaps in Grayson County, Virginia.  Why is he sitting in a chicken yard in his Sunday best?!

From Gary Paisley

"In case you don't already have it, I am forwarding a photo of Charles Smith Wilson (1884-1923), who was, I believe, the nephew of Frankie Wilson (this writer's great grandmother).  His mother was Martha Evaline Wilson (who is buried at Pine Branch, 1857-1904)).   

Below, Andrew Johnson and Martha Eva Wilson Forrester (Courtesy of Shirley Sorrell and Clington Getzinger)

I think his father was Richard Franklin Osborne (he was).  Martha later married Andy Forrester.  

Charles Smith Wilson taught school at Pine Branch, then married Ruth Lee Paisley (later in life she called herself Louise rather than Lee, 1896-1981), and they later moved to Washington.  I think he died in Waitsburg, WA in 1923, but I am pretty sure there are living descendants."

Gary sent along his amazing photograph of Ruth (Louise) Lee Paisley Wilson.  Taken during a not inexpensive trip to a photographer's studio, this woman is posing in an exhausted position, and her stare shouts that she does not care what the camera is catching.  Any clues to the reasons for Ruth's depression?

"Someone from out in Washington sent the picture of Charles to me several years ago.  They were wanting information on Ruth Lee Paisley's ancestry - her parents. 

Walter Edward and Martha Ida Porter Paisley were part of the same diaspora to Waitsburg, Washington.  She was a grand daughter of James Monroe Paisley who owned a department store in Troutdale, Virginia during the boom years.  Ruth Lee married twice more after Charlie Wilson died.  So I am not even sure the folks who contacted me were descended from Charlie.

Below, Gary Paisley

Ruth Lee would have been my 3rd cousin, once removed.  I collect info on all the Paisleys of the Upper NRV (New River Valley) and their relations.  I believe the Charles Wilson photo was taken near Pine Branch, just north of Fox in Grayson County, Virginia.  

The land around Waitsburg does not look like the picture - more of a grassland climate with few trees.  The photo could possibly be taken at the old Lee Fielding Hash place.  you probably know he married Charlie Wilson's sister, Lelia Bina Wilson (1878-1935).  Lee F. Hash's sister, Alice married Noah Anderson, and Noah's sister, Celie married James Monroe Paisley which is how they were all connected.  

Charlie and Ruth Lee moved to Waitsburg about 1915.  Their eldest, Charles, Jr., was born near Fox in 1914 while the other 3 children, Robert Earl, Wade Carver, and Virginia Martha (who died as an infant) were born in Washington.  All three sons are now deceased but at least 2 of them had children."

All are invited to join in building a family tree at Wilson-Greer-Osborne-Forrester-Donnelly and Associated Families of Western NC at Ancestry.com.  Just write to glennhistory@gmail.com for an invitation.  Saving our family history one ancestor at a time.  Thanks!