When Henry Ward Beecher was asked for what he was most thankful in life, he replied: “Ancestors, ancestors who loved God and did not fear man.”
The purpose of this little book is to honor the memory of worthy ancestors who loved God and did not fear man and to aid in preserving the history of Scotch pioneers who contributed so richly to their community life. The idea of an annual Wilson family reunion came into being more than thirty years ago, when some of the cousins decided to meet each year, to visit together and keep alive family traditions.
Ina McWhirter Roberts, Grace Galloway Henderson, Theo Smith Carpenter, and Mrs. Allan Wilson set on foot the first plans which culminated in 1922, in the first reunion of the widely separated family to which they belonged. This reunion was held in Byrnes Park, Waterloo, Iowa. At this time the John and West Wilson branches of the family organized the group with Grace Galloway Henderson as its first president. It was decided at that time to include in the organization all the members of the James and Jane Lusk Wilson family who lived in the United States. This family consisted of:
- Jean Wilson Sloss
- Mary Wilson Hewitt
- Janet Wilson Galt
- West Wilson
- James Wilson Sarah
- Wilson McMillan
- Margaret Wilson McDowall
- Christine Wilson Dodd
- John Wilson
- Andrew Wilson
- Grace Wilson Wilson
Jean Wilson Sloss, a merchant in Barhill, Scotland: James Wilson, a merchant in Manchester, England: and Mary Wilson Hewitt did not come to the United States.
As our reunions increased in attendance, Grace Galloway Henderson became interested in hunting up family records and decided to write a family history. Any reader who may be inclined to think the getting up of a family history is but a pleasant pastime for a summer holiday would do well to think twice before beginning the task. A chapter of her experiences in this connection would in itself make an interesting addition to this record. Many of these experiences were helpful and others were equally discouraging. Some were mirth provoking, others provoking without the mirth. However, patience and perseverance were rewarded by a valuable history of the West Wilson branch of the family.
This furnished the inspiration for Nelle Wilson Darrens to undertake the task of compiling the records of the John Wilson branch of the family tree, which resulted in this family history.
It seemed justifiable to add sketches of Tranquility Church to the record since John and Jean McCosh Wilson lived and raised their family of fourteen children in Wolf Creek Talley where this place of worship is located.
The appraisal of our forebears has been written by a member of his or her family or has been taken from the family scrapbook containing obituaries. In some cases very little material was available.
Beginning with James Wilson as number one, his children’s children unto the fourth generation are recorded and numbered before taking up the Peter Wilson branch of the family as number two. Others follow in numerical order as listed in the contents.
Although Mrs. Gurrens would not have us refer to the amount of work she has done in obtaining material for this history, it is only fair that friends everywhere should know that she has appreciated their cooperation and interest in her project.
When it became impossible for her to carry on, because of arthritis, her sister Mary Wilson, the writer, undertook to complete and publish the data obtained. If it is not as complete and accurate in every respect as you would like, be assured it is from no lack on the part of your historian to have it so.
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102 leaves 28 cm