The Rev. John Wilson was the first minister in Boston and easily the second most famous colonial person from whom I descend. But unlike other genealogists who uniformly laud their ancestors, I don't particularly like the Rev. John Wilson. His brand of christianity was devoid of love and tolerance. He hanged Mary Dyer for being a Quaker. He drove out Ann Hutchinson from Massachusetts. He had a very strict puritanical view of the world that didn't allow for compassion. Certainly he would never approve of me.
1. William Wilson of Penrith, Cumberland, England. By an unknown wife, he was the father of:
2. William Wilson (Jr.) born about 1515 in Penrith and died 27 August 1587 at Windsor, England. By an unknown wife, he was the father of:
3. William Wilson (III) born about 1542 and died 15 May 1615 at Windsor, England. He married Isabel Woodhall, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Grindall) Woodhall and niece of Edmund Grindall, the Archbishop of Canterbury. William graduated from Merton College, Oxford University with a B.A. in 1564 and an M.A. in 1570. Later he acquired a D.D. degree in 1607. William was the canon of Windsor from 1583 to 1615. He was the father of:
4. John Wilson born December 1588 at Windsor, England and died 7 August 1667 at Boston, Massachusetts. He married about 1616 Elizabeth Mansfield, born December 1592 on Henley on Thames, England and died 6 June 1660 at Boston, Massachusetts, daughter of John and Elizabeth Mansfield. John Wilson graduated from Christ College at Cambridge University in 1606 with an A.B. and 1609 with M.A. He attended Eton as a secondary school. John came over in the Winthrop Fleet of 1630. John and Elizabeth had four children: Edmund, John, Elizabeth, and Mary.
5. John Wilson (Jr.) was born September 1621 in England and died 23 August 1691 at Medfield, Massachusetts. He married about 1648, Sarah Hooker, born February 1630 at Broomfield, England, died 20 August 1725 at Braintree, Massachusetts, daughter of Thomas and Susannah (Gabrand) Hooker. John was a graduate of Harvard College in 1642 the first graduating class of that institution. He worked first as an assistant to Rev. Richard Mather and then got his own congregation. John and Sarah had eight children: John, Sarah, Thomas, Elizabeth, Elizabeth, John, Thomas, and Susanna.
6. John Wilson (III) was born 8 June 1660 at Medfield, Massachusetts and died 1728 at Braintree, Massachusetts. He married at Braintree on 4 July 1683, his first cousin Sarah Newton, born 24 January 1661/2 at Milford, Connecticut and died 20 August 1725 at Braintree, Massachusetts, daughter of Roger and Mary (Hooker) Newton. John probably attended Harvard College as part of the class of 1682, but did not graduate. He became a physician. John and Sarah had seven children: Sarah, John, Elizabeth, Roger, Edmund, Alice, and Mary.
7. Sarah Wilson was born 1 April 1684 at New Haven, Connecticut and died 11 September 1747 at Braintree, Massachusetts. She married at Braintree on 28 August 1701, John Marsh, born 17 February 1678/9 at Braintree and died there 22 June 1745, son of Alexander and Mary (Belcher) Marsh. John and Sarah had nine children: John, Sarah, Alexander, Alexander, Ambrose, Wilson, Moses, Samuel, and Edmund.
New England Historical & Genealogical Register 61 (1907):36-129. [Wilson Article]
Dictionary of American Biography ed. by Dumas Malone (Scribner's, New York, 1932) Vol.20:336-7.
American Colonial Writers 1606-1734 ed. by Emory Elliott (Detroit, Gale Research, 1984) from the series Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 24.
Robert Charles Anderson The Great Migration Begins; Immigrants to New England 1620-1633 (NEHGS, Boston, 1995), III:2012-15.
American National Biography ed. John A. Garraty, Mark C. Carnes (New York, Oxford University Press, 1999) 23:594-5.
Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court 1691-1780: A Biographical Dictionary by John A. Schutz (Northeastern U. Press, Boston, 1997).