Robert Wilson & Dolly Holmes of Campobello Island

Before delving into the Woodward ancestors, which is Robert Wilson Jr.’s maternal line, I want to share his family sketch. I thought I had previously posted about him, but apparently I haven’t.

Robert Wilson is the son of Robert Wilson and Mary Woodward, two of the first settlers on Campobello Island and holders of the earliest land deed on the island.

While births are recorded for Robert’s two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, in Lincoln, Essex, Massachusetts in the 1760s, no such record is found for Robert. It is believed that he was born c1768 on Campobello Island.

Robert married Dolly Holmes in May 1790. This marriage record is found in the register of David Owen, the Campobello Island land baron of his day, and justice of the peace at the time.

It is thought that Dolly was born c1769, probably also on Campobello Island, the daughter of Joseph Holmes and Silence Brown, who married  in Scarborough, Cumberland, Maine and 27 March 1760 and continued to reside there at least until 1763.

Robert and Dolly were the parents of at least six children. All events took place on Campobello Island unless stated otherwise:

1. John Woodward Wilson, born c1792; died shortly before 11 November 1826, when he is called “Captain”, aged 34 years; married Rachel Parker (1800-?), 3 September 1818. No further information found about Rachel. However, the Eastport Sentinel reported the death of a child of John in the 5 October 1822 edition.

2. Maria, born c1794; died before 25 October 1828 when her death was announced in the Eastport Sentinel. Note below that Benjamin remarried in July 1828, so Maria may have died in early 1828; married Benjamin Parker (1788-1870), 12 April 1812. Maria is not mentioned in her father’s will. However, he left a bequest to his grandson, Robert Wilson Parker. Maria is the only female who married a Parker. Benjamin married (2) Olive Mitchell, 28 July 1828 (3) Susan Herson, 19 December 1848.

3. Thankful, born c1797; died 24 March 1887, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada; married James Brown (1796-1 February 1891), c1820, probably on Campobello Island.

4. Daniel/David, born c1799; died about 14 November 1829 when his death was announced in the Eastport Sentinel. He was about 30 years old.

5. Silence Holmes, born c1801; died after the 1871 census of Campobello Island; married Thomas Nash, about 18 January 1823, Eastport, Washington, Maine. He was born 1795/98, Maine; died 15 June 1872 on Campobello Island. His death was reported in the Eastport Sentinel, but no announcement has been found for Silence. She is not found in the 1880 or 1881 censuses of the U.S. or Canada.

6. Jeremiah, born c1803/06; died 7 February 1871; married Susan Willard, by 1842. Susan was born c1818; died 17 July 1887. This couple hasn’t been found in 1851, but in 1861, they were living on Campobello Island and had one daughter, Dorothy, aged 18, at home with them.

Robert Wilson left a will, dated 7 October 1826, which was apparently never updated, but was probated on 22 April 1845. It is found in Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada Will Book T: 535-536.

Will of Robert Wilson

Registered May 14, 1845

In the name of God Amen I Robert Wilson of the Parish of Campobello in the County of Charlotte, Province of New Brunswick, Farmer being weak in body but perfect in mind and memory blessed be to God calling to mind the uncertainty of this life and knowing that it is appropriate for all mens needs to die. Do make this my last will and testament.

First, I carried my soul to God and body in the dust to be buried in a decent Christian like manner at the discretion of my executors here after to be named and as touching——worldly goods and as I have pleased Almighty God to bless me with. I do hereby bequeath and dispose of the same in manner and form following.

I give and bequeath unto my niece Mary Clark wife of Daniel Clark and to her heirs and assign the one half of one acre of land in an exact square laying and being in this Parish aforesaid west of the brook emptying into the Bay of Funday at the north east part of Pollock Cove, so called, exclusive of the road or highway which runs through the same. Also the one half of twenty acres of land running from the mouth of the brook there empties into the head of Head Harbour and extending by the shore of said harbour is the land owned by David Owen and Company on the eastern side of a ridge as far north easterly as to make the correct measurement of twenty four acres and making the half of twenty five acres which my brother James Wilson and myself promised to give her.

Secondly I give and bequeath unto my grandson Robert Wilson Parker and his heirs my house which William Wilson now resides in known as the house formerly belonging to my mother Mary Wilson together with a piece of ground on which it stands one hundred feet in length and fifty feet in width to be kept by my executors here after to be named until the said Robert Wilson Parker shall arrive to the age of twenty one years at which time the said premises shall be delivered up to him by my executor.

Thirdly I give and bequeath unto my son John Woodward Wilson and to his heirs the house he now lives in.

Fourthly I give and bequeath unto my son Jeremiah Wilson and to his heirs my barn together with all my cattle, sheep and ovine.

Fifthly I give and bequeath unto my daughters Thankful Brown and Silence Nash and their heirs the dwelling house in which I now reside.

Sixthly I give and bequeath unto my children John Woodward Wilson, Robert Wilson, David Wilson, Jeremiah Wilson, Thankful Brown, and Silence Nash and to their heirs an equal share of all the remainder of my real estate. That I may die in possession of except what I have already given to Mary Clark and Robert Wilson Parker.

Seventhly I do hereby ordain, constitute, and appoint Mr. Jeremiah Wilson and my son in law, James Brown. Int. Executers of this my last will and testament and do order and demand that they sell and dispose of my vessel called Maurig and to pay the amount of the sales of the said vessel excepting the sum of thirty pounds to my son John Woodward Wilson and to his heirs.

Eighthly I do hereby give and bequeath unto my said executor Jeremiah Wilson and James Brown Jr. the sum of thirty pounds current money of New Brunswick out of the sale of the said vessel Mausty and also sum or sums of money as shall be due and payable to me at the time of my decease. And I do direct and it is my wish and request that my said executors do pay all my debts and demands which may be owed at my decease, and lastly —my further will and pleasure and I do hereby——— my children John Woodward Wilson, Robert Wilson, David Wilson, Jeremiah Wilson, Thankful Brown and Silence Nash to pay out of my estate one half of the expence of maintaining and supporting my sister Elizabeth Wilson during her life and at her decease to give her a decent christian burial. And I do revoke and disannul all former wills and testaments satisfying and allowing no other but this to be my last will and testament. In Testimony where of t———-my name and affix my seal at Campobello aforesaid this seventh day of October in the year of out Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six

Signed sealed and declared by the aforesaid Robert Wilson to be his last will and testament in the presence of us.

James Wilson, James Pineo, C.R. Hatheway,

Robert Wilson

Province of New Brunswick, County of Charlotte. Be it remembered that on this twenty second day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty five before me, Harris Hatch Magistrate Judge of the said County personally came and appeared James Wilson Jr. and Charles R. Hatheway and one James Pineo whose names as also subscribed to the said will as a witness attesting this execution were all present and that the said Robert Wilson appeared to them the said James Wilson Jr. and Charles R. Hatheway respectively to be of sound and disposing mind and understanding and that the named James Wilson Jr., James Pineo and Charles R. Hatheway were——- to the said will by them the said James Wilson Jr., James Pineo and Charles R. Hatheway respectively in the presence of each other and of the said Robert Wilson.

One thought on “Robert Wilson & Dolly Holmes of Campobello Island”

  1. Hi!
    Thanks for this post. It was shared on the Campobello New Brunswick Genealogy Page which is how I found it. Thankful Wilson and James Brown who you mentioned are my 4x great grandparents. I noticed you have a death date of 1845 for James. Do you know where you found that by chance??

    Thanks again,

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