Category Archives: Wilkinson

John Wilkinson & Rebecca Scott, of Smithfield, RI, 1700s

John Wilkinson was born 2 March 1690, the eldest child of John Wilkinson and Deborah Whipple in Providence, Rhode Island.

Rebecca Scott, his wife, was born c1699, the second daughter and fourth child of Sylvanus Scott and Joanna Jenckes.

John and Rebecca married on 20 March 1718, Providence, Rhode Island.

John died on 25 September 1756. Rebecca’s death date is unknown.

The Wilkinson family had long lived in the Providence area, but John and Rebecca moved a short distance away, still in Providence County, to the small town of Smithfield, where they raised a family and lived out their lives.

Children (All births are found in the Smithfield, Rhode Island vital records):

  1. Amey, born 23 January 1719. Amey reportedly married a Bucklin and may be the Amey Bucklin who then married Elijah Wing, 22 February 1770 in Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts, but that is a BIG maybe!
  2. Anne, born 19 May 1721; died 7 September 1722
  3. John, born 20 March 1721; he may be the man who married Ruth Angell, 12 November 1743, Smithfield, Providence, Rhode Island
    Sarah, born 27 June 1727; she may be the woman who married Amos Arnold, 23 February 1745/46, Smithfield, Providence, Rhode Island
  4. Susannah, born 20 September 1729; she may be the woman who married Daniel Marsh, 29 December 1754, Smithfield, Providence, Rhode Island
  5. Ruth, born 5 March 1731; no further record
  6. Joanna, born 12 September 1732; married Israel Thornton and removed to New Brunswick, Canada c1761.
  7. Ahab, born 16 December 1734; married Abigail Scott, 1 June 1755, Cumberland, Providence, Rhode Island

My ancestress, Joanna, married Israel Thornton. They became part of a large group of Rhode Islanders who were enticed to Canada in the 1760s by offers of land.

They were NOT Loyalists – they made the move during the French and Indian War – and sometimes are referred to as pre-Loyalists who had lived in (then) Nova Scotia for twenty years by the time of the 1783 arrival of thousands of Loyalists relocating to what then became New Brunswick, Canada.

I find it quite ironic that this branch of my family – who settled early in Rhode Island, but then left for Canada –  is the only one of my many colonial New England lines that has given me a Mayflower line  – through George Soule.



John Wilkinson & Deborah Whipple of Providence, Rhode Island

Today’s family sketch takes a look at John Wilkinson, son of immigrants Lawrence and Susannah (MNU) Wilkinson, who settled in Providence, Rhode Island by 1651.

As with details about the life of John’s parents, much of the online information about John Wilkinson and his wife, Deborah Whipple, comes from the 1869 book Memoirs of the Wilkinson Family, by Israel Wilkinson and the 1949 book Genealogy of Wilkinson and Kindred Families, by Marcellus McEwin Wilkinson.

Therefore, I am reluctant to include exact dates of birth for the members of this family.

John Wilkinson was born 2 March 1654, Providence, Rhode Island and died intestate there on 10 April 1708. His estate inventory was filed three weeks later on 30 April 1708 and his widow, Deborah, was appointed administratrix of his estate.

Deborah survived her husband by 40 years and never remarried, dying on 24 June 1748 in Providence, Rhode Island.

Deborah Whipple is said to have been quite a bit younger than her husband. Austin’s Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island notes her birth as 1 August 1670, in Providence. She was the daughter of Eleazer Whipple and Alice (?Angell).

John Wilkinson and Deborah Whipple married on 16 April 1689, in Providence, Rhode Island. Source of their marriage date is Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1699.

Both Wilkinson genealogies include exact dates of birth for John’s and Deborah’s children, but I can’t find any other reliable source for those dates.


  1. John, born c1690; died 25 September 1756; married Rebecca Scott, 20 March 1717, Providence, Rhode Island
  2. Mary, born c1694; married John Scott, 12 March 1717, Providence, Rhode Island
  3. Sarah, born c1696; reportedly married David Hogg . A David Hogg of Smithfield married Mary Smith there on 15 April 1759. If the same man, then Sarah died before that date.
  4. Freelove, born c1701; married Michael Phillips. They lived in Smithfield, Rhode Island at least until October 1739 when their daughter Freelove was born there.
  5. Daniel, born c1703. A Daniel Wilkinson of Smithfield married Abigail Inman there on 22 September 1740.
  6. Jeremiah, born c1707, some say in Smithfield, Rhode Island. A Jeremiah Wilkinson of Smithfield married Patience Hide there on 3 July 1735.

This family sketch is on the brief side because I am unable to find records that document these children, with the exceptions of John Wilkinson Jr. and his sister, Mary, who married John Scott.

If you can add sources to any of these children, I would love to hear from you.


Lawrence & Susannah Wilkinson, Early Settlers of Providence, RI

I’ve known about my Wilkinson connection for many years, as Joanna Wilkinson married Israel Thornton in Rhode Island and then, with many other Rhode Island families, headed to Nova Scotia, which today is New Brunswick, Canada.

I’ve neglected to share the earliest generations of the Wilkinson family, so I am rectifying that oversight today.

As far as I can determine, two books, both published a long time ago, provide the basis for most of the genealogical information found online today.

The first book, Memoirs of the Wilkinson Family, by Israel Wilkinson was written way back in 1869.

The second tome, Genealogy of Wilkinson and Kindred Families, by Marcellus McEwin Wilkinson, was published almost a century later in 1849.

The problem with both books is that some of the information in them has been debunked – particularly the royal descents – and claims are made about people, places and events that have no documentation to support them.

Therefore, I am not going to contribute to misinformation that multiplies like a rabbit online and will reference questionable details without discussing them in depth.

There is agreement that Lawrence Wilkinson was the immigrant ancestor of my Rhode Island branch of the Wilkinson family. It also seems generally accepted that Lawrence may have called Lanchester, County Durham, England home and that it is likely he was a Royalist during the English Civil War.

Lawrence’s date of birth is unknown. Church registers from Lanchester dating from 1603-1653 has been lost and no American colonial record, such as court depositions, in which Lawrence stated his age, has been found.

If Lawrence was around the age of 25 when he married AND if Susannah was his only wife, then he was probably born  around 1624.

Next, little is known about Lawrence’s wife, other than her name was Susannah and she predeceased him, not being named in his estate administration. However, if Susannah married at a typical age for young ladies in that time period, then she was probably born c1628.

Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700 posits that her maiden name might have been Smith and that her father MIGHT be Christopher Smith of Rhode Island, but no proof has been found.

Next, there is some doubt as to both the date that Lawrence Wilkinson arrived in the colonies and whether he was married before settling in Rhode Island.

Lawrence Wilkinson signed the Original Compact of the Settlers of Rhode Island, dated 1645, so many report that he was in Rhode Island by that time. HOWEVER, historians have noted that some men signed the document LATER than 1645. Therefore, it can only be said that Lawrence was in Rhode Island by 1651, when he first appears in Providence, Rhode Island.

This gap of years is important for a second reason. Lawrence and Susannah married c1649 and their probable first child, son Samuel, was born c1650.

Lawrence deeded the gift of his homestead to his son, Josias in 1691, the year before he died.

Lawrence passed away intestate on 9 August 1692 in Providence, Rhode Island.

It is thought that Lawrence and Susannah had about six children – there is also a question about the existence of one of them.

Also, many online trees have exact dates of birth for the children. I’ve not found primary records with those dates, so I am including only the years of birth. It is believed that all children were born in Providence, with the possible exception of Samuel.


1. Samuel, probably first born, c1650, but whether in England or Rhode Island is unknown; died intestate on 27 August 1727, Providence, Rhode Island; probably married (?Plain) Wickenden, daughter of Rev. William Wickenden, c1674.
2. Susannah, born c1652; died young.
3. John, born c1654; died 10 April 1708, Providence, Rhode Island, intestate; married Deborah Whipple, c1669. His estate inventory was completed on 30 April 1708 and wife, Deborah was the administratrix. Deborah was probably born c1658; died after 7 September 1713, when she is mentioned in a Providence Council meeting regarding the estate of her deceased son, Josias Wilkinson.
4. Joanna, born c1657,  called Joamia in the 1949 book, probably a publisher error. There is doubt as to whether Joanna ever existed. If she did, she apparently died young and without children.
5. Josias, born c1660, died 10 June 1692, Providence, Rhode Island, intestate; married Hannah (?Tyler). Note that Josias died only ONE DAY after his father. Hannah married (2) Joseph Tucker, before 24 December 1699. More on that in a moment.
6. Susannah, born c1662; married (1) Edward Boss, before 1685, possibly Newport, Rhode Island (2) James Angell

Before ending this family sketch, details need to be shared about the estate administration of Josias Wilkinson. It is peculiar that, as a young man, he died but one day after his father, Lawrence. His death date is found in the Providence estate administration records, which make no mention of his cause of death.

Initally, Edward Smith and John Williams served as administrators of Josias’s estate. However, by 24 December 1699, Joseph Tucker, stepfather to Josias’s only heir, daughter Hannah, and his wife, Hannah, widow of Josias, petitioned the court regarding the estate.

However, the administration of Josias’s estate continued for many years, likely because his daughter, Hannah, was very young when her father died.

Eventually, the court concluded that Joseph Tucker allowed the real estate that was little Hannah’s legacy to go to ruin and he was failing to even provide proper clothing.

Joseph Tucker died by 8 April 1707, when his wife Hannah was named adminstratrix of his estate. John Wilkinson and Sylvanus Scott completed the estate inventory.

As of June 19, 1710, Hannah Wilkinson, daughter of Josias, was still a minor and the Providence Council appointed Eleazer Arnold as her sole guardian.

By 7 September 1713, John Wilkinson was overseer of Josias’s estate.

Josias’s daughter, Hannah, married John Dexter.

Thus, there are many gaps in our knowledge of the origin and lives of Lawrence Wilkinson, wife Susannah, and their children.

If anyone has more recent, documented research, I would love to hear from you.