Public Home Page

Members Home Page - Under Development

Wilson and Collateral Family Indices

The First Generation in America - Alexander Wilson and Jane Armour

PDF of Descendants of Alexander Wilson and Jane Armour

Ancestors of Alexander Wilson

PDF of Ancestors of Alexander Wilson

Where are They Buried?

Collateral Families

Genealogy and Family History Publications

About Jane (Armour) Wilson (Moffit)

Niagara County states at page 709 that, after Alexander Wilson's death, Jane "was united with a British officer of the Revolutionary war, named Moffatt. At the time of the invasion of General Burgoyne, the British raided the Wilson homestead in eastern New York, confiscating the household effects and the cattle. A negro slave attached to the Wilson household shortly afterward discovered the cattle herded in the forest, some distance from the Wilson home, and, during the night, succeeded in stampeding them. The next morning they were all found safe on the farm. Great-grandmother Wilson, on the morning following the plundering of her home, mounted a horse and rode courageously into the British army camp, where she secured an interview with the officer in command. She demanded the return of her property and so well and valiantly did she present her claims that full restitution was eventually made."

A different take on what is probably the same event is related in De Kalb County at pages 648-49: "Mrs. Wilson, who was a devoted patriot, having lost her husband [Alexander Wilson] in New York city, removed to Salem, Washington County, where she married one Moffat, of Tory sympathies. They carried on a store and farm, and among their employees had several Tories. One day Mrs. Moffat discovered that she had been robbed of some valuables, including a gold watch. The absence of some of her Tory workmen led her to believe them to be the thieves and to suppose that they had sought safety in Burgoyne's camp at Saratoga. Mounting her horse, she rode to the British camp and demanded an audience of Gen. Burgoyne, which was granted, when she demanded a search for her property, which was at first refused, whereupon she threatened to report the General. Burgoyne coolly asked to whom she would report him. Her answer was, "To the Congress of the United Colonies." The General, much amused at this storming of his camp by a patriot in petticoats, he ordered a search. The stolen articles were found and restored to her with the exception of the watch, which an officer pocketed, with the remark that he would keep it for Mr. Moffat."

Note from the Wilson Association Historian: A tea chest, said to be one of the items that was stolen from, and restored to, Jane (Armour) (Wilson) Moffat, is currently in the safe-keeping of the Flinders family, descendants of Jane (Wilson) Pawling. In this photograph, taken by Benjamin Ernest Wilson in 1914, the chest is held by Jane Ann (Morey) Bailey, a grand-daughter of Jane (Wilson) Pawling. With her are, from left to right, Anna Amanda (Bailey) Flinders, Laurence George Flinders, and George Bottesini Flinders. George died about six months after this photograph was taken.

Flinders family with Jane (Armour) Wilson's Tea Chest

De Kalb County continues the story: "At another time her husband, under pretense of danger to her safety in her home, packed their goods, mounted her on a horse with her baby [Robert Moffit, Jr] in her arms and started for Albany. On the way she surmised, from a mysterious conversation between her husband and some well-known Tories, that she was being taken to the camp of the British army. Watching her opportunity, she ordered her attendants back, while she led them and returned to her home."

De Kalb County concludes: "The tradition of these incidents go to prove the courage and patriotism of this lady ancestor, and is very properly remembered with pride by her descendants."

Go to Jane's Main Page | Go to Additional Information about Jane