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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

Wilson Family Genealogy

Generation 1:
Alexander Wilson and Jane Armour

Alexander Wilson-1 (Sara Ainsley and Robert Wilson-A) was born on 20 Apr 1740 in Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Edinburgh. He probably came to America in the early 1760's. There is a family tradition that he initially came to claim the property of a brother who had died. Alexander is known to have had a sister, but, to date, no brother has been identified. He was a shop-keeper in New York City. He died at the age of 31 years in 1771 in USA, NY, New York City, and, by family tradition, was buried in Trinity Churchyard, USA, NY, New York, Manhattan. However, all Church records were destroyed when New York City burned in 1776, and no family member who has searched for Alexander's gravestone has found it. Family tradition also maintains that he was buried in the same cemetery as his cousin, Alexander Hamilton. Although the relationship to Alexander Hamilton has not yet been found, and, if it exists, lies in Scotland, Hamilton was buried in Trinity Churchyard.

Additional Information about Alexander Wilson

Jane Armour-1 was born in Scotland either on 12 Aug 1736 or in 1742. Family tradition says that the Armours were a branch of Clan Cameron, but changed the name for political reasons. Whether or not this is the reason, to date nothing is known of Jane Armour's ancestry. Clan Cameron in Scotland has informed the family that although many Clan members changed their names to avoid political persecution, it has no way to trace any particular family, unless that family later re-established ties with the Clan. Jane probably came to America in the early 1760's.

After Alexander's death in 1771, Jane was left a young widow with two small children. At some point, she moved her family up the Hudson River to USA, NY, Rensselaer, Lansingburg. It is probable that this move took place no later than 1776, but most likely a bit before that. If she remained in New York City until 1776, it is likely that she and her family fled up the river as British ships began to fill the waters around New York City.

In Lansingburg, or at least in Rensselaer County, Jane met and married second, Robert Moffit. From stories preserved by the family and recounted in several genealogical and historical publications, Jane was married to Robert Moffit, with a babe in arms, at the time of British General John Burgoyne's Saratoga campaign, which ended with the General's surrender of his army of about 5,000 men to the American troops on 17 Oct 1777. As these stories recount, Jane was a Patriot, while Moffit was a Tory. Although it is presently unknown what impact the Revolutionary War had on their marriage, there is a good possibility that, during or immediately after the War, Moffit made his way to Canada, probably abandoning Jane, and perhaps also his son.

The Robert Moffit who married Jane (Armour) Wilson has been identified as the editor and publisher of the Troy Budget newspaper. However, the dates of that newspaper's existence do not correlate with this Robert Moffit. It is possible, however, that the Robert Moffit who was associated with the newpaper is Robert Jr, Jane's son.

A Jane Moffat is shown in the 1790 census as the head of a household consisting of herself and a free male under the age of 16 years. Robert Jr would have been around 14 years old in 1790. This Jane Moffat was living in USA, NY, Albany, Rensselaerwick. It is not known if this is Jane (Armour) (Wilson) Moffit. In this census, women's ages were not requested. If this is our Jane, she would have been in her late 40's or early 50's.

Because of stories and artifacts passed down through Jane's daughter's descendants, it appears quite likely that Jane lived near her daughter and her family, perhaps until her death so that she was able to pass on her possessions. However, later censuses do not show a woman in any of the Wilson or Pawling households that would fit Jane. It is certainly possible that she married again. If so, we have no information about what her new surname might have been.

It is believed that Jane died in USA, NY, Saratoga County, because that is where her daughter lived. However, it is presently not known when or where she died, or under what name she is buried.

Additional Information about Jane Armour

Alexander Wilson and Jane Armour were married about 1763, probably in Scotland, although there is some suggestion that they were married in USA, NY. They had the following children:

  1. Alexander Wilson Jr
  2. Jane Wilson

Genealogical and Family History of Western New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation, Compiled under the editorial supervision of William Richard Cutter, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., New York, 1912, p 157, suggests that Alexander and Jane had a third child, a son named Ebenezer. There is no evidence in support of this suggestion, which appears to be a conjecture of the book's compiler, and to be based solely on a coincidence of surname between Alexander Wilson and an Ebenezer Wilson who was a vestryman at Trinity Church from 1797 to 1805. Any doubt about whether Alexander had a third child should be laid to rest by the fact that, in his will, Alexander stated that he had two children: Alexander and Jane.