Public Home Page

Members Home Page - Under Development

Our Documents

Our Genealogy

Wilson Family Reunion

Membership Information


Wilson Family Genealogy

Review of the 110th Annual Wilson Family Reunion, 14 July 2013

2013 Trivia Game with Answers

The 110th Annual Wilson Family Reunion was held at Krull Park on 14 July 2013. About 70 family members attended, including at least 12 adult first-time attendees and several who had not been able to attend a reunion since the 100th.

Several of our first-time attendees came by unusual-for-us means of transportation. One couple, who are full-time RV'ers, came in their motor home. Another couple flew in, landing at the Royalton Airport. There are no rental cars at that small private field, but the airport manager brought them over to the Park. When it was time to leave, a family member from Gasport took them back. Who needs rental cars in friendly Western New York?!

We were happy to see some families who hadn't been able to attend in a while arrive in force, and to renew acquaintances with them. And we were just plain happy to see some family members who had had health issues over the last few years.

Family heirlooms shared at the reunion this year included a quilt that had belonged to ????. Another heirloom was a postcard album that had belonged to Armour Peter Wilson, the oldest son of Benjamin Ernest and Mary Catherine (Smoyer) Wilson. Armour died in an accident in 1911, when he was 18 years old.

This year, we were honored to be part of the recognition of a Wilson Association member who had made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, but who had not previously received recognition. Lawrence H McParlin married Wilson descendant S Ethel Bradley, a 3rd great-granddaughter of Alexander and Jane (Armour) Wilson. (Lawrence and Ethel had one daughter, Marjorie, who married but had no children.) Lawrence served with the Lockport (USA, NY, Niagara, Lockport) Fire Department, was a Damage Controlman in the US Navy, and served with the Charles County, MD, Sheriff's Office. While on official duty for the Sheriff's Office on 21 May 1918, he and another Police Officer from the District of Columbia were shot and killed. The suspect, who was wanted for murder by the State of South Carolina, was wounded, apprehended, escaped, recaptured several years later, and ultimately executed in the District of Columbia. He admitted to 12 murders, 4 of which were of Police Officers.

Lawrence was the first Charles County Deputy Sheriff known to have been killed in the line of duty. His body was returned to Lockport for burial. From an old post on the internet, we learned that the Charles County Sheriff's Office was looking for information about Lawrence's place of burial. When we found that he was buried in Hartland Central Cemetery, USA, NY, Niagara, Hartland, we provided that information to the Sheriff's Office. The Lieutenant who followed up on that contact did extensive research on the incidents surrounding Lawrence's death and ultimately contacted a McParlin family member who was able to provide photographs of Lawrence. The Lt presented the results of his research at a ceremony during Police Week last May that honored all five Charles County Deputy Sheriffs who died in the line of duty. The Lt came up from Maryland to place a wreath on Lawrence's grave and attend the Wilson reunion.

Poster Presented to Charles County Deputy Sheriff
Presentation of a poster memorializing the placing of a wreath on the grave of Deputy Lawrence H McParlin. The poster was presented by the Wilson Association Historian to the Charles County, MD, Lieutenant who researched the story behind Lawrence's line-of-duty death on 21 May 1918. Lawrence is shown in the photograph on the left-hand side of the center row.

Next year's reunion souvenir is a tote bag. As has become our practice, advance tote bags were given to the oldest descendant present (88 years old), the oldest male and oldest female descendant attending their first Wilson reunion (we let all of the "possibles" get together and make the decision, so that none of them had to disclose his or her age), the descendant who came the furthest (Oregon), and the descendant making the most effort to attend the reunion (the same recipient as last year, although she is doing so well, she might have a harder time winning next year!).

Everyone loved the new venue for the reunion. Although it was a rather hot day, there was a constant breeze off the lake and it was very comfortable in the shade under the pavilion. The pavilion was large enough to hold everyone and the food, making a much more enjoyable environment. The fact that there were functioning restroom facilities very close, play equipment for the younger set, and level ground for those in wheelchairs and using walkers or canes, added to the comfort. There was little question when it was time to vote for the location of the reunion next year - Krull Park.

Thank you to everyone who came to the reunion - those who have never missed a Wilson reunion (our oldest descendant present), those who come every year, those who come as often as they can, and those who were first-timers. We hope you all had a good time and will come back again next year. We also hope that the friendship and family spirit that was so evident at this reunion will stay with each of you throughout the coming year, and perhaps inspire the holding of more mini reunions.

And, once again, thank you to the Wilson Association officers and all of those who helped make this another great reunion. Do you think that, 110 years ago, our ancestors had a clue that the reunion they started would still be going strong?

2013 Trivia Game with Answers

Please choose where you would like to go from here from the menu at the top left