The narrative of the Wilkinson family in England is based on the
research of Arthur Wilkinson of British Columbia, Canada. I have not
seen the documentation yet that Arthur has but relate his conclusions
as they were related to me. Future research will hopefully confirm his
findings. The story of our line of the larger Wilkinson family line
begins in the mid sixteenth century. A man named Lawrance
Wilkinson held a substantial estate called Harperly Hall, located
near Lanchester, County Durham, England . There is a location with
that name still in existence at the location described in historical
documents. I have found an extensive property that contains two large
houses and many farm buildings by using the Internet. Harperly Hall
appears to be a 17th century manor house of considrable size. It is
currently owned by a British government agency that overseas the
training of police officers for the north of England. A second and
seemingly much older dwelling, also quite large, sits on the same
grounds. This is called Low Harperley House. I have found a
painting done by an artist with the last name 'Wilkinson' of Harperley
Hall manor house which I have included in the photo section.
Lawrance had a son, William, who caused a servant girl, Mary
Smythe, to become pregnant. Because this birth would be illegitimate
and a marriage between William and Mary would be inappropriate in
the days standards of propriety, Mary was sent away to Litchfield,
Derbyshire, England. She gave birth to a son and named the child
William Smythe Wilkinson, and recorded the birth in 1550 in the
Church of England parish at Litchfield. William Smythe Wilkinson
moved to London at an unknown later date and worked there as a
"Black Smythe (Smith).” He married and had a son who he named
Smythe Wilkinson, after his mother. Smythe was born in London
around 1590. The spelling of this name varies, and appears in at least
four different forms. The father and sons continued in the trade as
The Wilkinson Family in England
Harperley Hall location
Low Harperley Hall
Smythe Wilkinson was born in 1590 in London. He married and had a
son who was named Stephen Wilkinson . Stephen Wilkinson #1 was
christened at St. Midland church on 25 September, 1631. His wife
was named Ann, and they had a son who was also named Stephen.
Stephen Wilkinson #2 was christened on 23 April, 1661 in London
at St. Bride Cathedral, located on Fleet Street in the City. Steven's
wife was named Mary, and they had a son named Lewis Wilkinson, in
1686 and another son, Stephen Wilkinson in 1688.
Arthur Wilkinson, who has done extensive research into this phase of
the Wilkinson family, reports that during the time in London the
Wilkinson clan applied for the 'right of birth' which was granted by
the authorities along with a distinctive coat of arms. This would
imply that the family had attained a level of respectability such that it
was recognized as a legitimate family. In English society of the time
this would remove the stigma of the line from William Wilkinson and
Mary Smythe being based on an illegitimate birth. The Coat of arms
is described in detail and I hope one day to track down an image of it
or perhaps craft a version myself. It does carry a slanted bar which
denotes an illegitimate origin but the granting of the 'right of birth' was
an important step in the society of the day. A happy ending perhaps
to an unhappy beginning of our branch of the family. Descendants of
Lawrance Wilkinson immigrated to the American colonies at an early
date and settled in Rhode Island. There is no record of their ever
having recognized the descendants of William, son of Mary Smythe as
part of the family. Among the many important Wilkinson's who
descended from this line of the Wilkinson family was a noteworthy
early American religious leader, a woman named Jemima
Wilkinson. As she is not a direct ancestor I will not include
documentation of her fascinating story but it is worth doing an Internet
search using her name.
London (1570's - 1718)
New Milford, Connecticutt (1720 - 1791)
Lewis (Sr.) Wilkinson immigrated to the American colonies from
London in 1718, at the age of perhaps 32. In some of the information
that has come to me he is described as being a Lieutenant, although I
do not have information as to what exactly this may have meant. He
landed at Milford, Connecticut and settled there. On 4 Dec 1721 he
married a widow, Sarah Terrill, (born circa 1685, daughter of John E.
and Abigail Terrill and widow of John Hubbard) in Milford. I know
nothing about this first husband of Sarah but his surname catches my
attention. If you look in the chapter covering the ancestors of
Angeline Hubbard you will notice that James Hubbard is described as
coming from the New England area before moving south to New
Amsterdam with Lady Moody. Could it be possible that Sarah's first
husband, John Hubbard was a descendant of the same family line that
produced James Hubbard? At this early date in the history of the
American colonies the populations were very small and the chances
are good this is so. I will certainly be researching this possibility.
The newly married Lewis and Sarah moved from Milford to New
Milford, Connecticut in 1722 and started a family.
Sarah Terrill's family was prominent in Milford. Our branch of the
Terrill family has been traced back to a man named Roger Terrill,
born in 1586 in Nazeing, Essex, England. Other branches of Sarah's
family have been traced back to Thomas Ufford, born in 1560 also in
Nazeing, Essex; Robert Bryan, born in 1530 in Aylesbury,
Buckinghamshire and Thomas Bowling, born in 1539 also in
Aylesbury; and Richard Hitchcock, born in 1556 in Wiltshire County,
England. A large group of related families, including many Terrills
and Uffords, immigrated to the new world together in 1632 aboard a
ship named the 'Lyon'. They landed at Boston and then proceeded
overland to Milford Connecticut where they were prominent in the
settling of that area.
First, A word about the charts.
To read the charts which are included with each Family section,
start at the left hand side. This is the most recent time period. As
you go towards the right on the chart you are going back in time.
Each marriage is grouped in a "c" shaped bracket and any children
from this marriage (or partnership) will be a line extending out
from the left hand side. As a convention, I put the male on top and
female below in the marriage bracket. Children's lines extend out
to the left with the oldest child on top and then descending in order
of birth. Some charts will have a married couple who are the focus
of the chart. You will then see multiple children and grandchildren
to the left of the chart. Otherwise the charts show a couple and the
child from which the immediate family is descended to the left.
Other children of the couple will be ignored in this case. The
charts in general are following the path of the DNA as it spirals
into the future generation after generation.
The following is an example created from the above general
principles. The chart below has James Wilkinson, Luella Adams,
his first wife, and Minnie Williams, his second wife, as subjects.
The generations to the right (older) of their "generation" show only
the progression of parents to child of descent. To the left the
descendants of James Wilkinson's five children by two wives are
New Milford, CT on
a map from 1766.
"Lyon", model in City
Hall at Braintree,
The following chart illustrates this. All of my charts will follow
this general organization.
A NEW SECTION IS BEING ADDED THAT WILL INCLUDE
INFORMATION ABOUT THE PFENNINGER FAMILY THAT IS
DESCENDED FROM HENRY PFENNINGER AND HIS WIFE
LENA SCHOTTLIN. THIS SECTION CONNECTS WITH THE
WILKINSON FAMILY HISTORY WITH THE MARRIAGE OF
ALFRED PFENNINGER (1888-1964) AND HASSEL MAE
WILKINSON (1895-1981). HASSEL WAS THE YOUNGEST
DAUGHTER OF JAMES WILKINSON AND LUELLA ADAMS.