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described in historical documents.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 Wilkinson 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 metal workers. Back in the day metal working was called
Ironmongery and the workers were members of the Ironmongers Guild.
The Wilkinson Family in England
Harperley Hall location Maps
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 that they ever 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)
London 1700
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.
New Milford, CT on a map from 1766.
Passenger ship "Lyon", model in City Hall
at Braintree, MA..
Pfenninger Family added to the website

A new section has been added that includes information about
thePfenninger family that is descended from Henry Pfenninger
and his wife Lena Schottlin.  This section connects with the
Wilkinson Family history through the marriage of Alfred
Pfenninger (1888 -1964) and Hassel Mae Wilkinson (1894 -
1981). Hassel Wilkinson was the youngest daughter of James
Wilkinson and Luella Adams Wilkinson.
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Jim Wilkinson
jimwilk@hotmail.com