Col. William Wilson

1) Col. Wilson served as a Burgess in the Virginia House of Burgesses representing Elizabeth City County in 1684-1694, and 1700-17031.

2) Col. Wilson served as Sheriff of Elizabeth City County in 1692 2.

3) Col. Wilson served as Lieutenant and Commander-in-Chief of the Elizabeth City County Militia in 16993.

4) Col. Wilson served as Naval Officer of the Lower District of James River from 1699-17104,5.

Col. Wilson's service as a Burgess before 1700 establishes him as a qualifying ancestor for the Jamestowne Society. His military service and service as a Burgess establish him as a qualifying ancestor for the Society of Colonial Wars.


1Chapman, Blanche Adams. Wills and Administrations of Elizabeth City County, Virginia, 1688-1800. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980, p. 152

2Ibid., p. 155

3Ibid., p. 155

4Genealogies of Virginia Families. Excerpted from: The William & Mary Quarterly Magazine. Baltimore: The Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1982, p. 825

5Brock, R.A., editor. The Official Letters of Alexander Spotswood, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Virginia, 1710-1722. Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1882, pp. 30-31

Col. William Wilson, father of Jane Wilson

Jane Wilson (?- bef 2 May 1758), wife of Nicholas Curle, was the daughter of Colonel William Wilson (1646 – 20 Aug 1713) and Jane _____ (1655 – 5 May 1713).

Evidence for this generation is presented in two parts.

Part 1 – Nicholas Curle's son, Wilson Curle, was the grandson of Col. William Wilson

Nicholas Curle's will was dated 12 Aug 1714. An accurate but incomplete summary of the will is published1.

A copy of the original will2 of Nicholas Curle names four children: Pasco, Wilson, Jane, and "the child my wife now goes with", who was Mary Curle. The will clearly states that the grandfather of Nicholas's son, Wilson Curle, was Col. William Wilson:

"…my Sd. son Wilson Curle's Land Given to him by his Grandfather Col. Willm. Wilson".

The relationship was also recorded in Order Book 1704-17303, p. 19:

"Wilson Curle, grandson and devisee of Col. William Wilson, born December 18, 1709".

Nicholas refers to "my daughter Jane Curle" many times in the will, so it is clear that he was father to both Wilson and Jane. The question that remains is whether Wilson Curle's mother, daughter of Col. William Wilson, was also the mother of Jane Curle.

The most straightforward interpretation of the will and other evidence presented in this article is:

  • the legatee of Nicholas Curle's will, his wife Jane, was the mother of Nicholas's four children, including Wilson Curle, who was 4 years and 8 months old when Nicholas died,
  • the legatee Jane (Sr.) was the daughter of Col. William Wilson and his wife Jane, and was named for her mother, and
  • the name "Jane" was passed in turn to Nicholas's daughter, Jane Curle, who was the granddaughter of Col. Wilson and his wife Jane.

The next section presents evidence that Jane Curle and Wilson Curle had the same mother, and discusses Nicholas Curle's wives and children.

Part 2 - The wives and children of Nicholas Curle

Nicholas Curle married first Elizabeth Gutherick4 on 14 Jun 1700. Elizabeth was the daughter of Quintellian and Ann Gutherick, and is mentioned in Quintellian's will5 of 20 Feb 1692/3.

Elizabeth died young, but the date of her death is not known. There is no evidence of any children from this marriage.

The next definite date in Nicholas's marital history is the birth of Wilson Curle on 18 Dec 1709 . Because we know Wilson was the grandson of Col. William Wilson, we can conclude that Elizabeth Gutherick died before 17096, and Nicholas remarried to a daughter of Col. Wilson before 1709.

The next and last definitive date in Nicholas's marital history is the date of his will, 12 Aug 1714, when he was married to the legatee of his will, Jane _____, and had four living children: Pasco, Wilson (age 4 years 8 months when Nicholas died, based on his birth date cited in the previous paragraph), Jane, and a child as yet unborn.

As to the birth order of Nicholas's children, his will provides evidence that Pasco was Nicholas's elder son, because Nicholas bequeathed the majority of his land to Pasco. There are five bequests of land mentioned in the will:

  • The plantation "where I live and work with all Houses and orchards and other appurtenances" is left to Nicholas's wife, Jane, for the rest of her natural life, and then was to pass to Pasco; but if he died in his minority, the plantation would pass to daughter Jane;
  • "…all my land at Fox Hills and all my Lotts of land in Hampton with all Houses orchards and other appurtenances whatsoever" were left to Pasco; but if he died in his minority, they were to pass to Wilson;
  • "all my land at Scott's Mill Dam of Eliz. City" was left to Nicholas's unborn child if that child proved to be a son, but if the child was a daughter, the land was given to Pasco; and if he died in his minority, it was to pass to Wilson;
  • "…and my lands I bought of Chas. Cooley" were left to "my Daughter such my wife now goes with if it should Prove..." There are further instructions regarding this bequest that are on a missing fragment;
  • Reference is made to "my Sd. Son Wilson Curles Land Given to him by his Grandfather Coll. Willm. Wilson".

Nicholas clearly bequeathed the majority of his land to Pasco, according to the custom of primogeniture at the time in Virginia: one plantation is given Pasco outright (in Hampton), plus additional land at Fox Hills; and the second plantation, where the family lives, is to pass to Pasco on his mother's death. Further, he receives an additional bequest if the unborn child proves to be a girl.

We can conclude from these bequests that Pasco was an older brother of Wilson. The bequest by Col. Wilson to his grandson Wilson follows the pattern of relatives devising land to second and later sons, on the assumption that the eldest son would inherit his father's estate.

There is no documentary evidence available to fix the birth date of Jane Curle. She was unmarried in 1733 when she was mentioned by her maiden name in the will of Susana Alkins7, and was married by 1738, when she is mentioned on a deed with her husband George Walker8. If she had been born before Wilson, she would have been at least 25 in 1733, which is late for marriage in those times, but not impossible. It seems likely that she was born after, or at the earliest, just before, her brother Wilson, based on her marriage date in 1733 or later.

On the other hand, one might reasonably surmise, from the terms of Nicholas Curle's will, that Jane was beyond very early childhood, for the following reason. The terms of the first bequest above were unusual: the family plantation was to pass to a daughter (Jane) in the event of Pasco's death, rather than to Wilson, or to an unborn son. This might suggest that Jane was old enough that her father had some sense of her as a person, and a maturing relationship with her, to make such a bequest.

The previous two paragraphs provide some justification to conclude that Jane Curle's birth date was not far from the birth of her brother, Wilson, and therefore she was likely to have had the same mother.

Finally, there is no evidence in available records that Nicholas Curle's second wife predeceased him, nor is there evidence that he had a third wife.

In summary, it seems likely that the three children (Pasco, Wilson and Jane), born to Nicholas over the space of 5 years, were likely to have had the same mother, Jane Wilson, daughter of Col. William Wilson.

The birth dates and death dates of Col. Wilson and his wife Jane are shown on his tombstone9: Col. Wilson died 17 Jun 1713 at age 67, placing his birth year about 1646, and Jane his wife died 5 May 1713 aged 58, placing her birth year about 1655.


1Chapman, Blanche Adams. Wills and Administrations of Elizabeth City County, Virginia, 1688-1800. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980, p. 28

2Will of Nicholas Curle, 12 Aug 1714, Library of Virginia. Obtained by genealogist Brigitte Burkette.

3Chapman, pp. 29-30

4Ibid., p. 161

5Ibid., p. 37

6Ibid., p. 30

7Ibid., p. 1

8William & Mary Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 3, Jan 1902, p. 206

9McCrary, Patti Sue. Wilson Families in Colonial Virginia. Westminster, Maryland: Heritage Books, 2007, p. 61