Sunday, 22 February 2015

James Clear Wilkerson

I am coming to the end of my current project of cross referencing 7646 family tree members who were born after 1771 and died after 1841 against the available UK census returns (1841 - 1911)* and have reached the Wilkersons who married into my wife's Wallis line.

First up was William Wilkerson born in 1823 in Roxton, Bedfordshire who married Elizabeth Harriet Wallis in 1853 in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire by whom he had 11 children.

William, prior to his marriage, farmed 300 acres in Roxton (1851) but in 1861, living in Wimblington, Cambs, had no occupation listed and by 1871 was farming a considerably smaller 95 acres back in Beds at Goldington. In 1881 and 1891 he is enumerated as a retired farmer living in Melbourn.

Whilst cross referencing William I came across, or rather re-found, an orphan (family tree orphan that is) Smithson Wilkerson born 1827 married to George Starkins Wallis **, the aforementioned Elizabeth Harriet's brother.

After a bit of Googling I'm satisfied that Smithson was/is William's younger sister and that their parents were James and Jane Wilkerson dates unknown.

George and Smithson were childless but, as I mentioned, William and Elizabeth had four boys and seven daughters.

The eldest son, Wallis b. 1855 Renhold, Bedfordshire, was a Chemist & Druggist in Bedford and, having married Elizabeth J in 1886 producing an unmarried daughter, Elizabeth Wallis (1889-1964), died in 1928.

The next three sons, William b. 1860, George Wallis b. 1862 and James b. 1867 emigrated to Canada where George died in 1938 having married and produced numerous offspring. I assume William died in Canada as I can find no trace of him post 1871 but James returned to the UK and is enumerated in 1901 and 1911 as a farmer in Bedfordshire. He married Elizabeth Measures in 1895 and had two daughters, Kathleen b. 1897 and Gwendoline b. 1903.

Of the seven daughters: Elizabeth Smithson b. 1856 married Andrew Carr Wright of Melbourn, Martha Jane b. 1858 married James Clear Wilkerson in 1891 (see below) and Sarah Wallis b. 1869 married George Hamilton-Browne in 1909.

The other four, Annie Mary b. 1861, Harriet Fordham b. 1864, Emily b. 1865 and Kate b. 1869 were all unmarried.

Although I am currently unable to make a connection between James Clear and Martha Jane I'm fairly sure they are related. My reasoning is that they lived in a relatively small geographical locale (Barley, Hertfordshire and Melbourn, Cambridgeshire) and, less reliable, I feel it in my bones!

James Clear Wilkerson was born in Barley, Hertfordshire, in 1873. The son of a farmer, Clear Wilkerson (1812-1874) and Ann Elizabeth Shearman (1819-1869), he lived and farmed in Barley all his life.

In 1873 he married his first wife, Harley Rebecca Wilkerson (1844-1889) daughter of John and Harriet, nee Shippey, of Hadstock, Essex - obviously I surmise a family connection here - and had three children with her; Frances Harley b. 1875, John Clear b. 1876 and Stanley James b. 1880. Frances and Stanley died unmarried whilst John married Ellen Maud Chaplin (1868-1925) another surname connected to the Wallis tree and another connection I have failed to find.

Following Harley's death in 1889 James married Martha Jane in 1891 and had Arnold Fordham (1892-1975), Wilfred E b. 1895, Dorothy Grace (1896-1985 and Gladys Mary b. 1898.

I'm going to re-visit Hadstock, Linton and Barley to have a look through the graveyards and will re-do Melbourn next time I'm up that way.

I'm sure that James, Harley and Martha are all interconnected.

* Next up is to do those baptised and died between the same dates.

** Probably the subject of my next post.


  1. Hello, I don't know how to contact you, BUT I have the whole family line for George Wallis Wilkerson as well where he is buried. I myself has been trying to trace him back, and I am confused as George Wallis Wilkerson's Dad as far as we know, was Wallace Wilkerson Born 1829 in Penhold Bedfordshire Which is way off from your William that you have here for George's Dad. " Wallace Wilkerson was 1829 to June 22 1892. " Also, The William you think die in Canada, didn't, When William and George left England they first went to the states, lived in Kansas, I know George did go to Canada, But William I believe stayed in Kansas, as there is a line of Wilkerson's there that come from this line.
    George got married in Kansas and he and his wife moved to Canada.

  2. Wallace Wilkerson was born 1829 in Penhold Beds, England, and died June 22, 1892.
    Children of Wallace Wilkerson are:
    i. Wallis Wilkerson, b. August 28, 1854, d. date unknown.
    ii. Elizabeth Smithson Wilkerson, b. March 30, 1856, d. date unknown.
    iii. Martha Jane Wilkerson, b. January 10, 1858, d. date unknown.
    iv. William Wilkerson, b. July 23, 1859, d. date unknown.
    v. Annie Mary Wilkerson, b. April 03, 1861, d. date unknown.
    vi. +George Wallis Wilkerson, b. August 18, 1862, Bedford, England, Alberta.
    vii. Harriet Fordham Wilkerson, b. October 25, 1863, d. date unknown.
    viii. Emily Wilkerson, b. March 28, 1865, d. date unknown.
    ix. James Wilkerson, b. July 22, 1866, d. date unknown.
    x. Katherine Wilkerson, b. October 21, 1868, d. date unknown.
    xi. Sarah Wilkerson, b. September 19, 1869, d. date unknown.

  3. :) I know this cause I am a direct descendant of George Wallis Wilkerson