Genealogy: Wilson Ancestor Profiles



John Windley Wilson, Sr.

The second oldest child of Wallace and Alice Brown Wilson, was born December 13,1911 in Philadelphia. He received musical training on the violin and played this instrument for most of his life. He graduated from Frankford High School in Philadelphia, and then went into the work force as did his older brother Wally since the Depression of 1929 has then begun to erode the family’s financial resources. He married June Sparks on July 6, 1940 in Manassas, Virginia. During WWII he worked for Martin Aircraft Company in Baltimore, where his oldest son, John Jr. was born in 1944. Shortly after John Jr. was born he and his wife, June Sparks Wilson (born Catherine June Reif), moved with their son to a house on Laurel Avenue in Pitman, New Jersey, and John Sr. began a 33 year career with the Socony Vacuum Oil Company (now Exxon) as a laboratory technician. In 1947 a daughter, Nancy June, was born, and then, in 1956, another son, Richard Edwin. John continued to play the violin and was a member of the Woodbury Symphony Orchestra. He was past master and secretary of Pitman Lodge #197 AF&AM; past treasurer of the Pitman Lodge; past High Priest of Joshua Chapter #51 of Royal Arch Masons; past Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey; member of the Van Hook Council #8 of Royal and Select Masons; and member of Knight Masons Southern New Jersey Council #11. Throughout his life he was an avid and accomplished tennis player who enjoyed the competition and camaraderie. With his son, Richard, he also spent time scouting (Indian Guides) and camping. Two years after his retirement from Mobil John suffered a stroke and died at age 67 in Underwood Memorial Hospital, Woodbury, New Jersey on June 13,1979. Services were held at the Harold E. Haines Funeral Home in Pitman, the Reverend Jack R. Van Ens officiating. He is buried in Eglington Cemetery, Clarksboro, New Jersey as are his wife, June, mother, Alice, and brother, Charles.

Wallace Wilson

Born February 6,1860 in the Radford Registration District of Nottinghamshire, England, the son of William Wilson, a porter in a hosiery warehouse, and Mary Elizabeth Mitchell. Although the exact date of his first trip to America is unknown, it is believed to have been around 1873. The 1880 U.S. Census shows Wallace, a 21-year old knitter residing with his aunt, Ester Osborn and her children in Philadelphia. Documented voyages of his into Ellis Island are 8/22/1906 from Liverpool on the Carmania, 7/28/1909 from Queenstown on the Oceania, 6/25/1913 from Southampton on the Oceania, 7/27/1914 from Liverpool on the Baltic, 8/17/1922 from Halifax, Nova Scotia on the Silvia, and 10/21/1924 From Southampton on the Munchen. On the 1909 voyage he was accompanied by his wife Alice, age 25, and daughter from his 1st marriage, Harriet Wilson. Wallace was an entrepreneur who prospered through his business, Wallace Wilson Hosiery Company in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. There was a big house in the Frankford area of Philadelphia, as well as a summer home in Rumson, NJ. Although he certainly believed that “kids were to be seen and not heard”, the nine children from his marriage to Alice were privy to many of the perks of an affluent family, including classical music study and training. Wallace and Alice were married on May 1, 1909 by the Rev. T.M. Eastwood in the 1st Baptist Church in Burlington, NJ. Witnesses to the ceremony were Alice’s parents, James Delano Brown and Mary A. (Redman) Brown. The marriage was not without problems, however, and Wallace’s behavior grew more problematic. The Great Depression was very unkind to Wallace’s business, and most of his wealth and property were lost during this time. In the early 30’s, his sons Wallace Jr. and John Windley assisted the remaining family, including their mother, Alice, in leaving the house and setting up residence elsewhere. Alice and Wallace did not live together after that time and were never formally divorced. Wallace died July 7, 1939 in either Rhode Island or Connecticut, and is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Frankford & Cheltenham Aves. in Philadelphia, Lot 32 & 46, Section K, Vault, with his first wife,  Carrie W. Wilson; his parents, William and Mary Wilson; sister, Harriet G.; and other relatives from his first marriage.

Alice Brown Wilson

Born August 12, 1886, one of 13 children, to James Delano Brown of Pennsylvania and Mary A. (Redman) Brown of Talbot County, Maryland. She was raised in Burlington, NJ and married at age 24 to Wallace Wilson, then 50. She and Wallace had nine children: Wallace, Jr., John Windley, Robert, James B., Ruth, Margaret, Alice, Dorothy, and Charles. Alice died March 31,1955 in Temple, Texas and is buried in Eglington Cemetery in Clarksboro, NJ.

James Delano Brown

Born October 11, 1845 in Frankford, Philadelphia, PA to John Brown and Margaret Delano Brown; married to Mary A. Redman, of Maryland, February 28,1878. James fought for the Union Army with Company K, 121st Pennsylvania Volunteers, and saw battlefield action at Fredericksburg, VA where he sustained a sprained ankle. His military records describe him at age 17 as "5' 9” tall, fair complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, and by profession, a machinist". After experiencing a series of debilitating illnesses (ulcers, migraines, rheumatism, poor eyesight), he received an honorable discharge for general disability. He later served with and retired as an officer with the Philadelphia Police Department. He died on January 31, 1927 and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Philadelphia, along with his wife, Mary, and children, Charles Edmund (b. December 18, 1902), Arthur Redman (b. November 4, 1890), and Edith (b. August 26, 1899).

Margaret Delano

Mother of James Delano Brown, and wife of John Brown, was born in Maine in 1806 and died in Phildelphia in 1897. Her lineage is linked to that of Sara Delano who was the mother of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but the exact connection is yet to be found. She is buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Philadelphia and her tombstone inscription reads "Margaret Delano, Wife of John Brown".

Mary Redman

Born in Talbot County, Maryland on January 5, 1863 and died November 4, 1938. The daughter of James and Arena Stapleford Redman, she married James Delano Brown February 28, 1878. The ceremony was performed by T.S. Tomkinson, Minister of the Gospel, Official Character. She and James first lived in Philadelphia, later in Burlington, NJ. She and James had 13 children, five of whom (James, Rosa May, Edith, Charles Edmund, and Arthur Redman) died prior to 1915. Two of Mary and James' children, James and Rosa May, are buried in the Redman Family Graveyard in Skipton, Talbot County, Maryland, as are Mary's parents, Arena and James Redman. Rosa May's obituary in the Easton Ledger newspaper reads: " BROWN, Rosa May at Tunis Mills on August 11th, daughter of James and Mary A. Brown, 2 years, 2 months", published August 27, 1885. The Redman Cemetery in Fike's Orchard (now a development) is very small with room for about eight graves. There used to be a wall completely enclosing the plot, but it was torn down by developers and homeowners have sodded over the graveyard itself. Legal action will be required to remedy this as James Redman had specifically mentioned in an 1860's bill of sale that it was to be reserved for the purpose of burial.

James Redman

The son of the Rev. Stuart Redman and Rebecca Allee, was born at Smyrna, Kent County, Delaware in 1807, and became a farmer in Talbot County, Maryland. He first married Mary Ann Valiant on June 30, 1829 in Baltimore, Maryland where Mary Ann was born about 1812. She died sometime prior to 1862 at age 50, and is buried in the Redman Cemetery in Fike's Orchard. On January 6, 1862 James married for the second time - to Arena Stapleford McQuay, a widow, and had the following children: Mary, Sarah Virginia, Rosa, Arena, and Rebecca. According to the September 21, 1880 Easton Star newspaper, James died September 5, 1880 at Miles River Neck, Talbot County, Maryland.

Arena Stapleford

Widow of Ephraim McQuay, a blacksmith, was born circa 1831 in Delaware and died at age 61 in 1892. She was the second wife of James Redman and is buried in the Redman Cemetery in Fike's Orchard near Skipton, Talbot County, Maryland.


June Sparks Wilson [nee'Catherine June Reif]

Born to Anna Catherine Lloyd Reif (7/4/1896 - 5/23/1923) and Frederick Reif in Philadelphia January 8,1917 and later adopted by Ralph D. and Ella Sparks of Philadelphia. June’s biological parents died when she was very young - Frederick first, of influenza (buried October 19,1918), and Anna Catherine of what is believed to be either stomach, cervical or uterine cancer in Philadelphia Hospital May 24,1923. After Frederick died, June was placed at about age 3 in the Baptist Orphanage in Philadelphia. Anna was pregnant with June’s sister, Bernice, when Frederick died. Shortly after Bernice was born, she was also placed in the Baptist Orphanage. Anna did not have the support or resources to provide for her children. Anna then met a man named Ed about which we only know that he was a fireman in Philadelphia. The week before he and Ann were to marry he was killed in a fire accident. Anna died in 1923. Both June and Bernice were adopted by Ralph and Ella Sparks, June first, then Bernice. Ella was secretary to the President of Temple University was on the Board of Directors for the Baptist Orphanage. Ralph managed the bookstore at Temple - both had been teachers before this. Ralph and Ella provided a good life for June and Bernice, but June, when asked, would say that she remembered her mother leaving her at the orphanage and watching her walk out through big oak doors. After high school June worked at Peter Paul Candy which is where John, her husband, met her. They married July 6, 1940 in Manassas, Virginia. June was a very artistic person and worked with oil, tempera and water color in her paintings; she liked to make collages out of discarded items and broken glass pieces from old South Jersey glass manufacturing plants. She also worked with “greenware” - pottery and ceramics - and offered ceramics and painting classes from the basement of her home. She loved animals, especially her dogs, but saw beauty in all living things. June enjoyed swimming with her friends at the Woodbury, NJ YMCA and had a great sense of humor. June died January 27, 2000 in Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. Services were held at the Harold Haines Funeral Home in Pitman. June is buried in Eglington Cemetery, Clarksboro, NJ beside her husband, John.

Frederick Reif

Husband to Anna and father of Catherine June and Bernice was born in Chicago c. 1893, died from influenza May 5, 1918, and is buried in Greenmount Cemetery in Philadelphia. He and Anna were married in Camden, NJ on February 27, 1916. Their marriage certificate lists his occupation as "Marine". Frederick was of German descent, his father being Gustof Reif and mother, Eunice Shulz. No birth certificate has been located yet and it is not known how he and Anna met.

Anna Catherine Lloyd

Anna Catherine Lloyd Reif, mother of Catherine June Reif (June Sparks Wilson) and wife of Frederick Reif of Chicago, was born July 4, 1896 in the St. Giles Registration District, County of London, England to William Lloyd and Mary Anne Williams Lloyd, of Wales, and arrived in America prior to 1900. Not much is known of Anna other than she had a very short life, dying in Philadelphia Hospital of what is believed to be stomach, uterine, or cervical cancer May 5, 1923 just prior to her 27th birthday. She was preceded in death by her husband, Frederick Reif, who had succumbed to influenza and died October 19, 1918. She was pregnant with a daughter, Bernice, at the time of Frederick’s death, and because of financial hardship put her oldest daughter, Catherine June, in the Baptist Orphanage in Philadelphia shortly after this. About a year later, Bernice was placed there as well. Anna met a Philadelphia fireman, only known to us as Ed, and they planned to marry when Ed was killed in a fire-related accident only days before the wedding. Shortly afterward Anna became ill and passed away in 1923. She and Frederick are buried together in Greenmount Cemetery in Philadelphia. Anna sang in the choir and played the organ in the Fourth Baptist Church and worked in a medicine packaging and labeling facility.

William Lloyd

Father of Anna Catherine Lloyd, was born June 23, 1867 in Dbolboeth Llanrhystyd Myfenydd in the Registration District of Aberystwyth, Sub-District of Llanrhystyd, County of Cardigan, Wales, one of eight children born to Thomas Lloyd (1827-1906), an agricultural laborer, and Catherine Morgans Lloyd (1829-1912)William was baptized July 28, 1867 in the Llanrystyd Church as were seven of his siblings - Daniel, the first in 1852, and Mary, the last, in 1874. He married Mary Anna Williams (b. 1870) in 1891 and resided at 21 New Road, Clapham, later living in 1901 at 20A Clapton Buildings. At this time William was father to three children: Anna Catherine, age 4; Winifred, age 2, and Letitia (Letty), aged 1 month. Later, a son, Thomas (Tommy) and daughter, Elsie, would be born. Thomas died a young child, having fallen out of a wagon and hit his head.