Posted in Sherry Lyn Carsten

On the hunt

Searching for your ancestors is like a big hunting expedition.  You dig & dig for the right information, only to find that the document or database that you thought would have the answers only had more questions.  I have come to that line… I am questioning everything we’ve ever known about William Preston Wilson Sr. who married Polly Chagum (daughter of James & Molly).  I found in an old document for Connecticut U.S. Pensioners, 1818-1872 a William Wilson, but all it says is “See previous book” – A LOT of help there, NOT!  I found a William Wilson in the Revolutionary War Pension Index on – that doesn’t give me a lot either just his name, state, rank, stipend and a number. UGH!!! This is getting frustrating!! LOL!!

I went to the DAR (Daughters of American Revolution) website, and found only one William Wilson in their database, and his birth & death date & places don’t match and his wife was Sarah Rust.  Whew, I’m off to check out the NSSAR website to see what I can find.

I wonder if William Preston Wilson was even in the Revolutionary War.  I am wondering if he was a white man at all.  I can’t find anything of his life before the Lighthouse Tribe settlement.  No parents, nothing in Fairfield at all, except a William S. Wilson married a Phebe Wilson on 16 Feb 1838 in Stratfield, Fairfield, CT.  My gut is telling me that William Preston Wilson Sr, was not white but that he was an Indian who could pass as a white man…. but, my gut has been wrong before, not often, but it has.

Much Love from Michigan, Sherry


Hi, I'm not really sure what to say about myself in here...but I love Genealogy & Scrapbooking. I've been doing my families Genealogy since 1991 and have been Scrapbooking since 1997. I'm a stay-at-home mom, I have two beautiful daughters.

One thought on “On the hunt

  1. One thing I would try to check into is his schooling – he was said to have an education – start with that. If Native American he would be in their schools … long shot but might help~
    Also in the book Legend of Barkhamsted and Satan’s Kingdom by Lewis Spragues
    He wrote this about Polly and William –
    Pg 109 #32: Wilson joined the Yankee Army
    So Wilson taught his wife to read,
    Then he joined the Yankee Army,
    And fought to have his country freed,
    Freed from England and her taxes.
    Polly Chaugham married Wilson,
    William Wilson, Bible Scholar,
    Read the Bible and wrote sermons,
    Daily prayed to Great Jehovah,
    William Wilson, strong and hardy,
    Loved the maid, sweet Polly Chaugham;
    Love his wife, dear Polly Chaugham,
    They had built a pleasant cabin,
    As this legend has related,
    In the year of sev’nteen sev’nty,
    Log house built of mighty timbers
    On the side of Ragged Mountain,
    Pg 110: In the little Light House Village,
    In the town of fair Barkhamsted;
    Built a fire-place strong and ample –
    Wood was plenty for the cutting
    William Wilson was not lazy,
    So he kept the home-fire burning.
    Often ’till the midnight hour,
    William Wilson worked with Polly;
    Taught her how to read the Bible,
    How to spell and write a letter.
    While they studied thus together,
    Dancing fire-place light was shining,
    Out between the cabin timbers,
    So the cabin seemed a light house,
    Flashing signals for the trav’ler,
    On the roadway by the Tunxis.
    Then across the lonely hill-side,
    Came the cry of “War and Battles,
    War at Lexington and Concord.
    People shot and killed in Boston.”
    William Wilson hated fighting,
    But he felt he would be needed,
    So he planned to join the army.
    With fond farewell, William Wilson
    Left his mountain home and Polly,
    Left the people of the village;
    Joined the Continental Army,
    In historical fight for freedom.
    Lonely Polly wrote him letters,
    Wrote to Wilson in the army,
    And her letters eased his hardships.
    Chaugham brought her wood for burning,
    Molly brought her fish and squirrels,
    And some yellow corn-meal puddings.
    William Wilson, Freedom Soldier,
    Wounded in the fray at Monmouth
    (Note from Coni – dated of fight June 28, 1778)
    Fighting in the Revolution.
    Lying wounded neath the cannon;
    Molly Pitcher gave him water,
    Dressed his wounded side and ankle,
    Knowing not his lighthouse story,
    Saw him only as a soldier,
    Bravely fighting for his country.
    For her deeds that day in battle,
    Molly Pitcher’s name was honored, –
    Soldiers called her “Major Molly.”
    Congress made her “Sargent Molly.”
    When the weary war was over,
    With a Continental Victory,
    Pg 112: Then came Wilson limping homeward,
    To his mountain home and Polly,
    Waiting in the lonely cabin.
    Joyous was the glad reunion;
    All the people gave him welcome,
    With a party in the village,
    Where brave Molly, Honest Chaugham,
    Let the cheers for William Wilson,
    Hero of the village people.
    As the years went rolling onward,
    William Wilson worked with Chaugham,
    Often preaching to the people,
    By the Boulder on the hill-side,
    Sacred Boulder on the hill-side,
    Held in high esteem was Wilson,
    By the people of the Village,
    But the loved the voice of Chaugham,
    And his kindly words of wisdom.
    Slowly onward rolled the seasons,
    O’er the side of Ragged Mountain,
    And the little Light House Village.


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