Wilmerton Family History

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If you see some information here that needs to be modified or if you have additional information on the Wilmerton family history, please write me at barbara@misslink.org

Our Lineage in a Nutshell

John (Bef 1648 England) and Elizabeth (b. Bef 1648) Wilmerton had a son named Atwell Wilmerton (b. Abt 1675), who came to the U.S. and married in Philadelphia in 1689. Atwell had a son he named after his father - John Wilmerton. John Wilmerton (b.1696 and married in Philadelphia) had a son named Paul Wilmerton (Abt 1726), who was born in Philadelphia. The son Paul Wilmerton had a son named Paul. F. Wilmerton, who was born in New Jersey in 1753. This Paul F. Wilmerton married in Burlington County, New Jersey, and had a son named Fenimore Wilmerton, who was born in New Jersey in 1787.

This Fenimore Wilmerton was the father of William Wallace Wilmerton I, who was born in Burlington County, New Jersey in 1822, married in 1849 in Rock Island County, Illinois, and died in 1908 in Preemption, Illinois. Fennimore Wilmerton's son, William Wallace Wilmerton I, who had moved away from New Jersey, was Dad's great grandfather.

This Great Grandfather was the father of the person we know as the Squire. William Wallace Wilmerton I at some point he must have lived in Baltimore, MD, where his son William Wallace Wilmerton II was born in 1861. This son, W. W. W. II, was Dad's grandfather. The Squire (Dad's grandfather) was married in 1878, had a son named W. W. W. III (b. Abt 1878) and was buried in Preemption, Illinois in 1936.

Since W. W. W. III did not carry on the name, his brother (Dad's father) Bert (b.1885) did it by naming our dad W. W. W. IV. According to relatives, W. W. W. III (Grandpa's brother) died in infancy. We have no birth or death record. We do know Grandpa Wilmerton died in Sonoma, California in 1943.

Wilmerton Genealogy Site

Our Direct Lineage
John Wilmerton Bef 1648-? England
Atwell Wilmerton Abt 1675-? England to U.S.
John Wilmerton 1696-1742
Paul Wilmerton Abt 1726-?
Paul F. Wilmerton 1753-1829
Fenimore Wilmerton 1787-1823
William Wallace Wilmerton I 1822-1908 Dad's great grandfather
Wallace William Wilmerton II 1861-1936 Dad's grandfather, the Squire
(William Wallace Wilmerton III 1878-?) Dad's uncle
William Wallace Wilmerton III's (1878-?) brother, Bert Wilmerton (1885-1943 Dad's father) then carried on the name:
William Wallace Wilmerton IV 1908-1982 Dad
William Wallace Wilmerton IV 1939-
William Wallace Wilmerton V 1960-
William Wallace Wilmerton VI 1989-

The Squire's Autobiography


An autobiography of William Wilmerton read before the Old Settlers' Society in Rock Island County, August 1902.

The following brief sketch of my life is offered without apology. I am now over eighty years old. In 1842 I came as a tramp to Preemption township without friends or relatives in the state of Illinois. My capital at that time consisted of $40.00 in money and ten thousand dollars worth of experience. For many days I worked for fifty cents a day and afterwards taught school for a time in the town of Richland Grove. Later I bought a surveying outfit and surveyed many lands in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. Was Justice of the Peace for 26 years and on one day disposed of 13 suits without attorneys or jurors. Served 24 years as a Notary Public.

From 1848 to 1852 I was associate County Judge and during that time bought what is now the Mercer County poor farm and also built the court house in Keithsburg. I also served as special Master in Chancery in a number of cases.

Was supervisor of the town of Preemption for 2 years and held the office of school treasurer of the township for 53 years. On two different occasions was called to Chicago to serve as a juror in the United States court.

During the Civil War I acted as president of the Union League of America, and at one time advanced $3,000.00 with which to buy goods for our starving soldiers in the rebel prison in Columbia, S.C.

When up for office in Preemption I have received all the votes in the township. In 1865 I secured a license to collect claims against the government and handled much money connected with those claims. I was licensed as a government attorney in 1866 and filed many applications for pensions.

Was secretary and treasurer of the Mercer County Coal Co. and was organizer of the Muscatine, Rock Island and Peoria railroad. Altogether I have settled eleven estates - eight in Mercer and three in Rock Island counties. Have served as director in bank and building and loan associations and have lived sixty years on land deeded to me by President James K. Polk. Part of the time I lived as a bachelor.

I was an original stockholder in the Chicago and Rock Island Railway company as well in Lombard University in Galesburg, Ill.

Farming, however, was always my hobby and I could always support myself on a farm. In one year I have sold enough produce from one acre of land to pay for 2 quarter sections of government land. I planted in 1849 the first Osage Orange hedge fence grown in Mercer County.

For a number of years it was my ambition to be the heaviest taxpayer in the town of Preemption. Next it was my ambition to be the heaviest taxpayer in mercer county, and I have got there with something to spare. I have now located my residence in the city of Rock Island and I also intend to be the largest taxpayer in this city. And if it doesn't rain I will get there. (He did).

[This handwritten note was on the bottom of the autobiography:] Uncle Roy went to school in Rock Island 07-8-9 & Squire died in that time.

Notes from My Dad

November 26, 1994

This is the transcript of a tape William W. Wilmerton, my father, made before he died. I sent the tape to Barbara Haas my sister, on this date. (Bill Wilmerton deceased)


This is in relation to a promise that Irene Alexander made that she was going to send me information concerning the old squire who was born in 1822. And in this description of his life, he went to live with a Quaker family and she was going to send me some information on that.

She never did. Maybe if you contact her, she might get that information for you. That would take care of that.

Now if the father of the old Squire, the old squire was William W., If Fennimore died when William W. was two years old, that would have been in 1824 because William W. was born in 1822. His death date was given as 1907. William W.'s death date.

I have a letter home that was written by a woman, who was the secretary of the Methodist church, in Preemption, Illinois. I can't remember her name offhand but I wrote to her concerning my birth certificate. When I went into Social Security. And in one of the letters that she wrote me, she made this statement, she gave an affidavit as to my birth, and she said that when I was born, which was October 17, 1908. I was born in an upstairs room, and the old squire was laid out for his funeral in a downstairs room.

So then he died, probably a day before I was born. And I was born October 17, 1908. So the old Squire didn't die in 1907, but he died in 1908. Around the middle of October. In Preemption, Illinois, in the house in which I was born. Now, I'll get you that letter from this woman, and I'll send it to you.

A number years ago, my mother gave me a little information concerning the Wilmerton family. At that same time, she gave a great deal more information concerning the Wilmerton family, to my brother Bert. Bert told me about this later on, that he had received news paper clippings, and other reports, - other information, concerning the Wilmerton family.

If you'll get in touch with Aunt Martha, in Coal Valley, Illinois, the chances are, that if she will look through Bert's things, she may find a great deal of information that may be helpful, in what your looking for now.

I know that the old Squire, left a quite a great deal of money, to his three sons. Now that includes, William W. Wilmerton the father of Bert Wilmerton, who was my grandfather. I don't know what happened to the rest of them. In this note we have here from Irene, she says that Frank Wilmerton became a successful real estate man and left an estate of $600,000, according to the news paper, at the time of his death.

William Wallace Wilmerton, the father of Bert Wilmerton, my grandfather, he became interested in Gold mines, in Mexico. And I remember when I was younger, we had many postcards, that were sent to us from Mexico, but there all gone now. He was taken - He bought some Gold mines that didn't have any Gold, and a lot of his money went to that. Now I know, that there was a time, when he was younger, that he bought a news paper, from a man, I don't have his name now, but he bought a news paper, from the publisher of the newspaper, in this town, I assume in the town of Preemption.

This man promised that he would not publish another news paper in the same town. He went to the other end of town, and took a building there and began to publish another news paper, in competition with the one he had sold to William W, the son of the Squire.

The result was that they met in the street, several times, there was a feud going on, there were shots fired, and I know that both of them were wounded. And I know that, William W. Wilmerton, my grandfather, he spent some time in the hospital, and I know that the wounds that he received in this feud, shortened his life, in the end.

Now I, think, that some of this information, was contained in those papers, that my mother had given to my brother Bert.

Of all the children, there was Bert, that was my father, he's dead. There was Edith, she's still alive, I understand. And she lives in either Gulf Port, Mississippi, or Galveston, Texas. She lives in either one of these. And of cause her daughters, I think they still live down there.

Then another one was Clarence. Clarence died in 1951. He died quite awhile ago.

And then there was Roy. Now Roy, I understand, is still alive. I think he lives in Iowa. He must be way up in his eighties. I'm sure that Aunt Martha would be able to give you information about that.

In this letter from Irene, she said that, she mentioned Burlington County, New Jersey. There's a map of Burlington County, that shows a plan of Wilmerton's, Deleranco lots. It's a little village. On the south there's Rankokas river. To the north west, there's Delaware river. Where the two come together, is Hawk Island. There were lots there that were willed to grandpa Wilmerton.

She said she found Karen, who ever Karen is, went into that area, and she found four Wilmerton names in the phone book, and they sent Christmas cards, but never got an answer from any of them. It might be worth while checking up, with the county clerk of Burlington County, New Jersey, to find out if you can get a plan that shows the plan of Wilmerton Deleranco lots, according to Irene's letter.

According to this chart of Irene's, and the letter that Irene sent, if William W., the old squire, received by will, these lots in Burlington County, New Jersey. Quite possibly, he received them, by will, from his father, who was Fennimore Wilmerton. In checking up here, you may find a clue, to more Wilmertons there, or another clue to a connection with the Cooper family.

Notes from Dad's Cousin Irene


This letter was sent to Mom and Dad by Irene Anderson in February of 1976. I've copied it as is.


Dear Bill and Helen:

How are you folks? I just got your address from Martha and have been working on the Wilmerton family tree, so will send you a copy of what I have. Some dates are incomplete and Martha did give me the names of your son William's children and Claire's, but I didn't put them down here. Also if I looked far enough I could find Edith Hull's children's names.

I will start at the beginning. G. Grandpa Wilmerton (1822-1907) his father died when he was 2 and he at the age of 6 went to live with a family by the name of Stokes that were Quakers, I will send you copies I have about him. [NOTE: See squire.txt.] His mother married a Riley then. His daughter Louisa I only heard of, but I did meet their son charles McDonald and his wife and son Charles, they lived in Wheaton, Ill. at the time and he was Postmaster, but have never heard of them since (1920). Flora Mcdonald married a Dr. and they lived in California (1926) and they had one son. She became a dope addict, but was cured and joined the Amee McPherson Temple out there and used to write us now and then in the 1926 I mention, I don't think we heard anything after that. Then Frank Wilmerton became a very successful real estate man, he left an estate of $600,000.00 according to the paper at the time of his death, he never married, and I never saw him. Then next is Grandpa W. Your father Bert I guess you knew came to Davenport in 1929 after all in the family thought he was dead, and Grandma and Grandpa sold their things at that time and talked of going to live with him, which never materialized, as he went to Arizona and they to Mississippi. He married again, but didn't live long. Aunt Edith married Dr. Hayes a dentist, they lived in Port Byron a while then went to Port Gibson, Miss. Elizabeth was the oldest and married and was divorced then married Hammett and they had one daughter. From all talk he must have been a successful farmer-stockman. He died while Edith was small and Elizabeth has worked for the Airforce in Biloxi, Miss since. Her daughter married Hull and had two children and was divorced and has married again, an Italian, he is a professor and she has taught and is now working on her masters degree in Mississippi. Clyde was in construction work and I really am not sure how many children there are, but have written his wife a few times and they were pretty much in college, and she works in a factory in Port Gibson. They were divorced and he has remarried and runs a tavern there, not to the family liking I gather. Robert I believe was in the construction business too, but he lived in Washington D.C. and he died quite young of cancer. Well now to Fern and I. My husband died of cancer and I married a man with 2 boys and a girl that are older than mine, there 8 grandchildren among them and I have the two. Kay lives in W. Burlington, Ia. and Karen in Beaver Dam, Wisc. Fern was divorced and my folks raised her two. Her son was divorced and the children are with her, [NOTE: "her" is crossed out and something else is written in here which I can't make out.], so I don't see them often, the oldest is graduating from high school this year I know, and the next one is living with Bob and wife in New York since last fall. Now to Roy, and he is as chipper as can be, and I think will be 88 this year. His wife died a long time ago and he married again. His daughter Helen was about 4 or 5 years younger than me and she died of cancer in 1973. The oldest boy Chris wrote at Xmas had married, but her husband remarried and the other boy is with them. Guess I left out that Fern had remarried to B. Lyon and he had no family. I guess that is about it, I am the only one that in a half-way keeps in touch with others. karen was in the East about 4 years ago and she went to the court house and got copies of some papers that gave me some information. She got four Wilmerton names out of the phone book and I sent a Xmas card with a note on it, but never did hear. I would like to go there myself, but likely never will.

I will just write what I have on Grandma Wilmerton: Her parents were Louis Brehmer and Caroline. They met on the boat coming from Germany and were married on the boat. They had five boys and three girls. Amos - he lived on a farm in N. Dakota and had two girls and a boy. Edward Brehme farmed near Taylor Ridge and no children, Oscar Brehme farmed at Conesville, Ia. and they had two sons, one a farmer and the other electrical engineer and retired now and lives in Florida, Eustus Brehmer lived in Milan, Ill. and had 4 girls and a boy, I never met them but two of the girls and really only lately, don't know why as they lived the closest. Charlie Brehme farmed in Coal Valley as you know and later married your mother. Then Lena Brehme married a Barton and she died when their son was a baby, the father married again and they lived in Matherville, south of the tri-cities, a girl Dolly, I am still working on, but best I have she died very young in a horse and buggy accident, she married though and had one or two sons, I hope to get more on this soon, then there was Grandma Wilmerton and you know the rest of that. Some of these spelled the name Brehmer and others Brehme. The Milan family is planning a potluck get together soon, they started before Xmas and then one of them died and just before that the brother died. If a person wants this kind of information you surely should start early.

I wish I had another copy of the map of Burlington Co. N.J. that shows "Plan of Wilmerton's Delaranco Lots" I would send it to you. You are more apt to get back to that part of the country than me. Karen said it is a little village, on the south is Rancocas River and then to North west is Delaware River and where the two come together is Hawk Island. The lots willed to G. Grandpa W. were on corner of Vine St. and Ash Street. Karen had no trouble finding them and took a picture of all things lost the whole roll of film, never done that before or since.

Martha said when she gave me your address that you sort of expected to be transferred so hope this gets to you OK.

Well, I will sign off, really not much special here, I applied for my S.S. last week, only 64 but don't expect to work full time anymore. I have three accounts I do at home on a monthly basis and hope to keep them a while. Hope you both are Ok.


(signed) Irene

402 S. Oakwood
Geneseo, Ill. 61254

Dates Mom Gave Me

William Wallace Wilmerton
Born: Oct. 17, 1908
Married: Jan. 20, 1931
Saved: Feb. 9, 1955

Helen Clara Wilmerton-Petry

Born: Aug. 29, 1910
Married: Jan. 20, 1931
Saved: May 1949 (Mother's Day)
Filled with the Holy Ghost: Father's Day 1949

Family Tree

This is arranged in columns by generations. [The name Barbara with the (asterisk) * is me.]
       			     )Louisa	  )Charles   )Charles
			     )N.J.McDonald)--------? )
		 William W.  )Frank
		 1822-1907   )---- 1922		     )Bert	  )
		 Rhoda Kelsey)Never married)Bert     )1907-1974   )Bruce
		 1824-1894   )Wallace W.   )18?-193? )Martha      )1945?
			     )1861-1936   )Norma B.  )1907-       )
		 Rachel	     )Anna Brehme )1885-1962 )	          )William W.   )3 boys 1 girl
		 1819?	     )1860-1947   )	     )William W.  )Dorothy
		 John			  )	     )1908-	  )Charlotte
Fenimore Wilmerton)1816?		  )	     )Helen	  )Claire
---- 1824	)Griffith	          )	     )1910-	  )D. Beam      )1 girl 1 boy
Permila (VanKirk)1813?			  )			  )Jean         )
---- 1863	)Richard F.		  )			  )G. Crossman  )3 girls
2nd marriage	)1810-1891		  )			  )Barbara*      )
---- Riley	)			  )			  )K. Haas      )3 girls 2 boys
		)Charles Riley		  )Edith     )Elizabeth
					  )18? - 19? )1911-	  )Edith        )
					  )Dr. OHayes)O.Hammett   )-- Hull      )a boy & girl
					  )18? - 19? )19? - 19?   )R.deMaria
					  )	     )
					  )	     )Clyde	  )2 boys? 1 girl?
					  )	     )May	  )
					  )	     )----
					  )	     )Robert-deceased
					  )	     )----     Children?
					  )Clarence  )Irene 1912  )Kay 1943     )Thomas 1965
					  )1885-1951 )R.Alexander )L.Haring 1943)Elizabeth 1968
					  )Laura     )1911-1954   )Karen 1947
					  )1888-1965 )A.Anderson  )N.Kitchen 1949
					  )	     )1903-19
					  )	     )Fern 1914   )Muriel 1935  )Michael, Shelly
						     )G.Samuelson )E.Asplund    )&Steve (twins)
						     )B.Lyon	  )Robert 1937  )2 girls,2 boys
						       		  )Joy	        )
					  )Roy       )Helen	  )Mary
					  )18? - 19  )19? - 1973  )Galen & Michael
					  )Eva Child )Hugh Metz   )
					  )18? - 19? )
					  )Chris 18?


Some Wilmerton Genealogy

Date: Sun, 29 Oct 1995 20:51:44 EST
Subject: Wilmertons


We do come from the same crew. From your Web site, it looks like you're continuing on in something like the Quaker tradition of our common ancestors.

I misspoke a bit by saying that I had the Wilmertons back to the 1680's. I'm almost sure they go back that far in this country (probably as Willmortons), but have never followed it up. Anyway, what I do have appears to be two generations more than what you have. It's set forth below, continuing through the present with my line of descent. In order to get it to send, I had to take out the hard returns--maybe you can insert them so the thing won't look as confusing.

It would appear that your Fenimore Wilmerton is a son of Fenimore Wilmerton who as shown below was born in 1787 and died before 1826. The 1826 will of Paul Wilmerton (1753-1829) gives $10 each to the "daughter and sons" of "my son Fenimore Wilmerton deceased" when they reach 18 (for the daughter) or 21 (for the sons). I have a copy of the will from the original.

I don't have anything on your line going forward in time, but would welcome anything you can transfer from a database if you have one. When did your branch of the family leave the Burlington County, NJ area? Mine never did except for me--I moved to Columbia, SC in 1972 and have lived here ever since.

Let me hear from you.
Ken Woodington

Mom and Dad's Marriage License

January 22, 1931
Helen C.PETRY, 20....3440 112th street, Corona
William WILMERTON, 22.....312 114th street,Corona

Source: 1931 Marriage Queens

Dad's Brother's Obituary

Bert Arthur Wilmerton - Born Oct. 28, 1907, in Preemption, Illinois. Married Martha Orman on Oct. 3, 1931, in Corona, N.Y. Died on Nov. 5, 1974, in Moline, Illinois.

Interment - Coal Valley Cemetery, Coal Valley, Illinois.

Had one son, Bruce.

Mom's (Helen Wilmerton) obituary
Mom and Dad's burial record

Helps for the family

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