David Willson 1778-1866


David Willson was born 7 June 1778 in the Nine Partners Grant, Dutchess County, New York.  He was the second son of John Willson and the first of his second wife, Catherine, “poor but pious Presbyterians.”  His father passed away at the age of 14.   Willson married Phebe Titus, daughter of Israel Titus.  Phebe’s sister had married David’s brother Hugh L. Willson.  Phebe was born 18 October 1777, a birthright member of the Society of Friends, and was disowned by the Creek Monthly Meeting 17 September 1794 for “going out from plainness and keeping company with one not of our society,” presumably Willson.  In 1798, David appears to have joined his brothers in purchasing shares in the sloop, The Farmer which sailed out of New York harbour for the West Indies.  In the spring of 1800, the elder brother, Hugh, sold his share in the ship and emigrated to Upper Canada to be followed the next year by David and the rest of the family.  Willson acquired a Crown grant in East Gwillimbury, Lot 10, Concession 2, in 1801, and remained on his farm there until his death in 1866

Willson, David and Phebe