Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia

AUTHORS NOTESDuring the past twenty years, the author has collected a great deal of information about the Filson family. Since a comprehensive history of the family is impossible with the data that are available, a summary of the information in the author's files is presented here with the hope that the errors may be corrected by persons who have more accurate information. Also, it is hoped that others who are working on their respective branches of the family will find some help in the information that has been compiled.
On the basis of present evidence, the theory of one common immigrant ancestor for the Filson family is not tenable. Such a theory is not adequate at the present time to explain all the miscellaneous information about the family that has been collected. However, with progress in the accumulation of family history and in the solution of perplexing problems of the origins of certain branches of the family, it may be possible for all Filson in this country to claim one John Filson of Chester County, Pennsylvania, as their common progenitor.
John Filson came from the north of Ireland to Chester County, Pennsylvania, prior to 1740. If there were other immigrants of the name who were not sons of this John Filson, no record of them has come to the attention of the author. John Filson was one of the numerous Scotch-Irish who settled in Pennsylvania during the early part of the eighteenth century. While the evidence for this statement is from secondary sources, it is so consistent that there can be little presumption of doubt.
The name Filson, especially in its variant form, Philson, gives
a clue to the origin of the family. Originally the name was Philip- son, and, as such was not uncommon in Scotland. The short form was used as early as 1469, when one Fergusius or Fargus Philsone resided in Aberdeen.(1) Many of the Scotch-Irish and lowland Scotch surnames end in son, and while the use of this patronymic is not exclusive with the Scotch-Irish, it is characteristic of many of their names.
The earliest references to the Filson family in this country place the family, for the most part, in East Fallowfield Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
*EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. John Walton was born in Fleming County, Kentucky. He received the degrees of A.B. from Transylvania College, M.A. from the University of Kentucky, and Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University. During World War II, Dr. Walton served as a Special Agent in the Counter-Intelligence Corps. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolu Phi Beta Kappa, and other patriotic and honorary societies.
252    The Filson Club History Quarterly    [Vol. 26

February, 1731/32, petitions were addressed to the court for a division of the township by the north branch of Doe Run, now called Buck Run, and the request renewed seven years later, but it was not until 1743 that the matter was accomplished. At the time of this division we find among the inhabitants of the eastern part the names of Blelock, Bentley, Dennis, Fleming,
Filson, Hanna, Hayes, and Mode ...(2)
The names of Will Filson, Davison Filson, and Samuel Filson appear as "East Fallowfield Taxables" in 1753, and the names of Davison Filson and John Filson as “Land Owners” in 1774.(3)
A third reference to the family from the same source reads:
About the year 1740, John Filson, William Hanna, Francis Boggs, James Blelock, and others residing in East Fallowfield Township and vicinity, erected a house of worship on the Strasburg road, in that township and were orgarn7.ed into a congregation under the name of "Doe Run Presbyterian Church" . . .(4)
On March 10, 1887, Mr. J. Smith Futhey, Chester County historian, published a newspaper account of John Filson, the first historian of Kentucky, and grandson of the first John Filson. In this account Mr. Futhey writes of the family as follows:
The Filson family were of Scotch-Irish origin, and on their emigration to this country settled in. East Fallow-field Township, at and around where the old Doe Run Presbyterian Church now stands, on the Strasburg road. The emigrant ancestor of the family in this country was John Filson, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He came over prior to 1740, as in this year he, and others associated with him, were instrumental in. the organizaof the Doe Run Presbyterian Church, and the erection of its first place of worship on the grounds, and to the site of the present church buildingsThis John Filson died in 1751.(5)
Since the traditions and such evidence as there is lead to the conclusion that the family is Scotch-Irish, a brief digression from the family history itself to the origins of this influential cultural group should be made. The name Scotch-Irish is misleading. It does not indicate, ordinarily, a mixture of Scotch and Irish. It is rather a convenient name for Americans whose ancestors were Scots living in Ireland before they came to. this country. Before going to Ulster, they were Lowland Scots, and were probably of the same stock as the English immediately south of them. Their
1952]    Filson Family    253

migration to Ulster and from there to America is one great chapter in the history of the Voelkerwanderung in the western world.(6)


JOHN1 FILSON, the immigrant from northern Ireland, died between September 3, 1748, when his will was signed, and April 29, 1751, when it was ordered to record at West Chester, Penn(e From this will, we learn that John Filson left a widow, Jane, and four children:
1.    Davison1 Filson.
2.    John1 Filson.
3.    William1 Filson.
4.    Margaret1 Filson.
That there were other children is shown by two deeds; one dated December 10, 1753(8) from Davison Filson and others to Samuel Filson, and the second dated June 8, 1767,(9) from William Filson to Davison Filson. These deeds show that, in addition to those named in his will, John Filson had the following children:
5.    Robert1 Filson.
6.    Samuel1 Filson.
7.    Elizabeth1 Filson (wife of George Liggett) .
8.    Jane1 Filson (wife of James Patton) .
The eldest son of John1 Filson was Davison1 Filson, who married, first, Eleanor Clarke on June 22, 1752, in Olde Swedes Church, Wilmington, Delaware; and second, Agnes Boggs, on February 9, 1768, in the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Davison Filson's will was proved August 23, 1776, at West Chester, Penn(11)


(1).DAVISON2 FILSON's children by his first wife, Eleanor Clarke, were:
1. John
3 Filson, born probably in 1747, died, unmarried, circa October 1, 1788; will proved November 28, 1788.(11) He is known for his early history and map of Kentucky,(12) and for his part in the founding of Cincinnati, where he disappeared in the Fall of 1788.(13)
2. Robert3 Filson. Family tradition(14) says that this Robert Filson married twice; that he moved to Franklin County, Penn; and that he had thirteen children (of whom later) .
3. Ann3 Filson.
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4.    Elenor3 (Eleanor) Filson.
Davison' Filson's children by his second wife, Agnes Boggs, were:
5.    Moses3 Filson.
6.    Jean3 Filson.
7.    Elizabeth3 Filson.
8.    Rebecca3 Filson, the unnamed child mentioned in her father's will, born in 1776:(15) married John Donaldson.(16)
(2). Robert3 Filson (Davison2, John1) (17) by his first wife, name unknown, had:
1. Davison4 Filson, born July 15, 1771, in Chester City, Pennsylvania; married Agnes Hindman, daughter of James Hind-man in 1793; moved to Franklin. County, Pennsylvania,('') and later, circa 1803, to New Lisbon, Columbiana County, Ohio, where he died December 25, 1840. He was for many years an elder in the Presbyterian Church.
2. James
4 Filson, lived and died in Path Valley, Pennsyl; served in .the Pennsylvania militia in. Cumberland County; according to family tradition he was one of the first builders of Detroit, returning to Pennsylvania before his death.
3. Samuel4 Filson, married Mary Liggett and moved to Somerset County ,Pennsylvania, circa 1800 ; later moved to Steu Ohio.
4. Jane
4 Filson, married Henry Biles in 1806; moved to Jefferson County, Ohio, in 1819. Henry Biles died in 1832; his widow moved to Steubenville, Ohio, in 1819, where she died in
By his second wife, name unknown, Robert' Filson had:
5. Robert4 Filson, married Elizabeth Snyder in 1804, and died in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, in 1839.
6. John4 Filson.
7. Joseph
4 Filson.*
8. William
4 Filson.*
9. Sarah
4 Filson.*
10. Elizabeth
4 Filson.*
11. Martha4 Filson, married Thomas Burns in 1815, and died in 1818.
12. Hannah4 Filson, married John Burkholder in 1812. They moved to Ohio in 1840.
13. Isaac4 Filson, married Sarah Strother.

* These four children of Roberta Filson moved to Westmoreland County; Pennsylvania, where they kept a tavern. All died unmarried.
    1952]    Filson Family    255

(1). Davison' Filson (Roberta, Davison', John') and Agnes Hindman had:
1.    Roberts Filson, lived in Columbiana County, Ohio, all his life and was a member of the state legislature for many years.
2.    Mary' Filson, married James Hamilton of ColumbiCounty, Ohio.
3.    Margaret' Filson, married Samuel Ubrey.
4.    Rachel' Filson, died unmarried in. 1872.
5.    James' Filson, died unmarried in 1861.
6.    Samuel' Filson, died in 1853.
7.    Jane' Filson, died in 1889.
8.    John' Filson.
9.    William' Filson.
10.    Martha' Filson.
(3) . Samuel# Filson (Roberta, Davison', John') and Mary Liggett had:
1.    Samuel' Filson, married Anna Starr, October 24, 1816; died in Steubenville, Ohio, 1867.
2.    Joseph' Filson, married Mrs. Hannah Starr Coulter, sister of the wife of his brother, Samuel. He died in 1841 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
3.    Stephens Filson, born 1805, married Henrietta Narcissa Orithe Filson, daughter of Samuel and Mary Cooper Filson of Kentucky (see page 262) .
4.    John D.' Filson, married, first, Hannah Wilkins, and, second, Rachel Johnson. He died in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1870.
5    Filson, eloped with a British officer by the
name of Calhoun about
(1) . Samuel' Filson (Samuel', Roberta, Davison', John') and Anna Starr had:
1.    Mary Jane' Filson.
2.    Hannah' Filson.
3.    Harriet' Filson, married John Jenkins, died in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1847.
4.    Eliza' Filson.
5.    Narcissa' Filson.
6.    George Buchanan' Filson, married Margaret Ar died in 1873.
7.    Martha Ann' Filson, born June 20, 1831, married Davison Filson on March 22, 1852.
(6) . George Buchanan' Filson (Samuel', Samuel' Roberta 'Davison2, John') and Margaret Arthur had:
        1. Samuel' Filson, lived in Atchinson, Kansas.

256    The Filson Club History Quarterly    [ Vol 26

2.    Lucy' Filson, married Durant Thomas    Oil City, Pennsylvania.
3.    Mary' Filson.
4.    George' Filson.
5.    William' Filson.
(2) . Josephs Filson (Samuel4, Roberta, Davison', John') and Hannah Starr Coulter had:
1. Stephen' Filson.
(3). Children of Stephens Filson (Samuel4, Roberts, Davison', John') and Henrietta Narcissa Orithe Filson (Samuel' Filson of Kentucky) were:    ,
1.    Mary' Filson, married     Davis.
2.    Samuel Joseph' Filson, born October 22, 1834, married Elizabeth Gordon on July 2 6, 18 57 (she was born August 4, 1839, and died February 24, 1899, a daughter of Joel Gordon of Edinburgh, Scotland) ; died May 8, 1889.
After the death of Stephens Filson in 1889, Henrietta Narcissa Orithe Filson married Jeremiah Hall of Flemingsburg,

Kentucky. (2) . Samuel Joseph' Filson (Stephen', Samuel4, Rob

erts, Davison', John') and Elizabeth Gordon had:
1.    Mary Belle' Filson, born May 29, 1858; married, first, Louis F. Metzger on January 18, 1883, and second, William A. Hazelrigg, August 5, 1888.
2.    Henrietta N.' Filson, born February 1, 1860; married Dr. B. F. Carter, October 24, 1878.
3.Margaret Ann' Filson, born May 24, 1862; died June, 1863.
4.    Harriet V.' Filson, born. August 7, 1864; married John I. Matthews, March 25, 1884.
5.    Elizabeth Gordon' Filson, born November 5, 1867; married Thomas F. Breen, October 6, 18 88.
6.    Clara Myrtilla' Filson, born December 10, 1870; married Jerome Wate Stuart, December 23, 1903.
7.    Fanny Fern' Filson, born August 20, 1873 ; marJ. P. Wood, February 18, 1898, died, September 1910.
8.    Candace Viola' Filson, born March 17, 1876; married D. W. Gardner.
9.    Alexine Russell' Filson, born March 2, 1879; married first, Charles Atkinson, April 17, 1901; and second, Frederick A. Ostermoeller.
(4) . John D.' Filson (Samuel4, Roberta, Davison', John') and Rachel Johnson (his second wife) had:

1952]    Filson Family
1.    Mary' Filson.
2.    Edward' Filson.
3.    Franke Filson.
4.    Ada' Filson.
5.    Ella' Filson.
(5) . Robert' Filson (Roberta, Davison''', John') and ElizaSnyder had:
1.    William' Filson.
2.    Josiah' Filson, born in Franklin County, Pennsyl in 1806; married Sarah Warden in 1825. In 1833 he was appointed by the governor as manager of public works of the western division of Pennsylvania, a position he held for nine years. He was a member of the firm of Bryan, Filson, and Lowe, manuof iron. In 1850, he went by the overland route to California where he was elected commissioner of Placer County. In 1862,.he returned to Steubenville, Ohio, and entered the Federal Army as master of transportation. After the war, he lived in. Pennsylvania, and in 1881 returned to California for two years to take charge of tunneling operations in Plumas County. He died January 12, 1885.
3.    Samuel' Filson, born in Franklin County, Pennsyl; married Elizabeth Miller; died 1865.
4.    Robert' Filson, married, first, Eliza Cavender, and, second, Harriet Triplett. He died in 1875 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
5.    Hiram' Filson, married Mary Layman.
6.    Jeremiah' Filson, married Nancy De Long; moved to Indiana in 1843.
7.    Snyder' Filson, married Kate Case, moved to Indiana.
3.    Charlotte' Filson, married Henry Hounstein, moved to Indiana.
9.    Sarah' Filson, married John Mish.
10.    Elizabeth' Filson, married John Kuhn.
11.    Malinda' Filson, married Nathan Highlands. (2) . Josiah' Filson (Robert, Roberta, Davison', John') and Sarah Warden had:
1.    Charlotte' Filson, born in 1825, married Henry B. Strayer in Pennsylvania in 1844, moved to Steubenville, Ohio, in 1851. Strayer died in. 1867 without issue. Charlotte later married Judge Lewis Browning of West Virginia, who died without issue in 1887.
2.    Hiram' Filson, born in 1827 in Franklin County, Pennsylvania; married Jane Underwood, daughter of Cyrus Unin 1850. He died January 21, 1885.
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3.    Davison' Filson, born June 6, 1829, in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, moved to Steubenville, Ohio, in 1848, and married Martha Ann' Filson (Samuels, Samuel4, Roberts, Davi John') . (19)
4.    Josiah' Filson, born April 27, 1831, in Franklin County, Pennsylvania; married Elizabeth Cable and moved to Meigs County, Ohio.
5.    Robert Warden' Filson, born August 6, 1836, in Franklin County, Pennsylvania; married Harriet Kelly. He died in St. Louis, Missouri.
6.    Mary Catherine' Filson, married William Stephens of Steubenville, Ohio, in 1867..
7.    Sarah' Filson, died, unmarried, in Steubenville, Ohio.
8.    Margaret' Filson, died, unmarried, in Steubenville, Ohio.
9.    Melinda' Filson, died, unmarried, in Steubenville, Ohio.
(2) . Hiram' Filson ( Josiah', Roberto, Roberta, Davi John') and Jane Underwood had :
1.    Jane' Filson, married Frank Woodward in 1874.
2.    Josiah' Filson, married Amanda Thompson, January 1, 1878.
3.    Amanda' Filson, married Joseph S. McKay, in September, 1880, and lived in Washington, Pennsylvania.
4.    Frank' Filson, died in infancy:,..
5.    Harry' Filson, died in infancy:
6.    Charles' Filson, born. March 12, '1864.
7.    Carrie' Filson.
8.    Bertha' Filson, formerly county superintendent of schools, Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
(3) . Davison' Filson ( Josiah', Roberto, Roberts, Davison', John') and Martha Ann' Filson (Samuels, Samuel4, Roberts, Davison', John') had:
1.    Anna' Filson, born May, 1853; organist in a Presbyterian Church in Pittsburg.
2.    Sarah' Filson, born in 1857; married E. B. Caswell of Fall River, Massachusetts.
3.    Charles Patterson' Filson, born in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1860; married Mary Priest, daughter of George Priest in 1888. He became distinguished as an artistdid the portrait of Edwin M. Stanton for Kenyon College.
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(4) . Josiah' Filson (Josiah, Roberto, Roberta, Davi', John') and Elizabeth Cable had:
1.    Charles F.' Filson, married Ella E. Aumiller.
2.    Frank S.T Filson, married Delilah A. Aumiller.
3.    Martha E.T Filson, married M. Vaughn Hay.
4.    Myrtle' Filson.
(5) . Robert Warden' Filson ( Josiah, Roberto, Roberta, Davison, John') and Harriet Kelly had:
1.    Laura Kelly= Filson.
2.    Harriet' Filson.
3.    Charlotte= Filson.
4.    George W? Filson.
(3) . Samuels Filson (Robert', Roberta, Davison', John') and Elizabeth Miller had:
1.    Odessa' Filson.
2.    John M.' Filson.
3.    Robert C.' Filson.
(4) . Robert' Filson (Robert', Roberta, Davison, John') by his first and second wives, Eliza Cavender and Harriet Trip had:
1.    Emma' Filson.
2.    Maude S.' Filson.
3.    Horace E.' Filson.
4.    Minnie' Filson.
5.    Mary E.' Filson.
6.    William' Filson.
(5) . Hira' Filson (Robert', Roberta, Davison, John') and Mary Layman had :
I. William' Filson.
2.    Emma' Filson.
3.    Jeremiah' Filson.
4.    Charlotte' Filson.
(6) . Jeremiah' Filson (Robert', Roberta, Davison John') and Nancy De Long had:
1. Charles' Filson.
(7) . Snyder' Filson (Robert', Roberta, Davison', John') and Kate Case had:
1.    Edward' Filson.
2.    Albert Snyder' Filson.
Information about the descendants of the seven other children of the original John Filson is meagre. Perhaps many of the Filson living in the United States today could rightfully claim descent from the first John Filson through these sons if the records were complete. Such information as is available is presented here with-out an elaboration of its genealogical possibilities.
2.    John2 Filson (John"), died unmarried in 1 75 0.(20)
3.    William' Filson (John') married Jane     ; died before March 12, 1768; had at least one son, John3 Filson.(21)
4.    Margaret' Filson (John') .
5.    Robert2 Filson (John') , married Jane     
6.    Samuel2 Filson ( John') , married Elizabeth     ; died prior to June 9, 1766.(22)
7.    Elizabeth' Filson (John') , married George Liggett.
8.    Janet Filson ( John') , married James Patton.
(6) . SAMUEL2 FILSON ( John') and his wife, Eliza
beth, had : (23)
I. Roberta Filson, mentioned in the testamentary records of his father as "eldest son and heir."(")
2.    Jane' Filson.
3.    William' Filson.
4.    Samuel' Filson.(25)
5.    Martha' Filson.
6.    John' Filson.
7.    David' Fiison.(2s)
8.    George' Filson. (2' )
9.    Elizabeth' Filson.
10.    Joseph' Filson. (28) _
11.    Benjamin' Filson. There was a Benjamin Filin West Cain Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania, whose estate was settled by Margaret Filson, probably his widow. She mentioned her sons, David and Samuel Filson, and a daughter, Betsy. Margaret's name was Bailey prior to her marriage.(29)
12.    Rachel' Filson.
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Samuel Filson of Fleming County, Kentucky, was born in 1757 and died September 15, 18 31.(30)
The place of his birth has not been accurately determined. Family tradition has. rather consistently given Chester County, Pennsylvania, as his place of origin. Tradition also has it that his parents died of a "plague" when he was nine years of age. Thus the date of the death of his father would coincide with that of Samuel2 Filson (John1) who died about 1766, and had a son Samuel3, as noted supra. However, the Samuel Filson who was born in 1741 (see note 25) is a more likely claimant to this identity. If Samuel2 Filson, Senior, who died in 1766, had eight children born after his son Samuel, as is given in Cope's genealogy, then his son Samuel must have been born prior to 1757, the date of the Kentucky Samuel's birth.
There are other traditions about the origin of Samuel Filson of Kentucky. Louis David Randolph Filson, his youngest 'son, reported in the Census of 1880, that his. father was born in Vir
(31) The only records of Filsons in Virginia are later than the time of Samuel's birth (1757) . Since Louis David Randolph Filson was only nine years of age at the time of his father's death, it is possible that this information is incorrect.
There has been a strange, will-o-the-wisp theory that Samuel Filson of Kentucky was born in Italy. In a letter dated August 25, 1914, from Mrs. M. J. Humphries of Blackwell, Oklahoma, to Mrs. John Walton (grandmother of the author), Poplar Plains, Kentucky, both grand-daughters of Samuel, the information was given that he was born in. Italy in
1757 and came with his parents to this country in 1759. Also in a letter, dated December 28, 1942, Homer Wellington Rotz of Helena, Montana, wrote the author that a member of the Filson family had been to Italy and had determined that the family came from there where the originame had been Philsonius.
    The most plausible theory is certainly that of a Chester County, Pennsylvania, origin. This theory is reinforced by the fact that a descendent of Davison Filson, Stephen Filson, married a daughter of Samuel of Kentucky, and there was always the assumption of a close relationship between them.
The available records show that Samuel Filson of Kentucky lived in Maryland. before going to Kentucky. One Samuel Filson served in the Revolutionary War from White Plains in that state. The record shows :
262    The Filson Club History Quarterly    [Vol. 26

Samuel Filson, Private, 7th Maryland Regiment EnlistedApril 18, 1778.
Sergeant, December 16, 1779.
Discharged, November 1, 1780.
The name also appears in a list of members of the lst Company, 3rd Regiment, on August 28, 1781, for pay due.(32) That this was the Samuel Filson of Kentucky is proved by the fact that he married Mary Cooper, a second marriage according to tradition, on April 1, 1800, in Frederick County, Maryland.(33) Shortly after-wards, he went to Fleming County, Kentucky, where he built his home in 1804. He became a large landowner, and in 1829 was appointed sheriff of the county.


SAMUEL1 FILSON of Kentucky had by his first wife (nee Heron, or Herron according to tradition) the following children:
1.    Elizabeth2 Filson, married Charles Cooper, a brother of Mary Cooper, the second wife of Samuel1 Filson, on February 6, 18 09.
2.    John2 Filson, died unmarried, at Iles Mills, Kentucky, at the' age of nineteen years.
3.    William2 Filson, born November 9, 1785; married Priscilla Thompson (born July 17, 1790, died October 3, 1874, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Rawlings Thompson) on November 26, 1812; died April 25, 18 74.
4.    Mary2 Filson, married Garrett Davis, January 20, 1807.
5.    Nancy2 Filson, married William Cline, February 7, 18 09.
By his second wife, Mary Cooper, Samuel' Filson had the folchildren:
6.    Samuel Vespasian Augustus2 Filson, born March 28, 1805; married     Belt, died in Bath County, Kentucky, April 4, 1854.
7.    Henrietta Narcissa Orithe2 Filson, born February 24, 1806; married, first, Stephen6 Filson, and second, Jeremiah Hall; died January 27, 1876.
8.    Ulyssus Apolatus Crockett2 Filson, born November 11, 1807, married Mrs. Grace McIntyre (nee Gooding) ; died in 1886 in Rowan County, Kentucky.
9.    Josepha Elouisa Jane2 Filson, born August 23, 1809; marAbraham Markwell, February 7, 1828; died 1880.
10.    Myrtilla Cornelia Amelia2 Filson, born April 18, 1811; married W. O. Phillips, on March 23, 1830.
11.    Clarissa Harlow2 Filson, born in 1813 ; died quite young.
1.    1952]    Filson Family    263

12.    Amanda Caroline Clementine' Filson, born June 24, 1814; married, first William Williams, and second, Hiram Bradley; died in 1870.
13.    Maxwell Robert George' Filson, born August 19, 1816; married Sarah Phillips, daughter of David Phillips of Mason Coun Kentucky; moved to Missouri, thence to Montana where he left many descendants.
14.    Evalina Belmont Villiars2 Filson, married Thomas Watts; died September 9, 1838.
15.    Ethelinda Julia Adelia' Filson(34), born October 15, 1818, married Benjamin Royce, a saddler of Ringoes Mills,. Kentucky; died October 15, 18 69.
16.    Louis David Randolph'_ Filson, born March 10, 1822, married Mary Jane Thompson (daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Thompson) on March 6, 1844; died November 12, 1888.
(3) . William'- Filson (Samuel') and Priscilla Thompson had eleven children :
1.    Mary3 Filson, born March 31, 1814; married     Boyd.
2.    Malinda3 Filson, born April 23, 1817.
3.    Washington Thompson'' Filson, born August 29, 1819; married Mrs. Susan Everhart Howard (born October 31, 1824, died May 16, 189 3) , on August 6, 1844; died March 24, 1909.
4.    Laurence T.3 Filson, born April 25, 1821.
5.    William Harrison' Filson, born June 6, 18 22.
6.    Elizabeth Jane3 Filson, born April 14, 1824; married William Buckley on January 27, 18 54.
7.    Emily3 Filson, born December 25, 1827; married CapBarney Haydon of the 10th Kentucky Cavalry, on February 7, 1850.
8.    Angelina' Filson, born December 19, 1829, died in infancy.
9.    Evalina3 Filson, born December 19, 1829; married Dial Williams on September 2, 18--.
10.    James Leonard3 Filson, born February 12, 18; marSallie A. Merryman, born in 1838.
11.    Henry Clay3 Filson, born January 16, 1834.
(3). Washington Thompson3 Filson (William', Samuel') and Susan Everhart Howard had eight children:
1.    Elizabeth- Priscilla' Filson, born September 11, 1845; married John Ernsberger, died December 14, 18 65.
2.    Mary Ellen4 Filson, born July 13, 1855; married David C. Paullin (born February 2, 1856, died April 10, 1924), died May 20, 1932, at Newkirk, Oklahoma.
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3.    James William' Filson, born either December 9, 1848 or November 9, 1847; married Mary Jane McElroy; died May 9, 18 87.
4.    David Louis' Filson, born March 13, 1850; died July 13, 1862.
5.    Joshua Leonard' Filson, born September 1851; marViola Wilson; died 1924.
6.    George Washington' Filson, born May 16, 1853; marJanette Edwards (born August 26, 1861) , on December 25, 1883.
7.    Samuel Laurence' Filson, married Addie Owens, September 18, 1883.
8.    Willard Frederick' Filson, born December 25, 1841; died May 11, 18 84.
(10) . James Leonard' Filson (William', Samuel') and Sallie A. Merryman had seven children:
1.    William Daniel' Filson, born January 15, 1859, died August 25, 1860.
2.    Thomas Anderson' Filson, born April 1, 1861, marSarah     (born October 28, 1863), on December 13, 1882; died August 15, 1910.
3.    James Henry' Filson, born December 27, 1862; died January 12, 1863.
4.    Francis Morton' Filson, born June 18, 1864; married Mate E. Dodge (born April 7, 18 68) , on April 23, 1890.
5.    Lucy Priscilla' Filson, born October 29, 1866; died January 7, 1870.
6.    Alfred Kennedy' Filson, born October 31, 1870; married Laura Singleton (born May 28, 1866), on May 27, 1891.
7.    Rose Mabel' Filson, born November 19, 1873; died March 20, 1880.
(2). Thomas Anderson' Filson ( James Leonard3, Wil2, Samuel') and Sarah     had six children:
1.    James Edwina Filson, born October 28, 1883; marLena Will, December 26, 1906.
2.    Rosa Aleda5 Filson, born May 28, 1885; married James Madison Hill (born April 28, 1874) on June 7, 1913.
3.    Irwin' Filson, born December 14, 1887; died May 2, 1888.
4.    Don Harrison' Filson, born May 5, 1890; married Mabel Kinsey.
5.    The Reverend Floyd Vivian5 Filson, Th.D., D.D., born November 15, 1896; married Wilma Hazel Nutt (born
1.    1952]    Filson Family    265

February 19, 1897) on May 1, 1920. He is a Presbyterian clergy man and Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Chicago.
6.    Wallace Theodore' Filson, born September 19, 1901; married     Price.
(4) . Francis Morton' Filson (James Leonard', William', Samuel') and Mate Dodge had five children:
1.    Edna Francis' Filson, born March 25, 1891.
2.    George Dodge' Filson, born December 31, 1892.
3.    Ruth Dodge' Filson, born October 26, 1895.
4.    Mary Louise' Filson, born May , 1890; married
George Clarke.
5.    Minnie M.' Filson.
(6) . Alfred Kennedy' Filson ( James Leonard', William, Samuel') and Laura Singleton had three children:
I. Edith Irene' Filson, born April 2, 1892; married Jack Rider.
2.    Hazel Vera' Filson, born June 28, 1894.
3.    Lee Otis' Filson, born June 28, 1894.
(6) . Samuel Vespasian Augustus' Filson (Samuel') and
    Belt had four children:
1.    Alfred Belt3 Filson, married Nancy Jones.
2.    George' Filson, died, unmarried, in the War between the States.
3.    Mary Emily' Filson, married, first, Sherman Bays, and, econd, Dr. William Conway.
4.    Evalina B.3 Filson, married J. B. Skinner of Bath County, Kentucky.
(I). Alfred Belt3 Filson (Samuel Vespasian Augustus`, Samuel') and Nancy Jones had three children:
1.    Sherman' Filson, died unmarried.
2.    Maxwell' Filson, died unmarried.
3.    Allie4 Filson, died unmarried.
(16). Louis David Randolph' Filson (Samuel') and Mary Jane Thompson had eight children:
1.    Othelia3 Filson, married C. R. Cline.
2.    Samuel' Filson, married Martha (Mc) Kissick.
3.    Jane' Filson, born October 15, 1886; died young.
4.    Daniel Boone' Filson, born in 1850; married Mary Johnson; died, March 14, 1933.
5.    Simpson Rigdon3 Filson, born 1855, died, unmarried,
August 14, 1911.

266    The Filson Club History Quarterly    [Vol. 26

6.    George Maxwell3 Filson, married Effie Corey, daughter of William and Tennessee Reeves Corey.
7.    William3 Filson, born about 1858, married. Elizabeth Davis, died in 1948 or 1949.
8.    Alice3 Filson, born 1860; married, first, W. S. Phelps, son of Major Johnson and Nancy Saunders Phelps, and second, Lewis Thompson.
9.    Allen3 Filson, married, first, Ida May Johnson of Fleming County, Kentucky, and, second, Emma Purdin of Purdin, Missouri.
(2). Samuel3 Filson (Louis David Randolph2, Samuel') and Martha McKissick had four children:
1.    Golla4 Filson.
2.    Edward4 Filson.
3.    John4 Stockwell Harmon Filson.
4.    Cenia4 Filson. (4) . Daniel Boone3 Filson (Louis David Randolph2, Samuel') , and Mary Johnson had two children:
1.    Maude4 Filson, born November 1, 1880 died May 31, 1900.
2.    Emma' Filson, born March 31, 1883; married Luther Pierce.
(6). George Maxwell3 Filson (Louis David Randolph2, Samuel') and Effie Corey had two children:
1.    Glenn4 Filson, born February 15, 1901; died August 7, 1911.
2.    Thelma4 Filson, married Leon Roberts.
(7). William3 Filson (Louis David Randolph2, Samuel') and Elizabeth Davis had four children :
1.    Samuel4 Filson, married Lucy Dickens.
2.    J. Blaine' Filson, married Emma Adkins.
3.    Ressie4 Filson, married Earl Price.
4.    William4 Filson.
   (1) Samuel4 Filson (William3, Louis David Randolph2, Samuel') and Lucy Dickens had six children
       1. Mabel5 Filson.
       2. Beryl Dean5 Filson.
       3. Kelly5 Filson.
       4. William5 Filson.
       5. Alma5Alma5 Filson.
       6. Ione5 Filson.

   (2). J. Blaine5 Filson (William3, Louis David Randolph2, Samuel1) and Emma Adkins had three children:

1.    1952]    Filson Family    267

1.    Cordell5 Filson, married Neva Pickrell.
2.    Elizabeth5 Filson, married Noel Walton.
3.    Glenn5 Filson.
(9) . Allen3 Filson (Louis David Randolph2, Samuel1) and Ida May Johnson had two children:
1.    Harvey4 Filson, born October 26, 1885.
2.    Lucy4 Filson, born     1888.
And by his second wife, Emma Purdin, Allen3 Filson had four children:
3.    Guy Martin4 Filson, born June 1, 1897; married Maria Reed at Tacoma, Washington, September 30, 1918.
4.    George Lorraine4 Filson, born August 7, 1895.
5.    Viva Maria4 Filson, born February 7, 1897; married James Henry Glasson of Rockford, Illinois, December 20, 1920.
6.    Eugene Bamford4 Filson, born April 2, 1903 ; married Alice McGinnis, January 30, 1926.


Much information about different members and branches of the Filson family that does not, as yet, fit into the general outline of the history of the family, has been collected. These data are presented here with the hope that members of the-family will find them helpful in completing their own lines, or in correcting errors in the outline as it has been developed so far.

Samuel Finsell

Several years ago, Miss Margaret J. Marshall, 223 South Sixth
Street, Philadelphia, sent the writer the following quotation:
John Georges, Secretary for the Proprietors of Pennsylvania, writing to John Taylor, Surveyor of Chester County, Pennsylvania, 14th May, 1735, says "Samuel Finsell obtained a warrant the 17 of March last for 200 acres between West Bradford and East Cain Township adjoining to Peter Biz [?] ... land, on which James Fleming has petitioned the proprietors setting forth that Finsell designs to take away his improvement which he bought of Thomas Worth; on which the proprietors order that the land shall be equally divided between Finsell and Fleming." (From "Family Data" Gilbert Cope Collection in. Pennsylvania Historical Society, Philadelphia.)
268    The Filson Club History Quarterly    [Vol. 26

This statement is taken by Miss Marshall as the first mention of the family in this countrythe spelling Finsell being a variant of Filson. If this assumption is true, the earliest known date of the family in this country is 1735. It is quite possible that this Samuel Finsell was Samuel Filson, son of John Filson, the immigrant.
Alexander Filson
In 1788, one Alexander Filson was taxed as a non-resident in Dublin Township, Huntington County (Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd Series, Volume XXII, page 354) .
Thomas Filson
In 1780, one Thomas Filson was listed as a private in Captain Robert Sample's Company, Tenth Pennsylvania Regiment (PennArchives, 3rd Series, Volume =II, page 382) .
There was a Thomas Filson in what is now Hancock County, West Virginia, about 1794. One Isabel Filson, perhaps a daughter of Thomas, born, March 10, 1778 ; died 1868 ; married Hamilton John Hamilton (born 1774) . (From a letter from Miss Virginia Titus, 279 Fourteenth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, dated September 2, 1936).
Jacob Filson
In 1780, one Jacob Filson was listed as owning seventy acres of land in Pikeland Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. (Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd Series, Volume 25, page 271) .

Robert Filson
There are numerous references to Robert Filson in the PennsylArchives. Since there were so many different persons by this name among the early generation of the family, it is difficult to identify all the references. John Filson, the immigrant, had a son Robert as did his sons Davison and Samuel.
One Robert Filson moved to Bedford County where he was commissioned a brigadier-general of the Second Brigade in the Tenth Division composed of the militia of the counties of Bedford, Fayette, and Somerset, on May 9, 1800. (Pennsylvania Archives; sixth Series, Volume IV, page 755) .
Family data of another Robert Filson have been provided the author by a descendant.
Robert' Filson, born November 14, 1814; married Alice Bryant
1952]    Filson Family    269

(born August 2, 1817, died 1896) in 1830; died August 30, 1896. Their children were :
1.    Mary Janet Filson, born September 12, 1836.
2.    James McDonald' Filson, born December 20, 1839, died March 30, 1843.
3.    Nancy Margaret` Filson, born February 19, 1841.
4.    Elizabeth F.2 Filson, born May 10, 1844.
5.    Sarah' Filson, born October 4, 1846.
6.    John Thomas' Filson, born January 25, 1848; died June 23, 1927; married Matilda Preston Stover (born May 8, 1852; died July 3, 1928) on October 8, 1872.
7.    George Robert' Filson, born July 6, 1850.
8.    William F.2 Filson, born January 28, 1853.
9.    Charles R.2 Filson, born June 1, 1855; died September 30, 1861.
10.    Luther E.' Filson, born November 6, 1857.
(6). John Thomas' Filson (Robert') and Matilda Preston Stover had:
1.    Robert Edgar3 Filson, born July 8, 1873; married Eva
Murrill Paul (born July 30, 1880) on June 12, 1901.
2.    William D.3 Filson, born December 26, 1.875; died 1876.
3.    Cora Jane3 Filson, born June 18, 1877.
4.    Ernest3 Filson, born August 26, 1879.
5.    Charles Oscar3 Filson, born January 7, 1881; died December 7, 1913.
6.    Claude Hughes3 Filson, born August 18, 18 84. (1) . Robert Edgar3 Filson ( John Thomas', Robert') and Eva Murrill Paul had:(35)
1.    Robert Edgar4 Filson II, born April 30, 1880.
2.    Evelyn4 Filson, born November 29, 1904.

James Filson

Associated with Samuel Filson in both Maryland and Kentucky was one James Filson, whose connection with any other Filson is unknown. This James Filson was a private in the Maryland Troops in. Continental Service and on 25th May 1778, was listed as having deserted from the hospital (Records of Maryland Troops. in Continental Service during the War of the American Revolu.
The will of James Philson, dated April 17, 1824, is on record in the Clerks Office of Fleming County, Flemingsburg, Kentucky (Book C., page 161) . In this will, he mentions his daughters, Fannie McIlvaine, Patsey Reeves, and two other heirs now living."
270    The Filson Club History Quarterly    [Vol. 26
From the marriage records in the Fleming County Court House, Flemingsburg, Kentucky:
John Glover married Patsy Filson, July 20, 1809.
James McKissick married Elizabeth Filson, daughter of James Filson, September 13, 1820.
Solomon Mcllvaine, married Fannie Filson, July 6, 1803.

David Philson
The United States Census of 1790 (page 33) lists a David Phil-son in Province Town, Rhode Island.

Elizabeth Philson
December 5, 1790, William Mary Ellit married Elizabeth PhilReverend John AldersonLinvill Creek Baptist Church, Rockingham County, Virginia and Greenbrier Baptist Church, Alderson, West Virginia.
John Filson
John Filson, born February 6, 1770; married Jemima Benton, May 25, 1799; had son Thomas Filson, born December 24, 1806; died January 25, 18 8 9Berkeley County, West Virginia. (Letter from Mrs. Archibald O. Black, 2115 Scottwood Avenue, Toledo, Ohio) .
Robert Philson
There was a Robert Philson, Senior, and a Robert Philson, Junior in Berkeley County, West Virginia, during the Revoluntionary
War. (36)
Somewhere in a list of Revolutionary soldiers, the author re-members seeing this Robert Philson, Senior, listed as having been born in Ireland. In that event, he could still have been the son of the first John of Chester County, who came to this country with a family including a Robert, or he could have been a direct immigrant.
1 For the origin of the name, see The Surnames of Scotland by George Fraser Black, New York Public Library, 1946, New York, p. 660.
2 Futhey, J. Smith, and Gilbert Cope, History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, 1881, Philadelphia, pp. 175-176.
3 Ibid., p. 176.
4 Ibid., p. 252.
5 The Village Record, March 10, 1887, West Chester, Pennsylvania. 8 For further information about the Scotch-Irish see:
Bolton, Charles Knowles, Scotch-Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America, Bacon and Brown, 1910, Boston.
1952]    Filson Family    271
Dunaway, Wayland F., The Scotch Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania, University of North Carolina Press, 1944, Chapel Hill.
Ford, Henry James, The Scotch Irish in America, Princeton University Press, 1913, Princeton.
Glasgow, Maude, The Scotch-Irish in Northern Ireland and in the American Colonies, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1.936, New York.
Hanna, C. A., The Scotch-Irish, 2 volumes, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1902, New York.
Toynbee, Arnold J.,
A Study of History, Vol. II, Oxford University Press, 1948, London, pp. 309-313.
7 Will Book "C" (Volume 3) , pp. 278-281, West Chester, Pennsylvania. 3 Deed Book 2, p. 85.
91bid., pp. 154-156.
Will Book "F" (Volume 6) , pp. 194-196. West Chester, Pennsylvania.
11 Will Book "H" (Volume 8) , pp. 261-262. West Chester, PPnnsylvania.
12 The Discovery, Settlement, and Present State of Kentucky, 1784, printed by James Adams of Wilmington, Delaware: map engraved on a copper plate by Henry D. Pursell of Carter's Alley, and printed in 1784 by Ternon Rook of 171 South Second Street, Philadelphia. The Filson Club, Louisville, Kentucky, was named in honor of this John. Filson.
13 For further reference to John. Filson, the historian, see Durrett, Reuben T., John Filson, the First Historian of Kentucky, Filson. Club Publications No. 1, 1884, Louisville; and Wilson, Samuel L., "John Filson in Pennsylvania," The Filson Club History Quarterly, Louisville, Kentucky, October, 1939, pp. 179-201.
14 Around 1900, Davison Filson of Steubenville, Ohio, compiled a list of descendants of this Robert Filson. The sources for his information are not always given.
15 Orphans Court Record, Volume 8, page 39, dated 15 January, 1779, New Castle, Delaware.
26 From information sent by Miss Margaret J. Marshall, (a descendant) , 223 South Sixth Street, Philadelphia.
17 The information given here about the descendants of Robert Filson is taken from the records of Davison Filson of Steubenville.
13 This man is possibly the Davidson Filson mentioned in a return of officers in. the militia of the County of Franklin, dated March 14, 1798. Lieutenant Davidson Filson, 8th Company. Pennsylvania Archives, Sixth Series, Volume IV, page 11.
19 For further information about Davison6 Filson, see Howe's Historical Colof Ohio, 1383, Volume 1, page 973.
20 Will dated May 2, 1750; proved October 1, 1750. Will Book 3, page 314, West Chester, Pennsylvania.
21 Deed from Davison Filson and wife to Samuel Filson, dated December 10, 1753, and recorded August 23, 1786. Deed Book "B-2" (Volume 26), pp. 85-88.
22 File No. 2268 in the Office of the Register of Wills; Deed Book "B-2", (Volume 26) pp. 88-91. Also one Samuel Filson was taxed in East Fallowfield Township for 190 acres in 1766. Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd Series, Volume XI, p. 148.
23 These names were obtained from. Cope's Genealogy in the Pennsylvania Historical Society in Philadelphia and sent to the author by Miss Margaret J. Marshall of that city.
24 File No. 2268 in the Office of the Register of Wills. See page XII, note
26 One Samuel Filson is mentioned in a return of Captain Robert Boyd's Company, May and June, 1759, age 18, born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Tailor. (Pennsylvania Archives, Fifth Series, Volume 1, p. 292.) Since this Samuel was born in 1741, he could not have been the Samuel (son of John, the immigrant) who died intestate in 1766. The latter Samuel had a son old enough to be appointed administrator of his estate at the time of his death. He must be looked on as identical with the Samuel mentioned above or as a son of Robert or William Filson, both sons of the first John Filson.
There was a Samuel Filson in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1790. (U. S. Census for Pennsylvania, 1790, page 77.)
28 The pension applications from Berks County show that on January 9, 1798, Catherine Filson, widow of David Filson, testified that her husband, David Filson, was a Lieutenant in Company of Foot in the Sixth Battalion of Militia in Philadelphia County. Pennsylvania Archives, Fifth Series, Volume IV, page 506.
Petition by the same person from Montgomery County states that David Filson died of wounds received in actual service of the United States at Potts-town sometime in March, 1778. Ibid., page 545.
David Filson was listed as sergeant, January 5, 1776, to November 25, 1776, Second Pennsylvania Battalion, Ibid., Volume II, page 110.
Approval of the account of Catherine Filson, widow of David Filson, late first lieutenant in the Militia of the County of Philadelphia, for a pension from March, 1778, to September, 1790. January 20, 1791. Ibid., Sixth Series, Volume IV, page 3.
27 A George Filsin was listed as a private in Captain William Wilson's Company; the record further shows that he was shot through the left leg at Trenton, January 2, 1777, and that he resided in Chester County in 1785. Pennsylvania Archives, Fifth Series, Volume II, page 719.
28 The following references to the Joseph Filson are found in the Pennsylvania Archives:
Joseph Filson, Private, 8th Battalion, Chester County Militia, 1771, 1781. 5th Series, Volume V, pp. 461, 800, 805, 815.
Joseph Filson, Ensign, 4th Regiment, Light Infantry, Militia Officers in Chester County, July 15, 1799, 6th Series, Volume IV, page 740.
Joseph Philson, Private, 147th Regiment, First Brigade, 11th Division, 16 June, 1812, Sixth Series, Volume VII,
page 660.
Joseph Filson, Singleman, East Fallowfield, 1779, Third Series, Volume XII, page 168.
Joseph Filson, Freeman, East Fallow-field, 1780, Third Series, Volume XII, page 267.
Joseph F
ilson, Cordwainer, East Fallowfield, 1781, Third Series, Volume XII, pages 377, 630.
29 Will Book "2" (Volume II) , page 134. See also, Wilson, Samuel L., op. cit., page 189; and Pennsylvania Archives, Third Series, Volume XII, page 283.
30 The following inscription is copied from his gravestone in the Filson burying ground on Fox Creek in Fleming County, Kentucky:
1952]    Filson Family    273

In. Memory of
Samuel Filson

Departed this life September 15, 1831 in

the 74th year of his age.
My race is run, my glass is done
My resting place is here
This rock was got to mark the spot
Fear man should dig too near.

31 U. S. Census, 1880, for Fleming County, Kentucky; Hillsboro Precinct.
32 Records in the Military Department, State of Maryland, Annapolis, and the War Department Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D. C.
33 Brumbaugh, Gaius Marcus, Maryland Records, Volume II, Lancaster, Penn 1928, page 510.

34 Benjamin and Ethelinda Julia Adelia Filson Royce had three children:

1.    Josephine Royce, born April 15, 1845 ; married Avery Littleton.
2.    Juelda Royce, born June 6, 1848; married John Walton (son of Royce and Mary Rawlings Walton) ; died, August 4, 1934. Juelda was the grandmother of the author of this article.
3.    Henrietta Royce, born September 16, 1854, married Preston Rawlings. 36 From a. letter from Mr. Robert E. Filson, 1900 Dorothy Avenue, Louis Kentucky, dated December 2, 1932.
36 Reddy, Ann Waller, West Virginia Revolutionary Ancestors, Richmond, 1930, page 62.