Eleanor “Ellen” Wilson was born 4 December 1804, Pendleton County, Virginia to James Wilson and Elizabeth Hempenstall. While no birth certificate is available, Eleanor’s birth can be derived by her death record which gives her age at 76 years 3 months 6 days.
Eleanor is a widow by the 1850 US census in Highland, Virginia, District 25, Dwelling 545, and is given as the head of the household and a farmer with the value of holding at 2400. This seems well off compared to others He son Hanson died in 1853 at the age of 21 with no cause of death. It must have been a struggle for Eleanor and Harvey who would have been 19 years old at the time.
On the same 1850 census page is Jared Armstrong (brother to Willam), wife Martha Wilson (sister to Eleanor), at Dwelling 540 valued at 3000. Martha is already a confirmed descendant of James Wilson and Elizabeth Hempinstall on DAR record 310897 for Hempinstall. Just another connection validating this is the same family on both surname sides.
By the 1860 US Census, Eleanor is living in Upshur County, Virginia, with her son Harvey who is married to Margaret “Peggy” McCoy and they have two children. A sister, Mary McCoy, is also living with the young family. More research would be interested to see what happened to the farm in Highland County.
Eleanor is living with her brother Samuel Wilson, his wife Esther, and family who are also in Upshur County, West Virginia on the 1870 US census. Confirmation that Samuel is the son of James Wilson and Elizabeth is on his marriage record to Esther Blagg. This is additional confirmation that Eleanor is the daughter of James and Elizabeth and the same Eleanor mentioned in the will of James. Samuel and Eleanor may have moved to Upshur County because they had an older brother Issac who had 300 acres at dwelling number 1095 on the 1850 US Census and yet died in August 1850. Issac is also mentioned as a son in the will of James for further confirmation of this family as siblings.
By the 1880 US census, Eleanor is back in the same with Harvey and Peggy in Dwelling 10, Banks, Upshur County, WV, and is given as the head of household. Shortly after the census, Eleanor died on 23 April, 1881 in Upshur County, West Virginia. No cause is given on her death certificate. Her death record does not give her parents name but does give both places of birth as Highland County, Virginia.