PIONEER: William Lewis Wilson
RECIPIENT: John Wilson Irving Family (see below) - Hillsboro, Oregon
A pioneer certificate was presented to John Wilson Irving of Hillsboro in July of this year by the Genealogical Society of Washington County, Oregon.. He is a descendant of William Lewis Wilson.
William Lewis Wilson, a 13 year old, was on the Oregon Trail in 1845 with his father, John Wilson and mother Lucinda Wilson. This was the ill fated "Meek cutoff" train which was lost for six weeks in the uncharted lands of Southern Oregon during which time they suffered for lack of food and water; many of their cattle died and a number of the members were stricken with fever. When they finally arrived at The Dalles the father did pass away leaving William with his widowed mother.
Williamís sister Margaret was also on the trail, the wife of John S. Catching. The father of John S. Catching, another John, also died on the trail leaving four children, John S., James, William and Benjamin. The names of William and Benjamin Catching are well known in Washington County as early settlers in the Forest Grove, Cornelius area. Traveling with his mother and sister Margaret, William came down the Columbia River by flatboat to the mouth of the Willamette River where they were found destitute by Benjamin Tucker who had settled on a Donation Land Claim near Cornelius. He settled them into a small house on the Tucker farm, later owned by B.F. Clay, pastor of the Hillsboro Christian Church.
The following year Lucinda married David Hill, for whom the town of Hillsboro is named. David Hill is distinguished by his service in establishing the Twality Provisional Government and serving as one of its three member executive committee (replacing a position of governor), and for service on the Territorial legislature. He was also first local Tualatin postmaster.
Descendant of William Lewis Wilson, John Irving, received his pioneer certificate shortly before leaving for a camp out with his family at Odell Lake. With him he carried pioneer certificates for his three children and four grandchildren. These were presented to them as a surprise around an evening campfire.
John Wilson Irving family receiving pioneer certifacates at Odell Lake, July 2007
From left to right; Brandon M. Irving, Carol Ann Mizee, Grace M. Irving,
John W. Irving, David M. Irving, Isaiah C. Irving, Michael J. Irving, Ella M. Irving
The pioneer certificate program is a service of the Genealogical Society of Washington County, Oregon. If you can trace your direct descent back to a pioneer arriving in Oregon before statehood, February 14, 1859, you could qualify. Each stage of the descent should be proven by documentation. Application for the certificate must be accompanied by a $10. fee. Five dollars is charged for each additional certificate which follows the same line. For additional information and application blanks write to P.O. Box 2123, Hillsboro, Oregon 97123
Contributed by: George C. Williams, Chmn. Pioneer Certificates