While we know that she was born on August 4, 1834, her parents have yet to be found. Her death certificate names her mother as “Abbie Shean” from Fredrick County. Since Carroll County was formed in 1837, it may be that Ms. Shean was local to Westminster as well. Ms. Wilson may have been enslaved, as no records have been found for her before 1870.
Mrs. Wilson was married to a man named “Brown” around 1855, probably in Maryland. They had several children together. Their absence from the 1860 Federal Census implies that they were all enslaved at the time.
At least seven (7) children survived to 1880, when they were living next door to Elizabeth and her second husband, Simon Wilson. Mrs. Wilson had at least four (4) children with Mr. Wilson. By 1900, she had had 17 children, of which only nine (9) were still living. Childhood was a dangerous time in the 1800s, with many children dying of disease before the age of five.
Mr. Simon Wilson was a Civil War Veteran. Their marriage on the 9th of May in 1876, was his second marriage as well. His first wife, Matilda Howard, and he had at least two children together. Mrs. Matilda Wilson died in July of 1875. He earned his living as a woodworker and received his soldier’s pension. He died in 1902 and is buried at Ellsworth.
Upon his death, Mrs. Wilson filed for a widow’s pension for his service. She lived only another two years, passing away of dysentery in 1904. Unusually, her death certificate annotates her burial at Ellsworth Cemetery.
Mrs. Elizabeth Brown Wilson is buried in an unmarked grave.