Zaccheus Wilson, Jr.

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About Zaccheus Wilson, Jr.

A Patriot of the American Revolution for NORTH CAROLINA. DAR Ancestor # A127922

Zaccheus Wilson (1733-1824) was a Signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence

parents: Zaccheus Wilson Sr. 1713-June 3, 1796


  • Robert, migrated from Mecklenburg Co, NC to Sumner County, TN
  • Samuel; m. Knox
  • David (Major); m. McConnell, migrated from Mecklenburg Co, NC to Sumner Co, TN
  • first wife: Elizabeth Conger Ross had two sons: John and Jonathan
  • second wife: Keziah (Alexander?) [source: Carole Myers,]

Wilson spent his formative years in Cumberland County, PA and later Cecil County, Maryland. When his family arrived in Mecklenburg County, NC, in the 1750s, they first settled in the area near Poplar Tent Presbyterian Church.

Scott Syfert [The First American Declaration of Independence? McFarland Press, 2014, p. 33) believes he was a follower of Rev Alexander Craighead who moved down the Shenandoah Valley and led the Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church congregation in Mecklenburg County, NC.

  • served as an elder in Steele Creek Baptist Church [according to Daniel Patterson, 2012]
  • witnessed wills in Mecklenburg in 1772 (Samuel Brown), 1787 (Thomas Nickel); served as co-executor of estates of Aaron Alexander (1771, prob. Zaccheus Wilson Sr.), John Clark (1783) [source: Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Abstracts of Early Wills, 1763-1790 abstracted by Brent Holcomb]
  • fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain, was captain of the militia in his home district
  • served in the Mecklenburg Convention of 1775 and signed the Mecklenburg Declaration May 20, 1775
  • served as a delegate to the state convention in Halifax, NC, in April 1776 to work with other leaders to establish a new state.
  • served in the Provincial Congress November 1776
  • a delegate to the North Carolina Convention of 1788 that insisted upon a Bill of Rights as a condition for approving the proposed Constitution of the U.S. [source: Daniel W. Patterson, The True Image, 2012, UNC Press, p. 438, fn 65]

He was a surveyor for Cabarrus County (1792) until he moved to Tennessee in 1798. Lizzie Conger Ross, his wife (the widow of Nicholas Ross), had died in 1796. Wilson died near Gallatin, Tennessee, in 1824.

Colonial records show that Zaccheus was appointed a Commissioner to build a courthouse east of Charlotte. The General Assembly killed the bill when they found out a courthouse had already been built in Charlotte.

Another source: King, Victor C. Lives and Times of the 27 Signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of May 20, 1775. Charlotte, NC, 1956.

Comments on Zaccheus Wilson, Signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence

The Democrat. McKinney, Texas, Thursday, March 11, 1897

T. B. Wilson's Old Compass

McKinney Tex. Feb-27--(To The News)--I see in the Morning News of 26th instant that Mr. T. C. Hogan of Ennis thinks that he has the oldest surveyor's compass in the state. I would dispute this honor with him. I have an old compass and box of platting instruments that fell into the hands of the Americans at King's Mountian, N. C., in 1780. There is no date on the instrument, but, like Mr. Hogan's, were made in London, and has the maker's name on them. "B. Martin, London." Now a history of them as handed down by my ancestors may not be amiss in this connection. My great-grandfather, Zaccheus Wilson belonged to one of the whig clans, as they were in North Carolina when Gen. Ferguson was overrunning that country and was with Williams at King's Mountain, when the whole British force, with their plunder, fell into the hands of the Americans, and as there was rather lax army rules among the Americans, all property captured was divided between the participants. My great-grandfather was a surveyor, and this old compass and instrument naturally went to him. He did work with them in North Carolina, then in Tennessee, where he went in 1796. They went to my grandfather Jonathan Wilson and were given to my brother George A. Wilson, who came to Texas in 1844. He did some work with them, but as much better instruments had taken the place of the old ones, they became useless, and are only held as heirlooms in the family. When my brother died the old compass and platting instruments naturally came to me, as I was a surveyor.

T. B. Wilson

From records in the McKinney Public Library, research and transcribed by Kenneth Cole, Jr., great-grandson of T. B. Wilson. McKinney, Texas July 24, 1993. Zaccheus can be found in the ahnentafel on his web site:

Zaccheus 1735-l824 married Elizabeth (Conger) Ross 1730-1796 daughter of John Conger and wife, Zipporah.

11/9/1951 application for membership to Sons of the American Revolution for Arthur G.R. Griffiths
Zaccheus and Elizabeth Conger Ross Wilson--> Steven Wilson and Mary McElrath--> Steven Randolph Wilson and Laura Ann Nettles--> Jennie Scott Wilson m. Andrew G. Griffiths


Before 1753, Zaccheus Wilson 1706-1789 and Frances large family left Pa. moving in a large wagon train southward down the Shenandoah Valley jolting across the valley of Virginia into the Yadkin-Catawba Rivers basin west central N. Carolina - a distance of 435 miles on the Great Wagon Road. They made their home in the Poplar Tent region of Mecklenburg Co., NC. Their children are: Samuel, Robert, Zaccheus, David, Elizabeth, Mary & Martha. They took part in the Revolutionary War.

There is a recent (August 2012) long and contentious discussion on the Wilson Family Genforum ( about the Zaccheus Wilson family.

In the article below, there seems to be confusion between Zaccheus Sr and Jr. Other sources assert that it was the younger Zaccheus Wilson who signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. --PW

The Wilson Family

Written by Jay Guy Cisco
From Historic Sumner County, Tennessee; 1909 Retyped for the page by Diane Payne and Danene Vincent, 1999

Prominent among the early settlers of Sumner County was the WILSON family.

Zaccheus WILSON was one of three brothers who removed from Pennsylvania and settled in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, about 1760. At that time of the Mecklenburg Convention, May 20, 1775, he was present and signed the Mecklenburg Declaration, pledging himself and his extensive family connection to its support and maintenance. He was a member of the Convention that formed the State Constitution of North Carolina in 1776. He was a man of liberal education, and very popular in the county in which he lived. His family were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians.

His eldest brother, Robert, removed with him to Tennessee, and to Sumner County soon after the close of the Revolutionary War.

Zaccheus lived to an advanced age, and lies buried in an unmarked grave about one half mile south of Gallatin on the old cotton factory grounds.

Samuel WILSON married Miss. KNOX, daughter of Captain Patrick KNOX, who was killed at the battle of Ramseurs Mill.

Major David WILSON, brother of Zaccheus, a native of Pennsylvania, was an officer of the War of Independence, and for his service received from the State of North Carolina, a track of land in Sumner County, Tennessee, where he settled. He was a member of the Territorial Assembly in 1794, and was the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was a magistrate of Sumner County as early as 1787. His residence was about two miles east from Gallatin. He was a valuable member of the new settlement, and took an active part in all public affairs and in the Indian wars. Wilson County was so named in his honor. He married Sallie MCCONNELL, sister of General James WHITE the father of Hugh Lawson WHITE. His remains lie in an unmarked grave near Gallatin.

Pierce's Register APPENDIX , page 485. Reference Pages: 234. Manuscript Pages: Zaccheus Wilson, signer of Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence; member of provincial Congress of 1776, etc. Found online at

Wilson was a surveyor, and was an elder in the Steele Creek Church in 1767, a member of the Mecklenberg Convention in May, 1775, a member of the Provincial Congress in 1776, was a captain at King's Mountain, where, among the plunder which was assigned to the different officers was a surveyor's compass and instruments, which were presented to him and are among the relics of his descendants now. He was a member of the North Carolina Convention of 1788, for thi reconsideration of the Federal Constitution. When Caburrus county was set off from Mucklenberg, in 1792, he was chosen county surveyor. After the loss of his wife, in 1796, he moved to Sumpter County, Tenn., where his brother, Major David Wilson, already resided. Just prior to his departure he visited his step-daughter, Mrs. Morgan, and the following is related by Rev. N. H. Morgan in regard to that visit:

"The last night he spent with us, I slept with him, aud about midnight the wolves raised a furious howling around the cow-pen. The old gentleman went out and chased them away, and I as a mere lad remember how I trembled lest he should be devoured."

Capt. Wilson settled at Gallatin, Tenn., where he died in 1824.


  1. A RECORD OF THE DESCENDANTS ISAAC ROSS and JEAN BROWN, Compiled by Anne Mims Wright, Jackson, MS, 1911, p. 109
  2. Mecklenburg People < link >
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Zaccheus Wilson, Jr.'s Timeline

Cumberland or Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
North Carolina
Mecklenburg Co., NC
June 26, 1788
North Carolina
August 24, 1792
Age 91
near Gallatin, Sumner County, Tennessee, United States