The Wilson Family of New Jersey (and beyond)

The Wilson family of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, USA, are descended from Aifric Dennison (c. 2/1869(1) - c. 1937/1938), daughter of Manus(2) Dennison (Manasses) (1829 - 1887) and Grace Coyle (1825 - 1910). Aifric emigrated to the US in 1891, worked as a nurse in Philadelphia, became a naturalised citizen in 1896 and married Thomas K. Wilson (born Pennsylvania c.1868 - died c.1914) sometime around 1897. They settled in Atlantic City, New Jersey, ran a prosperous business and raised a family of three sons.


Thomas K. Wilson was the son of Robert B. Wilson (born in Ireland) and Mary Kelly (born PA) who ran a small hotel at Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City. He died young leaving Aifric and her young sons to run the business.


Aifric Dennison's paternal grandmother was Aifric(3) McGettigan, daughter of Manus McGettigan and sister of Cardinal Daniel McGettigan (11/1815 - 03/12/1887), Bishop of Raphoe (1861 - 1870), Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland (11/03/1870 - 03/12/1887).


Aifric and Thomas K. had three sons:

  • Thomas K. Wilson (Tom Jr.) (3/1898 - 3/1973)
  • William D. Wilson (Bill) (8/1899 - )
  • George E. Wilson (c.1902 - 7/1941)

Tom Jr. married - (c. 1902 - 11/1985) and had four sons and two daughters.

Bill married - and had one son and one daughter.

George married Elizabeth Brazzil (c. 1897 - 3/1986) and had two sons and one daughter.



  • Dan Wilson's letter to Manus Dennison and May Lavin 1988
  • Paul Duffy
  • US Census Records 1900, 1910 and 1920.
  • Leslis Lucas' research (aided by Manus Dennison, Mandy McGettigan and others)



1. Leslie Lucas records Afric's year of birth as 1862 (and her sister Mary Anne as 1869) whereas the 1900 US Census clearly states it as Feb 1869. In the 1910 census, her age is not legible - should be 48 (Lucas) or 41 (1900 census) if Feb is correct (Census is dated  ). The 1920 census gives it as 51 (census date 09/01/1920) which is consistent with early 1869 as her date of birth.

2. Referred to as Manasses on the headstone in the Old Umlagh cemetary and in several other places (most notably the Will of Bernard Harkin). Probably called Mandy by his family and friends.

3. The names Aifric (or Afric of Africk) and Manus probably came into the Dennison family from the McGettigans.