1881 census information for Wilson family

1881 census entries for Wilson family in Trenton
NameGenderAgePlace of birthReligionOriginOccupation
Wilson, George M 26 Ontario Presbyterian African Barber
Wilson, Mary F 42 Ontario Presbyterian African -
Wilson, Ida F 23 Ontario Presbyterian African -

The Wilson family of Trenton are listed as of African origin in the 1881 census, but in 1871, when they were living in Belleville, the same family is described as English. When they were in Belleville, the Wilson's barber shop business was located on Front Street, according to the 1871 assessment roll for Ketcheson Ward.

1871 census listing for Wilson family

Charles Wilson was in business in Belleville for some time: there are advertisements for his barber and hairdressing business in The Intelligencer as far back as 1857. He first went into business with Morgan Leech in December of that year, when their barber shop was located on the northwest corner of Bridge and Front Streets, directly beneath the offices of The Intelligencer.1857 advertisement for Charles Wilson's barber business

It is not clear when Charles died, or what happened to the rest of his family after their move to Trenton. In the 1881 assessment roll for the town, George Wilson is listed as the occupier of lot 17 on the north side of Marmora Street and was also the tenant of an upstairs property in block N on the south side of Ferry (now Dundas) Street which was owned by the Merchants Bank. It is likely that the barber shop was above the bank and the family lived in the Marmora Street property. The two properties are circled on the map below, taken from the 1878 Historical Atlas of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties by H. Belden & Co.

Map of Trenton lots from 1878 Belden Atlas.

The house on lot 17 of Marmora Street still stands. The photograph below was captured by Google StreetView in the summer of 2018.

37 Marmora Street, Trenton in 2018.