James Joseph WILSON (19 January 1929 – 21 March 1985) – 52 Ancestors (Ancestor 2)

James Joseph WILSON was born James Joseph TRAUTMAN on 19 January 1929,  Staten Island, Richmond County, New York, USA (1). He died James Joseph WILSON on 21 March 1985, in Ball Memorial Hospital, Muncie, Indiana, USA (2). He was 56.

James Joseph WILSON was my dad. He was known as Jim, or “Jimmy Joe” when he was a boy and to his family.

His parents were Earl Lawrence TRAUTMAN and Adele Marie (ANTON) TRAUTMAN, and he was the youngest of their children (3). The story he told my mother is that during his childhood, he thought that his step-father, Thomas MILLAR, was his birth father. It was only when he obtained his birth certificate before entering the Navy when he was 17 that he learned otherwise (4).

Somewhere in between the time he enlisted in the Navy (2 October 1946) and the time he was discharged (22 November 1949), he married Eva Mae PAXTON. At enlistment, his marital status was Single, and at discharge, it was Married (5).

Jim and Eva had five children (6). In 1960, before their youngest was born, he met my mother.

In the early 1960s, James Joseph TRAUTMAN fraudulently became James Joseph WILSON with a new Social Security Number (7).

Jim fathered another child during the 1960s. In June 1966, a boy whose name I do not know, and whose mother may have been named Betty or Dolores, was born in the area of either New Britian or New London, Connecticut, USA (8).

In 1967, Jim married a final time and had no children by that marriage (9).

He died on 21 March 1985, in Muncie, Indiana, USA, as a result of his alcoholism, technically of Cardiopulmonary Arrest as a consequence of Acute Renal (Kidney) Failure with Hepatic (Liver) Failure (10).

He was very intelligent and claimed to have an IQ of 160 (11).

He was killed by the monster of alcoholism which does not discriminate and shows no mercy.

James Joseph WILSON, circa early 1960s.

James Joseph WILSON, circa early 1960s. I like this picture. Copyright Notice: You do not have permission to download or copy this image without obtaining it from me. Thank you.


1) Birth Certificate for James Joseph Trautman, 19 January 1929, Document Number: D323094, The City of New York Department of Health. Certified copy obtained 19 February 1998 and in possession of the author.

2) Death Certificate for James Joseph Wilson, 21 March 1985, State Number: 85 008391, Indiana State Board of Health. Certified copy in possession of the author.

3) See 1.

4) Various conversations between Margaret Ellen Wilson and her daughter, the author.

5) Official U.S. Naval Service Records, James Joseph TRAUTMAN, 227 39 48, AN USN, Certified Photocopy in possession of the author. NOTE that the name of his wife is not on this document. To be quite honest, I do not remember how I know her maiden name.

6) See 4.

7) Social Security Cards for both James Joseph Trautman and James Joseph Wilson are in possession of the author. Also, See 4.

8) See 4.

9) Marriage Application and Certificate of James Joseph Wilson and Marilyn S. Swingley, 3 August 1967, Delaware County (Indiana) Clerk of Court. Certified copy in possession of the author.

10) See 2.

11) See 4.

This entry was posted in 52 Ancestors Series, Dad's Side and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to James Joseph WILSON (19 January 1929 – 21 March 1985) – 52 Ancestors (Ancestor 2)

  1. Dana Leeds, The Enthusiastic Genealogist says:

    Yes, alcoholism “shows no mercy.” Your father led a interesting life. I wonder how much the shock about him learning who he thought was his father actually wasn’t affected his life.


  2. Pingback: Ancestors for Week 7 – 52 Ancestors (2015 #7) | Diggin' Up Graves

  3. Pingback: Earl Lawrence TRAUTMAN (1893-1964) : “Auto Salesman Arraigned in Hit and Run” or How my Grandfather Got into the 1940 Census Twice – 52 Ancestors | Diggin' Up Graves

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