Our Williams of: Laurens Co. SC, Carroll Co. GA, and Winston Co. AL
Descendants of Thomas Barnes Williams
Generation No. 2
2. James Henry2 Williams (Thomas Barnes1) James Henry Williams was born on April 2, 1814 (1) in Laurens Co., South Carolina. He was the oldest son of Thomas Barnes (known to many as Barney) and Hannah (Pinson) Williams.(2)
In about 1832, (3) the 18 year old James H. came with his parents to the area we now know as Carroll Co., Georgia. They came in a covered wagon, containing all of their worldly goods.(4) There were at least nine children at the times, with the baby probably traveling in someone's arms. Thomas B and Hannah had three more children upon reaching Carroll Co., Ga.(5)
On December 19, 1835 James H. married Sarah Davidson.(6) Sarah was born in Georgia on February 12, 1812.(7) Considering that the area around Carroll Co. was still "owned" by the Cherokee Indians until the late 1820's, it can be fairly safely assumed that Sarah came from some pretty serious pioneer stock. There was only one Davidson family in Carrol Co. at the time of their marriage, the family of John Davidson. I strongly suspect that he was Sarah's father. John Davidson lived with a daughter in Talladega Co. for a while, and then I am fairly certain that he is the same John Davidson who was living with Sarah's daughter Lucinda Williams Davidson in the 1870 Census. If that is the case, then there's a good chance that Lucinda Williams and her husband William J. Davidson were first cousins. More on this family later.
As previously stated, Thomas B. died intestate in Carroll Co.,Ga. James H. along with his brother-in-law John J. Hinesley were administrators to the estate. (see TBW notes for his estate info, see Nancy Williams Hinesley for additional on John J.) Although I have no records of James H.' mother, Hannah, being alive after 1861, she may have lived till 1868.(8)
Family History (9) states that James H. along with his wife Sarah and three youngest children came to Winston Co., Alabama between April 1858 and 1859. Deed records support this. The earliest deed record for James H. in Winston Co. found by this author to date(July 1997) is dated September 15, 1859(10) James' soon to be son-in-law, William J. Davidson, also filed a claim that day, the next recorded number. I will discuss more about Jaspers two sisters later on. It appears likely that James H.'s two oldest sons stayed in Carroll Co. at this time. Research is still very much in progress on this John and Joel Williams, our missing uncles.
Now for a quick Alabama history lesson. On December 24, 1860 the people of Winston Co. voted for a delegate to represent them at Montgomery and chose Charles Christopher Sheats who was said to have vowed to "vote against secession first. last and all of the time."(11) Despite the anti-secession feeling in Winston, and most of Northwest Alabama counties, Alabama seceeded from the union in January of 1861.
I will not attempt, here, to go into a dissertation on the pro-union attitudes in Northwest Alabama at the time. For a wonderful complete work, please see the Annals of Northwest Alabama. Their are a few copies still available, see notes(12). I will, however, summarize this much.
The northwest counties of Alabama were populated primarily by people drawn to the area for it's cheap land. Farming was never the success that the large southern plantations experienced. Cool temperatures and poor soil conditions made tree farming, whiskey making and, later on, coal mining the primary industries of the area. Few people in this economic climate owned, or could afford to own slaves.(13) Many of these staunch supporters of Andrew Jackson felt strong emotional ties to the union. The numbers of men who fought for the first Alabama Cavalry (USA!) from this area is astounding!! Many men took to the hills rather than fight with the rebels.
By 1862 the state of Alabama began to get serious about the need for more troops. The threat of a draft was discussed by the governor and the previosly "neutral" Winstonians decided that they needed to take action. According to Dodd, a meeting was planned by citizens in Huston and six riders were sent out to advertise it. The meeting was held at Looney's Tavern three miles north of the present town of Addison. Reportedly over 2500 people came from parts of Lawrence, Blount, Marshall, Walker, Fayette, Marion, Franklin and the "whole of Winston" Counties.
To summarize a little bit, there conclusions were as follows: "We agree with Jackson that no state can legally get out of the union" but if it can then a portion of that state can also secede... They also stated that they felt their neighbors in south Alabama were making a mistake in seceding but that they didn't want to take up arms against them. They also didn't want to "shoot at the flag of our fathers". Therefore, they asked that the Confederacy and the Union both just leave them alone.(14)
Things proceeded to go downhill from there.
On January 18, 1864 the Probate Judge for Winston Co. (Thomas P. Curtis) was taken prisoner by Captain D. H. Whatley and 100 members of the Confederate Cavalry. Having been "duly elected" by his constituents of "The Free State of Winston", Judge Curtis was believed to be a Union sympathiser. His body was found frozen about a quarter of a mile south a Clear Creek five days later. Having been shot twice and freed of all worldly encumbrances (including his mule , blanket, and $3000.00 in cash), he was found sitting upright with the torn shreds of his commission papers for Probate Judge scattered on the ground around him.(15) James Henry Williams was appointed to take his place.
James H. served (apparently without incident) from June 14, 1864 till August 29, 1865 which would have been roughly the last year of the Civil War. According to family legend, he lived close enough to the courthouse that he simply walked through a field and across a creek to work every day. My husband Tom and I walked that property in the spring of 1997. It was beautiful but we were unable to find any sign of the old homeplace. Earl Williams had passed the old property in a horse and buggy with his father in his youth (probably in the late 1920's) and his Dad had pointed out the exact high spot where the house was.
All site of anyone having lived on the old homeplace is long since gone, and the paper companies probably as of this writing already have the land stripped. The road has moved since then, but it was onetime old hiway 278. The land is located in township 10, Range 7, right where James Henry was living on the 1860 Census of Winston Co., Alabama. James H. died on April 29, 1867, leaving his wife Sarah with his son Jasper still at home. James H., his wife Sarah, his son Jasper Jackson, his daughter-in-law Eliza Jane Wooley Williams and a few other of family and friends are buried here. Family legend, per Earl who I have found repeatedly to be correct, states that James H. knew he was dying and picked the spot on his own land that he wanted to be buried on. He is buried (along with his wife Sara, his son and daughter-in-law Jasper and Eliza) in the Williams Family Cemetary approx. 500 yards NE of the Houston Church of God in Houston, Alabama. He and his son Jasper are said, through the family, to have died from stomach cancer.Sources:
(1) Gravestone of James H. Williams
(2) Deed book AA, page 98(on microfilm at the Georgia State Archives)
(3) - Robert K. Williams from his manuscript from the summer of 1937.
- Deed Book B, Page 313, dated Sept. 27, 1832 listing Thomas B.'s first known land purchase in Carroll Co., Ga.
- The 1850 Census Records of Thomas B. in Carroll Co., Ga. showing Mary A. (his dau)born in 1831 in South Carolina and Lucinda born in 1834 in Ga.
(4) From the manuscript of Robert K. Williams. (7) Census records, Gravestones, eyewitness accounts...numerous sources.
(5) Index to Marriage Licenses, Carroll Co., Ga., 1827-1980, abstracted by Jenny
(6) Martin Fogg and death certificate of Lucinda Ann Williams Davidson.
(7) Gravestone of Sarah Davidson Williams.
(8) TBW notes for info from Robert K. Williams, abstracted by Nancy Elisabeth Williams and Sherelle Williams, noted
Williams family researchers
(9) As told to Earl Williams by his father Charlie, grandson of James and Sarah through Jasper Jackson Williams.
(10) ANNALS OF NORTHWEST ALABAMA by Donald B. Dodd, Page 137, certificate #'s 30772 and 30773.
(11) ANNALS OF NORTHWEST ALABAMA by Donald B. Dodd, Page 76
(12) (July 1997) from Caroline's Gift Shop, P.O.Box 70, Double Springs, Alabama, 35553 located in the reenactment site,
(13) ANNALS OF NORTHWEST ALABAMA by Donald B. Dodd, summary of pages 18 and 19.
(14) ANNALS OF NORTHWEST ALABAMA pages 86-88
(15) ANNALS OF NORTHWEST ALABAMA page 109
Children of James Williams and Sara Davidson are:
6. Joel Casper2 Williams (Thomas Barnes1) was born January 02, 1821 in South Carolina (Source: gravestone and census records.), and died March 01, 1872 in Carroll Co. Ga.. He married Mary Barbara Kiser December 31, 1846 in Carroll Co. Ga.. She was born March 23, 1823 in North Carolina, and died August 1907 in Carroll Co. Ga..
Notes for Joel Casper Williams:
First an extra special thanks to Lee Williams. In 1995 Lee took the time (and at 16 years of age it was a very considerate thing to do) to take us to introduce us to his grandfather Torrence Williams and his wife Evelyn Stitcher Williams. We had stumbled onto Lee looking for the grave of Elihu that is close to Lee's parents home. Torrence was wonderful, even showing us where an old trail lead thru his property. He also introduced us to his sister-in-law, Hazel Stitcher Horsley.
My info on this family was begun with info from Hazel Stitcher Horsley. She was the first person to confirm my suspicions that Thomas Barnes Williams was James Henry's father.
Information on the Hannah (Williams) Reese line came from Mary Hardeman.
Additional info has come from Dennis Williams and Gerry Williams, both researchers of this family.
It has been supplemented wherever possible by Carroll Co. Census, Marriage and Cemetary Records.
More About Joel Casper Williams:
Burial: Kiser Cemetary
Military service: Co. H, 66th Reg., Ga. Vol. Infantry,Army of the Tenn., C.S.A.
More About Mary Barbara Kiser:
Burial: Kiser Cemetary
Children of Joel Williams and Mary Kiser are:
Williams (Thomas Barnes1) was born
Abt. 1823 in South Carolina (Source: Census records of 1830 Laurens Co., S.C..). She
married Vincent Holly Abt. 1846.
More About ? Williams:
Military service: Abt. 1846, probable spouse -- Vincent Holley
Child of ? Williams and Vincent Holly is:
8. Henry Roland2
Williams (Thomas Barnes1) was born
June 29, 1825 in Laurens Co., South Carolina (Source: gravestone and census records and
research of Robert Williams and Nancy Williams his descendants and Sherelle Williams,
spouse of his descendant.), and died May 09, 1901 in Carroll Co. Ga.. He married (1)
Elizabeth Osborne November 16, 1848 in Carroll Co. Ga.. She was born December 07, 1819 in
South Carolina, and died August 10, 1875 in Carroll Co. Ga.. He married (2) Mary J.
Fielder October 17, 1875 in Carroll Co. Ga.. She was born July 10, 1843, and died February
18, 1897. He married (3) Mary Phillips May 30, 1897.
Notes for Henry Roland Williams:
From Sherelle Williams, researcher of Williams family
"Henry Williams came to Georgia from South Carolina in a wagon with his family "when about 5 years old". He grew into a prosperous farmer owning lands that extended from 'Hodge to Wayside'. By tradition he made corn whiskey and peach brandy using a 'Government Still' as a side occupation. Being an older man, he served in the Civil War only during 1864 in Co. E of the first Reg of the Georgia cavalry. He was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church but changed his membership to the Christian Church. He was a fervent Mason."
He was reputed to have been tall, heavy and red-headed. He was said (by Robert Williams and passed on by Sherelle Williams) to of had a quick temper, and to have been "hearty, robust and honest."
More About Henry Roland Williams:
Burial: Jordan Cemetary
Children of Henry Williams and Elizabeth Osborne are:
Children of Nancy Williams and John Hinsley are:
Notes for Elihu M. Williams:
The following info comes from Sherelle Williams
" Like so maany other men of Carroll County, he Elihu was not in sympathy with the Confederate cause or with anyone who fought for it. He remained at home the whole duration of the conflict.\\
When the war ended, he and his two sons, Bob and Jimmy were cutting trees in the woods near their house. James quit a little early ssometime before noon and came home. In a little while, Mart Boone came along, was invited in the house and served some of the dinner being prepared. Boome finished eating, excused himself, and taking his gun (which was not uncommon, as guns were carried around by all men fairly often) left the house. Some ten minutes later a shot blasted through the woods, Bob came running to the house shouting that Boome had killed his father. It seems that upon Boomes return having been with the Confederate Army some years, his wife had told him some tale about Elihu that made him plenty mad.
Boome left the county. He was arrested several times at various places between South Carolina and Texas, but managed to escape each time caught. He finally was killed by some Texan who didn't relish the passes Boome had been making at him with a knife."
More About Elihu M. Williams:
Burial: Williams Family Cemetary
Children of Elihu Williams and Mary Hinsley are: