George W. Williams & Nancy A. Austin, Bedford Co., VA

The family of George W. Williams and Nancy A. Austin of Bedford County, Virginia has been troublesome to research for years, partly because of the time period and partly because they moved around from Virginia to Missouri to Virginia to Missouri.

This family isn’t even a direct line of mine or my husband’s, but it part of his extended collateral Williams family and I don’t like loose ends.

George W. Williams was born 24 March 1791, the son of Roger Williams and Cassie Ann Blair of Bedford County, Virginia. He married Nancy A. Austin, daughter of Thomas Austin and Nancy North, on 4 November 1826 in Bedford County. If George was married previously, he likely married in an adjoining county as there is no other marriage bond for a George Williams before the one in 1826. It also appears that an earlier wife would have died young, leaving no children, as George and family were living in Campbell County, Virginia in 1830:

In 1830, we have George Williams, aged 30-40, a female, likely wife Nancy, aged 20-30 and two females under the age of five.  George also owned two slaves at the time. This is the only census in which I have found George Williams.

In 1840, there is one Nancy Williams living in Bedford County, Virginia, next door to Campbell, who might be George’s wife.

She was aged 30-40, living next door to (likely brother) William Austin and owned three slaves. There were three children in the household, two girls aged 5-9 and one girl under 5. If this is the right Nancy, then Susan’s age is misrepresented, as she would have been about 13, and I don’t know who the younger girl would be unless that is also a mistake and it should be a boy under 5, who would be Roger, born 1836. This census entry is just a big maybe.

Nancy likely died before March 1844 when her brother-in-law, Charles B. Williams, was appointed guardian for the four children. Charles B. (Blair?) and Matilda Williams lived in Daviess County in 1850 with Roger and George, while Martha was living with her aunt, Elizabeth Creasey, also in Daviess County. Susan had married in 1848.

Nancy predeceased her father, Thomas Austin, who died in 1858 in Virginia. Her portion of his estate went to her “heirs,” maddingly not named.

George and Nancy Williams had at least four children, two of whom I suspected, but have only recently been able to confirm through that wonderful Missouri Heritage website that has digitized death certificates online.


  1. Susan Catherine, born 6 August 1827, Bedford County, Virginia; died 12 November 1911, Daviess County, Missouri; married Theodore Penniston, 17 February 1848, Daviess County, Missouri

   2. Martha Elizabeth, born 11 Dec 1829, Bedford County, Virginia; died 6 Sept 1900, Eddy Co., New Mexico; married Charles A. Witt, 5 Aug 1852, Lafayette County, Missouri. She lived with her aunt, Elizabeth Creasey,  in Lafayette County in 1850 and the marriage record states they married at the home of Mrs. Creasey.

3. Roger, born 12 February 1836, Bedford County, Virginia; died 20 February 1915, Daviess County, Missouri; married (1) Elvira Creasey on 7 April 1859 in Daviess County (2) Martha C. Conner, 1 August 1878, also in Daviess County.

    4. George W., born 8 August 1841, Virginia? or Missouri?; died 18 October 1931, Daviess County, Missouri. George’s death certificate says he was born in Livingston County, Missouri. The 1850 census enumeration shows Missouri as his birthplace. In 1860, his uncle, Charles B. Williams, and family were enumerated twice. One showed George born in Virginia and the other said Missouri. He married Frankie P.  Smith, 25 February 1886, Livingston County, Missouri.

If George and Nancy (Austin) Williams had any other surviving children, I have not found them. Online data gives a death year of 1841 for George but I have found no documentation in Missouri or Virginia to support those dates. I tend to believe that all these children were born in Bedford County, Virginia, that George died in 1840 before the census taker came around and that son George was born shortly after his father died.

Roger apparently had a son, Blair (possibly Charles Blair), with wife Elvira Creasey, who he married on 7 April 1859 in Daviess County. Blair was born in 1860 and living with Roger’s sister, Susan’s family in 1870, but was living with Roger and Martha in 1880. No further has been found on him after that census and I have no idea whether he married and left descendants. However, Susan, Martha and George all left descendants. If you are related to this family, please leave a comment.

One thought on “George W. Williams & Nancy A. Austin, Bedford Co., VA”

  1. What a wonderful site! Tonight, I have learned so much from reading your post after googling, looking for info on Roger Williams and Cassie Ann Blair. Evidently according to DNA, I am indirectly related via my 8th Great-Grandfather, Rev. Roger Williams, 1603 – 1683, Founder of Providence, Rhode Island, so am commenting as requested.

    This week my son, Blake had an Ancestry autosomal DNA hint matches to the descendants of this family via their son George Washington Williams/ Nancy Austin to Roger
    Williams/Martha A. Connor to Laura Williams & George Warner on down.

    Assuming the autosomal testing is correct, this DNA match leads back to my 8th Great-Grandfather, Founder of Rhode Island, Rev. Roger Williams, b. 1603. However, the descendants matching us, attached Susannah Anderson as a “wife” to our Roger Williams, b. 1680 / married to Elizabeth Walling, b. 1695. And that’s why I began googling, because I didn’t know of a second wife for our Roger with the name of Susannah Anderson. From your notes, I gathered that there was a high probability Susannah was married instead to Thomas Williams, a “son” of Roger Williams & Elizabeth Walling (The Walling, DNA proven as well) . The DNA would still stand because basically it is father and son, but I would like to get it straightened out if possible. So the question is; is Susannah Anderson a second wife or is she the daughter-in-law of Roger Williams via his son Thomas? By the way, I had her parents, Thomas Anderson and Agnes Gannaway in my tree because Thomas’ father, Robert Anderson was my 9th Great-Uncle and his mother, Cecelia Massie (8thCousin1Xremoved) descended from my Poindexter line. (My maternal side.) We also have DNA matches to descendants to two children of Roger Williams, b. 1680 & Elizabeth Walling, b. 1695. They are Matthias Williams, b. Abt. 1720 and Elizabeth Williams, b. Abt. 1734.

    My late Dad, a Baptist minister, didn’t care about the Royal lines I had proved. He kept wanting me to be able to “prove” his connection back to Rev. Roger WILLIAMS. Our first DNA match was between Roger Williams’ sons, my 7th Great-Grandfather, Daniel Williams as well as his wife Rebecca Rhodes, through their sons, Roger Williams (my 6th) and his brother, Peleg Williams. Peleg’s Great-Grand-daughter, Philadelphia Wheeler married Gail Borden II, b. 1777, Providence, Rhode Island. Their son Gail Borden III invented “Borden’s” condensed milk. With his brother the families moved for a short time about 1822 to Amite Co., MS, and then on to Texas where Borden plotted out with Sam Houston the cities of Galveston and Houston. Neat history from Wikipedia!

    I would be glad to send you an invite to my tree if you would like! It’s not perfect; still some sorting out to do but the DNA screen shots I have attached in the gallery sections are sometimes pretty amazing! My Mom who is 85 years old, has a DNA match going back to 1599 for her 7thGreat, Jasper Crane, Puritan Clergyman, Founding Father of New Jersey! My main goal in the Ancestry tree has been to collect the DNA matches to help prove the lines, and knock down the brick walls! And it has worked! So I highly recommend testing! It is so exciting!

    Thanks again! Am learning from you! Just wishing I could sit in on your classes! 🙂

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