Family of William and Elizabeth Williams, Marshall County, Tennessee 1840

The will of William Williams makes it clear he was a fairly wealthy man. He left large sums of cash to each of his children, along with land both in Tennessee and Mississippi. He also bequeathed a number of slaves to his children.

The probate court notes that witnesses verify that William’s will was written in his own hand, so William could both read and write. There was likely a family Bible, as I’ve found exact dates of birth and death online for this family, but have not been able to locate official vital records. The information recorded in the family Bible belonging to his youngest child, Alfred, is posted online and I’ve included a link to it, below.

From all appearances this William Williams hailed from Granville County, North Carolina. That doesn’t necessarily preclude a relationship to the Cumberland County Williams set because they, too, had ties(blue arrows)  to North Carolina:

William Williams appears to have only married once. His reputed date of birth is 13 February 1774, Granville County, North Carolina. He married Elizabeth Allison, who was born 7 February 1783, also in Granville County, North Carolina; died 5 April 1850, probably in Marshall County, Tennessee.

William and Elizabeth were the parents of eight children who survived to adulthood. I’m clarifying that statement because I do believe there might be a family Bible and several online trees have dates for infants who died.

I haven’t verified the source of these exact dates for births and deaths, so use with caution!

1. Nancy, born 21 September 1801, Granville County, North Carolina; died after 1860, possibly in Tishomingo County, Mississippi; married Robert McCrory, possibly c1820, as the eldest child at home in 1840 was 15-19 years old. He was born c1794, possibly Tennessee; died after 1860, when the family lived in Tishominigo County, Mississippi. The family is enumerated in Marshall County, Tennessee in 1840, but not found anywhere in 1850. Their youngest child, Alfred, was born c1845 in Tennessee.
2. Benjamin, born 27 March 1804, Granville County, North Carolina; died 9 May 1857, probably Marshall County, Tennessee; married Sarah, c1827. She was born c1811, Tennessee; died before 1860, probably Marshall County, Tennessee. Benjamin is enumerated as black, as are all the families on the 1850 census page and the page before. However, he was a merchant worth $12,000, so this is the correct family.
3. Robert, born 3 May 1806, Granville County, North Carolina; died 13 July 1884, Marshall County, Tennessee; married Julia Franklin Endsley, c1830. She was born 19 April 1811; died 20 October 1884, Marshall County, Tennessee.
4. William, born 10 December 1810, probably Marshall County, Tennessee; died 24 April 1882, Alcorn County, Mississippi; married Martha Jane Winston, 3 October 1839, Marshall County, Tennessee. She was born c1820, North Carolina and died between the 1850-1860 censuses, probably in Tishomingo County, Mississippi.
5. Charles W., born 25 March 1813, probably Marshall County, Tennessee; died 27 January 1894, Alcorn County, Mississippi; married (1) Mary L., c1837, probably Tishomingo County, Mississippi. Mary was born c1819, Tennessee; died between 1850-1860 censuses (2) Fanny R., before 1870; She was born c1832, Tennessee; died after 1880. Charles was worth about $45,000 in 1860, but about $13,000 in 1870 after the Civil War.
6. Sarah H., born 22 March 1818, probably Marshall County, Tennessee; reportedly died 24 January 1874, place unknown; married William J. Nowlin, c1837, probably Tishomingo county, Mississippi. He was born c1816, Tennessee; died between the 1860-1870 censuses, but it isn’t known if he died in the Civil War. By 1860, the family had left Mississippi and was living in Lawrence County, Tennessee.
7. John, born 7 May 1821; died 23 September 1850; married Hannah Wood, 26 May 1846, Lawrence County, Tennessee. She was born c1825, England. John was a merchant per the 1850 census.
8. Alfred Ogilvie, whose family Bible record is posted on USGenWeb, born 2 March 1826, probably Marshall County, Tennessee; died 20 November 1885; married (1) Martha Matilda Williams, 19 August 1846, Marshall County, Tennessee. She was born 26 August 1831; died 26 April 1864. (2) Mary Fannie Mallory Vestal, March 1865, Louisville, Kentucky. She was born 5 October 1827; died January 1890.

This family has been a bit difficult to pin down because they apparently married in places where records haven’t survived, they moved back and forth between Tennessee and Mississippi and their names are common.

At this point, I tend to think this family is not related to the Cumberland County, Virginia Williamses. I guess the only sure way to know is if there are Y-DNA tests taken out there by descendants of each family.

If you are descended from this Williams group, I’d strongly recommend checking land deeds, probate files and tax records to fill in more of their details.

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