Category Archives: Williams

Charles Williams v. Peter Williams, Maury County, TN 1834

Peter Williams, born c1772, probably in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, has been somewhat of a mystery to me for about 25 years.

Court cases have proven that he is a son of Captain Charles Williams, a soldier of the American Revolution, and Ann Wilson, who lived in Pittsylvania County.

Peter married Sally Hill, daughter of Isaac Hill and close friend of his father’s,  in Pittsylvania County on 21 November 1792.

In 1800, Peter Williams & family were living in Rockingham County, North Carolina. I am quite sure this is him because not only is his brother, Charles, a few doors away, but John Crouch, their brother-in-law, is living in between them.

Rockingham County, North Carolina, 1800 Census

However, all three families were gone by 1810. Charles Williams was back living in Pittsylvania County in 1820, but Peter isn’t there.

By 1830, Peter Williams was living in Maury County, Tennessee. A few doors away from Peter was his brother, Charles Williams, and next to Charles was Peter’s son, Isaac Hill Williams.

Sally, Peter’s wife, had died by 1826, as he married (2) Mary Beasley, about 1826-1827, Maury Co., TN with John H. Hill as bondsman. Marriage return was undated, but filed with the 1826-1827 papers.

Because of this marriage, it isn’t known whether the three males, aged 15-20 and one male, aged 10-15, are Williams or Beasley children.

He was last found in Marshall County, Tennessee in 1840. (Note: Marshall County was set off from Maury County in 1836.)

Peter and Sally (Hill) Williams had at least three children:

1. Isaac Hill, born c1794, Virginia; died after 1876, probably Marshall County, Tennessee; married Mary Scott, c1821
2. Son, born c1796
3. Son, born c1798

The lawsuit filed by Charles Williams against Peter Williams is dated 16 September 1834 and is not lengthy:


Charles Williams vs. Peter Williams Motion

On motion of Plaintiffs counsel and (crossed out) to the satisfaction of the court by the by the production of the Docket of John Vincent Esqr. that Sundry Judgements have been confessed by the Defendant before said Vincent in favor of John McManus and that the said Charles Williams & Isaac H. Williams be court bound or (one of) the securities for said Peter Williams for the Stay of execution and it further appearing to the satisfaction of that court that the said John Vincent had resigned his office of Justice of the peace and that the Docket and the papers of the said Justice have been returned to the clerk’s office and that Executions have been issued by the Clerk against the said Peter Williams Charles Williams and Isaac H. Williams and it further appearing to the satisfaction of the court from the production of the receipts of the officer who collected the money on said executions that the said Charles Williams had paid and satisfied said executions as the security of said Peter Williams. It is therefore considered by the court that the Plaintiff Charles Williams recover of the Defendant Peter Williams the sum of six hundred and thirteen dollars & sixty cents being the amount of principle interest and costs by him paid and also the interest due thereon up to this date. and that execution issued also the costs in this behalf expended and that execution issued.

I’m not sure what all of this means except that Charles Williams was the security for Peter Williams and that Justice of the Peace John Vincent resigned his office and the papers were returned to the clerk’s office.

What is strange about all of this is that in 1836, Peter Williams was the Justice of the Peace and in 1840, Peter Williams recorded a deed of trust, selling a slave named Phebe to John Vincent for $5 because he owed money to Jeremiah Holt.

Peter left no will or probate record, unlike his brother, Charles, who died in Marshall County, Tennessee in 1844.


Saymer/Saymour/Seymore Scott of Cumberland County, Virginia (c1735-1788) & Wife Hannah

Three years ago, I wrote about Saymore/Seymour/Saymour Scott who died in Cumberland County, VA by 12 May 1788. My interest in this family stems from his association with Samuel Williams, also of Cumberland County and part of my husband’s very extended Williams family that migrated to eastern Tennessee by 1805.

Previously, I shared several proven facts about Saymer and his family and, thanks to the terrific Virginia Chancery Court records, I am able to add a few updates of proven knowledge about this family. was probably born c1735 in Virginia, possibly in the area of what became Cumberland County in 1749.

Given the ages of his children, it is safe to assume that Saymer was likely born c1735 or possibly even a bit earlier. Although no marriage record has been found for him, his wife at the time of his death was Hannah; there is no evidence of an earlier marriage so Hannah seems to be the mother of all of his children.

Here are several more tidbits of facts I’ve recently uncovered:

FACT: Although Saymore died by 20 May 1788, when Samuel Williams and David Low were granted letters of administration on Saymore’s estate, there is a one line statement in court records that says he died in February 1788.

FACT: In November 1790, Samuel Williams was named as guardian to Hannah’s children.

FACT: Saymore left a widow, Hannah, and infant children: Sarah, Samuel, Nancy, Benjamin, Hannah and Saymour Jr.

FACT: Saymore was the father of the following children, but their BIRTH ORDER is unproven, except that Samuel, Nancy, Benjamin, Hannah and Saymore were all under the age of 21 in 1793:

1. Mary/Molly, born c1761; married John Morrow Jr., 12 September 1781, Prince Edward County, VA
2. Patty,born c1765,  who married Daniel Lowe, before 1793
3. Judith, born c1768, who married Joseph Byrd, before 1793: Judith may have died by 1798, with no surviving children, as no Byrds are included in any of the court actions between 1798-1807.
4. Sally, born c1771, who married Benjamin Whitehead, possibly around 1793 as a court record indicates that Hannah Scott agrees that the couple was married by that time.
5. Samuel, born c1773, generally mentally unable to care for himself as an adult and who died unmarried by 1807
6. Nancy, born c1775, who married Robert Beasley between 1793-1798
7. Benjamin, born c1776, who married Sarah Legrand, 8 March 1798, Prince Edward County, VA.
8. Hannah, born c1778, who married Stephen Hooper between 1799-1802
9. Saymore, born c1780

With all these missing marriage records, I have to wonder if they married in Buckingham County, which shares an eastern and southern border with Cumberland and Prince Edward Counties and is a severely burned county, having lost most of its records in an 1869 fire.

FACT: Hannah Scott died before March 1798 when Samuel Williams was appointed to appraise Hannah’s estate. The inventory was returned to the court on 12 April 1798.

FACT: Benjamin Scott was over the age of 21 years by 12 April 1798 when he was appointed administrator of his mother’s estate.

Who was Hannah? I believe she was a sister of Samuel Williams for three reasons, all found in the chancery court records of Cumberland County.

#1 – Samuel became the guardian of Saymer’s children who were still not of legal age when he died (Nancy, Hannah, Saymore, Samuel and Benjamin).

#2 – When the chancery court approved the division of lands to Saymer’s heirs, the land bordered that of Samuel Williams.

#3 – Samuel stated that he agreed to care for Hannah in her old age, which he did until her death in 1798. He was also assigned by the court to appraise her estate.

That is a lot of responsibility to take on for a casual acquaintance. I believe that Hannah was Samuel’s sister and that both were children of Thomas Williams and Susannah Anderson. Hannah was probably older than Samuel, who was born c1740 and died in Cumberland County in 1823.

Samuel Williams was most likely the son of Thomas Williams and Susannah Anderson. Thomas was born in 1712 in Wales according to an old family Bible. Samuel was born 18 September 1744, so Hannah is certainly of an age to be his sister.

Clues are sparse for this family. I have no idea of the birth years for these children, except that Mary, mentioned first in court papers,  was probably the oldest and she married in 1781. Because her father is named on that marriage record, I doubt that she was of legal age, so born no earlier than 1761 and, if only, say 16, when she married, she might have been born as late as 1765.

Land deeds will be my first stop, as each child inherited a portion of their father’s land holdings.

I have some probate work to do – there are Cumberland County wills for John Morrow filed in 1834, Ewing Morrow in 1842 and Ewing’s estate settlement in 1848. Those are the only Morrows listed in the index. Whether this is the same John, I have no idea.

I also need to check the personal property tax lists for Cumberland County and Prince Edward County to see if any of the entries are for Hannah Scott, Robert Beasley, Benjamin Whitehead, John Morrow or the male children of Saymour and Hannah.

Many families headed out of Virginia for westward lands in the early 1800s. The Williams family migrated en masse about 1805 to Tennessee. Perhaps some of the Scott relations went with them.

I also need to check Prince Edward County deeds, probate and tax records on the chance that any of these couples moved over the county line. Since Mary and brother Benjamin Scott both married in Prince Edward County, it is very possible.

Unfortunately, no one seems to have done much work on this family. The few mentions I see online are very questionable clues – one has a man marrying at the age of 1. I won’t waste anytime following up on that!

Perhaps I will have a detailed update in the near future if more documented records turn up. In the meantime, if you have suggestions to offer, please do so in the comments.

Matthias Williams (1803-1884) of Roane County, TN: More Grandchildren

Today, we will finish identifying possible grandchildren of Matthias Williams, born c1803 and who died in 1884 in Roane County, Tennessee. I’ve written about his wives and children and about grandchildren born to his older children.

There are four children left to cover:

Hulda Deborah, born 10 August 1873; died 9 May 1939; Monroe County, Tennessee; married William Harrison Price, c1892. They lived in Whitley County, Kentucky in 1900 and 1910 and then haven’t been found in the census. However, they had at least seven children by then- Lou D. (daughter), Willie (son), Anna, Henry, Sarah, Cenie, and Charley and one more with Hulda in 1910. Hulda reported 6 of her 9 children were still living. They apparently separated or divorced, as Hulda is living in Walker County, Georgia in 1920 with a 19 year old son, Henry H. Price, his 19 year old wife, Charlie and daughter Meda Belle, born c1902.

In 1910, Hulda reported that she had given birth to nine children, with six still living.

Children (Price):
1. Willie, born c1892, Tennessee; died after 1910; no further information
2. Lou D., (daughter), born 15 October 1894, Tennessee; died 3 July 1902, Whitley County, Kentucky
3. Anna, born c1898; died after 1910; no further information
4. Henry Harrison, born 9 June 1900; died 13 March 1972; married Hattie M. (MNU), c1920, when they were living in Walker County, Georgia. They had at least five children. Descendants
5. Sarah, born c1902, Kentucky; died after 1910; no further information
5. Cenie (daughter), born c1906, Kentucky; died after 1910; no further information
6. Charley Ketton, born 5 May 1909, Kentucky; died 17 November 1961, buried in Chattanooga National Cemetery; married Mollie Alexander, c1927. They had at least four children. Descendants
7. Meda Belle, born 1912, Tennessee; died after 1940, when she was living on her own and unmarried. No further information.

Sophia, c1876; died after 1880. She apparently died young as no further record has been found for her. Apparently no known descendants.

John Franklin, born December 1879; married Minnie Garrison, 3 June 1914, McMinn County, Tennessee. However, this couple divorced by 1930, when Minnie is living with a sister in Chicago, Illinois. Her son, John F. Williams, 12, is living with her. No further information and it is unknown if John married and left descendants. Unknown if there are descendants today.

Child (Williams):
1. John Franklin, born c1918; living with his mother and aunt in Chicago, Illinois in 1930; no further information.

Deborah, born 2 January 1882; died 11 April 1961, Loudon County, Tennessee; married Asberry Price, 27 September 1900, Roane County, Tennessee. They had at least six children – Lucinda E., Minnie Mildred, Susan, Hazel, James Franklin and Carl B. 

Children (Price):
1. Lucinda E., born 29 November 1905; died 22 June 1937; married Alonzo Jenkins, c1925.  She had at least three sons, Wayne Edward, Lloyd and Clyde Franklin. Descendants
2. Minnie Mildred, born c1909; died after 1920; no further information.
3. Susan, born c1911; died after 1920
4. Hazel, born c1913; died after 1930 when she was still at home
5. James Franklin, born 22 March 1915/17; died 12 April 2002, Cobb County, Georgia; married Nellie Mae Coker, no further information.
6. Carl Barstell, born 12 June 1919; died 19 December 1983, Dade County, Florida; married (1) Nellie Preston, 21 December 1947, Loudon County, Tennessee (2) Virginia Faye McKinley, 19 December 1960, Monroe County, Tennessee; no further information.

Identifying possible grandchildren is somewhat of a muddled mess, given that by the early 20th century, families began to move around move, there were separations/divorces, fewer identifying records are available due to privacy issues and there were many people with the same names.

In some cases, I have found more recent information on descendants, but have omitted the data here for privacy reasons.

As you can see, there is still a lot that is unknown about this family. I am hoping some descendant out there will recognize some of these people and contact me. I would love to know more about the family. Just with Matthias, being born in1803 and his youngest daughter, Deborah, dying in 1961, those two generations covered an incredible 158 years of American history!