Category Archives: Williams

Thomas Williams, Campbell County, VA: 5 Missing Sons

It’s been five years since I last wrote about Thomas Williams, son of Roger and Cassie Ann (Blair) Williams of Bedford and Campbell Counties, Virginia.

Thomas was reportedly born 22 June 1777, probably in Cumberland County, Virginia; and died, intestate,  before December 1812 in Campbell County, Virginia.

Thomas married Elizabeth Woodson, the daughter of Anderson Woodson, on 13 December 1805 also in Campbell County.

What became of Elizabeth Woodson Williams after the death of Thomas is not known.

The purpose of this post is to ask once again if there are researchers out there who might be descended from any of the children of Thomas and Elizabeth (Woodson) Williams.

Thanks to court records and the 1835 will of Roger Williams, we know that Thomas and Elizabeth were the parents of five sons, who were all living as of 1835.  However, the Chancery Court records tell us that Thomas had four small children when he died and one born not long after he died.

John E. Woodson was the administrator of Thomas Williams’ estate; he identifies widow Elizabeth Williams as his sister and further states that John took in one of the children, his father Anderson Woodson took in two of them and Roger Williams took in one. Presumably, the one born after Thomas’s death remained with the Widow Williams. The four men agreed to raise the children at no cost to Thomas’s estate, as there wasn’t sufficient money to cover their costs.

Their birth order is uncertain, but may have been named in birth order in their grandfather’s will (as listed below).

Children of Thomas and Elizabeth:

  1. William, born c1806; died after 1835
  2. Thomas, born c1808; died after 1835
  3. John, born c1810; died after 1835
  4. Samuel, born c1812; died after 1835
  5. Woodson, born c1813; died after 1835

While it is certainly possible that one or more of these sons died before 1850, it isn’t likely that all of them did, as the eldest son wouldn’t have been more than in his early 40s.

However, by 1850, this Williams family had spread into North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and who knows where else.

Unfortunately, all of their given names are very common, especially when paired with the Williams surname.

The best bet for research would be Woodson Williams, but I find NOTHING on any Woodson (or Wood) Williams anywhere who might possibly be Thomas’s son.

If you have a Williams ancestor born in Virginia between 1806 and 1813 who is named Thomas, Woodson, John, Samuel or William W. and have no parents for that man, I’d love to hear from you.

The odds that none of these five sons has descendants seems miniscule. I just need to find them!



Brasher-Williams Mystery Photo, c1910 in TX or OK

Brasher-Williams Mystery Photo, c1910

This is one of my favorite photos in my family collection, although I know very little about it.

First, the only person I can identify in it is Pearl Lillian Brasher, my husband’s paternal grandmother. Pearl is the girl, second from right with the hat on.

She was born in 1898 and looks quite young, so I’d say this picture was taken about 1910-1912.

I love that all the “womenfolk” are posed for a photographer who perhaps was just passing through. Even the two little children were allowed to be in the photo and there appears to be a baby in the carriage in front of Pearl. Notice that the two children are barefoot!

What I find odd is that I can’t identify Pearl’s mother, Minnie Mae Williams (Brasher) Horne in the picture.

Pearl’s parents, Joseph and Minnie Brasher divorced shortly after 1900 and each remarried. Pearl was their only child. Minnie married (2) Charles Horne and in 1910, Pearl lived with them in Plainview, Hale, Texas. Joe Brasher married (2) Della Benton and they moved to Noble, Oklahoma.

The Brasher family was small. Joe lost his parents at a young age and he only had two brothers who did not live close by.

Minnie’s father, John C. Williams, had a large family by two marriages and lived in Dike, Hopkins, Texas. Pearl was born in Sulphur Springs in the same county.

However, this house is not John Williams’, as I have a photo of his home:

Even with no fence, it is easy to see that these are two different houses.

Because none of the ladies in the photo look familiar and the figures to the right of Pearl and the far left on the porch look like they might be close in age to Pearl, I wonder if she was visiting her grandfather in Texas, but was on a social visit to a neighbor’s to visit with the girls?

The fact that Pearl isn’t sitting on the porch also makes me think she was on a social call.

I have no proof of where the photo was taken, either, but I’ve been to Hopkins County and, for whatever reason, this house looks like it could be there.

Here is an earlier photo of John Williams’ house, probably when he first moved in:

His children with his second wife were born between 1884 and 1906. Perhaps the girl at the baby carriage is one of Pearl’s aunts, even though they are about the same age?

I probably won’t ever know who all these other ladies are or exactly where this photo was taken, but it is still a favorite, as photos with only the females of the home were not super common.


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.