Troy's Genealogue

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WILLIAMS Family History, Part I

September 2010
Thanks to Sanrdra Haffey, Okeene, Oklahoma, for providing a wealth of copies of documents and research on the Williams family.

Joseph WILLIAMS1 (1786-1837)

1. Joseph Williams1 was born on November 5, 1786, probably in Ohio*. He married Rachel (Hannaman) about 1818. He was about 31 years old and she about 18. They had at least 9 children, including one set of fraternal twins:

11. G. W. Williams 24 Feb 1819 --  -- 
12. Euphamia Williams 19 Feb 1821 --  -- 
13. Naomi Williams 30 Mar 1822 --  -- 
14. Joseph M. Williams2 18 Dec 1823 Jul 1883 (59)
15. Amos Strange Williams 13 Nov 1826 --  -- 
16. Prescilla Williams 13 Nov 1826 --  -- 
17. Rachel Williams 25 Jan 1830 (1873-1880) (40s)
18. Milton H. Williams 7 Jul 1832 (>1910) (>77)
19. Greenley Mac Williams 19 Feb 1837 --  -- 

1x. Robert Williams (1827) --  -- 
1y. Henry Williams (1833) --  -- 
Parents' Origin
Son Milton H. Williams records in the 1900 census that his parents were both born in Ohio.
Other Relatives?
Two other Williams boys, Robert (born about 1827 in Massachusetts) and Henry (born about 1833 in Missouri), may be related to this family based on their convergence in Suisun, Solano County, California. However, as more information on the Joseph Williams family comes to light, the more the Massachusetts and Missouri connections cast doubt on their suspected relationship.

The 1830 census records Joseph, age 40 to 50 (1780-1790) and his family in Hamilton County, Indiana, northeast of Indianapolis. He is listed with a wife, age 30 to 40 (1790-1800), three boys, up to 15 years old, and two girls, up to the age of 10.[Cen 1830]

In 1832, Joseph is said to have served during the "Indian Wars," presumably the Black Hawk War of 1832, which was fought in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin against Sauk, Fox, and Kickapoo who unsuccessfully resisted the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and its aim to remove all Indians to the west of the Mississippi River. He would have been 45 years old at the time.

Rachel, 1840
A Rachel Williams, age 30 to 40 (born 1800-1810) is found in the 1840 census of Huntington County, Indiana, southwest of Fort Wayne. She is enumerated with three boys between the ages of 5 and 30 and four girls up to the age of 20[Cen 1840]. A George W. Williams, age 20 to 30 (1810-1820) is also enumerated in Noblesville Township, Hamilton County, Indiana, along with two boys, ages 10 to 20.[Cen 1840]

Joseph Williams died in 1837 in Hamilton County, Indiana, at about the age of 50. He left Rachel with children between the ages of a few months to 18 years.

Rachel and her children moved nearer to Indianapolis and settled in Oaklandon, Lawrence Township, Marion County, by 1845. They later resettled in Indiana Creek Township, Pulaski County, in northwestern Indiana, by 1851.

Rachel (Hannaman) Williams is reported to have died of cholera in Indian Creek Township in either 1853 or 1856, according to her son Milton's biography. She would have been in her mid-50s. Other reports say she died in Glen Elder, Mitchell County, Kansas, indicating she likely died after 1871, putting her at least in her 70s.

  • Cen 1830: 1830 Census, Hamilton County, Indiana
  • Cen 1840: 1840 Census, Huntington County, Indiana

Joseph M. WILLIAMS2 (1823-1883)

14. Joseph M. Williams2 was born on December 18, 1823, in Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana, just northeast of Indianapolis. He married Martha Ann Silvey, a native of Rush County, Indiana, on January 14, 1845, in Marion County, Indiana, to the northwest of Indianapolis. He was 21 years old and she 19. They had 10 children, 6 of whom lived beyond 1900:[Cen 1900]

141. Elizabeth Williams 24 Dec 1845 15 Sep 1877 (31)
142. Ira T. Williams3 19 Apr 1847 4 Oct 1916 (71)
143. Garrett J. Williams 18 Dec 1851 (>1920) (>70)
144. Sarah Williams 1852 (Infancy) (Infancy)
145. Emily Candace Williams 27 Feb 1854 4 Sep 1952 (98)
146. Amos S. Williams 19 Apr 1857 1924 (67)
147. William Shay Williams 30 Nov 1860 20 Sep 1906 (45)
148. Arthur Finley Williams 23 Nov 1865 30 Mar 1892 (26)
149. Ora "Guy" Williams 29/30 Oct 1870 13 Nov 1947 (77)
Age Discrepancies
Curiously, Joseph's military records note him as being 35 years of age at enlistment and 38 years old at the end of his 3 year's enlistment. These ages suggest that he would have been born in 1825. The 1850 and 1870 census records that he was 27 and 47 years old, respectively, indicating his birth in 1822 or 1823, which holds better. As such, Joseph should have been 37 at enlistment and 40 at discharge.

The Williams started their family in Marion County. About 1848 they moved briefly to Illinois, but returned to Marion County where they were enumerated in the 1850 census in Lawrence Township[Cen 1850], on the eastern outskirts of Indianapolis.

By 1851 the family moved northward to Pulaski, Beaver Township, Pulaski County.[Cen 1860]

Civil War Service

Joseph M. Williams served as a private in Company K of the Indiana 20th Regiment Infantry, "The Fighting 300," during the Civil War. He enlisted at the age of 35 (or perhaps more accurately 37*) for 3 years on July 15, 1861 in Monticello, Indiana, south of Pulaski, and received a $25 advance on his $100 enlistment bounty. The following week, the 20th Indiana mustered in at Lafayette, Indiana on July 22, 1861.

During the was Joseph's wife and six children moved in with his father-in-law, Travis Silvey near Indianapolis (presumably in Marion County).

Later that year, Joseph was recorded as sick in his quarters around the November-December timeframe.

The following year, Major General George B. McClellan launched the first large-scale Union offensive against Virginia known as the "Peninsula Campaign" (March to July 1862). Union forces landed at Fort Monroe (March 17) at the tip of the Virginia Peninsula, the narrow stretch between the York and James rivers that leads to Richmond. The Union slowly advanced up the peninsula, fighting battles at Hampton Roads (March), which featured the first battle between ironclad ships (a draw); Yorktown (April to May); and Williamsburg (May 5). Cautious generals on both sides slowed McClellan's advance and permitted General Lee to fortify Richmond and launch bold counterattacks of limited success, known as the Seven Days Battle (June 25 to July 1), that resulted in President Lincoln's withdrawing the Union forces in favor of bolstering forces in Northern Virginia.

At the conclusion of the Peninsula Campaign, Joseph was detailed as a driver for the brigade's ambulance corps on July 10, 1862. From there the unit redeployed to Northern Virginia and fought at the Second Battle of Bull Run, Virginia (August 1862). It was in August that Joseph's eldest son Ira3 enlisted at perhaps the age of 15 and headed off to battle in Kentucky, Tennessee, and eventually on to Georgia in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.

In the November-December timeframe Joseph was still detached to the brigade's ambulance corps and noted as being in charge of it as an "extra duty."

The following year the 20th Indiana was at Alexandria, Virginia where Joseph had been absent because of illness for a time between May and July, up to and perhaps during the time that the 20th Indiana fought at the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylavania (July 1-3).

At the end of the year, Joseph was granted a furlough home on December 18, 1863. After the new year he was again noted as sick and hospitalized at the U.S. General Hospital in Indianapolis. In March he was temporarily transferred to the "86NYSVV" (perhaps referring to the 86th New York Infantry Regiment?) and transported from Indianapolis to Washington, DC. He was charged $15.26 for transportation -- apparently this had been a discretional assignment.

The 20th Indiana next fought at the Battle of Spotsylvania (May 8-12), then the Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia (May 31 to June 12), and the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia (June 1864 to March 1865). During this time Joseph's son Ira3 was wounded in the face on the approach to Atlanta, Georgia (June 15).

Pvt. Jospeph Williams' term of 3 year's service concluded in June and he was discharged on July 19, 1864 back home at Indianapolis, and received the balance of his $100 enlistment bounty (less the $15.26 transportation charges). He was annotated as being 38 years of age (probably more accurately 40* years old).

Post War

After the Civil War, the Williams returned home to Pulaski County until they removed southeast between 1865 and 1867 to a farm near Logansport, Clinton Township, Cass County, Indiana.[Cen 1870]

West to Kansas

Details of the journey to Kansas adapted from the "Autobiography of Emily Slaven Written at Age 82," circa 1936.[Slaven]

In 1871, Joseph, son Ira3, and brother-in-law William Silvey decided to move west to Kansas where land could be homesteaded. They set out at 3 P.M. on May 1, 1871, in four covered wagons. Joseph, Martha, and seven children occupied two wagons; son Ira, his wife, and 6-month old daughter Carrie drove a third; and William Silvey and his three daughters drove a fourth. They drove a few miles to a rendezvous point along the Wabash River to await the rest of the party. In the morning they set out and cross the Wabash on a covered bridge but were told that they were on the wrong road and had to go back to a ferry crossing. During the crossing the family hound dog ran off to the sorrow of daughter Emily. The wagon train rolled on through Springfield, Illinois, where they lost one of their best horses and endured incessant rain.[Slaven]

The Williams arrived six weeks after setting out in Glen Elder, Mitchell County, on June 20, 1871. At the time, Glen Elder is said to have had only one house, a store with a dirt roof, and a hotel. They camped a few days at the Dr. Everson farm and then crossed the Solomon River to Tom Nelson's farm. Joseph bought land about two and a half miles west of town from a man named King and moved into his vacated dugout.[Slaven]

In 1874 a plague of grasshoppers devastated Mitchell County and most of the Williams family retreated east or continued west to California. Joseph, Martha, Elizabeth, Ira3, Garrett, William, and Guy, all moved to Woodland, Yolo County, California, and the remaining children, Emily, Amos, and Arthur, either rode out the plague or retreated east.

Joseph, Martha, and Guy returned to Glen Elder, Kansas, in 1877, perhaps in conjunction with daughter Elizabeth's death and the return of her body to Glen Elder for burial. There they rejoined Emily, Amos, and Arthur. Ira and William remained in California.[Cen 1880]

Cawker City Journal, August 1, 1883
"Mr. Joseph Williams, an old resident of Glen Elder Township, dropped dead Monday while standing on the river bank talking with some person near him. He has had dropsy of the heart for a number of years. He will be remembered as the person prostrated with heart disease at the park, at the soldiers' reunion. The funeral services were held at the Pleasant Valley church yesterday at 11:00. Rev. E.H. Janeway delivering the address. A large concourse of people attended the burial."

Joseph M. Williams died on Monday, likely July 30, 1883, in Glen Elder, Mitchell County, Kansas, after suffering from "dropsy of the heart" (edema and congestive heart failure). Joseph was 59 years old. He was buried at Valley Cemetery and later moved to Glenwood Cemetery east of Glen Elder.

After Joseph's death, Martha and sons Garrett and Guy returned to Woodland, Yolo County, California, where they stayed until 1892. She then returned to Kansas but lived for a little over a year in Nickerson, Reno County, about 100 miles south of Glen Elder, before returning again to live with Garrett and Guy in Woodland, California.[Cen 1900] In 1900 she moved back west one last time to live with her daughter Emily in Glen Elder, Kansas.

"Martha Ann Silvey was born December 24, 1825 in Rush county Indiana, was married to Joseph M. Williams January 30, 1883. There were ten children born to them six of whom survive her: Ira T, Garrett J, William S, and O. Guy of Woodland, California, Amos L of Hawley, Oklahoma, and Emely C. Slaven with whom she has made her home for nearly two years. At the age of fifteen she was converted and joined the Methodist church of which she was a member 43 years, when she became a member of the Christian church and remained so until death. Ill health prevented her from attending church for seeral years prior to her death which occurred May 14, 1902, tuberculosis being the cause of her death, age 76 years 4 months and 20 days. She was grandmother of 44 children 34 of whom are living and great grandmother of 16 children 14 of whom are living. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Helmick pastor of Methodist church at the home of her daughter Mrs. Emily Slaven, May 13 and the remains interred in the Valley Cemetery."

Martha Ann (Silvey) Williams, died on May 14, 1902, of tuberculosis. She was also buried at Valley Cemetery with John and later they were both moved to Glenwood Cemetery.

Valley Cemetery
I have yet to locate Valley Cemetery where many of the Slaven family were buried and later moved to Glenwood Cemetery. Noting that Waconda Springs was dammed to form Waconda Lake in 1964, I hypothesize that Valley Cemetery may have been in the flood zone.


Rachel (WILLIAMS) SHRYOCK (1830-1870s)

17. Rachel Williams was born on January 25, 1830, in Indiana, likely in Hamilton County. She was apparently named for her mother. Rachel married Samuel Shryock, a carpenter from Noblesville Township, on June 2, 1868, in Pulaski County, Indiana. They moved west to Eden Township, Marshall County, Iowa, by 1869,[Cen 1870] and had three children before her early death in the late 1870s:

171. John J. Shryock May 1869 14 Aug 1958 (89)
172. Gertrude A. Shryock 30 Jan 1871 27 Feb 1957 (86)
173. Josephine Alma Shryock Nov 1873 1961 (87)

The Shryock family moved to Woodland Township, Yolo County, California, sometime between 1874 and 1880. Rachel's nephews Ira3 and Willie Williams also moved to Woodland Township about 1875.

Rachel (Williams) Shryock died in the late 1870s after arriving in Woodland Township. She was only in her 40s.[Cen 1880]

Samuel worked as a house carpenter in Woodland Township.[Cen 1880]

By 1900, the Shryocks moved to the north end of the Sacramento Valley to Anderson Township, just south of Redding. Samuel and son John farmed there.[Cen 1900]

Samuel Shryock died in 1904 in Shasta County, at the age of about 76. He is buried at Happy Valley Cemetery west of Anderson.

  • Cen 1860: 15 Aug 1860 Census, Pulaski Post Office, Indian Creek Township, Pulaski County, Indiana
  • Cen 1870: 19 Aug 1870 Census, Edenville Post Office, Eden Township, Marshall County, Iowa
  • Cen 1880: 15-16 Jun 1870 Census, Town of Woodland, Yolo County, California
  • Cen 1900: 13 Jun 1900 Census, Anderson Township, Shasta County, California

Milton H. WILLIAMS (1832->1910)

18. Milton H. Williams was born on June 7, 1832, in Hamilton County, Indiana, likely in Noblesville. His family moved northwest to Pulaski County in the 1850s where he married Sophronia Goble on October 25, 1860.[Mar 1860] He was 28 years old, she was 17. They had seven children, only three of whom lived beyond 1900 and 1910.[Cen 1900-1910]

181. Eugene Everett Williams Feb 1863 1929 (66)
182. Nina Williams (Aug) 1868 (<1880) (<12)
183. G. Euphemia Williams Mar 1872 --  -- 
184. Ethel R. Williams Aug 1880 --  -- 

Milton H. Williams died of a cerebral hemorrage on May 17, 1910, in Fulton County, Indiana, at the age of 77. He was buried at Presbyterian Cemetery on the south side of Indian Creek, Pulaski County, Indiana.

Sophronia (Goble) Williams probably died of stomach cancer on April 3, 1916, in Pulaski County, Indiana, while living at Star City. She was 72 years old. She is buried along side Milton.

  • Cen 1860: 15 Aug 1860 Census, Pulaski Post Office, Indian Creek Township, Pulaski County, Indiana
  • Mar 1860: 25 Oct 1860 Marriage Record, Pulaski County, Indiana
  • Cen 1870: Jul 1870 Census, Pulaskiville Post Office, Indian Creek Township, Pulaski County, Indiana
  • Cen 1880: 1-2 Jun 1880 Census, Indiana Creek Township, Pulaski County, Indiana
  • Cen 1900: 6 Jun 1900 Census, Indiana Creek Township, Pulaski County, Indiana
  • Cen 1910: 9 May 1910 Census, Pulaski Village, Indiana Creek Township, Pulaski County, Indiana

Robert WILLIAMS (~1828-)

1x. Robert Williams was born about 1828 in Massachusetts to immigrant parents from England. He married Maria Ellard, an English immigrant herself, who was born in 1828 and immigrated in 1843. They had at least ten children, six of whom survived beyond 1900. The first two children were born in Missouri, the rest born in California after they migrated west in the early 1850s:

1x1. Charles Williams 7 Mar 1850 18 Dec 1927 (77)
1x2. I. R. Williams (1852) --  -- 
1x3. Thomas H. Williams Jan 1854 --  -- 
1x4. Clara M. Williams (1856) --  -- 
1x5. William H. Williams (1858) --  -- 
1x6. Mary W. Williams Jun 1865 --  -- 
1x7. Frank R. Williams Jun 1869 --  -- 
1x8. Bertha E. Williams (1871) --  -- 

The Williams are first detected in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1850 with their first child Charles.[Cen 1850] Probably about 1853 they make their way west to California where they settle in Sacramento, Sacramento County, by 1860. In 1860, Henry Williams, an apparent younger brother, was enumerated with the family as a laborer.[Cen 1860]

During the 1870s the Williams moved down into Suisun Township, Solano County, California.[Cen 1880].

Robert Williams died sometime before 1900 leaving his widow Maria to live with their son Frank. The extended family also included four apparent cousins: Amos and Earl Williams, who lived with son Thomas, and Charles and Harvey Williams, who lived with the neighboring Reece family. These four are sons of Ira T. Williams3.

  • Cen 1850: 23 Aug 1850 Census, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Cen 1860: 14 Jun 1860 Census, Sacramento, Franklin Township, Sacramento County, California
  • Cen 1870: 28 Jun 1870 Census, Sacramento, Sutter Township, Sacramento County, California
  • Cen 1880: 13 Jun 1880 Census, Suisun Township, Solano County, California
  • Cen 1900: 16 Jun 1900 Census, Suisun Township, Solano County, California

Henry WILLIAMS (~1832-)

1y. Henry Williams was born between 1832 and 1833 in Missouri, likely the younger brother of Robert Williams. In 1860 he is enumerated with Robert's family in Sacramento, Sacramento County, California.