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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Williams Research In Shelby County

I am a Williams.

I am a Williams who is connected to three different Williams lines that all converged in Shelby County.

By the time these families moved to Shelby County, the different lines are easily identified. My Dad’s family lived in Fairland and had moved there after 1880 (fairly late in Shelby County history). This is my primary Williams line. This is the line that is important to me because it meant so much to my Dad. He even took a DNA test when he was nearly 80 years old, hoping it would help us locate his Williams ancestors who came from Virginia. Because of his DNA contribution, I feel that he continues to live on. And that is not only important but is a real comfort to me.

My Dad’s Williams line came to Fairland from Madison County, Indiana. Jesse M. Williams, a Civil War veteran, sold his family’s land to move to Fairland where he and son, Newton E. Williams started a brick-building business. Newton stayed in Fairland, sold the brick business and had a nice business , owning grain elevators, until the Depression -- he lost everything.

The second Williams line is from my Grandma’s family. Her name was Ofa Steward and her parents were William Frederick Steward and Margaret Anne Williams.

Yes, another Williams!

Margaret Anne was descended from one of Shelby County’s early pioneers, Daniel Williams, who came from Clark and Scott Counties in southern Indiana. We know his parents were Reece Williams and Lavina Jolly - from Virginia. We want to know more. (When saying “we” - I am including my cousins who are also working on this Williams line.)

For the third Williams line, I suggest you sit down before further reading…….

Margaret Anne Williams (above) had a sister named Anna Laura (“Laura”). It was destined that Laura marry a WILLIAMS. Yes, a Williams married a Williams….. (BIG SIGH). Laura married Melvin Williams.

But wait! There‘s more! My grandma Ofa Steward's sister was Ivy Steward. And after Ofa married Jesse Carl Williams in Fairland in 1916, her sister Ivy married Carl E. Williams in 1923 in Shelbyville. The two sisters married men who were called “Carl Williams”. To make matters more interesting, Carl E. Williams was a descendant of Melvin (see above).

If you think this is confusing, YOU ARE RIGHT!! But each Williams family has a different history and none have yet to be linked except by their marriages in Shelby County.

It would be of great interest to find descendants of Melvin and Reece to take a DNA test and make sure that these are indeed three separate lines. If anyone is interested in doing this, please let me know. I will help you get signed up. ASAP. I need all the help I can get with all of these Williams lines.

Before I end this entry, I would like to encourage anyone doing family research in Shelby County to check out the excellent web site: Findagrave. Many volunteers have entered data about their ancestors on this site. The Shelby County cemeteries are nearly all displayed on the site. I recently began to work as a volunteer, posting obituaries and photos of my family - many are buried in Brandywine and Fairland Cemeteries. I hope you will consider adding your family information on Findagrave. It's a wonderful site.