Sometimes the universe takes pity on genealogists and places a gift right in our laps. This is one of those times.
The Moses Williams project team took a short hiatus from the project to work on other parts of our respective family trees. This is an enormous and intensive project. Naturally, we’ll be taking breaks from it to catch our breath and clear our heads…and think of new ways to tackle the formidable research obstacles. So it was kind of nice landing a major find on the second day back on the project.
The message below is what led to the discovery we’ve just made today:
There was just enough information provided for me to decide to take a look. I thought I’d give it 15 or so minutes just to see what I could find. I know, I know, every genealogist says that…and 12 hours later, you find yourself still working through your research. Not this time.
In no time at all, I was able to trace Christopher’s life journey from Greenwood County, South Carolina (which was actually still part of Edgefield County when Christopher was born) to Ohio. Working backwards in Greenwood County, I had his parents and his siblings.
Christopher was the son of Frank Williams (1883 – ?) and Eula (maiden name unknown) of Kirksey, Greenwood, South Carolina. Frank Williams. in turn, was the son of John Williams (1847 – ?) and Amanda Susanna Ross, also of Kirksey, Greenwood, South Carolina
Now Frank has been in my tree for a long time. He caused me all manner of confusion. I had two Frank Williams born abt 1847 – one married to an Amanda Ross and one married to a Susannah Ross. I treated these two Franks as two different men, even though I strongly suspected they were one in the same person. It was the different given names for his wife or wives that threw me. After some further digging and searching through additional records, both Franks are indeed the same man. Now, whether Susannah Ross and Amanda Ross are the some woman, or sisters, I don’t know. For now, I’m treating them as one in the same person until more death certificates are found for their children.
Frank’s mother was Lucretia “Creasy” Williams (abt 1820 – ?). And then I truly hit a nugget of gold. I found her in the 1880 Census with her mother, Mariah Stallworth. Lucretia, it turns out, was born and lived in apart of Edgefield that become Greenwood County when the district boundaries changed.
To see that name Stallworth was simply everything. It gives us a specific name to search on for additional children. We can also begin to identify the family who enslaved her, and trace her life through various slave deeds and probate records.
Taking a look at where Mariah and Lucretia were living in 1880, I immediately knew who Lucretia’s father was. We knew the name of his second wife already, which was Mariah (maiden name unknown). 10 minutes later and everything came together. The Mariah Stallworth who was Lucretia’s mother was one in the same as the Mariah who was Moses’s wife.
Here was another of Moses Williams’ missing 40 daughters.
There’s still a basic mystery with Lucretia. Who was the father of her mulatto son, John Williams?
To-date, the team has found 8 of Moses Williams 45 enslaved children:
- Ellick/Aleck Williams, born abt. 1780, and living in Laurens County by 1870;
- An unknown daughter, born in Edgefield County around 1790, who had at least one child by an unknown McKie. that child was Moses McKie, Sr, born abt 1825 in Edgefield County. He is living in the midst of his extended Williams family in Edgefield in the 1870 Census;
- Moses Williams, Jr, born abt. 1791 in Edgefield, and died in the 1880s in Barnwell County;
- Violet Williams, born abt. 1809 in Edgefield County. She was the wife of Peter Peterson of Edgefield County (my 4x great grandparents);
- Lewis Williams, born abt. 1815 in Edgefield County. Presumed to have died in Edgefield County before 1880;
- Henry Williams, born abt. 1818 in Edgefield County. Presumed to have died in Edgefield or Greenwood Counties by 1880;
- Elizabeth Williams, born abt. 1840 in Edgefield County, and living in Barnwell County by 1880; and
- Lucretia Williams, born abt. 1820 and living in Greenwood County by 1880.
At present, we’re missing 1 son and 33 daughters – as well as the name of his first wife, who was the mother of 21 of his 45 children.