The Williams Family
Minnie Williams
THE ANCESTORS OF MINNIE WILLIAMS
James Wilkinson (1865 – 1941)  was married twice during his
life.  His first wife was a woman named Luella Adams.  James
and Luella had three daughters,  Mabel, Naomi and Hassel.  After
Luella died in 1902 James married for a second time.  I do not
have the marriage date for he and Minnie Williams.  James would
have been 38 when Luella died and Minnie Williams would have
been a much younger woman of perhaps 18 or 19 when they were
married.  One story that I have heard from Herman Wilkinson is
that Minnie was hired by the family as a housekeeper during the
period of time when Luella was ill and was therefore present and
taking care of the older children when Luella died.  James and
Minnie had a daughter, Marie, in 1904 and a son, Herman, in
1906.  As my branch of the Wilkinson family descends from
Herman Wilkinson I do have a small number of documents and
photographs of Minnie and her family, a selection of which are
included in this chapter.  James and Minnie were divorced in the
1920s while Marie and Herman were still young.  Minnie went on
to remarry twice during her life before dying in 1953 in New
Castle, Indiana.  I think for those of us who are children of the
later 20th century it is hard to understand what divorce meant for
people in earlier times.  It was a stigma that brought
embarrassment in the community.    

The ancestors of Minnie Williams have been traced back so far
only to the beginning of the 19th century.  Her parents were Jacob
Williams (1835 – 1907) and Mary Williams (1859 – 1947).  
Jacob was a farmer and carpenter in Henry County and was the
son of Israel Williams (? - 1863) and Susanah Ritter (? - 1878).  
Israel Williams was a farmer who was born in Bedford County,
Pennsylvania and his wife Susanah is said to have been born in
North Carolina.  

Mary Williams was the daughter of Samuel Williams (1820 –
1892) and Margarate Jacobs.  I have an interesting letter, dated
1935, written by a man named Charles Fouts which carries some
interesting trivia about this branch of the family.  Charles is
writing to his brother John, a Lawyer in Seattle. The main subject
seems to be an interest in tracking down an ancestor which will
allow them to claim descent from a Revolutionary War veteran.  I
have no idea whether they were ever successful in this.  No
information has reached us of the results of their efforts.  Charles
also speaks of having ingaged a genealogical researcher in the
United Kingdom to look into possible family ancestors.  Again, I
have no information about any results of this.  Two pieces of
information come out in this letter:

The ancestors of Samuel Williams are said to have been among
the wave of Scotish – Irish settlers who opened the frontier in
Virginia and North Carolina in the early and mid 1700's.  These
settlers have an interesting and well documented story and were
called 'Covenanters'.

It is mentioned that either the father or grandfather of Samuel
Williams was part of the military group which tracked down the
rebel Indian leader Tecumseh and ambushed him at the Battle of
the Thames.  The comment says of this ancestor “his gun killed
Tecumseh” (Note that the family myth is not that the man killed
Tecumseh but that his gun killed Tecumseh).  Now this may seem
like an obscure historical detail today but in earlier times
Tecumseh was a significant historical figure.  He is the one who
famously put a curse on the american presidency for the ambush
and killing of his brother, another Indian leader that has led (we
have all heard this one I think) to every American President
elected in a year ending in a 'zero' dying in office.  Yes, yes,
Ronald Reagan survived the assasination attempt and George W.
Bush survived his term.

In another document that I have, frustratingly only page two of
some larger document, we are told that Margarate Jacobs was the
second wife of Samuel Williams and that her ancestors were of
Jewish descent from either Germany or Poland.  That is something
I would like to track down more information about.  It would seem
that if this is true the family converted to Christianity at some point
because Margarate Jacobs is described as being a faithful member
of the German Baptist Church.  Another comment in this document
relates that the grandfather of Margarate Jacobs laid the
Cornerstone of the United States Capital Building in Washington,
DC.  This would not be technically true as President George
Washington Laid the mentioned cornerstone:
















































I suspect, however that there is some kernal of truth in this
statement that may allow me to persue additional research into the
Jacobs branch of our family.  

I am including a small selection of photographs from an album
which has come down to us from the Williams family.  I know
nothing about the people included beyond Minnie herself.  In some
cases a name has come attached to the photo but no additional
information.  I also have a photograph of 'four generations', taken
in 1938, which includes Ellen Jane Wilkinson, her father Herman
Wilkinson, Minnie Williams and her mother Mary Williams.
On Wednesday one of the grandest Masonic processions took place
for the purpose of laying the cornerstone of the Capitol of the
United States. About 10 o'clock, Lodge #9 of Maryland was visited
by Lodge #22 of Virginia, with all their officers and Regalia.
Directly afterwards appeared, on the Southern banks of the Grand
River Potomac, one of the finest companies of Volunteer Artillery
that hath lately been seen, parading to receive the President of the
United States, who shortly came in sight with his suite, to whom the
Artillery paid their military honors. His Excellency and suite
crossed the Potomac, and was received in Maryland by the officers
and brethren of No.22 Virginia, and No.9 Maryland, whom the
President headed, and preceded by a band of music; the rear
brought up by the Alexandria Volunteer Artillery, with grand
solemnity of march, proceeded to the President's square, in the city
of Washington, where they were met and saluted by No.14, of the
city of Washington, in all their elegant badges and clothing.

The procession then marched two abreast in the greatest solemn
dignity, with music playing, drums beating, colors flying, and
spectators rejoicing from the President's square to the Capitol in
the city of Washington, where the Grand Marshal ordered a halt,
and directed each file in the procession to incline two steps, one to
the right, and one to the left, and face each other, which formed an
hollow oblong square, through which the Grand Sword Bearer led
the van, followed by the Grand Master P. T. on the left, the
President of the United States in the center, and the Worshipful
Master of No.22 Virginia on the right; all the other orders that
composed the procession advanced in the reverse of their order of
march from the President's square to the south-east corner of the
Capitol, and the artillery filed off to a destined ground to display
their maneuvers and discharge their cannon; the President of the
United States, the Grand Master P. T ., and Worshipful Master of
No.22 taking their stand to the east of a huge stone, and all the
craft forming a circle westward. The cornerstone of the Capitol of
the United States was then laid with appropriate Masonic
Ceremonies.

At frequent intervals volleys were discharged by the artillery. The
ceremony ended in prayer. Masonic chaunting honors, and a
fifteenth volley from the artillery.

The whole company retired to an extensive booth, where an ox of
500 lbs. weight was barbecued, of which the company generally
partook, with every abundance of other recreation. The festival
concluded with fifteen successive volleys from the artillery , whose
military discipline and maneuvers merit every commendation.
Before dark the whole company departed, with joyful hopes of the
production of the labor .
Masonic Symbol
Cornerstone Ceremony
Covenanters' Flag
Death of Tecumseh
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