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
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

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 .
The Williams Family
Jim Wilkinson