NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
This is a name common wherever the English language is spoken. It is of great antiquity in Wales and England. In the former country it can be traced to a remote period. The family in Wales was noble and bore arms, the ancient coat being: "Sable, a lion rampant argent armed and langued gules." The seat of the family was Flint, Waltes and Lincolnshire, England. Oliver Cromwell was a Williams by right of descent, and was related to Richard Williams who settled in Taunton, Massachusetts.
The Williams family in the United States descend from a score of different immigrant ancestors, George of Salem, Richard of Taunton, and on down through a list dating from the earliest period of English settlement. Probably the best known of the early settlers was Roger Williams, founder of Providence, Rhode Island, and of the first Baptist church there. Names of some of the families are similar, Bible names predominating in the early generations.
The Lewis county, New York, family descend from the early New England settlers, but at what point they connect cannot be determined.
(I) Absalom Williams married Fanny Spencer and had children.
(II) Robert, son of Absalom and Fanny (Spencer) Williams, was born in Lowville, Lewis county, N.Y., May 5, 1816, died November 1890. He was educated in the public schools, and for several years followed the occupation of farmer. He then learned the cooper's trade, and followed that until 1861. He then purchased a farm in the town of Denmark and returned to agriculture, continuing until his final retirement from active life. He was of a most kind-hearted, domestic disposition, devoted to his home and family, bearing cheerfully all burdens their support and comfort entailed. He was well-known and popular in his neighborhood, whre his life was passed.
He was a member of the State National Guard, ranking as lieutenant.
His religious affiliation was with the Methodist Episcopal church, and his political belief, Republican.
He married Jerusha M. Stiles, born in the town of Harrisburg, Lewis county, N.Y., March 9, 1818.
1. Irene, born 1840, died in infancy.
2. Violetta, Dec. 27, 1841, died Sept. 17, 1895.
3. Stiles H., see forward.
4. Charles D., Oct. 24, 1848; married Anna Windecker.
5. Ernest M., June 22, 1859; married Ella Hamblin, and had Maud Grace and Stiles Llewlyn, the latter dying at the age of two years.
(III) Stiles H., eldest son of Robert and Jerusha M. (Stiles) Williams, was born in the town of Denmark, Lewis county, N.Y., July 31, 1845. He received his early education in the public schools and pursued a course of study at Lowville Academy, graduating in 1865. During his early life he worked on the farm, anda became familiar with the different operations involved in the manufacture of cheese. This was a both popular and provident business of his neighborhood, and in course of time he became an expert cheesemaker, owning his own factory, which he operated for twenty-three years. He reached a point of excellence in cheese-making that caused the product of his factory to command a ready market, while his factory at Windecker, town of Harrisburg, was unexcelled in its appointment and method. In connection with his factory he owned and operated a steam grist and saw mill, which he kept in active operation. About the year 1892 he disposed of his manufacturing and mill property, purchased the Williams homestead "Homewelcome," where he was born. His farm is located near the village of Denmark on the old state road, and here Mr. Williams is rouding out his life of active, successful effot. He is a thorough man of business, yet warm-hearted, genial and hospitable. He is a believer in the doctrine of legal prohibition of the liquor traffic, and supports his principle at the ballot box.
He is a member of Denmark Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, as are the members of his family.
He married, Dec. 29, 1869, Cassie A. Walker, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 17, 1846, daughter of Thomas and Anna (Akins) Walker. Thomas Walker, born in Ireland, came to the United States early in the nineteenth century, settled at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he successfully operated a plant for the manufacutre of pottery. He died in February, 1851. His wife died the following May.
Children of Stiles H. Williams:
1. Anna J., born Feb. 27, 1871; married, Oct. 27, 1891, John L. Kohler; children: i. Anna Grace, born Dec. 8, 1895; ii. Robin Edith, May 30, 1899; iii. Cassie Elizabeth, June 16, 1900, died Sept. 3, 1900; iv. Bernice Jane, Nov. 26, 1901.
2. Robert B., born Jan. 14, 1873; engaged in farming on the old state road on what is now (1910) known as the Blodgett farm, across from the old Williams homestead, making a specialty of dairying. He is a member of the Denmark Grange; married, Oct. 21, 1903, Mary A. Carpenter; children: i. Robert Stiles, born Feb. 21, 1905; ii. Cassie Mildred, June 1, 1906; iii. Helen Grace, Dec. 20, 1909. [Transcriber's note: this material was published in 1910, so any subsequent children this couple may have had are obviously not listed.]
The Williams family is believed to have come from Jamaica, Vermont, where in 1790 there were two of the same name, John and Reuben. One of these two is credited with a family consisting of four males over sixteen, two under sixteen and four females.
(I) Selden Williams, thought to have been born in Jamaica, Vermont, was born in 1789, died in 1834; he had brothers: John, Reuben and Isaac.
He married a Miss Brooks.
1. Juliette, married Sylvanus Boynton; lives in Manchester, Vermont.
5. Selden, mentioned below.
(II) Selden (2), son of Selden (1) Williams, was born March 21, 1828, in Jamaica, Vermont, died Nov. 11, 1899, in Stockholm, N.Y. He came to the latter place when five years old and was educated in the district schools there. By occupation he was a farmer. He was excise commissioner, and poor master for sixteen years. He was a member of the Methodist church, of which he was also steward, trustee, and class leader for forty-five years.
He married (first) Feb. 22, 1854, Sarah Jane, daughter of Henry Barnes Sumner. She was born in 1834, in Stockholm, died in 1876. He married (second) Ann (Turner) Austin, widow of Stillman Austin.
Children of first wife:
1. Willis Selden, born May 24, 1855, died in infancy.
2. Frank Fay, mentioned below.
3. Ellen E., July 20, 1867, died April 26, 1887.
Child of second wife:
4. Josephine, March 17, 1884.
(III) Frank Fay, son of Seldon (2) Williams, was born July 10, 1857, in Stockholm, N.Y., and was educated in the district schools of Bicknellville and at Potsdam Normal school, from which he graduated in 1879. For two years he taught school in Heuvelton, N.Y. While teaching, he studied medicine and attended the New York Homeopathic Medical College, from which he graduated March 15, 1883. He began the practice of medicine in Potsdam, where he remained nine months. Jan. 1, 1884, he came to Canton, N.Y., and has been located there since in the practice of his profession. He served as president of Jefferson County Homeopathic Society, and was also president of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Central New York. Member of the New York State Homeopathic Medical Society, of which he is on committee on legislation, and member of American Institute of Homeopathy and the American Institute of Orificial Surgeons. He has been health office of the town of Cnaton for twenty-three years and still holds the position. (1910).
He is past master of St. Lawrence Lodge, No. 111 Free and Accepted Masons, Canton; Scribe of St. Lawrence Chapter, No. 132, Royal Arch Masons, Canton; member of St. Lawrence Commandery, No. 28, Knights Templar, Canton; member Media Temple, Mystic Shrine, Watertown, N.Y.; member of No. 635, Canton, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of Canton Court, No. 1343, same order.
He married, Aug. 12, 1884, Lillabelle A., daughter of Alonzo and Mary Elizabeth (Austin) Thornton, of Heuvelton, N.Y.
1. Alice Jane, born May 30, 1885, died March 7, 1888.
2. Frank Fay Jr., Aug. 24, 1888; graduate of St. Lawrence University.
3. Seldon Thornton, Feb. 7, 1892; student in St. Lawrence University.
4. Edward Everett, Jan. 11, 1897.
Morris Williams, the first of the name of whom we have record, son of William Williams, was born in Wales, Dec. 9, 1761, died Jan. 2, 1837. He married Margaret, youngest daughter of John Roberts; she died in 1830, aged seventy-two years.
Jane, Ann, William, Daniel, Robert, Given, Griffith, and Griffith (2).
Mr. and Mrs. Williams were members of the Calvinistic Methodist church.
(II) Daniel, second son of Morris and Margaret (Roberts) Williams, was born in Wales, 1793, died in 1875. In 1829 he came to America and settled in Oneida county, N.Y., where he followed farming throughout the active years of his life. He was a Methodist in religion, and a Republian in politics.
He married, in 1814, Ellen, born in North Wales, daughter of Robert Thomas.
Children, the six eldest born in Wales, the remainder in the U.S.:
William, Thomas, Robert, Morris, Elizabeth, Margaret, Catherine, Abiah D., John and Mary.
Those living in 1910 are:
Morris, Catherine and Abiah D. The mother of these children died in 1877.
(III) Abiah D., son of Daniel and Ellen (Thomas) Williams, was born in Oneida county, N.Y., 1832. He was reared on a farm, educated in the common schools, and resided at home until he attained his majority. He then settled on a farm in the town of Watson, Lewis county, N.Y., and has since followed farming. During the civil war he enlisted, December, 1862, in Company I, Fifth New York Heavy Artillery, and served until the close of the war, being mustered out of the service Aug. 1, 1865.
He attends the Methodist Episcopal church, and casts his vote for the candidates of the Republican party.
He married, in 1859, Fanny, daughter of Leonard Alger.
Daniel, born Sept. 25, 1860.
Charles, see forward.
Nellie, Aug. 20, 1864, died in 1867.
Mary, 1866, died in 1867.
Katherine, 1868, died in 1901.
Ann, May, 1870.
George, Nov., 1873.
Frank, Dec., 1876.
(IV) Charles, son of Abiah D. and Fanny (Alger) Williams, was born at Martinsburg, N.Y., Dec. 14, 1862. He was educated there in the public schools. From 1883 to 1892 he conducted the stage route from Lowville to Beaver River, N.Y. From 1892 to 1898, he was in the employ of Dr. Seward Webb at Nehasue Park. In the fall of 1905 he engaged in the sale stable in partnership with W. C. Wilsey, of Utica, N.Y., and the business of the firm has become the largest in this line in the city of Utica. Mr. Williams' firm has been especially successful in dealing in horses. He built an attractive sumemr hotel, called Lake View Lodge, at Big Moose, N.Y., in 1908, and year by year has added new cottages until, at the present time (1910), he has accomodations for one hundred and twenty-five guests, and his inn is one of the best known in the Adirondack Mountains. Both horse and boat liveries are unsurpassed in the section.
In 1910 Mr. Williams bought the homestead on which he was born in Martinsburg, known as the Townsend farm. In all his business ventures Mr. Williams has shown the same energy, industry and foresight, and has earned a large measure the success that he has won by close attention and thorough knowledge of every detail of the business and by constant personal supervision of his employees.
In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of Lowville Lodge, No. 134, Free and Accepted Masons, and a stockholder of the Herkimer National Bank.
He married, at Port Leyden, N.Y., Feb. 22, 1886, Margaret Thresa, born at Forestport, Oneida county, N.Y., May 28, 1863, daughter of Michael and Catharine (Christy) Donovan.
1. Charles Frederick, born July 3, 1887, at Watson; educated in the public schools at Watson, the State street school of Lowville and the Utica Business Institute, Utica, N.Y., from which he graduated after a course of four years; married, Jan. 26, 1910, Mary Breen, of Lowville, N.Y.
2. Fanny Ruth, March 14, 1889, at Watson; graduate of the State street school of Lowville in 1906, and from the four-year course at the Utica Business Institute of Utica in 1909.
Everett Williams, prominent and influential in the Republican politics of Lewis county, N.Y., serving at the present time (1910) in the capacity of county treasurer, is a son of Thomas and Ann (Jones) Williams, and grandson of John J. and Mary (Davis) Williams.
(I) John J. Williams, a native of Wales, was an officer in the British army and participated in the battle of Waterloo. About 1838 he emigrated to the United States, accompanied by his wife, Mary (Davis) Williams, and four sons:
Thomas, Edward J., John J. Jr., and William.
They settled at what was at the time known as the Welsh settlement in the southern part of the town of Greig, now Lyonsdale, Lewis county, N.Y., where he followed his trade of shoemaker.
Thomas, see forward.
Edward J., was a resident of Barnes Corners, N.Y., and died in 1904.
John J., now living in Palmyra, Ohio.
William, a blacksmith and cheesemaker, at East Martinsburg, died in 1902.
John J. Williams (father) died in 1861, aged seventy years.
(II) Thomas, son of John J. and Mary (Davis) Williams, was born in Wales, 1825. He learned the trade of shoemaker with his father, and later was engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes, subsequently removing to the village of Collinsville, and in connection with his trade engaged in argicultural pursuits.
He was a Republican in politics.
He married, in 1848, Ann Jones, born in Remsen, Oneida county, N.Y., daughter of Humphrey P. Jones, who came to this country from Wales when a small boy. They were the parents of six children, two of whom died in infancy; those who survived were:
John H.,br> Thomas E. Byron, died at age of thirty-one years.
Everett, mentioned below.
The father of these children died in 1887, and the mother in 1905, aged seventy-six years.
(III) Everett, son of Thomas and Ann (Jones) Williams, was born at Turin, Lewis county, N.Y., in October, 1850. He was educated in the common schools and Turin high school, and upon the completion of his studies engaged with the Black River Railroad Company as assistant station agent at Port Leyden, N.Y., and continued in this capacity for three years. About that time the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad Company leased the Black River road and Mr. Williams was given charge of the station and continued with them until New York Central leased the line, and then was in the employ of that railroad company as agent for a time. Altogether he was in the employ of different railroad companies for a period of seventeen years. While thus engaged he established a coal business at Port Leyden, N.Y., and the volume of business which came to him necessitated his resigning his position to give all his attention to the coal and trucking business, which had prospered far beyond his expectations.
In 1905 he formed a partnership with Noah Whittlesey and they established a coal yard at Lyons Falls, which is operated in connection with the Port Leyden office. His successful career is the result of his own unassisted efforts, his executive abiltiy and careful management being potent factors in the success he has achieved. Notwithstanding the burden of many and weighty business responsibilities, he has found time to give valuable service to his town and county. In 1897 he was elected supervisor of the town of Leyden, serving two terms on the board. He was one of the most influential members of the board and was appointed one of the committee on county buildings; for two years he served as chairman of the committee, and the many improvements at the county home are mainly due to his untiring efforts; while chairman of the building committee the steam heat and steam laundry were installed and many other needed improvements were brought about. He was chosen chairman of the board of supervisors in 1901. In 1904 he was elected county treasurer of Lewis county, and is the present (1910) incumbent of the office, having been re-elected in 1907.
In all his varied experiences Mr. Williams has the pleasant faculty of making friends easily and holding them afterwards. Mr. Williams is a member and junior warden of St. Mark's Church, Port Leyden. He is a member of the Royal Arcanum, past master of Port Leyden Lodge, No. 669, F.A.M., and member of Lowville Chapter, No. 213, R.A.M.
Mr. Williams married (first) Sept. 18, 1883, Julia L. Burrows, born at Port Leyden, Feb. 7, 1862, daughter of Anderw Burrows, of Port Leyden. She died Feb. 7, 1904.
1. Harold A., born July 28, 1884; educated at Port Leyden high school; graduate of Hamilton College, class of 1905; is assistant treasurer of Lewis county and justice of the peace of Port Leyden; married, March 17, 1907, Elizabeth Taylor, daughter of William Taylor, of Port Leyden; child: Ella May, born May 18, 1908.
2. Roy T., born April 26, 1887; educatedd at Port Leyden high school and Albany Business College; now engaged with the International Milk Product Company, of New York City.
3. George B., born July 10, 1893; graduate of Port Leyden high school, class of 1908; now engaged with Library Bureau of Ilion, N.Y.
4. Mary Louise, born Dec. 25, 1896.
Mr. Williams married (second) Nov. 22, 1907, Josephine M. Schell, of Lyonsdale, daughter of Harris Schell. Children: Florence Estelle, died aged three months; Harris Schell, born April 25, 1910. [Transcriber's note: this material was published in 1910, so any subsequent children are, of course, not listed.]
Edward E. Williams, son of Edward O. and Winifred (Morris) Williams, was born in Turin, Lewis county, N.Y., Sept. 4, 1865. He was educated in the public schools. He left home at the age of thirteen to work out of a farm and remained until he was nineteen. He then engaged in the meat and provision business on his own account at Port Leyden, N.Y. After a short time he removed to Lowville and conducted a first class market in that town, and became one of the most successful in this line of business in the county. He became intersted in the live-stock trade and finally disposed of his market in 1902 in order to devote all his attention to it. He was in partnership in the live-stock business with James Nefsey, under the firm name of Nefsey & Williams. Mr. Williams buys cattle for the New York City and Boston markets. He has been eminently successful in all his business ventures.
Besides his homestead in Lowville, he owns two large and well stocked farms, all accumulated by dint of thrift, energy and constant industry and application.
He is a member of Lowville Lodge, No. 134, Free and Accepted Masons. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in politics a Republican. He has been overseer of the poor and for two terms president of the incorporated village of Lowville.
He married, Feb. 10, 1892, Ida E., born at Leyden, Jan. 17, 1867, daughter of Franklin B. Rugg.
Ruth A., born Aug. 18, 1893.
Winifred J., Jan. 1, 1903.
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