Williams Family

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.Charlotte Philips Williams (6).

Charlotte Philips WILLIAMS is a daughter of William Williams, Sr. and Sarah "Sallie" Philips
Born: 22 Jan 1812 in Davidson Co TN and Died: 21 Jun 1887 in Nashville, Davidson Co TN

Married: Col. William Baine Alexander Ramsey 25 Dec 1860 in Nashville TN 

Born: 04 Feb 1799 in Knoxville TN and Died: 27 Apr 1874 in Nashville TN

Charlotte Williams was living with her father when she married Col. William B. H. Ramsey who also lived in Edgefield about four miles north of Nashville on the Gallatin Pike.  When they married, Charlotte was 48 years old and Col. Ramsey, recently widowed, was 61 years old.

They enjoyed 13 years of marriage when Col. Ramsey passed away in 1874 at 75 years of age. 

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Col. William Baine Alexander Ramsey

Click on this link to go to the City of Knoxville web site where the below information is contained.

The following story about Col. Ramsey's parents and his siblings helps us understand who he was.

Mayor of Knoxville, TN 1838 - 1839

Born in Knoxville at Swan Pond (Ramsey House); lawyer; Knoxville Chancery Court Clerk and Master, 1832-1848; built a steamboat called Knoxville; editor/publisher of the Knoxville Register; trustee at East TN College (now U.T.), 1836; Secretary of State of Tennessee 1847-1855; served on Board of Alderman; was first Mayor elected by citizens; buried at Nashville City Cemetery in Nashville, TN

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The following stories about Col. Ramsey's parents and his siblings helps us understand who he was.

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The Ramsey House is a two-story stone house in Knox County, Tennessee. Also known as Swan Pond, the house was constructed circa 1797 by English architect Thomas Hope for Colonel Francis Alexander Ramsey (1764–1820), whose family operated a plantation at the site until the U.S. Civil War. In 1969, the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places for its architecture and its role in the region's early 19th-century history.

Francis Alexander Ramsey arrived in what is now Greene County in 1783, and shortly thereafter made a surveying trip down the Holston Rive, where he first identified the future site of the Ramsey House. Throughout the 1780s, he served as an official of the fledgling State of Franklin, and later served in various capacities in the governments of the Southwest Territory and the State of Tennessee.  Ramsey's children included early Knoxville mayor, W. B. A. Ramsey, and early Tennessee historian and businessman, J. G. M. Ramsey, both of whom occupied the Ramsey House at various times. Due to their Confederate sympathies, the Ramseys fled Knoxville when the Union Army occupied the city during the Civil War,  and the family sold the house in 1866.

The Knoxville Chapter of the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities (APTA) purchased the Ramsey House in 1952,  and currently maintains the house and grounds as a museum.

Ramsey, an Important, Unfamiliar Pioneer
Memphis Daily News, 15 Dec 2014

In this season of thankfulness, Knoxvillians should pay homage to Francis Alexander Ramsey, but many people are probably not familiar with his name.

The sign on East Governor John Sevier Highway for the Historic Ramsey House indicates a home from another era, but many people pass it without realizing the significance.

Located about seven miles from downtown Knoxville, it was once one of the finest homes in Tennessee, but more than that, it was the home to Ramsey, a man who provided leadership and direction for a young Knoxville and a man who fought alongside Gen. George Washington in the Revolutionary War.

In the late summer of 1783, Ramsey came to what would become East Tennessee. It remained his home for the rest of his life.

Ramsey, who received both civic and military appointments, helped develop Knoxville in the areas of education, medicine, business and banking, the railways and religion, says Judy LaRose, executive director of the Historic Ramsey House. He was an original trustee of Blount College, the precursor to the University of Tennessee.

Ramsey, of Scotch-Irish descent, came to the area when less than 400 settlers lived here, LaRose says. Ramsey, who held the honorary title of colonel, arrived along with James White, Robert Love and others to survey the area.

Years later, the 33-year-old moved his young family into Ramsey House in 1797, the year after Tennessee became a state. The house was built from a log cabin on the property that had provided a temporary home while the mansion was being built.

Ramsey’s land stretched all the way to the forks of the Holston and French Broad rivers. The piece of land where the Ramsey House sits was once called Swan Pond because it was a peninsula and was the home to a diversified wildlife population, including beavers and swans.

Due to the dangers of malaria and other concerns, Ramsey had the beavers’ dams that created the lake taken apart, draining the water away. Ironically, Ramsey died years of malaria in 1820.

Ramsey and his sons’ contributions to the area are many. The elder Ramsey donated several acres of his land to the Presbyterian Church, where the Lebanon-in-the-Fork Presbyterian Church was built.

Ramsey helped guide the beginnings of Blount College, which was created in 1794, along with White, founder of Knoxville, and Samuel Carrick, who was the first college president. Blount College later became the University of Tennessee, one of the oldest universities in the nation.

Several of Ramsey’s children died before reaching adulthood. All of Ramsey’s surviving children were college educated including his daughter, Eliza Jane, LaRose says.

Ramsey’s sons, Dr. J.G.M. Ramsey and William Baine Alexander Ramsey, followed in their father’s footsteps of public leadership. Dr. Ramsey, a physician, wrote “The Annals of Tennessee,” a historical documentation of the state’s early years, and founded the East Tennessee Historical Society.

LaRose explains he was ready to publish a second volume of the annals when the Union Army came through and burned his house to the ground. Along with the house, 4,000 books in Dr. Ramsey’s library that included his journals of Europe and historical documents about the state were destroyed.

“I don’t think that he ever recovered from that,” LaRose adds. “I think he was a beaten man after that.”

William Baine Alexander Ramsey, who was given the name of his older brother who died at the age of eight, became the first elected mayor of Knoxville and later Secretary of State.

William Ramsey was the publisher of the Knoxville Register and also served as a trustee at East Tennessee College, the second name of UT.

The elder Ramsey was survived by his third wife. She gave birth to Ramsey’s youngest child five months after his death. Francis Alexander Ramsey Jr., known as Frank, also became a physician like his older half-brother.

The historic mansion was purchased in 1952 for the purposes of preservation. Although the home had remained in the Ramsey family for 80 years, a grandson of the elder Ramsey sold it in 1866. Prior to the mansion’s purchase, it had been rental property.

Historical documents were used to help restore the home and provide authentic period furnishings for the period of Ramsey senior’s residence, 1797-1820. The property is owned by the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities but is run independently by a board of directors, LaRose says.

The association is the oldest statewide nonprofit historic preservation organization in Tennessee and is the fourth oldest in the nation. The association has developed the property into 101.5 acres that includes gardens and green space, which along with the house, are available for rental for private events and weddings.

The house does have some furnishings that belonged to the original family including a pair of Chippendale chairs that were a wedding present from the parents of Ramsey’s first wife and a cross-stitch sampler made by his daughter, Eliza.

Ramsey House is said to have a documented ghost, the first son named William who died when he was eight. A paranormal investigator and a psychic came to check the house out in 2013. The psychic said at the time that the spirit was “a young boy.’’

LaRose says the investigators say the ghost is apprehensive and hides in the attic. Eliza’s sampler includes William’s name and death year.

During a tour of the home, LaRose shares some of the unique qualities of the Ramsey House.

It was built by English architect Thomas Hope and features pink marble, quarried from the property, and blue limestone. It was the first home in Tennessee with an attached kitchen, which was added in 1806. Thirty-five people lived on the property, including house slaves who lived in an upstairs loft. Indentured servants from the north helped work the land.

LaRose says the nonprofit continues to make improvements to the property and to expand the offerings of the museum.

“At the time, it was known as the finest house in Tennessee,” LaRose says. “We would love to turn this into a living history museum."