Williams Family

Home. .Williams Family Tree. .Reference Info. .Mississippi County AR. .Early Halifax NC. .Early Nashville TN. .John Williams (1). .Richard Williams (2). .Littletown. .Joshua Williams (3). .Maps. .Historical North Carolina Maps . .Two Elishas (a). .Two Elishas (b). .Elisha Williams, Sr (4). .Couer de Lion Thoroughbred. .Scotland Neck Trinity Church. .Betsy Williams (5). .William Williams, Sr. (5). .Mary Wharton Williams (6). .John Wharton Williams (6). Dr. William Williams, Jr. (6) .Charlotte Philips Williams (6). . Elisha Williams Jr (5). .Sarah Josey Ray WILLIAMS (6). .Henry J. Williams (6). .Josiah Frederick Williams (5). .Ewing Family. .Milbrey Horn Williams (6). .Joseph Philips Williams (6). .Rebecca Philips Williams (6). .Rowena Josey Williams (6). .Elisha Williams (6). .James H. Williams (6). .Edward H. Williams (7). .Margaret "Maggie" Williams (7). .Sallie Williams (7). .Edward James Williams (8). .Frank D. Williams(8) . .Nelle Francis Williams (8). .Henry P. Williams (6). .Sarah Elizabeth Williams (6). .Mary Thomas "Money" Williams (6). .John Maxey Williams (6). .Martha M. Williams (6). .Margaret Williams (6). . Mama Nelle and Pop . . Joseph Philips . . Sylvan Hall Cemetery . .Contacts. Larry's Home Page

.Josiah Frederick Williams (5).

These are the parents of my grandmother's grandfather,James Horn Williams.

Josiah Frederick Williams  (Son of Elisha Williams and Sarah Josey)
Born:   2 Feb 1786 Halifax County VA

Died:    29 Nov 1851 Nashville, Davidson County, TN

Buried:   Sylvan Hall Philips Cemetery, Nashville, TN

Married: Margaret "Peggy" Thomas Phillips on 15 December 1814

Margaret "Peggy" Thomas Philips (Daughter of Joseph Philips, Jr. and Milbrey Horn)
Born:   30 Sep 1799, Nashville TN 
Died:  14 Apr 1844, at home at Maplewood, Davidson Co., TN
Buried:  Sylvan Hall Philips Cemetery, Nashville, TN

The twelve children of this union are:

 1    Milbrey Horn Williams - Born: 6 December 1815 - Died: abt 1872
               Married 26 Jan 1932 Orville Ewing Born: 1806 - Died: 1976

 2    Rebecca Philips Williams - Born: 1817 or 1815 - Died: 27 July 1844   
              Married 20 Dec 1832 Edwin Hickman Ewing Born: 1809 - Died: 1902

 3    Joseph Philips Williams 5/14/1818 - 4/7/1862    
              Married 20 Nov 1838 Sarah A. Magdaline Pennington 1821 - 1885
 4    Rowena Josey Williams 3/25/1822     
              Married 9 Sep 1841 Andrew Ewing IIII 1815 - 1864

 5    Elisha Williams  1824 - 26 Mar 1899  
             Married 1845 Sarah A. Finley   15 Nov 1823 - 5 Jul 1888

 6    James Horn Williams 1/15/1826 - 1/12/1893  (My grandmother's grandfather)
              Married in 1847 Mary E. Finley, b. 15 Sep 1818, d. abt 1857
              Second marriage in 1858 Juliette Marian "Nellie" Heath
              Third marriage in 1874 Mary Duncle
               Forth marriage in 1882 Sarah A. Dunavant
 7    Henry Philips Williams   8/25/1828 - 2/22/1901   
              Married in 1855 to Frences Brennan 1834 - 1869
              Second Marriage on 10/6/1870 to Martha Ann "Nannie" Haskins 5/24/1846 - 2/22/1830 
 8      David Dwyer Williams   1/11/1829 - 2/17/1829   (Died as an infant)

 9      Sarah Elizabeth Williams   10/29/1830 - 10/31/1903  
             Married 1845 Dr. William Harvey Whitaker 1820 - 1888
10     Mary "Money" Thomas Williams Warner 8/1831 - 7/28/1910
             Married 11 Mar 1852 James Cartwright Warner 1830 - 1895

11     John Maxey Williams 1833 - 1913  
             Married 4 Dec 1855 to Susan J. E. Sample,  Married in  1867 to Mary Burton.
12     Martha M. Williams Duncan   1835 - 1920   
            Married June 6, 2854 to Andrew Jackson "Jack" Duncan 1856 - ?
13     Margaret Rowena Williams 11/25/1837 - 1864
            Married 15 Aug 1855 Dr. William Eggleston Kennedy 1823 - 1862
14     Robert Williams born after 1838 and may not have survived.

The following note was included in over 100 pages of notes written by Mrs. George A. Frazer, 302 Cornwall Ave., Nashville, TN and filed in the Tennessee State Archives and Library.  I have been unable to locate the grave marker referenced in this note.

After James Cartwright and his wife Mary "Money" Thomas Williams died, their son Percy Warner and his family moved from Renraw to Royal Oaks, a 20 acre estate, on Harding Road in 1913.  The property was sold in 1940 and the house was razed in the 1960's.

The above paintings of Percy's mother's parents, Josiah Frederick Williams and Margaret "Peggy" Thomas Williams, were displayed above the built-in bookcases in the Royal Oaks room below.

The University of North Carolina formally opened Feb. 12, 1795 and Josiah attended there the 1803-1804 school year and was a member of the Philanthropic Society.    
The objects of the Society were and have continued to be two-fold. First, the improvement of its members in the science and art of debating, in English composition and the attainment of a good style, in the knowledge of parliamentary rules and modes of conducting public business.   Secondly, the cultivation of moral and social virtues, and the formation of lasting friendships, founded on co-operation in honorable works.

Click here to read the UNC Philantrophic Society web site.

The book " Philanthropic Societh, Instituted in the University of North Carolina, August 1st, 1895",  Fourth Edition,  Published in 1887 lists members of the Society.   Josiah Williams is listed as being an active member in the year listed, but not being a graduate of UNC.  He is listed as being deceased when the book was published in 1895.  In 1803 he was living in Franklin County NC with his parents and siblings.


*WILLIAMS, JOSIAH . . . . . Franklin Co.


According to Gerri Williams, the UNC records show Joshiah Frederick Williams being enrolled "03-04, 1807" which I interpret to mean that he attended the school year 1803-1804 and would have been in the graduating class of 1807 had he stayed in school.  He likely left school to move to Nashville TN with his family in 1804 or 1805.

From the Raleigh Manerva Newspaper
4 July 1804
University of North Carolina Students End of Year Evaluations

Josiah Frederick Williams is listed among those completing the Sophomore year.

Below are sections of the 1810 and 1812 Davidson County Tax Rolls showing Josiah Frederick Williams with 476 acres and 25 blacks, his brother William Williams with 919 acres and 17 blacks, and their mother Sarah Williams with no land and 7 blacks.

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Below are deeds for other properties purchased by Josiah Frederick Williams as listed in the Davidson County Deed Books.

On 1 December 1815 Josiah purchased 101 acres in Davidson County from his Father-in-law Joseph Phillips (Philips) and recorded the purchase on 13 December 1815 in Deed Book M page 74.

On 15 July 1818 Josiah F. purchased 183 acres on the north side of the Cumberland River from his brother William Williams and recorded the purchase on 29 March 1819 in Deed Book N page 135.

On 27 August 1830 Josiah F. purchased 300 acres on Jones Bend from his brother-in-law Jesse Wharton and recorded the purchase on 19 November 1830 in Deed Book S page 659.

On 20 November 1815 Josiah F. purchased 133 acres on the south side of the Cumberland River from Shadrack Cayce and recorded the purchased 29 March 1819 in Deed Book N page 136.

On 28 January 1837 Josiah F. purchased 70 acres from Elijah Wilson etal and recorded the purchase on 28 January 1837 in Deed Book 1 page 70.

Below is an advertisement that appeared in the Tennessean newspaper on 19 May 1843 regarding a Chancery Sale of 117 1/2 acres that Josiah F. Williams had sold to Mary Ann Austin being the tract of land mortgaged by Wilson & Brooks to Josiah F. Williams on 28 Jan 1837.  Not sure what this was all about.

Found on newspaper.comNewspapers.com

The following undated letter from Robert Ewing, son of Andrew Ewing and Rowena Williams Ewing, sheds some light on the Maplewood plantation and the lives of the children.   Robert Ewing was Secretary and Treasurer of the Watkins Institute in Nashville at the time he wrote this letter.

Mr. Anderson,


I regret that I am not able to give you as accurate information with regard to Maplewood as I would like to give you ----


My grandfather on the maternal side, Josiah Williams, owned a very large tract of land (I think about 1,000 acres) situated on the west side of the Gallatin Turnpike about five miles from Nashville.  Whether he inherited this tract or aquired it by grant I do not know.


He established his home there several decades before the civil war.  The place was covered with magnificent trees, the maple predominately, and because of this, as I surmise, he gave the place the name of “Maplewood”.  It was equipped with all of the facilities necessary to handle plantations of that size as they were handled in these early days, with saw mill, grist mill, blacksmith and carpenter shop, cloth weaving and C supplying all the needs of his family and those living on this tract Timber of all kinds was at hand. He built the house on an elevation back westwardly from the Pike, leaving a lawn in the front covered with royal sugar maple trees. Walnut was plentiful in those days and the flooring of the rooms of this house consisted of walnut plank an inch thick obtained from trees growing on the land and prepared in the shop on the place. 


Mr. Williams married Margaret Philips.  Fourteen children came from this union as follows:


Milbry             - Married Orille Ewing 5th, President of the old Planter Bank

Rebecca         - Married Edwin Ewing, Lawyer of Nashville

Three sisters married three brothers

Rowena          - Married Andrew Ewing, Lawyer of Nashville

Sarah              - Dr. Whittaker, Physican of Clarksville

Henry              - Farmer of Guthrie, KY

John                - Merchant of Nashville

James              - Merchant of Clarksville

Elisha              - Farmer of Arkansas

Martha             - Married Andrew J. Duncan, Merchant and Banker of Nashville

Mary                - James C. Warner, Iron Manufacturer

Margaret          - Dr. Kennedy, Physician of Chattanooga


Jerre Baxter afterward bought the place and gave a site thereon to the Mason’s for an Orphans home.


When Mr. Baxter started to remodel the house Williams had built the contractor told him he could never replace material as desirable as that than existing.


This is such a crude statement that I prefer you do not mention my name though I think it correct.  The other three children whose names are not mentioned may have died in infancy.  I don't know.
Your friend,
Robert Ewing, Son of Andrew

Following is copy of the original hand written letter.

Robert Ewing Ltr by Larry Feldhaus

Henry Philips Williams, the seventh surviving child of this union, wrote a letter in 1892 or 1893 which included the following:
"The family moved to Tennessee in 1804 I think, and your Grandpa Josiah Williams married Margaretta Phillips in 1815 and had twelve children; James Williams, your father was one of the twelve.

 Speaking of our family I should tell you that your great-Grandpa was
highly educated and of quite a literary turn.  He was wealthy and gave all his children finished educations.  Cousin Jack's father was a graduate of Harvard University, Massachusetts and your grand-uncle Elisha and your Grandpa were graduated from Chappel Hill College, North Carolina.  Both read
latin fluently and their handwrite was most excellent.

 In mathematics he was superior to any of his boys.  I have heard him say
that his father was one of the best read men in North Carolina, and that his Grandfather was highly educated.  Grandfather Phillips was a close personal friend of my Grandfather Williams and finally induced him to move out to Tennessee.  He selling his real estate and giving part to his daughter Elizabeth who married a wealthy man in North Carolina named Thomas Alston. You may not know it but my Father and my Uncle (Jack's Father) married sisters, Sally and Margaretta Phillips, and through Grandfathers Williams and Phillips all the fine real estate near Nashville was inherited by Cousin Jack's father which is now known as the William's Estate."

Henry included with the letter a family history, a part of which follows:

"Your Great Grandfather, Elisha Williams, was highly educated himself, and insisted that his children should have every advantage extended to them in getting a collegiate education, which was something unusual at an early day.

He employed a private tutor for his boys, and when they were sufficiently advanced in their studies, he sent the oldest (Uncle William) to Harvard University, Mass., and your Grand Uncle Elisha and your Grand Pa to Chapel Hill, N.C. All three got their diplomas, and I know myself that your Grand Pa Williams could read Latin fluently and wrote a beautiful fluent hand.

Cousin Jack spoke of the old original stock as coming from Wales and settling first in Pennsylvania, and at least one branch of the family immigrating or moving to North Carolina. That branch from which we are sprung came some time in the early part of 1725, and settled in or near Edgecome, N.C.

Afterwards the head of the house, William Williams (father's grandfather) moved up to a place called Shoco or Shoeco, in Caldwell or Halifax, County, N.C., where he bought a large and fine property and lived the life of a country gentleman, having his farm on the river, his Negro quarters and his overseers. He had, I think, three sons and several daughters.

One of these sons was my grandfather, Elisha Williams, born in 1746, and afterwards owning the homestead, besides several farms in Franklin County, where I am told they kept Negro quarters managed by overseers.

He married a Miss Josey in 1774 and his children were William, born 1776, Elizabeth, 1778, Elisha, 1782, and your grandpa, Josiah F. Williams, born 1786.

In 1808 or thereabouts the family moved to Tennessee, leaving their married daughter, Elizabeth Alston, in North Carolina, where her descendants are now living, her only daughter having married a man by the name of Williams.

They had two children, Tom Williams and Lucy Williams. Lucy was quite an heiress and married William Polk (President James K. Polk's brother), while Tom and his children, when I last heard from them, were in fine circumstances.

Now my dear boy, after the family moved to Tennessee, you may be able to write out the remaining chapter.

Your Grandma (Margaret Philips) was born in 1799 on the place owned by her father, Jos. D. Philips, six miles from Hasville on the Dickenson Pike, and one of the finest places in Tennessee.

Josiah F. Williams was married in 1815, and in 1817 built the brick house which Jerry Baxter bought. It was one of the first brick houses built in the County of Davidson. I think your Pa was born about the time they moved into their new home, 1818."

The picture above came from a book entitled "Beautiful and historic homes in and near Nashville, TN, compiler - Mrs. James E. Caldwell and the co-author caldwell, May Winston. I found it in the Nashville Public Library Main Nashville Room under call number 917.68.c141b. The following text was on the page with this picture.

This beautiful farm of fourteen hundred acres, situated four miles from Nashville, on the Gallatin Pike, will always be a spot of interest to the people of this community on account of the owners and occupants who have lived and loved, married and died there.

The residence was built by Colonel Josiah Williams of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was one of the first brick houses erected in this vicinity, and, in its day was considered a model of archi­tectural beauty and elegance.

Maplewood was the scene of the marriage of three of Colonel Williams daughters to the three distinguished Ewing brothers, Edwin, Andrew and Orville. Mrs. Andrew Ewing was the mother of Mrs. Henry Watterson. On the occasion of her marriage the weather was so cold that the wedding guests were driven across the river on ice. The other daughters were Mrs. James C. Warner, Mrs. A. J. Duncan, Mrs. Whitaker, and Mrs. Kennedy.

From Colonel Williams the place passed into the possession of Dr. David W. Yandell, who afterwards moved to Louisville and became one of the most eminent physicians of Kentucky. He was the uncle of the sculptress, Miss Enid Yandell.

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Below is and advertisement in a Nashville newspaper for the sale of Josiah Frederick Williams land, totaling at least 488 acres, which did not sell at auction because it did not bring a high enough price.

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Dr. Yandell sold the place to Mr. George W. Payne, grandfather of Miss Mary Hannah Johnson. The next owner was Colonel Henry Blood, who sold it to Colonel Jere Baxter. Colonel Baxter improved the place, retaining intact, however, everything of intrinsic beauty. The old flower garden and the fine lines of the Colonial house were left undisturbed - not even the interior was touched except to put in modern conveniences. The paneled doors, high mantels and the quaint staircase were retained.

Colonel Baxter had for many years been a collector of objects of art and
Maplewood was filled with treasures brought from all over the world. There was also an extensive library, containing many volumes of rare editions.

Colonel Baxter imported direct his Welsh and Shetland ponies, Holstein and Jersey cattle, and Norman and Percheron horses.

He gave fourteen acres of the land to the Masonic Widows' and Orphans' Home. He added the McIver place to Maplewood,thus greatly extending the property.

Below is a newspaper article from 24 Feb 1888, a little over 32 years after Josiah Frederick Williams died.  The story cronicles the history of the plantation, at that time 1,000 acres.  A portion of the story covers Williams family, the prior owners.  I would love to see the original pictures that were included in this story.  The ones in this copy are hard to see.

I obtained this copy from Newspaper.com.  As usual, you can click on the paper to see a larger size that is easy to read. 

When the city grew out to the farm and made the land very valuable, Colonel Baxter was persuaded to sell it to a land syndicate, and with him passed from Maplewood its last individual owner.

The house and the last 27 acres of Maplewood were sold at auction by the owner, Jere Baxter on 4/23/1922.
Below is a map of the area showing the roads in green as they probably existed when Josiah Frederick Williams lived there.

This location is just south of Briley Parkway on Gallatin Pike.  The railroad is just behind the location where the house was.  Maplewood Blvd. is now Curdwood Blvd. and has been extended through where the house stood.  You can click on this map and see a larger view of this map in a new window.
It appears that Maplewood Blvd. extended across Gallatin Pike to McGavock Pike and passed in front of William Williams' house.  Williams' Lane still exists.  According to one account, Elisha's house was on the hill behind Wiliam's house near the spring.
It appears that Maplewood Lane represented the northern boundry of Maplewood.  Today Maplewood Lane is broken by Ellington Parkway and continues on the other side to Dickerson Road where Maplewood School is located.  By one account, the Maplewood property extended to Dickerson Road at one time. 

Gallatin Road



Private Act of 1829, Chapter 232, incorporated Thomas Martin, William White, Robert Weakley, Josiah F. Williams, Elijah Boddie, Robert M. Boyers, James Saunders, Isaac Walton, and Daniel Montgomery, along with others, as the Gallatin Turnpike Company, to lay off and construct a turnpike road from Nashville by way of Gallatin to the Kentucky State line at the most eligible point in the direction of Glasgow, Kentucky. Details of the corporate management and a schedule of tolls which could be charged were included in the Act.

A History of Tennessee and Tennesseans: the leaders and ..., Volume 2
By Will Thomas Hale, Dixon Lanier Merritt
The Nashville and Gallatin Pike was chartered in 1830. It was over this highway that General Jackson made his journeys to and from Washington.
The following tradition is connected with the road: A resident of Sumner county, who came daily to his business in Nashville, disagreed with the company as to his indebtedness, and suit was brought. He refused to pay toll while the suit was pending. Result, many wordy altercations between the debtor and keeper.
Having been refused passage several times, the citizen stowed away in the bottom of his buggy an axe and when he reached the gate and was again refused passage, he proceeded to cut the tollgate pole down. When he had repeated this several times, the company decided that repairing the gate was more expensive than letting him pass and he had no further trouble.
This pike was chartered by Thomas Martin. William White. Robert Weakly, Josiah F. Williams. Elijah Walton and Daniel Montgomery.

Below is a copy of Josiah Frederick Williams will as it appears in the Davidson County TN records.