Sarah Josey Ray WILLIAMS
born 31 Jul 1815, died 14 Mar 1850
Married Maj. John Whitsett Childress
born 1807, died 1884
This marriage produced the following children:
Mary Williams Childress
born 1 Jan 1834, died 5 Sep 1894
born 1834, died 1861
Elisha Williams Childress
born 1839, died Apr 1862
Elizabeth "Betsy" Childress
born 9 Feb 1842, died 1 Mar 1919
John Whitsett Childress, Jr.
born 20 Apr 1845,
died 29 Mar 1908
born 1847, died ?
born ?, died ?
Below is some history of both the Philips and Childress families.
Elisha Williams Jr married Philip Philip's daughter Mary "Polly" Philips (Her brother, Judge Joseph Philips
is not to be confused with Elisha's brother's father-in-law Joseph Philips' family who lived on Dickerson Road outside
Williams Jr and Mary Polly Philips' daughter Sarah Williams married John Whitsett Childress. After Sarah
Williams died, John Whitsett Childress married Mary Elizabeth Philips, the daughter of Judge Joseph Philips and the granddaughter
of Philip Philips.
Of course that
makes John Whitsett's second wife Mary Elizabeth Philips the niece of Elisha Williams Jr's first wife Mary Polly Philips.
John Whitsett Childress and Mary Elizabeth Philips produced
a family of 8 children.
Philip Philips built a fort at Nolin Station just south of present day Loouisville Kentucky in 1780 as
described in the below two pages from The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Vol. 58, No. 4 (October 1960).
The Rutherford County Historical Society Publication Number 9 is a good history of both the Philip
Philips and Joel Childress families from the early days of what is now Rutherford County TN. These two families
lived in the area of Black Fox Spring as early as 1800.
County was formed in 1803 from parts of Davidson, Williamson and Wilson Counties.
Below is a write-up about John W. Childress and what has come to be known as the Childress House at 225
North Academy Street in Murfreesboro TN. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 1, 1979.
John W. Childress Publication Ruth
A seldom mentioned fact about Eisha Williams' family is the marriage of Sarah, the sister-in-law of his
son Elisha Jr's daughter (Mrs. John Whitsett Childress), to President James K. Polk in Murfreesboro TN and the marriage
of his daughter Betsy's grandaughter Lucy Eugenia Williams to William Hawkins Polk, the President's brother, in Warren County
President James K. Polk
William Hawkins Polk
brother of the President
and husband of
Lucy Eugenia Williams
Below is the will of Sarah Childress as it appears in the Rutherford County
Tennessee Court files.
Notice in the below sketch of Maj. John W. Childress
that Elisha Jr's wife, Mary "Polly" Philips' brother, Judge Joseph Philips, is not to be confused with Joseph Philips who
lived on Dickerson Pike in Nashville and whose two daughters married two of Elisha Williams II's brothers, Josiah Frederick
and William Williams.
Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans
Photo of Elizabeth Whitswett, mother of Major John Childress
and mother-in-law of Elisha Williams' daughter Sarah Williams.
From the Tenessee Portrait Project
Painted by Washington Cooper
Hung at the Polk Place dining room in Columbia TN