Williams Purchased the "White House" Property

In his History of the Hammock House and Related Trivia, Maurice Davis wrote about Robert Williams, who owned the "White House" property from 1765 to 1777.

“Robert Williams, a Quaker, was one of the most remarkable men who ever lived in Carteret County. He obviously made no small plans.

“He is first recorded in the county in June 1765 when he purchased from Timothy Alling and Benjamin Olney, merchants, two parcels of 75 acres along Taylor’s Creek designated ‘Taylor’s Old Field’ and the White House, the western part of the land formerly belonging to James Winwright, deceased. Williams also obtained from Mary Whorton, widow of Mattock Whorton, an assignment of her dower rights in the White House land ‘where she now lives.’

“In 1767 he returned to England and married Elizabeth Dearman…In the same year Williams purchased property in New Bern and opened the ‘Ready Money Store.’ He also had a store in Beaufort. By 1769 he had begun to purchase property along Black Creek between the settlement that was to become Newport and the Mill Creek home and mill of William Borden. He dammed the creek and created a large mill pond, using water power to operate a saw mill and grist mill. He also raised rice there and built a brick house using brick and ballast stone brought from England.

“William obviously overextended himself from time to time with his several enterprises and his Quaker brethren—the Bordens and the Stantons—sometimes came to his rescue. In 1773 he lost his house and store in New Bern. William Borden bought his Black Creek property at a sheriff’s sale in 1775. Williams managed to retrieve this later. The Hammock property was sold in 1777 as the result of bankruptcy and was purchased by Benjamin Stanton.

“Robert Williams and his first wife Elizabeth, who died in 1773, had one child, Richard. Richard’s second wife in 1796 was Sarah Stanton, daughter of Benjamin. In the year following Elizabeth’s death, Robert was thrown out of the Core Sound Quaker Meeting [as mentioned above]. Robert, however, made his peace with his Quaker brethren and in the same year married Ann Shoebridge, his first wife’s English friend. They had eight children, three of whom survived to adulthood.

“In 1790 Robert died at his Black Creek plantation ‘Dinnant.’ His widow and family migrated to Ohio.

“It was Milton Williams who came to Carteret County and located his ancestor’s grave at ‘Dinnant’ and marked it with an appropriate stone. However, Robert Williams’ most fitting memorial is the beautiful mill pond which is all that remains of his remarkable ‘Dinnant’ plantation. The saw mill was still producing lumber during the Civil War.”

Robert Williams - In Carteret County from 1763 until 1790

In Colonial Beaufort, historian Charles L. Paul gives us more insight into the years that Robert Williams lived in Beaufort and had a plantation on the north side of the Newport River.

“The thirteen years between the end of the French and Indian War and the establishment of North Carolina’s statehood in 1776 was a period when settlement in Beaufort was more substantial than it had previously been. In that period the number of taxables for the whole county grew from five hundred and forty-one to nine hundred or more, and deeds were recorded for at least sixty-three different lots or pieces of lots in Beaufort. Some of these lots, to be sure, had already been saved and were just being transferred to new owners, but quite a few were saved by having buildings erected on them. In fact, in the six years from 1765 through 1770, at least nine new buildings were erected in Beaufort. It was during this period that many of the waterfront lots of the west end of the town received their first residents…

“…[Though denied] in 1773 the inhabitants of the town petitioned the government of the colony that it be allowed representation in the General Assembly. Though they worded their petition in the form of a request or favor, they also made it clear that they could claim such representation as a right since the town then had sixty families, the number required for such representation by a law of 1715…”

In regard to the social structure of the population, Mr. Paul recorded some insight into the character Robert Williams. “The treatment which white servants and slaves received from their masters and the free population as a whole varied considerably…Two fugitive slaves…were treated quite differently by Robert Williams, a Quaker of the Beaufort area. This incident is revealed by the following advertisement which Williams had published in The North-Carolina Gazette on January 17, 1774.

"Taken up and committed to Gaol in Beaufort in Carteret County. Two new Negroes, they came in a canoe to Bogue Sound, but where from we cannot understand. Be some accident, or Act of Humanity, they got out of Gaol, of a cold Evening (almost starved even in the fore part of the Night, and must have inevitably perished before Morning) and Strayed to the Subscriber’s Kitchen, and wishes the proper owner had them, but cannot send them any more into Confinement to starve and freeze to Death according to Law: For the Great Law Giver Moses, had in Command, that we should do no Murder."

However, Robert Williams had his shortcomings, as recorded in the minutes of the Coresound Monthly Meeting and noted by Mr. Paul, “Robert Williams, who on July 13, 1774, was charged with living with and having a child by the servant girl of his deceased wife, a girl who at the time was married to another man. After due consideration of the matter, Williams was dismissed.”

Records of Dillinghams & Williams Families from 1640-1930

Compiled by Charles H. Lloyd

Map of Wales from
M.F. Williams book
The Williams History
According to this record, “Robert Williams came from a Welsh family. He was twice married, his first wife was Lady Elizabeth Dearman [married 1767], who was first cousin to Queen Anne of England and her maid-of-honor. [Queen Anne died in 1714, so this statement is inaccurate]. He came from England to America soon after their marriage…their only child Richard was born in the year 1770. A year later when Richard was one year old, Elizabeth died.

“After the death of his father, who owned a large estate, Robert started to Wales to claim his share but was shipwrecked on an island, and for some time it was supposed that he was dead…after considerable delay he arrived in his native land, he found the estate divided among the other members of the family and never came into possession of his share. He owned, however, some valuable mills in North Carolina and was the owner of several hundred slaves…


“Note: These facts came to the knowledge of Charles H. Lloyd through his conversations in early life with Grandfather (Richard Williams) and Aunt Lydia Stanley, nee Williams, whom he was with frequently.

“Richard’s nurse was a native African woman. She was stolen from her country by slave dealers. His first language was her dialect, and when he was an old man he could repeat many words she taught him. She used to tell him the sad story of being snatched from her twin babies which she had left in the shade while she picked berries. She lived to a great age, and died in Ohio, where she had been brought with the family when they emigrated there.

“At an early age, Richard was placed in another home and was seldom with his father’s family, but was cared for at his father’s expense. He well remembered a number of keepsakes, among them a piece of Queen Anne’s coronation dress, which belonged to his mother. [These keepsakes] were distributed among the children of the second family, and many of them no doubt are still in the possession of their descendants.”

Williams History - Compiled by Great Grandson M.F. Williams

The Williams History
Tracing the Descendants in America of Robert Williams of Ruthin, North Wales, who Settled in Carteret County, NC in 1763

Edited by Milton Franklin Williams 1921

Portions below transcribed by Mary Warshaw June 2012


"Robert Williams was born in Ruthin, North Wales, April 29, 1723 in the County Denbighshire, and died September 4, 1790 on his estate called Dinnant near Beaufort, Carteret County, North Carolina. He was of a roaming disposition, and went to England, from whence he is said to have sailed in his own ship for the Carolinas. Extracts from the court records of North Carolina show that he bought land in 1765 in different parcels amounting to over 300 acres along the north side of Newport River, and on both sides of Black Creek. Various purchases of land in this locality up to the time of his death in 1790 are found in the record of deeds in this county.

1766 Summons
"Robert Williams established trading stores at Newberne and also at Beaufort, N.C., and on one of his trips to England he married an English lady, named Elizabeth Dearman, in the year 1767. It was a long trip of upwards of three months in a sailing vessel at that time from England to North Carolina, and it was natural that the young bride should desire company. She prevailed upon her friend, Anne Shoebridge of Essex or London, to go with them. When Elizabeth Dearman Williams died in 1773 on the family estate near Beaufort, Robert Williams, after a suitable interval, married on Oct. 10, 1774, this friend and companion of his first wife.

"Only one son was born to Robert Williams and Elizabeth Dearman, his wife. His name is Richard Williams, who was born Nov. 28, 1770.

"The second wife of Robert Williams was the daughter of Richard Shoebridge and Martha Belle. Richard Shoebridge was born in 1712, in Kent, England, and Anne, the daughter of Richard and Martha, was born Sept. 7, 1748, in London, England, and was 26 years old when in 1774 she became the second wife of Robert Williams. She lived to be 97 years old, and died June 9, 1845, near Somerton, Belmont County, Ohio, at the home of her son, Samuel Williams, my grandfather. During the latter 10 years of her life she was blind, but was able to do plain knitting, although she had to depend on others for the heels and toes of the socks she knitted. It is of record that in the last year of her life she partially recovered her sight, so that she was able to recognize her relatives.

"This image is symbolic of our great grandfather Robt. Williams in North Carolina…it will bring more vividly to the mind of the reader the Williams family’s first great cause in America by this symbolic picture of Williams standing in front of his window at this brick house near Newberne.

"Let this be the beginning of what historical facts we have been able to find thus far. Not even a tombstone, not even a death record, as the town of Newberne was destroyed by fire after 1776. We have searched in Newberne, Beaufort, and made searches in four counties surrounding Carteret, and nothing have we found thus far except the record of this man’s transactions in real estate, and the originals of several letters between himself and the Commonwealth in reference to him being employed to collect salt from the marshes for the Continental Army and the community at large.

The other image represents a grist mill and sawmill, which was erected about 1773 by Robert Williams…on the old farm of 1,100 acres in Carteret County, N.C. Our great grandfather, being a thrifty Welshman and a live wire in 1700 period, having both a sawmill and grist mill on the same dam which is mentioned in Uncle Shoebridge Williams’ history."

Robert Williams - Merchant and Trader

Milton F. Williams wrote,

"Robert Williams, in North Carolina, had two mercantile establishments, one at Newberne and the other at Beaufort. The one showing the two prairie schooners with oxen hitched to same, and a load of hay in the foreground, we will say represents his store in Beaufort, then no doubt a country side. This store he operated about the year 1776 and earlier, according to all authentic accounts, and this picture of a mercantile establishment is more to show that he was a man of thrift in those days than for any other purpose, what we would term in the year 1919 “a live wire” and a “leading citizen.” This description compiled by Milton F. Williams, the author and publisher of the book.

"The counterpart picture represents another mercantile establishment with only one prairie schooner drawn by oxen.

"I take it for granted that one establishment was larger than the other and more pretentious and I commend the same to my followers and they can judge of Great Grandfather’s business in these early days. A man who sailed from London in his own ship, and had two mercantile establishments in the 1776 days was a man who undoubtedly was upon the firing line at all times and a leading citizen. If he did in later days lose his property as forfeit on a bond it showed him to be honest and upright man and no doubt he sold his property in order to pay his just debts, which is a trait of character of all Williams in our lineage.

“Among the customers of Great Grandfather Robert Williams at his store of general merchandise in connection with the grist mill that he first operated near Beaufort was a man named Jonas Linch. Apparently Jonas had a saw mill, possibly located on the same place as the present saw mill now [1921] occupying the opposite end of the dam from the old grist mill of Great Grandfather Williams. The relations between Jonas and Great Grandfather Williams are indicated by a court record in the latter part of 1786, relating to a running account of over two years standing in which there was a difference of opinion as to the balance owing from Jonas.

“In spite of the proverbial reluctance of Quakers to go to law, Robert Williams sued out a writ against Jonas Linch in the early part of December by which he was commanded to appear before in the latter of the month to show cause why he should not pay his debt….

“When we look over the copy of the account filed as one of the court records we find several items of interest. He is one of £3 10s. (about $17.50) paid by Robert on account of Jonas for a cow that he bought of Hope Stanton. There are numerous entries for rum and ‘melasses’ as it was spelled; also for tobacco. One item was for a bushel of ‘Aisters at Beaufort,’ charged at one shilling, which were probably oysters in the shell. There are several charges for potato plants, powder and shot, and one for two turkeys costing 4s. and 8d., or about $1.16 for the two.

“He has also an item of money paid for Sally Cooper’s shoes; another of £3 for sugar for Grany Bell, and another of 2s. for ‘nails for his wife’s coffin and gimlet lost.’ There is a charge also of 4 shillings for ‘one bottle of claret sent to Benners for the time Linch went to take ye sacrament.’ Thrifty Robert also has charges against Jonas ‘for the use of my horse, himself and John Bell going to Newberne Superior court;’ also for money paid Robert Read on his account in several cases, which indicate that Jonas was being sued by other creditors.

“During 1784 and 85 the amount of indebtedness amounted to a hundred pounds, and this was reduced in the early part of 1786 by credit of some £70 on account of boards and lumber, and work of Jonas and his men at night, sawing up several hundred feet of lumber; also by ‘7 days mowing and part of the hay,’ showing that the account was largely that of exchange of labor and materials between Jonas and Robert…”

[Some of the NAMES MENTIONED in Jonas Lynch account
Nathan Fuller…James Potter…Hope Stanton…Benj. Cheney…(tobacco of) Leffers…Gibble…Sanders…(bushels of salt) of Leffers…(bacon of) Jacob Henry…William Dennis…David Cooper.]


"Relic of bygone times in the following account of Robert Williams, duly signed by him, and made out in his own handwriting, and probably used as an exhibit to secure a set-off in the case of Robert Rose or perhaps of another complainant." [This writ mentions “Sundry Plank and Account of the same, delivered to himself 1784 amounting to £44.]

"You are hereby commanded to take the body of Robert Williams, late of your county joyner [joiner], if to be found in your Bailiwick; and him safely keep, so that you have him before the Justices of the county court of Carteret at the court-house in Beaufort…there to answer to James Paqueret….1787."

Robert Williams' Mill Dam

Milton F. Williams wrote,

"Across Black Creek [later named Mill Creek], Robert Williams built a dam on which was located a lumber mill and grist mill, and a large pond was formed by the back water.

"No sooner had this dam been completed than a heavy freshet carried it away, making a hole 90 feet in depth from the top of the dam. This was rebuilt, however, and the mills were run until Robert Williams’ death in 1790, when the executors sold the property that included the dam and mills to William Fisher. This property included “a hundred acres of land lying continuous thereto” and was sold for 900 pound current money of the State. It remained in the Fisher family until about 1839 or 1840, when one David S. Jones, who was Fisher’s grandson, inherited part of the property and got part of it by purchase from the other Fisher heirs. The property remained in the Jones family until 1878 or 1879 when the heirs of David S. Jones sold to different parties and the property finally was purchased by Dukes and the Trinity Land Co. of Durham, N.C. and New York, who kept the property as a hunting preserve for several years. It is now (1920) owned by Carteret Lodge, a corporation having its main office at Kinston, N.C.

"The old grist mill used by Robert Williams was washed away by the breaking of the dam about 90 years ago, or about 1829. An overseer of Jones, named Martin, rebuilt these old mills about 65 or 70 years ago."

Old Water Power is Still in Use

Milton F. Williams wrote,

"In 1919 a saw mill stands on the east end of the dam where the old Robert Williams saw mill formerly stood. This saw mill had not run for the last two or three years. The old grist mill, as rebuilt at the west end of the dam, is still in operation in 1919. About 200 yards from the present grist mill is the spot amongst the trees where Robert Williams is buried.

"The Directors of Carteret Lodge, at a meeting held September 9, 1920, at the Lodge, reiterated through their Secretary, J.W. Goodson, the permission given to M.F. Williams to fence in and care for this grave of his great grandfather Robert Williams. Under the laws of North Carolina, the State protects a private burying ground, and the future owners of Carteret Lodge, should it change hands, cannot molest or interfere with this grave and fence.

"The old mill pond is still practically the same as it was in great grandfather’s time, as illustrated.

Table with Button Mold
"Cut No. 35 shows an old piece of furniture which is supposed to have been handed down from my great grandfather through his descendants, with a button mold, and shows the mode of making buttons at that time. All farmers, all settlers, all pioneers, made their own buttons in those days, as they had no other means of getting them in this country.

"Cut No. 36 shows a stand or table containing a pewter platter and two pewter plates, which legend states are relics of our ancestor in North Carolina, Robt. Williams, and now in possession of my first cousin Levina Gibbons, living near Barnesville, Belmont County, Ohio."

Topography of Carteret County by J.S. Williams

Included in Milton F. Williams' The Williams History 

"Robert Williams’s son, John, became a civil engineer and surveyor and visited his boyhood home many years after he left it as a boy of nine years old in company wit his widowed mother, Anne Shoebridge Williams, and his older sister, Elizabeth, and his brother, Samuel (my Grandfather), to make their home in Ohio.

Copied from the map, the following notes by John, a son of Robert Williams, are interesting:

“I think the upland upon which people lived and on which the roads were mostly laid, was as much as 20 feet higher than the lowlands and streams and about as level, as well as I can remember now.

New River…Clubfoot creek…Jos. Dew…Clubfoot creek meeting house…Horton Howard canal…Howard’s mill…

“I never until this minute could imagine why that creel was called ‘clubfoot.’ Now I see that as I have drawn it, there is a resemblance to a clubfoot in its outline.

Great swamp called Pocoson…A. Martin…Mill pond…Isaac Sampson…To white oak…Tide water…Mill pond…To Newbern 40 miles…Borden’s Creek…Robt. Williams…Wm. Fisher…Wm. Borden….Borden’s saw mill…Jos. Borden…Newport River…Harless creek…Cause way…R. Lovet…Hardesty…Core sound meeting house…B. Stanton…Beaufort…Point of Core Sound

“Borden Stanton was a Friend and preacher and Grandfather to the Secretary of War, and his widow came with us out West, with her family.

“I remember well to have seen the canal in process of construction. I think as early as 1797. It was undoubtedly the first canal projected (by Dr. McClure) in the United States, if not the Western hemisphere.”

DESCRIPTION OF “DINNANT” by John Shoebridge Williams

The locality is now known as Newport as drawn by John Shoebridge Williams in 1864. The meaning of Dinnant is this: Din means Town or Fort: Nant means a little Brook. Dinnant—Fortified Brook or River, or Brook Town. The dam across Black Creek makes the name “Dinnant” very appropriate, as it means “Fortified Brook.”

This note is to his (John’s) grandson, the son of his youngest daughter, Martha Belle Van Vleck:

“Cincinnati, Feb. 1st, 1864
Willie Van Vleck,
Dear Grandson: As you requested I should draw something for you, and as I never could without urgent reasons, refuse a boy who wishes to learn, I attempt a sketch of the part of North Carolina where I was born and lived the first nine years of my life. The top of the sketch is intended for North.

You can see the position of your Great Grandfather’s house and mills. At the west or left end of the dam, a grist mill. East end, or nearest the house, saw mill. Next to the grist mill, near the middle of the dam, was the first mills that went away. Between that and the saw mills was the waste gates, for in wet weather all the water that came must be let go, without running over the dam, as in hilly, stony countries public roads always crossed the dams.”

J.S. William Letter to Grandson - Map of "Dinnant"

Cincinnati, Monday, Feb. 1st,  1864

"Dear Son:
Enclosed please find a sketch of the country wherein your Grandfather was born. It is from the memory of a child less than 10 years of age, somewhat assisted by that of an old black man and a white man, both of whom, like myself, left North Carolina (Clubfoot Creek) before or at the time I did and had to think back sixty-three years, for neither of them ever went back….I also enclose one of your Cousin’s bills, which has two of my drawings on it…If you get a trunk  or drawer appropriate to your drawings and keep them carefully they will, many of them, be of use to you in after life.
Your Grandfather, Jno. S. Williams

Plan of my father’s (Robert Williams’) homestead, which he named Dinnant:
Top of map is South - [Numbered List and Text Reference to No. 63 in numerical order]: Homestead…Meat House…Little House…East Garden…West garden…Dial…Asparagus bed…Spring…Bee shed…Pear tree…Apple orchard…Entrance…Persimmon tree…Cow pen…Chinquepin tree…Pop or Passion vine…Saw mill…Waste gates…Grist mill…Plum and grape thicket…Potato house…Liquorice bed…Lumber yard…Log yard…Hog pen…Fodder house…
Miller’s house…Old piles…Tide water…Fishing bank…Sawyer’s house…Clay hole…Old stump…
Flag root…Building…Sand hole

TEXT on Map: "Looking South, as you now hold the paper, one mile is Newport River and Fisher’s landing. After my father’s death in 1790, as I have heard, Wm. Fisher bought the mill and lived at the landing, to which point vessels came up. They took on lumber after it was boated or rafted from the mill. They also took on tar, turpentine, pitch, etc., which were staples in that country. My father owned 4,000 acres, as I understood, and Fisher bought all but 1,120 with the mills on his purchase. I remember his building a fine dwelling with a cellar walled with stone brought from other countries as ballast, there being no native stone in that part of Carolina.

"My father would have every road, fence, house, etc., North and South, East and West, where it was at all convenient, and sometimes where it was not."

Another Letter from J.S. Williams to His Grandson

John Shoebridge Williams to his grandson, Willie Van Vleck Jr., who was 11 years old at the time:

Monday, Feb. 29th, 1864
Dear Son:
Enclosed please find a sketch of your Great Grandfather’s homestead with divers references to particular parts…

You, perhaps, do not know the difference between chinquepins and chestnuts. Chinquepins grow singly in a round burr. They are smaller, blacker, harder and sweeter than chestnuts….We would take a sheet, table cloth, wagon cover or something to spread on the ground under and around the tree, which we would thresh with a pole and bring the shiners down by wholesale.

First Brick House in Carteret County and Williams' Marker

Milton F. Williams wrote,

"Great Grandfather Robert Williams built the first brick house in Carteret County, N.C. He brought the brick over from England in his own ship. The front of the house faced North, and a path led down from the front door to the spring. It consisted of a large dining room with fireplace, a large kitchen with fireplace and chimney at the Southwest corner, the family bedroom at the Southeast corner, a large room next to it with a door opening to the passage leading to the East door. The dining room or parlor had two pantry or store rooms at one end at the Northwest corner. A flight of stairs went up to the attic chamber, which were lighted with windows in each gable end.

"None of the original building are now standing, but a keeper’s house is located at the present time [1921] on the site of Robert Williams’ brick house…

"Robert Williams was a Tory in his political belief. During the [Revolutionary] War, he accepted a good deal of Continental money in his trading transactions and many accounts owing him were not paid. He also suffered reverses by the loss of one or more of his trading vessels, and from being a wealthy man became in the last years of his life considerably involved in debt. When his estate was settled up, there was found very little of his former wealth, and his family estate is said to have suffered from bad management or worse on the part of the executors.

"Robert Williams died September 4th, 1790, and was buried on the family estate about 200 yards from the old grist mill and dam. His grave was finally discovered through the efforts of the present writer, and a suitable stone and enclosed fence were erected by me, his great grandson.

"The accompanying [marker] shows the testimonial of my regard that I have been privileged to erect to his memory."

1919 Letter from D.W. Morton

D.W. Morton House 118 Orange St. Beaufort NC
Mr. M.F. Williams
St. Louis, Mo.

Dear Mr. Williams,
Your recent favor of the 20th received. In regard to your Great Grandfather, Robert Williams, living in Beaufort 50 years after Beaufort was founded in 1713, will say he lived here during 1775-1776. If you look over the copies of the letters I sent you relative to his making salt at Gallants Point, and at what is now known as the old Salt Works which is on what is now known as Taylor’s Creek, about one mile East of Beaufort, during this period. He lived in Beaufort, according to our Colonial records, and the early history of North Carolina states he was the first person that ever extracted salt from sea or salt water. This method, as I understand, was to turn the salt water into a drying vat and wait for it to evaporate or dry out; and while this seems to be the present generation to have been a primitive mode, I judge from his letters to the Council of State that it was successful….
Yours very truly, D.W. Morton - Beaufort, N.C., 12/23/1919
D.W. & Minnie Stanton Morton

Extract from Records Mentions Williams' Will

Carteret County Records, Book L, page 309
Information gathered by D.W. Morton of Beaufort about 1919

Benjamin Stanton, of Carteret County, N.C., acting Trustee and Executor of the Estate of Robert Williams, deceased, late of Carteret County, N.C., to William Fisher, Carteret County: Whereas the said Robert Williams did by his last will, dated September 2nd, in the year of 1790, nominate and appoint the said Benjamin Stanton with sundry other persons as Trustee and Executors to manage and settle all the worldly affairs after his decease, giving him full power and authority to sell and dispose of so much of every part of his estate, whatever real or personal as they should find necessary for discharging the said debts brought against the estate, having due regard at the same time to the welfare and support of his family, whereas the said Benjamin Stanton, who is the only person who has since been qualified to act as aforesaid, has after advice and due consideration found it most considerate with the intuition of the said Testator and least injurious to the welfare of his family, to sell the mills on Black Creek, with 100 acres of land lying continuous thereto, and accordingly on the day, the date hereof being the 18th day of March, 1791, the said mill and land being set up at public sale and struck off the aforesaid Wm. Fisher for 900 pounds current money of the State aforesaid, the receipt whereof the said Benjamin Stanton doth hereby acknowledge, etc.”

It appears from the above that Robert Williams made his last will two days before he died. A careful search has not revealed a record of this will, and it is possible that it was destroyed with other records by a fire that occurred in the Carteret County court house.

Great-Uncle John Shoebridge Williams

Milton F. Williams wrote,

"Robert Williams had one son, Richard Williams, born November 28, 1770, by his first wife, Elizabeth Dearman Williams; and by his second wife, Anne Shoebridge Williams, he was blessed with eight children, only three of whom survived:
1.    Elizabeth, born April 28, 1778, who married April 26, 1804, Joseph Garretson, and bore five children.
2.    Samuel (my grandfather), who was born March 1, 1779, and died November 4, 1856, aged 77 years.
3.    John Shoebridge Williams, born July 31, 1790, near Beaufort, N.C., and died April 27, 1878, at Viola, Iowa, age 88, at the home of John Hampton.

John Shoebridge Williams, son of
 Robert and Anne Shoebridge Williams,
 born near Beaufort, NC, July 31, 1790,
died April 27, 1878 at
John Hampton's in Viola, Iowa. 

"The above three are the only ones of the eight children of Great Grandmother Anne Shoebridge Williams, who reached maturity and had descendant. I am fortunate in being able to quote from the “American Pioneer,” a magazine edited and published in 1842 and 1843 by John Shoebridge Williams, the son of Great Grandfather Robert. In the October number of this magazine, John Shoebridge Williams gives an account of his parentage and infancy, and his removal with his widowed mother to the “Northwest Territory,” so called, in the State of Ohio, the building of a log cabin in the woods, where the monotony of life for several of the first years of their residence was broken and enlivened by the howl of wild beasts. This cabin was occupied December 25, 1800. About two years later his half brother, Richard, who had been a sea captain for many years, abandoned his seafaring life at the age of 32 and came to their settlement. His brother, Richard, had lost his first wife, by whom he had a son, Robert, who died young. He had married again, and now had a daughter Elizabeth, nearly three years old. He had left his family at or near Wheeling, but the neighbors soon had a cabin erected for him near the meeting house, and a school was opened and taught by Richard.


“Being subject to diverse inconveniences for want of distinction, I add to my name Shoebridge, in the 22nd of the 2nd month, 1820. John S. Williams.”

"This is a record from the Bible of John Shoebridge Williams, showing that at the age of 30 he required a distinguishing name and therefore took his middle name, Shoebridge."

Testimony of John S. Williams, Son of Robert Williams

An extract from the “American Pioneer,” a monthly periodical, edited by John Shoebridge Williams, then living at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1843. This book from which we take the extracts beginning this history of the emanation of our branch of the Williams family, was published in 1843. R.L. Polk, printers, Cincinnati, Ohio.


“My father’s name was Robert. He was born in the town of Ruthin, in Denbighshire just 120 years ago. A love of novelty soon led him to England, and thence to America. He opened two mercantile establishment in Newbern and Beaufort, N.C. In 1767 he married Elizabeth Dearman, an English lady, and by way of a honeymoon excursion, brought his wife to America, with the prospect of a speedy return for settlement. She invited Anne Shoebridge, of Essex, or London, my mother, then a young lady of 19, to visit America, as her companion. The invitation was accepted. When we consider that to cross the Atlantic it then required to be tumbled and tossed on the waves from eight to twelve weeks at a time, it will be seen that that visit heads most of the honeymoon trips now in fashion.

“Twice they were ready to return, once packed up, but a wise Providence ordered that the children of these women should be born in Americas.

“By this first wife, Elizabeth, he had but one child, Richard, now (1843) living in Massillon or near Massillon, in the State of Ohio. She, Robert William’s first wife, died in 1773, and he, Robert Williams, married my mother October 1st, 1774, by whom he had eight children, three of whom lived to be known by name: Elizabeth Garretson, Samuel Williams and myself, J.S. Williams. (Samuel Williams was M.F. Williams’ grandfather on his father’s side, they of Belmont County, in the State of Ohio.) I mention the time of my mother’s marriage with some degree of pride. It took place very near, if not the very day that Logan made his celebrated speech, and not far from the time the Bostonians made their great dish of cold water tea."

This testimony continues for several posts...

Robert Williams' Business Reverses

 John Shoebridge Williams wrote,

“My father is said to have been wealthy, but several causes contributed to lessen his fortune, until at the time of his death, in 1790, a few weeks after my birth, his estate was considerably embarrassed. A great storm at sea seemed, as I have heard, to put the first check to his success. Then the failure of an extensive house in London, then the Revolutionary war, and the reception of continental money. This he kept, in dependence on the Government, until it was nearly worthless. The breaking out of the Revolution (1771), which was concluded in 1775, added to other considerations, determined him to retire from mercantile pursuits, which he did, to a fine estate in Carteret County, N.C., chosen with reference to its value for timber and water power. He built a fine milling establishment, both flouring and sawing, breasting against a dam, which held an inexhaustible supply of water in a pond of from six to ten miles in circuit. Scarcely was this done till the whole dam and all went down stream into tide water, which flowed up the mill-tail."

Early Life of John S. Williams and Care by "Old Quam"

John Shoebridge Williams wrote,

“In one thing we count ourselves most fortunate. As is customary in the South, aged blacks take care of the children. Old Quam was appointed my guardian, and a more faithful one never protected a ward. There is something surprising about blacks, as well as Indians, that attach them to children, and children to them, more firmly than can, under similar circumstances bind whites. It is an undeniable fact that blacks are more faithful nurses than whites, or at least children seem to think so. I thought nobody equal to old Quam; he thought there never was such a fine, black-haired, curly headed, blue-eyed boy before born, as I was, although I kept him running after me in day time, like a hen after one chicken. I had a deal of Welsh blood about me, and would go when I pleased, and Quam would not cross me, not he; and thus he was perpetually in a stew to keep me out of every danger, both real and imaginary. He loved my mother as if she were his own, and he knew besides the loss I would be to him; my death would almost kill her, as I was by more than ten years her youngest child. Old Quam escaped from a deal of anxious concern at his death.

“My being so much the youngest, and living in a slave country, which makes white children scarce, my only companion during my first four years was Old Quam. He was eminently pious and pre-eminently innocent. He was just such a nurse as was calculated to have a good effect upon me. I remember him well and very vividly the time of his death, by which, at four years, I lost my friend. Previously he had taught me many of the essentials of religion. He had most firmly impressed on my mind that there was a Great Good Man who made everything. That he lived away up in the sky. That he could see all we did. That when we did good he loved and smiled at us, but when we hurt anything or did anybody harm he was sorry, and would frown at us and would not like us. That is was very wrong to displease him. Although Quam knew not a letter, he could repeat whole verses of Scripture, and, as I have heard, some chapters. He used to tell me of wicked people, how they oppressed and destroyed one another, and how the Great Good Man was so angry at some wicked people that he made their country so dark that they could feel the darkness like grains of corn.

“In this way he would so impress me as to make me cry, till the family would be drawn to know what was the matter. My good mother was eminently pious, too, and always took much pains to impress my mind with love and fear for the Supreme Being, but I could not understand her as I could Quam’s simple illustrations.

“I was very much indulged, and had it not been for Quam’s pious influence, a boy of my wayward propensities could scarcely have been kept within tolerable bounds. There is no wonder I was indulged when we consider my situation as last in the family and first in the heart of my widowed mother, who, however, never let her feelings overcome her prudence, but kept me within reasonable bounds after Quam’s death. While Quam lived, he was not satisfied to be parted from me the whole of any night. He would get up every night in sweet-potato time, and have some roasted by three or four o’clock, and then I was just as regular to wake and my sister must carry me out to Quam in the kitchen. There I would eat potatoes and ask him questions, and we would chat over all our concerns till near daylight, when I would tumble down on his bunk and finish the night in sleeping and he in watching. These things seem to me almost as if they happened last year.

“Old Quam’s great indulgence in satisfying all my inquiries to the best of his ability, and never checking me in asking and inquiring, I have no doubt, the same was of essential service to me. I have not a particle of doubt that it gave me an early memory. I can well remember when two and a half years old, being held one night in a door by my sister to see the sawmill burn, which was, say forty rods from the house. I remember the fire that flew towards our house, and their anxiety and precaution in extinguishing sparks on the roof on which was old Quam, and how my teeth chattered with fear and cold. I believe, too, that not only this early and definite memory was the result of his indulging all my inquiries, but that it gave me great facilities in attending to studies and in acquiring knowledge in after life.

“It is miserable treatment to rebuke a child who, form the affection of knowing, will ask a thousand questions. Sometimes burdensome, to be sure, but when we consider that upon that affection of knowing is built all the child’s advancement in knowledge afterwards, how cruel it is to rebuke the inquiries of the infant. Many a parent has ruined his child by this kind of discouragement, and afterwards chastised him for not loving and attending to studies and for making slow progress therein, when his own thoughtless course had produced that apathy and inability. All innocent inquiries by infants and children at all proper times should be indulged and encouraged, how pestersome soever they may seem."

Early Schooling of Elizabeth and Samuel

John Shoebridge Williams wrote,

“Being born among a dense slave population, and twelve miles from the nearest settlement of friends, white children were very thinly scattered, so that country schools could not be maintained. White children were sent from home for schooling. I never knew a school in that country except one quarter (which would be three months), kept by on Thomas Eccles, when I was four and a half years old. My sister and brother attended. I, however, under the tuition of my mother, learned so as to read with ease at the age of seven. Being divested of all playmates in childhood, induced a singular turn of mind, which may be seen to this day, and which I shall never be bereft of, were it desirable. I learned rapidly, never wore out or abused a book in my life. I kept my first primer, toy books, spelling books, slate, arithmetic, and without a leaf amiss, until I had a nephew old enough to use them. I have sometimes regretted giving them to him, as I was grieved to see they were soon gone when placed in other hands.

“Owing to the waywardness of my disposition, and evil propensities of my nature, I do think that had it not been for the early influences of old Quam and my mother, that I could not have been a man that society would have tolerated. They took singular pains to impress my mind with horror of inflicting pain on even the meanest insect. When a child I would cry to see one wounded. I could not bear to witness the writhings of a conch, boiling to death in its own shell. That seemed to be the only manner of killing them. I could not bear to see fish struggling on the shore for breath, nor clams roasting for dinner.

“To my early tuition may be attributed the fact that, although in boyhood and youthfulness I was an inhabitant of the woods, in the midst of and often annoyed by wild animals, and I had a gun at command, I never shot at but four living creatures, all of which escaped; and when I considered that some of them might be seriously wounded and suffering in pain, and writhing in death, all thoughts of shooting at animals were abandoned. I always considered it fortunate that my early infancy, in which laid the foundation of the future man, fill into such hands as old Quam and my mother; but, unfortunately, that wile I have lost much of the good infantile education, I have retained much, if not most of that which was erroneous, and added of my own what is wrong. My early seclusion from children induced a singular turn of mind and propensity to be alone. This will show itself frequently in the eyes of others to great disadvantage. Perhaps my voluntary relinquishment of my right among Friends at the age of 37 may be traced to this source."

A Bond Held by a Tory

John Shoebridge Williams wrote,

“The most severe stroke that I remember to have fallen on my mother was in 1799. She received information that the heirs of on Sam Connell were coming on us for debt, contracted before the Revolution. At a certain time, as I have heard, my father expected three vessels from England, that he had engaged to reload with naval stores. He had the loading on the wharf, in Newbern, when a long and tempestuous storm set into the mouth of the Neus River until it was so swollen as to float off his loading. Much of it was lost, and before he could collect enough more the vessels came, and of Sam Connell he purchased to the value of seventy pounds, for which he gave his bond. The Revolution commenced soon after. Connell was a Tory and ran off to England with the bond. This prevented its settlement. After Jay’s treaty the heirs came upon us, not only for principal and interest but compound interest. Twenty-five or thirty years had swollen it to a considerable sum. However questionable the compulsion of a widow, who had not anything like her third at the final settlement of the estate, might be, mother was never the woman to think that any circumstances could justify debts being left unpaid while anything was remaining. I am proud to say that she never got into the late fashion of believing that the widow of a landholder or speculator ought to be wealthy, whether her husband was ever really worth a cent or not. The executors agreed to the take the homestead and let her have all the remaining personal property. She agreed to the proposal, and in order to enable her to remove to the Northwest Territory, she sold what the family could spare. Her personal property sold very low, as it was a time of general emigration.

From Beaufort to Alexandria by Sailing Vessel

 John Shoebridge Williams wrote,

Sarah Patterson, born April 8, 1790,
married John Shoebridge Williams
September 16, 1813, by whom
  she had ten children.
Sarah died May 29, 1858.
“In April, 1800, we sailed from Beaufort for Alexandria, in company with seventy other emigrants, large and small, say twelve families. We had one storm and were once becalmed in Core Sound, and had to wait about two weeks at Currituc Inlet (now filled up) for a wind to take us to sea. From thence to Alexandria we had a fine run, especially up the Potomac Bay. While cooped up in the vessel a circumstance happened to me that I shall never forget, and was always of use to me. One of the first nights of the voyage I had lost my trousers, so that when it was time to dress in the morning my indispensables were non est inventis. There were many of both sexes present, for the schooner had very little loading but emigrants. The mortification felt for half an hour at the accident was never erased from my memory, and from that time to this I never undress without knowing precisely where my clothing is left. During the storm we were in, the majority on board were seasick, and we had rather a disagreeable time among, say forty or fifty vomiting individuals. Neither that nor the rolling of the vessel affected me, as it happened. This is mentioned as one of the disagreeabilities of emigration that makes settling in the woods feel more comfortable by contrast. At Alexandria we remained several days before we got wagons to bring us out. Here everything was weighed. My weight was just 75 pounds.”

[The group went through the Virginia mountains by wagon and settled in Ohio.]

Notes of the Records of Carteret County, NC

Researched and Conveyed to Milton Williams by D.W. Morton

Property in Carteret County, N.C. purchased by Robert Williams:

·    Book G & H, page 172. Deed from John S. Sanders to Robert Williams for 100 acres of land in Carteret County, situated on the north side of Newport River. Consideration twenty pounds, proclamation money, date of deed June 20th 1765
·    Book G & H, page 173. Deed from John Sanders, Carteret County to Robert Williams for 100 acres on the east side of Black Creek, consideration twenty pounds, proclamation money, dated June 20th 1765.
·    Book G & H, page 187. Deed from Timothy & Benjamin Olney of Carteret County, for 25 acres on the south side of Taylor’s Creek and known by the name of the white house place. Consideration fifteen pounds, deed dated June 21st 1765.
·    Book G & H, page 188. Deed from Timothy & Benjamin Olney of Carteret County to Robert Williams of Carteret County for 50 acres of land, known by the name of Taylor’s old field. Consideration forty-five pounds, deed dated June 22nd 1765.
·    Book G & H, page 190. Deed from Mary Wharton of Carteret County to Robert Williams of the town of Beaufort, for 25 acres on Taylor’s Creek [White house land “where she now lives.”] Consideration 500 pounds, sterling money of Great Britain, deed dated June 22nd 1765.
·    Book G & H, page 321. Deed from John Pinder of Craven County to Robert Williams, merchant, of Carteret County, for two acres of land on Taylor’s Creek. Consideration two pounds. Deed dated July 22nd 1767.
·    Book H, page 408. Deed from Nathaniel Stowe and wife Elizabeth Stowe of Core Sound, N.C., to Robert Williams of the town of New Bern & the County of Craven, for 640 acres of land, lying on Newport Sound; Consideration 120 pounds, proclamation money. Deed dated 1770.
·    Book H & I, page 127. Deed from Thomas Chadwick, Sheriff of Carteret County, to Robert Williams, merchant of New Bern, Craven County, N.C., for one-third of the Grist & Saw Mill on Black Creek. The several tracts combined containing about 1200 acres. Consideration 371 pound. Deed dated September 13th, 1773.
·    Book H & I, page 137, Deed from William W. Yates of Carteret to Robert Williams of Carteret County, for a tract of land of the north side of Newport River, containing 15 acres. Consideration 40 pounds. Deed dated June 10th 1775.
·    Book H, page 280. Deed from John Easton of Carteret County to Robert Williams of Dinnant in the said county. For two acres on Black Creek including the Saw & Grist mills on Black Creek, also 640 acres adjoining said mills. Consideration four thousand pounds proclamation money. Deed dated September 4th 1779.
·    Book H, page 281. Deed from Patrick Conner of Carteret County, to Robert Williams of Carteret County, for 300 acres of land in Craven & Carteret Counties, between Harlow’s and Clubfoot’s Creek. Consideration 15 pounds. Deed dated September 24th 1774.
·    Book H, page 283. Deed from Robert Dade & Wife, Stafford County, Virginia to Robert Williams, a tract of land in Carteret County, number of acres not give. Consideration, sixty pounds. Deed dated September 28th, 1775.

(Transcriber’s note: More documentation to add…page 528)

Salt Works

Robert Williams' Report on the Need of Salt Manufacture
Colonial & State Records of North Carolina
To Cornelius Harnet from Robert Williams
New Bern, May 27th 1776

One of Williams' Many Letters to the Council Regarding Salt
August 9, 1776
To Cornelius Harnet, President, and the rest of the Council for North Carolina at Washington:
I have viewed with serious attention the situation of this province for a great while, and considered what it must suffer this winter, without a quantity of salt can be made with the utmost expedition and abundance of men employed about making salt marshes after the manner of France, Portugal and Spain. The season will be over in August. I have been long in possession of Browning upon Salt, and have made it my study for many years, and have made it my business when in Portugal to go and view their salt marshes in Lisbon.

I was going to Halifax some time since to propose it to the Congress there, but our William Thompson told me that Avery and Blackledge were appointed and only 600 pounds allowed to carry on the work, but did not tell me he was one of the commissioners himself; nor after my appointment would he consult me or say a word about it, and was unwilling to sign along with me a letter I was going to send and since delivered myself to James Coor, which letter I also showed to our other delegate, Solomon Shepard, who also took no notice of it and seemed quite unconcerned.

Must leave others to judge from whence this backwardness proceeds. When I found I was appointed a fourth commissioner, considering the common consequence, the need of dispatch, the season advancing and our suitable situation, I was in my own mind so sure at the propriety, thinking Thompson would join and encourage, that I had engaged men to make wheels and hand barrows. Was going to raft a large quantity of fine timber John Easton had ready, and was willing to risk the pay; was going to risk a considerable quantity of plant I had myself, set smiths to work and produce spades and hoes to make a rough shed to cook and eat under, some place under locks to keep utensils and provisions when we get them.

The salt may be preserved in conical heaps, as I have seen done in Portugal, until it is carried away, and it will not receive any injury from the weather, although exposed to the open air for three years. One mask or marsh must be finished first and will, including the banks, be about 240 feet long and 150 feet large; then finish another as fast as possible, etc., and continue at it as long as the season promises any advantage from additional works. Must refer to some other observations in the draught of the letter delivered James Coor.

If the Council think well to employ me and make me the acting Superintendent upon pay, and allow the whole country of 4d per bushel to myself, delivering all accounts upon affirmation, appoint paymasters to deliver money as materials are procured and work faithfully done, they may depend on the vigorous and steady exertion of my faculties; will give up my time for the purpose. Have hitherto fatigued myself, spent money and time, traveled upon the occasion about 140 miles at different time already, without any view of superior advantage above the rest of the commissioners; but, as some pull back and others do not appear, I will not be packhorse for others to share the profits.

I cannot tell, nor anybody else from a right judgment, how long we shall be in getting the material and making the first division or mash of 18 salts beds, but would be in hopes that after we got in the way we should make another every succeeding week.We have reason to expect every salt marsh of 18 salt beds will make between 25 and 40 bushels a day in hot, dry weather. All workmen to be employed as cheap as possible. Would suppose the daily expenses may be guessed at nearly thus, including provisions, which, however, must be provided separate:
8 best workmen, at 9s 8d
8 inferior ones, at 5s 4d
30 laborers, at 3s 8d
Superintendent £12
For 60 days, makes £735
Sundry materials, suppose £340
Total £1075

I wish that and more might be laid out for the public good, and that more laborers might be employed with propriety, as every day now is of the utmost consequence. Many marshes ought to be now finished and more carrying on.

If there is no salt made it will require but little force to subdue and starve the province, which next spring must and will fall, of course, and tumble down of itself, like an old house in a calm. If what I have offered is worthy of acceptance in receiving orders, I shall be ready at an hour’s warning, and some money must be lodged immediately in a safe hand that may be confided in New Bern.

Would recommend John Easton, an honest man, to provide provision and to be paymaster at Core Sound. If the formality of bonds be thought requisite, ‘tis best not to retard the work but do what part as soon as may be after ‘tis going on.

I am, with due regard, the Council’s assured and affectionate friend.
Robert Williams

From State & Colonial Records of North Carolina

1776: It is the further opinion of this committee that works be established in the Province of North Carolina for the purpose of making common salt, and that Waightstill Avery, William Thompson, Richard Blackledge and Robert Williams be commissioners to erect works necessary for that purpose and to carry on the process, and obtain all possible information relative to the same; and that they be approved to draw upon the Treasury for a sum not exceeding 2000 pounds to pay the expenses of erecting such works and providing all materials, implements and utensils proper to be made use of, and that such work be fixed in such part of the sea coast where they will be best secured from the annoyance of the enemy, and to tend to furnish the colony with the greatest quantity of that necessary article, and that the said directors give bond, with sufficient security, for the faithful discharge of the trust reposed upon them, and the due application of all such monies which may be advanced them; and that over and above their reasonable expenses, be allowed the sum of 4d. (for the space of two years from the last day of August next) for every bushel of salt manufactured by them, and delivered to such persons as shall be directed to receive the same, for the public use; and that the said commissioners, after fixing upon a proper place on the sea coast for the manufacture of common salt, do purchase the same of the proprietor or proprietors thereof for and in behalf of the public of this Province upon the most reasonable terms, and give a draft for the same on either of the Treasurers of this Province, who shall be allowed the same in the settlement of his accounts with the public; and that the conveyance for the same shall be taken in the name of the President and his successors of this Congress, for and in behalf of this Province, and that said conveyance shall be taken in fee simple.

Essay included on North Carolina Highway Marker Program
Marker on Turner Street in Beaufort

In April 1775, the government of Great Britain severed all trade with the newly forming American government. One of the greatest concerns, especially in North Carolina, was the consequent shortage of salt, a vital commodity for the colony. In 1775 and 1776, the Provincial Congress of North Carolina worked quickly to create salt works. The first of the works was established near Beaufort.

     Salt was essential in the daily lives of Americans. It was needed as a preservative for food, with salted and dried meats being a staple for most during the winter months. In addition, Americans used salt in caring for livestock, curing animal hides, and providing for basic nutritional needs. Because of its importance, the government acted quickly.

     The Provincial Congress in 1775 passed three laws related to salt and to maintain its trade. First, the body established ceiling prices on salt, to ensure that salt remained available despite shortages. Then they began rationing the already existing salt supply. Finally, the government offered a bounty prize of 750 pounds to the first person to create a salt works and manufacture salt in North Carolina.

     In April 1776, the Provincial Congress expanded its actions, appointing four men to act as commissioners for salt industry development. Two of the men, Robert Williams and Richard Blackledge, began to develop salt works plants soon after their appointment, drawing upon the state funds.

     Williams, who came to Carteret County from England in 1763/65, began production of his salt works at Gallant’s Point near Beaufort in April 1776. Williams had already developed a small salt works near present-day Front Street in Beaufort, and hoped to expand upon his earlier methods. Rainstorms and lack of funding hampered Williams’ work. In December 1776, a committee appointed by the Congress judged Williams’ salt works unsatisfactory, and state funding was withdrawn.

     Blackledge also established his salt works near Beaufort, locating his at the mouth of Core Creek, on the north side of the Newport River. Blackledge utilized a salt production method based on solar heat, boiling salt water in large metal canisters until the water evaporated and only salt remained. Blackledge was provided with 500 pounds to launch his salt works, and in August 1776 the Provincial Congress judged his salt production to be satisfactory, and offered further financial support. Blackledge drowned in September 1777, but the works continued to operate through the Revolutionary War. William Borden purchased the operation in 1785.

Robert William's Granddaughter Sarah Jane Williams

Sarah Jane Williams Farmer
“The eighth child and fourth daughter of John Shoebridge Williams was named Sarah Jane and was born May 4th 1829. [Sarah Jane was born 39 years after the 1790 death of her grandfather Robert Williams and 29 years after her father John Shoebridge Williams left Carteret County with his widowed mother and several other Quaker families who set out for the “Northwestern Territory” in 1800.]

“[Sarah Jane] married in 1848 George Clinton Farmer of Cincinnati, Ohio, and her daughter Jennie Belle Farmer, born October 9th, 1852, married Frank Gridley Fowler of Bridgeport, Conn., and had twin boys, Francis and Frederick, who were born September 18th, 1887.

“…I am indebted to Mrs. Jennie B. Fowler for the copy of a map, drawn by John S. Williams in 1864, copied by Francis Fowler in 1904. In 1864, John S. Williams [age 74] went back to North Carolina, drew this map, and there shows a little plan of his father, Robert Williams’ house, close to a creek, and also close to the Newport River, where Wm. Fisher’s farm was at that time." Sarah Jane Williams Farmer died in 1930 at the age of 99.