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...