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."