Thomas Williams’ interest in said land was levied upon and sold by the Sheriff of Montgomery County by virtue of an execution when S. A. Christian became the last and highest bidder and did by transfer of said bid or by deed duly executed by him conveying the same to the defendant Matthew Davis.
As Seth Williams Jr died without ever having married and without any children, his interest in said lands descended to his brothers and sisters as his next collateral relations who were Malcom Williams, Thomas Williams, whose interest had been sold to Matthew Davis, Charles Williams, and John Williams and to his sisters Harriett, who has intermarried with James Simmons, Helena who has intermarried with Miles Jackson, and Martha who has intermarried with Osborn Williams.
Malcom Williams removed to Tennessee and died leaving his widow Nancy and his children William and Allison who reside in Tennessee.
Charles Williams removed to Texas and died leaving his widow Eliza and 2 children whose names are unknown.
Harriett married James Simmons and removed to Tennessee where both her and her husband died leaving children surviving vis, Garrett, William, Hardeman, Caswell, James, Newton, and Marian who reside in Tennessee.
Martha married Osborn Williams and she is dead leaving Elmira, Wilson F., Thomas, Nancy, who is married to Robert Scarboro, Jane and Frances Williams and her husband Osborn Williams surviving. The two last, Jane and Frances, are minors and have no Regular Guardian.
The more I dug into the families mentioned in the estate file, the more I realized that Old Seth Williams probably died before 1830. He is found on very early records of Montgomery County; a 1782 tax list, the 1790 Census, the 1810 Census, and early land grants. He is not found on the 1830 Census though. His wife, and the mother of his children, had to be Nancy Wilson, who purchased the land of Seth Jr and who remarried to a man named Joseph Wilson, thus uniting the Williams and Wilson families. Most family trees I reviewed have Nancy listed as the mother of Joseph Wilson’s children – but that cannot be the case. Records do not support that. A few trees had Ann Pritchard listed as the mother of Joseph’s children, but no evidence listed to support the claim.
Joseph Wilson wrote his will in April 1841, giving to his dear beloved wife Nancy Wilson one bed and furniture one grey mare, bridle, and saddle and one cow and calf and $50 for her portion of his estate. In his estate file, there was no dower land mentioned.
Joseph goes on to list his children, never referring to Nancy as their mother; daughters, Polly Billingsley, Elizabeth Deberry, Patsey Thomasson, two children of a deceased daughter, Calvin Wooley and Preston Wooley, Nancy Billingsley, Sally Myric Wilson, Joanna Christian and sons Isiah M. Wilson, William R. Wilson, John P. Wilson.
Joseph Wilson also names his brother in his will; noting that the land on Clarks Creek that he bought of his brother, Joel Wilson, is to descend to his son, Isaiah M. Wilson. Joel Wilson may be the J. Wilson listed on the 1810 Census living next door to Joseph Wilson.
Joel published in The Raleigh Minerva, in 1809, that his wife Rebecca, had deserted him.
A deed dated 13 April 1847, is what absolutely determines that Nancy Wilson was once a Williams. In the deed she lists herself as the mother of Thomas Williams, the brother whose interest in Seth Junior’s land was purchased by Matthew Davis Sr. Nancy deeds to her son Thomas Williams a certain grey mare about six years old and other items. This is probably the same grey mare that she received of her husband, Joseph Wilson, in his will. The deed was witnessed by Calvin Wooley, who is named in the will of Joseph Wilson as his grandson.
Matthew Davis Sr is connected to the Wilson family through Isiah M. Wilson, son of Joseph Wilson, who married his daughter, Eliza Davis in 1847.
In 1850, 73-year-old Nancy Wilson is living next door to Isaiah M. Wilson, the son of Joseph Wilson. James Livingston, 15-years old, is shown in her household. This Census was taken on 29 Jul 1850 by C. W. Wooley (Nancy’s step grandson). James is listed as a laborer; I have found no family connection between the Livingston’s and Nancy.
16-year-old James Livingston, Laborer, is also listed on the 1850 Census just 2-weeks later, living with his parents, William, and Hannah Livingston. That Census was taken 16 Aug 1850 by C. W. Wooley. James was probably doing some work for Nancy on 29 Jul and C. W. Wooley, knowing that enumerators were paid 2 cents per person enumerated, added James to the Census because he was at Nancy’s house that day.
Interestingly, Nancy Ann Deberry, sister of William Gaston Deberry, and daughter of the Honorable Edmund Deberry, married Calvin Wooley, grandson of Joseph Wilson who married Nancy Williams after Old Seth Williams died.
Joseph Wilson’s will also list a daughter as Elizabeth Deberry, but I do not yet know which Deberry she married.
Harriet Williams, the sister of Seth Williams Jr, married James Simmons. I do not know if there is a connection to the Benjamin Simmons family who populated early Montgomery County. Both are mentioned in the 1853 estate file as removing to Tennessee. Harriet and James's children are also mentioned. It became clear to me while researching Harriet and James, that their descendants have not found the 1853 estate file of Seth Williams Jr because there are a wide range of parents listed for Harriet, but most agree she was probably born in Montgomery County, North Carolina.
I am not able to find concrete proof of the parentage of James Simmons, but there is enough evidence to lead me to think he may be the son of John and Mary Polly Parker Simmons who married in Franklin County, North Carolina around 1790, migrated to Chatham County, North Carolina around 1796 or 97, and then to Montgomery County, North Carolina around 1803, where John died in 1823, and later, Polly Simmons migrated to Henry County, Tennessee with proven son, Bartlett. James also migrated to Henry County, Tennessee and there may be a connection between Bartlett and James, perhaps brothers. I am posting what I found in hopes that descendants or researchers of this family might be able to connect with me and provide documented proof – or correct me if I am wrong.
Early Census documents for John Simmons, who has a common name, are of no help. I found John Simmons in Franklin County, North Carolina in 1790, but the age is not right. I found John Simmons in Chatham County, North Carolina in 1800, but the age was just too young to be my John. I found a John Simmons in Montgomery County in 1790, and while the age could be right, based on other records, I do not think John was in Montgomery in 1790. In 1810, Montgomery County, there is a T. Simmons in Capt. Williams District but no J. Simmons. I am not sure how this guy escaped so many Census takers!
Sometime after the marriage, John and Polly migrated to Chatham County, North Carolina where he bought land on New Hope Creek [see above deed and map]. On an 1803 deed in Chatham County, John is listed as a resident of Montgomery County, North Carolina and sold the same land as noted above to Bartholomew Lightfoot and Oliver Prince for $510.00. John and Polly left Franklin County around 1796, were in Chatham by 1797, only staying there a few years; by 1803, they had moved on to Montgomery County and were there in 1818 when John filed for his war pension.
In May 1800, John advertised in The Raleigh Minerva, that his 201-acre plantation at New Hope Bridge on the main road leading from Raleigh containing a Mill Seat, was for sale.
9 Jun 1840, in Henry County, Tennessee, Polly Simmons files for a pension as the widow of John Simmons, a pensioner, who died 5 Apr 1823. Thomas Oliver Sen and Thomas Oliver Jun provide sworn affidavits that John Simmons, late of the county of Montgomery and state of North Carolina, was a pensioner and drew his pension at Fayetteville, North Carolina.
I have not had time to research Thomas Oliver Senior or Junior. I find it odd though that neither James Simmons nor Bartlett Simons are found in these documents.
The only documented child in the Revolutionary War file belonging to John and Polly Parker Simmons is Bartlett Simmons. John stated in his 1818 pension file that Bartlett was 13 years old, making him born about 1805. James Simmons, based on future records, was born about 1794.
Bartlett Simmons is found on the 1830 Census for Henry County, Tennessee, the same place where Polly Simmons filed her widow pension claim. Found in the same county are Henry, Charles, and William Simmons – possible relatives of Bartlett, but no James Simmons.
James P. Simmons is living in Carroll County, Tennessee in 1850. This Census does not include Polly Simmons, and it is assumed that she died between Census years, 1840 and 1850. Living with James are his sons, Hardman, and James.
Going back to the 1853 estate file of Seth Williams Jr, “Harriett married James Simmons and removed to Tennessee where both her and her husband died leaving children surviving vis, Garrett, William, Hardeman, Caswell, James, Newton, and Marian who reside in Tennessee.” This would indicate that James Simmons died in Tennessee prior to 1853.
It is after 1853 that things become confusing for James Simmons. He is not found at all in 1860. I can find some of his children though. Garrett looks to be living in Benton, Tennessee in 1860. Caswell, who became a doctor, is living in Prairie, Arkansas in 1860. Hardeman, who looks to be the most documented, is living in Tippah County, Mississippi in 1860.
Most family trees have James Simmons listed on the 1870 Census for Tippah County, Mississippi living with Harriett Nutt. She is supposedly the daughter of Kedar Nutt and Sarah Simmons from Wake County, North Carolina. I do not know what the relationship is between James and Harriett or if any exist at all, or if this is James Simmons who married Harriet Williams.
Isham Williams was probably born about 1760 and may be related to Old Seth Williams, perhaps a brother, if so, that would make Martha and Osborn first cousins. Isham died before 1842 in Montgomery County. His wife, Francis, died about Oct 1842 and after her death a paper writing was produced purporting to be her last will and testament in which Archibald Williams claimed to be the executor. In Jan 1843, Archibald Williams offered to the court the will for probate. The court admitted the will without any notice given to the heirs at law of Francis Williams, some of whom resided in the states of Georgia and Mississippi at the time of Francis’s death.
The estate file names the heirs of Isham and Francis Williams as, Sterling Andrews and Elizabeth his wife, Archibald Williams, James Henley, and Mary his wife, Ausborn Williams, and Tempey Austin, widow of Bryant Austin deceased.
On the 1850 Census I found John Williams (Amos), age 52, a Wheelwright. His family consisted of Amy, age 45, presumably his wife, and children Eliza, age 13, Mary, age 6, and Henry, age 3. Also listed is Harriet Williams, age 21. Most trees have Amy listed as Amy Moreland because there is a marriage record listed on Ancestry that links to John and Amy Williams of Montgomery County. Looking further into the marriage record, I found that John Williams and Amy Moreland were married in Lincoln County, North Carolina in 1796. This couple is not the John and Amy Williams found on the 1850 Census in Montgomery County, North Carolina.
Neither Amy nor Eliza is mentioned in John’s estate file. They both may have died between the 1850 and 1860 Census. Harriet Williams married Simeon Blalock, Ann Williams married James Maner (Maynor), Mary Williams married John Ussery, and Henry may have moved to Randolph County, and married a York.
I thought it interesting that (Amos) is spelled out on the Census record beside John’s name. I believe that the Census taker may have been attempting to identify John, him having such a common name. I thought perhaps, this John Williams may be the son of Amos Williams.The Forgotten Dead.” There was a Roger Williams in Randolph County as well. More research required to find out if these are the same men.