Friday, March 18, 2022

Williams – from Warren County to Chatham & Montgomery Counties to Wilson County, Tennessee

Previously, I wrote about Seth Williams, Isham Williams and Amos Williams, who I think are probably brothers, or at least close cousins. Furthering my search of these men in early Montgomery County, North Carolina with the surname Williams, I found Samuel Williams and Thomas C. Williams, who once lived in Montgomery County, but migrated to Wilson County, Tennessee about 1807 with a close friend or relative, Thompson Clemmons.

While there is information available about these Williams men, none of it links their true relationship to one another. I have been able to discover that there is a link back to Warren County, North Carolina and they are probably somehow related to the Williams family who lived in Chatham County, North Carolina.

From the 1790 Census:

Thomas Williams – Listed on the North Carolina, U.S., State Census, 1784-1787 and 1790 Census. Note: there are 2 Thomas Williams listed on the 1790 Census but only one on the early State Census

Solomon Williams – Listed on the North Carolina, U.S., State Census, 1784-1787 and 1790 Census. Had a 1790 land grant for 150 acres on the Northeast side of the Pee Dee River on lower Richland creek joining Nathaniel Lilly, Samuel Kelley, Amos Williams, Sias Billingsley and Tillmans line. Nathan Smith and Nat. Lilly chain carriers. 1796 land grant for 50 acres on the east side of the Pee Dee River joining Thomas Ware below the mouth of lower Richland creek, joining Benjamin Dumas’s River line. Edmund Lilly and John Lilly Jun. chain carriers. 1803 land grant for 200 acres on Hamer’s creek joining James Hindley’s line. John Fowler and Jessey Pitts chain carriers

Stephen Williams – Listed on the North Carolina, U.S., State Census, 1784-1787 and 1790 Census. 1800 land grant for 100 acres joining Stephen Touchstone and Duffy’s line on the waters of Mountain Creek. John Allred and William Allred chain carriers. 1829 land grant for 200 acres adjoining Daniel Monroe and John Bethune’s on waters of Silver run of Mountain Creek joining Stephen Williams line. Stephen Williams and James Williams chain carriers

Isham Williams – Listed on the 1790 Census. b. ~1760 d. ~1842 m. Francis (maybe Brewer). Father of Osborn A. Williams and grandfather to Nancy Ann Williams who married John Robert Scarboro

James Williams – Listed on the North Carolina, U.S., State Census, 1784-1787 and 1790 Census. 1779 land grant Anson now Montgomery County for 200 acres of land on Long Creek joining George Tucker including George Newman's improvement on the Southwest side of the Pee Dee River. Thomas Newman and George Tucker chain carriers

Roger Williams – Listed on the North Carolina, U.S., State Census, 1784-1787 and 1790 Census. d. ~1819 in Montgomery County, North Carolina. Probably served in the Revolutionary War. Estate was Administered by Arthur Harris, son of West Harris. Witnessed several deeds in Anson County for WestHarris. Also found in Bute, now Warren County

Seth Williams – Listed on the North Carolina, U.S., State Census, 1784-1787 and 1790 Census. b. ~1765 d. Bef. 1830 m. Nancy, she remarried to Joseph Wilson after Seth died. Father of Martha Williams who married Osborn A. Williams (see Isham above)

Samuel Williams – b. ~1754 d. after 1832. Served in the Revolutionary War. Migrated to Wilson County, Tennessee in 1807 with Thompson Clemmons and Thomas Williams

Amos Williams – Listed on the 1790 and 1810 Census. b. ~1764 probably the father of John Williams (listed as John Williams (Amos) on 1850 Census) who married Amy (maiden name unknown)

Benjamin Williams – Listed on the 1790 and 1810 Census

William Williams – Listed on the 1790 Census. Probably served in the Revolutionary War. May be the same man found the pension file of Timothy Parker who states he served under William Williams Lieutenant and Samuel Williams Ensign in Anson, now Montgomery, County

Thomas C. Williams Esq – Listed on the North Carolina, U.S., State Census, 1784-1787 and 1790 Census. Note: there are 2 Thomas Williams’ listed on the 1790 Census but only one on the early State Census. b. ~1758. Middle initial, “C” may stand for Crawford. Served in the Revolutionary War. m. Nancy from Warren County, North Carolina. 1794 land grant for 26 acres joining Thomas Cotton’s line, including all the vacant land between Brantley Harris, and Thos. C. Williams Esq. line and the Uwharrie River. William Morgan and William Clifton chain carriers. Migrated to Wilson County, Tennessee with Samuel Williams, and Thompson Clemmons in 1807

Of note, there is a Williams family in Moore County, North Carolina but I have not been able to connect the Montgomery County Williams men to the Williams family that populated Moore County, North Carolina. The Moore County Williams’ look to reach back to George Williams (1745-1797). I am not yet sure if I am dealing with two separate Williams families or just one family that spread out over multiple counties. I have yet to see any Y-DNA testing on descendants of the Williams men I am researching but as my research progresses, I may be able to track down some living descendants of the Williams men listed on the 1790 Montgomery County Census who have or are willing to Y-DNA test.

Thompson Clemmons filed his claim for a pension at the September term 1832 court in Wilson County, Tennessee stating that he was 81 years old (born about 1751). He entered the service of the United States in the year 1779 in the county of Montgomery, state of North Carolina in the militia commanded by West Harris and Drury Ledbetter. Thompson was born in Virginia but resided in North Carolina, the counties of Franklin and Montgomery, and removed to Wilson County, Tennessee about the year 1807. He had lost or misplaced his discharge papers and the only living witnesses he could name who could prove his service were Thomas Williams and Samuel Williams.

Thompson Clemmons had two land grants for 50-acres of land in Montgomery County, North Carolina. Both surveys were completed by Mark Allen on 21 Jul 1779. John Bell and William Clemmons were chain carriers. The first tract of land was on the southwest side of Uwharrie River and joined the land of Turner Harris. The second tract of land was between the Yadkin and Uwharrie Rivers on the waters of McLean’s Creek and adjoined James Cotton’s land at the Cross Creek Road.

Samuel Williams, who was also a citizen of Wilson County, Tennessee, aged 74 years (born about 1758) certified that he had known the applicant, Thompson Clemmons since his boyhood and that they served together in Montgomery County, North Carolina under the command of West Harris and Drury Ledbetter.

On the 29th day of October 1832, Samuel Williams Senior appeared in open court in the town of Lebanon, county of Wilson, state of Tennessee, aged about 74 years, and made his declaration to obtain a pension for his service in the Revolutionary War. He entered the service of the United States as a private soldier for the term of three months in 1776 in the county of Anson under the command of Captain West Harris and Colonel Drury Ledbetter.

In 1777 and 1778, he volunteered for a three-month tour in Warren County, North Carolina and again in 1778, back in Montgomery County, he volunteered and served under Captain Buckner Kimball. He served in actual service for two full years.

His file contains the affidavits of Priscilla Tucker, Thomas C. Williams, and Nancy Williams who certifies to his being a soldier of the Revolution.

On 15 Nov 1837, Nancy Williams, a resident of Wilson County, Tennessee, age 81 years filed her pension claim as a widow of Thomas C. Williams who was a pensioner of the United States and drew his pension in Nashville, Tennessee for services rendered during the war of the Revolution. Nancy claimed that she was married to the said Thomas C. Williams on the 15th day of August 1776 and that her husband, Thomas C. Williams, died on the 12th of November 1833. She had remained a widow ever since.

Thomas and Nancy Williams had the following children as noted in her widow pension claim:

Cynthia born 29 Jan 1777

Lucy born 30 Apr 1782

Betsy born 21 Apr 1784

Nancy born 3 Apr 1786

Salley born 30 Nov 1787 (twin to William Gray?)

William Gray born 30 Nov 1787 (twin to Salley?)

Thomas born 3 Mar 1790

Patsy born 18 May 1795

Selah born 15 Apr 1797


Thomas C. and Nancy Williams were married prior to the Revolutionary War in Warren County, North Carolina according to the affidavit that Samuel Williams provided in the pension file of Thomas and the widow pension file of Nancy.

Thomas C. Williams applied for his pension in 1832 in Wilson County, Tennessee. He was 79 years old and states that he was born the 12th of April 1754 in Warren County, North Carolina. Warren County was formed in 1779 from the northern half of Bute County and Bute was formed in 1764 from Granville, so, Thomas was born when the county was known as Granville.

In 1779, Thomas volunteered as a minute man in the militia in Montgomery County and served under Drury Ledbetter, West Harris, and Charles Jones where he went about hunting Tories. He was in one major engagement against the Tories in Anson County, North Carolina, and several small skirmishes. While on a visit to his wife’s father in Warren County, in 1781, he served a tour and was marched to Halifax, where he remained until the time of Cornwallis’ surrender and peace was declared. 

Thomas stated that he moved from North Carolina to Tennessee about 1807. He can prove 9 months of his service by Thompson Clemmons as they served together under Drury Ledbetter and West Harris.

The Chatham County connection:

Wilson County, TNGenWeb web page provides a Williams Narrative & Genealogy about Robert Williams, a native of England, who migrated to America around 1735, settling probably in what is now Mecklenburg County, Virginia and later migrating to Warren (once Granville / Bute) County later. He married in America, but his wife is unknown. He had at least eight children, John, Francis, Nimrod, Simon, Dorcas, Ashkenaz (married Sarah Hackney a daughter of Joseph Hackney), Archelaus, Permenas. From what I can tell all this line of the Williams family from Warren County migrated to Chatham County and most went on to Wilson County, Tennessee – the same place some of the Montgomery County Williams men ended up.

Robert Williams' second wife was Ann Edwards who married Joseph Hackney (yes, Sarah Hackney Williams’ father as mentioned above) after the death of Robert. Ann and Robert may have had a son, Seth and two daughters, Amy, married Mark Bynum, and Lydia who married Bradford Howard.


Oh, what a small world! Bradford Howard lived in Montgomery County, North Carolina for a short time. His sister, Nancy, married Nathaniel Edwards. Nancy was identified in the will of her father, William Howard, who died in 1814. The following information was provided to me by an Edwards descendant while I was researching a Morgan Y-DNA match to my Morgan cousin.  

Nathaniel Edwards of Montgomery County, North Carolina was born about 1762 in Georgia, according to the census records of his son Crawford, (by the way, Thomas C. Williams Esq middle name is most likely Crawford) and the birth location of his brothers and sisters. He is in the 1787 tax records and in the 1790 and 1800 censuses in Montgomery County. His children began appearing in the records in Wilson County, Tennessee in 1804, (about the same time and place where these Williams’ men appeared) but there are no records in Tennessee for Nathaniel himself. His last child was born in North Carolina in 1806. The absence of Nathaniel from the tax records in Wilson County implies that he was never a resident of Wilson County. Nancy, his wife, appeared as head of household in the 1820 Wilson County, Tennessee census. 

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