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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Lieut. William J. Williams, farmer, was born in Grayson County, Va., (now Carroll County), on his father’s farm, in 1834, and is the son of Absolom Williams, and the grandson of William Williams, who was a captain in the War of the Revolution, and served five years. He was under the command of Gen. Green, and was in the battle of Guilford Court House. He was a native of Pittsylvania County, Penn., and immigrated to Carroll County, Va. He married Miss Nancy Safewright, of England, and to them were born seven children: William, Jesse, Henry, Jonathan, John and two daughters whose names are forgotten. Mr. Williams lived on his farm in Virginia until his death, which occurred when he was eighty years of age. The father of the subject of this sketch was a native of Virginia, and married Miss Sarah Bobbitt, daughter of William Bobbitt. Six children were born to this union: Lucy, Nancy, Rebecca, Paulina, Mary Ann and William J. Mr. Williams moved to Missouri in 1841, and settled two miles northwest of Mount Vernon. He died at the age of eighty-five, and was a man noted for his honesty of purpose and upright character. He was a farmer by occupation, and an excellent citizen. William J. Williams was reared on the farm, and received but a limited education. He came to this county with his parents when a boy, and in 1862 he enlisted in the Seventy-sixth Enrolled Militia, and served as second lieutenant. His company was consolidated into the Seventh Provincial Regiment Company, until about June 1, 1863, he being first lieutenant, when he enlisted in the Second Regiment, Company I, Missouri Volunteer Light Artillery, and served until August 23, 1865, being honorably discharged at that date. He was in the battle of Nashville, Tenn., and was in a great many severe skirmishes in Missouri. October 24, 1869, he married Miss Mary E. Stakely, daughter of George and Jane (Warden) Stakely, and they have two children, George A. and Sarah J. Mrs. Williams died December 22, 1874, and Mr. Williams married, May 18, 1879, Miss Mary E. Spillman, daughter of Thomas and Martha B. (Parrish) Spillman. Three children were the result of this union: May, Mary L. and Harry C. Mr. Williams purchased his present farm in 1866, and has since added to it, until he now owns 322 acres of fine farming land. In his political views Mr. Williams is a Democrat, and he is a member of the Masonic fraternity. Lieut. Williams is in independent circumstances, and is well respected by all who know him. His record as a soldier should be preserved to the most remote generation, and valued as highly as the record of grandfathers who fought for the independence of the colonists. The grandson fought to preserve the government which his grandfather had assisted in forming.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Lawrence County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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