Grandfather Henry Williams
July 1864 To 1945
Grandmother Mary (Maxon) Williams
1856 To 1948
The Williams Family Dates back to the late 1800's, At least this is the information recovered from the census records and from tomb stones.
My grandparents names are Henry and Mary Allen (Maxon) Williams. They were married in 1880, and had eight known children. Two other children are listed in the census as being dead. There death was listed in the census between 1882 and 1900. No record of these two except in the census listing ten children, with eight living at the time of the census. There are very few pictures of my father, and I have just recently secured a copy of my grandparents and uncle Melton's pictures as well as other other members living at this time..
Researching the census, I was lead to believe that my grandfather originated from Natchez Mississippi which is about 10 miles across the river from Jonesville Louisiana. A later census shows him living next door to my grandmother, and a later census shows them married. I found out later that part of this is not true. I in fact had the wrong maiden name for my grandmother. I was looking for my grandmother using the last name of Allen. I discovered that Allen was her middle name, and her maiden name was Maxon. I am now searching for the Maxon family. I have no record to show where they were married but am still looking.
My father's name was Benjamin Williams, and he was born in Louisiana. He
was kind of secretive about his family and upbringing. He told us
he was born in New Orleans, but my birth certificate shows his place of
birth to be Jonesville LA.
Records shows that he has two brothers and eight sisters.
Ben Williams, My Father
Son of Henry and Mary (Maxon) Williams
After a frustrated search for information about his family, I gave up hope of finding anything. I went to the internet to find out what the town looked like. I found nothing but a few advertisements. Looking further, I found some government offices like aldermen, assembly persons, clerk of courts, etc. On a hunch, I called an alderwoman who informed me that the clerk of courts had a study done on Jonesville and neighboring towns. Upon contacting her, she not only sent me a copy of the write-up, but also a telephone directory of Jonesville LA. In the pages were listings of about seventeen Williams Families and six Allens( the last name I thought was my grandmothers maiden name). I wrote to each one of them seeking information hoping there would be a link in the family search. Out of the twenty-three letters I sent out, I received about six replies. Two negatives from the Allen's with one of them offering to take my letter to church and pass it around. The others were from the families with the name Williams. They also were negative.
A week or two went by before I received a phone call. It was a young lady inquiring about the letter I sent out. She said I was looking for an uncle with the nickname Pooche. She said his real name was Milton and he was her father. Her name is Martha Wagner. Of course, when I heard this, I was on cloud 99. Martha turned out to be my first cousin. Her mother's name (my aunt) is Lettie. She is living next door to Martha and her Family. They are living on the same land that my father was born on. The house burned down some years ago, and they are living in trailers. Uncle Milton died Sept. 27, 1982. I found that his birthday was Sept 14, 1910.
Shortly after this contact, Mississippi and Louisiana were hit by the hurricane Katrina and for a short period of time, I lost contact with Martha. They were far enough away that they didn't get much damage, but phone service and other conveniences were disturbed. Once the phones were reconnected, I was able to make contact with her family.
I didn't receive much information from Martha over the phone about my fathers immediate family. Either they were dead before she was born, or she was too young when they were around. Martha suggested that I come to Jonesville for a visit and do some research. I was reluctant at first. Not ever meeting any one there, not knowing anything about the town, it took me awhile to make up my mind to go.
The nearest airport was sixty-five miles away away in Alexandria LA. My flight took me to Memphis Tennessee where I boarded a two engine prop plane for the rest of the trip.
My First Cousin
Martha (Williams) Wagner, Daughter of Milton and Lettie Williams
Taken July 2006
Upon arriving in Alexandria, I found myself in the smallest airport I had ever seen. I don't know if you could even call it an airfield. Shortly after getting my luggage, I was watching people trying to spot my cousin, not knowing what she looked like. As I glanced around, I saw three women walking towards me. The center one upon seeing me started shaking her finger at me and smiling. As they reached me, she said "Hello cousin Joe" and hugged me. She said I had a strong resemblance of Uncle Milton and Aunt Julia. I was introduced to Aunt Lettie (her mother) and her sister Julia.
Martha's Husband, Elric Wagner
Taken July 2006
Elric Jones Jr, Son of Elric Sr & Martha Wagner,
Taken July 2006
Twin Sister Of Elric, Erica Jones
Taken July 2006
Upon arriving in Jonesville, the first thing I noticed was that it hadn't changed much from the 1930's. It was a very small town, no big stores like Kmart or Wal-Mart. I saw one restaurant, a barbque place, and a subway attached to a service station. There may have been more, but that's all I saw. The nearest Wal-Mart was back in Alexandria. The town had two motels that I saw. They were side by side. I was told the one that I was in was the better of the two. The room consisted of a bed, night stand, a telivision, and a chair. The bathroom had a shower, face bowl and a toilet. There was no phone, table, or any other item in the room. It did have the much needed air conditioning.
The clubs I saw were (what they called in the old days) juke joints, which were taverns made out of houses. Each church had their own cemetery. My families church was "The Pure Light Baptist Church. The cemetery there contained most of my relatives buried in Jonesville.
Zavion and Alannah Green, children of Erica Jones
Shanda Jefferson and two children, Shanya and Dexter
Daughter of Martha and Elric Jones, taken July 2006
Julia Norris, Martha's Sister, taken July 2006
Milton Williams, My Uncle, Son Of Henry And Mary Williams
Sept 14, 1910 To 1982
Uncle Milton's Wife, Lettie Williams
Taken July 2006
Though Martha's parents were Milton and Lettie Williams, she was brought up by her aunt and uncle Albert and Mary payne. Aunt Lettie was in bad health and in situations like that in the south, family members help family members. Martha was the youngest so she was taken and raised by them. Aunt Lettie and uncle Milton Didn't give up custody.
The next person I met was my father's cousin James Wilkerson (nickname BuddyBoyd). He started giving me a brief discussion about how my grandfather was. He put a big piece into the puzzle as to why my father left Jonesville.
My Father's Cousin
James Wilkerson (Taken July 2006)
From the way he put it, my grandfather put a rope around my fathers neck and dragged him through town. James said his mother aunt Julia went to the house and asked grandpa why he did it. He said he didn't know, he just felt like it. It was at that point that my father left and went to Chicago and later moved to Milwaukee Wisconsin where his sister Rose lived. He moved here in 1927. He met my mother Ethel Riley. They married in 1934, and had two children. My brother Henry and myself. My father died in 1961, My brother in 1973, and my mother in 1983. Up to this point, I figured all my relatives on my fathers side were gone. I was happily mistaken. Not only did I find family in Jonesville, I found out that I also have some in Detroit MI. St. Louis MO, Indiana, Chicago IL., Atlanta GA. Those I have to meet yet.
Other known members of the
Williams family are:
Henry grandpa, born July, 1865
Mary (Allen), grandma, born May, 1866
Ella my aunt, born July, 1882
Rosa my aunt, born March 1885
Juliann my aunt, born July, 1888
Roy my uncle, born January, 1891
Lucile my aunt, born June, 1898
Leola my aunt, born December, 1899
Alice my aunt
Ida Bell my aunt
Milton my uncle, born in 1910,died in 1982
My dad's sister Rosa, supposedly married a William Coleman in Louisiana, and had a son named Mack. There is no record of a marriage between aunt Rosa and Mack's father . This is the name Mack went by. They moved to Milwaukee WI. and married Cornelius Anderson. By the city directory, they married in 1923. Both Died in the late 50's.
Husband of Rosa (Williams) Anderson
Mack Coleman & Daughter Maxine Ware
Son of Rosa Anderson
William, Roxanne, and Alexandra Morton
Roxanne at an early age
Joe Williams & Cousins Bill, Roxann, & Alexandra Morton
ALEXANDRA MORTON, (JUNE 2012)
ROXANN AND ALEXANDRA MORTON (JUNE 2012)
The Ware Family
Herbert, Maxine, Reggie, Rosalind, Rodney
Herbert And Maxine's Wedding Day
Mack Coleman, Maxine (Coleman) and Herbert Ware
Heather Ware (Reggie's Daughter), Charie & Regina
Maxine Ware, Roxann (Ware) Morton, Callie Ware, Kayla, Regina
Rodney Ware's Wedding Day
Megin, Nissa, Heather, Charleen, Magill
Heather (Reggie Daughter) & Reeise Ware( Rodney's Daghter
Getta And Gabel, Herberts Parents
Herbert and Maxine's Grandchildren
Herbert Ware, Father Of Rodney, Reginald, Rosalind, and Roxanne
Herbert Doing His Trade
Reggie, Rodney, Maxine, Roxann Ware
There is more to the Williams Family to search for, but running into
but will continue my research.
Joseph F Williams On His Wedding Day, August 27, 1983
Joseph Williams and Best Man Jerry Pate
Joe and His Grooms Men
Joseph, Judy, Matthew, Tanya, and Jeffrey, THE WILLLIAMS CLAN
Joseph And Judy (Rockette) Williams