Genealogy Trails - Finding Illinois Ancestors
Jones, Williams, Threlkeld Family History
Including some interesting Facts about early Pioneer Life in Mattoon and Coles County


Contributed by Src #136

Denise's note: "The following is the retyped version of the letter written to Claude Jones by both his father, William Jones, and his uncle, Thomas Jones, who usually added comments in parentheses with initials of T.T.J. The original is so very hard to read so this will help all to know what it said. I did not add or delete anything from the original letter. It is typed as written, including spelling, repeated words, and punctuation."



February 17, 1916

Dear Claude
When you was here during your holiday visit, you asked me to write you somekind of a family history or record of our family as far back as I knew about them.

The information I am able to gather about my Mothers family (the Threldkeld) is rather meager, for my Mother (Eliza P. Threlkeld) died December 31, 1856, when I was only forty days old. Following her death, I was taken into the home of two aunts, sisters of my mother, Margaret Woods and Nancy True, where I lived until I was about two years old. Then on account of the death of Aunt Margaret Woods and the sickness of aunt Nancy True, I was taken to the home of Uncle Dumas and Aunt Lucy Jones.

This turn in life Naturally switches me away to some extent from the early association with Mothers family, for you know about all a child from the time it is born until it is three years old is rarely, intellectually carried in its memory.

In this house I lived and believed and appreciated as I never had done before, and happy am I to say, that the tasting and plessent memories of that home, has always been one of the most refrashing of my childhood and boyhood life. (Five years after Mothers death) my Father married again and thus naturally provided for me a home in his own house and to whicch I was a wrightful inheritant, and a welcome recipient, yet I must say that in the house of Uncle Durnas and Aunt Lucy, there ran the ideal home spot of my childhood life. In that home was I taught my first lessons of good and evil or in other words where I first begun to desern the difference between them, and what they ment to mankind, and ever after that while that home existed my welcom was complete at any and all times. I suppose the reason was that at their time In liffe, had as nature ordains for the coming of babies (and his sweet loveabe disposition.T.T.J) I just naturally tumbled into a place where there was a demand for a baby. (There is room here for a whole chapter on the love and home life in that home. T.T.J)

But l will return to the house of my mothers people, and try and give you the information as well as I can according to the information I find recorded by others.

Thomas Threlkeld, who was my Grandfather, was born Nov -7-1793
Martha Patterson Threlkeld who was my Grandmother was born Oct -21-1790
They were married Dec,1,1813, he being at the age of 20 years 24 days and she 3 years 1 month and ten days his senior in age.
Thomas Threlkeld joined the Primitive Baptist Church and was Baptised in that faith March 1812, about nine months previous to his marriage.

His mothers maiden name was Lightfoot. Martha Patterson Threlkeld joined the church of her husband and was Baptised July 28,1822, nine years after her marriage, about ten years after her Husbands Babtism, and about eight months after my mothers birth. They moved to this State from Kentucky to the central part of Lafayette Township, Section 16, Coler County, Ill, in 1830, presumably in the fall of the year. He was about 38 years old at that time and was in the prime of manhood and Fatherhood. All his children of whom there were eight Daughters and one Son were born in Kentucky Except Martha.

Sheet No. 2
The names and date of birth of their children are,
Margaret, Wife of Hiram Woods Born Dec, 16-1814
Mathew P. Feb, 7-1816
Lucinda Anderson July, 10-1818
Sarah B. Hendrix Decesed, Cunningham May, 17-1820
her first Husband was Ella Dorans Father
her second Husband was Bettie Masons Father
Eliza P. My Mother Wife of William R. Jones Jan, 23-1822
Nancy Wife of James M. True July, 8-1824
Mary Wife of Andrew White April, 10-1826
Amanda Second Wife Wife of Hamilton Nabb Jan-I 1-1828
Martha First Wife of Hamilton Nabb Apr- 10-1834

Thomas Thralkeld began preaching in Kentucky in July 1819 at about 26 years old and had been a regular preacher for over ten years when he came to this State in 1830. He maintained a charge here until his death April 19, 1865, just a few hours after the assasination
of President Lincoln, of whom he was an ardent admirer. When he was told of the Presidents death he said The Country has sustained a great and irrepairable lose, but that God would cause the good cause to prevail and that the great nation of liberty and freedom would prevail over its enemies, and peace would be restored to the nation, all of which has come to pass as he said it would.

Martha Patterson Threlkeld (my Grandmother) was of Scotch decent. Her mothers maiden name was lrvin. She died June 24-1862 at the old family homestead and only a short distance from where she hung out her first washing on the praire grass and shed her first home sick tears for old friends and love ones she left never to see again.

This sad circumstance of her life she told to her Grand daughter Mrs. Ellan Doran in the latter years of her life. She said when they arrived in their new home she hung out her first washing on the tall prairie grass that was growing around their new home. They had neglected to bring their clothes line and those things at that time could not be gotten simply suggesting it as they can now. Those were the times that tried men and women. That was 85 years ago and more. Many years before the railroad was thought of as being a common means of travel and transportation for the conveyance of the great commercial interests of the great commonwealth.

The new settlers stuck to the timber belts with the tenacity of their convictions that their only source of fuel was pent up in the then vast and heavy forests of the country skirting out in to the bast and rich prairie lands. Stone-coal the name it was then known by had only been discovers in Pennsylvania and was to far away to be even dreamed of as a practical way out on the prairies of Illinois. No body ever dreamed part of Illinois was underlaid with one of the greatest coal fields in the U.S.
Well Getting back to the old family will say this about gives you the history of the Threlkelds branch of our family as fas as l was able to trace it back to Kentucky as to when the family came to Kentucky and from where they came I am not now able to say.
(My understanding is the Threlkelds migrated from Tennessee to Kentucky. Some of the Patterson Family were still in Tennesee a few years ago for Cousin Ella Doran told me ab't visiting in their homes and that they were of the old aristocrat a "Refigee' 1st cousin of Uncle
Matthew Threlkeld stayed with him a while because it was not safe for him in Tennesee. T.T. Jones)

Sheet No. 3
Copy of John Jones last Will & Testament made in 1802 In the name of God Amen, the 11th March 1802,

I, John Jones being weak in body but of a Sound understanding, Thanks be to God for his Mercies, do Make Constitute Order and declare this to be my last Will & Testament in Manner and form following.
First I order all My reasonable Debtd be paid.
Secondly I leave my wife Sarah Jones during her natural life one man Jacob.
Thirdly I leave to my son John Jones Five Pounds out of an Execution, I was Surety for him for.
Fourthly I give to my Son Dumas Jones Two hundred acres of land where he now lives, and his Heirs forever.
Fifthly I give to My Daughter Elizabeth Man one Bond I have in my Hand against Francis Man.
Sixthly I give to my Son David Jones Ten Pounds out of a Bond due Me
Seventhly I give to my Son Moses Jones the Land where I now live. The rest of My Estate I leave to Nancy Williams & Moses Jones to them and their Heirs forever, to be equally divided.
I leave Moses Jones and Hubbard Williams Executors of My Last Will & Testament.
(Signed) John Jones
John Kimbraugh )
Ruban Kimbraugh)
Jessee Baskitt
William Barlow )
This last Will & Testament of John Jones Deceased was Produced in
Court and Proven by the Oaths of John Kimbraugh Jessee Baslit & William Barlow subscribed
Witnesses there to and Ordered to be Recorded and on the Motion of Moses Jones & Hubbard
Williams the Executors there in named, who made Oath there to and Together with William
Baker & William Thompson Sureties entered Into and acknowledged Bond in the Penalty of
L1000 Conditionally Agreeably to Law. Cirtificate is Granted them for Obtaining a Probate
thereof in due form.
"Attest" Lewis H. Arnold. D.O.N.E.E.

A Copy Attest
Andrew S. Hughes. D. 0. N. E. E.
Nicholas Cty Ellisville January 111812


The Name Kentucky, the State in which the above Will was made and Executed does not appear in it or the Court Proceedings when it was Probated. The land Willed to Dumas Jones was a few Miles South East of Cynthiana in Harrison County. Nicholas County, adjoins Harrison County on the South East side so his home farm that he gave to Moses Jones and the farm he gave to Dumas Jones may not have been very far apart.
Thomas T. Jones.

Sheet No. 4
Dumas Jones son of John Jones, (Executor of Will see sheet No 3) and Sarah Tally
Jones was born December 23, 1771.
Sarah, the daughter of John Blackburn and Nancy Maxwell Blackburn was born in York County Pensylvania Mat 3, 1769.
Dumas Jones and Sarah Blackburn were Married February 10 1795. In thiss case also my grand father Jones was younger than his wife, being 23 years 1 month and 17 days old in his wedding day and she being on the same occasion 25 years 9 month and 10 days old (Dumas Jones died near Cynthiana Kentucky about the year 1827 and his wife died at the home of her daughter Nancy VanDeron In Lafayette Township or Charleston about 1850 and is buried in the old City Cemetary in Charleston Illinoise. The reason I am fixing these two death dates is, My Father told me he was not of a age when his father died and I have a photograph taken from an old deperectype of her, her daughter Nancy VanDeren, Nancys daughter Sarah Hayes and Sarah's daughter Nancy Sayer. I do not believe Nancy Sayer was more than eight years older than I, and the picture shows her three or four years old and my Grand mother a very old woman when it was take. T. T. Jones) (Here I am placing what Brother Will names a Suplement sheet where I believe it belongs. He is writing about the Dumas Jones family Son of John Jones Executer of the Will Sheet No 3 T.T. Jones)

Their names, and years of birth are known and in some assumed according to the nature of family births.
John Jones born about 1796 (His wifes maiden name was Jones not related to him. T.T.
Jones) Her Mothers maiden name was Tucker. They had three children Adaline (Wife of David
Maffett and mother of John, Millie Vance-, Mary Tremble, and Frank) John Dumas (? Hanccock,
Children, Charles Henry, John Dumas Jr., Carrie Barwick, Lizzie Collins, Addin, and Edwin
David) Who died a young man was never married.
Nancy Jones VenDeren Born about 1798 and was married to Jessee VanDeren about ____ She had four Children Theopholis, Sarah, Franklin And Dumas. (Franklin Married Ellen daughter of Joseph VanDeren. She was his first cousin. He died about 1850 "with the cholery" then Dumas married her. T. T. Jones). The latter being the father of Mrs. Frankie RfFall now a resident of Mattoon Ill. (I should have stated Dumas was the fourth VanDeren child. T.T. J.)
Sarah T. Jones Turney born April 5, 1800. Married to John Turney September 3, 1818, in Kentucky Benjamid D., Sarah, Louisa, Daniel, (name should have come after Benjamin. My mistake. T.T.J.) John, and William (A soldier in the Union Army T.T.J) The latter died without ever being married.
Polly Jones True (I believe Brother Will has the birth dates of Aunt Polly and Aunt America transposed. T.T.J) Was born about the year 1802. Was married to Edwin (Edmond)T. True. (They were married about 1839. Theodore E. True their only Child. Aunt Polly died a few years later. T.T. Jones) who was a captain 3d the Civil War, and killed in the Battle at Ft Donalson, where also and at the same time Theodore E. True his son, was severely wounded . She hied in this Country. (Was Marrieed in the house where her Son Theodore, Brother Will, Carrie Jones Barwick and I were born and my mother died. T.T. Jones.)
Benjamin Franklin Jones in 1805. He never Married. Came to this county in 1833 (Moved here later) where he accumlated quite an estate. He died in June 1894.

Sheet No. 5
America Jones Williams was born in 1806, was married in Kentucky and never lived in Illinois.)
am quite sure she died about 1838, she had but one son, Samuel Williams who is dead. He died a widower about 1880, and left a little boy, who if alive is about 40 years of age.

William Riley Jones. (Your Grand Father) was born august 14, 1808. He was twice Married. Thomas 1. and William D., being the children of his first wife; and Sarah Louisa., the child of his last wife. He died ApriI 6,1879
Lovisa Jones Scroggins was born in 1810, and was marrieed to John Scroggins in Kentucky and never lived in Illinois at any time during her life; think she was married in the early Thirties. (Earlier) She had only two Sons, (Six, four of them dying in childhood. Father wanted Mr. Scroggings to came to Illinois with them but said he could not sacrifice his six little boys to the Illinois malaria. T.T. Jones) John and Robert. They both married and raised families on the farms there Father left them at his death. They are long since dead. John left three girls and two boys at the time of his death, (all small for he died in the prime of his manhood. T.TJones) and Robert left five girls and one boy living at the time of his death.

Dumas Jones was born In 1812 and was married to Luck King in Kentucky. There Children
were Sarah, Lizzie, William H., Dumas, Lovisa, and Noina. Lizzie Mameed Thomas E. Woods about 1860, Lovisa Married Eld. John G. Sawin about 1862, and Ella Married Charles E.
Masom About 1866. All the other children died without having been married.

My Father William Riley Jones the seventh child born in the family of Dumas and Sarah Blackburn Jones, who were married on the tenth day of February 1795, was born in Harrison County on the fourteenth day of February 1808. He was raised on the farm and followed that avocation through his entire life. His father died when he was in his twenty third year, and he remained at home with his mother and the younger members of the family, then at home, as the older brothers and sisters of the family had married and gone to homes of their own or in other business. In the spring (fall) of 1833 my father and his elder brother B.F. Jones who was about three years his senior, and who remainded a bachelor, throughout his entire life equipped themselves with good (saddle horses of which they were great admirers, saddles and saddlebags, felt leggins Etc, put their supply of clothinng for change in their saddle bags, mounted their horses, and started out to see the new and inviting state of Illinois, to which so many of their friends and countryment, were going and had been going and settling, for a number of years previous. I do not remember by what route they came as there were several different then generally traveled by horseback travelers, as in those days there were only certain places over which a person could find ferry boat transportation across the Ohio River regularly. I remember I have heared my father say that Cincinatti could always be depended upon, but that was considerably out of the way and generally took them about two days longer to make the trip that way, but I think Madison Indiana was genreally preferred as a crossing place as it took about two days to ride grom Cynthiana on horseback to Madison, then the White River in Indiana was to be forded, but the next river in importance to the Ohio was the Wabash River out of Indiana into Ill. I think when they crossed the Ohio at Madison they generally cross the Wabash or Palestine (or York about 15 miles up stream) where the Indiana division of the Illinois Central) R.R. now crosses the Wabash and when they crossed the Wabash at Vincenues Indiana. I remember hearing him say he had crossed the Wabash (and Ohio) on the ice, and a number of times he crossed by riding a skiff and with his saddle

Sheet No. 6
bags and saddle and load the horse behind the skiff and let him swim, if the ferry accomodations were crowded with teams which was frequently the case at certain seasons of the year when the emigration travel was crowded at these places.
Every spring they would come out here what little money they had, buy what cattle they could buy, and heard them on the abundant prarie grass with what other cattle they would take in to heard for other people and in the fall iff they did not sell out to some cattle man in the neighborhood they would start them across the country to Terre Haute or Vincennes, and sometimes they would take them clear to Louisville or Cincinnati. They kept this up until the fall of 1837 when they finally persuaded Grand mother to move to the new country in Illinois. Similtaneous came the VanDerens, Tumeys, Gruells, Monforts. Marshall, Munsons, and Trues all from Kentucky.
Among the earlier settlers to thiss county, who had attained good homes, some of them
vast quantities of some of the best prairie in the western part of the country were the Ewings, Clarks, Williams, Guthries, Vanmeters Woods, Cunninghams, Gannaways, Harts, Kellers, Linders, Nabbs, and the Threlkelds who have been previously mentioned in this family history.
There a number of very prominent and exquisitly good families that I might mention that came in very close neighborly connections with our early settling ancestry of the latter part of the eighteen twenties and the early thirties who came from the states of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and
Tennesee, but it will make this treaties to volumious for the purpose it intended.

At the time of my Fathers settling on the homestead he acquired in Sections 28 and 29 in Lafayette Township Coles County Illinois at which he lived the balance of his life the land lying west and north west was noe vast open prairie bounded on the east by Nickapoo, the mduffy (Pleasant Grove) Muck Grove and Dry Grove on the south the Wabash timber, on the West (South) and the Okay timber extending out into the prairie along Riley Creek growing out of the main and heavy timbrt belt that covered the entire south part of Charleston Township and the entire South West thrid of Layfayette Township in one thick and dense heavy timber forest on which grew some of the finest timber that ever grew in the state of Illinois. And out of this forest just described at a point where the Riley Creek which heads a mile or so north of Mattoon and flows in an easterly direction through the entire north part of Lafayette Township then turns in a south easterly direction and enters the heavy timber country from the north and this. skirt of timber and this skirt of timber which extends through the country North East of Mattoon is what is known as Dean Mans Grove. I have heared my father tell, how he would ride up on the hill where the famous old Essex House Union Depot now stands and eat his noon day lunch there for in the hot summer time there was always a good breeze there and the flies were not so bad as they were in the low lands and the cattle learned these things and would make for the high ground in the heat of the day without driving them to it. Remember that was about twenty years before Mattoon was ever dreamed of. In fact the first dreams of Mattoon was at a point somewhere along the Old State road in Section 20 in Lafayette Township but as in all cases dreams never come to pass.

Sheet No. 7

What a sight that would have been for a City like Mattoon that would have been and what a pity fates were against the dream. The City would have had an open deep channel in which to have connected an immense sewer system and above the City to the west she could have had a natural storage reservoir for millions and millions of water. Then the times we have heared the old men talk so much about were on the people. Bad money, hard times and all the draw backs that attend the new countries in the early days before there were any rail roads, and few stage lines, and horrible muddy roads and no new progressive ideas and no equipment with which to improve them and if they had had the people were to much prejidiced to have used them. Men in those days wanted every body to work hard and do every thing the way they had back in Kentucky. A man that would dare to ride on anything with which he was working lazy, trifling and of no account. if he dared to do anything in any other way than the way he had been taught in the beginning.

Progressive ideas were generally looked on with suspition and distrust, and were they ever demonstrated and proven to the popel they were reluctant about adopting them. I have often though that the country the country was so full of malaria and every body was so full of it that they really did not have the full and clear conception and ideas that well people have and were peevish from an ever present and unconcious sickness. The air was full of it and the people and the people were unconciously ladened with it.
In fact when the country did fill and the prairies were fenced up and the people begin to crowd their houses around the frog in the prairie then they began to plow out ditches along the roads and when they actually found out water would run along a furrow and lower the pond (and the rain would wash a little of the fresh plowed land in to the pond every year and fill it up some, T.T.J) some they would the next year plow the furrow a little deeper until they would finally get the water out of the pond, but the drainage question in Illinois came awful slow. In fact there was no real practicial drainage until about the year 1870 when people began to concive the idea of what was commonly called vlind ditching.
This was done by going into the timber and sawing white cak blocks into lengths about sixteen inches long, then taking a broad axe and splitting them into slabs. Ditches were dug into the ponds about 2 1/2 feet deep and those slabs were set down carefully in one edge of the ditch on the bottom and leaned across to the opposite bank thus leaving a triangular space in the bottom. The dirt was then filled back into the ditch again. Then the ponds began to dry right and this was the system that finally inaugerated the great system of tile drainage and this simple demcastration of facts opened the way to the more practical idea to substituting the earthen tile and any man who had experienced that the slab ditch had reclaimed the fertile slough land to him would never let it go back into the water. But I am getting away from the real interest of the subject and will return.

William R. Jones and Eliza P. Threlkeld were married October 18, 1853, in Lafayette Township, Coles County Illinois. William R. Jones was forty five and his wife thirty one years old at the time of their marriage.
Thomas T. Jones the first born son of William R. and Eliza P. Jones was born Oct, 12 1854 in the old homestead Section 28 Lafayette Township Coles County Illinois.

Sheet 8
William Dumas Jones the second son of William R. Jones and Eliza P. Jones was born Nov 211856 was born in the old home stead Section 28 in Lafayette Township Coles County, Illinois.

Eliza P. Threlkeld Jones died on the 31st day of December 1856 age 34 years and 24 days. She is buried in the Bethel cemetery in Lafayette Township, Coles County Illinois.

William R. Jones and Elizabeth Ewing were married March the 25, 1861 at the old homestead of William Ewing in Section 35 Lafayette Township, Coles County, Illinois.

Sarah Louisa Jones, daughter of William R. Jones and Elizabeth E. Jones was born April 7th 1866 at the old Jones homestead Section 28 Lafayette Township, Coles County, Illinois.

William Riley Jones died on the 6th day of April 1879 at his old home in Section 28 Layfayette Township, Coles County, Illinois 73 years 7 month and 22 days. He was buried in Bethel Cemetery.

Thomas Threlkeld Jones and Rosa Clark were married on the 11th day of September 1878 at the home of her parents, G. Parker and Harriet Clark in Section 34 Lafayette Township Coles County Illinois.

William Dumas Jones and Cynthia Ann Williams were married Oct 1st, 1879 at the home of Robert Elliot Yates Williams and Mary Ann Vanmeter-Williams in Section 33 Lafayette Township Coles County Illinois. His age was 22 years 10 month and 10 days, and her age was 20 years 3 months and 24 days on the day of their marriage. His hight 5 feet and 6 inches, weight 135, complection blond, bluish-gray eyes and very light (curly) Hair. Her hight was 5 feet 3 inches, weight 130 pounds Complection blond, brown eyes very light hair, and she was good looking.

Franklin Robert Jones, the first child of W.D. & Cynthia A. Jones was born on the 23rd day of December 1882, on the farm in Section 29 Lafayette Township Coles County, Illinois.

Claude Dumas Jones the second child of W.D. & Cynthia A. Jones Was born on the 4th day of October 1884 on the farm in section 29 Lafayette Township Coles County Illinois.

Mary Ehza Jones the third child of W.D. & Cynthia A. Jones Born on the 15th day of September 1887, on the farm Section 29, Lafayette Township Coles County Illinois.

Arthur Thomas Jones the fourth child of W.D. & Cynthia A. Jones was born on the eight day of February 1896 on the farm in Section 29 Lafayette Township, Coles County, Illinois,

Sheet 9

William Dumas Jones and Cynthia Ann Williams-Jones his wife lived on the farm which was their first home after they were married and where they went to house keeping. It was at that time known as the old Wible homestead which stood on the highest point and about in the middle of it. But the house was old so in the fall and winter of 1880 and 1881 they built them a new home on the Plain View Road which runs north and south on the west aide of the farm, and at that time in a wheat field.

They went to their neighbor Grays (Three old bachelors) one morning in June and picked up a hat full of soft maple seed (1883) and planted them in a young peach orchard they had previously set out and were cultivating as a truck patch, and grew the young trees which they set out in the spring of 1886 from which grew the beautiful grove that now shades their home so beautifullt and comfortably. In the mean time they dug some young elms from along the fence rows which they set nearer the house as they shield from the falling of the brittle maple limbs in times of wind storms, which proved in after years to have been very discreet. In many instances they have saved the home from a severe lashing and possibly serious damage from falling limbs.

In the fall of 1896 they built a Country Elivator at the corner of their farm at which place they bought and shipped the grain grown in the surrounding country. On the 9th day of June 1909 on a very windy day a passing locamotive on the rail road threw a spark on the roof which soon kindled into a blaze and burned the entire building. In the following they built a more modern building in which they continied the business until June 1915 when they sold out their elivator business to Ernest Grendorff of Mattoon Illinois and went out of the grain business.

In the Summer and fall they built a new home in the City of Mattoon Illinois at 620 Wabash Avenue and moved into it with their daughter Mary and youngest son Arthur T. then with them on the 10th day of November 1913. The two older sons Frank and Claude having gone out into the world to manage for themselves, in which efforts they are now making good, both having previously finished their education and graduated from the Mattoon Business College, previous to going away from home.

Frank is one of the major owners of the stock of Sawin-Jones Co. (Incorporated) of Mattoon Illinois and his equal management with his partner William G. Sawin who is the other major owner of the Stock of the business, the minor shares being owned by other stock holders.

Claude D. at this time is a clerk in the Clerical department of the Government Forest Service, and stationed at Saint Maries Idaho. He also has managed to manage personal interests to good effect out of the savings from his salary, and is noe beginning to accumulate something on the side.

Sheet No. 10


William Leageon Williams (The Grandfather of Cynthia Ann Williams-Jones) was born 1771 and ________ was married twice, the first time while living in
Kentucky and her name seems to have been Mary Ganaway and from the beet I can make of the incomplete conditions of the records I have been able to find they were supposed to have been married about the year 1797 and that this family was a highly respected Christian family of the Methodist faith and that her Grand mother for a number of years before her death became seriously afflected with her sight and finally became blind a number of years before her death whic occurred in Kentucky sometime before the family moved from that state in 1829 to the southern portion of Lafayette Township Coles County Illinois.

As the family record is very irregular and incomplete I can only say that there were a number of children of the first marriage of Grand Father Wm.L.W. Williams I am inclined to think Elizabeth was the oldest daughter who married John Ganaway and moved to Coles County In 1829. Louisa V. was I think the second daughter and married William Ewing September the 12th 1822, and moved to Lafayette Township in 1829. These are the parents of my Step Mother, Elizabeth E. mentioned in my Fathers second marriage March 25, 1862.

Reuben Williams who lived some where down on Muddy point. He died many years ago.
Samuel Williams sold his farm here to my Father about the year 1837 and moved back to Kentucky and remained there until his death. Thomas Williams who moved with his family a few years later and then moved to North West Missouri where he settled near Chilicothe, raised his family and died there about thirty years ago. (Mary who married -___ Runnels was the mother of two children Richard, never married, and Mary who married Squire Crume) and Robert E.Y. Williams who was the youngest son of the family of William L. and Mary Ganaway Williams whom I will mention again as the father of your Mother.

Here now I will call your attention to the very interesting history of the family of Williamses and the following family of Vanmeters. John Vanmeter and Katharine Keller were married in Kentucky March the 7th 1816. I have not at hand the record of the birth of John Vanmeter, Katharine Vanmeter was in 1796 and was the daughter of George Keller born in 1765, and Sarah Keller born in 1768. Two sons and daughters of this union were as follows. George K. Vanmeter was born September 7th 1819, He was never Married. John Vanmeter was born February the 24th 1821 and Married Katharine Whetstone. (They moved to Kansas about 1869 or 70. T.T. Jones) Sarah Vanmeter was born Jan 4th 1823 and was married to James Phipps. Samuel Vanrneter was born Nov 6th 1824, and Mary ann Vanmeter wife of Robert Elliot Yates Williams was born July the 10th 1817.

The records at say John Vanmeter the Husband and father of the last mentioned family died November 16th 1827. His death was of a sad and accidental nature. He was riding a horse in a gallop through the timber and the horse either stumbled or swerved suddenly to one side and he was thrown-violently strick-his head against a tree from which he never regained conciousness and died within a few hours.

Sheet No. 11
We have only to draw our own conclusions, that the shock was so terrible to his wife and young family, that they in their great bereavement unintentionally neglected to make a record of it in Minute details of their Husband and Father; However it is known to have happened November 16th 1827, and we are informed that the family at that time was living in Kentucky and the Widow and her children moved to Illinois about 1829.

Soon after the arrival of the widow and her family to this country, the exact date of which we hav not now at hand, the neighbors of the community as was the custom in those early sympathetic days gathered themselves to gather on her premises to cut and hue and lay up a log house for her new home. William L. Williams who had preceeded the widow Vanmeter to this country a year or so, and who had himselfe been a sorrowing widower of respectful years approached the lady in a confidential way and very dignified manner and after they had counciled together a little while, called the assisting brethren and friends and thanked them for their kind attention in this very important matter, but as himself and the lady in whose interest they had assembled, had concluded that the house in which he was living would supply ample protection, in one bond of union for himselfe end her and their families. The entire assembly united in extending to them their congratulations, and commended them on their happy conclusions of the matte. We are left to infor that in due and respectful time they were married, but we have been unable to find an exact record of the event. But within probably a year or so we find Williams Bible records the following birth records.

Catharine L Williams was born February 2nd 1832. She never was married. We find her death record in the same DIED May 31st1851.

Harriet Williams was born June 13th 1833. She married G. Parker Clark.

Martha G. Williams was born april the 24th 1835 She was married to Myron Fergusom.

Robert Elliot Yates Williams the youngest son of William L. Williams and Mary Ganaway Williams, and Mary Ann Vanmeter, who was the oldest daughter of John Vanmeter and Catherine Keller Vanmeter were married May the 30th 1839, in section 34 Lafayette Township Coles County Illinois. Both having been born in Kentucky. On the date of his wedding he was 24 yeqrs 2 months and 29 days old and she was on the date of her wedding 21 years 10 months and 20 days old.

The peculiar uncommon feature of thes union of this couple was that they were equally related to their half sisters and the uncommon thing that I noticed, in their after years after they had all grown up and marrieed and raised their families it seemed to me that they seemed to cling to their pet half sisters with as much devotion and love as they ever showed to their own full brothers and sisters. (They were step brother and sister to each other before they married. T.T.Jones.) To this devoted and worthy man and wife were born nine children as we find in the following order.

Sheet NO. 12


John W. Williams was born November 26, 1846. He married Alice Keller daughter of
A.D. Keller.
Sarah Williams was born July 23 1848. Died April 30 1852.
Samuel Williams was born Juno 11 1849. Died Aug 23, 1853.

Legan Williams was born December 4, 1850 He was mamed to Susan Threlkeld Oct 2nd 1878.
Robert R. Williams was born October 31, 1852 was married to Lucinda Morrison September 18 1879.

Malissa Catharine Williams was born January 15th 1855 She married Samuel W. Balch November 25, 1875.

Thomas Jefferson Williams was born February 24 1856 He was married to Alfa C. Morrison October 13, 1881.

Cynthia Ann Williams was born June 7, 1859 She was Married to William D. Jones October 1 1879.

Of the family of Robert E.Y. Williams and Mary Ann Vanmeter Williams two of the children died when they were very young. The oldest daughter dieed at that age in life when she is the pride of all loving fathers and mothers, 18 years 8 months and 8 days, and the blow to the parents and brothers and sisters was most grievous and sorrowful.

John Williams and wife live on a ranch in Oregon.

Leagen Williams and family - live on a farm three miles southwest of Morborn Missouri. They boughtand moved to it in 1911. They are at thiss time very much afflicted on account of the youngest daughter whose health is in a very critical condition, giving no hopes to them of ever being better.

Robert E. Williams and family live on a farm in North West Kansas just over the line near Red Cloud Nebraska. He has in the last few years sustained the loss of his oldest daughter, a young married woman which cast the cloud of sorrow over two families as no other incident can do; the loss of a young mother and wife

Malissa Catharine Balch the eldest of the two daughters living of the family is now living with her husband Samuel P Balch a Methodist Episcopal Minister in the city of Mattoon Ill. They lived on a farm until the fall of 1883 when they moved to Lerna where they were engaged for a few months in the mercantile business, after which time Rev Belch became a member of the Central Illinois ME. Conference, and has acted in the capacity of a Minister of that faith to the time of the present writing. They too sustained the irrepairable loss of their youngest son by his accidental and tragic death. His automobile in which he was riding suddenly turned over by some unsee account and he was caught under the machine in such a manner as to cause his death instantly. He left a loving wife and two bright little boys to mourn the loss of a loving husband and a kind and devoted father a brother and sister and his parents.

Sheet 13


Thomas J. Williams and family at the last account had of them a few years ago lived had moved to a town Barrington (Burlington) Washington in the North West corner of that state and are persumed to be at that point at this time.
Cynthia Ann Williams Jones the youngest Daughter and child of Robert E.Y. and Mary Ann VanMeter Williams and two younger Children at 920 Wabash Avenue Mattoon Illinois, a sketch of which has been previously given in this family history and is only mentioned here to complete the Williams side of this subject.

Tradtinal information informs us that the Williams family branch of the subject in hand was of Scotch decent, principly and that in all probability the Ganaways were Scotch or Welch.
The Keller family were of English origen and their natural address would indicate that as being probable. It sense from what I can learn from the family traditions that the VanMeters were probably of French decent. It seems that the young Fathers death came so sudden and unexpected, and at that time when his children were to young to impress on their since the importance of Family tradition and ancestorial historys, and that the young widow was kept to busy from that time on to afford herself and children the necessities of life and living to inform herself and children of the exact facts pertaining to the exact ancestry of her dead husbands people, then she soon after removed her family to Illinois, which in those days of primitive Imigration was almost equal to complete excommunication from former family ties and traditions which may have existed in the country from which they moved.

William Ligon Williams (whos mother maiden name was Ligon) died October 13, 1848.
Age about 89 years.

Cathanne Keller-VanMeter-Williams after the death of her late husband William Ligon Williams, above mentioned, in the course of time was married to William D. Clark, the father of Granvil Parker Clark, who we suppose were married about 1850 but of this matter we are unable to find in the Williams record any date of the widow and widowers marriage. The natural presumption is that according to the then general nature of things they were married and she had probably died, which death occured April 30, 1852, and before the death Marriage of her daughter Harriet Williams to 0. Parker Clark which we are presuming occured in 1853, as the Williams records are silent and do not refer to the marriage of the two half sisters, or to the two daughters of the two half sisters that lived and married G. Parker Clark and Myron W. Ferguson. Will say for the completion of the subject in hand that after the death of his wife Catharine VanMeter-WlIIiams-Clark that Uncle Billy Clark as he was familliarly known in the community remained living with his Son and Daughter-inlaw until his death, which occurred at their home on the 17th day of February 1875 and about 23 years after the death of his last wife In 1852.

(It is my opinion that Harriett and Martha Williams remained with Grandfather Clark after their mother died for that was the old Williams home, until they married. That was the only home Harriet Williams Clerk ever had and Grampa Clark was her guiding and guarding Angel as long as he lived. T.T. Jones)

Sheet 14
Williams Ranch No 5


Robert Elliott Yates Williams, your mothers father was one of those fery excellent plain good old fashioned Christian Methodist Men, having lived a highly exemplery life and a man who at all times through out his life held in the highest esteem, by all men generally who knew him, as being of exemplary concious scruples. In these matters he was a man who esteemed men of creeds, of equal scruples, Epistopal Church he was willing to concede that all good people of all denominations were commendable in the sight of their Lord. And as sure of their reward, as he hoped and had faith he would have when he was called to his reward in the skies, to which we all feel he is enjoying forever.

He died at his old family home on the 18th day of July, 1891, and was buried in what is
known as the Muddy Point Cemetery. Age 76 years 4 months and 17 days. His widow Mary Ann VanMeter-Williams, came in the spring of 1892 in February I think, to make her home for the balance of her life with your mother, her youngest Daughter, and it is just and right to say that she was in all respects capable of enjoying the same rewards as those we have conceded and was due to and ultimately enjoyed by her husband in whom she had unbounded faith and love, always conceding that his ways were above the faier reproach of any one who knew him well.

Her church affiliations were the same character as those of her husband, unselfish, and to Illustrate and to illustrate this more fully from the beginning of their lives, as to the concessions of the good of all sects and creeds, by frequently making mention of the fact when she came to live in her home, that when she and her husband came to the Marriage After they asked Elder Thomas Threlkeld who was an old and time Honored Minister of the Baptist faith, who they knew and heared preach many times during their childhood days. When asked by her children how come it that this man was called upon to administer this sacred vow of marriage to them, her answer was, that they felt he was a christian above reproach and that his entreaties to his Maser for the blessings to be bestowed, would stand among the hightest.

is such faith in Christian character at all, and under such circumstances and as tolerated among all credes of good of the worshipers of God to highly commended and cherished by us all Sure; I know your answer..

She dieed at our home after a long and lingering illness of more than three years duration, on the 7th day of March 1911. Age 93 years 7 months and 27 days. She lies buried at her husbands side in the Muddy Point Cemetery.

I feel as though I have given a tolerable air history of the subject.

Your loving Father. W.D. Jones



William Dumas Jones



Thomas Threlkeld Jones



Cynthia Ann Williams Jones



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