NameJohn Williams 1253
Birth24 Jan 1679, Llangollen, Wales1253
Death6 Sep 1755, Lunenburg Co VA2175 Age: 76
Spouses
Birth26 Sep 1684, VA2174
FatherCapt. George Keeling (ca1635-)
ChildrenJohn (1704-1735)
 Mary (1706-)
 Ann (1708-)
 Daniel (1710-1757)
 Nathaniel (1712-1766)
 Elizabeth (1714-1790)
 Sarah W (1716-)
 Joseph (1721-1792)
Notes for John Williams
John Williams, "The Wealthy Welshman"1253

“John Williams. (A few sources may use "Jonathon", but I will use "John", as that is the name that John Drayton Williams* recorded in 1845 and I will continue with this tradition.**). John Williams was born 26 January 1679 in Llangollen, Wales.

[* John Drayton Williams, the grandson of Brig Gen. James Henderson Williams (killed at the Battle of Kings Mountain), recorded in 1845 names and birthdates of early family members. These he kept with the family Bible. In 1910 Barbara A. McClung, copied these records, loaned to her by Wm. D. Williams, Jr. of Greenville, Tenn. Whereever possible I use the dates, like John's birth, used in this document.]

John's wife was named Mary_____, b. 26 Sept 1684. (Mary's full name is generally accepted as Mary Keeling, the d/o of Capt. George Keeling and Ursula Fleming. If so she was born in America.) John is believed to have immigrated to America in the 1690's. He appears to have first settled on Queens' Creek in York County, Virginia but they later moved to Hanover County, Virginia and built their home "Studley" sometime before 1712.

Why was John wealthy? Some surmise he earned his wealth like other immigrants to Virginia often did, by growing tobacco. That is possible. He probably was a good wheeler-dealer, made money off that, possibly land as well. But most definitely, the early generations of the family were involved in the distilling of Whiskey. This I am sure is a trade that was brought over from Wales, as it seems to be a popular beverage from all the countries that border the Irish Sea. In fact as late as 1904, the family was advertising the sale of Old Williams Whiskey from their distillery in Williams, Surry County, North Carolina. It states that "The Old Williams Company" of Williams, N.C. was founded in 1768. This business was run by the descendants of John's son Nathaniel (b. 1712). It is probably a family trade handed down over the generations dating much earlier. Just my guess.

***********************
Information on this site about the Williams family comes from an online compilation entitled “Early Descendants of John Williams, ‘The Wealthy Welshman’ of Hanover County, Virginia. Born 1679, Llangollen, Wales.”1253 This compilation relies in part on writings of John Drayton Williams, the grandson of Brig Gen. James Henderson Williams (killed at the Battle of Kings Mountain), who recorded in 1845 the names and birthdates of early family members. These he kept with the family Bible. In 1910 Barbara A. McClung, copied these records, loaned to her by Wm. D. Williams, Jr. of Greenville TN.

John Drayton Williams, b. 20 Jan 1798, Laurensville, SC. Died 25 Jun 1870. Married Phoebe Cox Young on 20 Dec 1825. John Drayton Williams owned vast real estate in Laurens County. He lived in an Italian style villa in Laurens. He owned another estate was called "Spring Grove". A summer house was known as "White Plains". Another estate known as "Milton". He owned 225 slaves. He was a promoter of education: Commissioner of Free Schools, on the Board of Limestone Female High School, and trustee of Laurensville Female College. He was generous supporter of various churches including an Independent Church, Presbyterian Church, a "Free" Church and the Bethabara Baptist Church. He earned his title of Colonel from serving as a State Representative. He served on the Southern Rights Convention. As a State Representative he voted in favor of the Secession from the Union. Perhaps most importantly, John Drayton Williams was a person who recorded family history. (Source: Article by Isabell Witherspoon Foster.)1253
Notes for Mary (Spouse 1)
According to Worth S. Ray, there were only six children of John Williams and Mary Keeling:2176

JOHN WILLIAMS of NEW KENT COUNTY and his wife MARY KEELING, daughter of CAPT. GEORGE KEELING, Vestryman of ST. PETER'S Parish, were:

1. JOHN WILLIAMS m. SARAH HENDERSON.
2. SARAH WILLIAMS
3. NATHANIEL WILLIAMS
4. DANIEL WILLIAMS m. URSULA HENDERSON, daughter of THOMAS.
5. JOSEPH WILLIAMS
6. ANNE WILLIAMS m. JOHN DANIEL.
Last Modified 9 Nov 2011Created 4 Mar 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh