"We're all effectively cousins, separated by 2,000 generations,"
Rush Spencer Wells, 2004
Population Genetitist and Anthropologist
Our american southern Williamson lineage originates in southern tidewater Virginia (Princess Anne and Norfolk Co.) at least into the late 1700's and likely as early as the mid 1600's possibly descendants of Archibald Williamson, Sr. ca 1710. They married the Peed and Shipp families of colonial Princess Anne Co., the Reid family of Henrico and Campbell Co. Virginia, the Warren family of Hertford Co. North Carolina and the Hunter family of from Baltimore and Richmond VA. The Warrens introduced the Parker family of Hertford County NC, and the Pead/Peed/Peede family introduced the Meers/Mears of colonial Northampton County Virginia. The Shipp(s) introduced the Flanigan family of Princess Anne Co. and the Hunter(s) introduced the Irish Tierney/ Tiernay and LaVelle families in Richmond. More recently in 1952, they connected with the Irish Lyons of Baltimore in southern Maryland bringing with them the Cull and Lloyd families of Ireland and the colonial Maryland Bryan , Lanham , Burch, Jenkins, Page, Ball , Hamilton , Harrison, Wheeler, Bucy/Busey, Scott and Gutteridge/Gutterage families. The proximity of colonial charles and Prince Georges Counties to what became Washington DC brought in the Graham family. Many of the above were early english settlers to the Maryland province.
From a large collection of heirlooms of original colonial maryland parchments and sheepskins dating to 1676, connections have been established to the scottish Hamiltons of Nanjemoy, Charles County MD and a web of colonial Northampton Co. Virginia prominent families settling in Charles County. Such families include the Burditt/Burdett, Cotton, possibly Stone or Calvert, Chandler, Boughton, Wade and Graves families. Most of the early protestant families immigrated from colonial Virginia in Northampton County on the eastern shore at the time Col. William Stone was selected by Calvert to be the first protestant governor whom apparently paid for their passage across the Chesapeake ca 1650's. Many of these colonial Virginia families have been loosely connected with the Jamestown settlement via Capt. Thomas Graves enumerated in the 1624 census whose daughter migrated to the lower Delmarva peninsula.
As a consequence of meeting at the College of William and Mary and Washington DC in 1952, the Lyons introduced a web of Pennsylvania families including the german Hoover/ Huber, irish scotch Ewing, and german Palantine Otstadt/ Otstot and Mohler families of Lancaster and York Counties. Most recently the trend continues in 1986 as they introduced an additional web of central Pennsylvania families including the german Sanker of York Co. to central PA, french Franz and german Allshouse of east PA. The Sanker(s) further introduced the Miller, Parrish, White, O'Hara, Felix, Thimble (sp?), the german Storm/ Sturm, Koehlar, Kehler,Kaylor (sp?) and presumably Wysong families and the early Irish McFeely, Johns and Dawson families. The Allshouses introduced the Connor, Morrison, Earhart, Little, Fennel and Potts familes.
Lessons Learned -
- Historical background knowledge of an area is of significant importance in evaluating migration patterns resulting from disease epidemics, war, politics, climate changes and religious struggles. This can provide valuable ancestral clues.
- Major waves of historical westward migration occurred following the destruction by war (ie. revolutionary (1776-1781), 1812 French & Indian war, and the civil war (1861-1865). Another migration wave was during the CA gold rush of 1849. Locales such as St Louis MO served as an intermediate point for parts further west as well as a populous homestead expanding rapidly.
- European history is one of continuous religious struggle resulting in loss of records from fire, war, and persecution. Absence of a person from a lack of records or apparent lack does not constitute non existence. Many reasons can account for one being unrecorded.
- Genealogy is NOT an exact science and so-called 'facts' become grayer with passing time. People have always exagerated facts purposefully or accidentally with personal recall becoming more difficult with age.
- While church and vital records (if exists) are easier and quicker to obtain names and dates, 'Wills' and 'Deeds' provide for a better description of early life. In many cases Wills in particular may be considered as a biography for the early middle class.
- Ages are notoriously incorrect especially in the censuses.
- As name spellings change frequently with dialect, country of origin, education, time, etc, all variations of spelling must be checked.
- A significant number of people with exact first and last name and similar data exist. While ancestors can be reported/enumerated multiple times, care must be taken to acquire additional supporting documents before drawing conclusions.
- Leave "NO STONE" uncovered. Valuable information can be obtained anywhere and even in the files of seemlingly unrelated families residing in close proximity.
- The internet has become a valuable resource in networking yet caution is warranted as the information is frequently not credable. A few sites include groups and global address books
- A special thanks to my father, Charles Elvin Williamson for the introduction and orientation to the basics of genealogical research as a youngster.
- We thank Rootsweb and their 'freepages' for hosting our work.
- We thank our second cousin and primary data source in southern Virginia, Nancy Desper and her convenient proximity for access to the Library of Virginia at Richmond.