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George F. Williams

b. August 19, 1824 Ross on Wye, Herefordshire England
m. April 26, 1866 St. David, Illinois U.S.A.
d. June 26, 1894 Canton, Illinois U.S.A.


Lucinda Catherine (Miller) (Garnes) Williams


1. Charles Richard Williams (b. February 02, 1867 St. David, Illinois U.S.A.; m. February 16, 1898 North Peoria, Illinois U.S.A.; d. December 13, 1925)
2. George Ezekiel Williams (b. April 13, 1868 Norris, Illinois; m. June 18, 1896 Nettie Cosler Dayton, Virginia; d. 1946 Peoria, Illinois)
3. Mary Elizabeth Williams (b. March 22, 1870 Norris, Illinois; m. March 24, 1886 to William McCormick Norris, Illinois; d. November 4, 1943)
4. Simon Franklin Williams (b. November 14, 1871 Norris, Illinois; m. November 14, 1897 Lulu Glassford; d. 1956 Clearwater, Florida)
5. Sarah Williams Williams (b. May 17, 1873 Norris, Illinois; d. June 30, 1875)
6. David Williams (b. April 17, 1874 Norris, Illinois; d. December 20, 1875)
7. Daniel H. Williams (b. April 10, 1880 Norris, Illinois; m. June 21, 1900 Pearl Irene Graves; d. September 5, 1959 Elkhorn, Wisconsin)


Both of George's parents were of Welsh decent, but born in England; he was their second son.

At the age of 14 years, George was debenchured to an over-land freight hauler due to his father's debts. George worked on the horse and wagon team between London and Liverpool and soon George's tasks included more than just a long haul worker as he was required to do any chore needed.

After two years of this work George discovered that his mother had passed away and his father failed to inform him for six weeks. His father was still in debt, so George fled the country never to return to England or talk to his family again.

After arriving in Liverpool on his next journey, George snuck on a ship leaving that night, but was caught at sea and put to work as a deck hand by the captain. George was held prisoner on the ship for the next six years, during which time he traveled nearly everywhere in the world including the orient, Africa, India, and the Americas. One night the ship was anchored in the Gulf of St. Lawrence where some crewmates helped him aboard the dinghy to escape.

George quickly found a job on another ship that sailed through the Great Lakes. Eventually he found himself in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which was filled with lumber, so he followed the lumber to the frontier town of Appleton and got a job in a sawmill. He became a fireman here, known as a collier. He made friends quickly and soon became a part of the community.

Quite a few years later the American Civil War broke out; George immediately joined the War Eagle Brigade of Wisconsin to fight for the Union Army. He had spent years in slavery and had traveled to multiple slave markets so joining the Union was an easy decision. On September 19, 1861 he enlisted for a three-year contract and joined the Eighth Infantry, known as the Eagle Regiment stationed at Camp Randall in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Eighth Infantry left Madison on October 12, 1861. Their first stop was Pilot Knob, Missouri, then proceeded to southeast Missouri. Their first battle was the Siege of Island No. 10 (March 15-April 8, 1962). After this battle, the Eighth was transferred to Corinth, Mississippi and participated in the Siege on Corinth (October 2-3, 1862), but on the way took part in the Battle of Farmington, Mississippi (May 9, 1862). In November 1962, the Eighth joined the Central Mississippi Campaign under the direction of General Ulysses S Grant. The Eighth joined this campaign in Grand Junction, Tennessee to march on Vicksburg.

On December 20, 1862 the supplies of the campaign were destroyed so General Grant transferred headquarters to Memphis, with the Eighth reached Young's Point, Louisiana on March 29, 1863. They fought in the Battle of Vicksburg until surrender on July 4, 1863. Casualities were so numerous here most of the remaining members of the Wisconsin Regiment were transferred to the Illinois 47th Regiment of Infantry, including George who was transferred to Company K.

After Vicksburg, Company K particpated in battles at Mechanicsburg, Mississippi; Richmond, Louisiana; Fort DeRussy, Louisiana; Clintonville, Louisiana; Simmsport, Louisiana; and Lake Chicot (Bayou Chicot), Louisiana. George received an Honorable Discharge on October 11, 1864 in Springfield, Illinois at the age of 40.

George went to nearby Peoria, but couldn't find a job so moved to St. David, a Welch community in Illinois. In St. David George met W.H. (Billy) Garnes, who had moved from Harrisonburg, Virginia with his wife, Mary and her sister. Her sister, Lucinda C. (Miller) Garnes and George were married on April 26, 1866 when he was 42 and she was 25. Lucinda C. (Miller) Garnes had a six-year-old child at the time, Robert Asher Garnes, from an earlier husband who had died during the Civil War. Lucinda and George had their first child on February 02, 1867 and later that year the couple bought land near Norris, Illinois, where they built a log house and a barn as George became a farmer.

In the 1880 US census, George states that he is a farmer. George died of Bright's Disease at the age of 69. He is buried at Coal Creek Cemetery near Norris, Illinois.

George & Lucinda Williams







-State of Illinois, Fulton County Marriage Certificate (Clerk's Office, County Court, Lewistown, April 20, 1866 (view document)
-Sketch of Wisconsin Military Organizations: Organized and Mustered into the Service of the United States during the Civil War, 1861-1865, "Eighth Infantry."
-George F Williams Discharge Certificate (view document)
-1880 United States Federal Census Record (view document)
-Canton Daily Register, Canton, Illinois. "Obituaries," Tuesday, June 26, 1894 (view document)
-Williams family records (view document)
-Williams family bible (view document)