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Lucinda Catherine (Miller) (Garnes) Williams

b. May 07, 1840 Staunton, Virginia U.S.A.
m. April 26, 1866 St. David, Illinois U.S.A.
d. August 30, 1922 Canton, Illinois U.S.A.


George F. Williams


1. Robert Asher Garnes (b. April, 05, 1860)
2. William A Garnes (b. February 17, 1862 Harrisonburg, Virginia; d. July 25, 1864)
3. 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)
4. George Ezekiel Williams (b. April 13, 1868 Norris, Illinois; m. June 18, 1896 Nettie Cosler Dayton, Virginia; d. 1946 Peoria, Illinois)
5. Mary Elizabeth Williams (b. March 22, 1870 Norris, Illinois; m. March 24, 1886 to William McCormick Norris, Illinois)
6. Simon Franklin Williams (b. November 14, 1871 Norris, Illinois; m. November 14, 1897 Lulu Glassford; d. 1956 Clearwater, Florida)
7. Sarah Williams Williams (b. May 17, 1873 Norris, Illinois; died early)
8. David Williams (b. April 17, 1874 Norris, Illinois; died early)
9. Daniel H. Williams (b. April 10, 1880 Norris, Illinois; m. June 21, 1900 Pearl Irene Graves; d. September 5, 1959 Elkhorn, Wisconsin)


Lucinda Catherine Miller was born on a farm in Rockingham, Virginia, about 23 miles southeast of Harrisonburg. The farming community on which she lived was called Keezeltown, near Staunton, Virginia and she was a member of the German Baptist Church, which didn't accept dancing, card-playing, movies, alcohol, and other forms of entertainment. Lucinda married Adam Garnes, the brother of W.H. (Billy) Garnes and Billy married Lucinda's sister, Mary. On December 23, 1858 there was a double wedding ceremony and the two coupes were married.

In 1860 a Lucinda Miller was living in Preston, Virginia. This Lucinda Miller was living with a John and Mary Miller who would have been about the age of her parents, meaning her ancestry is incorrect.

Lucinda's Civil War experience is best recited through her own words that she spoke to the Canton Daily Ledger on May 30, 1913:

My first son (R.A. Garnes) was born in 1860 and was one year old when his father was forced into the rebel army. Then my hardships began.

After six months service in the army he was permitted to come home but was compelled to act as government blacksmith. The few jobs he was allowed to take would not support us. One evening in June, 15,000 rebel soldiers marched past our house and camped on a hill near by. The next morning my sister-in-law, a neighbor and myself went to see the soldiers. We found them very busy cleaning their guns. We asked what it meant. They said that all they knew was that they were ordered to halt, form in lines and prepare for battle. We were going to run but they told us if we did, we would surely be killed. We walked, but you can imagine how we felt when we found ourselves between two large armies, each planting their cannon and preparing for battle. Scarcely had we got from between the lines when the battle began. It raged from 10 A.M. to 8 P.M. All day we were obliged to stay in, for many of the shots rattled against our chimney and shots fell all about our house. The next morning it was all dark and gloomy and the smoke from the battle hung so heavy over us we could only see a few yards. When it cleared up, about 10 o'clock, we saw a gruesome sight. The fields were strewn with dead and the country laid waste. We saw the ambulance picking up the dead.

That battle was called the Port Republic battle and was won by the Union. General Ashby was killed. My brother, Simon Miller - who had been pressed into the rebel service, had his forefinger shot off while he was swinging his horse across the North River. From then on we saw hard times. Every day there would be soldiers at our place, sometimes as many as 20, to get provisions, and we were compelled to give them anything we had to eat. One day in October, the rebels brought a barrel of flour and two boxes of soda, and ordered us to make it up into biscuit before morning. They had several thousand Union prisoners they were taking to Staunton to ship to southern prisons. The biscuit was for the prisoners. They were to get one a piece. I used every bit of sour milk and even my cream to make them good, but finally had to use water. I had them finished by three in the morning. All the while I was making those biscuits I was praying in my heart for the Union to capture their men back. My prayer was answered in less than two days. That same night we kept seven rebel soldier. Four were badly wounded and I tore up good sheets and pillow cases to dress their wounds.

On December 7th, 1863, my husband died and I was left with two boys, one two years old and the other eight months. My father gave me two pigs. The rebels had forced every man and boy between the ages of 16 and sixty into the rebel army. I could buy corn to feed my pigs but could get no one to shuck it. I finally asked it I might shuck it myself. They let me shuck some fodder in the field back quite a ways from the road. After I got it shucked I had quite a time trying to get someone to haul it home for me. A neighbor who was hiding to keep out of rebel service told me he would haul it in the night, the only time he dared venture out. Even the horses had been taken till he was the only man who had two horses. He hauled my corn and I had 40 bushels. The next summer the few old men who were left in the country could get no one to farm for them. I helped bind grain by the day and left my children with my sister who lived in the house with us. I went 3 miles and dug potatoes.

In 1864 my baby died (July 25). He had only been buried four days when our place was surrounded by 60 soldiers. They were hunting a man and thought he had gone into our place but he had not. They searched the place over for him. One soldier took the coverlet of my bed and the valise with my husband's and baby's clothes in it. They cursed me and asked me it I had any "Seaesh Money." We had gallons of peach butter and 20 gallons of apple butter. They took it al. We did not dare say a word. That night I counted 40 houses and barns burning and they burned the town of Dayton. A rebel bushwhacker had shot a Union officer and they were getting even. We expected to be burned out too, but they left us. One day my sister gave me one hundred dollars and asked me to hide it for her. There was an old well on our place, caved in and filed up nearly to the top. Around it were peach trees and nice ripe peaches. I put the money in the old well and covered it  it with leaves. In about two hours the soldiers came. I offered them peaches but they would not take them. They went out by the old well and shook peaches off the trees and went into the well and ate them. We thought sure they would get the money but when I dared to go and look, it was there. Then I hid it in the garret. The next soldiers that came looked at the garret so suspiciously that I thought I better move it again. Then I started to the barn to hide it.

On the way I saw and old shoe. I dug the dirt out of it, put the money in the toe and filled it with dirt again. Then I dropped it in a hollow stump. The next day the soldiers came and shook peaches off the tree, close to the stump. They sat on the stump and ate peaches and threw the pits and peelings into it, and covered the old shoe up. One day a neighbor boy brought a horse to us and asked us to care for it. Then his sister came with a mare and little colt. Hardly had they gone when the soldiers came. They were going to take the mare but my sister and I cried and begged for her to be left with her little colt. All were willing to leave it but one. He was going to take it anyhow, but an officer rode up and the more sympathetic ones interceded for u. After that we had to cry and beg for the mere nearly every day. One day after the soldiers had gone we missed the mare and her colt and my pig. It was nearly dark when we heard something in the smoke house and there were the mare and colt. They had gone in and pushed the door shut. After dark the pig came out from under the smoke house where he had hid and saved his life.

Things got quiet and the solders seemed to be gone. We thought our troubles were over, but the soldiers came again. Among them were three Irishmen. After taking my horse they asked for bread. I had only half a loaf and no flour. They made me give them the bread. It made me mad and they knew it. As they rode off, one turned and shot at me. The next morning they fired the mill but the miller was a Union man and the Union soldiers put the fire out. My sister and I had to get up and eat breakfast before daylight and supper after dark, or else eat all three meals on plates on our laps, else the soldiers would come and take our food from the table. I had to go to the mill everyday for a little bit of flour and meat, for we could not keep any in the house... or it would be taken from us. No one can imagine how glad we were when the news came that Lee had surrendered to Grant. I was cheated out of my home and all I had because of the war and I decided to go where things were peaceful. I travelled from Harrisonburg to Martinsburg by stage as the railroad had been torn up. The only cars I had ever seen up to that time were some the rebels were taking up the pike to keep them away from the Yankees. From Martinsburg, I came to Peoria and then to St. David.

Lucinda joined some of her sisters and brothers in St. David at the age of 23. On April 26, 1866 she married George F. Williams in St. David, Illinois. By this time, Robert Asher Garnes was six. 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.

Lucinda died after a long battle of multiple diseases at the age of 82. She is buried at Coal Creek Cemetery near Norris, Illinois.

George & Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams 





-State of Illinois, Fulton County Marriage Certificate (Clerk's Office, County Court, Lewistown, April 20, 1866) (view document)
-State of Illinois, Department of Public Health - Division of Vital Statistics Death Certificate, August 30, 1922 (view document)
-Canton Daily Register, Canton, Illinois, "Obituaries," Saturday August 21, 1922 (view document)
-Canton Daily Register, Canton, Illinois, May 30, 1913
-1860 United States Federal Census Record (view document)
-1880 United States Federal Census Record (view document)
-Williams family records (view document)
-Williams family bible (view document)