Williams Surname Genealogy
both England and Wales. Because of William the Conqueror, William
most used personal name in England until it was superseded by John in
Williams Resources on
- My Williams Family History. Williams and slate
mining in north Wales.
- Roger Williams Family Association. Descendants of the
founder of Rhode Island.
- The Williams Family of Wapping
Williams in London.
- Williams from Gosport. Williams of England and
- The Williams Museum New
Zealand home of the Williams from Gosport.
England. Thomas Williames was
recorded in the 1307 Staffordshire rolls.
The Williams name was mainly to be found in western counties in
A Williams family has held Herringstone House near Winterborne in Dorset
continuously since 1513.
Robert Williams of this family, a banker in London, acquired the
estate nearby in 1797; while a branch of the family moved to Trevers in
Cornwall. In 1901 Edward Williams, JP
for Dorset, and his wife lived at Herringstone with a lady’s maid, two
housemaids, a kitchen maid, butler, footman, and hall boy.
the Williams family of Burncoose and Caerhays – through their ownership
mines and smelting works – was a major force in the Cornish industrial
revolution of the 18th and early 19th century. The first of this
John Williams who purchased the Burncoose estate in 1715.
Charles Williams is the current owner of
Caerhays castle, a mock-medieval castle on the Cornish coast acquired
family in 1854.
Wales. Williams emerged in different places as a
Welsh surname in the 16th century. Oliver Cromwell in fact might
have been a
Williams if his Welsh great grandfather, Richard Williams from
not changed his name to Cromwell at the instructions of Henry VIII.
- the Williams family of Vaynol near Bangor in north Wales. Wyn ap William (Thomas Williams) took
ownership of the estate in 1572. John
Archbishop of York in 1641, held Vaynol for a while.
But it passed out of family hands when Sir
William Williams died without issue in 1696.
- the Williams family of Aberpergwm
in the Neath valley, beginning with Jenkin William (a descendant of
William ap Hopkin of
Blaen Baglan) who first settled there around the year 1500. This
family later owned coal mines in the Neath
valley and St. Donat’s castle. But after World War One both coal
mines and castle were sold.
Williams of Llangibby castle in Monmouthshire. This
line boasted an old Welsh lineage. Roger Williams of Usk, the
first to adopt
surname, acquired Llangibby in 1554. These Williams
constructed a new
house there in the 17th century which continued in use until 1951.
- while Glasbury in Breconshire boasted
three notable Williams during the course of the 17th century.
developed the Parys and Mona copper mines in Anglesey in the late 18th
century. When he died in 1802 he was said
to have been the
richest man in Wales.
Ireland. Williams in Ireland would probably
have come originally from either Wales or England.
One such family of Welsh
origin settled in county Monaghan in the 1640’s. Charles
Coleraine in county Derry, was a 19th century war correspondent who
Press Club. A Williams family has been running the Tullamore
distillery in county Offaly since the early 1900’s.
at the Massachusetts colony in 1631. At odds with the Puritan
there, he fled the colony and purchased land at a place he called
Providence. He is considered the founder
of Rhode Island and the founder of religious toleration.
Matthew Williams from Wales (said to have been a
kinsman of Oliver Cromwell) had arrived in Massachusetts some years
earlier. He was one of the early
settlers of Wethersfield, Connecticut in 1644.
Later Williams of this family moved to Essex and Orange
Robert Williams from Norfolk arrived in 1638 and settled in Sudbury,
- one line via his son Isaac led to Ephraim Williams, the
of Williams College in NW Massachusetts.
- another line via his son Samuel led to the
Rev. John Williams, the first pastor at Deerfield.
In 1704 he was captured there by Mohawk
Indians and taken to Canada in an incident that became known as the
Deerfield massacre. During that time his
daughter Eunice was
adopted by a Mohawk family. Her grandson
Thomas was a tribal chief at the time of the Revolutionary War. He lived onto 1848.
African Americans. Williams is the most common
African Americans. In fact almost half of the Williams in America are
African American. The Williams name
appeared in many places before Emancipation:
Williams, a black slave in New York, was
recorded as the first female firefighter in America in 1818.
Williams was a black minister in
Harlem, New York in the 1830’s who spoke out against
slavery from the pulpit and advocated emigration.
Williams from Alabama,
a driver on a cotton plantation, provided in 1838 the first slave
published by the American Anti-Slavery Society.
Cathay Williams from
Missouri, legally a slave, was enlisted into the Union army during the
War. She is the only documented woman
who fought in the war as a man. Sadly
she was denied a military pension when she needed it later in her life
Tucker Williams of the Cornish Williams family came to Canada with
the Royal Navy in 1812 and stayed. His son Arthur, born at Port
Ontario, died west in 1885 after military skirmishes along the
river; his grandson Victor was a Canadian general during the First
Australia and New
and William Williams were
early Christian missionaries, arriving in New Zealand with their wives
1820’s. Henry was
instrumental in the negotiations with the Maoris over the Treaty of
Waitangi. William translated the Bible and
book into Maori. John Williams,
unrelated, was another Christian missionary, this time from a
background. He came to Tasmania in 1817
and later established Congregational churches in Sydney and Brisbane.
Cornish Williams from the Redruth area who emigrated to Australia in
after the downturn in Cornish tin mining.
Many headed for the copper mines of South Australia like Kapunda. Others went to Victoria and Queensland. John
Williams came in 1833 and settled with his family in the Hunter
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
Williams was the founder of the state of Rhode Island.
Edward Williams was Chief Druid
and bard of Wales in the 18th century.
Ralph Vaughan Williams was an
Hank Williams was an American
country singer who has achieved almost cult status. Andy Williams is a well-known
Eric Williams was the first Prime
Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, serving from 1956 to 1981.
Robin Williams is an American
movie actor and comic.
Vanessa and Serena Williams, sisters, are
American tennis champions.
Select Williams Today
- 411,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 523,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
- 145,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)
Williams is the #3 ranked surname in America and the #4 ranked in the UK.
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