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1191Researching Henry Williams

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  • Carolyn Williams
    Jul 20, 2010
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      I am seeking information on people with the Williams surname who lived in St. Helena before 1850. I have not yet searched the LDS records.

      I am researching my great-grandfather, Henry Williams, who was born on St. Helena circa 1823 and was of Asian (Madagascan or Indian, etc.) or mixed African and Asian descent. By 1850 Henry lived in Newport, Rhode Island and was married to an Afro-Canadian, Fanny Peters Williams, who was born in Nova Scotia. They had one son, Charles Albert Williams who was born in 1849. Henry died at sea before 1860 (with an unidentified male relative, according to our family history). U.S. census records from 1850 to 1920 confirm St. Helena as Henry's birthplace, since Charles Albert had to give the places of birth for his parents.

      During the mid 1860s, Fanny and Charles Albert moved to Philadelphia. In 1870 Charles married Caroline Louise Harvey who was from a prominent African-American family, and they settled back in Newport, Rhode Island, with his mother. Eight of their ten children lived to adulthood and most moved from Rhode Island to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. About half of their present-day descendants live in New Jersey, while others are spread throughout the U.S.

      Carolyn C. Williams
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