A Cluster of Williams’

I noticed today that I had not recorded the 1860 census for Eunice (Crane) Williams. I found her in the 1860 census, but while looking at the census page I realized that there was a cluster of Williams’ families in Roxbury. Of the 15 families numbered #763-777, six of them are named Williams. I am interested in who these other Williams families were, as usually when you have a cluster like this so close together, they are related – but we are dealing with a common surname, and must always keep that under consideration.

Family 763
Williams, Abigail, 58, f, VT
Harriet, 17, f, VT

Family 770
Williams, John, 65, m, farmer, VT
Mabel, 59, f, VT
Henry, 20, m, farm laborer, $600 RE, VT, school

John was the son of John and Sally.

Family 771
Williams, Dana, 30, m, farm laborer, $50 PE, VT
Sophia, 17, f, VT
George, 1, m, VT
Chase, James, 10, m, VT, school

Dana was the son of Jeremiah Williams, grandson of John and Sally

Family 773
Williams, Harrison, 40, m, Farmer, $1500 RE, $220 PE
Eunice, 73, f
Lydia, 48, f

Harrison was the son of William and Eunice.

Family 774
Williams, Eleazer, 38, m, farm laborer
Jane, 25, f
Frank, 8, m
William, 6, m
Olive, 4, f
Fernand, 2, m

Eleazer was the son of William and Eunice

777
Williams, Chester B., 27, m, Farmer, $1200 RE, $600 PE
Martha, 26, f
Geo H., 3, m
Flora, 11/12, f

Chester was the son of John and Mabel Williams, grandson of John and Sally.

My interest being piqued, I wondered if there was a land map around that time for Roxbury. There is! In 1854 an Atlas was published of Washington County, Vermont. These are useful because they show where everyone lived at that time. This map brings to light how close all of the Williams families were land wise, especially John, Harrison, and Eleazer. Harrison and Eleazer lived next door to each other. They had no other neighbor north of them on the street until the street ended at a T intersection. It was across the street of this T intersection where John lived, and I presume, Dana had a house on his land during 1850.

Walling, Henry Francis. Map of Washington County, Vermont. New York: Baker & Tilden Publishers, 1858. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/2012586238/.

Harrison owned the land he and Eleazer lived on at the time, and the physical address would likely be the home at 324 Old Warren Road today. John and Mabel (and Dana) likely lived at the address of 1796 Warren Mountain Road today. Whether the houses on those properties are the same houses they resided in is not known. The cutout of a portion of Roxbury, Vermont shows the families proximity to each other.

A valid concern would be, how do I know these are in fact the names of the people on the map, when the map uses only initials? While we can never be certain, the closeness of the families on the map, along with other names on the map, indicate that these dots on the map, reflect the people in the census above.

Why is this important?

Harrison (full name of Warren Harrison Williams) and Eleazer M. Williams were brothers, children of William Williams and Eunice Crane. William Williams ancestry is not known. In the records found to date, there is no mention of either of his parents. Utilizing the Genealogy Cluster Research method, I need to research his neighbors and see if any of them can shed some light on his parentage. John and Mabel Williams, who resided just down the street, may just be the clue I need to solve this brick wall.

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