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The Williams

Very little factual information is known about Williams. In the great oral tradition of my African ancestors, all that I have are the stories that have been passed on to me by my grandmother, Ella Williams. My grandmother told me that the Williams were originally from Madagascar, an Island off the East Coast of Africa, that we were house slaves in Virginia and that we were Pioneer Residents of Baltimore, Maryland. After slavery, the family slowly migrated up the East Coast and settled in places like Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlantic City and New York.

The Williams family begins with Frederick Williams. We're not sure when and where he was born. I found conflicting records indicating that he was born in Maryland and Virginia. While my gut is Virginia, statistically, I have to go with Maryland.

Frederick's first wife's name was Priscilla. Frederick and Priscilla had two children, Frederick, Jr. (Abt. 1872) and Molly (Abt. 1878). Frederick had a second wife named Delia Jackson. Delia was Irish. Frederick and Delia had a child named Martha (Abt. 1879).

Martha Williams married George Finney and settled in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.

Molly Williams married Junius Phillips of Elizabeth City County, Virgina. Molly and Junius did not have any children. (Note: Elizabeth City County, Virginia was incorporated into the City of Hampton in 1952.)

Frederick Williams, Jr. married a white woman named Sedonia Neil. Frederick, Jr. and Sedonia had five children:

  • Virginia Williams, born about May 1899 in Baltimore, MD
  • Ella Corinne Williams, born August 12, 1904 in Baltimore, MD
  • John Henry Williams, born July 8, 1905 in Philadelphia, PA
  • Evelyn Williams, born in July 1907
  • Herbert Williams, born September After 1910

Frederick Williams, Jr. took a job on a ship out of North Carolina and was never seen by the family again. His wife, Sedonia, died sometime between 1910 and 1920.

Virginia Williams eventually settled in Pennsylvania.

Ella Williams

Ella's mother died sometime between 1910 and 1920. After Ella's mother died, she went to live with her Aunt Martha. Later when her Aunt Martha married, Ella moved in with her Aunt and Uncle, Molly and Junius Phillips. While living with the Phillips, she used their last name.

Ella married DeWitt Hinson, had three children and eventually settled in the New York City area.

John Henry Williams married Cora Nelson and settled in Baltimore, Maryland. John's grandchildren and great grandchildren still reside in Baltimore today.

Missing Links

Please help me further my research.

  • I continue to be perplexed over my grandmother's statement about the Williams being Pioneering Residents of Baltimore. I've searched a couple of sites on Black Baltimore, but haven't found anything that applies. If you have any information on the subject, please forward it to me.
  • I'm seeking information on Mrs. Alice Murphy, Mrs. Edna Spencer and Mrs. Geraldine Carr of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who may be related to John Henry Williams.

Please forward any information that you might have on these two subjects to me at

Information from others researching the WILLIAMS surname:

The Sobers Introduction

Updated February 12, 2020
Donald L. Hinson, Jr.