ANDREW ELTON WILLIAMS: His Ancestors, Contemporaries, Descendants and Allied Families by E. L. “Boe” Williams, Jr. and Mary (Sissy) Howell, is THE family history of the Williams. Thirty years of painstaking research was dedicated to tracing our Williams Family from 17th century Wales to the colonies of Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia, to the pioneers of Northwest Florida and Southeast Alabama. Information in this book was found by visiting courthouses and archives of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Texas. In addition, other valuable genealogical source materials were used, such as census, church and cemetery records. Several Genealogical Libraries were used extensively, as well as countless interviews with older family members, some born in the 1870’s.
At the heart of the book is a great Florida pioneer, Andrew Elton Williams, who came to Florida with his father, John S. Williams, in 1820 when Florida was still a colony of Spain. Andrew Elton, his father and his uncles, settled in very wild lands where little signs of civilization existed. Their tenacity and determination led to generations of well-educated descendants who flourished in the tri-state area and left a lasting impact on the communities they helped establish. So much so, that the “Williams Clan of Galilee” has become an American legend.
In addition, the book incorporates many of the “allied families” who contributed so richly to our Williams Family history. Those families include, but are not limited to, the Mathis, Goff and Shine families, who are ancestors of Andrew Elton Williams, as well as Brett, Underwood, Jones, Lassiter, Minchew, Miller, Tindel, Syfrett, Harrell, Gavin, Grace, Adams, Cason, Mitchell, Hinson and Smith families, as well as many others.
The book is literally a phenomenal accomplishment. It is 1,400 pages long and is divided into three sections: (1) a narrative describing Andrew Elton Williams, his living conditions, numerous descriptions and anecdotes, ancestors, contemporaries and descendants; the majority of which was researched and written by E. L. “Boe” Williams, Jr., (2) over 100 pages of pictures of our Williams Family members, the majority of which was compiled by Allan O’Shields, a master of photography and hi-tech know-how, (3) a family tree of Andrew Elton Williams, his two wives, Mary “Patsy” Brett and Melissa Underwood, with descendants of over 22,000 strong, the majority of which was compiled by Mary “Sissy” Williams Howell, who wrote numerous letters and made endless phone calls to track down relatives and their descendants. Finally, the book has an index compiled by Virginia Grace Williams Kirkland, which will help make the book an asset to those who are searching for specific individuals.
This book is truly a treasure. It is very rare to find a family history of this magnitude that has been so thoroughly researched. This book has been a labor of love for over 30 years. Unfortunately, the Williams Family Book is currently out of print and the only available copies are severely water-damaged and not in good enough condition to sell. The Williams Board of Directors are currently exploring the possibilities of having the book reprinted and made available to the family at large. Please watch our newsletter for any updated information.