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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Pennsylvania: Chester County

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Williams/Rumbaugh/Custer - Chester>Mifflin>Brookfield OH
Posted by: Karekin Yarian (ID *****1088) Date: July 03, 2011 at 12:59:48
  of 2614

Been trying for years to narrow down the parentage of Nasmith, Rees, Rebecca and Elizabeth Williams. Nasmith is often reported to have been born in Wales. The other siblings (half-siblings) in PA. I believe they settled first in Chester Co., PA before migrating to Mifflin Co.


Rebecca Williams married Samuel Rumbaugh on 18 Jan 1820 in Mifflin, PA. Samuel reportedly born in Millerstown, Greenwood Twp., Perry Co., PA.
Elizabeth Williams married Joseph Custer 19 Jan 1821. Supposedly in PA.
Nasmith Williams married Julia Ann Rumbaugh 03 Feb 1825 in Mifflintown, Mifflin Co., PA
Rees Williams married Leah Rumbaugh in 1830 in Brookfield, Trumbull Co., OH


I figured that placing the siblings in order of marriage might help identify migration patterns. What is shows is that if Rebecca married in Mifflin in 1820 and Nasmith married in Mifflin in 1825, then the families of Williams and Rumbaugh must both be found in Mifflin around the early to mid 1820s. The census records have since proven this. The families must have been allied and migrating together before 1830 if Rees did not marry Leah until 1830 in Trumbull.

Look at an old PA map. Perry County and Mifflin County abut each other in the NW/SE corner. There is an area there called Greenwood in both Mifflin and Perry counties. In 1810, Perry is called Cumberland County.

After years, I have finally found census records for these families in 1820

Samuel and Rebecca are living in Thompsontown in Greenwood, Mifflin Co in 1820.
Nasmith Williams is living in Fermanagh, Mifflin Co., in 1820... right next door. Census lists 2 males 16-25 and 1 male 45 and over. No women. He is not married until 1825. It is unclear whether this Naismith is the senior male, or one of the others listed on the census. If the senior, then it may well be the father of Nasmith, Rees, and the girls.

Here is the time line:
1794 - Nasmith Williams born in unknown (Wales reportedly or PA)
1800 - Joseph Custer born in PA (according to most census records)
1801 - Rebecca Williams born in PA, reputedly Millerstown, near Greenwood Mifflin/Perry County
1804 - Rees Williams born in PA
1807 - Elizabeth Williams born in PA
1810 - Joseph Custard (an elder?) found in Derry, Mifflin, PA (2 males under 10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 16-25, 1 male 26-44, 1 female 26-44)
1810 - Samuel Custer found in Willistown, Chester Co., PA
1820 - Samuel Rumbaugh and Rebecca Williams marry in Mifflin, PA
1820 - Samuel and Rebecca found in Thompsontown in Greenwood Twp, Mifflin, PA
1820 - Nasmith Williams with other junior male found in Fermanagh Twp, Mifflin, PA
1820 - Joseph Custard (brother to Samuel?) found in Derry, Mifflin, PA (1 male under 10, 2 males 10-15, 1 male 16-18, 2 males 16-25, 4 males 45+, 1 female 16-25, 1 female 26-44)
1820 - Samuel Custard (only Custer family) found in Fermanagh living on farm next to Nasmith Williams in Greenwood Twp., Mifflin, PA (1 male under 10, 2 males 16-25, 1 male 45+, 3 females under 10, 2 females 10-15, 1 female 45+)
1820 - Thomas Patton family found in Greenwood Twp., Mifflin, PA. Found later along with Williams/Rumbaugh families in Trumbull, OH.
1821 - Elizabeth Williams marries Joseph Custer in PA (possibly Mifflin?)
1822 (Nov) - Samuel Custard(?) dies in Mifflin County, PA
1823 George S. Custer born in PA (Mifflin?)
1824 John P. Custer born in PA (Mifflin?)
1825 - Nasmith Williams marries Julia Rumbaugh (sister of Leah) in Mifflin Co., PA by John Hutchinson, Pastor, Presbyterian Congregation, Mifflintown, PA on 3 Feb, 1825
1826-1830 - all families above, including Thomas Patton emigrate to Trumbull Co., from Mifflin PA
1826 - Samuel Custer born in Hartford, Trumbull, OH?
1826 - Joseph Custer family supposedly moves to Burghill, Trumbull, OH
1826-1828 - Joseph Custer finally found on tax rolls in Brookfield, OH
1827-1834 - Samuel Rumbaugh finally appears on Brookfield Tax Records
1827-1834 - Nasmith Williams finally appears on Brookfield Tax Records
1830 Rees Williams married Leah Rumbaugh (sister of Julia Ann) in Brookfield
1830 - all allied families found on 1830 Census in Brookfield, Trumbull, OH including Joseph Custer. None of them found in Brookfield on prior census.
1832-1833 - Rees Williams finally appears on Brookfield Tax records.

Discovered George Williams on the 1800 Census in Greenwood, Mifflin, PA. This is reportedly where Rebecca is born in 1801. Only Williams in that area. No George Williams in 1810.

1810 Census lists Ephraim living in Greenwood, Cumberland County (soon to be Perry in 1820) next to David Rumbaugh. However, only 1 male under 10 listed on census. No others. Could it be that George was a son of one of Ephraim's brothers?

Ephraim Williams was executor of David Rumbaugh's (father of Leah and Julia Ann, brother to Samuel) estate. He lived in Greenwood Twp. Cumberland Co., PA and died in 1843. This is another highly likely candidate for relative of Nasmith and the Williams siblings, but it is doubtful based on what is known that he is father to the Williamses. Census lists only one child in 1810 and he is reported to have left no children at all when he died. Reportedly born 1757 and died 15 Aug 1843. Buried in Millerstown Cemetery, Perry Co., PA.

1820 - Still listed, but with no children.

From Rootsweb:

On Ephraim:
"This Ephraim Williams is the son of Nathan Williams Sr.'s line, according to papers of a Bosserman family obtained by Jean H. McKim of Bay Village, Ohio. His headstone in the Millerstow n Memorial Cemetery of Perry Co., PA, with date of death, 15 Aug 1843, says that he died in his 86th year, indicating a birth date of about 1757. The Bosserman papers say that he was a Revolutionary War veteran and "left no children." It is unclear as to whether this means he never had children or his child/children died before he did and had no surviving children."

On Nathan Sr.:
"Information from Jean H. McKim of Bay Village, OH. Family papers show date of death as 2 June 1812, Mead Twp., Crawford Co., PA. (from letter written 14 Feb 1916 by Hartwell G. Williams to cousins, G. A. Vaughn, W. J. Vaughn, and Miss Lola Vaughn). Hartwell G. Williams wa s a great-grandson of Nathan Williams Sr.; he was born in 1843. His letter stated that Nathan Sr. had 13 children; however, at least 15 names for children have been found, although not proved. It is not clear if Ephraim was a son of Nathan Sr. and his first wife, although Bosserman family papers say so (the Vaughns and the Bossermans are descended from her line -- William Williams, son of Nathan Sr.'s second marriage). Also, other papers obtained by Jean McKim say that there were daughters named Hannah in both marriages. The family information is that most of, or many of, the children of the first marriage died young.

The letter by Hartwell G. Williams states: "Nathan Williams Sr. died June 2, 1812, and was buried on the farm under a pine tree in a place selected by him. This was the beginning of a graveyard where many of the family now rest. Author has a map of the ground there are sixty persons buried there." He said also that the farm eventually was sold to a man who plowe d up and farmed at least half of this cemetery.

The letter says that Nathan Williams Sr. was "a Penna. dutchman from Berks Co., Pa." Mrs. Mc Kim stated in her letter that papers in the Bosserman family say that the Williamses came from Scotland, but that her mother's family story was that several brothers came from Wales and settled in the Philadelphia area and that they were Quakers. An "old, old paper written , I think, by my great-grandfather, Ephraim Williams, says that Nathan's father was named Mark." This paper gives the names of the children of both of Nathan Sr.'s marriages.

Mrs. McKim provided page 68 of GAZETTEER AND BUSINESS DIRECTORY OF CRAWFORD COUNTY (Pennsylva nia), 1874, section on Mead Twp. for William Williams, son of Nathan Williams, Sr., that stated that William came from Perry Co. in 1796, which actually would have been Cumberland Co., a s Perry was formed from Cumberland later in 1820. This argues strongly for this Nathan Williams's having come from Cumberland, also. There are two 1790 censuses of Cumberland Co., PA , for men named Nathanial, p. 81, and a Nathan Williams was listed as a freeman in the 1789 tax list of Cumberland Co. This Nathan is either Jr. or Sr., not clear -- the 1790 censuses i n Cumberland Co. may include our Nathans. William Williams came to Crawford Co. in 1796, according to the GAZETEER.

Crawford Co., PA, Office of Register and Recorder: Nathan Williams, Sr., date of death 1812 , Rough Docket A/137, Letters of Administration granted 12 Jan 1816 to William Williams. No papers found.

According to the 1880 census for the only child of his who survived to be listed in the 1880 census, in which people were asked for the first time where their parents were born, Phoebe Williams Brown's information is both parents born in Pennsylvania."

This Ephraim Williams is the son of Nathan Williams Sr.'s line, according to papers of a Bosserman family obtained by Jean H. McKim of Bay Village, Ohio. His headstone in the Millerstown Memorial Cemetery of Perry Co., PA, with date of death, 15 Aug 1843, says that he died in his 86th year, indicating a birth date of about 1757. The Bosserman papers say that he wa s a Revolutionary War veteran and "left no children." It is unclear as to whether this means he never had children or his child/children died before he did and had no surviving children. This may seem to indicate that it is not our man. However, is he IS our man, all of his children would have emigrated to OH in 1826. The clincher would be to prove that Ephraim and George are related.

1840 Census of Pensioners lists Ephraim Williams in Newport, age 83.

HISTORY OF PERRY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA by H. H. Hain (Hain-Moore Company, Publishers, Harrisbu rg, PA, 1922), p. 172, states that Ephraim Williams was a Revolutionary War soldier and a cabinetmaker, who died August 15, 1843, aged 86 years.

Among Nathan's children are names repeated among the children of the Williams' siblings. Naomi, Phoebe, William & John.

Looking for anyone with information on George Williams and possible relationship with Ephraim Williams. Also looking for Custer ancestry starting in Chester Co., PA. Hoping to prove that the Williams siblings descend from one of these men or another descendant of Nathan Williams.

Please contact me at karekin at gmail dot com.


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