Another Williams family line is that of Andrew Williams

Published 2:46 am Saturday, June 25, 2016

In last week’s column the ancestors and some descendants of John Pruitt Floyd were presented. John Pruitt was married to Willie Ella Williams in 1894 in Pike County, Ala. Ella was the daughter of A.J. Williams and his wife, Annie Eliza Rodgers. Today’s writing will be a review of Ella’s Williams ancestry.

The authors of the publication, Early Floyds of Pike County, Alabama and Some of Their Descendants, James P. Floyd and Hugh L. Taylor, stated their earliest ancestor of this particular line of Williams was S.B. Williams. S.B. was residing in Franklin County, Ark. In 1850, and the family was enumerated in the following manner: S.B. Williams, 39; Sarah, 38; Martha, 16; Polly, 14; Nancy, 13; Andrew J., 12; Elizabeth, 10; John F., 6; and Sarah, 4. S. B. was born in Kentucky, Sarah, in Tennessee, and the children in Arkansas.

The lineage and family of the son, Andrew J. Williams, who was 12 years of age in 1850 will be featured in today’s story. That means he was born circa 1838 in the State of Arkansas; therefore, he was an ideal age for enlisting and serving in the Confederate Army. His military records show he enlisted on May 19, 1861, at Lynchburg, Va. He was assigned as a private in Company E, 33rd (Grinstead’s) Regiment, Arkansas Infantry. It is thought that this regiment had been mobilized and was moving toward Richmond when Andrew decided to enlist. That would explain his joining the unit at Lynchburg and early in the war. Andrew was still on this company and regiment’s roster on February 29, 1864, and served until the end of the war

Family legend contends that Andrew Williams, upon his discharge from the army, chose to travel to Bullock County, Ala. There he was married on December 15, 1867, to Miss Annie Eliza Rodgers, daughter of Henry and Susanna Rodgers. The marriage was solemnized at the home of the bride’s father by Minister B.A. Jackson.

Henry Rodgers and his wife, Susanna, were born in South Carolina, but their children were born after they were settled in Alabama. Henry was born circa 1821 and Susanna, circa 1822. The 1860 Federal Census for Pike County, Ala., enumerated the family in the following manner: Henry Rodgers, 39; Susanna, 38; Sarah, 15; Basil Manly, 16; Emalain, 12; Annie Eliza, 9; Elijah, 7; and William, 4. It was most likely that after Susanna’s death, Henry Rodgers was married next to Ellen, a native of Georgia, who was born circa 1863. The 1880 Federal Census for Pike County listed Henry and Ellen’s family as follows: Henry Rodger, 59; Ellen, 47; Robert, 17; Sebian, 13; Albert, 9; Callie, 9; Eder (niece), 19; and William (nephew), 13.

Andrew J. and Annie Eliza (Rodgers) Williams reared the following children: Solemlie “Emmie,” b. 1869, m. J.T. Sessions; Eula S., b. 1872, m. Walter Barron; Dennis, b. 1876, m. Callie Boswell; and Willie Ella, b. 1877, d. 1950, m. John Pruett Floyd (1874-1937). The date of Andrew’s death is not known for certain, but it appears he died between 1878 and 1880.

The oldest daughter, Solemlie “Emmie” Williams was married in 1888 to J.T. Sessions. They reared the following 14 children: Annie, Minnie, James T., Julia, “Cap,” Lillie Lou, Lula Mae, Pearl, Lessie, Lois, Carl and Carmon (twins), Hildreth and Keath.

The second daughter, Eula S. Williams, was married to Walter Barron in February 1895. They reared the following eight children: Henry, Maude, Fate, Annie, Reed, Roy, Willie and Minnie.

The only son, Dennis Williams, was married in June 1897 to Callie Boswell. They reared the following nine children: Jessie Lee, Carl, Willie Mae, Delphine, Nannie Mell, Byron, Jimmie D., Woodrow, and Gillis.

The youngest daughter, Willie Ella Williams, is the one whose lineage is being followed from this point on. She was married to John Pruett Floyd on December 14, 1894, in Pike County, Ala. John P. Floyd was the son of Timothy Floyd and his wife, Caroline (Herndon). He spent his entire life in Pike and Covington Counties. At his death in April 1937, he was buried in the Mt. Zion Methodist Church Cemetery in the Straughn community of Covington County.

Willie Ella and John Pruett Floyd had the following 11 children: James Pugh, b. 1896, m. Lucille Newton; Carl Ophelia, b. 1898, d. in fancy; John Owen, b. 1900, d. in fancy; Charlie Lee, b. 1901, d. in infancy; Robert L., b. 1902, m. (1) Bulah Mae Nall (2) Mrs. Dora Thomas, widow of Ricco Thomas; Willie Cortez, b. 1904, d. 1961, m. Hazel Beatrice Speer; Annie Laura, b. 1905, m. Charlie Edward Holland (1890-1957); Lewis Merry “Simon,” b. 1906, m. Nona Gamage (1902-1970); Lois, b. 1909, m. Roland Straughn; Jessie, b. 1913, m. Abner R. Braswell (1899-1971); and Gaston, b.&d. 1915.

After Andrew J. Williams’s death, his widow, Annie Eliza (Rodgers) Williams, was married in March 1888, to Jasper Sessions. They had one daughter, Florrie Sessions, who was born December 9, 1889, and who would be a half-sister to Willie Ella Williams. She was married to D. Coss Crowe, and they had the following children: Aubrey, Annie Lee, Ester, Mary Olive, D.C., Mildred, Cullen, Curtis and Jamie Ruth.

The little found by this writer regarding Jasper Sessions is that he was born in Alabama in 1833, and his parents were born in South Carolina. He was first married to a lady named Margaret who was born in 1835 in Alabama. In the 1880 census they were enumerated with the following children in their home: Randolph, 22; Martha J., 20; William, 17, and Thomas, 14. This Thomas was the J.T. Sessions who was married to Solemlie Williams, so they were step-brother and step-sister to each other.

Willie Ella Williams, youngest daughter of Andrew J. Williams and Annie Eliza (Rodgers, and her husband, John Pruett Floyd, moved to Covington County and made it their home. They reared their children here and were buried here at their deaths. They have many descendants who currently reside in Covington and surrounding counties.

The source for today’s writing is the publication named in the second paragraph, Early Floyds of Pike County, Alabama, and Some of Their Descendants, written by James P. Floyd, B.S. M.A. and Hugh L. Taylor, B.S., M.A. Ed.D.

Anyone who may find an error in the above is encouraged to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:



The Covington Historical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 30, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Guests and prospective members are cordially invited to attend.