John C. and Sarah L. Williams family

Last week we considered some school census data. In the days following that data post, we considered two separate family groups. Today, I want to consider another family group that was included in the school census data from the post made last Wednesday.

John C. and Sarah L. Williams were included on the school census list and their minor children Mack, Salina, Dan and Virgil were attending school at the time of the census. With additional research, I learned that John and Sarah also had adult children and grandchildren listed on the school census. Abe G. Williams, Ike T. Williams, and Oliver T. Williams were all children of John C. and Sarah L. Williams. Initially, the information I had about Abe indicated he was born in New York and so he was briefly covered in the post on Thursday. However, further research revealed him to be the son of John and Sarah and he was most likely not born in New York. John and Sarah did send many of their children back East (New York) to be educated or to live with someone else as did their sons, Isaac (Ike) and Oliver. This likely caused the confusion in regard to Abe’s birthplace. One federal census entry indicates that John C. was born in New York and so his children and grandchildren may have lived with family in New York. This family is part of the Ottawa Tribe. John C.’s wife, Sarah L. was Ottawa.

The family stayed in the Tri-State area of Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas with the exception of sending their children back East, presumably to be educated. Information about this family was abundant which helped in determining family relationships. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate any interesting stories, photographs, etc. with the limited research time I had for this Williams family.

There are some interesting stories on the internet about the family of Grace Merris who was Abe G. Williams’ wife. I would recommend them to anyone interested either in Native American tribal history or in this particular family. Particularly interesting was a biography of Grace’s father William W. Merriss entitled, “History of Indian Territory” which can be found at

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