The Williams/Grinder Connection

by | Jul 25, 2020 | 3 comments

A couple of years ago, I posted this on the forum under with Williams surname:

I’m not at all sure about this one, but it’s a possibility. I am descended from Andrew Grinder and his wife, Elizabeth, through their daughter Ann Sevilla who married Esau Tingle. In the Court Records of Craven County, I found that Andrew was the administrator of the Estate of an Edward Williams in June 1746. When he became administrator or when Edward died, I don’t know. Does anyone know anything about this early Edward Williams? I’m hoping for a connection with Andrew’s wife.

Since then, I’ve put together some of the pieces of this puzzle. Many are still missing, but here’s what I see.

On 21 Dec 1739, Andrew Grinder came into Court and “prayed letters of administration on the estate of Edward Williams, decd.” The Court set the bond at 500 pounds. His securities were Rees Price and John Jacob Grinder. But why did he make this request in the first place? I believe the answer is that he married Edward’s widow.

Benjamin Williams, Loving Brother of James Tingle

The key to figuring this out was the will of James Tingle, written 19 Oct 1774. In this document, he appointed “my Loving Brother Benjamin Williams and my Loving Brother Joseph Tingle to be my hole and sole Executors….”

How was Benjamin Williams his brother?

We know that James had a sister, Rachel. She was mentioned in the will of their father, Hugh, 10 Sep 1764. Benjamin’s wife, however, was Mary, widow of John Franklin. They were married before 12 Dec 1762 when Benjamin and Mary Williams, “wife and Relinct of John Franklin Decd.” sold her right of dower in her deceased husband’s estate to John Carney for 65 pounds proclamation money (Craven County Deed Book 11, p. 52). Mary was still living at the time Benjamin made his will 2 Oct 1780.

James’s wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew Grinder. On 4 Jun 1772, James and Elizabeth Tingle sold Esau and Ansevelah Tingle their share, “one undivided half”, of a tract of land “Conveyed by Deed from Christopher Dawson Deceased the seventh day of Jun 1745 unto Andrew Grinder Father of the said Elizabeth and Ansevelah…” (Craven County Deed Book 20, p. 356).

Elizabeth ? Williams Grinder

Elizabeth Grinder, “relict of Andrew Grinder” requested administration of Andrew’s estate 8 Apr 1761. Bond was set at 400 pounds proclamation money with James Tingle and Esau Tingle sureties.

I conclude that Elizabeth, widow of Edward Williams, married Andrew Grinder sometime in 1739. From various wills and estate documents, it becomes clear she’d born Edward, at least, three children.

Children of Edward Williams and Elizabeth

Benjamin Williams

In his will, Benjamin Williams makes significant bequests to Mary’s children, Peter and Joseph Franklin. He also mentions his brother, Edward Williams, and Edward’s daughters Liza and Frances. There is also mention of a nephew, Jesse, who does not to be Edward’s son. Benjamin was deceased before 5 Nov 1780.

Edward Williams

According to Edward Williams’s will, written 31 Dec 1780 (he died before 9 May 1781), he and his wife, Margaret, had the following children:

  • Charles Williams (d. 1807) m. Elizabeth (after his death, she would marry William Gatlin)
  • John Williams (d. 1790) m. Lydia Ernul 10 Oct 1783
  • Elizabeth “Liza” Williams m. John Ernul 25 Mar 1786
  • Sinah Williams m. Thomas Littleton 30 Jan 1782
  • Celia Williams (d. 1789) m. James Dial (or Deal, Doyle, Dayle and various other spellings, d. 1788)
  • Frances “Frankie” Williams m. William Tignor 7 Nov 1785

Charles and his wife had no children together, so his estate was divided among his various nieces and nephews. John had two sons, but they died in childhood. The others were Mary Ernul, Charles W. Ernul, Sarah Ernul, Margaret Dayle, James G. Tignor, Sinah Tignor and Deborah Tignor.

William Williams

Jesse Williams was the son of William Williams who died before 26 Dec 1765. On that date, his wife, Keziah, promulgated an inventory of his Estate. She had already remarried to William Tyre. According to his estate documents, William Williams and Keziah also had two daughter, Zilphia and Euphemia.

In a will written 19 Feb 1780, Jesse mentions his mother and stepfather as well as a nephew, Benjamin Oliver, his sister’s son. He doesn’t say which sister. He also leaves a horse named Hunter to Sinea Williams. Edward Williams and William Tyre are named Executors. Tyre qualified as such in Sep 1781.

I cannot help but wonder why there were so many deaths in this family in so short a time.


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