This is the fifth and last article in a series on John M. Williams, an early Chardon miller, and records found on his family in the Allyn Room.

The Allyn Room in GCPL’s Chardon Branch is home to a unique collection – 59 binders full of Geauga County family group sheets, alphabetical by surname. Family group sheets are charts listing a husband, wife and their children, along with birth, marriage, death and burial information. The Allyn Room family group sheets were either donated by the individual families or were put together by the Genealogical Society or through a special project. Not all of the family group sheets are complete or carefully documented with source citations, but they can aid researchers as “way pointers”. Many of the family group sheets have obituaries of family members printed on the back. Currently underway is a project scanning all the family group sheets and indexing them in rbhayes.org Ohio Obituary Index.

The family group sheet for John M. Williams and his wife, Harriet Morley, lists John’s father as Heman Williams and adds a note that John was youngest of 10 children. His marriage took place in New Troy, MI, on 8 Apr 1866, while his death occurred in DeKalb, IL, on 16 July 1925. While he spent much of his life in Geauga County, his marriage and death took place in other states. The children of John and Harriet are listed in birth order, with citations for some of the births, deaths and marriages.  John’s obituary is copied on the back of the family group sheet and is probably the source for much of the information. The family group sheet was compiled by the Geauga County Genealogical Society.

The Allyn Room also houses 18 drawers of Geauga County family files – miscellaneous family history materials donated by families or accumulated by the Allyn Room. These documents range from funeral programs to certificates to family sketches. Most of the materials in the Williams file were other Geauga County Williams families, but one hand-drawn ancestor chart pertained to John Williams and much of his extended family. Such notes as these appear on the chart:

Title: “Williams Family of Lanesboro, Mass, in 1818 went to Concord, O.”

Three Williams brothers were named: 1. Heman (father of John M.) – “built mill on Big Creek 1849, small one in 1820”; 2. Davis – “farm in LeRoy. Buried in Wms Cemetery there – land which he gave” 3. Henry Williams – “stayed at Lanesboro”

This charming ancestor chart contains much valuable information and would be a treasure for anyone researching the Williams line.

Cheryl McClellan is the Genealogist for Geauga County Public Library. She is currently reading Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan.
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