So things were going ok at the start and then bam. hit the wall.... at James Williams.
James aka James Henry Williams married Clarissa Alice Richards who for some unknown reason has been aka Betty. Clarissa was the daughter of Christopher Richards and Nancy Adeline Moore. But who were James parents??? We dont know for sure.
However there are some probable candidates for the title... among them, Johnson Williams who married Judith Thornton in 1821 in Franklin County, Virginia. Shortly after the 1818 birth of James Williams.
Now according to sources, James was the son of Malinda Smith ( or was it Melinda???) and was born in Franklin county (1818). As I have said before he died in the sixties (1860s) in Richmond of a fever during the war. Some say he was a gambler, some say he was a Blackfoot. The census says he was a farmer. But could he have been the son of Johnson Williams of Franklin County??? Yes, he could have. You see, there is only one record mentioning Malinda (Melinda???) and after that she vanished. Can find nothing else about her. Did she die after giving birth? Did she keep out of the limelight so well that there is not even a death record for her? Questions! Questions!
Could Malinda have been the first wife of Johnson Williams?? Did she die before 1821? Inquisitive minds and Descendants want to know. And you would think after the war that more attention would have been paid to records of the time, considering how the union army torched so many valuable records.
Anyway all I have now is theories and facts to try and form a logical conclusion or two. And without the help of a Vulcan, I just do my best....
My theory is that Johnson Williams at some point may have married Malinda Smith (Melinda?) and had James in Franklin County in 1818... After that time, maybe Malinda had complications and passed away, leaving Johnson with a baby and no mother to care for him. Along comes Judith Thornton who marries him and raises his family along with her stepson from a previous marriage. There are plenty of records of Judith and Johnson but very little of Malinda....
Its just a theory at this point, but it explains a lot of unanswered questions... and maybe some day it can be proven. Also, it explains why a certain cousin has many Thornton DNA matches that could not be explained. So who knows, maybe its right. The purpose in research is to look for answers, is it not?
While Johnson had a few children with Judith, he was somewhat older than her, which suggests to me that maybe she was not wife number one. She was born about 1805 and married in 1821 according to my sources at least, and Johnson was older, born about 1792, the son of Polly... He could have married Malinda and had a family with her by 1812ish... And maybe more than one son....
Any way its a theory... and thats where answers come from.