John Daniel WILLIAMS

Submitted by Descendants:  Vivian “Babe” Carter DAVIS; Jessica Harper HOOVER; Sylvia “Peggy” Carter MANN; and Paul Vaughn WYNN

John Daniel Williams was born in Tattnall Co., Georgia in 1816.  He came to Columbia Co. Florida, with his parents, William Williams & Sarah Harvey Williams sometime in the early 1830’s.  On Oct. 10, 1835 he married Rebecca Sweat, daughter of Abner W. Sweat and Rebecca Anderson.  The wedding took place at the Old Fork Mill on the St. Marys River about five or six miles from Sanderson in Columbia Co., Georgia.  He and Rebecca raised eight children.

John voted in the first statewide election of 26 May 1845, while serving as Election Inspector in Columbia County, Florida.

It was said, by Rebecca, his wife that he went out with his father Capt. William’s Company in the Indian War.  When he came home from the army Rebecca prepared his favorite meal of hoe cake baked in the oven on the coals and collard greens with a side of smoked ribs and coffee made from parched okra seeds with a few bits of sweet potato roasted together.  She also cooked him a couple of good sized catfish broiled on the coals which he ate with relish.  It was after the War Between the States that their nine slaves were freed and John D. began to feel the crush, his neighbors seeing his need and industry to restore his farm, gave his assistance.

In 1862 John Daniel Williams divorced Rebecca and married a neighbor’s widow, Georgiana Anderson.  She had six children from her former husband, Malicahi Anderson, who was killed in the service and she and John D. had several more.  It was said that both women were at this bedside when he was dying of cancer.  He died on April 27, 1896, and was buried near his home on the middle prong of the St. Marys River.

John Daniel Williams was first established as a Florida Pioneer in 2000