Saturday, June 19, 2010


(click on photograph for larger image)

George (Royal George) Williamson (1788-1859)

George Williamson's grave marker at the Williamson family cemetery at "Melrose" states that he was the builder of the second (front) section of "Melrose" (built 1820), and that he died 22 August 1856 in his 67th year.


"Melrose, northeast of Yanceyville. The original house built about 1770 by James Williamson is in the rear and attached by a closed passageway to the front built in 1820 by George Williamson. See: When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 422.

Will Abstract
October Court 1856 (Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions)
Book R 1856,
Page 444
George Williamson - Will - written 8 Aug 1856. Four children by 2nd wife namely Walter S., Robert, Isabella, and Harriett have recd property from their grandmother since death of their Mother. Children all be made perfectly equal in division of his estate. Sons John L., George, and James leant a slave each. Estimated advance to children Thomas D. Johnston and wife Adeline, Augustus Finley and wife, sons James, John, George, Benjamin, and Thomas between $8000 and $10,000 each. Son Weldon allowed compensation for service in business and to have homestead tract of land. Wit: Jas Poteat, N. M. Roan.
Page 450
Division negroes of estate of George Williamson to Thomas L. Williamson, A. C. Finley, James C. Williamson, Benjamin Williamson, George Williamson Jr., Thomas D. Johnston, Weldon Williamson, John L. Williamson, and 4 lots to the minor children Walter S. Williamson, Minerva I. Williamson, Robert H. Williamson, and Harriett Williamson. (Note from KKK -- George Williamson had son Nathaniel Lea Williamson who lost his life in the Mexican War.)
Page 454-467
Inv and sales made by Thomas D. Johnston and Weldon E. Williamson adm of George Williamson decd sold 22 October 1856 to [list of people]. Total sales $26,691.03
Page 467
Property of George Williamson not disposed of: Bryant's and Ned's crop of tobacco; sale of wheat in Richmond. Recd from Mrs. Williamson in settlement. 29 Dec. 1856.
Page 468
Inv and bonds due Geo Williamson decd.
Page 470
Bonds payable to Geo Williamson guardian of Eustice Hunt due 25 Oct 1856.
Page 471-74
Long list of open accts due George Williamson.

Source: Caswell County North Carolina Will Books 1843-1868, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1986) at 85-86.

Source: Garden Club of North Carolina, "Old Homes of North Carolina." The State: Down Home in North Carolina, July 16, 1949: 9. Print.

Click on photograph for a larger image.

Note the error in the text:

In the Caswell County Historical Association Newsletter for September 2006 the following is stated as part of a critique of a 1942 article on Caswell County that appeared in The State magazine:

The tour continued on down the road and shortly reached "Melrose," home of "Royal" George Williamson. The enduring mystery about how he got the name "Royal" has not been solved to the knowledge of the CCHA, at least that we know of. However, the Newsletter has endeavored to correct a serious error still found in Person County particularly and contributed back then in The State magazine. Here ye, hear ye, once and for all -- "Royal" George Williamson of Melrose plantation was the son of James Williamson of Locust Hill in Caswell County. He was NOT the son of "Scotch Jim," a prominent citizen of Person County.

Proof of the lineage of George Williamson, born at Locust Hill shortly after the family migrated to Caswell County ca. 1787 (see the other Newsletters for exact dates -- we have them), was filed with Register of Deeds J. B. Blaylock some years after 1942. The document contained proof of the Williamson family at Jamestown and nearby with our earliest settlers. Caswell County records prove the public offices held by James Williamson of Locust Hill, his untimely death and the removal of the widow with some of the children to Georgia in 1817. The descendants there had hired a professional genealogist to prepare the family tree. It is recorded in Blaylock's Miscellaneous Collections -- tapes in Gunn Memorial Public Library in Yanceyville. "Scotch Jim" was called by that name because he was a much later emigrant from Scotland, with relation to the Jamestown Williamsons not determined.

1 comment:

  1. When I was a child, I would spend weeks in the summer with my grandmother, Helen Noell Johnson. Her niece Marion Lyon Smith was living in the house at that time with her husband and two children. There were two people that lived on the property and their names were Wilson and Fannie. Across the street from Melrose, was the house where Helen's mother had lived before moving to Danville, VA. after marrying Charles Noell.