St. Columban-Irish Forum
The Williams Family - Printable Version

+- St. Columban-Irish Forum (
+-- Forum: Categories (
+--- Forum: History - Memories - Famous Residents (
+--- Thread: The Williams Family (/showthread.php?tid=219)

The Williams Family - Fergus_Keyes - 03-20-2006

From: Don Williams
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2006 4:17 PM
Subject: Williams family Ancestry (St. Columban)

If this is of interest to you?
The Williams family were early settlers to St. Columban. As part of a family reunion held
in the summer of 2005 in St. Columban I researched our genealogy. I have traced over 400 descendents of the first George Williams and Mary Margaret Kelly (wife). There are
still several direct descendents living in St. Columban year round in addition to summer cottages
owned by family members.

George Williams came to Canada from the town of Glanmire, county Cork in 1823 and settled
in St.Columban where he died in 1841, at the age of 45. Mary Margaret Kelly his wife died in 1866, at the age of 74.

Don Williams
Ottawa Ontario
1 (613) 836-5449

Re: The Williams Family Update Info. # 1 - Fergus_Keyes - 03-22-2006

From: "Al Lewis" <>
> To: "Fergus V. Keyes" <>; <>;
> <>; "Michael Daley" <>
> Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2006 8:24 AM
> Subject: Re: Williams family Ancestry (St. Columban)
> > Good morning, Fergus, Claude, Michael and Don:
> >
> > I read with interest, Don Williams' reference to George Williams who
> > from County Cork in 1823 and ended up at St. Columbans. Mr. Williams,
> > this the George Williams who sailed on the ship Stakesby as part of the
> > Peter Robinson expedition? He is listed as a passenger on this ship in
> > 1823
> > (see my page at
> >
> > This may be another early connection between St. Columbans and the
> > area.
> >
> > There is a record of a George Williams who was married to a Celeste
> > Johnson.
> > Here's the record from Notre Dame church in downtown Ottawa:
> >
> > 1 Apr 1845
> > After one publication of banns, marriage of Eusebe Varin, adult son of
> > Pierre Varin and Julie Beauchamp of St. Jacques de l'Achigan, Lower
> > Canada,
> > to Margaret Williams, adult daughter of the late George Williams  and
> > late Celeste Johnson of Bytown
> > Witnesses: Jean Bareille & Alexandre Ethier
> >
> > There are other Williams recorded at Notre Dame beginning in 1830.
> >
> > Does this ring a bell with anyone? Where in Quebec is St. Jacques de
> > l'Achigan?
> >
> > Thanks for your time.
> >
> > ... Al Lewis
> > Ottawa
> >
> >

The Williams Family- Update Info. # 2 - Fergus_Keyes - 03-22-2006

Hi Don:

Like you, I wondered about the name George Williams as an Irish Catholic. My
first assumption was that his ancestors had come from Scotland to Ireland in
previous generations. As you say, George was an uncommon first name among
Irish Catholics.

One of the few cases I've come across (when I was researching my Irish
Byrnes / Burns ancestors) was a George Burns who also came with the Peter
Robinson settlers but in 1825, so the name George was used if only

Another possibility is that somewhere along the line, one part of the
Williams family was Catholic and some were Protestant.
I know that in the records of Notre Dame, the earliest records of the
Williams surname are Catholic. Later records show some conversions of
Protestant Williamses to Catholicism at Notre Dame Cathedral, downtown.

I know that among quite a few families who came to the Nepean area of Ottawa
beginning in the 1820's, there were family traditions of mixed marriages in
Canada and also going back to Ireland.

I have started a new page for George Williams at but have not run the search engine on it
yet. I'll edit the page with Don's new information before running the search
engine tomorrow.

Carol Bennett's book on the Peter Robinson settlers mentions a couple of
other Catholic Williamses who settled in the Peterborough area and a
Jeremiah Williams from Ballygiblin, County Cork who settled in Ramsay
Township. I'd say that there is a very good chance that Jeremiah and George
were related -- same surname, same area in Cork. There are many connections
between the 1823 Ottawa area and 1825 Peterborough area settlers and I
suspect, the St. Columban settlers starting in 1822. These were three large,
homogeneous Irish Catholic settlements and no doubt there were many
connections among all three communities, possibly based on common
connections in the St. Patrick's neighbourhood in Montreal.

Anyway, I'll keep an eye out for the Williamses and see if I can add


... Al

----- Original Message -----
From: "Don Williams" <>
To: "Al Lewis" <>; "Fergus V. Keyes"
<>; <>; "Michael Daley"
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 9:28 AM
Subject: Re: Williams family Ancestry (St. Columban)

> Good Morning,
> I am looking for any information on the George Williams, Al has referred
> below. I am trying to eliminate any possibility on my part as to how the
> Columban, George Williams arrived in Canada.
> What I can and cannot confirm:
> - There was a Thomas Williams and family in the Ottawa area in 1820 from
> England.
> - George was not a common Irish name for a Williams born in the Cork area
> Ireland between 1790 and 1840. If the George in the Ottawa area was from
> Cork Ireland, it is likely they are related. Names carried through
> generations and families.
> - George Williams was a much more common English name in the early 1800s
> I have found several who immigrated to North America, but only one in the
> correct age group to Canada, and he settled in the Maritimes.
> - There was no George Williams included in the group letters that went
> to England from the Ottawa area as part of the update and thanks of the
> members of the Peter Robinson expedition, but this is in no way conclusive
> evidence.
> - I have not been able to trace how George's wife and Irish born children
> arrived in Canada. The presumption was he came first and they followed.
> - The settlement of St. Columban was a migration from Montreal and I could
> find no records of a George Williams in Montreal before 1823. Montreal at
> that time was a town of 22,000 people.
> - I have no knowledge of relatives, and the family bibles make no
> to relatives in the Ottawa area.
> - There may not have been a strong tie between the George Williams of the
> Peter Robinson expedition and the majority of the other settlers, as
> was a towns person (Glenmire) and the majority of settlers were farmers. I
> know for a fact that George changed ship before leaving harbour in
> Easy to do as someone traveling alone, almost all traveled with family.
> - It would also have been easier for him to have remained in Montreal
> his skills as a carriage maker would have been of more value. If the
> Williams of the Peter Robinson expedition and my ancestor are one and the
> same.
> Can anyone shed more light on this topic?
> F.Y.I.
>  St. Jacques de l'Achigan
> Located:
>       On the left slope of the basin of the St. Lawrence, in the
> of Joliette.
>       Diocese:  of Joliette
>       MRC:  Regional municipality of county of Montcalm
>       Tourist area:  of Lanaudi?re. Chart 10.
>       Catholic parish:  Saint-Jacques-of-lAchigan