Photo left: Thomas W. Willis and his 2nd wife Deely Mullins compliments of Carolyn Simpson
Harrison Willis is found first on the 1850 Scioto Co, OH census. Census records indicate that he was born in the portion of Virginia that became West Virginia. Harrison Willis married Syrenia Hard in Scioto Co, OH on January 17, 1841. She was the daughter of Jonathan Benedict Hard and his wife Sophronia White, New Englanders who removed with their families to Ohio. Census records beginning in 1860 indicate an occupation of Minister for Harrison Willis, who was in Jackson Co, OH in 1860 and in Gallia County by 1870. His death certificate lists the cause of death as "Chronical". Therefore he must have suffered from an extended, debilitating illness. The marriage records for his children confirm this, as he served as Minister for the older children's weddings, but not the younger. Syrenia Hard's death date is not included on their Clark Chapel Cemetery, Gallia Co, OH tombstone. Her birth information appears to have been engraved on the monument at his death, with the anticipation of adding her death date at decease. It is not known whether she is actually buried in the plot. The Willis marker stands in a place of prominence very near the church. It is a tall marker in the midst of a large plot, indicating that they were a family of importance to the church. Although this writer has not uncovered evidence, it appears that Rev. Willis must have been a pastor of the church.
Pictured Right: Minnie Vina (Willis) Neal and her daughter Joy.
All information points toward Harrison Willis being a son of John Willis and Rebecca Cooper. John Willis, born 1788 - 1789 in Virginia married Rebecca Cooper January 11, 1808 in Monroe Co, VA (WV). She was born 1792 - 1793 in Virginia. Published information on their son William indicates he was born 1811 in Greenbrier Co, VA (WV). William Willis married in the late 1820's in Kanawaha Co, VA (WV). A John Willis family matching the description of this family is found enumerated in the 1820 Kanawaha Co, VA (WV) census. By 1840 the family is in Scioto Co, OH. Living in the household, in addition to John and Rebecca, were 1 male 20-30, 2 males 15-20, 1 male 10 - 15 and 1 female 10-15. The female was their daughter Irena, who married William Dobbins. That family was enumerated adjacent to John & Rebecca Willis on the 1850 Scioto Co, OH census. Enumerated on the other side of John & Rebecca Willis was Rev. Harrison Willis and his family. Harrison Willis' birth date and state are a perfect fit with this family. Even stronger proof is the fact that John Willis attested to Harrison Willis being of age at the time of his marriage. Further documentation proving this relationship and/or further information on the family would be enormously appreciated.
What happened to the other children of John and Rebecca (Cooper) Willis? Most likely one son moved at maturity to Lawrence Co, OH to follow his older brother William, who moved to that area after his marriage. Enumerated in 1860 Lawrence Co, OH adjacent to William is John Willis, whose 37 year old age would fit John Willis' 1840 census enumeration. There is also a Willis widow and family living near William Willis in Lawrence Co, OH whose deceased husband could possible fit into this family. By 1860 Rev. Harrison Willis had moved to Jackson Co, OH. John and Rebecca (Cooper) Willis were still in Scioto Co, OH, with a 15 year old Henry Willis living in their household. Following the 1860 census, John and Rebecca disappear. One must assume that they were deceased. Does any one have further information on any of these families?
Descendants of John Willis
Generation No. 1
1. John1 Willis was born Bet. 1788 - 1789 in Virginia1,2, and died Bet. 1860 - 1870. He married Rebecca Cooper 11 Jan 1808 in Monroe Co, VA (WV). She was born Bet. 1792 - 1793 in Virginia3,4, and died Bet. 1860 - 1870.
1820 Kanawha Co, VA Census, p. 33
Children of John Willis and Rebecca Cooper are:
2 i. Unknown2 Willis, born Bet. 1809 - 18105.
+ 3 ii. William Willis, born 10 Aug 1811 in Greenbrier Co, VA; died 18 Aug 1885 in Lawrence Co, OH.
4 iii. Elizabeth Willis, born Bet. 1813 - 18185. She married Arthur Titus 22 Dec 1830 in Scioto Co, OH6.
5 iv. Unknown Willis, born Bet. 1813 - 18187.
+ 6 v. Rev. Harrison Willis, born 04 Mar 1820 in Kanawha Co, VA (WV); died 06 Feb 1895 in Vanceton, Gallia Co, OH.
7 vi. Unknown Willis, born Bet. 1822 - 18248.
8 vii. Unknown Willis, born Bet. 1822 - 18248.
+ 9 viii. Jane Irena Willis, born 31 Jan 1826 in Prob. Kanawha Co, VA; died 11 Jun 1900 in Jackson Co, OH.
+ 10 ix. Henry Willis, born Bet. 1828 - 1829 in Kanawha Co, VA.
Generation No. 2
3. William2 Willis (John1) was born 10 Aug 1811 in Greenbrier Co, VA9, and died 18 Aug 1885 in Lawrence Co, OH. He married Elizabeth Davis 30 Aug 1828 in Kanawha Co, VA. She was born Bet. 1812 - 1813 in Virginia9,10. They are buried in Willis Cemetery, Leatherwood, Lawrence Co, OH.
1860 Lawrence Co, OH Census, #610-603
William Willis was born in Greenbrier County, Virginia on August 10, 1811. The forebears of Mr. Willis, resident of Virginia, a member of them served during the Rev War in General Washington' s Continental Army. William married Elizabeth Davis Aug 30, 1826, solemnized by John Suesberry at Kanawha County, Virginia, now WVA. Both very young then, shortly after moved to Ohio. Wm. Willis born Aug 10, 1811 died Lawrence County, Ohio Feb 14, 1896. Both buried Willis Cemetery, Leatherwood near Getaway, Ohio (Lawrence Township). Wm. Willis was mustered into service of the United States as 2nd Lieut. Co E 5th Regiment of West VA Inf. Sep 2, 1861 and was the company's Capt. Was honorably discharged at Wheeling, Virginia. Nov 6, 1864. In 1878 on July 24, filed claim for disability pension giving personal description as follows: age 73 yrs, height 5 feet 8 1/2 inches. Complexion light, hair light, eyes light. That while a member of the organization aforesaid and in line of his duty at Cross Keys in state of WVA on or about the 8th day of June 1862, he contracted inflammation of the liver forward by partial paralysis of the right side from cold contracted on the march t o said battle of Cross Keys and from exposure to measles for some weeks just prior to said battle of cross keys. That said disease became chronic and has existed continually from his discharge to the present time so that he has not been up anytime able to obtain his subsistence by manual labor by reason of said disability traced at WB? Jack son at home in Lawrence Co By Dr P R Aundall and Dr Geo B Shattuck deceased. His Witness: A P Russell LD Markin Claimant Signature William + Willis Mark His address was Post Office Russell's Place, Lawrence County, Ohio (now Getaway)
Children of William Willis and Elizabeth Davis are:
11 i. John3 Willis, born Abt. 183810.
12 ii. William Willis, born Abt. 184110.
13 iii. Charles Willis, born Abt. 184410.
14 iv. Edmund Willis, born Abt. 184610.
15 v. Burdine Willis, born Abt. 1848 in Ohio11,12.
16 vi. Perry Willis, born Bet. 1849 - 1850 in Ohio13,14.
17 vii. Mary Willis, born Abt. 185214.
18 viii. Wilmington Willis, born Abt. 185414.
6. Rev. Harrison2 Willis (John1) was born 04 Mar 1820 in Kanawha Co, VA (WV)15,16,17,18, and died 06 Feb 1895 in Vanceton, Gallia Co, OH19,20,21. He married Syrenia Hard 17 Jan 1841 in Scioto Co, OH22,23, daughter of Jonathan Hard and Sophronia White. She was born 26 Nov 1823 in Ohio24,25,26. He is buried in Clark Chapel Cemetery, Gallia Co, OH.
1850 Scioto Co, OH Census, Green Township, p. 146, #232
A History of Scioto County, Ohio: Jefferson Township - p. 377: Blue Run Methodist Episcopal Church was organized, and a church built in 1859. Rev. Harrison Willis was the first pastor. The first trustees were: James Varner, Milton Deselen and John Morgan. The original members were John Morgan and wife, Abner Field and wife, Samuel Miller and wife, Jared Spriggs and wife, Eliza Varner, James Varner and wife and Mrs. Nancy Marshall.
Early Gallia County Court Records 1846 - 1899, (Records were abstracted from the Common Pleas and Probate Courts) Minister License: Harrison Willis, Denomination - Christian, 5 September 1862, Book CJ1, p. 397
Children of Rev. Harrison Willis and Syrenia Hard are:
19 i. Ann E.3 Willis, born Bet. 1841 - 1842 in Ohio27,28. She married Thomas B. Brown 23 Jul 1865 in Gallia Co, OH29.
20 ii. William Willis, born Abt. 1846 in Ohio30,31. He married Elnora S. Wards 28 Oct 1865 in Gallia Co, OH32.
21 iii. Sophronia E. Willis, born Bet. 1848 - 1849 in Ohio33,34. She married Lewis F. Baker 06 Jan 1866 in Gallia Co, OH35.
22 iv. Harris Willis, born Jul 1850 in Ohio36,37. He married Mary S. Colter 03 Mar 1869 in Gallia Co, OH38.
+ 23 v. Wesley Willis, born Bet. 1855 - 1857 in Ohio.
+ 24 vi. Thomas W. Willis, born 23 Apr 1859 in Gallia Co, OH; died 11 Jan 1939 in Vaughn, Nicholas Co, WV.
+ 25 vii. Gordon Willis, born Feb 1860 in Jackson Co, OH.
+ 26 viii. Edgar A. Willis, born Bet. 1862 - 1863 in Ohio.
9. Jane Irena2 Willis (John1) was born 31 Jan 1826 in Prob. Kanawha Co, VA39,40,41,42, and died 11 Jun 1900 in Jackson Co, OH. She married William N. Dobbins 15 Jul 1841 in Scioto Co, OH43,44. He was born 25 Nov 1815 in Virginia45,46,47,48, and died 09 Nov 1896 in Jackson Co, OH. Burial: Fairmont Cemetery, Jackson Co, OH.
1850 Scioto Co, OH Census, Green Township, p. 146, #234
Children of Jane Irena Willis and William N. Dobbins are:
27 i. Rebecca3 Dobbins, born Abt. 1843 in Ohio49,50.
28 ii. Sophie Dobbins, born Abt. 1845 in Ohio51,52,53.
29 iii. John Dobbins, born Abt. 1847 in Ohio54,55.
30 iv. Andrew Dobbins, born Abt. 1849 in Ohio56,57,58.
31 v. Elizabeth Dobbins, born Abt. 185159.
32 vi. William Dobbins, born Abt. 185359,60.
33 vii. Matilda Dobbins, born Abt. 185761,62.
34 viii. Thomas Dobbins, born Abt. 185963,64.
35 ix. James F. Dobbins, born Bet. 1862 - 186364,65.
10. Henry2 Willis (John1) was born Bet. 1828 - 1829 in Kanawha Co, VA66,67,68,69. He married Matilda Green 08 Jul 1846 in Scioto Co, OH70, daughter of Conrad Green and Susan. She was born Bet. 1830 - 1831 in Frederick Co, MD71,72,73.
1860 Scioto Co, OH Census, Green Township, p. 395,
Wheelersburg PO, #703-684, Teamster
Children of Henry Willis and Matilda Green are:
+ 36 i. Andrew J.3 Willis, born Bet. 1850 - 1851 in Ohio.
+ 37 ii. Irene Isabelle Willis, born Bet. 1855 - 1856 in Ohio.
38 iii. Rebecca Susan Willis, born Abt. 1859 in Ohio74,75.
Generation No. 3
23. Wesley3 Willis (Harrison2, John1) was born Bet. 1855 - 1857 in Ohio76,77,78,79. He married Martha Moler 31 Dec 1879 in Gallia Co, OH80. She was born Bet. 1855 - 1858 in Ohio81,82.
1910 Jackson Co, OH Census, Wellston City, Wellston Township,
Family 137, Occupation - Filler
Children of Wesley Willis and Martha Moler are:
39 i. Anna4 Willis, born Bet. 1884 - 1885 in Ohio83,84. She married Unknown Hicks.
1920 - Enumerated in the Jackson Co, OH household of her father
40 ii. William Willis, born Bet. 1888 - 1889 in Ohio85,86.
41 iii. Edward Willis, born Bet. 1890 - 1891 in Ohio87,88.
42 iv. Ada Willis, born Abt. 1893 in Ohio89.
43 v. Clyde Willis, born Abt. 1897 in Ohio89.
24. Thomas W.3 Willis (Harrison2, John1) was born 23 Apr 1859 in Gallia Co, OH90,91,92,93,94, and died 11 Jan 1939 in Vaughn, Nicholas Co, WV95,96. He married (1) Malinda Russell 07 May 1883 in Gallia Co, OH97,98,99,100, daughter of Alvin Russell and Harriett Spires. She was born Aug 1864 in Morgan Township, Gallia Co, OH101,102,103, and died 25 Oct 1902 in Wellston, Jackson Co, OH104. He married (2) Delia Mullins 05 Sep 1918 in Nicholas Co, WV105. She was born Abt. 1871 in West Virginia106. He died of a Heart Attack was buried Jan 13 1939 in Vaughn Cemetery, Nicholas Co, WV.
1900 Jackson Co, OH Census, City of Wellston, 3rd Ward, p.
312, Vol. 83, ED 59, Sheet 20, Line 32
He worked out of town and would come home only on the weekend. Therefore Minnie had to take care of her brothers and sisters alone all through the week. He worked in a foundry in Ohio. The doctor told him if he wanted to raise his family he should get them out of Ohio and into the mountains. So he moved the family to Vaughn, WV.
Children of Thomas Willis and Malinda Russell are:
44 i. Jessie4 Willis, born Apr 1884 in Ohio108; died Bet. 1900 - 1902 in Ohio109.
45 ii. Ida Willis, died Bef. 1900 in Ohio110.
46 iii. Minnie Vina Willis, born 05 Aug 1888 in Wellston, Jackson Co, OH111,112,113,114,114; died 30 May 1951 in Runa, Nicholas, WV. She married Homer Ace Neal 30 Jul 1907 in West Virginia115,116; born 26 Mar 1884 in Lizemores, Clay Co, WV117,118,119,120,121,122; died 18 May 1933 in Nallen, Fayette, WV123,124. She was buried 2 Jun 1951, Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans, Kanawha Co, WV124
1910 Nicholas Co, WV Census, Vol. 032, ED
They lived in Nicholas Co, WV and he was an engineer. When she was about 4 years old they moved to Orange, VA, where there was work. They stayed in Orange, VA about 5 years then moved back to Nallen, WV, where his brother-in-law, Charles Willis, had gotten him a job in the mill.
47 iv. Charles S. Willis, born Jul 1891 in Ohio127,128; died in Fayette Co, WV. He married Georgia Fay Hughes; born Abt. 1891 in Ohio128.
1910 - Enumerated in the Nicholas Co, WV
household of his father Thomas Willis.
Occupation - Laborer Lumber Mill
48 v. Daisey Willis, born Oct 1894 in Wellston, Jackson Co, OH128,129; died 1913 in Vaughn Cemetery, Nicholas Co, WV130.
Enumerated on the 1910 Nicholas Co, WV Census as "Daisy" in the household of her brother-in-law Homer Neal.
49 vi. Florence Willis, born Feb 1897 in Ohio131; died Feb 1897 in Ohio132.
She was the twin of Floyd and died at birth.
50 vii. Floyd Willis, born Feb 1897 in Ohio133; died in West Virginia. He married Iva Hudson.
Nickname "Uncle Crick". Was born at 7 months and weighed 1 1/2 pounds. His mother kept her in a quilt in a rocking chair, and kept him hot the whole time, giving him drops of whiskey. She said they never heard him make a sound or move till about 9 months. Then he let out a scream and was fine since.
51 viii. Pearl "Hazel" Willis, born 23 Jun 1900 in Wellston, Jackson Co, OH134,135.
52 ix. Dolly Willis, born 28 Feb 1902 in Wellston, Jackson Co, OH136; died 1903 in Wellston, Jackson Co, OH.
25. Gordon3 Willis (Harrison2, John1) was born Feb 1860 in Jackson Co, OH137,138,139. He married (1) Dorothy. She was born Abt. 1885 in West Virginia140. He married (2) Adaline Guthrie 22 Sep 1882 in Gallia Co, OH141. died 142.
1900 Jackson Co, OH Census - enumerated as father-in-law in
household of Dennis Murray, Wellston, p. 314, 4th Ward 27-27
Child of Gordon Willis and Dorothy is:
53 i. Stella4 Willis, born Abt. 1907 in West Virginia142.
Child of Gordon Willis and Adaline Guthrie is:
54 i. May4 Willis, born Feb 1883 in Ohio143. She married Denis Murray Abt. 1900 in Ohio143; born Jun 1879 in Ohio143.
Notes for Denis Murray:
1900 Jackson Co, OH Census, Wellston, Ward 4, p. 314, #27-27
26. Edgar A.3 Willis (Harrison2, John1) was born Bet. 1862 - 1863 in Ohio144,145. He married (1) Kate Dabney 05 Oct 1889 in Gallia Co, OH146. She was born in West Virginia, and died Aft. 1901147. He married (2) Ollie Abt. 1908147. She was born Bet. 1875 - 1876 in West Virginia147,148.
1910 Nicholas Co, WV Census #168-168
Children of Edgar Willis and Kate Dabney are:
55 i. Nettie4 Willis, born Abt. 1891 in Ohio149.
56 ii. Harry Willis, born Abt. 1895 in Ohio149,150.
57 iii. Grace Willis, born Abt. 1898 in Ohio151.
58 iv. Prebble Willis, born Abt. 1899 in West Virginia151.
59 v. Earl Willis, born Abt. 1901 in West Virginia or Ohio151,152. He married Lillian; born Abt. 1902 in Ohio152.
36. Andrew J.3 Willis (Henry2, John1, HenryA) was born Bet. 1850 - 1851 in Ohio153,154. He married Ellen J.. She was born Abt. 1849 in Ohio154.
1880 Scioto Co, OH Census, Bloom Township, p. 19B, Teamster
Children of Andrew Willis and Ellen J. are:
60 i. Berdie4 Willis, born Abt. 1877154.
61 ii. Clara D. Willis, born Abt. 1879154.
37. Irene Isabelle3 Willis (Henry2, John1, HenryA) was born Bet. 1855 - 1856 in Ohio155,156,157. She married Unknown Hicks.
Child of Irene Willis and Unknown Hicks is:
62 i. Nelly M.4 Hicks, born Abt. 1879 in Ohio158.
1. 1850 Scioto Co, OH Census.
04/02/2006 11:13:36 PM