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Nathaniel Chase Williams,
June 6, 1829 - December 27, 1904
The eldest surviving son of Willis and Dorcas Credle Williams, Nathaniel Chase, Sr. was born 6 June 1829 in the Bragg's house on Ocracoke Island, Carteret County, North Carolina. On 14 March 1837, his father Willis was murdered on Ocracoke Island by a cousin, Jacob Gaskill. The gravesite of Willis is supposed to be on the North Pond of Ocracoke Island, but was washed out by a hurricane in later years. According to the Nathaniel Chase Williams, Sr. Family Bible, Nathaniel Chase wrote the following inscription for his father's tombstone (the date written was not included):
O reader stay and cast an eye Upon this grave wherein I lie, For cruell death has chaleng me A short time will call on thee, I was in perfect health one day No doubt you will read with Sorrow And I was killed before the night Prepare yourselves to follow.
On 27 May 1839, Nathaniel Chase Williams, Sr. was apprenticed to his mother's brother, John Credle, Jr. of the Hyde County mainland to learn the art and mystery [mastery] of farming. I say mainland because Ocracoke Island was in Carteret County until 1845. Since Nathaniel had lived most of his life on Ocracoke Island where the main occupations were water-related or merchandizing, his mother must have believed he needed to "learn a living."
On 25 March 1851, Nathaniel Chase, Sr. (known to the majority of the family in this day and time as "Grandpappy Nat") married Emalous Gibbs, daughter of Jesse Gibbs and wife Dorcas. Nat was a farmer and was appointed Justice of the Peace for the area in which he lived; it was apparently after this appointment that the people in the Tiny Oak area started calling him "Squire." He and Emulous were the parents of the following children:
- Dorcas Elinor Williams, b. 21 July 1852, married 8 September 1868 John W. Jester, and died between 1870 and 1880 in Swan Quarter Township, Hyde Co, NC.
- Benjamin W. Williams, b. 3 February 1854 and died in 1883; he never married.
- Jesse Lloyd Williams, b. 18 April 1856, married 14 March 1877 Lenorah Flowers, died 11 April 1900 in Swan Quarter Township.
- Mahala M. Williams, b. 15 June 1858 and died 12 September 1861 in Swan Quarter Township.
- John A. Williams, b. 3 June 1860 and died 7 October 1861 in Swan Quarter Township.
- Mary J. Williams, b. 13 July 1862 and died 12 September 1868 in Swan Quarter Township.
- Rosa Arthur Williams, b. 18 March 1864, married 21 November 1883 David Jones Mason, died 13 October 1930 in Swan Quarter Township.
- George Hodges Williams, b. 27 September 1867, married 19 December 1888 Mary Ann Mason, daughter of David Jarvis Mason and Luvenia Bridgman Mason. George drowned on 13 November 1904 near Indian Island, Beaufort Co, NC on his way home from a trip to Washington. Also lost in this tragedy was his half-brother Charles Morton Williams, and their great nephew, George E. Warner.
- Beulah Helen Williams, b. 19 December 1869, married 26 December 1888 Milton Franklin Mason, died 2 July 1933.
After the death of Emalous on 15 April 1873, Nat married on 10 September 1873 Margaret Brown, daughter of Thadeus Brown and wife Elizabeth Dunbar Brown. Nat and Margaret were the parents of:
- Nathaniel Chase Williams, Jr., b. 2 July 1874, married 29 December 1897 Sallie Leona Harris, d. 27 June 1920 in Swan Quarter Township.
- Charles Morton Williams, b. 18 November 1877, married 8 January 1899 Zada Emma Farrow, daughter of William Miles Farrow and wife, Ellen Ann Harris Farrow. He died in the same boating accident as his half-brother George Hodges Williams on 13 November 1904.
- Joseph Corden Williams, Sr., b. 22 May 1880, married 28 June 1903 Nita B. Harris, and died 12 December 1946 in Swan Quarter Township.
Nat died 27 December 1904, just a month and fourteen days after the deaths of two of his children and a great grandson; perhaps the blow of their deaths was too much for this 75 year old gentleman. He was buried in a graveyard on his home lot with his sons George Hodges Williams and Charles Morton Williams. His tombstone is carved from marble and shows clasped hands within a circle at the top of the stone. It reads: "Nathaniel C. Williams, Born June 6, 1829, Died Dec. 27, 1904, Age 75 yrs, 6 mos, 21 dys. Tho' lost to sight, to memory dear."
(Photo and information kindly submitted by Ellen A. Williams of Swan Quarter, NC)
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