Is your surname McWilliams?

Research the McWilliams family

James McWilliams's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


James McWilliams

Birthplace: Scotch Ridge, Belmont, Ohio, United States
Death: Died in Griggsville, Pike, Illinois, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Alexander McWilliams and Jane McWilliams
Husband of Margaret McWilliams and Lucretia McWilliams
Father of Elizabeth Farrand and John McWilliams, Sr.,

Occupation: Lumber trader, politician
Managed by: Erica "the Disconnectrix" Howton
Last Updated:

About James McWilliams

James served in the Illinois legislature.

Biographical sketch

  • taken from atlas of Pike County 1872-1912 and Pike County HIstory 1880.

Hon. James McWilliams was born in Belmont County, Ohio, March 12th, 1802. His father, Alexander McWilliams, was born on shipboard on the way to America; whither his parents were sailing, in the year 1776. He is of Scotch descent. His parents located at Brownsville, PA, in which state he received his early education.

At the age of 22, he was married to Miss Jane Paxton, of Fayette County, PA. The fruits of that union were a family of three children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the youngest. Mrs. McWilliams died about the year 1803.

Her husband married to his second wife, a short time afterwards, by whom he had a family of eleven children. Mr. McWilliams died at the age of 65, at his residence in Ohio, where he had moved.

The subject of this sketch received most of his education in the schools of Ohio. Previous to his marriage, his time was largely employed on his father's farm. In 1824, he was married to Margaret, daughter of Alexander Latimer, formerly of Scotland. They had a family of eight children, only four of whom are now living.

In 1834 Mr. McWilliams removed to Illinois, landing at Naples, where he spent the winter. The spring following, he located on a farm near Griggsville, Pike County. On the 28th day of December 1838, his wife died at their residence.

In June 1839, he was married to his present wife, then Miss Lucretia Prescott, who is a native of Groton, Massachusetts.

In 1838, Mr. McWilliams was elected to seat in the legislature of Illinois as representative from Pike County, being the Democratic candidate, where he served a term of two years. The first session was held at Vandalia, and the second in Springfield. It was probably through his exertions more than any other man, that Griggsville enjoys its present railroad facilities, he having taken an active and prominent part in securing the road. Credit is also due him for the fact that the town is free from railroad debt, in the shape of bonds, he having taken a foremost part in the financial plans for liquidating the debt.

In 1848, Mr. McWilliams engaged in the lumber trade, which business he has since carried on. During the war he was a staunch supporter of President Lincoln's, using his means and exerting his influence at all times to encourage a bold and energetic prosecution of the war.

His son, Capt. John McWilliams, served for ninety days in the 8th regiment of Illinois volunteers, commanded by Col. Ogelsby. Immediately after returning home, he re-enlisted, and was with Sherman during his celebrated march to the sea.

At present, Mr. McWilliams is residing at his beautiful residence in Griggsville, enjoying excellent health.


  1. James McWilliams - Margaret Nixon, Ohio
  2. World Family Tree Vol. 18, Ed. 1


view all

James McWilliams's Timeline

March 12, 1802
Belmont, Ohio, United States
July 3, 1827
Age 25
Belmont, Belmont, Ohio, United States
January 15, 1832
Age 29
Belmont, Ohio, United States
July 31, 1883
Age 81
Griggsville, Pike, Illinois, United States