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Welcome to the Willis DNA Project! 

We maintain a database of DNA profiles for men whose last name is Willis. The purpose is to aid in family research. All Willises are welcome to participate.  Participants' names are confidential. Our database is an approved project of Family Tree DNA, Inc., a leading DNA testing company for genealogy.

Earliest known Willis-surname patrilineal ancestors of our project participants are listed below. If you are a man whose surname is Willis, a DNA test may show that you are related to one of these men.

Abner Willis of Pennsylvania was born between 1745 and 1755 in Cumberland/York/Lancaster counties and died in 1804. He was a blacksmith and a member of the Silver Spring Presbyterian Church. (10917)       

Abner Willis of Southwest Virginia was married to Eve Sifers in 1803 in Wythe County, Virginia. He owned property in Saltville Gap. Sometime between 1810 and 1820, he moved to Russell County, Virginia. Known sons of Abner are Isaac, Amos, and Richard J. (Southwest VA and Kentucky Group/15233, 64544, 238129, and 203117)

Abraham Willis of Herkimer County, New York was born 1796 in NY. He married Hannah Whaley in 1819. They appeared in the 1820 census in Schuyler, Herkimer County, NY. In the 1850 census they were in Fairfield Township, Huron County, Ohio. They both died in Huron County, Ohio, 1880/1881. Children included: Alpheus David (b.1822 NY - d.1916 OH); James (b.1827 NY); Horace (b.1831 NY - d.1890 OH); Rebecah (b.1834 NY); Sarah E. (b.1839 NY - d.1917 OH); Joseph W. (b.1844 OH - d.1829 OH). The father of Abraham may possibly be Joseph Willis (appearing in the 1810 census of Schuyler, Herkimer, NY).  (The Northeastern Group/64317)

Agerton Willis was born about 1727, and died about 1777 in Bladen County, North Carolina. His son  Joseph Willis, a Baptist Minister, was born in Bladen in 1752 and died in 1854 in Allen Parish, Louisiana. (The Agerton Willis Group/B100616 and 562747)
Amiel Willis of Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia was born about 1772 in North Carolina, according to a census record of his daughter Peggy. A grandson thought he was born in Scotland. Amiel married Polly Hix in Greenbrier County on February 19, 1799. They had many children. (197455)

Andrew Willis of Maryland died intestate in Caroline County, MD in 1778. He was a Quaker who owned a tract called Friendship/Friendship Regulated in Fork Hundred about five miles north of Federalsburg. His children were four sons Thomas (m. Sinai Ricketts), Andrew (m. Sarah), Ezekiel (m. Mary), and Elijah (who died before 1778, m. unknown, and had children Joseph and an unknown daughter who likely married Isaac Collins). Thomas Willis deeded parts of Friendship Regulated in 1778 to the three surviving sons plus Joseph and Isaac Collins, probably in the right of Elijahís daughter. (The Maryland Group/MK60331 and MK60332)

Andrew Jackson Willis of Alabama was born in 1815 in the Mississippi Territory and in 1818 moved to Franklin County, Alabama, with his mother Mary (or Maria) and two siblings by covered wagon. His father is unknown at this time. He married Atimissa Sparks and had numerous children. He fought and was wounded at Gaines Mill in the Civil War while serving in the 26th Alabama Regiment. He died in 1880. (Andrew Jackson Willis of Alabama/65516,883587)

Austin Willis of North Carolina was born about 1820 in North Carolina. He married Edney Cook on December 26, 1846. Austin was a blacksmith for the North Carolina railroad, in "Company Shop," North Carolina. He served as a private in the Civil War in Company K, 47th North Carolina Regiment (Alamance Minutemen). He died about 1880 in North Carolina. His son, John Willis, was born in 1850 and died about 1900 in Nottoway County, Virginia.  (The Southern Group/20880)
Benjamin Willis of Caswell County, North Carolina was born in Caswell County in 1790. He married Susannah Chandler. He died in Webster County, Missouri in 1867. His son Joseph Willis was born in Caswell County in 1835 and died in 1863 in Webster County.  (The North Carolina Group/219583)
Benjamin Willis of North Carolina was born in North Carolina about 1765. According to his grandson Stephen Morgan Willis (1844-1931), Benjamin's father, whose name was not stated, emigrated from England. Stephen further said that when Benjamin was a young man, he moved from Cleveland County to Mitchell County. Records show that in 1796, Benjamin was living in Rutherford County, which is just west of Cleveland County. A known son of Benjamin is Rev. Thomas Willis (husband of Keziah Grindstaff), whose Willis-surname descendants lived in Mitchell County for many generations. (The North Carolina Group/90449)
Britton Willis (1758-1845) (Compiled by Betty Boone and Joy Herron, 5 March 2010) was born in North Carolina and all information which has surfaced, including his Revolutionary War pension application, place his year of birth as 1758. He also tells us, via his pension application, that he moved to South Carolina when young, and at age 17 or 18, while living at Saluda Old Town, he was recruited as a Minute Man to serve "on the frontiers of Georgia." He remained in Georgia for several years after the Revolution before returning to South Carolina where he settled in the Pendleton area. It is not known exactly in which year he moved back to South Carolina, but he was there by the time of the 1790 census. In 1806 he sold his lands in South Carolina  and moved his family  to Muhlenberg Co., Kentucky, where he lived for the remainder of his life. His death occurred April 1845 in Muhlenberg County, and his grave has been located on property which he owned at the time. Britton's wife was Ann, and there are clues which suggest she likely was a Gillespie; however, no proof to support this conclusion has been located. Sadly, Gillespie is stated as fact on many internet sites, yet no one has ever, as far as we know, been able to offer the needed documentation.
eight children  were Winnifred (b ca 1781 GA), James (b ca 1783 GA), Matthew G. (b 20 Sep 1785 GA/SC), Thomas (b ca 1790/1794 SC), Ann G (b 27 Aug 1797 SC) , David Gillespie (ca 1799 SC), Jane (b ca 1801 SC) and Peggy (b ca 1803 SC-d bef 1810 KY).   Winnifred and Peggy left no known descendants.  By the early 1820s the migration of the first generation of Willis descendants is beginning. Jane is the  first child of Britton and Ann to leave Kentucky. She and husband James Wright  arrive  in  Illinois  about 1822. Next to leave Kentucky is Winnifred and her husband Thomas Garrard and members of his family; by 1830 the Garrards are living in Alabama. Thomas Willis and his wife Francis Welborn and children settle in Hancock County, Illinois in  February 1832. In 1836 James Willis and his brother David Gillespie Willis are moving their families into the newly opened public lands in Marshall County, Mississippi. And in 1840 Matthew G Willis is moving his family into Johnson County, Arkansas. Ann was Britton and Annís only child who lived to adulthood and did not migrate; Ann and her husband Stephen Wright remained in Muhlenberg County. (The Southern Group/87203, 129808, 155223, 246086)
Britton Willis was born in 1797, perhaps in Georgia., and died in 1838 in Montgomery County, Alabama. A son was  John R. Willis, who was born in 1833 in Montgomery County and died after 1885, probably in Manatee County, Florida.  (The Southern Group/453576)
Christopher Willis was born about 1830 in Ireland, possibly in Dublin. He immigrated to Taylor Creek, Hardin County, Ohio about 1850 where he married Honora Curran, also from Ireland.  (The Ireland Group/110342)
Daniel Willis was born 1805-20 in Stafford, England. He married first a Gaelic-speaking woman of Scottish descent whose first name may have been Seana/Savannah. After she died, Daniel, with his son Thomas, who was born in 1843 in England, emigrated to Louisiana between 1851-1855. Daniel built steam-powered rice mills in Bohemia, Grand/Prairie/Ronquillo, and Plaquemine Parish. Thomas took over Daniel's rice mill, became a rice producer, and also ran a hotel in New Orleans.  (419069)
Daniel Campbell Willis was born 29 Jul 1807 in VA, near Wash. D.C. according to family information. His father is believed to be Robert. He had a brother, Robert, and two sisters, Elizabeth (Betsey) and Catherine. In 1814, the family moved to southern KY near the TN border, according to family information. Daniel moved to Greene Co, IL ca 1826, where he m.1) Elizabeth Green 2 Feb 1832. He m.2) Frances Fears, b. 25 Dec 1813, Grainger Co. TN, on 17 Nov 1834 in Greene Co, IL. Their children were Robert, William, Susan, James (all b. Greene Co, IL), Catherine, John, Samuel, Frances, Sarah (all b. Des Moines Co, IA), Luther, and Alfred (both b. Adair Co, MO). Frances (Fears) Willis d. 22 Jul 1863, Adair Co, MO. Daniel m.3) Frances' sister Martha Ann (Fears) Butler, 11 Jul 1869, also in Greene Co, IL. Daniel was a Methodist. He d. 17 Jul 1882 in Adair Co, MO. (The Southern Group/54942)
Daniel Hicks Willis was born in 1775 in Virginia and died in 1859 in Monroe County, Georgia. He married Rachel Irvin on October 26, 1813, in Jasper County, Georgia, daughter of Joseph Irvin and Jean.  Their children were Jesse Wright Willis (born 1821, Ga.), Robert J. Willis (b. May 28, 1819), Susan O. Willis (b. 1817), Martha M. Willis (b. Oct. 22, 1823), and John Daniel Willis (b. Dec. 31, 1824).  (The Southern Group, 294259 and 431037)
Daniel Solomon Willis was born in 1776 in  North Carolina and died in 1868 in Clinton, Dewitt County, Illinois. One of his sons was David G. Willis, who was born in 1799 in North Carolina or Tennessee and died in 1868 in Clinton. One of the sons of David G. Willis was David Lowery Willis,, born Dec 24, 1829 in Edgar County, Illinois, who married Caroline Bruner(The Tennessee Group/37263 and 643468)
Edward Willis was born in Virginia between 1808 and 1810. He was a blacksmith. He married Sarah Twitty, who was born in South Carolina. They were living in Tennessee in 1840, and in Tippah County, Tishomingo County, and Prentiss County, Mississippi between 1850 and 1880.  Their youngest child was Robert Rowan Willis, who married Rebecca Ann McClung and had a child Edward Eddington Willis, born in Arkansas.  (The Southern Group/293884)
Elijah Willis was born in Georgia in 1809, married Elizabeth Daniel in 1834 in Talbot County, Georgia, and about 1836 or 1837 settled in Autauga County, Alabama. Elijah's father was born in North Carolina. Children of Elijah and Elizabeth were William (born in 1835 in Georgia), John, Mary Francis, James Wesley, George, and Joseph P. (/99629)
Eugene Willis of Mt. Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, was born in 1847 and died in 1933. His parents are believed to be Seth and Mary Willis of Liberty Township, Knox County. (228106)
Evan Etter Willis of York County, Pennsylvania, moved to Texas Township, DeWitt County, Illinois in 1870. His sons were Harry (died young), John, and William. (244148)
Fair Milton Willis was born in 1821 in South Carolina. He spent most of his life in Laurens County.  He married Laurissa Adams (her other name was Eloise) on Christmas Day, 1842. He was a farmer and a member of Dials Methodist Church near Gray Court SC. He had several sons and daughters. Our project participant is descended from Fair's son James Perry Willis, grandson Fair Milton Willis, and great grandson George Kenneth Willis.  (250198)
Francis Willis of Gloucester County, Virginia, husband of Sarah Lewis, was said to be born in 1666 in Ware Parish, Oxfordshire, England. Inferred from information in the will of an uncle, also named Francis, his father was Henry Willis, who was said to be born in England about 1638. Francis died before October 1692 in Gloucester County. His sons were (Col.) Francis Willis (b.abt.1690) and (Col.) Henry Willis (b.abt. 1691). Col. Francis Willis married Ann Rich in 1715. Their children were Francis, John, and Mary. John, the ancestor of one of our project participants, married Mildred Smith and lived in Brunswick County, Virginia. The other son of Francis Willis of Gloucester County, Col. Henry Willis, lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia, which at that time was in Spotsylvania County. Project participants descended from Henry include descendants of Byrd Charles Willis (husband of Mary Lewis) and William Champe Willis (husband of Lucy Taliaferro). Both Byrd Charles Willis and William Champe Willis are sons of Lewis Willis, who was a  son of Henry Willis (born about 1696). Published genealogies of these families include A Sketch of the Willis Family of Virginia, by Byrd Charles Willis and Richard Henry Willis (1898) and A Sketch of the Willis Family, Fredericksburg Branch, by Byrd Charles Willis (1909). (Gloucester County, Virginia Group/29851, 76114, and 196495)
George Willis of Berkshire, England married Elizabeth Binfield in Sunningwell, Berkshire, England, in 1708. (The Berkshire, England Group/183189 and 289737)
George Washington Phillips was born in 1806. According to family tradition, he was born in South Carolina. About 1840, he married Mary Jane McCreight in Talladega County, Alabama. During the 1840s, he settled in Cherokee County, Texas, where he died in 1877. (The South Carolina and Westmoreland PA Group/76670)
Henry Willis of Goochland County, Virginia was born in Goochland County in 1731/1732 and died in Rutherford County, North Carolina in 1810.  His son Joseph Willis Sr., who was born in 1753 and died in 1848,  lived in Cleveland County, North Carolina. Joseph Willis Sr.'s son Joseph Willis Jr., who was born 1789 and died in 1829,  lived in Lincoln County and Cleveland County, North Carolina.  (The North Carolina Group/251661, 491893 and 636482)
Henry Willis of Caswell County, North Carolina married Mary Haddock in May 1783 in Caswell County. He died in 1820 in Caswell County. His sons were William, Nicholas, Benjamin, Henry Jr., and Anderson. Anderson was born Dec. 17, 1800 in Caswell County and moved to Habersham County, Georgia, where his sons W. A., John C., and Drury Dobbins were born. (The North Carolina Group/42272 and 127670)
Henry Willis of Herefordshire was born in 1805 in Colwall, Herefordshire, England. He is believed to be the son of Thomas and Mary. He married Susanna Taylor. Known sons were Joseph Willis, born in Colwall in 1844 and Henry Willis, born in 1845.  (493437)
Henry Willis of Long Island, New York was born in 1628 in or near Warminster, Wiltshire, England. After being persecuted because of his Quaker religion, he emigrated to Long Island in 1674. His elder son, William, remained in Long Island. His younger son, John, settled in Pennsylvania.  John founded branches of Willis-surname descendants in Pennsylvania (York County), Virginia (Franklin County), Kentucky (Mercer County), Ohio (Lawrence County), Missouri (Monroe County), and elsewhere. A five-book genealogy of Henry Willis of Long Island was published  by David W. Willis, the administrator of this website.  The books include:Henry Willis of Long Island, Vol. 1:  1550 - 1800 (2008);  Henry Willis of Long Island, Vol. 2:  Northern Branches (2012); Henry Willis of Long Island, Vol. 3:  Southern Ohio Branch (2013); Henry Willis of Long Island, Vol. 4:  Isaiah Willis (2009); and Henry Willis of Long Island, Vol. 5:  Other Branches (2010).   (Henry Willis of Long Island/8404, 8430, 10112, 10381, 10862, 27840, 30786, 85974, 141333, 167028, 168427, 171536, 258748, and 403708)
Henry Willis of Washington County, Virginia was born about 1746.  He was possibly a son of John Willis, who died in Botetourt County, Virginia about 1770, father of Levina Willis (m. Peter Kinder). Henry settled in the area of Maiden Springs Fort on the Clinch River in Washington County, Virginia. He married Mary Cochran. In 1774 he fought in Lord Dunmore's War. About 1799 he is believed to have moved to Pulaski County, Kentucky, where he died about 1818. His children were John, Daniel, George, Levina (m. William Clark), Margaret (m. Charles Dotson/Dodson), Elizabeth (m. Robert Hunt), Samuel (m. Minerva Moore), Henry (m. Sarah Moore), Lewis (m. Rachel Cox), probably Nancy (m. Jesse Williams), Polly (b.1795), and Patsy (b.1805).  (Henry Willis of Washington County, Virginia/67855, 73949, 107970, 138115, 198137, and 236121)
Henry S. Willis of Scott County, Kentucky was born October 19, 1810 either in Virginia or in Kentucky. On April 7, 1836 he married Jane Parker Robinson. His son Richard Perry Willis was born January 16, 1837, married Keturah Ann Yates in Alabama on January 16, 1860, and had twelve children. Henry's other known children were Mary, Catharine, Henry, Jane, William, Robert, James E., and Nannie. (The Southern Group/136256)

Isaiah Willis of Georgia was born in Virginia in 1764. In 1793 he married Susannah Cooper. He lived on Pistol Creek, in Lincoln County, Georgia, where he bought land on December 24, 1800. He died in 1815, without a will. His widow, Susannah, married Guilford Pullin. Isaiah is said to have had eleven children. Known children are Enos, Martin, Jane, Mary, Isaiah Carter, and Cynthia (Lincoln County Archives, Book K). Probable other children are Robert, Joseph, and Brittony. Isaiah's son Enos Willis married Sarah Jane Pullen in Lincoln County.  Isaiah's son Isaiah Carter Willis (1808-1880) married Eveline Wilkerson (or Wilkinson) 1830 in Wilkes Co. GA. Children of Isaiah Carter Willis were: Susan J. (Jones), George W., Edward W., Carter J., Julia A.S., and William M. Isaiah Carter Willis was a confederate soldier at age 52 in Company I, 46th Regiment, Georgia Infantry. He and his family moved to Cusseta, Chattahoochee, Georgia after the war (1870).  Isaiah Carter Willis' son William M., was born in 1848 in Wilkes Co., married Margaret Louisa Parkman, and migrated to Oak Fusca, Tallapoosa, Alabama in the same year Isaiah Carter died (1880). He later moved to Comanche, Texas. Children: Charley M., Carra A., William P., Mary L., and Luella M. (The Maryland Group/201363)

Jack Willis was born in Ketchum, Idaho, about 1901. He was a mining engineer. (113004)
Jackson Hal Willis was born in Missouri. He married Bernice Luthi in South Dakota.  (Henry Willis of Washington County, Virginia/478826)

Jacob Willis of Morris County, New Jersey was born about 1770 in New Jersey. They had the following children:  David (m. Mary), Mary (m. Peter Beatty), Sarah (m. John Sheldon), Nancy (m. Nicholas Valentine), Phebe (m. Isaac Morgan), Jacob (m. Sally Beatty), Isaac (m. Sally), Eliza (m. Ira Little), Benjamin (m. first Nancy, m. second Sally--research by maverick1338 has shown that Benjamin did not have a wife named Mary Eakley), Aaron (m. Louisa Estler), and Hannah (m. Thomas Morgan)Jacob died in 1841 in Morris County, New Jersey.  (Joseph Willis of Morris Co. NJ/205702)

Jacob Willis of Rutherford County,  North Carolina was born in 1781 and died in 1828. He married Lydia Black. He had twelve children. His seven sons were William Q. Willis, James Black Willis, Johnson Willis, John Willis, Jacob Craven Willis, Jesse Richardson Willis, and Joseph Gallishaw Willis. James, Johnson and John moved to Boone and Marion Counties in Arkansas in the late 1840s. The remaining four sons stayed in and around Rutherford/Cleveland County, but their later descendants spread into Tennessee, South Carolina, and Virginia.   (The Maryland Group/423854) 
James Willis of Jackson County, Alabama was born in 1827 in Alabama, and died between 1870 and 1880. He married Margaret Isbell between 1845 and 1847 in Jackson County. She was the daughter of James Isbell and Elizabeth Birdwell. Their children were Susannah A., Calvin Ceveire, John Henry, Mary Arezine, Nancy A., James Monroe, William Z., and Anna M. Family Tree DNA has determined that James Willis of Alabama is a direct patrilineal descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages, who established a dynasty of chieftains that dominated Ireland for six centuries.  (The Alabama Group/126553)
James Willis of North Carolina  was born about 1755 in Cumberland County, Virginia, and died in 1796 in Chatham County, North Carolina. He married Elizabeth Wilson, daughter of Benjamin Wilson, also of Cumberland County. Children mentioned in James' will were Rebecca Caudle, Sally Crow, Suckey Willis, Jemima Willis, Wilson Willis, Larkin Willis (born in 1777), Molly Willis, Nannie Willis, Elijah Willis, and Elisha Willis. (The North Carolina Group/118615, 348289, 415085)
James Willis of Sunderland, England (middle name probably Wattson) was born in 1844 in Sunderland (historically part of County Durham), on the northeast coast of England. He came to America and in 1861, during the Civil War, enlisted in the 198th Pennsylvania Volunteers. He was captured in September 1864 and imprisoned in Andersonville prison. After the War, he returned to England, and in 1868, in Stepney (now part of London), he married Charlotte Emily Snowden, who was born in London. She gave birth to their son Albert Edward Willis in 1877. Albert emigrated to Calgary, Canada.  (272878)
James Willis of Tennessee was born in the 1790's in North Carolina. He later moved to Tennessee.  (The Tennessee Group/9461)
James Willis of Wedmore, Somerset, England was born in 1741 in Wedmore, married Lynda Wade on April 11, 1762, in Wedmore, and died in 1812, also in Wedmore. His son James Willis Jr. was born in 1771 in Wedmore, married Hester Bunn in on April 27, 1796, in Wedmore, and died in 1841 in Anaford, Somerset. James Willis Jr.'s son John Willis was born in 1813 in Wedmore. He married Mary Rogers on May 12, 1835, in Wedmore. Their children were Samuel George, Benjamin, Phoebe, Charles, Mary, and Hester. Their son, Samuel George Willis, was born November 23, 1843, in Wedmore, married Mary Willey, who was born in 1855, and died in 1919 in Devonport, New Zealand. Samuel had a son Albert Willis, who was born in 1884 in New Zealand. Albert married first Ellen Sargent Montague, who was born in 1878, and married second Margaret Mary Thompson, who was born in 1921. Albert came to Ontario, Canada to live and raise his family. He died in 1972. Another son of John Willis (b. 1813) and Mary Rogers--Charles Willis--was born February 7, 1841, in Wedmore, married Mary Ann Moses on October 28, 1871, in Emmetsburg, Palo Alto County, Iowa, and died May 9, 1919, in Ruthven, Iowa. (275376)
James H. Willis of Greene County, Tennessee and Grundy County, Missouri married Hila Martha Johnson on September 13, 1847 in Greene County, Tennessee. They moved to Grundy County, Missouri in 1851. (47200)
James Monroe Willis of Georgia was born September 29, 1858. On December 5, 1882, in Meriwether County, he married Alice Cordelia Clark. Their children were Ola, Grover Cleveland, Effie Lou, and Henry Grady. He died August 9, 1896 in Rex, Clayton County, Georgia. (403999)
James Washington Willis was born in North Carolina about 1800 and married there Mary Rebecca (last name possibly Carpenter). Their eldest son Daniel was born in North Carolina in 1820. Daughters Lucretia, Avis, and Lucina were born 1822-1826 in Tennessee. Sons John and Moses and daughter Mary (Polly) were born 1828-1832 in Alabama. Rebecca, Sarah, Nancy Jane, and William were born 1835-1842 in Tennessee. James and his wife are buried at the Antioch Freewill Baptist Church (Possum Trot) Cemetery near Burnsville, Tishomingo Co., Mississippi, where they moved about 1840. Their son Daniel is reputed to have been in the "Old Army" (U.S. Army prior to the Civil War) and to have been stationed "out West." Daniel married Elizabeth Freeze and had seven children:  Lucretia, Lucina, Lucy C., Rebecca C., Sarah A.M., James Reynolds, and William M. James Reynolds Willis was born and raised in Mississippi, married Laura Zetty Burcham, and about 1903 folled his in-laws to Upshur Co., Texas. His children were:  William Clifton, Priscilla, Timoth Asbury, Agbert Amacie (Bert), Thomas Earl, Vinnie E., Tessie Lee, Avis Dee, and Damond Clark Willis. William Clifton Willis, born  in  Booneville, Mississippi, married Mary Ollie Pepper, and had Julian Rex, Dalton Garth, Eugene Dale, Gordon Bert, William Cecil (Billy), Shirley Marie, Laura Marilynn (Toley), and Janey Cliftine Willis. (The Tennessee Group/182643)
Jesse Willis of Georgia and Dale County, Alabama was born about 1810 in Georgia. He married Martha (last name unknown) and had two girls and a boy named Iverson Asbury Willis in Georgia before moving to Dale County, Alabama, where he was a farmer listed in the 1840, 1850, and 1860 census. His son Iverson Asbury Willis served in "I" Company, Alabama 33rd Infantry Regiment, in the Civil War and was killed on December 31, 1862 at the battle of Stone River at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  (Craven County, North Carolina Group/60675)
Jesse Willis of Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Indiana was born May 3, 1761 in York County, Pennsylvania, and was raised in the household of Joseph Hutton and Betty (Willis) Hutton. About June 1783 he married Sarah Copeland, also of York County.  Their children were William, Isaac, John, Jesse, David, Rachel, Mary, and Abner. Jesse Willis was a Quaker who sought to abolish slavery. His early descendants lived in Wayne County, Indiana, and Dallas County, Iowa.  (Jesse Willis Group/31966 and 77992)
Jimmy Wayne Willis Sr. was born possibly in Colorado, probably in the early-to-mid 1930s. He married  Margot Garey, who was born in 1936. They had three children:  Jack Warren Willis, Jimmy Willis Jr., and Jerri Ann Willis. (The Southern Group/277736)
John Willis of Dorchester County, Maryland was born between 1650 and 1660 and died in 1712 in Dorchester County. He was the Crier for the Court of Dorchester County. He owned a parcel of land named "Wantage", indicating that he may have originally been from the village of the same name in Berkshire County, England. Known children were John Willis Jr. (born before 1690 and died in 1764 in Caroline County, Maryland), William Willis, Grace Willis, Eliza Willis, and Andrew Willis (born about 1690 and died in 1738). John Willis Jr. and Andrew had children. John Jr. had sons John, Joshua (b.1710), and Richard (b.1718) by his first wife, and John (b.1731) and Jarvis (b.1735) by his second. John Jr. owned land in Caroline County that he willed to his second son John. John Jr.'s son Richard, who was born about 1718, died about 1763 in Caroline County. A son of this Richard Willis was Richard Willis Jr., who was born in 1760 and died in 1823 in Caroline County. He is the ancestor of two participants of our project. John Willis Sr.'s son Andrew had sons William, Thomas (b.1715), and Andrew by his first wife and Richard, George, and John by his second. Andrew owned land in Dorchester County that he left to sons Richard and George. Andrew's son John had a son Jarvis (b.1758), who received a Revolutionary War pension for his service with the Second Continental Line, having enlisted in February 1777 in Maryland. He later moved to Stokes County, North Carolina, Franklin County, Tennessee, and Lawrence County, Alabama. Participants in our project include descendants of three different sons of Jarvis: Charles B., Henry, William, and John. Andrew's son William (b.1717) had grandsons--James (b.1780), Jacob (1782-1828) and William (1775-1866)--who also are ancestors of participants in our project.  (The Maryland Group/10590, 20484, 50374, 56029, 90447, 148947, 201363, 423854, 508395, 508627, 655491, and B9291)
John Willis of Ireland was born in 1828 in Ireland (possibly Mallow, County Cork).  His parents may have been James Willis and Catherine Deluhery. He emigrated to Canada about 1850. He married Harriette, who was born  about 1814 in Canada. About 1857 he emigrated to the U.S. and lived in Waddington, New York.  His children, all born in Canada, were John (born about 1852), William (born about 1854), and Jane Anne (born about 1855). He died in December 1863 in Andersonville Civil War Prison, Macon. Georgia.  (B2816)
John Willis of King George County, Virginia was born in 1648 and died in 1715. He acquired land in King George County in 1669. His first wife was Sarah (last name unknown), by whom he had sons John Jr. and William. His second wife was Matilda (last name unknown) by whom he had a son named Charles. John Sr.'s eldest son John Jr. died without heirs, so 2. William inherited John Sr.ís estate. William was born in 1680. His wife was Sarah Hudson and their children were John, William Jr., and Sarah. After Williamís death in 1717, Williamís son 3.John inherited the estate. John was born in 1710 and died in 1762. He married Elizabeth Plunkett in 1734. He lived in King George County and had 12 children. One of his sons was 4. William Willis Sr., who was born in 1742. He married Elizabeth ďBetsyĒ Garnett, and they had 13 children. William Sr. died May 21, 1833 in Boone County, Kentucky. Descendants of three of William's sons are participants in this project. The three sons (all born in Culpeper County, Virginia) are 5. William Willis Jr. (born in 1760), 5. Edmund Terrill Willis (born in 1764), and 5. Benjamin Garnet Willis (born in 1792). A history of the early years of the family is The Willis Family of the Northern Neck of Virginia, 1669-1737, by Peggy Frances Rush (1998).  (Old Rappahannock, Virginia/73893, 193434, 335383)
John Willis of Sussex County, Delaware was born about 1745. He married Ann Short in Sussex County on  June 6, 1768.  He served in a Maryland militia unit in 1781.  He died in Sussex County in 1817. A son Short Adam Willis, husband of Mary Rich, was born April 13, 1783 in Sussex County. He served in the Delaware Militia in 1813. He moved to Caroline County, Maryland before 1820, and died November 6, 1860 in Caroline County. Children of Short Adam Willis included Arthur John Willis, Peter James Willis Sr., Sarah Ann Willis, William Henry Willis, Richard Short Willis, Mary Willis,  and Thomas Alexander Willis. Several sons moved to Houston/Galveston area of Texas in the early to mid 1800s.  (The Delaware Group/279781 and 294076)
John Willis of Kent County, Maryland died in 1699. He married Dorothy Jones. His children were Mary, John, and Richard. Richard was born in 1697 and died in 1748. He married Elenor Crowley. His children were John, Richard Jr., Cornelius, William, Mary, Agnes, and Ellin. Richard's son Richard Jr., who is an ancestor of one of our members, died in 1789. One of Richard Jr.'s sons was Joel Willis (born in 1765), who is an ancestor of one of our members. (The Wiltshire Group/312741 , 568741)
John Willis of Virginia and Alabama was born between 1760 and 1770 in Virginia. He died after 1830 in Alabama.  (The Alabama Group/MI54075)
John Williston was born about 1703 in Massachusetts and moved to Carteret County, North Carolina about 1723. Williston research has shown that John Williston of Carteret appears to be the grandson of John Williston and Abigail Salisbury of Milton, Massachusetts. He died about 1775 in Williston, Carteret County. He married Mary (last name possibly Martin). His children were Thomas Martin, Ann, Mary, Samuel, Ebenezer, Sarah, Esther, Tamer, Abigail, Daniel, Sabra, and John. By 1810, many of his patrilineal descendants had shortened their last name to Willis. (The Williston/Willis Group/79985, 165036, 268264, 881531)

John C. Willis was born August 28, 1834 in Ireland (probably in County Down). He married Margaret Caldwell, who was born May 21, 1830 in Drumballyroney, Drumarkin Township, Barony of Dromore, County Down, Ireland. He immigrated to San Francisco in 1851. He was a Methodist. A son Robert John Willis was born June 11, 1862 in San Francisco, California, and a son James was born May 30, 1867.  (69640)

John Daniel Willis of Edgefield County, South Carolina was born in 1780 and died before 1840.  He married Margaret Williams, who was born in 1790 and died in 1880.  Their children were Daniel, Edenton, Darling, and Sarah (Willis) Sawyer. His son Daniel was born December 15, 1812, in Edgefield, married Emaline Fox, and died May 10, 1893, in South Carolina. Children of Daniel and Emaline were John, Darling, Solon Horace (died in Georgia), and Sally (died young).  (The South Carolina and Westmoreland  PA Group/B5903 and 83516)
John H. Willis, possibly a son of Isaac Willis (son of Robert B. Willis) was born probably in Maryland. He married Rachel Weekly in Belmont, Ohio, on September 20, 1855. A Civil War veteran, he probably enlisted October 21, 1862, Suffolk, Virginia, and reenlisted February 1, 1864 at Portsmouth, Virginia. He deserted the 4th Artillery, Company D, on May 26, 1865, at the War's end. He had a son Henry Lincoln Willis, who is believed to have been born in Ohio in 1864. (181410)
John Henry Willis was born on June 23, 1851, in Wilmington, Delaware. He died on March 14, 1931, in Middleburg, Pennsylvania. His father was possibly John Willis. (232991)
John William Willis of Baltimore, Maryland and Warren County, Ohio married Nancy Hite (or  Hill) on Dec. 13, 1798 in Baltimore, Maryland, at the 1st Presbyterian Church. George Willis signed the wedding certificate and James A. Willis was a witness. A son Shelah Willis was born in June 20, 1805 in North Carolina and died May 4, 1885 in Pipestone, Berrien Springs, MichiganA son William H. (Billy) Willis, a minister, was born March 27, 1812 in Warren County, Ohio.  (The Maryland Group/50374, 785030)
(Rev.) Joseph Willis of Craven County, North Carolina was born in the early 1700s and died in 1784 in Craven County. In his will he named six sons:  Joseph, Thomas, Caleb, Richard, Jesse, and Ephraim.  (Craven County, North Carolina Group/46443, 59200, and 228655)
Joseph Willis of Morris County, New Jersey, born c. 1680 (wife Patience Thompson), was a blacksmith in New Jersey. He had four children, Joseph (II) born around 1721 (wife Abigail), Benjamin, Mary and Anne. Benjamin married Abigail Winans; when she died he married her cousin Anna Winans. Son Joseph (II), in turn, had a son named Joseph (III), born 1759  (wife Grace Winans). Joseph (III) moved from Essex County, New Jersey, to Greene County, Pennsylvania, prior to 1780, to Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1822, and died in Jefferson County, Ohio, in 1843. (Joseph Willis of Morris Co. NJ/95119 and 101870)
Joseph Willis of Patrick County, Virginia was born in 1772 and died in 1832. He married Sally Nowlin on June 4, 1794. Their children were Elizabeth, Greenville, Sarah, Delia, Charlotte, Ruth, John, Patsy, and James. Greenville's line stayed primarily in the Patrick/Floyd area. According to family oral tradition, some of Joseph's and Greenville's sons moved to Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio.  (The Southern Group/51081, 445133, 819549)
Joshua Willis was born February 6, 1814 and died April 30,  1875. He was married to Mary Rachel McIntosh, who was born January 19, 1824 and died February 7, 1905. They moved to Missouri in 1858. (Old Rappahannock, Virginia/500353)
Josiah Q. Williston was born about 1793 in Massachusetts. He was a tailor. He married Elizabeth Farnham, who was born about 1804 in New Hampshire. Josiah lived in Rockingham, Windham County, Vermont. His children were Helen Marie, Lucy A., Harriet E., Mary C., Josiah F., Christopher Lincoln, and Angeline. (The Williston/Willis Group/268264)
Louden Willis was born in February 14, 1786, in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. He may possibly be closely related to the William Willis who died in Mecklenburg County about 1792. Louden moved with his mother to Georgia. On May 27, 1815, he married first Priscilla Thompson in Greene County, Georgia. On September 30, 1819, in Greene County, Louden married second Susan D. Terrell. He died February 19, 1856, in Greene County. (The Southern Group/248674, 270059, 277736)
Major Willis of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and Maury County, Tennessee married Mary Jones in Sumner County, Tennessee, in 1807. Major Willis and a William Willis are reported to have migrated from Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to Tennessee about 1800. His children were Ann Willis, Dorcas Willis, and Seaborn Willis. His daughter Ann Willis married William Scott in Maury County, Tennessee. His son Seaborn Willis, who was born about 1809 in North Carolina and died before January 1860 in Maury County, Tennessee, married Elizabeth Southall, daughter of John and Judie Flippen Southall of Williamson County, Tennessee. Seaborn's son, William M. Willis (born about 1833, Maury County, Tennessee) states his father was a son of Major Willis (ref: Moore questionnaire of Wm. M. Willis in state archives, Century Review of Maury County, page 235). Seaborn's other children are Henry, Lola L., Richard T., John, Fanny, Eliza and Susan. (The Southern Group/150854)
Mathew Willis of Yorkshire, England was born in 1799 in  Carperby Cum Thoresby, Yorkshire, England.  He came to the United States and is buried in a family farm cemetery near Mineral Point and Linden, Wisconsin.  His son was Anthony. His father is believed to be John Willis and John's father is believed to be Thomas Willis. (78106)
McKinzie Willis was born about 1799 in Kentucky.  He married Mary Ann Logsdon on May 3, 1820, in Madison County, Kentucky. He later moved to Estill County, Kentucky. He died in 1866. His children were Edward D. Willis, Anna Rice Willis, Susan Willis, Amanda Willis, Merrill Merle Willis, Martha Willis, William A. Willis, Mariam Willis, and Lucinda Willis. (Southwest VA and Kentucky Group/192034, 211916, 809080)
Melatiah Willis of Vermont was born in 1767 and died in Vermont in 1823. He married Martha Seaver, who was born in 1767 and died in Vermont in 1813. Both are buried in Corinth Center Cemetery, Orange County, Vermont.  Their children were Lucinda (b.1790 - d.1845 VT), Melatiah Jr. (b.1791 - d.1872 VT), Shubeal (b.1794 - d.1865 VT), and Benjamin (b.1798 VT - d.1891 VT), all buried in Corinth Center Cemetery, and Delia (b. abt. 1800 VT). Both Benjamin and Delia were in the same household in the 1880 census in Corinth VT. Shubeal Willis married Lydia Bagley, of Vermont, in 1822. A son was Jonathan Bagley Willis, who was born September 23, 1825 in Corinth, and moved to Pueblo County, Colorado. (The Northeastern Group/178713)
Peter Willis of Rutherford County, North Carolina and Coffee County, Tennessee was born ca. 1765 and first appears in the 1790 census of Rutherford Co. NC.  Peter married Frances, daughter of Jesse Tate of Rutherford Co.  In 1816 Peter sold 650 acres on the Broad River and moved to Tennessee with his sons Joseph, Anderson F[owler?], David, William Bryson and George, and his sons-in-law Saul Camp (wife Mary) and Jesse Reynolds (wife Frances). Daughter Lucinda married John Russey in 1819. Peter and his family all settled near Hillsboro in Franklin County, which became Coffee Co. TN in 1836. He died in 1840 leaving a deed of gift which names his children.  (The Southern Group/30700)
Phillip Willis was born in 1795 in either Glasgow or Ireland and died in 1839 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. A descendant David Willis was born in Manchester, England and died in 1947 in Akron, Ohio. (The Northern Ireland Group/894459)
Richard Willis of Derbyshire, England was baptized on October 26, 1765 in Whitwell, Derbyshire, England, married Sarah Varah on May 24, 1790 in the parish of Braithwell, in south Yorkshire, England, lived in Bramley/Wickersley in Braithwell, and died on October 23, 1814. They had at least four children (Joseph, Mary, Sarah, and William). His brother, Joseph, married Mary Varah (sister of Sarah). Richard's father was probably Joseph Willis, born 1732, who married Elizabeth Starkey, lived in Whitwell, and fathered at least seven children. At one time the Willis family in Wickersley appear to have been quarry owners providing grind stones to the steel industry in Sheffield. (127927)
Richard Willis of Goochland County, Virginia was born between 1725 and 1730. His children were (1) William, (2) Richard Jr. (3) Sterling, (4) Sherod (Sherwood), (5) John, (6) Drury, (7) Thomas, (8) Edward, (9) Sarah, and (10) Anne (Nancy). (1) William died before April 9, 1793 in  Mecklenburg County, NC. (2) Richard Jr. was born 25 Feb. 1746, moved to Spartanburg County, SC, and married Druscilla Barnett. (3) Sterling was born in 1758 and moved to Todd County, KY. (4) Sherod (Sherwood) moved to Jessamine County, KY. (5) John was born in 1756 and died 11 Nov.., 1829 in Jessamine County, Kentucky. He had several sons. The first was Richard (born. 4 Sep. 1795 Pittsylvania County, VA, died 1863, Sullivan County, IN), who had a son named William, born 1838. The second was John Augustine Willis (born 12 Apr. 1800, Pittsylvania County, died 27 Jan. 1886, Sullivan County), who had a son named William, born 1839. Another son of John Willis of Jessamine County was James A. Willis, who married Mahala Walters. (6) Drury moved to Madison County, KY. (7) Thomas married May Yates 18 Aug. 1789 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. They moved to Lincoln County, Tennessee. (8) Edward was born in 1764 and moved to Garrard County, KY. (9) Sarah married John Allgood. (10) Anne (Nancy) married William Hopwood.  (The Southern Group/113965, 149433, 153009, 153703, 176129, 209704)
Richard Willis of North Carolina was born in 1720 and died in 1800 in North Carolina. According to family tradition, he is descended from one of seven "brothers" who emigrated from England in 1647 and settled in New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Virginia. His son Richard Jr. married Catherine Brighan. Richard Jr. lived in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Illinois. (Craven County, North Carolina Group/N4693)
Richard Willis Jr. , husband of Martha, was imported to Middlesex, Virginia in 1699. A son of Richard Willis Jr. was James Willis, who was born February 10, 1716/17 in Virginia and died December 9, 1798, in Craven County, North Carolina. According to a Bible record, James' children were John, William, Francis, Joshua, Joel, Jacob, Joseph, and Isaac. James' son Joel Willis, born  May 4, 1752, husband of Amy, had several children, including William Willis. William had a son William Jasper Willis Jr. (husband of Minerva Stafford), who was born August 11, 1815, and died August 5, 1887, near Barnesville, Upson County, Georgia. A published genealogy of the family, which includes the Bible record, is Two Centuries with a Willis Family and Their Kin, by Douglas M. Willis (Dallas, 1963). (Craven County, North Carolina Group/166383 and 205636)
Robert Willis/Willes of Wiltshire, England (son of Robert) was born in 1702 in the village of Rowde, Wiltshire. He died in 1761 in Southampton, Hampshire, England. A descendant Robert Willis (or Willes) of Hampshire, was born in Hampshire in 1764 and died in London in 1806. (The Wiltshire Group/276165)
Robert Willis of Georgia was born about 1700 and married twice. His first marriage was to a woman possibly named Agnes, with whom he had a son Robert Willis (Jr.), born about 1721. His second marriage, about 1734, was to Mary Price of Goochland County, Virginia. She was born about 1711 and was a daughter of John Price and Hannah Williamson. From his marriage to Mary, Robert had sons Price Willis (born 1735) and Williamson Willis (born 1737).  (The Southern Group/234464, 294258, 319387, 453576)
Robert Willis of Indiana was born about 1784 in Virginia according to the 1850 census, Randolph County, Indiana. According to family tradition Robert's family was from North Carolina. Robert married first Mary Blair, widow of Eli McVay, on May 17, 1806 and second Mary Mumpower on February 14, 1816, both  marriages in Grainger County, Tennessee. Robert died in Randolph County, Indiana, in 1857. Robert's sons were Eli (b. January 24, 1815), Benjamin A. (b. 1817), William Henry (b. January 31, 1828), and Thomas S. (b. May 9, 1829) and his daughters are believed to be Louisa J., Frances M., and Sarah. Robert's sons, except for Benjamin, moved to Van Buren County, Michigan, in 1864 or shortly after. (The Southern Group/99549)

Robert Willis of Pennsylvania was, according to family tradition, born in Scotland about 1760, went to Ireland with his family as a youth, then immigrated to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in the Colonies. His first confirmed record in America is his membership in Captain John Allen's Company of Militia, 2nd Battalion of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, on June 15, 1782. He lived in Westmoreland/Fayette County, Pennsylvania, through at least 1800, and died in Belmont County, Ohio, in 1830. He had several children, including William Willis, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1790 and died in Iowa in 1854. (The South Carolina and Westmoreland  PA Group/N32250 and 148698)

Robert Willis of Williston, Barnwell County, South Carolina was born in 1772 and died in 1844 in Barnwell County. He had eleven children, including two sons who are ancestors of participants in our project. One was John Turner Willis, was born in 1798 and died in 1841, also in Barnwell County. The other was Patrick Vardell Willis (The Barnwell, SC Group/383474 and 535848)
Robert Lee Willis of Cass County, Texas was born in 1799 and died in 1892. (The Maryland Group/426414)

Roger Willis of Sudbury, Massachusetts married Ruth Hill in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1664.  (32435)

Rush Willis of Hinds County, Mississippi, son of Spencer, was born about 1843. He and his father were slaves on a plantation whose owner was named Smith. (225368)
Solomon Willis was a slave born in 1810 in North Carolina, possibly in New Hanover County. His children included Joshua, Solomon, Fred, Wesley, Julia, Jesse, and Martha. Solomon Willis Jr. married Clara Cutler, and lived in Houston County, Georgia. Solomon Sr's son Fred Willis lived in Houston County in 1870, then moved to Eastman, Arkansas. Solomon Sr's son Wesley Willis lived in Eastman, Arkansas.  (B4183)
 Stephen Willis of New York was born in 1802 in Hoosick Falls, Rensselaer County, New York. (The Northeastern Group/246488)
Stephen Willis of Virginia was born in 1703 probably in New Kent County, Virginia. He married Susan Dabney, daughter of George Dabney of King William County. They had a son, Stephen Willis, born in 1725, who lived in Hanover County, Virginia. Stephen Willis of Hanover County married first Elizabeth Dabney, widow of John Crutchfield. Their son George Willis, who was born 1754 in Hanover County and died 1827 in Wilkes County, Georgia, is the ancestor of on one of the participants in the Willis DNA project. Stephen Willis of Hanover County married second Susannah Terrell, widow of Edward Garland. One of their sons, Stephen Dabney Willis, who was born 1760 in Hanover County, is the ancestor of another participant in the Willis DNA project.  (The Southern Group/250529, 250704, 489049)
Stephen D. Thomas Willis of Marshall County, Tennessee was born in Marshall County on November 12, 1812, and died January 15, 1887.  (The Southern Group/483080)
Stephen Wylie Willis was born in 1807 in Virginia. He married Susan Harmon in South Carolina in 1830. He died in South Carolina in 1874.   (The Southern Group/254784)
Thomas Willis of Carroll County, Georgia was born in 1815 in North Carolina and died in 1880. According to his 1880 census record, both his parents were born in Virginia. (The North Carolina Group/277501) 
Thomas Willis of Maryland, a Quaker, married Sinai Ricketts on July 10, 1767. His son William Williss of Caroline County, Maryland married Henrietta Chance, also of Caroline County, in a Quaker marriage on August 9, 1792.  (13266)
Thomas Willis of Hampshire, England was born about 1775. In 1818 he was living in Hartlerow, Hampshire, England.  His son, William, emigrated to Canada with his wife, Elizabeth Snelling, shortly after they were married.  William's son, Benjamin Willis, was born in Nova Scotia, Canada.  (102820)

Thomas Willis of Rowan County, North Carolina was born about 1734, married Ann about 1754 in Rowan County, and died before February 8, 1794 in Rowan County. His children were James, Rachel (b. abt. 1756, m. first Jonathan Wiseman abt. 1774 in Rowan Co.), George (b. 1757, m. Marjorie bef. 1780 in Rowan Co., d. 1834 in Davidson Co., NC), Adam (b. 1760, d. 1850), Thomas Jr. (b. abt. 1765, m. Martha Wiseman abt. 1780 in Rowan Co., d. abt. 1820 in Rowan Co.), and Hannah (b. 1767 in NC, m. Hazel Moreland Sr. Jan. 8, 1785 in Rowan Co.).  (Rowan County, North Carolina Group/145181)

Thomas Willis of Berkshire, England was born in 1781 and died in 1853. He married Hannah Lambell (born in 1789) in Wantage, Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), England.  (IN46135) 
Thomas Willis/Willats of Berkshire, England was born about 1570 and died in Reading, Berkshire, in 1627. He was a (horse) collar maker by trade. In his will he mentions, among other, sons Moses, and Moses' son Aaron. Moses lived his life as a "Willis," but over the course of Aaron's life, his name evolved into "Willats." Thomas' patrilineal descendants remained in Reading until 1750 when a John Willats married a girl in Wokingham, to the southeast of Reading, where he settled down and raised his family. During the time in Wokingham the name is generally spelled as "Willatts."(The Berkshire, England Group/183189 and 289737)
Thomas N. Willis of Maryland was born in 1810 in Maryland and died in 1852 in Kent County, Maryland.   (Thomas N. Willis of Maryland/46774, 295195)
Valentine Willis of Tasmania enlisted in World War I in 1914 and was married in January 1916.
William Willis of Alabama was born in Alabama in 1824. His father was born in Kentucky according to the 1880 census.  Children by William's first wife, Elizabeth Striplin, were Martha, John H., Andrew Jackson, Robert Fillmore, Elizabeth, and Newton. Children by his second wife, Martha Rooks, were William Seaborn and David. William had a brother Andrew Jackson Willis born about 1840 in Alabama who served in the Civil War. Family Tree DNA has determined that William Willis of Alabama is a direct patrilineal descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages, who established a dynasty of chieftains that dominated Ireland for six centuries.  (The Alabama Group/25499 and 86546)

William Willis of Cambridgeshire, England was born in 1674 in Linton, Cambridgeshire, England, and died in Linton in 1716.  He married Sarah (surname unknown), who died 1737. He was the son of a man whose last name was also written Willows and Willowe, first name unknown, whose wife was Hellen, maiden name unknown, who died in 1677 in Linton. One of William's descendants, James Brand Willis, emigrated to Australia in 1852-53.  (N12521)

William Willis of Delaware County, Pennsylvania was born roughly 1763. He was a farmer in Concord Township. He died January 2, 1837, in Ashton Township. He is believed to have married twice. The two children of his first wife were Charles Willis of Kingsessing, in southwestern Philadelphia County (husband of Phebe Robinson), and Mary Willis (wife first of a Mr. Pierce, and second of Septimus Flounders). Children of Charles Willis were Joel Willis, Samuel Willis, William Willis, Thomas Morris Willis, and Edward Robinson Willis. William had three daughters by his second wife, including Elizabeth (wife of a Mr. Campbell), Susannah (wife of a Mr. Brown), and Rebecca (wife of a Mr. Pyle).  (215146)
William Willis of Grainger County, Tennessee and Harrison County, Missouri was born July 22, 1813 in Grainger County, Tennessee. He married Mary Ann "Polly" Seymour in Buchanan County, Missouri, on October 6, 1844. They had ten children, all born in Harrison Countyi. William died September 14, 1871 in Harrison County.  (The Tennessee Group/61051)
William Willis of Laurens County, South Carolina was born August 24, 1805, in Laurens County, and died July 9, 1870, also in Laurens County. He married Sara Thomason, who was born October 26, 1811, in Laurens County, and died January 14, 1897, in Laurens County. (282708)
William Willis of Manchester, England was born about 1781 in Manchester, England, and died January 27, 1843 in Bristol, Somerset, England. George Willis arrived in Philadelphia in 1848. (555745)
William Willis of Missouri was born about 1894. His wife was Jesse Lee and a son was Daniel. (500393)
William Willis of Pittsylvania County, Virginia was born in Pittsylvania County and died in Henry County, Kentucky. A branch of the family moved to Missouri about the time it reached statehood, where a Willis cemetery is located in the town of New Hartford, Pike County. A son of William was Joel W. Willis. A son of Joel was John W. Willis. (The Southern Group/177338)
William Willis of Robeen, Mayo, Ireland lived from 1763 to 1838 and married Margaret (last name unknown). Descendants lived in the Ballinrobe/Hollymount are of South Mayo, with some emigrating to Scranton, Penn., Chicago, Ill., and Youngstown, Ohio(The Ireland Group/41076)
William Willis of Rowan County, North Carolina married Cicily Coats in Rowan County in 1810. His oldest known son was James Wilburn/Wilber Willis (b. Feb. 1812; m. Mary Posey in Coosa Co., AL). Another son was Joseph Yerby Willis (b. about 1819; m. Lettice Ann Williams in Coosa Co., AL). William moved to TN, possibly Lincoln County, with the Coats family, and had at least two children there: Mary M. Willis (b. 1827; m. James William Usrey in Shelby Co., AL) and John Wesley Willis (b. 1830; m. Winifred Williams in Shelby Co., AL). William and Cicily and these four children were in Shelby County, AL, by 1837. (Rowan County, North Carolina Group/123758)
William Willis of North Carolina married Elizabeth McNeil, who was born September 9, 1770 and died in February 1857 in Georgia. A son John Erastus Willis was born in North Carolina and died December 11, 1854 in Talbot County, Georgia. (The North Carolina Group/126061)
William Willis of North Yorkshire, England was born in 1729. He was  master mariner. He married Dorothy Doughty in 1752 at Lythe, North Yorkshire, a small village about four miles away from Whitby. He died in 1808, and is buried at Whitby. (223315)
William Willis, father of Thomas Willis of Spartanburg, South Carolina was born in Virginia between 1750 and 1760. Between 1790 and 1800, he moved to an area several miles east of Spartanburg, SC, known as Pacolet. Between 1805 and his presumed death in 1829, he began deeding assets to "my beloved son, Thomas," and between 1810 and 1825 to four females he referred to as daughters, and another "son," all with the last name of Shores. William's son Thomas was born in Virginia about 1781. Thomas  married Susan/Susannah Thompson, daughter of Robert and Ursula Thompson about 1813/14 in Spartanburg County. They had four sons: (1) William Willis, born about 1815, married Frances Stone. They had one daughter, Elvira Paralee Willis. They moved to Carroll County, TN about 1838, and returned to the Spartanburg area in the late 1850s; (2) Robert Willis, born about 1817, married Sarah Ann Knuckles Stone, sister of Frances Stone. About 1838, he moved to Carroll County, TN. In 1862 he was killed in the Civil War in Jackson, MS. His children moved to MO, IL, and AR; (3) Wiley Willis, born about 1819; married first (first name unknown) Thompson,  daughter of David and Milla Thompson, with whom he had two sons, Thomas (b.1840) and Almarine (A.W., b.1841). He married second Malinda Thompson, a younger sister of his first wife, with whom he had six children. In the early 1870s, he moved to the Greenville/Anderson, SC area; and (4) Israel Willis, born about 1822; married Permilia Thompson, daughter of David and Milla Thompson. Their children were Elbridge Gary Willis, Corden Winfield Willis, Curonomous Almarine Willis, Alice Willis, Nancy Ann Willis, Pantha Letitia Willis, and Fletcher E. Willis. Israel died December 1863 in Orange Courthouse, VA in the Civil War. His children continued to live in the greater Spartanburg area. (146055)
William Willess was born in 1787 in New York and died in 1850. (298185)
William Alphus Willis was born in 1849 in Georgia and died in 1920. He lived in Drew County, Arkansas. (N40775)

William Austin Willis was born in 1808 in North Carolina. In 1850 he was living in New Madrid County, Missouri, where he is listed in the 1850 census with wife Sarah (age 39, born in North Carolina), his four oldest children William Cicero Willis, Henry Thomas Willis, Eli Samuel Willis, and Elizabeth A. Willis, all born in Georgia between 1835 and 1843, and  his two youngest children Sarah E. Willis and James Wesley Willis, born in Missouri after 1847. William Austin married second to Lydia A. Arterbury, born 1830 Crittenden Co., KY; died between 1870-1876.  Their children were John Harvey Willis, born 18 July 1860, Laura Willis, and Pamelia (Mely) Willis.  (The Southern Group/84019, 202117)

William Fountain Willis was born 1811/12 in Tennessee. His wife was Jane Bryant, who was born about 1813, also in Tennessee. A son of William Fountain Willis was Maston Green Willis, who was born about 1845 in Alabama. (The Southern Group/319387)
William Henry Willis was born about 1818, possibly in Ohio. In 1835 he moved to Waddams Grove, Stephenson County, Illinois. In August 31, 1841 he married Olive Adiline Hartson in Freeport, Illinois. He died September 27, 1848 in Waddams Grove. (The Southern Group/B42785, 737822)
William Willis of Iowa was born about 1835 in Iowa and died on August 6, 1907 in Louisville, Clay County, Illinois.  He married Elizabeth Curtis.  Their children were James Levi, Anderson, Laura Jane, Sarah Ellen, Joseph Oliver, and David William (AKA Wilbert). (The Southern Group/48626)
William Ramon Willis was born in 1820 in Georgia. In 1850 he was living in Lowndes County, Mississippi.  A son John Price Willis was born in Mississippi in 1846. (The Southern Group/234464)
William S. Willis was born on January 27, 1836 in Cleveland County,  NC. In the censuses he states that both his parents were also born in NC. He married Mary Ettie Meadows on March 8, 1861 in Estill Co., KY. He lived in Millers Creek, Estill Co. for most of his life with a brief move in 1900 to Hazel  Green, Wolfe Co. and another move towards the end of his life to Rogers Chapel, Powell Co. They had six daughters--Susan M., Mary Belle, Fanie E., Nanie Green, Clevie, and Pattie Ann--along with four sons--Jesse, Henry R., William Jr., and Floyd. He died on February 8, 1921, in Powell Co., KY, at the age of 85, and was buried there. (The North Carolina Group/473665)
William Sterling Willis was born in April 1829 in Kentucky (according to the 1900 census). Per the 1880 census, he was born in Kentucky about 1828 and his wife, Catherine Hopkins or Hoskins, was born about 1840 in Kentucky. (The Southern Group/153703, 737822)

William W. Willis of New England was born about 1812 in New Hampshire. Research indicates that at the time of the Revolution his immediate paternal ancestors lived in Duxbury, MA. His Willis line in America originates in the early 1600s, when five brothers, first John, then Francis, Lawrence, Jonathan, and Nathaniel, settled in Bridgewater, MA,  Plymouth colony. On November 7, 1839, William W. Willis, who was living in Winchester, New Hampshire, married Jane Gale, who was born in Massachusetts. In 1850 William was living in Massachusetts. William was an inventor and maker of agricultural tools, which required him to travel to New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and other states.  William's son, George W. Willis, was born about 1844 in Massachusetts and married Emma Striffler, from French parents who had immigrated to New York. During the Civil War, George signed up in Tompkins County, NY, August 16, 1862, fought with the 137th New York Infantry and was wounded at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. After the War, George settled in Atchison County, Kansas. He died of a heart attack on March 11, 1874, and is buried in Pardee, Kansas. George's son, Clayton Willis, was raised by his grandfather, William.   (99264)

William W. Willis of Pike County, Alabama, was born about 1794 in North Carolina. On September 27, 1813, during the War of 1812, he enlisted in the Militia in Baldwin County, Georgia, where he served until March 10, 1814.  After the War, he married Elizabeth Middlebrook, who was born in Upson County, Georgia, on April 26/20, 1795. Later, the family moved to Pike County, Alabama, where William died May 7, 1874. Their known children were Frances Willis Pierson (1817-1888), James Monroe Willis, and Thomas L. Willis.  Williamís son James Monroe Willis was born March 27, 1819, in Georgia. He married Mahala Wood in November 1838 in Monroe County, Georgia. He died January 13, 1885, in Clay County, Alabama. Williamís son Thomas L. Willis was born in Georgia on June 27, 1824. He received his medical education at the Medical College of Georgia, which he entered in 1849. On June 17, 1858, in Decatur County, Georgia, he married Letitia Barnett Hutchison, who was born December 8, 1828. Thomas died March 31, 1889, in Denton County, Texas. Their known children were Thomas Middlebrook Willis, Jessie Elizabeth ("Bettie") Willis, and John P. Willis. (Craven County, North Carolina Group/96147, 283570, 718478)

The number(s) in parentheses at the end of each biography is the Family Tree DNA identification number (Kit Number) of the person(s) in our project who are descended from that ancestor. This numbers are also a reference to that participant's DNA test results, which are shown in the Test Results page of this website. Participants' names are confidential.


What is DNA?

A complete copy of your DNA exists in every cell in the body. One strand of DNA, called the Y chromosome (or Y-DNA for short), is possessed only by men. It is passed down from father to son, and is virtually unchanged from generation to generation.


How a Y-DNA Test Can Help Your Willis Family Research

The Y-DNA test examines the part of your DNA that is possessed only by men and passed down from father to son. The test provides you with the set of DNA numbers that is unique to your particular line of Willis-surname ancestors.

We compare the DNA numbers to those of other Willis participants. If there is a match or near match with another participant, you are very likely to be related. If there is not a match, the results become available for comparison with future participants.

Besides helping with your Willis family research, your Y-DNA numbers can tell you in what part of the world your distant patrilineal ancestors may have lived thousands of years ago.


How to Have a DNA Test Done

1. Go to the Family Tree DNA website, click on "Projects," and select "Willis."

2. Fill out the information and make a discounted group rate payment:  $149 for the popular 37-marker Y-DNA test, or other options.

3. In a week or so, you will receive a self-addressed envelope, along with two small swabs and bottles.

4. Rub the swabs on the inside of your mouth, put them in the bottles, and mail them back in the envelope.  

5. In four to five weeks, you will receive the results.

Your name is kept confidential.

Click here to visit the Family Tree DNA website.   You can join our database at their website by clicking on "Projects" and selecting "Willis."

Click here to email the Project Administrator.