Eugene Williams (1846 - ????)

Very little is known and/or confirmed about my great grandfather, Eugene Williams.  My grandfather, Eugene Milton Williams (often referred to as “Milton”), stated that Eugene was his father and verified the information on his birth certificate. The document also states Eugene was “negro,” from Texas, 47, and a “kitchen helper” at the YMCA in San Francisco.  The 1920 United States Census shows Eugene, 46, and Florence, 29, living at 962 Fifth St., Oakland, California on January 5, 1920. In April of that same year, Milton was born, thus, the age change would suggest Eugene’s birth month was between January and April.  Eugene stated on the census that he was born in Texas, his father was born in Kentucky and his mother, Alabama.

It is believed that Eugene married Milton’s mother, Florence Hamilton, prior to migrating to Oakland, California sometime between 1914-1920. Milton said his parents were married in Texas and that his father was 17 years older than his mother. Milton also stated his parents separated when he was around 5 years old and that his father returned to Texas.  Shortly thereafter, Florence was stricken with illness and died on January 25, 1927.  During this time, according to Milton, Eugene wrote him and sent him clothes. Unfortunately, Eugene died 1-2 years later, but it is unknown exactly when. I never located a death record confirming Eugene’s death, nor is there any surviving information about his relatives. On, I located Florence’s Oakland Tribune newspaper death notice that stated Eugene lived in Dallas, Texas.

Milton stated he had one picture of his father that was lost over 40 years ago. He stated his father “looked like a white man.”  I ordered 3 DNA tests for Milton: 23andMe, Ancestry DNA and FTDNA’s Y-Chromosome test. FTDNA confirmed that Milton’s paternal ancestry is of European origin.  Through much research and circumstantial evidence from the other two tests, I was able to determine that Milton’s paternal grandfather was a man of European ancestry by the name of Landon Cabell Fournoy (1850 – 1934).  Flournoy, a native of Prince Edward County, Virginia, was a prominent judge from in Union County, Kentucky where he lived until his death in 1934.

DNA evidence is also leading me to believe Eugene’s mother was a woman named Mariah Williams, but I have not confirmed that information as of yet.


  1. Information obtained from the oral history of Milton Williams from 2012 to present day.
  2. Milton Williams’ birth certificate (given to his grandson, Michael Willis): 16 Feb 2013
  3. 1920 United States Federal Census
  4. DNA Evidence from FTDNA: May 2016
  5. DNA Evidence from 23andme: Nov 2015
  6. DNA Evidence from AncestryDNA: Feb 2016
  7. Descendant family trees of Sarah Flournoy Painter: Nov 2015
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