Profile last modified 26 Jan 2020
| Created 5 Aug 2017
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Juliet Adams Wills, Her Story. "What goes into the making of a family historian? Many experiences from childhood foster the love and respect for our ancestors. These occur not by chance but by the direct guidance of others. In my childhood, I had two that influenced me in this regard: my mother, Martha Priddy Adams, and my great-grandmother, Annie Blanche Williams Priddy. 
I was born in Paducah, Kentucky, to parents Richard and Martha Priddy Adams. My mother named me Juliet Louise after my great-great-grandmother, Juliet Louise Donaldson Williams, who was still alive when I was born. 
My first five years of childhood were spent at our home on Park Avenue. Mother would take us for quiet walks across the street in the historic Oak Grove Cemetery, the oldest in Paducah. We would always look for the oldest headstones, always being respectful of those resting there as per mother's instructions. 
But living on Alabama Street was where I had my first memories of great-grandmother Blanche Williams Priddy, our first family historian. Granny Priddy lived most of her life in Kossuth, Mississippi, but spent winters with us during the 1950s in Paducah. One particular experience with Granny left an indelible impression on me. Granny enjoyed reading her Bible each afternoon, sitting in our living room rocking chair. Not being in school yet, I remember peeking over the armchair and quietly asking, "Granny, will you show me my name?" She would turn in her Bible to the seven generations of Scots-Irish ancestors' names copied from HER grandparent's Bible. She had also written the Priddy, Norton, and Oakes ancestors back to colonial Virginia. Many times I would ask and she would read names going all the way back to Juliet Campbell of 1789 North Carolina. Never did I realize this experience would set the stage for my later life's work. 
Meanwhile, I became an educator, teaching elementary education mostly in Rockford, Illinois. I have one beloved son and two grandsons. Continuing to study for my teaching career enhancement, I completed my M.A. degree from Murray State University, Murray, KY, and my Ed.S. degree from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. In 1989 I and my husband, Dr. Vernon L. Wills, a professor at NIU, celebrated retirement.  Because of his military career as an Army Reserve Colonel assigned to XVIII Airborne Corps Headquarters at Fort Bragg, we retired to Fayetteville, North Carolina. Here the studying REALLY began!
Mother passed Granny's Bible to me and I started the quest to document all the ancestral lineages Granny so carefully preserved. I have walked the ancestral homeplaces, creeks, and cemeteries and, sitting quietly, etched ancestors' headstones in the old Scots-Irish cemeteries of York County, South Carolina, that Granny spoke of so many years ago. While there, I've gratefully thanked her for being our first family historian... and for passing "the torch." Blanche Priddy lived 101 years, 5 months, 1 day. May God bless her."   
Being a family historian still seeking those ancestral progenitors, the relevant words of Curtis Woods in his poem A Prayer For Genealogists epitomize the last 30 years of my genealogical life at the North Carolina Archives:
"Lord, help me dig into the past and sift the sands of time, That I might find the roots that made this family tree mine. Lord, help me trace the ancient roads on which my fathers trod, And led them through so many lands to find our present sod. Lord, help me find an ancient book, or dusty manuscript, That's safely hidden now away in some forgotten crypt. Lord, let it bridge the gap that haunts my soul when I can't find, The missing link between some name that ends the same as mine."
- ↑ "Juliet Adams Wills- Her Story," Piedmont Lineages, Vol. 28, No. 1, February 2006, pp. 9-10. Virginia-North Carolina Piedmont Genealogical Society, Danville, Virginia. http://www.vancpgs.org/contents/index.php
- ↑ Annie Blanche Williams Priddy, Find A Grave Memorial (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/10464702/annie-blanche-priddy: accessed 5 March 2018) Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com ), memorial page for Annie Blanche Williams Priddy (24 Jul 1876–25 Dec 1977), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10464702, citing Wheeler Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, Wheeler Grove Community, Alcorn County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by Juliet Wills (contributor 49098574) .
- ↑ Juliet Louise "Lou" Donaldson Williams, Find A Grave Memorial, Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 17 October 2019), memorial page for Juliet Louise “Lou” Donaldson Williams (15 Jan 1853–10 Sep 1948), Find A Grave Memorial no. 112589580, citing Henry Cemetery, Corinth, Alcorn County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by Juliet Wills (contributor 49098574) . https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/112589580/juliet-louise-williams
- ↑ Oak Grove Cemetery, City of Paducah, Parks and Recreation Department, http://paducahky.gov/oak-grove-cemetery
- ↑ Annie Blanche Williams (1876-1977) FamilySearch Family Tree, https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/familysearch-family-tree/ FamilySearch Family Tree Profile Page, Memories, Bible Photos, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/memories/LRHC-TJ5
- ↑ Juliet Adams Wills, Retired Professional Educator, Rockford, Illinois, Public Schools, Career (https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliet-wills-140189128/: accessed March 2018)
- ↑ Blanche Priddy Bible, Cross City Connections, Vol.15, No.3, March 2007, pp. 23-26. Alcorn County Genealogical Society, Corinth, Mississippi http://www.avsia.com/acgs/. Bible Currently owned by Juliet Adams Wills. NOTE: Ancestors and descendants, names identifying ancestral generations, births, deaths, marriages, and children for the following: Abel Williams/ Polly Jones "my great-grandparents", James M. Oakes/ Jane B. Norton "my great-grandparents" (10 children listed), William Donaldson/ Sarah Wallace "my great-grandparents", Andrew Hill/ Juliet Campbell "my great-grandparents", Clark Tansy Williams/ Frances Ann Oaks, "my grandparents"(son James Calvin Williams, daughter Elizabeth Jane Clark Williams), Joseph Wallace Donaldson/ Rachel Amanda Hill "my grandparents" (11 children listed), James Calvin Williams/ Juliet Louise Donaldson "my parents", (7 children listed) Annie Blanche Williams/ Hardee Banister Priddy (only child Raymond Forest Priddy), Raymond Forest Priddy/ Virginia Elizabeth Wiley (2 children listed), Raymond Wiley Priddy/ Anna Marie Moyers (2 children listed), Martha Mae Priddy/ Richard Franklin Adams (three children listed), Bertha Williams/ Richard Wallace Smith, Williams generations (6 listed), Priddy generation (6 listed), list of marriages, some living, list of births; many living, deaths listed separate: (Richard Wallace Smith, Jr, H. B. Priddy, Raymond Forrest Priddy.. "This Bible for Martha Mae." All entries written and signed by Blanche Williams Priddy. Bible owned by Juliet Adams Wills.
- ↑ Donaldson Bible & Blanche Priddy Bible Records, Bible records of North Carolina, contributed by persons with North Carolina Ancestors. Bible Records Committee, North Carolina Genealogical Society. Raleigh, North Carolina: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 2005. Bible Record #38, Donaldson Bible (pp. 71-77 of 244), Family Bible of Joseph Wallace Donaldson and Rachel Amanda Hill Donaldson; Bible Record #79, Blanche Priddy Bible (pp. 166-173 of 244), Family Bible of Hardee Banister Priddy and Annie Blanche Williams Priddy.
- ↑ Annie Blanche Williams (1876-1977) FamilySearch Family Tree, https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/familysearch-family-tree/ FamilySearch Family Tree Profile Page, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/LRHC-TJ5
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