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Juliet (Adams) Wills

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Signed 4 Mar 2018 | 10560 contributions | 353 thank-yous
Juliet L. Wills formerly Adams
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Profile last modified | Created 5 Aug 2017 | Last significant change: 1 Jun 2021
23:17: Liz (Noland) Shifflett replied to a comment on the page for Juliet (Adams) Wills [Thank Liz for this | 1 thank-you received]
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Juliet (Adams) Wills is a Project Member of the Southern Pioneers Project.

Juliet Adams Wills, Her Story. [1]"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. [2]

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. [3]

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. [4]

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. [5]

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. [6] 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." [7] [8] [9] All of Granny Priddy's efforts have been "fruitful and multiplied" being in a culminating publication, "Colonial Patriot Ancestors of Hardee Banister Priddy and Blanche Williams Priddy of Lee and Alcorn Counties, MS." [10]

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."


  1. "Juliet Adams Wills- Her Story," Piedmont Lineages, Vol. 28, No. 1, February 2006, pp. 9-10. Virginia-North Carolina Piedmont Genealogical Society, Danville, Virginia.
  2. Annie Blanche Williams Priddy, Find A Grave Memorial ( accessed 5 March 2018) Find A Grave, database and images ( ), 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) .
  3. Juliet Louise "Lou" Donaldson Williams, Find A Grave Memorial, Find A Grave, database and images ( : 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) .
  4. Oak Grove Cemetery, City of Paducah, Parks and Recreation Department,
  5. Annie Blanche Williams (1876-1977) FamilySearch Family Tree, FamilySearch Family Tree Profile Page, Memories, Bible Photos,
  6. Juliet Adams Wills, Retired Professional Educator, Rockford, Illinois, Public Schools, Career ( accessed March 2018)
  7. Blanche Priddy Bible, Cross City Connections, Vol.15, No.3, March 2007, pp. 23-26. Alcorn County Genealogical Society, Corinth, Mississippi 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Annie Blanche Williams (1876-1977) FamilySearch Family Tree, FamilySearch Family Tree Profile Page,
  10. "Colonial Patriot Ancestors of Hardee Banister Priddy and Blanche Williams Priddy of Lee and Alcorn Counties, MS" by Juliet Adams Wills. "The Tennessee Genealogical Magazine, A n s e a r c h i n ’ N e w s." Vol. 56, No. 2 (Summer, 2009) pp. 114-116.

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Hi Juliet! I had not heard from you in response to the January 2021 check-in & when I went to update Space: US Southern Colonies Sourcerers Team today, I saw that you were active. Did you want to stay in the project's Sourcerers Team? If so, please post a reply to this comment. Thanks! Liz
posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Yes, Liz, I very much wish to remain on the US Southern Colonies Sourcerers Team. I do apologize for I do not recall a Jan 21 check-in, Jan was VERY difficult time with Covid-19 hectic sign up at local hospitals and taking care of my 87 year old husband. Back in Fall 2020 I was working on the unsourced Tankersley of Wilkes, GA, one of my early unsourced lines I came across when I volunteered to source the Daniel Boone profile which was VERY meagerly sourced for this famous person! I am proud of the Boone contributions but he would not count as "unsourced." I did work on an early Gassaway of MD unsourced profile which was my line. I did add sources today to Southern Pioneers Project Resource page to help others locate good sources, especially NC & PA. Still need to add my own lines and corrections from Data Doctors. It is MUCH to do! But that is what genealogy is about!! THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO FOR OUR WONDERFUL WEBSITE!
posted by Juliet (Adams) Wills
Thanks Juliet! I've re-awarded the Southern Colonies badge. You're still listed as a member of the Sourcerers Team. If you'd like to join a colonial team too, just post a comment to the team page saying so (see this page for the list of teams).

Cheers, Liz

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Thanks for all your kind comments on my profiles!
Hi Juliet

Thank you for the source for Mecklinburg County, NC. For now I posted it on several areas for good measure..


Mary Richardson

posted by Mary Richardson
I am new and I have edited the page but I cannot merge, You our the only person on the trusted list so it does not hurt to have another person. This is my husband's family and this page [1] states : trusted List requests should be approved if the person is a family member. My husband and I research together but he is not an active member. So why not add me? Thanks, Beth
posted by Beth (Jones) Gay
edited by Beth (Jones) Gay
Hello, Beth, I believe you have the wrong profile for the ancestor you wish to work on you state is your husband's ancestor, a James Chappell.

The profile in question is James Chappell, b. 1772, d. ca 27 Apr 1775 Amelia, VA. You did edit this profile mid-Sept adding proof records for wife Elizabeth Briggs, which does not belong to #175. I believe you need to contact the profile manager for Chappell-186, for James Chappell who married Elizabeth Briggs which is your husband 's (Gill Gay) ancestor with your Trusted List request. Gill Gay's DNA as family member is listed on profile Chappell-186, not profile Chappell-175. Profile #175 does need the bio changed to Chappell-186 which I will work with the PM of #186 to accomplish this. Thank you for you contributions on proof of Elizabeth Briggs, as wife of Chappell-186.

posted by Juliet (Adams) Wills
edited by Juliet (Adams) Wills
Hi Juliet,

According to the relationship finder we are ninth cousins two times removed through our ancestor John Adams Sr.! It's lovely to meet you! I hope you have a great weekend.

Best Wishes, Mikayla M. Whitaker

posted by Mikayla Whitaker
I posted the source you sent for the signers Thanks, Juliet


posted by Mary Richardson
What GREAT, WONDERFUL sources you do! I really like the James (Obadiah) Howard work. You are an inspiration.
posted by Sue (Howard) Ison
Thank you, Sue. I LOVE working on LDS microfilm but it is slow hard work. I have more to come on the James (Obadiah) Howard ancestry. I spent about 12 hours yesterday gathering online microfilm records Bertie, NC, to document his father, Edward Howard, whose profile is lacking in documents and will add them in this next week. I have painful rheumatoid arthritis and my hands and wrists swell when I keyboard, so I have to rest them the next few days... I did a lot of research at the Raleigh NC Archives the past 30 years documenting bloodlines and I too have a Rhodes and other lines out of Nansemond, VA, into Bertie, and sons went to Onslow County just like the Howard line. I also found a great map detailing the location of the land of the Howards in Bertie, and record where Edward deeded land to his son James (Obadiah) proving the ancestry. It will take me time to write and build a biography for Edward with in-line documenting sources. I am part of the Southern Colonies Project group locating sources for profiles. I'm so glad to help other lines with records. One never knows, it might be mine also. Have a great 4th of July!
posted by Juliet (Adams) Wills
Hi Juliet, I've not yet heard back from you with your e-mail address so that I can get you into the US Southern Colonies Project. Please can you private message this to me? If I don't hear back from you in the next week I'll assume you no longer wish to be in the project but you would be most welcome to rejoin at any stage. Susie :-)
Hi Juliet,

As you may have seen, we have been doing some restructuring in the US Southern Colonies Project and are now organising ourselves into different teams. We have also changed the criteria for membership. Please have a look at the new project pages, and let me know whether you would like to remain in the project and, if so, which team(s) you would like to be in.

Please can you also send me your e-mail address. I can then make sure you are introduced to your Team Leaders and are in the Google Group.

Please note that it is a requirement for membership in the US Southern Colonies Project that you respond to these check-ins. We’re really excited for the future of the project and hope that you decide to be a part of it with us moving forwards.

Many thanks,

Susie, US Southern Colonies Project Co-Leader

Hello, Susie,

Thank you for your message. I do enjoy working on Southern Colonies especially VA, NC, upcountry SC, and TN profiles. I am also on the Southern Pioneers Project and am presently improving the sourcing for profile of Daniel Boone. Almost finished and it was a REAL challenge!! I do enjoy sourcing unsourced profiles. The team I would like to join would be in this category, "Profile Improvement Teams" adding sources to profiles. There are MANY unsourced profiles on Wikitree!

posted by Juliet (Adams) Wills
Thanks Juliet, please can you send me your e-mail via private message so I can get you added to the Google group and put you on the trusted list for the team page. Many thanks, Susie :-)
Thanks for adding all of those Family Search sources!
posted by SJ Baty
Thanks so much for your excellent work on Daniel Boone!!
posted by Paula J
Researching sources for Daniel Boone profile has been an honor! I surely didn't realize all the books, internet sources available on his life's history. I still have more to add to "Frontiersman," and "Soldier" section especially the two years they lived in the Clinch River settlements where D.B. was commissioned an Officer. I had NO IDEA almost every day of his life was so historic. I've been reading 12 hours a day recording sources- almost 300 now! Thank you, Paula, for this privilege!
posted by Juliet (Adams) Wills
Thanks, Juliet,

I would appreciate your work on the Daniel Boone profile!


posted by Paula J

For contributing excellent sources and resources for the NC, SC and Southern Pioneers projects, you deserve a Community Star!

Thanks for all you do for our projects!


posted by Paula J
Hi Juliet,

I noticed that some of your recent profiles, notably the recent Brents, are sourced only with a link to a family tree published online. It would be greatly appreciated if you could find further sources to back up this information, particularly primary sources if they exist.

Have a lovely day! - Amy :)

posted by Amelia Utting
Glad to help you Juliet. And glad you are still part of the Southern Colonies project which includes Southern Pioneers

any time you need , just ask..


posted by Mary Richardson
Hi Juliet,

Thank you for responding to our check-in. We are delighted that you wish to continue contributing to the Southern Pioneers. Below is a quick checklist for active members. The project leaders would like you to make sure you have done the following:

1) Check Southern Pioneers Project for ways to contribute.

2) Added Southern Colonies TAG to your tags you follow.

3) PM the project leaders with your email address to be added to the Google Group.!forum/wikisouthernpioneers

Try Stickers on profiles to show roots.

Thank you!

Mary ~ Volunteer Coordinator

The profiles are good!

posted by Mary Richardson
Hi juliet,

On behalf of the US Southern Colonies Project leaders, I am doing a six-month check-in with members to see what aspects of the project interest them most.

1) We would like to learn the number of contributions you have made in the last two months (May and April) to Southern Colonies?

2) We would like to know if you have joined other Southern Colonies Subprojects, such as Southern Pioneers Project. Or have you worked on other subprojects?

3) Your activity in Southern Pioneers Project.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Mary ~ Volunteer Coordinator

posted by Mary Richardson
Thanks Juliet so much for the source on Marchbanks-181. I doubt that I would have ever found that by myself. I always appreciate help on any profiles.
Please view new research on the oldest Adams ancestor John Francis Adams, Sr. maternal ancestor; and Adams Ancestor Gabriel Adams paternal ancestor.
posted by Juliet (Adams) Wills
thanks Juliet but I to believe that Jesse Adams is a different set from John Hobbs Adams Sr. Really appreciate the help already and the hard work you have put into it. i'm gonna keep trying as well as Steve we ay solve this mystery with your help.
posted by Jack Adams
Most of that connection I’m very confident about. However the connection to John Hobbs Adams I believe is wrong, as my DNA does not match up with any of his descendants. I do have a cousin through Jesse Adams 1735-1781, matched with DNA at Ancestry. But have yet to find a match through dna with any earlier Adams lines.

I submitted to a Scottish group on Family tree dna, and I apparently match up with some other Adams’s there, so my guess at this point is that Jesse Adams of Rowan/Surry/Wilkes County, North Carolina is of Scottish decent. I just haven’t figured out the connection yet.

posted by Steve Adams

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