Edison Williams

Edison Williams

Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)
Edison Williams
Ancestors ancestors
Son of [private father (1890s - 1970s)] and [private mother (1920s - 1960s)]
Brother of [private brother (1920s - 1980s)] [half]
[children unknown]
Profile manager: Edison Williams private message [send private message]
Account confirmed 14 Mar 2017 | Edison's 4509 contributions | 261 thank-yous received
Profile last modified 29 May 2020 | Created 14 Mar 2017 | Last significant change: 29 May 2020
17:03: Edison Williams edited the Biography for Edison Williams. [Thank Edison for this | 1 thank-you received]
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Wiki Genealogist Genealogical Society Member Community Star Family Star Generous Genealogist - Red Star Generous Genealogist - Blue Star Generous Genealogist -  Green Star One Name Studies Project Member United States Project Member Sourcerer Connect-a-Thon Winner 2019 Connect-a-Thon 2019 Source-a-Thon 2017 Participant December 2019 Club 1,000 January 2020 Club 100 July 2019 Club 1,000 January 2019 Club 100 December 2018 Club 100 November 2018 Club 100 October 2018 Club 100
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Guild of One-Name Studies
Member 7695
Edison Williams is a Project Member of the Texas Project.
Edison Williams is a descendant of a Texas First Family who settled in the Republic of Texas before February 19, 1846.
Edison is a member of the Texas State Historical Association.
Edison is a member of the Texas State Genealogical Society.
Edison is a contributor to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy and the ISOGG Wiki.
Edison is a member of the American Society of Human Genetics.
Edison is a member of the advisory board of the Personal Genomics Foundation.
Edison is a former member of the Triple Nine Society.
Edison is a member of American Mensa.
Edison is a participant in Governor Greg Abbott's Strike Force to Open Texas in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Interested in a great, broad range of subjects. Alas, master of none.


29 May 2020 Update: I was wildly optimistic about things slowing down in May. The situation and coronavirus landscape continue to change frequently, making short-term planning for my personal time—and important things like genealogy—very much like trying to nail under-refrigerated Jello to a tree. My last actual day off was Monday, March 2; I had one week in May where I put in only 70 hours, and it felt like a vacation. I even posted to G2G in my spare time.

I owe research time and communication to several WikiTreers, and to Threlkeld, Pollard, and Horton One-Name Study participants. My sincere apology for my absence. If I predict an easing of the load in June, I'll no doubt jinx things irrevocably. So I'll leave it simply as: if you're on my list, I honestly haven't forgotten. It isn't fair to ask you to continue to have patience with me, but that's my only choice. We'll have better times ahead!

1 April 2020: For the past month I have been working long hours and seven-day weeks on issues surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. With current regional and national projections, that work will continue at least through April or early May. If you contact me, I will certainly do my best to respond, though do please understand that my reply may be delayed longer than typical.

Stay safe; get your news from reputable sources only, not social media; and be cognizant that, beyond the medical ramifications, the economic impact will be a slower recovery, will leave millions unemployed and thousands of businesses closed, and our neighbors and communities will need our help.

Random Facts

  • Have annoyed many people at several universities
  • Used to do some teaching; that's why I can tend to get all "lecturey" in G2G
  • Worked at both entrepreneurial startups and Fortune 500s
  • The profile photo was not taken this year
  • Published in unexpected places, like Oxford University Press...but absolutely nothing anyone would want to read
  • Speaking of, one of the few people I know who owns a hardcopy of the Oxford English Dictionary...all 16 volumes and 42 shelf-inches of it (1st edition, 1978; a shame the 1989 2nd edition was the last that will ever see physical print)
  • Own a set of cufflinks given to me by a former Vice President of the United States
  • Manage the Guild-registered Threlkeld One-Name Study; and here on WikiTree
  • Registrar with the Guild of the Pollard One-Name Study
  • Administrator for the McCollough, Pollard, Teasley, and Threlkeld Surname DNA Projects at Family Tree DNA
  • Blog at CountingChromosomes.com; may never become a blog/podcast combo, but that was the plan
  • Aggregate daily genealogy and genetics news at TheTribune.News
  • Contributing editor to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG); brief bio at ISOGG
  • Once had dinner with both James Watson and Francis Crick
  • Every time I think I can finally spell "DNA," I learn something I didn't know

Most Memorable Quotations

"I started out highlighting all the quotable passages in this blog post. I gave up when I noticed that most of the text was being highlighted."
       —Elizabeth Shown Mills, writing on 11 Sep 2018
           about my blog post, "Genetic Genealogy and
           the Dunning-Kruger Effect"
"Hominem unius libri timeo; not only to the man of one book, but also to the man of one idea, in whom the sense of proportion is lacking, and who sees only that for which he looks."
       —Edward Everett
"The creative mind flourishes best when it is apparently wasting time. Shakespeare, we are told, was habitually idle between plays."
       —J. Robert Oppenheimer
"Ed is the most serious man in the world. His frown lines have frown lines. Clint Eastwood learned to squint from watching him. Ed has a black T-shirt with an arrow pointing at his face that says, 'I'm with the nihilist.' When he's in a cheerful mood, he listens to Orff's Carmina Burana. He considers Søren Kierkegaard to have been a stand-up comedian. Webster's has his photo beside the word 'dour.'

"Oh... Wait. No. I'm thinking of somebody else. Never mind."



  • First-hand information, entered by Edison Williams. Don't implicitly trust his memory, though. It used to be very good, but his tally of functional neurons and glial cells ain't what it used to be....

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Followed Tags
Edison is a Wiki Genealogy Volunteer following these tags:
Because I've been missing info I need!
Because...autosomal DNA and...because "auDNA" is standard here. It's just really really difficult for me to write "auDNA".
The most complex type of human DNA to study has, by a factor of magnitude, more test takers than any other. This brave new world of genealogy will continue to evolve.
Currently admin four FTDNA projects. Occasionally write about genetic genealogy at Counting Chromosomes.
Founded in 1999, it was the first of the Big 3 companies to test DNA for genetic genealogy purposes.
GEDmatch.com is the handiest free tool for basic autosomal DNA comparisons depuis avant le pain tranché.
The Horton One-Name Study
Part of my pre-Republic Texas lineage
One of my four grandparental surnames, research on which has been rejuvenated by a WikiTreer's random act of kindness.
Looked at recent G2G tags. "Mitochondrial" had almost 3x the number of uses as "mtDNA." Who knew folks preferred to write it out?
Every woman instinctively knows it's part of a grand plan that the vast majority of yDNA is junk, and that the father's mtDNA is rejected at fertilization. Well, mostly and almost always. But let's not get into that here....
Guild of One-Name Studies member 7695. I'm interested in all WikiTree can bring to the table to further that concept.
Because, well, TEXAS. And because I had ancestors here before the Republic, including an alcalde, two officers in the war for the Republic, a chief justice appointed by Sam Houston, an aide to James W. Bullock, and a senator of Texas's Sixth Congress.
Surname included in the Threlkeld One-Name Study
Admin of the Threlkeld Surname Project at FTDNA and the Threlkeld One-Name Study here. We need more members! It primarily investigates yDNA and the paternal lineage, but is open to anyone with the surname in their family tree. Join today!
Surname included in the Threlkeld One-Name Study
Multiple lines arrived here in the 17th and early 18th centuries; have multiple ancestor patriots who fought in every conflict the nation has seen; and I qualify for the Sons of the Republic of Texas.
The 3rd most common surname in both the U.S. and Great Britain. Makes research soooo easy....
Y-STR and Y-SNP testing is changing faster right now than any other type of DNA test.
Because it isn't always tagged as "Y-chromosome"
DNA Tested
Edison Williams's DNA has been tested for genealogical purposes. It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with Edison or other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:
  • Edison Williams: Family Tree DNA Y-DNA Test 561 markers, haplogroup R-BY35083
Mitochondrial DNA test-takers in the direct maternal line:
  • Edison Williams: Family Tree DNA mtDNA Test Full Sequence, haplogroup H4a1a1a
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Edison:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 33

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Kia ora from New Zealand Edison, I hope you are doing ok with all your great work on covid. I'm enormously grateful for your response to a query about True Ancestry. I spent some time on the TA fb page asking valid questions about whether the company consults scientific DNA data from archaeological human remains for its consumer results. I received considerable spin from the social media managers on that page and left. I feel idiotic about paying anything to the company as I usually research first but you saved me and others from making the same mistake again. Thank you for being both brilliant and kind.
posted by Jane England
I believe they were twins. I don't have any more info other than what I have posted. It's been a while since I did any other genealogies for my family.

Re: Mary Hirner (Hirner-29) and Josephine Hirner (Hirner-28) are currently set as Rejected Matches to indicate that the two profiles represent different people. Same birth date, same parents, no primary sources, no spouses. Are Josephine Mary and Mary Josephine identical twins?

posted by William Hirner
HI Edison!

Thank you for your time and energy in creating over 1000 contributions to WikiTree for the month of July 2019. Your efforts are appreciated!

Pip Sheppard

WikiTree Appreciation Team

posted by Pip Sheppard
Thanks for joining Team Roses for the CNat and adding 215 profiles to the big tree. You knocked it out of the park!
Hey, Edison, not only are we fellow-Texans, but you also share 11 cM of DNA with my mother. Ha ha! I can't find a genealogical connection except that it is on my Fry branch.
posted by Edie (Nibling) Kohutek
Thank you for catching the space in my Gedmatch kit#. Turns out that was preventing it from linking Gedmatch and Wikitree.
posted by Tim Campbell
LOL! No ... I love it.
posted by Susan Keil
Hi Edison, Would you mind taking a look at the following G2G post and offering a response? I'm not going deep enough for the person asking ... Thank you!


posted by Susan Keil

If you are interested you can place this on YOUR profile page

Edison Williams is a Project Member of the Texas Project.
posted by Mary Richardson
Thank you very much for the research notes you provided on the new Z1a page! Your contribution and support is greatly appreciated.
posted by Susan Keil
Putting. The. Phone. Down. Now.

Backing. Away. Slowly.

Thanks for the virtual pint. It really did calm me down.

posted by Brad Foley

Edison is 19 degrees from Donald Howard, 15 degrees from Julia Howe and 20 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.