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Orphan Willits Families
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We have documentation on some Willits families that we cannot place. We are listing what we have here (and varying from our practice of only listing associations with New Boston and Eliza Township in Mercer County) in the hopes someone can help us place them. Contact Web Master Nadine if you can help {email on the About Us Page}. If this page turns out to be successful we may extend it to Mercer County in general. So far we have placed three families. Information on the San Diego Willits families has been located and we have moved their information to the Willits family page since they are related to the Mercer families.



Ed and Eva Poland Willetts

Cheryl Banks has been trying for some time to find the parentage of Ed Willetts (born about 1890) of Rock Island County (married Eva Poland). Can anyone help?

James & Jane Willits, Noble Co, Indiana

Julianne Willits Simon gave us the following family which we cannot place. She has a photo of a family member taken in Kendallville, Indiana (Noble County).
James Willits born 6/13/1801 died 6/9/1849; Jane Belle Willits born 3/30/1804
Children:
John Willits born 1828
Albert Willits born 1829
Rebecca Jane Willits born 1/16/1832
Mary Ann Willits born 1834
Henry Willits born 11/29/1836
Margaret Ann Willits born 5/3/1838
Sary Ann Willits born 9/23/1841
Allen Willits born 5/5/1845
Let us know too if you can place this family.

Amos and Sarah Willits, born Indiana; Oliver Perry & Mary Paxton Willits, born Iowa, died Mercer County; Shaw and Susan Willits of Aledo

Donald Jones is researching the Paxton family. Mary Ellen Paxton, daughter of John Shaw and Catherine Ann Phillips Paxton, married Oliver Perry Willits in Mercer County on March 2, 1865. Perry Willits (1843-1925) and Mary E. Willits, wife of Perry (1843-1925) are buried in the Aledo Cemetery.

Perry Willits was born in Iowa according to the 1850 Cedar County, Center Township, census record: Amos Willetts, 30, farmer, farm valued $2000, born Indiana; Sarah A., 27, born Indiana; Perry, 7, born Iowa; Esmerelda, 5, born Iowa; Theodotia, 2, born Iowa, Levi, 6/12, born Iowa, Hypathia Zetherington, age 10. Since Amos and Sarah Willits come from Indiana we feel they may well be connected with the Willits families who went to Mercer County, particularly since Perry Willits eventually also went to Mercer County. We speculate Amos may have been another child of Levi and Rachel Field Willits because of the naming of a son Levi but have no proof at present. If anyone can help, would love to hear from you.

Perry and Mary Willits are found in Cass County, Missouri, Big Creek Township, in 1870 with children: Amos, age 4 (died 1881), born Il, Kate, age 3, born Il, Shaw, age 1, born Missouri. They are found in Aledo in the 1900 census: O. P. Willits, born July 1843, Iowa, parents born Iowa, Road Commissioner; Mary, born July 1843, 7 children born, 4 living, born Ill, father born Ohio, mother born New York (courtesy Donald Jones).

By 1880 Perry and Mary were in Aledo, Mercer County: O. P. Willits, 35, laborer, born Iowa, parents born Indiana; Mary, 35, born Illinois, parents born Illinois; Amos, 15, born Il; Katie, 14, born Ill; Shaw, 12, born Missouri.

Shaw Willits was a restaurant keeper in Aledo in 1900: born September 1868 in Missouri, married Susie H. McDougal in Mercer County on July 2, 1890. Susie born April 1870, daughter of Joseph and Susan McDougal of Aledo. Joseph was constable in Aledo in 1870. In the 1900 census Shaw and Susie had children: Harry, born Sept 1890 in Il; Clair (m), born Nov 1891, Il; May L. born 1897, Il.

Daughter Kate married J. B. Robins in Mercer County on 9/20/1886. Donald Jones obtained the obituary of Mary Paxton Willits on a visit to Aledo which told that Mary died at the home of her daughter Catherine Robins in Keokuk, Iowa, and that her husband had died at the Robins home just a few days earlier. Funeral services were held in Aledo and the burials were in the Aledo Cemetery.

Contact us if you have information on this family, particularly the Indiana origins.

Isaiah and Henrietta Willits, born Pa, died Mercer Co

The family of Isaiah Willits born 1792 in Pennsylvania and died 1848 in Mercer County, Illinois, is well documented in History of Mercer County, Illinois, 1882 and in census and cemetery records in Mercer County. However we cannot place him in the larger Willits family of Pennsylvania. There are several Isaiah Willits in that family but none are near the right birthdate. Isaiah and his wife, Henrietta, are buried in the Davis Cemetery in New Boston Township. His dates are 1792-1848 and hers are 1795-1878. The cemetery records give a date of 1878 for Isaiah's tombstone but he is deceased by the 1850 census records so the tombstone must have been read incorrectly. According to the 1850/1860 Mercer County Census records the family lived in T13N R4W (Abington) and had children: Allen, born 1818, Indiana; Elias, born 1820, Indiana; Eliza Jane, born about 1825; Mary Ann, born about 1828, Lydia, born about 1835. There was also a child Dewitt C. Willits, born 1840, died 1848, buried Davis Cemetery. Elias was living with his mother through 1870 and apparently never married. He died in 1880 and is buried in the Davis Cemetery. Eliza Jane Willits married David Jackson 3/30/1854 in Mercer County. She apparently died as David Jackson is living near Henrietta in 1860 with a wife Mahala. Let us know if you can place this family.

Isaiah and Elizabeth Reynolds Willits, born Pa, died Mercer County

This family is well documented in the History of Mercer County, 1882 and in Mercer County records. Isaiah Willits was born 11/2/1812 in York County, Pennsylvania, and died 11/15/1883 in Mercer County, Illinois. At least three descendants have informed us that Isaiah was son of Samuel Willits who in turn was son of Isaiah and Susannah Boone Willits but as yet no proof has been offerred. When time permits we will move this Isaiah to a page of his own as we have much more information and include the probability that he was son of Samuel and grandson of Isaiah and Susannah Boone Willits.

Isaiah Willits married Elizabeth Reynolds, daughter of Caleb Reynolds in Henderson County, Illinois, on 4/4/1839. She was born 1/31/1814 in Ohio, and died 2/22/1892 in Mercer County. Isaiah removed to Wayne County, Indiana, in 1826 and to Mercer County (actually Henderson County south of Mercer) in 1835. Both Isaiah and Elizabeth are buried in Greenmound Cemetery. They had children: Joshua Willits, born 3/13/1840, Henderson County; Emily Lucy Willits, born 11/11/1841, Henderson County; Leander Willits, born 11/21/1843, Henderson County; Minerva Willits, born 9/6/1845; Byron Willits, born 4/5/1847; Jo Hannah Wird Willits, born 8/26/1848; Azro P.. Willits, born 7/19/1850; William Andrew Willits, born 11/10/1852; Leona Willits, born 8/11/1855; and Lydia A. Willits, born 1/12/1859. Son Joshua married Clara Willits on 11/30/1873 and we have no clue as to her parents. Daughter Emily Willits married Augustine Childs 11/12/1879 in Mercer County. Son Azro Willits married Lizzie Whiting 1/19/1880 in Mercer County. Son William Andrew Willits married Matilda Stahl 12/31/1881 in Wapello, Iowa. Lydia Willits married Herman Childs, son of Augustine Childs on 11/16/1881. Daughter Hannah was a well respected teacher in Mercer County. We have a great deal more on this family and will eventually put up a page for them but would like to first place them in the larger Willits family. If you have documented proof of Isaiah's parentage, please contact us.

John and Sarah Campbell Willits, born Pa, died Mercer County

Another family well documented in the History of Mercer County, Illinois, 1882 is that of John and Sarah Campbell (Aunt Sallie) Willits. Because of dates and burial proximities we feel John could be brother of Isaiah Willits (wife Henrietta) above. While they lived in Abingdon Township we are interested in them because the family burials are in the Davis Cemetery in New Boston Township.

John Willits was born 1799 in Pennsylvania and died 1863 in Mercer County, Illinois. He married Sarah G. Campbell, daughter of John Campbell and Polly Blue, 4/21/1831 in Wayne County, Indiana. Sally was born 9/1810 in Pennsylvania and died 1887 in Mercer County. They settled in 1834 in future Abingdon Township in Mercer County. Children of John Willits and Sarah Campbell Willits are: Josiah G. Willits, born 1832, died 1880: Mary J. Willits, born 10/17/1833, married David Wolfe in Mercer County; William M. Willits, born 12/4/1835 and married Francis J. Gilchrist, served Civil War; Linnaeus H. Willits, born 1838, married Mary Elizabeth Wolfe; Thomas W. Willits born 4/7/1847, married Nancy Alice Main.

Sarah Campbell Willits is buried in New Boston Cemetery. The rest of the family is buried in the Davis Cemetery except for Thomas and family who are buried in Greenmound Cemetery in Keithsburg.

We have put up a Wolfe page and are interested from that aspect as well. At one time we were in contact with Joyce Cahill, a descendant of this family, but her email is no longer good. If you have information on this family and especially if you can place it in the larger Willits family, please contact us.

John E. and Mary Catharine Frick Willits

This family is associated with New Boston Town and is found there in the 1850 census: #282 John E. Willits, 26,druggist, born Indiana; Mary C., 22, Pa, Ledrew Rollin Willits, 1, Il. There was another child Nettie A. Willits, born July 1858, died 17 October 1859, and buried in Greenmound Cemetery. John E. Willits married Mary Catharine Frick, 24 Feb 1848 in Mercer County. She was the daughter of Frederick and Nancy Wilson Frick. She had a sister Sarah who married William A. Willits, son of Brady Willits, and often sisters married brothers but we do not have a John E. as son of Brady Willits. In 1852 John E. Willits was installed as officer of New Boston Lodge No. 59 of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Normally we would be able to get records from the Masons, but this particular set of dates was lost in a fire.

By 1860 John E. Willits was a farmer but still living in New Boston: #1696 John E. Willits, farmer, 35, born In; May C., 28, Pa; Ledrew R, 12, Il; Clarence W, 9, Il; Ada, 7, Il; Mary K, 5/12, Il. There is a note in the 1882 History of Mercer County under Keithsburg Township discussion of local mills "The next saw mill was removed in 1857, or the year after, to the foot of Jackson street, by Alexander Frick, it having been first put up on John E. Willit's land to saw ties and timbers for the Warsaw and Rockford railroad. It was leveled by fire in 1859." We believe this is the same John E. Willits because of the Frick connection.

By 1870 the family had moved to Jackson, Riley County, Kansas: #124 John E. Willits, 45, farmer, In; Mary, 42, Pa; Louis R, 21, Il [actually Ledrew R]; Charles W, 19, Il; Augusta, 17, Il; Mary K., 10, Il; Frederick, 5, Il; Ella M, 2, Ks. By 1880 they had moved on to Precinct 4, Montague, Texas: #4 John E. Willits, farmer, 56, In, parents born In; Mary, 52, Pa, parents born Pa; Kate, 20, Il; Fred, 14, Il; May, 12, Ks. We did not find them in 1900.

If anyone can help please contact us on the About Us page.

Updates
6/3/2007 Added the John E. and Mary Catharine Frick Willits family.
1/26/2009 Removed the paragraph indicating that John E. Willits' son Ledrew R. Willits married Charlotte Kirlin. She married Ledrew Prouty Willits, son of James Monroe and Sarah Prouty Willits, not Ledrew Rollins Willits. We have no further information on Ledrew Rollins Willits.





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