Benjamin Willis II
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Benjamin Willis II (~1696-~1779)

  • Wife: Mary Leonard

  • Children: (had five children)

    • Benjamin Willis III (1725 - 1785) married to Sarah (?? - ??)

    • Daniel Willis (?? - ??)

    • Agerton Willis (?? - ??)

    • George Willis (?? - ??)

    • Joanna Willis (1730 - 1791) married to James Council (1716 - ??)Son of John Council and Josia.. (1)

  • Historical Notes

    • Benjamin married Mary Leonard in 1719 in Bridgewater, Maryland.

    • Born about 1690 and died 1779 in Bridgewater, Maryland.

    • From R. Willis, A Willis Family History: There is also speculation from Virginia Madden the the Willis' may have come from the Delaware area, but there is no real proof. But, stranger things have happened. Immigrants to this country could have landed anywhere during the formative years and then moved on to other locations and lands as they opened up for us. What is known or believed with reasonable accuracy is that around the 1720's, 30's, or 40's at least four brothers and one sister were living in the Isle of Wight County region of Virginia. These were Agerton Willis, Benjamin Willis, George Willis, Danile Willis and Joanna Willis

    • From a typewritten sheet by Jonathan D. Butcher sent to Donald Willis

      • One account of their (Benjamin, Agerton, George, Daniel, Joanna) origin is derived from Judson Council's "Hodges Council of Virginia and Descendants." The information therein on James Council is not entirely consistent, but generally shows that James was born in 1716 in Virginia, son of John Council and grandson of Hodges Council of Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Hodges came from Devonshire, England and it is of interest to note that the given name Willis was already found in the Council family while still in England, so perhaps the two families had been long associated. 

      • The second or third wife of James Council was Joannah Willis (1730-1791), whom he must have married about 1751 or 1752. It is further stated that Jame's father, John Council, married Josie, daughter of Benjamin Willis, both of Isle of Wight County, Virginia.

      • I personally feel that this tradition should be approached with some skepticism, for it looks possible that the name of the wife of the father, John, has been confused with the wife of the son, James, by family tradition as often occurs.

      • I have not been able to document an elder Benjamin Willis in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, or indeed any trace of the Bladen County Williss there. John Council seems to have lived along the border between Hertford County, North Carolina and Nansemond County, Virgina. These are both burned-record counties, and I have not been able to locate a probate record for him, likely because he died in Nansemond County (now the City of Suffolk).

      • It may thus be that the ancestor of the Bladen County Williss is likewise lost with early records of Nansemond County - but if so it seems likely that the family was only briefly resident there, as they do not appear in the Virgina Land Patents.

      • I suspect that the lineage leads quickly back to England one way or another. Quite possible the tradition regarding Josie Willis is incorrect, and the Willis brothers may actually have been born in England, as was apparently the tradition among the descendants of Daniel's son, General John Willis.

    • All the children were born in New Hanford County, North Carolina.(1)


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Last modified: August 22, 2009