Third Generation


20. Col. John Whitaker WILLIAMSON3,4,24,42,60,75,76,77,97,98,99 was born on 3 July 1796 in KY, Shelby Co., Shelbyville. He lived in KY, Jefferson Co. in 1840. In 1850 he was a farmer in KY, Jefferson Co., Middletown. John lived in KY, Jefferson Co. on 2 October 1850. His nephew Bladen Williamson, aged 18, also lived with John and his wife. In 1860 he was a farmer in KY, Jefferson Co., Middletown. He lived in KY, Jefferson Co., Middletown on 2 August 1860. In 1870 John was a retired farmer in KY, Jefferson Co., Middletown. Between 1870 and 1880 he was the editor of the "Shelby Sentinal" in KY, Shelby Co., Shelbyville. It is not known what year he became editor. He lived with his nephew James Williamson in KY, Jefferson Co., Middletown on 21 July 1870. John lived in KY, Jefferson Co., O'Bannon in 1872. He lived with his nephew James Williamson in KY, Jefferson Co., O'Bannon in June 1880. He died in 1883 in KY, Jefferson Co., Middletown. John was buried in 1883 in KY, Jefferson Co., Middletown. He was "taught in a Presbyterian Church, built in 1798, on Dry Run, the teacher being Godfrey Ragsdale. Among his pupils were the children of Benj. Logan, later General Logan, James Shannon, John Williamson, Dan Colgan, Bland Ballard, Aquilla Whitaker and Samuel Shannon. The church in which the school was taught was three miles southwest of the town and near what was later known as the Samuel Henderson farm. After the school taught by Professor Ragsdale, at Dry Run, possibly the next was taught by David Lock, at the west end of Shelbyville and antidated the one to the north of the town."

It is not known whether the title "Col." was an honorific or for military service.

He was a great friend of G. T. Wilcox, grandson of Squire Boone. Both John and G. T. were in correspondence with Lyman C. Draper, one of the greatest of Kentucky historians. Draper’s thorough and meticulous notes comprise a large part of KY’s earliest history. Draper also relied strongly on the notes and letters of Bland W. Ballard, John’s famous Indian-fighting uncle, who later became a KY legislator and whom a KY county is named after.
Geo. L. Willis, in his "History of Shelby County, Kentucky" states, "...the author is indebted to Shaler, Smith, Durrett, and the old newspaper work of the late Ed. D. Shinnick in his "Old Time History"; to his predecessors, and to letters and papers of such pioneers as Wilcox, Williamson, Ballard, Winlock, et al; from all of whom he has appropriated liberal extracts."
John wrote many letters which are still preserved today in the KY Historical Society and Filson Club of Kentucky. His notes on the Long Run Massacre near Louisville, KY are quoted in the book, ”History of the Ohio Falls Counties”.
As editor of the Shelby Sentinel newspaper, he was apparently inspired by Lyman C. Draper and began compiling notes on the earliest pioneers of Shelby county.
It is known through G. T. Wilcox’s letters to Draper that John "is at this time (1891) collecting much material in regard to the first settlers of Shelbyville and county." Except for the little material in the files of the KY Historical Society and the Filson Club of Kentucky, the fate of that collected material is not known. The Shelby Sentinel no longer exists, replaced by the Sentinel News. The current Sentinel News, contacted in 2005, had none of John’s material, and had given all of their early archives to the Kentucky Historical Society. The Society, however, when contacted in 2005, could find no archives on the early Sentinels.


Col. John Whitaker WILLIAMSON and Elizabeth (UNKNOWN) were married in 1849/50 in KY, Jefferson Co.. Elizabeth (UNKNOWN)60,75 was born in 1787 in MD. She lived in KY, Jefferson Co. on 2 October 1850. She died between 1860 and 1870 in KY, Jefferson Co., Middletown. Elizabeth was buried between 1860 and 1870 in KY, Jefferson Co., Middletown. She lived in KY, Jefferson Co., Middletown on 2 August 1860.

Col. John Whitaker WILLIAMSON and Louisa (UNKNOWN) were married between 1870 and 1880 in KY, Jefferson Co.. Louisa (UNKNOWN)98 was born in 1813 in VA. She lived in KY, Jefferson Co., O'Bannon in June 1880.