An impressive collection of Civil War artifacts related to Captain William Fitzer Williams is on display for the months of June and July at the Fairport Historical Museum, 18 Perrin Street. The display includes Captain Williams’ military weapons, uniform badges and buttons, and letters, most sent home to his wife in Niagara County.
Enoch and Mary Williams and their seven children boarded the Olive Branch, an American schooner, on May 26, 1842. Captained by Benjamin Dryer and carrying 167 passengers, the ship left Liverpool, England on a 33 day voyage to the United States of America.
The Williams family settled in Niagara County, New York, where for the next three decades Enoch was a farmer, teacher, Methodist preacher, and lecturer on topics ranging from religion to astronomy.
Four of Mary and Enoch’s boys, Philip, Edward, Henry, and William, served in the Civil War. Only Philip came home. Captain William Fitzer Williams of New York’s Second Mounted Regiment was killed on June 19, 1864, while leading an assault at Petersburg, Virginia. Edward was taken ill and died on July 14, 1864. Henry died on September 17, 1864, after contracting typhoid fever.
This display respectfully commemorates the 150th anniversary of the death of William Fitzer Williams, great great grandfather of Bill Poray, Perinton Historical Society Trustee, and Perinton Town Historian. According to Poray, “After Captain Williams’ death, the objects on display were brought home to his wife Alice, who eventually gave them to their only son (my great grandfather), born early in 1864, just a baby when his father, WFW died.”
Visit www.PerintonHistoricalSociety.org for Museum hours and/or more information.
Featured photo: Captain William Fitzer Williams and his wife Alice Hooper Williams (picture courtesy of Bill Poray)