GEORGE E. WILLIAMS

Chula Vista, California

March 26, 1900 – February 10, 1998

 

George E. Williams, one of the original founders of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists, died Tuesday, February 10, 1998 in Chula Vista, CA. He was 97 years old.

Born in Hartford, he graduated in 1918 from Hartford Public High School. In addition to his genealogy work, he served as Scoutmaster and troop chairman of Troop 9 at the Broadview Community Church. He was awarded the Silver Beaver, the highest honor in Scouting, by the Charter Oak Council of Hartford. Upon retirement from the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. where he was assistant manager of the Hartford office, he became interested in genealogy. He wrote several books on the Bolles and Williams families, served as genealogist for The Bolles Family Association and helped form the Connecticut Society of Genealogists and was president of the Society before moving to California in 1985.

He married the late Mildred Anderson of Hartford. After her death he married the late Lucy Clark, a high school classmate who became the first woman elected to the Hartford City Council. She died in 1996. He leaves three children, Robert, a former Hartford Times sportswriter; two daughters, Dorothy Oliver and Ruth Cowles, both of Wethersfield, and 17 great grandchildren.

Funeral services are scheduled for Monday, February 16, at the Taylor Modeen Funeral Home, South Main St., West Hartford, at 10 a.m. with burial following at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Article from Hartford Courant, Connecticut

 

The following is re-printed from A Genealogy of the Descendants of Joseph Bolles of Wells, Maine, Volume II, authored by George E. Williams in 1989.

Upon retirement from the business world, George considered several means of keeping busy for the rest of his life, which he was determined would last another 35 years, or until the age of 100. Genealogy won the contest, largely because of the Bolles influence upon his life. A great aunt, Anna Bolles Williams, had done considerable work in Genealogy and instilled that interest into her grandnephew. She was also the co-author with John Rogers Bolles of the "Rogerines". Anna had lost her mother while an infant, and was brought up by her Aunt Eliza Bolles, whose brother, Ebenezer Bolles Williams, was grandfather of our George, and who passed the Bolles name on to his son, Clarence Bolles Williams, father of George.

George remembers that at an early age Aunt Anna took him to visit the Hempstead House in New London, where their cousin Mary Bolles Branch lived with her daughter Anna Hempstead Branch. With this background it is small wonder that George decided to spend the balance of his life in Genealogy, and that his first undertaking in that field would be the authorship of the Bolles Genealogy.

It has been said that our Genealogist was a Salesman and an Organizer. These traits became apparent in his teen years when he organized the largest sales of the local evening newspapers in the city. Besides delivering The Hartford Times and the Hartford Post to the neighboring homes, he organized a group of boys to sell his newspapers on the street corners where the employees of the Underwood Typewriter Co. came from work at the end of the day.

Following a year in attendance at Wesleyan University our Genealogist entered his first employment with the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company as a Home Office clerk. After four years he took an opportunity to get back into salesmanship by taking over the sales organization of Pictorial Review, a New York woman’s magazine in his home town. He soon built their sales so that he was given the State of Connecticut to work in, and later became a traveling Sales Manager for New England. After ten years the great depression came along and the company went out of business. However, his sales experience brought him an offer with another magazine company, but with a family to support on a pay of $28 weekly, out of which he had to pay his board and room in Boston, it became too much of a problem. He had no difficulty obtaining employment as a life insurance salesman with his former company, but he soon found out that he could earn more money with the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company. There he spent thirty-one years mostly as a Sales Manager and Trainer of agents in the field of selling.

Much of his spare time was spent in community work, primarily with the Boy Scouts with whom he became a Troop Committee Chairman and District Chairman organizing additional troops. For his work of writing letters to the 189 former members of his Boy Scout Troop who were in the service during World War II, he was dubbed the "One Man Post Office" by a local television reporter. Later he was awarded the Silver Beaver by the Boy Scouts. His next community work was helping to organize a property owners’ association, and later a tenants’ association.

Our Genealogist feels that his greatest achievement has been in the field of Genealogy. While gathering material for Volume I of the Bolles Genealogy he became acquainted with many genealogists who proved to be very helpful to one another. When the book was published he decided to form an association of genealogists. He then founded, organized and served as Executive Secretary for ten years with the Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc. During these ten years he built the Society membership to over 4,000 members to become one of the three largest such societies in the U.S.

His next field was to help in the organization of a new group, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, where he spent several years as President and Executive Secretary. Following that he decided to further his work as a writer and published five family genealogies.

For the past few years he has taken a larger interest in the Bolles Family Association as the author of their By-laws and Standard Operating Procedures. After a year as President of the Association, he undertook the task of writing Volume II of the Bolles Genealogy to include additional members and another generation of family members.

 

Photo & submission by Barbara Bolles, Kansas City