Purpose of this website

It is our intent to, through these pages, to share the results of our research and facilitate the exchange of information among fellow researchers. Any information submitted on living individuals will be used solely for the purpose establishing family links, and will not be made publicly available. Please read the Privacy Policy & Terms of Use.


My interest in genealogy probably started one day when I was flipping through my grandmother's bible and noticed (for the first time) names of relatives that I never knew. That got me to asking questions and the next thing I knew I was an amatuer genealogist.


Roger gave me a copy of "FamilyTree Maker" genealogy software for my new computer back in 1995. In starting my family tree, I talked with my maternal grandmother Dorothy Helen (McWilliams) Hopper. My interest really began to grow, because she had a story to tell. Her mother Emma Elizabeth Merritt and baby brother died of the flu in 1918 in Helena, Arkansas. Her father James McWilliams unable to take care of her took her to Jasper County Illinois, where she was raised by her maternal grandmother Rosa Bell Richey Chesnut. Grandma lost contact with her father, and wondered what happened to him. I began to share in her curiosity, and began a quest to find out what happened to him.

I still have not completely solved the mystery of James McWilliams. However, I have expanded the research beyond James McWilliams, and added several branches to our tree. Maybe one of the branches is connected to you if so, please contact us!