Submitted 25 June 2003

From Randy Willis <>


Two  Alexander Willises


The two Alexander's are confused all the time. The reasons for this are that they  both  descend from Rev. Joseph Willis and they both are almost the same age.  One Alexander is the son of Rev. Joseph Willis' son William Willis. The other is the son of  Joseph P. Willis who is the son of  Joseph Willis, Jr. who is the son of Rev. Joseph Willis.


FACTS: a)    Alexander & William are both buried at Humble/Willis Flats Cemetery next to Bethel Baptist Church at Elizabeth, LA.  Many of the descendants of William Willis are buried there. Many of Joseph P. Willis' descendants are buried at Occupy Baptist Church near Pitkin, LA. and also Trinity, TX and Huntsville, TX.


b)    Alex (son of William) marker states he is was born 18 DEC 1869; died 10 FEB 1924.  This date of birth is wrong, for Alex, because he is listed in William Willis' household in the 1860 Rapides Parish census as age two, which would make his date of birth ABT. 1858.  Joseph P. Willis' son Alex was also born ABT. 1858.


The Willis marriages in, Rapides Parish for 1864-1900 list: a)    Alexander Willis married to Celestine McGinnes on 27 FEB 1879; page 122. b)    Alexander Willis married to Mary Nelson on 17 DEC 1874; volume 24, page 46.


The above is confirmed by the 1880 Rapides Parish census: a)    Alexander Willis (age 22) married to Celestine/Selestine (age 19). Children listed: Henry (age 6/12). b)    Alexander Willis (age 23) married to Mary (age 23). Children listed: Arthur (age 5), Decton/Denton? (age 3) and Mary (age 8/12).


Also note both Alexander Willis' ages listed in the 1880 census. Alexander, son of  William Willis, would have been born ABT 1857 (also remember he was two in the 1850 census) and Alexander, son of  Joseph P. Willis, would have been born ABT 1858. These dates prove that the date of  birth for Alexander Willis, on his marker, at Willis Flats Cemetery is wrong. I have found this before.  Many times when someone died during this period in history they received a wooden or metal marker that later perished and then later a better one was placed there in stone with the wrong date of  birth, but with the correct date of death (because that date is more recent and better known). Rev. Joseph Willis' date of  birth is wrong on his marker.


Randy Willis <>