Williams-Norris-Padgett-Jennings Website
WNPJ "IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR" A Gathering of Sorts Family Reunion Trail
Welcome to the WNPJ website

...and thanks for visiting the WNPJ website!

We hope you enjoy your stay.





WNPJ 40th Reunion Anniversary

1978 - 2018



The reunions are held every two (2) years on the even years.

Please follow along with us on our amazing journey over the years, where we have been and some of the things we have done.

A Family Reunion

             is a time to remember,

                  a time to laugh,

a time to celebrate...

a time to share stories

and make New memories.

a time to see each other

in the faces all around us

and find reflections of ourselves

in hearts both young and old .

A Reunion is a coming together

that strengthens the bond of family

 and reminds us of the gift

of belonging.

A chance to share our history.

A reason to celebrate our past.

A time to welcome our future...

                                  as a family.  

We have made this website so that you can share our lives, see our pictures and leave a message in our guestbook. Have fun!

     We all love to reminisce; we all love to tell others what we have done, what we have thought, where we came from and what our dreams are/were. Just as the tiny brooks and streams flow together to form the mighty Mississippi, we the Williams – Norris – Padgett – Jennings are coming together to share, protect and preserve our heritage.

WNPJ family reunions began as a "Gathering or A Gathering of Sorts" in Newburgh, NY, of the decendents of Mack & Clara
(Norris) Williams and their children. Over the years, as the families met at reunions, the lineage
expanded to include the ancestors of Mack Arthur Williams and Clara Etta Norris, both of Ridge
Spring, SC. Mack's family tree extends back through Jerry and Sylvia (Durst/Penn) Williams, on his
father's side and through Ellen Jennings on his mother's side. Clara's family tree extends back
through Alexander and Sarah Norris on her father's side and through Lucy Youngblood and her adopted
family, Benjamin and Sarah Padgett.

Please remember before you leave the site to sign our guestbook.

WNPJ - 1978 Newburg, NY

In The Beginning…

1978 Newburgh, NY

     It all began in July of 1978 at 90 City Terrace, Newburg, NY. The call went out, “Y’all come!” and they all came.


     The purpose was to greet Ted Staples and his new family (Mack and Clara Williams 7th male grand child). They came from Connecticut , New Jersey , California , South Carolina , and Florida . Some had food and some had none, but, we were all gathered in a number totaling 75 to 100, friends and relatives.


     The day went on as planned. We ate, we played, we laughed, we ate, we played, and we told jokes of old and new.  We shared old family fables. As the day drew to a close Pearl Williams-Lancaster, (the eighth child of Mack and Clara) announced that in 1980, we were all invited to her and Spencer’s “Buddy’s” residence in New London CT. So those gathered consented to meet July 4th weekend in New London , CT. 1980.

*Hosted by Arlivia Williams-Staples and Family          

WNPJ - 1980 New London, CT

1980 New London CT

     Now its July 4th weekend in New London , CT. We have gathered again. Travelers came from Virginia , Nebraska , California , South Carolina . With the South Carolina travelers came “The King of the Liars” Clarence Williams now deceased. They also came from New York , New Jersey and other parts of Connecticut .

     This was the turning point. We were joined by Cousin Chester Norris, one of Clara’s nephew’s and son of the late Chester Norris (Clara’s youngest brother).

     Pearl and her siblings met during the New London gathering and discussed the possibility of family gatherings at the homestead Ridge Spring, SC. Things did not come together as planned but plans were made to go to Pauline , S.C. in 1981.

* Hosted by Spencer/Pearlestine Lancaster.        

WNPJ - 1981 Pauline, SC

1981 Pauline SC…

     Again July was the gathering month. The gathering was held in “The Big Foot Country,” (as they call it). We all gathered in Pauline , SC at the home of William Watt Askew (Bill), son of Evangeline (Mack and Clara’s oldest child).

     The family gatherers again came from California , Virginia , Connecticut , New York , New Jersey , and Maryland , as well as other parts of South Carolina . We, at that time named the house “Little House on the Prairie”, because over 50 family membersslept in the house, ranging in ages from 2-65. * Hosted by Evangeline Williams-Askew.      

WNPJ - 1986 Wiscasset, ME

1986 Wiscasset , ME

     Following the South Carolina gathering, the family “gatherings” somewhat disappeared. In 1984 Arthur S. Davis Jr. and his wife Diane Gilman - Davis (Evangeline’s/Eve oldest son) announced at their wedding reception/ brunch, they would host the reunion in 1986.

     This was the rebirth of the “gathering”. After South Carolina , we began the travel to other parts of the East Coast. In 1986 we gathered at the home of Arthur Davis and Diane Gilman in Wiscasset , Maine …and boy were we out in the “boonies”, only them and us for miles. They pitched a tent and we ate from soup to nuts. Serving lobsters (some didn’t know the head from the tail but attempted to feast just the same). *Hosted by Arthur Davis and Diane Davis-Gilman.        


WNPJ - 1988 Miami, FL

1988 Miami , FL

     Now, enough of the formal gathering. We decided to put some order to this thing. Henry Askew (Evangeline’s/Eva 3rd son) and Ted Staples (Arlivia’s/Lit oldest son) decided it was time for us to gather in Miami, FL. When the date drew near, there were invitations mailed informing the family members of “A Family Affair” which included the descendants of the Williams-Norris-Padgett-Jennings families. This affair was held again during the July 4th weekend. At this time T-shirts were introduced, as well as genealogy information. Festivities included a game at the famous Doral Golf Course for those pro-golfers (and you know who you are…Spencer/Buddy, you missed that one. Others took a Cruise to the Bahamas (Yeah Mon), and some headed for the dog track, “doggies” (those screaming dogs). Again they came from New York , New Jersey , Connecticut , Maryland , Maine , California , and South Carolina .

     The big announcement was made that in 1990, we would all gather in Pleasantville , NJ , at the Simmon’s residence Bill and Jessie Williams-Simmons (Mack and Clara’s 10th child). We had two years to get ready, Wow! What an affair. The call went out for July 4th weekend.

* Hosted by Henry Askew and Ted Staples.       

WNPJ - 1990 Reunion - Pleasantville , NJ

 1990 Pleasantville , NJ...    

    The time came for traveling; some came by air, little rowboats, skate boards, grease board planks, walking canes, crutches, hobble sticks and little red wagons to say the least. They came in numbers approximately 250-300 strong and used two backyards with peeping-eyed neighbors.

     The family members kept coming. At this time we were joined by the Norris’ of Bridgeport , CT (Clara’s nephew). The Williams’ of South Carolina and New Jersey (Cousin Isaac’s son James/Ruth and granddaughters). Uncle Creighton'’ (brother of Mack) daughters, Juanita Toatley of South Carolina and Cressie Lennon of New York -and their immediate families. His sons Leroy and Jennings of New York -and their immediate families. Aunt Hassie’s (Mack'’ sister) daughter, Christine of New York -and her family. Andrew Corley of Pennsylvania , and his sister Margaret Cunningham of South Carolina (Dellie’s children/Mack’s sister). Dahlia and Joanne of Florida and South Carolina (children of Mack’s brother Homer). Wells of California and Wells of Pennsylvania (great nieces and nephews of Clara). Those that attended the previous gathering from NY, CT, SC, VA, FL and CA, all attended again but in larger numbers.

     The day began with much gawking, card playing. Basketball shooting and the whole works. The Simmons out did themselves because they controlled the city and the motels that day!

     The finale of this affairwas the trip to Atlantic City . Some were habitual gamblers, some had never seen or been, some just wanted to see, some just walked the boardwalk and some just said “I’ve been, I’ve seen, and let’s go. Along the walk one joined a Russian belly-dancing contest; would you believe the winner was a member of this clan, and a young male at that.

     When this weekend was over it was undecided where we would go two years later. Finally, it was announced we would go to Rock Hill , SC. The host and hostess were Rev. and Mrs. Toatley (daughter of Creighton, Mack’s brother). * Hosted by William and Jessie Simmons.  

WNPJ - 1992 Rock Hill, SC

1992 Rock Hill , SC

     On July 4th weekend, 1992, what a crowd convened in Rock Hill , SC. They came from GA, FL, VA, NY, NJ, CT, CA, ILL , MA, PA, RI, and many other parts of SC. People, people, people. The day was filled with games, eating, talking, talking, eating, and games. At the end of the day a banquet was held at Clinton Junior College in Rock Hill SC. There was music, singing, and someone trying to explain how everyone in attendance was related to the Williams-Norris-Padgett-Jennings. This affair was done very well. Everyone went away having a little knowledge of his or her relationship with each other. It was then decided that in 1994 the affair would be held in Newburg, NY hosted by the McKenzie’s and Staples. * Hosted by Rev. Robert and Juanita Toately.       

WNPJ - Reunion 1994 - Newburg / New Windsor , NY

1994 Newburg / New Windsor , NY


     The time arrived again and what a crowd. This was a three-day affair. We gathered at Ophelia “Buttons” Staples-McKenzie’s (oldest daughter of Arlivia Williams-Staples – Mack and Clara’s 6th child) place in New Windsor, NY. People came who had never attended before. The main event was held in the county park with plenty of space. Fishing, golfing, volleyball and some trying to play baseball, were some of the activities.

     At this gathering we had someone who did a “strip-tease” (under it all she was fully clothed). Would you believe it was Christine Bowens – the most “recycled teenager” (oldest family member in attendance)! There were raffles and give-aways…each one went away with some little trinket. The closing event included a huge fish fry and “rock photo) (have you seen the T-shirts)?

     It was voted then and there that 1996 we would converge on Deland , FL with hostess Dahlia Brown. The majority voted that the event for the year 1998 would be held in Upper Marlboro, MD and for 2000 the affair would be held in Pennsylvania .

* Hosted by Ophelia Staples.      


WNPJ - 1996 Deland, FL

1996 Deland , FL

     In Florida , Ms. Brown went all out. It stormed the main day of the affair but through it all we managed to continue because a pavilion and stoned-in building was provided. Here again we had family members who traveled for the first time. There was a fashion show of hats…what models we had.

     A raffle was drawn; one family member tried to buy all the raffle tickets…But it paid off; he won the big prize-a VCR!

* Hosted by Daliah Williams-Brown and Committee.        

WNPJ - 1998 Upper Marlboro, MD

1998 Upper Marlboro, MD…Here we are!!!

     Ruth Deas and Steve Dawkins went all out for this affair. Family-friends tore down the lady’s fence next door (with permission of course). Cars were parked almost up to the Baltimore Harbor .

     Games, contest, auctions were held. Youngsters and babies running around. Some how the building where the Banquet was to be held burned down and no place to go. At the final hours a gentleman also a family member came through with a place. Everyone went away on the third day stating what a time what a time!!!

     Next stop Philadelphia .

* Hosted by Ruth Askew-Deas/Steve Dawkins and Committee.        

WNPJ - 2000 Philadelphia, PA

2000 Philadelphia , PA

       Philadelphia - my Philadelphia , July 7-9. Arriving at the Holiday Inn, people, people and more people. The Wells family pulled out all the stoppers. When it all came together it looked like a flower garden.

      It started with hospitality night out and ended with a Prayer breakfast. Plus a Banquet and the host had to pull the plug on the DJ to get us folks out of the hall at 2:30 A.M.

     One of our family members had to see what Miss. Nieman & Mr. Marcus was and discovered it was a high-class store. They bought a pair of shoes on sale for $234.00 a pair. Just had to have them.

   Also another family member had never attended the reunion before, returned to his homeland rejoicing and saying the half has not been told about this family affair. Stated that borrowing any unforeseeable circumstances he would never miss another affair.

     Everyone that was available in the morning was in the mood for having a shouting good time at the Prayer Breakfast.

     The stage was set for the Prayer breakfast. Those Williams sisters (4 daughters) of Mack and Clara’s and others that originated from the Church that Great grandfather Jerry Williams founded whipped the crowd into frenzy with old time Gospel singing. Followed by the Norris family with a foot stomping dust ball, jumping, and hand clapping time.What a time, what a time, what a time!

     Finally it was time to leave Philadelphia and head back home, but our hats off to the Wells family.

* Hosted by Steven Wells and Family/Committee.      

WNJPJ - 2002 Norwalk, CT

2002 Norwalk , CT

Here we are in Norwalk , CT what a day what a day, Children teenagers, adults, young and old. Ct is called the nutmeg state. Guess what a nutmeg is? (A little hard nut). People gathered at least 300 and what a time. From Friday night until Sunday morning. From Maine to Florida all the way to CA. and in between. A crew came out of NY that had not attended the affair before. There was a talent show, a concert by youngsters and a ballerina. Prizes were given and a talent show was held on Friday. A banquet was held on Saturday evening also an auction. Several items was made by family members and brought a nice sum. On Sunday morning a Prayer breakfast was held and then the festivities ended What a time what a time. If you were not were not at the affair you missed it. Hats off to the committee.

* Hosted by Dwayne Sullins / Judy Bond - Sullins and Committee.       

WNPJ - 2004 Columbia/Batesburg, SC

2004 Columbia/Batesburg, SC…

July 2004 here we are again traveling back into time. The Williams-Norris-Padgett-Jennings all began at the Ridge Branch Baptist Church area. Now it takes me back or I’ve come back to the place where we began.

Some traveled by airplane, busses, and cars and walking canes all total 325.

We all met in Columbia , South Carolina what a crowd. Looking like a flower garden with colors of all kinds.

We traveled to the Ridge Branch Baptist Church where we had a real service and dedication of a plaque of past and present deacons. What a time what a time what a good time was had by all.

This year (2004) the familyaffair returned to our home place the Ridge Branch Baptist

Church. Just take me back where we all first began.

  * Hosted by Allen Staples/Mack Williams and Committee.        

WNPJ - 2006 Williamsburg, VA

2006 Williamsburg , VA

The 2006 family affair was held in Williamsburg , VA. Take me back to “ole Virginie” the day for traveling was upon us and it was a great day for traveling and the closer we came to the place the more excited it became. Kathy / Dwain and Committee pulled out all the stops and what a time we had. They put on a spread that wouldn’t wait. I believe that they had fifty cakes all different kinds, plus other stuff. I heard thru the “grape vine” someone was so excited trying to get there they burned up the engine in their car. The stores in the area made a bundle because there’s a crew that shopped until they drop.

At the banquet the MC was from California and he can really play the house.

One man crooned (sang) to his wife (they were not used to each other). A young girl did a ballet dance and some others told lies (jokes) as usual.

Well let me tell you the one who writes the news or the tidbits for this journal had broke her pinky toe got all dressed up with a fancy pair of keen toed shoes. Those things hurt, so badly she kicked them off and went bare footed before the crowd ha, ha.

The highlight of the evening was one lady has gone anything although she had a handicap, her children got her on the dance floor and I think she forgot her condition. She really picked them up and then put them down. YOU GO GIRL!

* Hosted by Dwain and Kathy Williams and Committee. 

WNPJ - 2008 Brunswick, Maine

2008 Brunswick, ME...

The 2008 family affair was held in Wiscasset, ME.

The reunion in Wiscasset was well attended with family members from NY, and OH who had not attended before. There was an assortment of games and other activities to enjoy and above all a seafood boil that surpassed any other. Arthur and Diane really did their thing.

* Hosted by Arthur Davis and Diane Davis-Gilman & Committee.



WNPJ - 2010 Oakland, CA.

2010 Oakland , CA  


The 2010 family affair was held in Oakland , CA. July 9, 10 and 11th .

This reunion was not attended very well, but it didn t stop those who made the trip to Oakland quite a treat. Northern California was simply breathtaking with lots of sightseeing. Just seeing the Golden GateBridge, crooked Lombard Street, Alcatraz prison, the Trolly Cars and many many interesting sites wer really worthwhile.

* Hosted by John Staples & Committee.



WNPJ - 2012 - Reunions

2012 Atlanta, GA ...



The 2012 family affair was held in Atlanta, GA .

2012 brought the WNPJ Family Reunion to Atlanta , GA (ATL, Hotlanta, the Black Mecca of the South). The family converged on Atlanta (Jonesboro, GA) in record numbers. The count on Saturday July 7, 2012 was over 300 registered Williams, Norris, Padgett, Jennings family members.

The host committee Ophelia "Button" Staples, DaWayne Stapes, Shaniqua (Staples) Kirkland, Lamont Lancaster, and a new family

member Yvonne (Williams) McCartney all descendants of Jerry Williams, planned a weekend in the Park "AtlantaInternationalBeach" home of the Volleyball site for the 1996 Olympics. Food, swimming, and fun for all ages that included face painting, and entertainment for the children. The weekend concluded with Church service at Fountain of FaithMissionaryBaptistChurch in Riverdale, GA family church of the Staples and Kirklands. We were truly blessed by several songs "sang" by the Norris Sister.

This Reunion brought family members together that had never attended he WNPJ reunion. One of the family members attends the same church

as the Staples and Kirkland families. Valerie (Norris-Reese) Hills is the church Administrative Secretary, and as she was preparing the

announcements for the July 8 Sunday service, she saw the Norris name as one of the families in the WNPJ reunion.

Although, not all of the 300 family members attended service on Sunday, we took up a large section of the church representing the WNPJ

family, fellowshipping, and sharing the Word of God. As we disbursed and prepared to return to our respective homes, we were thanked by the

congregation, sent off with prayers and safe travel.

*Hosted by: Ophelia "Button" Staples, DaWayne Staples, Shaniqua (Staples) Kirkland, Lamont Lancaster, and a new family member Yvonne (Williams) McCartney all descendants of Jerry Williams








WNPJ 2014 Reunion

2014 Essington, Pennsylvania ...

 The 2014 family affair was held in Essington an area of Philadelphia it was very well attended with the oldest member of the family in participating. Tours were scheduled for sightseeing The City of Brotherly Love, which included the Rocky Balboa Steps,Independence Hall and other historical sites. The banquet was held on Saturday night that included dinner, photo taking, a hat show and dancing.

William and Karen did a great job.

*Hosed by William (Bill)/Karen Askew & Committee.         




WNPJ 2016 Reunion

2016 Raleigh/Durham NC area ...         

The 2016 family affair was held in the Raleigh NC and was very well attended. It was a beautiful affair, with meet and greet on Friday evening. On Saturday was an exploring day of parts of Raleigh for some, for others it was chit-chatting with family members that you saw at the a previous reunion and family members that you were seeing for the first time at the reunion. For some it was relaxing from a long drive or a long flight. The Banquet this was the highlight of the reunion. The stage was set, the dress for the evening was black or white or black and white. The food was superb and plenty of it. From chicken baked or fried to fish and hush-puppiesand lots of other dishes to go along. It was truly a feast of feasts and delicious. Everyone appeared to have enjoyed themselves.

*Hosted: by Eugene and Gwen Padgett and family/Committee.

Where do we go from here:


WNPJ - 2018 Reunion
The 2018 family affair was held in  New London Connecticut :

    On the 8th, 9th and 10th of July 2018 The WNPJ Family  Reunion  was held in  New London Connecticut , hosted by the Lancaster Family with the assistance of other  Connecticut  family members.  There were approximately 200 in attendance that traveled from various parts of the country, some for the first time, others that haven't missed a reunion since we started in 1978.  Initially, the reunion was not call a "reunion" it was considered as a "get together" and in 1980 the Lancaster Family were the host of the "get together" 

    The oldest member of our family, Cressie Williams-Lenon who reached age101 was in attendance and was honored with many blessings and congratulations as well as best wishes.  We were also honored by new family members from  Syracuse New York , and  Philadelphia PA , to acknowledge a few who indicated that it was their first time, but it would not be their last.  They as most of us are looking forward to 2020 in  Philadelphia  (Philly), PA.

  Everyone enjoyed themselves as we always do, with Meet and Greet on Friday evening, fun and games and lunch on Saturday during the day and the Banquet on Saturday night.  We were entertained by two of our up and coming dancers, Aryn Kearse, Alphonso Davis's granddaughter and Kai'ra Jones, Daniel Askew's granddaughter.  We thank these young ladies, it was a treat to behold, we need more talent from our youth as well as our young adults.

    The ancestry of the Williams, Norris, Padgett Jennings is still being researched.  However, anyone have information about these families please share with our committees. 

*Hosted by the  Lancaster  Family/Committee.

WNPJ 2022 Reunion


2020  Philadelphia PA

The 2020 WNPJ Family Reunion was cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.


2022  Philadelphia PA  

July 8 - 10, 2022.   

*Hosted by Steven Wells and Family/Committee.

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Kim L Mayo | Reply 27.10.2022 14:15

good afternoon , i am the great grand daughter of Genious Williams, his only son Julius Williams is my grandfather and his only son Arnold Williams is my dad

Anita Eve Wright | Reply 11.07.2022 16:59

The 7/22 WNPJ reunion was wonderful! I connected with previously unknown family and, certainly after the Sunday prayer breakfast, was inspired by the almighty!

Michael Curtis Askew 20.09.2022 12:12

would you be kind enough to write a paragraph about your experience attending the WNPJ prayer breakfast. contact me at mcaskew@yahoo.com

Michael Askew 17.07.2022 21:41

I'm with you! Had a great time. Can't wait to see you all again.

Michael Askew | Reply 29.12.2021 17:10

The 2022 WNPJ Family Reunion registration package will be mailed out January 3, 2022. Please send your registration in ASAP.

Michael Askew | Reply 20.09.2021 13:30

Williams, Norris, Padgett, Jennings Family Reunion will be held on July 8-10, 2022 in King Prussia, PA! Mark your calendars. Get Ready for a great vacation!

Audra L. Williams | Reply 25.02.2020 17:49

I think this site and all the effort you guys have done to invest in our family is wonderful! Thank You! I hope to see you in 2020. Im 40 mins away.

BEATRICE S SOMERVILLE | Reply 18.11.2019 13:24

The Norris' will be there BIG!!!!

EUGENE PADGETT | Reply 01.08.2019 18:06

Alright, family cousin, Steve is bringing me back home to the party so I would love to see the rest of you, one thing about Philly you don't much to party.

Yvonne D McCartney | Reply 13.07.2019 22:08

Love the communications. Thanks for sharing, and I'll see you in 2020

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Latest comments

27.10 | 14:15

good afternoon , i am the great grand daughter of Genious Williams, his only son Julius Williams is my grandfather and his only son Arnold Williams is my dad

20.09 | 12:12

would you be kind enough to write a paragraph about your experience attending the WNPJ prayer breakfast. contact me at mcaskew@yahoo.com

17.07 | 21:41

I'm with you! Had a great time. Can't wait to see you all again.

11.07 | 16:59

The 7/22 WNPJ reunion was wonderful! I connected with previously unknown family and, certainly after the Sunday prayer breakfast, was inspired by the almighty!

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