New Castle, Delaware
Community History and Archaeology Program 
Jacobus Williams

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Jacobus Williams

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Address300 Delaware?
Date painted
CreditPrivate collection
MarriedMary Garland (1715)
ParentsJan Willemse Neering (aka John Williams) & Ann de Meyer

This portrait descended through the Ross and Read families to the present owner. It is believed to be that of Jacobus Williams, brother of Joanna Williams, first wife of Rev. George Ross.

The identity of the sitter is more than a little murky, since there is another upper-class brother-sister pair with similar names that lived in New Castle during this period: Jacobus Williams Neering (or Nerring) and Joanna (or Johanna) Williams Neering. It is not obvious whether they are the same or not.

Jacobus and Johanna Williams Neering [Nerring] were children of John Williams Neering according to the Calendar of Wills, New Castle County, 1682-1800.

John Williams Nerring. [Neering?] Merchant. N. C. [d] June 4, 1698. Aug. 27,
1700. Misc. 1, 366. Son, Jacobus Williams Nerring; four
daughters, Sarah, Lydia, Elizabeth and Joanna Williams Nerring.
Wife deceased. Adm. daughters, Sarah and Lydia; Mr. Richard
Halliwell; Dr. Samuel Staats, Capt. Johannes Kip.
John was the second wealthiest person in the New Castle Constabulary according to the tax assessments from 1683.

According to the NY Genealogical and Biographical Record, Jan Willemse Neering of New Castle married Ann the daughter of the former mayor of New York. He was a member of Penn's provincial council. He was also known as John Williams.

"Jacobus William Neering" m Mary Garland in 1715 according to the Immanuel's Vital Records. But it provides no details of children or death for either them or Joanna Ross. Johanna's [Joanna] marker inside the church has the inscription: "Memor virtutum Johannae conjugis Honesto genere natae hoc sepulcri Monumentum maritus Georgius Ross. Evangelii praeco, extruendum curavit. Anno acquievit illa aetatis trigesimo Septimo. 29 September 1726." "Dixit ei Jesus quisquis vivit et credit in me non morietur in eternum." "Calcanda semel via lethi."

Joanna is an unresolved discrepancy. The "Rossiana" book of Read/Ross genealogy says of the wife of George Ross. "Joanna Williams b. 1680 Rhode Island d. 29 Sep 1726 Buried: Immanuel Church, New Castle, DE".

So, if Joanna was born in Rhode Island, who was her father? Was her brother Jacobus Williams Neering? I can't answer from the available information.

Jim Meek
nc-chap.org 2014, 2015