Kent Juillard Speaks At Williams County Genealogical Society Meeting

Kent Juillard at the March 9, 2015 WCGS meeting WEBThe Williams County Genealogical Society held the last meeting on Monday, March 9, 2015. Our speaker was Kent Juillard who lives in the rural Stryker area. He started by telling part of his journey in life as an artist and teacher in Defiance and Tennessee colleges.

Later, Kent returned to the family homestead, with his wife, where farming became a big part of his life. He was very fortunate to have four sets of grandparents until he was 29 years old. He kept a little journal on each of the four grandparent’s families (Juillard-Werder-Bernath-Cramer).

The Thurston family started in the United States with John. He was the first Thurston to arrive from Suffolk, England on May 10, 1637 aboard the Mary Ann. He settled in Medford, Massachusetts with his wife and fathered several children.

Kent’s grandpa Mathias Thurston served in the Civil War. He fought at the Lookout Mountain Battle where he got shot in the neck. He was at the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia where he was a forager.

Grandma Gertrude Cramer Bernath had all of grandpa Mathias’ letters he wrote home while he was in the Civil War. These letters were written to his girlfriend, Sarah, who later became his wife. The letters were hard to read because there were lines written between the lines due to lack of more paper. These letters and the diary Mathias wrote during the war are in Kent’s personal collection.

The speaker at the April 13, 2015 meeting will be Kim Smith, Williams Co. First Families Chairman. She will give information on the date of family settling in the county and proof needed for each family name, if more than one is eligible for induction into the Williams Co. First Families. This will be valuable information if you have families who settled in the county prior to or as of 1860. Any person who submits eligible information, before the April deadline, will be recognized at our Annual Banquet in June.

The purpose of the WCGS is preservation of county records and family research. Monthly meetings are held on the second Monday of each month, excluding July and August, at 6:30pm, in the conference room of the West Annex of the Bryan Public Library. The public is invited to attend all meetings.

For further information concerning the WCGS, visit the Website at or write to the WCGS, P.O. Box 293, Bryan, Ohio 43506.


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