Christine, I have a little bit of an update on this family. From the research that I have been doing on my side of the Grimes family, and with the help of another Grimes researcher, this is what I have come up with.
I can identify the two older female children in Willis Grimes household in 1830.By looking at the 1840 census, it appears the three younger females have died.
The female that was 10-15 in 1830 would be Margaret Grimes.And the female that was listed as 5-10 in 1830 is Nancy Grimes.
In 1840 the Willis Grimes family lived right between brothers Reilly Griffin and N W Griffin.Living in the N W Griffin household was Nancy Williford Griffin and her sons Michael Mitchell and David Hobson Griffin.Nancy's husband James had died in 1837.
On Jan. 7, 1847, Mitchell Griffin m. Margaret Grimes in Washington Co, AL. Known children by this marriage were: Eliza b. 1850 AL, Roy b. 1853 AL, Nancy b. 1855 AL, and Elizabeth b. 1857 TX. Mitchell died shortly after this as Margaret and children are living with her sister-in-law Lucinda Griffin in Harris Co, TX next door to brother-in-law Sterling Griffin, his family, and his mother Nancy Griffin.
Mar 4, 1845, David Hobson Griffin and Nancy Grimes were m. in Washington Co, AL. Bondsman for this marriage was Jas D Grimes.I don't know why, as Willis was still alive. Known children by this marriage are: Alonzo b. 1849 AL, Sterling b. 1853 AL, Elizabeth b. 1855 MS, Clarinda b. 1863 TX, Michael b. 1864 TX, and Daniel b. 1867 TX.
James Griffin (father of the above Griffin men) and Dawson Grimes are listed in several Washington Co, AL documents as having been chain carriers for Spanish Surveyors as early as 1800.Both these men came to this area as early as 1797 as seen on the 1797 Spanish Territory census.Seems to have been a strong bond between Dawson and James. Also, seems that James' sons and Willis might have had a strong bond.I am leaning toward Willis being son of Dawson, but how to ever prove it?
Hope to have shed a little light on this family and welcome any further help.