Thomas was the son of Johannes and Anna Margaretha Willems.They lived in Palatinate, Germany.
From the Book "Early German Hawk Families of Westmoreland County, PA" by Kenneth
"Johannes Willems was born in the Palatinate region of Germany in 1688.In September of 1736, at the age of 48, he and his wife,Anna Margaretha, age 36, arrived in Philadelphia on the ship "Harle".His was the only Germany family that arrived in Philadelphia during this period with that name (Willems), and was one of the very few that was able to sign and spell his name on the "Loyality and Abjuration" papers upon arrival.They brought with them their son, Thomas, born (ca 1724) in Germany, and since he was under 14 years of age, was not listed by name on the passenger list.
Records from the "Jordan Lutheran Church in Northampton County, Pennsylvania show that on the 27th of December, 1748, Thomas Willems and wife, Naeima, Baptised their son,
Daniel, born on 23rd December, 1748.
Thomas & Neaima Willems had the following children:
Child 1) Catherina "Sarah" WILLIAMS-
After their migration to Westmoreland County, their daughter, Catherina, married
her 1st Cousin, Jacob Hawk, son of Conrad and Sarah Hawk. Sarah died before the birth of any of her grandchildren.
Child 2) Catherine WILLEMS-
Catherine Willems married Abraham Frantz.
(The Frantz family had arrived from Lorraine on the 20th o f October, 1747, and settled in Heidelberg Township.)
In September 1757, the Indains attached the Frantz cabin and seized the daughters of Henry Frantz.
Henry Frantz was later killed by the Indians in 1764 on his farm in Heidelberg
Township.The Tax Report for Henry Frantz in 1764, states:"Killed by Indians".
The court appointed, ABRAHAM FRANTZ, as guardians of Henry's children.
Abraham and Catherine's son, Jacob, married Elizabeth Oterm an after they migrated to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
In 1779, Indians murdered Abraham Frantz.
Child 3) Daniel WILLEMS- Prior to Migrating to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Daniel Willems adopted the English way of spelling his name (Williams).He was one of the original German settlers in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Shortly before the "Great Purchase" by Pennsylvania west of the Allegheny Mountains, Daniel claimed land by "Tomahawk Right" in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, which became Bedford County in 1771, and finally Westmoreland County in 1773.After the formal purchase in 1769, Daniel applied for 309 acres, and awarded Patent Number 3660 in Hempfield Township .It was Daniel who persuaded his brother, Thomas, and the Abraham Frantz families to move to Westmoreland County in 1775.
Child 4) Margaret Willems (Williams) married George Yearian.
Child 5) Anna Maria Willems (Williams) married Nicholas Kepple.
Child 6) Francina Willems married Lugwig Oterman.
Child 7) Thomas Williams married Anna Magdalena Yearian.He purchased 682 acres in joint ownership with Abraham Frantz, his
brother-in-law, located in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
The "English land recorder miss spelled Abraham's last name "Frantz" on the purchase papers, it is listed as "France".They named their purchased land, "PARIS".A record reflecting Abraham & Thomas's sence of humor.(One can easily visualize this -two men with accents, trying to explain and
correct an Englishman and giving up after receiving no success and then dealing
with it jovially by calling his new found capital - "Paris " since he is now called France!)
The entire Willems family changed to the English spelling of their last name after moving to Westmoreland.We need keep the old spelling for the parents of this family unit to unify their records and so that if any records are found for their ancestors the spelling will be correct.Thus the children of this couple have the English spellings of their surname and their parent's the German.
If you have or desire any information regarding this family please contact me.