Families of Forsyth: The Williams family

This week, we met the Williams family, which has lived in Forsyth County for generations. Sandra’s grandparents farmed the land with cattle, passing it down through the years. Nathan grew up on the farm and is set to begin a new chapter at law school in D.C.


About this series

  • Families of Forsyth is a twice-monthly series that tells the story, in their own words, of a different family each time, showing us the uniqueness and diversity of our neighbors who live in Forsyth County. Words may be edited for length. Presented by Hopewell Roofing & Restoration, which has been putting roofs over families’ heads, so many of which keep choosing Forsyth County, for nearly a decade.

Sandra Williams: “My granddaddy and grandma lived up there in the big white house, and my uncle owned the land. And my granddaddy and his wife and two sisters that was never married, they all lived there. Daddy had this 80 acres, Momma and Daddy. And I lived here all my life except when the house burned and until we came to this house here about six-seven years ago, I think. We bought it from Momma and Daddy ‘cause he got sick and lived here, I reckon, all my life. Daddy had a dairy, and he farmed every bit of the land. I don’t know how many cows, 50-, 60-something. Then we bought the cows.

We lived down on Buford Dam Road for, oh, 30 years. I didn’t want to come back. When I lived here, there was just one or two houses and dirt. And then it was paved and everything changed. I said I don’t want to go back up there, but we did and I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else at all. Morris passed away two years ago in September. Lord, he loved farming. He was just as active as could be.”

Nathan Williams
Nathan Williams stands in front of his grandparents’ cattle farm in Cumming with an old copy of the Forsyth County News that features his father on the front page. - photo by Micah Green
Nathan Williams: “I was probably one of the closest one who was involved with the cows, so right after my grandfather passed away, it kind of fell to me to take care of the cows. But I’ve also been away for some time, so my uncle and my grandmother usually manage the day-to-day. There’s not too many cows anymore. We only have about 30-something. So it’s not too time-consuming, except in the winter time.

The first one we bought in my memory we bought in Tennessee, I was like 6 or 7. We bought two cows there, and that’s when I really became involved in the cows. From there on after it was looking after those two, and it kind of morphed into traveling with my grandfather going to different cattle auctions, and we went all the way to Oklahoma several times, Kansas, Missouri. We’ve got a customer base, too, that expanded out West so we would deliver cows and purchase then, so over time I just became more involved and started selling them myself.

I grew up in the house next door for the most part of my life, so I’ve always been around here. I’ve always lived around large amounts of land for the most part, and just always being around the cows. They’re really smart, peaceful animals.

I’m moving to Washington D.C. today. I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2016, and after that I left the University of Georgia and I moved to London in September 2016 to do a masters’ degree. I did my masters’ degree at the London School of Economics. It was only a one-year program, and I completed that recently. Now, I’m headed to more school for my final degree. I’m going to Georgetown Law School in D.C.

I studied abroad in England about a year before I moved there, so I knew exactly what I was getting myself into, I thought. It took about a month to get adjusted to everything, but once I made friends and got adjusted, everything was fine. But it was really incredible to look back and know I came from a farm in north Georgia to London, England, for school. All my European friends thought it was the grandest thing ever. They thought they’d finally found some true American from the Deep South.”

We’ve got four grandchildren. Allen has Nathan and Abbey, and Curtis has Caroline and Anna, which Caroline has left last week. She moved to Athens to go to university. And Anna is in the 10th.
Sandra Williams
She’s at Central High School, where we all went. I think my grandfather was one of the first classes to graduate from the new Forsyth Central. So it was completely by chance, but my senior year, I ended up with the same locker he had his senior year. My other grandmother, she has six kids and 13 grandkids.
Nathan Williams