Tag: Ferdinand McWilliams

Posted in People

Ferdinand McWilliams

FERDINAND McWILLIAMS was born in Ireland. In 1870 at the time of the Census he gave his age as 41, this would translate into a birth date in 1828 or 1829. Other sources indicate his birth year as 1820 and 1830. He went to California by way of Cape Horn to seek his fortune in the California gold fields during the 1849 gold rush. He struck it rich, and set out for home, only to be robbed, shot, and left for dead while crossing the Isthmus of Panama. He returned to Gloucester City. He married in the 1850s, his son, James Gavan being born around 1860. Wife Mary McWilliams bore him two more sons, Thomas Francis two years later, and George Bruce, born around 1867. Sadly, she passed away sometime in the 1870s.

Posted in News Articles


Former Councilman Ferdinand McWilliams died at his home on Mercer Street, Gloucester City, yesterday afternoon, after a lingering illness. The deceased was one of the oldest residents of Gloucester and during the war of the Rebellion served as a sergeant in Company D, Fourth New Jersey Volunteers, under Captain Stafford. He was about 74years of age.The time of the funeral will not be set until the arrival of his son, James McWilliams, who left home in Colorado on Friday night with the expectation of arriving here before the death of his father. He is expected tomorrow night.