As many of you know, I am writing a series of books based on Naomi Jackson Oxendine, born 1784 who then had four children in Jackson County TN. This family was all involved in the chancery records that most of the family genealogists have delved through.

Here’s my challenge.

We know that Naomi had two children, Jonathan and Polly, with “The Devil Bill Williams”. He had a ruthless reputation. I didn’t mind making him the “bad guy” in my books. However, I’m at the point where Naomi meets David Oxendine, and we know she then has two children with David. I want to therefore do something to Bill. However, I can’t find any research ANYWHERE which indicates what happened to bill after Polly was born. So I’m nervous about stuffing Bill in jail, for example, if anybody knows what actually happened to him.

Naomi Jackson Oxendine Genealogy

Does anybody know?

If we agree that nobody knows, I think I’m putting Bill in jail. Hopefully none of us descendants will mind that. Maybe it’s more likely in that time-frame that he would have been hung but I’m less keen on killing off a real life person when we’re not sure what happened to him.

I haven’t updated my Oxendine pages in a while, so I’m going to go through and refresh them all to make sure they have everything I know about the family members in the books. I’m writing in the 1800-1810 timeframe. If you have anything to add to my pages, let me know.

Here’s book 1 – it’s free – if you haven’t seen it yet –

I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. I’m happy to take any suggestions.


  1. Powerful story of a bygone era that is hard-hitting and relentless in the way to protagonist is treated. Across the River is a page-turner that is difficult to read at times, even as accurate a story that it is, and as the story seems to continue on to the next book we will more than likely see more abuse and hard times. As much as I liked this story, it ended a bit too abruptly for my taste. I don’t mind sequels, but this book should have had a more satisfactory place to stop, then continue on to its logical conclusion.

    1. I appreciate your thoughts! The challenge is, as we see with many TV shows, if an author leaves off in a “satisfying” place it means that readers / viewers feel complete. There isn’t a compelling draw to go and immediately find out what happens next. If one leaves off in an “unsatisfying” place where things are left dangling, there is a far more powerful draw to immediately see what happened. And since I use these books to support shelters, I have motivation to want to keep people reading.

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