James "Hoke" Willis was born 15 Jun 1813, the 11th child of Benjamin Willis & unknown (some believe she was Ane Galis) of Rutherford County, NC. He died 4 Dec 1890 in Estatoe, Mitchell County, North Carolina. James is buried in Yancey County, NC. In 1837, he married Martha Patty Howell, daughter of James A. Howell and Martha Patty Hill, both born in VA and died in Yancey/Burke County, NC. She was born 6 Jul 1821 in North Carolina, died 14 Jul 1900, and is buried in the Big Crabtree Cemetery, Mitchell County, North Carolina.
1- Nancy Willis b- 24 Nov 1838 Yancey County, NC d-28 Feb 1920 Mitchell County
+William Tolley (son of Francis Tolley & Dorothy Bennett) m-22 Oct 1852
2- Matilda Willis b- 1839
3- Thomas Willis b- 1839
4- Elizabeth Willis b- 1842
+Henry L. Willis (son of Hannah Willis)
+John McDavid Thomas m- 1866-67
5- Myra Elmira Willis b- 1845 d- 30 Dec 1914
+John Grindstaff (son of Fighting Henry Grindstaff & Mary Buchanan) m- 10 Aug 1865
6- James M. Jr "Dick" Willis b- 1848 d- 5 Dec 1912 Mitchell County
7- Martha Willis b- 1850
8- Locky Willis b- 1853
9- Jackson S. Willis b- 1855
+Cynthia 'Willis (David Willis & Zilphia Grindstaff) m- 6 May 1872
10 William Robert Willis b- 1857
11 Joicy Willis b- 1859
12- Henry John Willis b- 1861 d- 1930 Mitchell County
+Liza Jane Laury
Benjamin Willis left Rutherford Co for what is now Mitchell Co in 1830, purchased land there and it appears his wife was dead by then. Benjamin had 13 children, with 2 daughters. James Hoke reported his mother was born in PA.
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