Bill Williams has embarked on the longest walk of his lifetime.
It’s a 260-mile trek that will take him from Smyrna Cemetery in Warren County to Pontotoc County in Mississippi. Williams is trying to walk 13 miles a day and has made it about 105 miles thus far.
“I really didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t exactly train for this,” said Williams, 57. “I figured if I was going to crash and burn I would do it in the first 50 miles. Now that I’ve made it to 105, I think I can finish the whole trip. I’ve developed blisters on my feet but everything else is going well.”
Williams picked the 260-mile course from Warren County to Pontotoc County to commemorate a route taken by one of his ancestors around 180 years ago. He is a descendant of the McGregor family, which first settled in Warren County in 1810 along the Collins River.
Twin brothers Ezekial and Willis McGregor were among the first to settle in this area with another brother, William. Ezekial and Willis are buried at Smyrna Cemetery, which is why Williams picked that as his starting point.
It was in 1835 when Ezekial’s son, Willis Nard, decided to move to Pontotoc County, Miss. Williams says he has no idea what prompted him to move.
“I can’t imagine the circumstances that led him to migrate from Warren County to Mississippi during that time,” said Williams, who is now a resident of Huntsville, Ala. “The roads were terrible and in some places there weren’t any roads. I don’t know what could have prompted him to make such a trip.”
When he settled in Pontotoc County, Willis Nard started what has become a very large McGregor family in that area.
“He had 13 or 14 children and those children were very fruitful themselves,” said Williams, whose mother was a McGregor. “There are a bunch of McGregors in the area and they all multiplied from that one seed.”