Monday, March 18, 2013

Williams Brothers

Although Benjamin and Mahala Watson Williams, had two daughters, we don't really know much about them.  Martha married Matthew Harris in 1846, had a daughter in 1849, appeared in the 1860 census, but her husband re-married in 1867.  That is more than we have on Polly who appeared in the court records and then we have nothing.  She might have married or died.

The oldest brother Thomas Jefferson Williams went with his brother-in-law Matthew Harris and his brother Daniel to Indiana where they joined the Union army in the Civil War.  Their brother James (and possibly Charles) went to Tennessee to join the Confederate Army.  While there are scores of James Williams in the Civil War, cousin Tom pointed out that this one joined the same day as JJ Vaughn who appeared as his neighbor in the 1860 Census. (and was possibly a relative of his future wife Mary Ann Pullum)

While the Union war and pension records for Daniel and Thomas Jefferson are lengthy (A 65th and C Infantry 120th Reg. Indiana), there is very little on James which makes us wonder if he went AWOL as many did.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Benjamin Williams and Mahala Watson

Genealogy can be pretty dry and reading legal documents can be tedious.  But every now and then we run across facts and can just imagine the emotions and conditions which led to the events.  But we will start at the very beginning.  May I introduce my great-great-great grandparents.  Sorry, there are no photos---those would be pretty rare for this class of people during the early 1800's.

Benjamin Williams and Mahala Watson were both born in Kentucky around 1810.  The first record we have is their marriage in 1827 in Hopkins, KY.

The 1830 census is more of a tally with only the "head of the household's" name.  There were 2 white adults between 20-29 (one male, one female) living in Benjamin's household.  I always like to see who else is on the page because there are often relatives.  William Williams was on the same page and in the same age range.  When we later found out his wife was Malinda Watson, we were pretty sure they were related through the husbands and/or the wives.  Carol Williams Huff found an obituary which showed that Malinda only had one daughter whose name was Mahala.  That is another indication that they were related---she might name her daughter for her sister.

The children started arriving by 1834 with Martha Williams (m. Matthew Harris), Polly Williams born in 1836 and Thomas Jefferson Williams in 1838. The next census in 1840 is still a tally with 1 boy under 5, 2 girls between 5-9 and 2 adults between 30-39 living in the household of Benjamin Williams.  Next door is living a Samuel Watson who was born around 1813, but we don't know if this was Mahala's brother, but he is likely a relative.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Branum Cemetery, Cotton Plant, MO
I don't know very much about Mary Ann Pullam (my g-g grandmother via Macy Williams, James Wesley Wicker, Louise Wicker Long, Me), but I know she had to have had a hard life.  Recently, I made a connection (through DNA test) with a descendant of her sister Abby (Absela) Pullam.  Here is what Teri had to say about her ancestor:
The story I got goes that Abby Pullum (daughter of a Pullum and Vaughn mother) and John Freels were married in Kentucky, moved to Texas. Abby brought 5 daughters back in a covered wagon to Missouri, bootheel area. Leaving her husband or he left her while in Texas. He showed up later, but, she was not receptive since she had to get herself moved. It would be interesting to find what you have on any of these family tales.
Mary A. wife of J.B. Williams
Branum Cemetery
That is a very similar story to Mary Ann---she married James B. Williams in 1865 while living in Webster, Kentucky (she was 14).  She had 5 children (Willie Ellen, Sam Patrick, Mahaly J, Oscar and Macy Alice) before moving to Missouri sometime between 1882-1884.  Someone once told me one of the older children remembered crossing the Missouri River in a boat with Macy (my great-grandmother) running around so much that she almost fell over-board.

Mary Ann and James B. Williams had 5 more children in Missouri (Lillie Belle, Joseph Daniel, Martin Luther, Fannie E., Mary A.) between 1884 and 1891 which is when Mary Ann Pullam Williams died (from childbirth?)

According to one of their grandchildren, Sammy Williams, "there was never anyone that talked well of the Williams that came from Kentucky."  After the death of Mary Ann (maybe even before), James B. Williams left town for Howell Co. Mo (later Oklahoma Territory), had another family leaving the children to be raised by his son Sam Patrick and his wife.

The children of Mary Ann Pullam and James B. Williams were a mixed bag of religious, upright citizens and those who bordered on or participated in criminal activity.  James B. was reportedly a horse thief, deserted his children (possibly had another family at the same time) and may have been in prison.  This leads me to think that Mary Ann was the religious, upright woman who had at least three preachers as grandchildren (one of her children was named "Martin Luther Williams") and two children who started a Methodist Church in Hornersville, Mo.  There were rumors that she had been Roman Catholic, but I can't imagine a Catholic naming a child "Martin Luther", although I think we can safely say she was religious.

Thanks to cousin Tom who provided the photographs.