There have been two possible breakthroughs on the Williams Family front. Both are due to the efforts of others – someone I know (but only virtually) and several folks I’ve never met.
In my last post Family Ties: Identifying the Parents of Jesse D. Williams, the fate of Henry G. Williams, brother of Jesse D. was revealed. According to family letters, he died on 11 February 1891 in San Antonio, far away from his family – a victim of tuberculosis. (1) Although the family knew he was buried in San Antonio, I didn’t have any cemetery information — except for the undisovered tidbit that has been sitting in my filing cabinet for the last six months.
Kay, another Williams Family researcher, and descendant of James M. Williams (uncle to both Henry and Jesse), pointed out a handwritten entry among the Lagrone Williams Family File, a collection we both obtained from the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives. It sounds like her copy is slightly more legible than mine but let there be no doubt — she had done a much more thorough job combing through pages, easy to read or not. It looks as though Henry may have been buried in City Cemetery #3 in San Antonio. I’ll be following up on the availability of records. It would bring a sense of satisfaction to know where he rests.
Thank you, Kay!
In one recently transcribed letter written by Ocie Williams to Dora McBride, Ocie expressed sympathy on the death of “Bular.” I had already located graves of sisters Amanda (Williams) Smith and Dora (Williams) McBride in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Miller County, Arkansas at the wonderful FindAGrave website. But a broader search on the surname McBride in the same cemetery turned up Bulah McBride, 1887-1897. Anyone who read Ocie’s letters knows that she spelled it as she heard it, so Bulah could be Bular. And we know from another source that Dora lost her oldest child, who probably would have been born shortly after her 1885 marriage. (2).
But…Ocie’s sympathy letter was written in 1895 or was it? Could that 5 be an 8 that trailed off?
Wishing doesn’t make it so. And I did wish it.
Of course, grave marker dates are always right….right? In her book The Family Tree Problem Solver, Marsha Hoffman Rising included a picture of a marker that very clearly states “Sarah S. dau. of W. & S. A. Fleener born Aug. 24, 1885, died Aug. 5, 1867.” (3) That one fairly shouts error, but could Bulah’s dates be wrong?
If you look at the picture of Bulah’s marker, age-wise it looks more like Dora’s marker from the 1950s than it does Amanda’s from the 1890s. Could it have been added later – and thus more dependent on information from a further-removed source?
It might help to know the proximity of Bulah’s marker to Dora’s and I’m working on that. But I can’t help but feel in my gut that Bulah is Dora’s daughter and the person to whom Ocie referred. Less than five years later, Ocie would herself lose the first of three young daughters. More letters with sad news yet to come……
But, in the meantime, a big thank you to the couple who posted pictures and data on members of our family in Pleasant Hill Cemetery. We are indebted to you and the many people across the country who contribute their time.
(1) Williams-Manning-Johnson Family Traditions, Julia Mae (Ellison) Jenkins, compiler (MSS notes, circa 1945-1970); privately held by Tom D Ellison, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] Sierra Blanca, Texas; reported by Jesse D. Williams, Julia Mae’s grandfather, circa 1945; scanned by Malissa Ruffner, 6 October 2010.
(3) Marsha Hoffman Rising, The Family Tree Problem Solver: Proven Methods for Scaling the Inevitable Brick Wall (Cincinnati, Ohio: Family Tree Books, 2005), 25-26.