Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Man and His Wives

William Woodberry Williamson had three wives. No, not simultaneously. He was married and widowed three times. WWW and his spouses are buried in order of marriage at Shiloh-Williamson cemetery in Russellville, Arkansas.

WWW married Sarah/Sallie Caroline Brigham/Brigance on January 24, 1878. He was 24. She was 15. Sarah's parents died young. She and her siblings lived with relatives. This may be why she was married at 15.

WWW and Sarah had four children: Sam (born 1878), Bessie (born 1880), Josephine (born 1882) and Jack (born 1884). Sam is my great-grandfather.

Sarah passed away in 1887 at the age of 25. She left behind four children, approximate ages 9, 7, 5 and 3.

William Woodberry Williamson married Thula Hamilton on February 26, 1891. He was 37. She was 27. The Hamiltons were part of the Shiloh-Cumberland congregation, so it is likely that these two met through church. Also, Thula's mother and Sarah Brigham/Brigance's mother were sisters. Don't try to remember it all. It's just one of those small-world facts.

WWW and Thula had a daughter, Thula Katherine on February 2, 1894. Thula Williamson (the mother) passed away February 13, 1894, leaving her husband with an 11-day old daughter. She was 30 years old.

William Woodberry Williamson married Elizabeth "Lizzie" Bryan on May 8, 1895. He was 41. She was 27. WWW and Lizzie had two children. Buena (pronounced b-you-nah) was born in 1897. I also have documentation of her name being Julia and/or Buena Vista. She went by Buena, though.

Wood Williamson was WWW's 7th and last child. He was born in 1903.

As you can see from the grave marker photo, Lizze died in 1910, leaving WWW with a 13 year-old daughter and 7 year-old son. Based on the 1910 census, newly widowed WWW and his little boy, Wood, moved in with son Jack and his family. It is unclear where Buena went. She probably lived with a female relative elsewhere, but I haven't located her...yet. She pops up again in the 1920 census.

I was unsure about the "Elizabeth Williamson" in the cemetery directory being the Lizzie Williamson I was searching for. However, physcially going to the cemetery and observing the headstones answered my question. These two are one and the same, based on the position of the grave marker. Elizabeth is to the right of Thula, who is to the right of Sarah, who is to the right of William Woodberry Williamson. Just a man and his wives.

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