Update about blog

Come on over to my other blog, Alchemy of Clay and Living in Black Mountain NC, where the scenery and my ceramic arts life are combined. I've moved some personal blog posts, (as well as those that are about my ancestors) back here.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dorcas White Williams

Born Dec 19, 1825 in Kentuky, USA
Died: 21 NOV 1900 in Weesatche, Goliad, Texas  SO SAYS ANCESTRY . COM

Dorcas Williams Tomstone
Headstone for Dorcas White Williams, Woodlawn Cemetery, Weesatche, Goliad, Texas

Well, anyone can read that birthdate is the 13th, not the 19th.  How likely is it to be wrong?  I'm voting that Ancestry has done another one of the glitches that can be carried forward inevitably with one mistake becoming a thousand.  (So I'm changing it on my tree.)

Dorcas White Williams (generation 4) was mother of 6 children, including Annie Elizabeth Williams Webb, (generation 3, my great grandmother) who had 8 children.  

Generation 3 in this report, my grandfather, Albert "Bud" Webb died in 1919, at age 28 after my mother (only child in generation 2) was born in 1917.  (I'm gen. 1 here)

And now for more information on my great great grandmother Williams.

Like many early settlers in Texas, she shows up in Missouri first.
She and her husband are from Kentucky, but their immigration to MO isn't noted anywhere (yet.)

In the 1850 census of District 61, County of Montgomery, Missouri, on the same page are listed several households with 11 people with Williams as last name.  (This was one of those records where the census taker just wrote the last name for the first person in a household, but there are 9 farming households on this sheet. ) Those born in KY?  At least half the adults.  

Dorcas White Williams is age 24 and her husband William T. Williams is 23.  The next listing is probably for a daughter but because of lack of the last name, it isn't certain.  Malinda Packston is 5 and born in MO (not a Williams, living in their household) and then there is a Williams1-year old son, James D, also born in MO.

Ten years later, (Census of 1860) the family has grown, and they live in MiddleTown, MO, also Montgomery County. Whether the town has grown around them or not, William T.Williams is now listing himself as a carpenter, and he's 36 years old.  Their neighbors sound like townspeople, being merchants and carpenters.  Dorcas is 35, and James is 12.  Other children are David, 10,  John 8,  Margaret 6, and William 4.  All except Margaret were born in MO, and she was born in Iowa. 

I just searched for the 1870 census, which hadn't been on my listing for Dorcas White (her maiden name).  It's got an amazing entry.  She was living with another family, and was a domestic servant.  And there was an Eva White, 10 years old, also a domestic servant in the household. 

Since the next listing is finding her again with her husband and family living in Texas, (1880) it's probable that he's gone to set up a homestead there, as many of the early Texas settlers did.  They weren't with the first wave with Steven Austin however, who took 300 settlers from MO back in 1821.

They ended up living in Weesatche, Goliad County, Texas.  Wikipedia has this to say about Weesatche:
Weesatche was founded around the year 1850 under the name of Middletown, being halfway between Clinton and Goliad, and its post office was established on 1855-11-22. However, confusion with a Middletown in Comal County led locals to rename the community after the sweet acacia tree; the community's name is a corruption of the plant's alternate name, huisache. A post office under the name of Weesatche was opened in May 1860; although it closed during the Civil War, it was restored in 1870.
In the 1880 census of Precinct 2 of Goliad County, TX,  W. T. Williams (age 55) is head of household and again a farmer, Dorcas (age 54) is listed again as his wife.  And children listed are:  W.F. age 21, W.C. age 20, and O.R. age 14, all sons.    From the other Williams families living nearby, it's likely that their older children had their own farmsteads and families, but I can't speculate that much. 

What I am looking for is evidence of my great great grandmother, Annie Elizabeth.  Where is she?  She was born in 1862, but wasn't part of the "domestic servant" listing in 1870, where her mother used her maiden name, White.  Too young?  Perhaps.  In 1880 she would have been 18, and may have already married.

Ah, that's indeed what happened, and it's her story, to be covered elsewhere.  She married in Texas however, so she had traveled there before her 17th birthday.

By the 1900 census (very few census records from 1890 due to a fire, I have heard) Dorcas White WIlliams was living in Precinct 3 of Goliad County, TX.  Now she was head of the household.  (Her husband's death was April 22, 1898)

Now she lists that she can read, but not write, and owns her own home (not a farm.)  Her father is listed as being born in VA, and her mother in KY, as well as herself.  She is listed as mother of 10 children, 8 of whom are living.  She has a lodger living with her as housekeeper, 18 year old Laura Hard.

Though her neighbors are farm laborers and farmers, she has no Williams' living right next to her.  Her daughter Annie Elizabeth Williiams Webb lives in the same Precinct 3 of Golliad TX with her own family.   

And the culmination of this woman's life is her occupation that she lists when she's 74 years old.  She's a "Capitalist."

She died on  21 NOV 1900, about a month before her 75th birthday.  Her tombstone is beside her husband's in Woodlawn cemetery, Weesatchee, Texas.


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