Sunday, February 20, 2011

One Worthy Widow, Feb 20, 2011

How will our children
know who they are,
if they do not know where 
they came from?
~Author unknown

Hello Family and Friends,

Today is the birthday of Terry Boyd of Gallup, New Mexico. He has been my uncle ever since he and my aunt Thelma Shepard were married back in the summer of 1957. Happy Birthday to Terry!

The first picture shows Terry on the left with Thelma on the right, and their granddaughter Amanda Ortiz in the middle. Terry and Thelma are holding daughter Kim's dogs Cali and Diego. Amanda is holding Zoey.

Lydia Warford Williams: One Worthy Widow. In my last post, I mentioned John and Lydia Warford Williams, my GGGG grandparents of Spencer County, Kentucky who were married in 1803. John, who died 10 years later, left his 31 year old widow Lydia an inheritance of $203.19 3/4. He also left her 4 children under the age of 10: William (9), John Pouty (7), Caroline (5) and Matilda Jane (3).

Lydia's father Henry Warford had died in 1784 in Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania, when she was only 2 years old, and now she had to deal with the death of another important man in her still young life.

Not long after the settlement of her husband's property, the widow Lydia took her inheritance, packed up her four young'ns, and moved on. Literally and figuratively. They first traveled 75 or so miles northwest, through Louisville, Ky, across the state line, and into Washington Co., Indiana, where she and the kids resided in 1820, according to Census records. Some time later they moved on to Spencer, Owen County, Indiana, where she and the kids made their home.

Being a young widow with 4 children on the American frontier in the early 19th century must have been tough. There are indications that Lydia and the kids traveled with some of her siblings, which must have made life a little easier for her. Most of Indiana was Indian land, with few roads. It was officially the "Indiana Territory" until 1816 when it became a state with a total of just 64,000 settlers. Perhaps it was the new statehood that lured Lydia and her family to make their new home there.
 
Records indicate that by 1826 Lydia found another life partner when she married William S. Jones, and settled down with him 25 miles north of Spencer, in Putnam, Indiana. Even so, Spencer remained a special place for the family, and is where at least two of Lydia's children lived most of their lives. One of them was John Pouty Williams, whose daughter Maggie Williams was the mother of Caroline ("Callie") Spear. In 1896, Callie then married James Brooks Davis, their first child being my grandmother Bura Davis.

Spencer, Indiana is where many of our Williams, Spear and Davis kinfolk are buried, and where others still live today. The second picture is one I took in 2009 at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery outside Spencer. It shows the leaning, weathered headstone of John Pouty Williams (1806-1898). (Click the pic for a larger view and to read the inscription.) He was one of Lydia Williams' children, whose father John Willams had died in Kentucky in 1813 when John Pouty was just a boy of 7.

These are the kind of people who reside in our family tree, people who endured despite the difficulties they encountered. I wish we knew more about folks like the young widow Lydia Warford Williams and her children. But what we do know can inspire us to live with as much fortitude and perseverance as they did. 

From Then to Now. The following 13 generation lineage, similar to the one in my last post, begins with the oldest Warford I know about, continues through Lydia Warford Williams, and ends with the youngest member of our family.
  • John Warford I - 1650-1699 (who married Abigail Pinckney), parents of...
  • John Warford II - 1683-1769 (who married Elizabeth Stout) parents of...
  • Joseph Warford - 1711-1774 (who married Elizabeth Banner) parents of...
  • Henry Warford - 1741-1784 (who married Elizabeth Van Hook) parents of...
  • Lydia Warford - 1782 -1829? (who married John Williams) parents of...
  • John Pouty Williams - 1806-1898 (who married Sarah Richardson) parents of...
  • Margaret Frances Williams - 1845-1904 (who married William Spear) parents of...
  • Caroline Matilda Spear - 1865-1951 (who married James Brooks Davis) parents of...
  • Bura Emerald Davis - 1896-1986 (who married William Shepard) parents of...
  • Eugene William Shepard - 1921-2003 (who married Maida Gower) parents of...
  • Steven Dale Shepard - b. 1948 (who married Cynthia Harris) parents of...
  • Nathan William Shepard - b. 1977 (who married Chenda Sou) parents of...
  • Preslea Maida Shepard - b. 2010.
- - -
Steve

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for this nice post 111213