Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Finding Lucy (Williams) Leverette

Our second great grandmother* (see relationship note below), Lucy Williams, was born on February 3, 1867. 
John and Lucy (Williams) Leverett

Her first child 
was our great grandmother Macy Carol (Williams) Musgrove, born in 1889 in Pierce County, Georgia. (Grandma Lucy was an unwed mother. Rumors swirled that a Strickland boy was the father.) She married John Leverett on March 22, 1894. 

This post is to present evidence she was the daughter of Confederate soldier John and Nancy (Bowen) Williams, from Bulloch County, Georgia.


1. Lucy Williams Obituary

Her living family members were listed on her obituary.
"Mrs. Lucy Williams Leverett, age 78, died at her residence in Waycross, Route 4, Monday night (December 3, 1945 ed.) after a short illness. She is survived by: two daughters, Mrs E C Musgrove and Mrs Henry Lairsey ; two brothers, John Williams of Waycross and Bill Williams of Florida; two sisters; Mrs Jane Tildridge and Mrs Tilda Worth  of Florida, 19 grandchildren and 43 great grandchildren." 
From this we learn she has two living brothers, John and Bill, and two living sisters, Jane and Tilda.

2. Pierce County Marriage Book B, 1890-1899, pages 172 and 173

John Williams applied to marry Hattie Woodard on the 17th of March, 1894 (Pierce County Marriage Licences page 172). One week later on the 24th of March, 1894, John Leverett applied to marry Lucy Williams (page 173.). 

3. 1900 Federal Census in Schlatterville, Pierce County, Ga.  
(zoomable file) 

Six years after the Williams' marriages the 1900 Federal Census of Schlatterville, Pierce County, Georgia  counts four families with the Williams surname on page twelve. Assuming this represented a widow and her children, the family would consist of:

Mother Nancy Williams 62 yo
Daughter Lucy Williams 35 yo
Son John Williams 25 yo.
Son Hezekiah Williams 23 yo.
Son William Williams 18 yo

We learn from this census our widowed grandma Nancy Williams had seven children alive in 1900. Four of those children are Lucy Leverett and her brothers, John (married to Hattie),  William (Bill) and Hezekiah Williams

Federal Census Bulloch County, Ga.

The federal census records of 1890 were destroyed by water damage in a fire. Using Ancestry's resource search,  we found this Williams family living together in Bulloch County, Georgia, on the 1870 and 1880 censuses.

3. 1870 Federal Census of Bulloch County, Ga.  (zoomable file) 

John and Nancy Williams have a son named James born about 1863. Lucy Williams was born about 1866. Matilda Williams was born in August of 1869.  We don't know about Noel. Relationship questions weren't asked until 1880. 

His position on the census seems to indicate a non-sibling relationship. Children were usually listed by age and surely if Noel was a twin of James, they would be listed together.

We do know Lucy Williams is the right age for our grandma Lucy. She has a sister named Matilda. Is this 'Tilda' Worth from the obituary? 

4. 1880 Federal Census of Bulloch County, Ga.  (zoomable file) 

It's been ten years since the last census. John has aged fifteen years and Nancy, only seven. A lot depended on who was home to answer the questions when the census taker came around.

James is nineteen years old. The four year old Lucy of 1870 is thirteen year old Nancy in 1880. Was "Lucy" named after her mom, Nancy? Matilda is ten years old. A sister, Jane, and brothers John and Hezekiah are part of the family.

5. Find-a-Grave

John Williams Headstone

"Find A Grave is a website that allows the public to search and add to an online database of cemetery records. It is owned by" Wikipedia 
John and Nancy (Bowen) Williams are buried at Mount Plesant Cemetery in Waycross, Georgia. William (Bill) Williams  is buried there along with Velia Jane (Williams) Aldridge (This is Jane Tilridge of grandma Lucy's obituary.) and Hezekiah Williams.

John and Lucy (Williams) Leverett are buried at Thomas Cemetery in Brantley County, Georgia.

1880 Census

*NoteRelationships, such as grandmother, 2nd great, etc., are expressed from the perspective of the grandchildren of Willis Edgar and Carrie (known as) Mae (Merritt) Musgrove.

Terms of relationship - grandmother, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc.  - are used here generically to include  relatives such as fourth great grandfathers, great grand uncles, second cousins twice removed, etc.

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