Haywood County Tennessee

THE WILLIAMSON FAMILY

My direct descendants are in bold type.

This is a work in progress. Much of my direct line is documented, but some may not be. If there is a question, I usually include words like "seems likely" or "possibly" in hopes that it may help someone else or eventually get me closer to documentation. Also, I do make errors when transferring info to my files or to the site. If you find errors that you can correct, please e-mail me and I'll gladly make the changes or if you have more information on anyone mentioned here and can share it, I would be really appreciative.

Beverly M. Williamson was born in Caroline County, Virginia on November 17, 1813. At some point he moved to Tennessee because he married Eleanora "Ellen" Harriet Dougan in Franklin County on 31 July 1838 when he was 25. By 1850 they were living in Madison County on the Haywood County border.

While Beverly Williamson's parentage is not yet determined, it is interesting to look at people who could possibly be part of his family based on their location and ages. Could his parents have been Benjamin and Ann Frances Meaux Williamson who were in Caroline County, VA during the time Beverly was born? Was the executor, Samuel, his father and Benjamin his grandfather?

John Meaux's estate account with Samuel T. Williamson executor of Benjamin T. Williams, decd., who was administrator of the estate of said James Meaux (1829 - 1844) shows that Benjamin T. Williamson's wife was the only child of James Meaux, decd. On 31 Dec 1831, there is an entry for "amount allowed for the support of Mrs. Ann Williamson and the children this year." In New Kent County at the house of Gen. William Chamberlake affidavits of Edward G. Mosby and Doctor George Williamson were taken n 3 Feb 1834. Aug Baily states that his brother handed him the notice.

James Meause...10 Nov 1822 Whole estate to daughter Ann Frances Maeause who is underage. If Ann Maeause should marry, the estate to go to William Meause and Granville Waddle except for a negro to go to nephew William H. Harris. Exors: Brother William Meause and John Glover. Wit: John B. Taliaferro (On March 10, 1823, Benjamin Williamson and his wife Ann Frances Williamson who was Ann Frances Meause, state in court that James Meause was of unsound mind when he made his will.

From the Caroline Co., VA Order Book 1732 - 1740 compiled by John Frederick Dorman, 1967
By reviewing the marriages of Williamsons in Franklin County, TN during approximately the same time period as Beverly and Ellen, a sibling or two could possibly be seen? It's also possible that his father lived in the area and remarried at some point. Of course, without being able to find more info connecting them, it's possible none of these are related at all.
Alford Williamson to Nancy Pitcock, 9-23-1843
Bike Lane Buy-In Day!
Catherine Williamson to John Luck
Elizabeth Williamson to George Swords
James Williamson to Catherine J. Darrell, 12-23-1843
James Williamson to Martha Jane Thomas, 6-6-1849
Martha Ann Williamson to Wallace E. Walker
Sarah N. Williamson to William Jett
William Williamson to Nancy Buckhart, 5-15-1847
Beverly married Ellen in Franklin County on July 31, 1838 at the age of 25. Therefore, his entire family could have moved to Franklyn County years earlier.

It's worth noting that Franklin County, Tennessee is located in Middle Tennessee next to Coffee County and Grundy County. It is not the same place as Franklin, Tennessee which is located in Williamson County, Tennessee, making it a challenge when searching for a Williamson.

If Beverly's family was in Franklin County in 1830 when the census for that year was taken, he would have been 17 and only one Williamson in the entire census included a family that had a son who was 17:
John Williamson's family:
Male 5 - 10
2 Males 10 - 15
2 Males 15 - 20 (one of these could possibly have been Beverly)
Male 60 - 70
Female 10 - 15
2 Female 15 - 20
1 Female 50 - 60
1 young male slave
11 people total
While Beverly M. Williamson's ancestry can not currently be determined, quite a bit about about him can be determined.

It is known that Beverly M. Williamson was born in Caroline City, Virginia on 17 Nov 1813. At some point he moved to Tennessee because he married Eleanora Harriet Dougan in Franklin County on 31 July 1838 when he was 25. By 1850 they were living in Madison County on the Haywood County border.

When they married, Eleanora's father, Robert Dougan had recently died in Franklin County.
Robert Dougan Will

From the will of Robert Dougan of the county of Franklin, State of TN, signed 19 Feb 1837 and recorded 7 March 1837 which states in part, "I desire that my three unmarried daughters Margaret, Ruth Caroline and Eleanor H. Dougan each have a horse given them by my executors..."

From the indenture of the will of Robert Dougan This indenture made this ? day of ? 1841 between Elizabeth Dougan, widow of Robert Dougan, deceased and Beverly M. Williamson & Harriet Eleanor, his wife, William Conn and Hannah, his wife & Ruth Caroline Dougan of Franklin County, Tennessee & Littlepage Dougan, Robert T(?) Dougan, Margaret Dougan & William Grant and William Farris and Mary, his wife, of the Republic of Texas of the one part, and Francis Turner of the county of Franklin and State of TN on the other part.

Robert Dougan's will provided by Amy Dougan Wakefield
According to the book “A Journey Into Yesteryears” by Martha Jones, Ellen’s father, Thomas Dougan brought his family from Wales or Ireland in the 1700s to Virginia. Their family also included a son Robert, who became a Methodist minister who married Elizabeth Scoby. Eleanora died October 15, 1860 at the age of 42.

Beverly Williamson was issued a land grant of several hundred acres of primarily uninhabited land by the U.S government in Madison County...On April 19, 1869, over seven acres of property were given by Williamson for the purpose of building the Providence Methodist Church and the cemetery...at his death, the land was divided between his five sons and his two daughters...before the property was given to the church, it was referred to as a burial ground with some graves dating back to the 1700s...each fall a man named Mr. Adams would come visit Williamson to trap animals for fur. One year he became sick and died. Williamson allowed him to be buried “on the hill” and that is how that area became an official cemetery.”

By September of 1850 when the census was taken in district five of Madison County, TN, Beverly Williamson was 36 with real estate valued at $500. His wife's name was listed as "Elander" and she was listed as 28 although she should have been listed as 32. Robert was 11, Mary A. was seven, Thomas was six, James was four and John was one.

The family lived next door to Ellen's brother Robert Dougan and his wife Louise and their children.

On October 1859, their 10-year-old son, John, died.

When the next census was taken in July 15, 1860, now in district seven
Providence Methodist Church in 2010 as seen from the cemetery

"On April 19, 1869 over seven acres of property was given by B.M. Williamson for the purpose of building the Providence Methodist Church and cemetery. The first church building was a small, one room log cabin. There is disagreement as to where the first church was located. Some say it was located across the road on the north side of where the cemetery is today. Others are just as sure it was approximately where it stands today. The log church was also used as the school at the beginning."
"A Journey into YesterYears" by Martha Herbert Jones
of Madison County, Beverly is 46 and Ellen is listed as 42. Sadly, Ellen would be dead just three months later. They had eight children living at home. Robert was 21, Mary was 16, Thomas was 18, James was 12, Clark was eight, Caroline was five, Beverly was three and Joseph was two. The family had prospered significantly in the previous decade and now had a value of $4,000 in real estate and $1,200 in personal property. All the children had attended school in the previous year.

The family lived two farms away from Alex Duckworth who would play a significant role in the Civil War just two years later. He would be a captain in The Western Rangers which was the nickname for Company "L" of First Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, organized April 15, 1862 and was made up mostly of men from Haywood County.

Ellen died on Oct. 15, 1860 after having nine children with Beverly. At the time of her death, her youngest son, Joe, my second great grandfather was just two years old. Young Joe was destined to experience a great deal of loss in his lifetime.

Beverly who was 47 at the time, married Nancy, who was 35, two months later on Dec. 13, 1860.

On April 19, 1869, over seven acres of land were given by Beverly for the purpose of building the Providence Methodist Church and cemetery. The church that was built was also used for a school.

Nancy, Beverly’s second wife died Sept. 10, 1873 at the age of 48.

On January 10, 1874, Beverly married for the third time to Martha E. Neal.

Beverly died three years later on February 2, 1877 at the age of 63 and was burried along with his previous two wives at Providence Methodist Church Cemetery for which he had donated the land.
Image from Google Earth

"Providence Cemetery is an antebellum mixed-race cemetery on the south side of Lower Brownsville Road between Providence Road to the east and Crutchfield Road to the west, near the Haywood County line. It is associated with Providence United Methodist Church and dates to the 1820s or 1830s. White burials are on the western side of the cemetery. It is impossible to count the number of unmarked graves here, but probably there are hundreds.

All fieldstone which would have marked burials in the cemeteries first decades have been removed leaving a large mostly open area in the center of the cemetery. One family has begun reusing this area. Also, all upright marble footstones with initials from the late 19th century/early 20th century have been removed. Some are still in the cemetery but none are in place.

The white section of the cemetery was extended downslope to the south about 1950. There is a brick wall with two gates along the western side of the cemetery. It may date to the 1960s and seems to have allowed a two row extension of the cemetery to the west. The southern gate is positioned at a paved access drive between the older part of the cemetery and the southward extension of the 1950s. There is now an access drive from the northern gate but it seems to have been unplanned.

Most likely the fence and gate limited access to one point. Equipment for preparing graves entered the gate and wove between markers as it moved across the cemetery. Many markers along this drive were broken. The greatest damage is to Jones family markers which probably extended across the area which became this makeshift drive. David Donahue recorded this cemetery over several days in February 2004 based on the earlier record by Helen Johnson. Helen Johnson recorded the white portion of Providence Cemetery circa 1995. Her record appears in Cemetery Records of Madison County, Tennessee, Volume II, The Northern Half of County." Source: Tennessee Trails, Cemeteries of Madison County

In the 1970s, this article would appear in a local newspaper about a group of women who gathered each week to sew in order to raise money for Providence Methodist Church. Included in that group, along with a photo, was Elizabeth Williams the wife of Beverly's Williamson's great great grandson, Bo Williams. Bo and Elizabeth were my paternal grandparents.

The headstones of Beverly M. Williamson, his first wife Ellen and his second wife Nancy in the Providence Methodist Church Cemetery on the Madison County, TN/Haywood County, TN border. For some reason, Ellen's initials are "E.A." which is not correct. It should be "E.H." The birth and death dates are the same as Eleanor "Ellen" Harriet Dougan Williamson.

The children of Beverly and Ellen Dougan Williamson were:

Last First Born Location Born Died Location Died Spouse
Williamson Robert Deward "Bob" 17 Apr 1839 Madison Co., TN 6 Oct 1903
Age: 64
Madison Co., TN
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery
Callie Stanfield
b. 14 Feb 1844
m. 19 Nov 1865
d.23 Aug 1892
Age: 48
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery
From the States Graphic, Brownsville, TN Friday, October 9, 1903

ESQ. BOB WILLIAMSON--a prominent member of the Madison County Court, and for thirty or forty years a faithful servant in the Methodist Church at Providence, died at his home near Catapla, Madison County, at an early hour Tuesday morning, after an illness of ten months. A true and tried soldier of war of 1861-65. His remains were laid to rest in the Providence graveyard to day at 10 a. m. after funeral services by J. C. W. Nunn of this place.

According to "Journey into Yesteryears" by Martha Jones, Bob and Callie had planned to marry before 1865 but the Civil War began and Bob felt the need to join the war. He and his best friend Billy Shaw left on September 20 1861 for Trenton to join the Confederate Army. They fought side by side through the Carolinas and Virginia. In their last battle, Bob was wounded and fell at his friend’s side. He and Billy both felt that the end was near so Bob gave his friend Billy the ring he had in his pocket to give to Callie. After the war, Billy Shaw set out for home. When he arrived and went to give the ring to Callie, he was astonished to find that Bob had recovered and he and Callie were already married. Bob built a post office and a general store and served as postmaster.

The store was built where the Poplar Corner Rd runs into the Providence Rd. The store was just to the right of where the Church of God now stands.

Bob issued a deed of one acre of land to the Madison County Board of Education on April 28 1884 for the building of a school at Providence.

The children of Bob and Callie were: Bessie Ethel, Ella, James Robert, Margaret, Sarah, Sadie A. Julia B.

Bessie married Lem Williams and had Pansy, Leslie, Margaret, Mildred, Ray, Glady and Harry.

Zula married William Thomas Tippet and had four daughters; Willie, Elinor Ruth, Callie and Elizabeth.

Willie married Gilford Keltner, Elinor Ruth married Rock Byrum, Callie married Printice Keltner and Elizabeth married Russell Kirby.

Ella, James and Margaret never married and Sarah died young.



Headstone of Bob Williamson and Callie Stanfield Williamson in Providence Methodist Church Cemetery in Madison Co., TN.
Williamson John 2 May 1849 Madison Co., TN Oct 1859
Age: 10
Madison Co., TN
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery

Why does John's headstone read, "Son of B.M. and E.M. Williamson?" His mother was Eleandor or Eleanor "Ellen" Harriet Dougan Williamson. Why E.M?
Williamson Mary A. 20 Jan 1842 Madison Co., TN 20 Jan 1876
Age: 34
Madison Co., TN
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery
William Shelton

Mary's headstone read, "Son of B.M. and E.A. Williamson?" Her mother was Eleandor or Eleanor "Ellen" Harriet Dougan Williamson. Why E.A now and E.M on John's headstone?
Williamson Thomas Page "Tom" 12 April 1845 Madison Co., TN 20 Dec 1918
Age: 73
Madison Co., TN
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery
Lucy Jane Rowland
b. 30 Aug 1851
d.11 Feb 1919
Age: 68
burried: Providence Methodist Cemetery
According to "A Journey into Yesteryears" by Martha Jones, Lucy was first married to a young man who left to fight in the Civil War. After the war ended, he did not come home so she assumed he was dead. After several years of marriage to Tom, Lucy's first husband suddenly showed up ready to claim her as his wife. She stayed with Tom. They had six children; Earnest, Mays, John, twins George and Thomas and their only daughter, Emma.
Williamson James 27 Dec 1846 Madison Co., TN 10 Oct 1869
Age: 23
Madison Co., TN
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery

Williamson Clark 1851 Madison Co., TN 1936
Age: 85
Madison Co., TN
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery
Ann Coon
b. 1844
d.1908
Age:64
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery
The children of Clark and Ann Coon Willamson were Brooks, Ross, and Sula “Dot.” Dot married Thomas Malcom Shaw and their children were Aline, Annie Kate, Buddy, Guy and twins, Brooks and Billy.

photo from TCWilson

Clark Williamson in the 1930s.

Williamson Carline 1855 Madison Co., TN
George Campbell
The children of George and Carline Williamson Campbell were James, Willie, Tom, Ben and a daughter aemnd Lou.

James was killed in a hunting accident. Willie and Lou never married. Tom married Betty Hight and Ben married Mary Mann and then Mary Acuff.
Williamson Beverly "Bee" 29 Sept 1855 Madison Co., TN 28 Oct 1906
Age: 51
Madison Co., TN
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery
Virginia Alice "Jinnie" Stanfield
b.1885
m. 1 Mar 1890
d. 1945
Age: 60
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery
The children of Bee and Jinnie Stanfield Williamson were: Beverly Reynor, Mattie Lee, Robert Paschal, and John Stanfield.

Beverly died at age nine and Robert died at age four. John married Robbie Dobbins and Mattie Lee married Albert Overton.

The children of Albert and Mattie Lee Williamson Overton were Virginia Iona, Martha Lucille, Zita Bee, Albert Nolan, Dora Leoda and Frances Charlene.

The children of John and Virginia Dobbins Williamson were Wilton, Gaylon, Melvin, Virginia, Ralph, Alton, Larry, Tony, Hall and Melba.

Photo from TC Wilson

The Madison Co., TN home of Bee and Jennie Williamson. Jennie is seen on porch. The home was located near Providence Methodist Church.


Photo from TC Wilson

Jennie Williamson alone and with her children, in-laws and grandchildren.


Photo from TC Wilson

Eddie Albert and Mattie Lee Williamson Overton and Mattie with children Lucille, Leoda, Virginia, Nolan and Zita.


Headstones of Bee Williamson and Jennie Stanfield Williamson in Providence Methodist Church Cemetery.
Williamson Joseph "Joe"

My second great grandfather
1858 Madison Co., TN 22 Jan 1909
Age: 51
Madison Co., TN
Burried Providence MC Cemetery
Mary Elizabeth Joyner
b. 1862
m. 17 Jan 1882
d. 16 Jan 1898
Age: 36
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery

More about Joe and Mary Elizabeth Joyner Williamson:

Illustration of Joe Williamson
Joseph "Joe" Williamson was born in 1858 in Madison County, TN and was the youngest of nine children. His mother died when he was only two and his father quickly remarried. Joe's step mother died when he was 15 and then his father died when he was just 19.

In the census of 1880, Joe was 22 and living in the 7th District of Madison Co., TN with his older brother Clark who was 25, a 15 year old named George Williamson and a 23-year-old female whose name appears to be Janey Yancy. Since George would have been born in 1865, if he were the offspring of Beverly and his second wife Nancy Yancy, she would have been 52 at the time of his birth which is possible.

Janey Yancy could have been Nancy's daughter from a previous marriage.

The family was living next door to Joe's brother Clark Williamson and his family.

On January 17, 1882, Joe married Mary Elizabeth Joyner who was the daughter of Alfred Bunn Joyner and the grand daughter of Littleton Bunn Joyner both of whom were very instrumental in the settlement and development of the Haywood County, TN area. You can read more about the Joyner Family here.

Joe and Mary Elizabeth had five daughters; Nannie M, Jessie E., Janie E., Mai E., and Jo Stella.
Joe and Mary Elizabeth Joyner Williamson and family around 1896

left back: Nancy “Nannie” Williamson, left front: Janie Williamson Williams, right back: Jessie E. Williamson, right front: Mai Edith Williamson Shelton, center: Joe and Mary Elizabeth Joyner Williamson. Jo Williamson Ried was not yet born.

Joe's wife Mary Elizabeth died on January 16, 1898 at the age of 36, leaving Joe with five girls ages 15, 13, 10, seven and two.
backrow: Janie Williamson Williams, Jessie Williamson, Nannie Williamson
front row: Jo Williamson Reed, Joe Williamson, Mai Williamson Shelton
In the census of 1900, Joe and his five daughters also have a boarder named William M. Cambell who was 24.

Joe and his family were members of Providence Methodist church for which his father Beverly had donated land. In 1901, Joe issued a deed for an acre of land for a school to be built near the church. In 1944, that same land was sold to the Providence Methodist Church for $100, probably when the school was closed.

In 1905, daughter Jessie died at age 20.

That same year, according to "A Journey into Yesteryears" by Martha Jones, Joe donated three more acres of land to the church. Part of the land was between the church and the cemetery while another was loacted on the south side of the cemetery.

Two years later in 1907, daughter Nannie died at age 24. In his lifetime, Joe experienced the early deaths of his mother, father, step-mother, wife and two daughters.

Joe himself died on Jan. 22, 1909 at age 51.

The children of Joe and Mary Elizabeth Joyner Williamson were:

Last First Born Location Born Died Location Died Spouse
Williamson Nannie M. 28 Apr 1883 Madison Co., TN 6 Sept 1907
Age: 24
Madison Co., TN
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery

Headstone of Nannie Williamson in Providence Methodist Church Cemetery
Williamson Jessie E. 17 July 1895 Madison Co., TN 18 Sept 1905
Age: 10
Madison Co., TN
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery

Headstone of Jessie Williamson in Providence Methodist Church Cemetery
Williamson Janie E.

My great grandmother
Oct 1887 Madison Co., TN 1914
Age: 27
Madison Co., TN
Burried: Providence MC Cemetery
William Lafatette "Will" Williams
b: 13 Feb 1888
m. 6 Feb 1910
d. 1 Apr 1962
Williamson Mai Edith 29 March 1895 Madison Co., TN 21 Dec 1944
Age: 49
Arthur Shelton
b. 28 Dec 1888
d. 5 May 1970
Mai and Arthur Shelton’s children were: A.L., J.C., Vera, Viola Iris and T.H.
Williamson Jo Stella 18 Apr 1896 Madison Co., TN 4 Mar 1993
Age: 49
Haywood Co., TN William Thomas Reid
b. 11 Feb 1898
m.22 Sept 1912
d. 20 Apr 1982


Photo from Joe Reid

Willie and Jo Reid in front of their homeplace on Poplar Corner Rd.


The children of Jo and Willie Reid were: Pauline, Jessie Mai, Noel, Terry, Russell, Roland, Lyle and Franklin.

This copy of a newsletter produced in October 1980 included information about the marriage of Willie and Jo Williamson Reid and others in the Williamson family:




Photo from Joe Reid

Jo Stella Williamson Reid on the steps of Providence Methodist Church in 1991




Photo from Roland Reid

The eight children of Willie and Jo Williamson Reid
front row, l to r: Pauline Reid Snider and Jessie Mae Reid Castellaw
back row, l to r: Joseph Roland Reid, Frank Reid, Noel Reid, Lyle Reid. Terry Reid, and Russel Reid


You can read more about Willie and Joe Reid on my blog.


More about Janie Williamson Williams and Will Williams
Janie Williamson and Will Williams
Janie Williamson married William Lafayette Williams on 6 Feb 1910.

In the 1910 census Will and Janie lived in district five of Haywood County, TN. Living with the couple was Jo Williamson, Janie's sister who was 14. They lived next door to Will's brother James Solomon Williams and his family; wife Nettie L. and children George P. age six and Amie M. age four.

Shortly after the census, Will and Janie had a son, Jesse Lloyd "Bo" Williams.

Janie Williamson died 19 Aug 1914 in Haywood Co, TN., soon after giving birth to a daughter named Ruth who only lived a short time. Janie was only 27. Both Janie and her daughter Ruth were burried at Providence Methodist Church cemetery.

Bo Williams, who was only four when his mother died, stated that he did have memories of his mother. He said his father saw a schoolteacher, riding by in a wagon and told friends he was going to marry her.

Will Williams did marry the teacher, Eva Iris Overton on 25 Feb 1915, six months after the death of his first wife. Bo Williams remembered clearly telling his father and stepmother that he would never call her "mother" and with pride in his voice, he said, “and I never did.” He called her Ms. Eva. Will and Eva Williams would go on to be married 55 years and have eight children.

Bo Williams died 27 May 2008 at the age of 97 and was burried at Providence Cemetery close to the graves of his mother, grandparents and great grandparents.

You can read more about Bo and Elizabeth Castellaw Williams on the Williams page on HaywoodCountyLine.com.
Bo Williams as a young boy and in the late 1980s when he was in his 70s.






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