"Our Williamson Family" - By Arba Griffith Williamson, Sr.
By one source,
the Williamson families stem from the MacKay Clan of Scotland and by another
source the Williamson families stem from one or the other of two MacLeod clans
of Scotland. A map shows the Williamson families of Scotland located along
the East coast near the central part of the country.
A legend of our family is because of a quarrel in the clan, three brothers fled from Scotland to France and from there migrated to America, landing on the North coast of Long Island. One brother went across into Connecticut, while the other brothers are thought to have gone south to South Carolina. There is a recognized coat of arms and a plaid for the Williamson family.
We are descendants of the brother who settled in Connecticut. The name we have is William Williamson who married Mary Francis Palmer. From Connecticut they moved to the west side of the Hudson River in the area of Newburg, New York. Old letters mention the towns of Goshen and Bloomingdale. An old Bible records that William and Mary Francis Palmer Williamson had a family of nine children; Eliza P., born Dec. 9, 1799; Palmer born October 4, 1802; Nancy born July 1, 1804; Philander born September 24, 1810; William Harrison born January 27, 1813; Stephen D. born January 13, 1816; and Mary L. born May 21, 1820.
Of these children we know of only Palmer who married Amy Horton and Mary L. who married Mr. Carter and died June 19, 1862 at the age of 42. The Carters had three children, Francis Leom, William Harry, and Mary Alice. Palmer and Amy decided to "Go West" to the Chicago region. It appears that they took their daughter, Mary Francis, then two and a half years old, with them. They stopped at Elmira, New York for a time and their son, William Horton was born there. From Elmira they traveled by covered wagon directly to Buffalo, or else, covered wagon north to the Erie Canal and the canal boat to Buffalo. There was at our farm an old leather trunk that was said to have been used by Grandmother Williamson, Amy Horton, as a seat on the canal boat or covered wagon, while she took care of baby Horton.
At Buffalo, they took a lake boat to go across Lake Erie. A bad storm caused the boat to put in at Conneaut or Ashtabula, Ohio, where they had to wait out the storm. Grandma Williamson refused to go back on the boat because she had been so seasick. At least she talked Palmer into going down into the Western Reserve, which consisted of several counties of North-Eastern Ohio. They came into Summit County and first resided in Talmadge Township. After a year, they purchased the farm in Stow Township and moved onto it. This must have been in the early 1830's.
From that date the farm remained in the Williamson family until 1971 [ed. note: The family farm was actually sold in 1959 rather than 1971; it wasn't developed until 1971 by the purchaser.] Stow Township in the early days included nothing but farms. There was a Christian Church at the center and a grange for social functions. An old picture of the teachers and the nineteen scholars of our No. Seven School District show at least five grades. The township was divided into eight school districts, each with a one room school house. In the spring the men met and elected a director, who hired a teacher and looked for supplies and fuel. The eight directors formed a school board for the township. The town was also divided into road districts so the farmers of each district, upon request, would fix up the condition of their roads.
Palmer and Amy Horton Williamson had seven children; Mary Francis born April 13, 1828; William Horton born August 7, 1829; Radnor born June 1831; Susan Helen born September 18, 1833; Sarah Jane born September 10, 1835; Aldraetta E. born October 20, 1840; and Julius Oscar born March 12, 1845. My father, Julius Oscar, was nearly eighteen years younger than Aunt Mary. I recall Aunt Susan saying that she took care of my father as a baby more than their Mother. Radnor died in his early teens. Sarah Jane died at the age of seventeen. Aldraetta married Mr. Thompson, but died at the age of twenty-nine. These two children were buried at the Hudson Cemetery.
The records show that Mary Francis Williamson, at the age of fourteen, was the teacher of a district at the salary of one dallar a week with board and room among her pupils.
She married Mr. Orlo Wetmore. They had four children, Harrison who lived in Arkansas, Ada Elno, Jennie May, and an infant who died at childbirth. Ada married Mr. Frank Longcoy who belonged to a very well-known family of Kent. Orlo Wetmore died at the age of thirty-seven. After this, Mary Francis moved to Clinton, Michigan with her sister. Here she married Mr. Warren Brewster who lived only two months after their marriage. His stepson from a previous marriage fell in love with Jennie May, who had come for a visit with her mother. Jennie May married Mr. Luir Hall and they moved to Carson, Iowa and also lived in Tingley, Iowa. Mary Francis Brewster, Aunt Mary, as we knew her, was a woman of sturdy pioneer character and showed much endurance and self-sacrifice. She was the mother of our Longcoy, Hall, Hess, and Smith families. After an illness early in 1914 she passed away October 13, 1914. She was buried in the Stow cemetery in the lot of Orlo Wetmore.
William Horton married Maryett Stark. They puchased a farm in Northampton Township just to the west of Stow. They had four children, all of whom are now gone. The children are shown in the family tree.
Julius Oscar took over the old farm in the early 1870's. He married Rosetta Zelia White on February 24, 1875. There were six of us children, Henry, Homer, Don, Palmer, Arba, Earl, and Amy. The history of these children and their families are shown on the family tree.
In 1835, William Williamson came west to be near the children. William took over a tavern near Ravenna. He died in 1837 and was buried at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Ravenna, Ohio. At his grave is a well-preserved slab-type stone on which is printed his name and dates. Also the names and dates of his wife are engraved on the stone.
November 22, 1837
Age 59 years, 5 months
November 22, 1852
Age 73 years
At the family
lot in the cemetery in Stow, Grandfather Palmer and Grandmother Amy are
buried. Also at this lot are the graves of Radnor, Uncle Horton and Aunt
Maryette, and my father, Julius, and Mother, Rosetta. Also at the Stow
cemetery there are the graves of Aunt Mary Brewster, Henry and Ruth, Homer and
Alice, Don and Jessie, Hattie and Celia.
In preparing the Williamson Family tree I have grouped it by generations. Starting from our Scotland connection William Williamson is Generation No. 1 and continuing to Generation No. 8 for the young children. I know names are missing, family connections unsolved, names misspelled, and just mistakes.
On sheet 1, a chart is shown for lining the sheets to the tree as a whole and generations noted. Starting at William Williamson and following the arrowed lines will show your connections, except for the Hass and Smith families. We were late in gathering these connections and have grouped them on a separate sheet to show how they fit into the family tree.
As stated, we of this tree are descendents of the one brother William, of the three brothers who landed on Long Island, as our legend has it. In our family gatherings, the other two brothers were given no names nor where they located. It was thought that they went south. Earl sent me a Charleston, S.C., paper telling how the Williamson men had been active in the city. Maybe they were the two other brothers.
We are proud of the Williamson connections with Scotland but are also indebted to English, Welsh, German, and other nationalities.
A. G. Williamson, Sr.
Page created 12/12/2002