Tag Archives: Williams

Amanuensis Monday – Letters From The Past

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For the past two weeks, I have shared with you letters my great-grandmother Dona had written to New Orleans in search of the Boullemet family.  The first week, she inquired with the New Orleans Post Office as to their whereabouts.  The second week, the post office responded and so did a Boullemet. 

This week, I will share what I assume was a draft letter of what she had mailed to Mrs. Bartels, the daughter of Stephen Boullemet and Elizabeth Williams.

Letter 04 from Dona Higginbotham to Mrs. Bartel

Letter 04 from Dona Higginbotham to Mrs. Bartel

Transcribed:

Higginbothams
Merchants
Texarkana, Ark.

Mrs. Bartel.

Dear Madam,

Your address, 3506 Camp Street; was given me by Mrs. N.B. Boullemet to whom I wrote for information concerning the family of Mr. Stephen Boullemet; and while she did not state positively that you were his daughter, at the same time she left that impression.

If you are his daughter, will you kindly advise me so that I may write you more freely about my father F.H. Williams, who is very old and feeble and whose life is nearing it’s close?

If I am mistaken in assuming that you are the Mrs. Bartel referred to please pardon me, and if possible you would tell me any believe   [note:  this is scratched through on original document]

Hoping to hear from you at an early date I am

Very Truly Yours -

Then I believe she received a reply from Mrs. Bartels.

Letter 05 to Dona from Mrs. A A Bartels

Letter 05 to Dona from Mrs. A A Bartels

Transcribed:

New Orleans
Nov’ 22nd 1917

Mrs. R. F. Higginbotham

Dear Madam,

A few days since I received thro’ the widow of a relative, a letter written by you inquiring about the children of our Stephen Boullemet as his eldest daughter I am writing you. My three brothers have passed away, leaving but my sister and myself both widows. There is some mistake as regards names, my mother was Miss Watkins, not Williams, she had but one brother reaching manhood, whom she never saw after the civil war, he married secretly, a young woman employed and trusted by my parents; as his life had brought little but sorrow to his family there was little grief at his loss.

This is about all I can tell you, there is evidently some confusion.

Respectfully,

(Mrs.) A.A. Bartels.

So, there you have it.

Mrs. Bartels writes back and deny’s that F.H. Williams is any kin. But, this doesn’t sit well with Dona, and she responds! Check back next Monday for the final two letters! These final letters, you will NOT want to miss! I bet I get my moxie from Dona!

Tombstone Tuesday – Leaving Rocks on Headstones

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When I went to Texarkana a couple of weeks ago, I went by some of my ancestor’s graves and replaced some flowers, and left some rocks.

Rev. Williams' Headstone

Rev. Williams’ Headstone

Yes, I said rocks.

I’m sure you are wondering why I would leave a rock.  Traditionally,  I believe it’s a Jewish custom to leave a rock when you visit a grave.  It means you remember the person you are leaving it for.  The way I understand it to work, anytime you think of a person who has passed away, you stop right there, and pick up a rock.  Then, the next time you visit their grave, you leave the rock.

Now, I’m not Jewish but I think it’s a great way for anyone, no matter the religion or ethnicity to leave a reminder that someone was there, and the person the rock was left for, isn’t forgotten.

In the picture above, you can see that the rock was painted and written on (I love you Pinterest), it says, “At Rest with God” and I thought this one was appropriate for Rev. Williams’ grave, my 2nd great-grandfather.  I also put the cross out there with the flowers on it.

I put flowers on the headstone of my great-grandparents, Rufus and Dona (Williams) Higginbotham.  I didn’t leave them a rock though because sadly I had forgotten the bag of rocks when I was putting the flowers on.

Rufus and Dona Higginbotham Headstone

Rufus and Dona Higginbotham Headstone

Next, over at East Memorial Gardens, I replaced the flowers on my grandfather and grandmother’s headstone.  I had already put this rock there sometime last year, and I was actually very pleased that it was still there, and the paint is holding up well and it still looks really good.  This rock says, “Until we meet again.”

Earl and Edna Higginbotham Headstone

Earl and Edna Higginbotham Headstone

Then at Harmony Grove, I put a rock on my great-grandparents headstone, Major and Mollie Harris. Everyone called them “Big Mama & Grandpa”, so that is what their rock says.

Major and Mollie Harris Headstone

Major and Mollie Harris Headstone

I also left one for Uncle Doc, Joseph William Harris.  His says, “Rest in Peace”.

Uncle Doc's Headstone

Uncle Doc’s Headstone

I couldn’t leave out my 2nd great-grandparents, James Ed and Martha Alice (Herring) Harris.  Their’s is just a painted rock with a bird on it.

Ed and Alice Harris Headstone

Ed and Alice Harris Headstone

How’s that for added flare to a headstone?

I think I’ll do more of these rocks and take them next time I go!

Thank you to Alix, for painting this set of rocks for me.

Amanuensis Monday – Letters from the Past

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Last week, on Amanuensis Monday – Letters from the Past, I shared a letter with you that my great-grandmother Dona (Williams) Higginbotham had written to the New Orleans Post Office making an inquiry into the whereabouts of the family of Elizabeth (Williams) Boullemet and her husband Stephen Boullemet.

This week, they replied!

Reply From New Orleans Post Office

Reply From New Orleans Post Office

Transcribed:

United States Post Office
New Orleans, LA
November 10, 1917.

Respectfully returned to Inquiry from Mrs. R F Higginbotham, re Stepehen Boullimet or Miss Elizabeth Williams et ale.

Mrs. R F Higginbotham
R F D 3, Box 45
Texarkana, Ark.

In reference to your communication herewith, I beg leave to advise that our city directory shows the following: Mrs. S C Boullemet or Mrs. Nettie B Boullemet, 2695 St. Charles. Mrs. Libby Bartell, 2126 St. Thomas. Mrs. Ada Bartell, 2315 Banks St. Mrs Rusk’s name is not shown in directory.

Postmaster.

She also received this letter, apparently around the same time according to the postmarks.

Letter From N B Boullemet

Letter From N B Boullemet

Transcribed:

2625 Saint Charles Avenue
New Orleans

Mrs. R. F. Higginbotham

Dear Madam,

You letter of inquiry about Mr. Stephen Boullemet’s family was recv’d this afternoon – will mail your letter to Mrs. Bartels whose address is 3506 Camp Street.

Very Truly Yours,
N B Boullemet

Nov 15 – ’17

Well, now she has found them! Will Dona get the response and answers she hopes for? Has she found her father’s family?

Next week, I will share the next letter.

Amanuensis Monday – Letters from the Past

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I’ve told you all about my obsession with all things Rev. Francis Hereford Williams, so over the next few weeks I will be sharing letters with you which lead me to believe he changed his name, and just like every other human, had bad things in his past happen.  None of these things kept him from becoming a man of God.

First, I will remind you that he had suffered a gun shot wound to the head during the civil war and had gone to the Austin Confederate Home to recuperate.  I think my great-grandmother, and his daughter Dona Williams Higginbotham was searching for answers for his condition, but this will all become more clear as I share the letters with you.

This is Dona, my great-grandmother.

Dona Higginbotham
Dona (Williams) Higginbotham

Here is the first letter.

First Letter from Dona Higginbotham to New Orleans Post Office looking for Boullemet relatives.

First Letter from Dona Higginbotham to New Orleans Post Office looking for Boullemet relatives.

Here is the transcription:

Nov. 5. 1917.
Postmaster.
New Orleans, La.

Dear Sir:

I am very anxious to get in communication with some one who is a relative of either Stephen Boullimet or his wife, who was Miss Elizabeth Williams. both of whom have been dead many years. They had two sons – Julien and Will. and two daughters Mrs Rusk and Mrs Bartell or Bartelle.

If you could give me the address of anyone from whom I could make inquiries, I would appreciate it very much.

Very Respectfully,
Mrs. R.F. Higginbotham

Next week, I will share the reply from the New Orleans Post Office.

Tombstone Tuesday – Rev. Francis Hereford Williams

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Rev. Francis Hereford Williams Headstone

Rev. Francis Hereford Williams Headstone

So, you all know my obsession with all things FHW, right? I refer to him all the time as FHW because I was saying his full name out loud everytime I spoke of him, and this totally cracked up Kookie and Cheri. So, now it’s just FHW.

FHW is my 2nd great-grandfather, and forget the Dos Equis guy, FHW is the most mysterious man on earth.

BY FAR.

I have written about him before here and here, and yes I didn’t finish my series of posts on him, but I do plan on getting back to it.  He’s just so complicated.  I never found his death date, Kookie did  (Thank you Kookie, I love you!!!!)  after we had searched for a long time. He died on Dec 16, 1917 per his death certificate.  Then after we found his death certificate, I ran down to the Arkansas History Commission and found his obituary, and it was for sure him!

Rev. FH Williams Obituary

Rev. FH Williams Obituary

What does all of this have to do with the above headstone you say? It says, H.J. Williams, and I keep referring to him as FHW.

Well, everything! Don’t you know?

Every bit of information I get about FHW just fuels more mystery and confusion.

You see, it is a known family FACT (ok, you know the truth about family facts right?) that FHW at some point changed his name, and I have several letters where his daughter, my great-grandmother Dona Williams Higginbotham tried desperately to find his family and real name, but to no avail.

And every time I mentioned to my brother Butch that I couldn’t find FHW’s headstone, he would say, well I know right where it is. Grandma Higginbotham took me there and showed it to me. We tried several times to get together and go to Texarkana and find it, but our schedules never matched up and we just didn’t make it.

Then a few days before Christmas last, Butch gave me the best Christmas present EVER.

He happened to be in Texarkana and sent me this photo of FHW’s headstone, and several other photos of FHW or HJW’s headstone. (I just have to brag here, he sent me photos of other relatives in the cemetery that I didn’t know about!!  Thanks Butch, I love you!!!!) The death date matched up, and I can find no records on a HJW dying on that day in Texarkana.

Butch, walked right into the cemetery, Woodlawn Cemetery in Texarkana, right where he remembered it was, and there it was, the headstone you see above.

Now, is H.J. simply a mistake on the headstone? I think so.

Is it possible Dona found out his real name?  Maybe.

But with FHW, you never know!

He is after all, the most mysterious man on earth.

Ok, technically I realize, he isn’t on earth anymore. But, his spirit lives on in me and I shall conquer this mystery.

Oh, Oh, Oh,  I got it!  He’s the most mysterious brick wall on earth!

Ok, I’ve lost it now, so peace out.

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