By Anne Williams Easter
In 1993 many of my family members traveled to Brookhaven for yet another Williams’ funeral. My cousin, Joan, and I were sitting outside on the porch of the funeral home along with Uncle David when we started talking about how many of his siblings had died during the recent years. Uncle David started telling us some interesting things about his siblings and our family history. That conversation sparked a new interest for Joan and me, and thus began our family reunions and the accumulation of family history facts, fictions, pictures and papers. Accumulating family information was not an easy task since there were 16 children between our grandparents. Our family was an accumulation of his children, her children and their children! Our grandfather, Thomas L. “Tom” Williams, first married Nancy J. Golden and they had Cluffy, George, Jack, Henry, Jake, Alma and Joe. Our grandmother, Ella Bailey, first married Charles Mixon and they had Mary Eve and A.D. After the deaths of Nancy J. and Charles, Tom and Ella married. and had Nancy, Margaret, M.T., Johnny, Charles, David and Billy. Most of these 16 children were born near Montevista just over the Calhoun County line, but after the death of Tom, the majority of them settled in or around Webster County. We had lost touch with members of these families over the years, so we started contacting the ones we could find and “shook the bushes” looking for the others. We accumulated as much information as possible during the months following and held our first family reunion in 1994 at the Woodmen of the World building near Eupora. We had more than 100 in attendance that year. Since then, our reunion has been held yearly, mainly at Montevista in the church‘s fellowship hall. Last year we had well over 100 in attendance, and we had a large number of the younger “Williams Bunch” present. Since last year‘s reunion, we lost yet another of the 16 original “Williams Bunch,” leaving us with only one survivor, Uncle David. Thank you Uncle David for getting us going on our family’s history. What a legacy you and your siblings have handed down to us. Incidentally, we are connected to that other “Williams Bunch.” Benjamin Cody Williams and Nancy Jennings Williams were the grandparents of my grandmother, Ella. Let this be a personal invitation to descendants of that group to join us at the Williams, Bailey, Golden family reunion Saturday at the Montevista Baptist Church fellowship hall in Webster County. This year we hope to have even more of the “Williams Bunch” attending our reunion, and the current and future generations will know what a rich, Webster County heritage they have. Anne W. Easter may be contacted at 275-3809.