Monday, April 10, 2017

Meet Helena Mariah Williams, my 3rd Great Grandmother!

Climbing My Family Tree: Helena Mariah Williams Bailey Huber  (abt 1815 – after 1901)
Helena Mariah Williams Bailey Huber
 (abt 1815 – after 1901)
Posted with permission of Christina Inman



THIS POST IS NOT CORRECT. DO NOT RELY ON IT. 
RETRACTION (& EXPLANATION) is linked here: Retraction: My Last Post Was Wrong

Meet Helena Mariah Williams, one of my third great grandmothers, on my Mom's paternal side.  Most of her life she went by Mariah or Maria, so I call her Mariah. I’ve written about her before [here (link fixed): 52 Ancestors: #14 Mariah/Maria Williams Bailey Huber (abt 1815 – after 1901), Strength in Tragedy]. At that time, I had to start her story with her marriage to my 3rd great grandfather, John Bailey, because I had no idea who her parents were, or whether she had siblings. I did have this picture, given to me by my mother’s cousin, but I didn’t know for certain that it was of Mariah. My mother’s cousin thought it might be but she wasn’t sure. I am now convinced it is Mariah.

As I noted in my first essay my first introduction my 3rd great grandmother was through the family notes written by my great-grandmother, Pauline Bailey Snyder (hereafter “GGM”). They are about six pages long and appear to be memories of several generations of family members and stories about them, written down at someone’s request.  As I’ve pursued my research, GGM’s notes have proven to be not entirely accurate, but overall, decent clues. In Mariah’s case, her notes have been less helpful. In reference to her grandmother, GGM wrote “Papa’s mother was a straight line descendant from the Roger Williams (who founded Rhode Island). Papa's father was Scotch-Irish. His mother was full blood Welch. Her name was Sarah Williams. Not sure of her first name. May have been Maria. Wonderful woman, Quaker by birth. Later after marriage, she attended Methodist Church.” On the back of the above photo is written, “Full blooded Welch.”

I’ve been trying to find her family for years, so I'm really celebrating! I’m still not able to prove or disprove whether she is a “straight line descendant from the Roger Williams” yet,  but I think I’ve found her parents (and about three generations further back on her mother’s side)! Yes, she was born into a Quaker family, John L Williams and Ruth Welding Williams, and she has a sister and three brothers.  [I will tell her parents' story once I'm certain I've isolated which records belong to my particular people -- there are a lot of John Williams-es, and Ruth Williams-es and Ruth Weldings, in the Welsh Tracts in Pennsylvania, and they aren't all mine.] 

I found, through Ancestry’s U.S. Quaker Meeting record collection, three records of varying degrees of readability, from February and March 1819 in which John L. Williams and his wife Ruth were applying for a Certificate of Removal for themselves and their five minor children, Lewis Welding, Lydia, Helena Mariah, Watson, and Samuel, from the Gwynedd Monthly Meeting in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The Gwynedd meeting is within one of three Welsh Tracts sold to Welsh Quakers by William Penn in the 17th century. Their application for a Certificate of Removal likely meant that they were planning to move to another area or visit someone in another area because Quakers used to get a Certificate of Removal from their home Meeting ("meeting" is similar to a church congregation) and recommendation to another Meeting somewhere else.

Climbing My Family Tree: Gwynedd Preparative Meeting Record, Montgomery County, PA, 16 Feb 1819
Gwynedd Preparative Meeting Record, Montgomery County, PA, 16 Feb 1819
(Click to Make Bigger)

Climbing My Family Tree: Gwynedd Monthly Meeting, Montgomery County, PA, 25 Feb 1819
Gwynedd Monthly Meeting, Montgomery County, PA, 25 Feb 1819
(Click to Make Bigger)


Climbing My Family Tree: Part 1: Part 1: Gwynedd Preparative Meeting, Montgomery County, PA  17 Mar 1819 (p119)
Part 1: Gwynedd Preparative Meeting, Montgomery County, PA  17 Mar 1819 (p119)
(Click to make bigger)

Climbing My Family Tree: Part 2: Gwynedd Preparative Meeting, Montgomery County, PA  17 Mar 1819 (p120)
Part 2: Gwynedd Preparative Meeting, Montgomery County, PA  17 Mar 1819 (p120)
(Click to make bigger)

I was excited when I saw the “Welding” as the oldest son, Lewis’ middle name (later confirmed to be Ruth’s maiden name – her father is Watson Welding) because there is a middle name that repeats in my Mom’s family over several generations. It was my grandfather’s middle name, “Weldon”. Welding isn’t quite the same, but it’s closer than anything else I’ve found to date, and as I’ve reviewed historical documents it seems to me that spelling used to be more of a creative art than a precision requirement. ... I might be close to finding "Weldon".

When I saw Mariah's older sister, Lydia, in the list of the minor children, it explained to me where Mariah’s second daughter’s name came from and helped confirm to me that this was my Mariah's family.

The last thing that helped persuade me that I’d found the correct parents for Mariah happened a few days after I entered the connections in my Ancestry Tree, when I received notification that two people I’d already shared an AncestryDNA match with, I now had a 'Shared Ancestor' shaky leaf hint with, which showed a connection with a name further up Ruth Welding’s maternal line. (I've been able to take her maternal line up several generations.)  I realize that isn’t dispositive as we could connect somewhere else I haven’t found yet, but it is a persuasive consideration.

I’m still missing about 23 years of her life, from this point to her marriage to John Bailey. I’d love to hear from anyone else researching Helena Mariah Williams Bailey Huber. Do you know where she met John Bailey? Or where she was for my missing 23 years?

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Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Men's Minutes, 1811-1823; Collection: Quaker Meeting Records; Call Number: MR-PH 235

Ancestry.com. U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

6 comments:

  1. Jo, this is very exciting. And to think you have DNA matches also with shared hints. Best of luck uncovering Mariah's missing years.

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    Replies
    1. It had me singing and dancing all over the house! Thanks for sharing my excitement, Marian!

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    2. And, it turns out I'm wrong. My next post will be a retraction. Sigh.

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  2. Wow Jo, it sure looks like you've found your third great-grandmother's family, well done! I'm still waiting for DNA to confirm an ancestor.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dara! I was lucky this time. Sprouting shared ancestor leaves, with names attached, I can understand. Centimorgans on a graph, not so much. I think it gets more likely as more people get curious about their backgrounds and take the test. So maybe it's easier here because we know we all came from somewhere else so there's more curiosity than if you know your people lived in the same country for centuries. (Ironically it turns out Mom's family, or at least this line of it, HAS been here for 3.5 centuries-- I had no idea.)

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    2. And, it turns out I'm wrong. My next post will be a retraction. :(

      Delete

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