Louisa Miller, my husband’s 2X great grandmother, has been a bit overlooked in my research, so I decided to take a new look at her life.
Louisa was born on 21 September 1842 to Michael Miller and Elizabeth Hendricks in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. She was the third child, and third daughter, out of ten children born to her parents. She joined sisters Mary Catherine and Sarah J., and was followed by Wilson Turner, James L., Joab, Lenard, Jacob, Benjamin F. and Elizabeth.
I never really thought about it until now, but Louisa married John Williams on 13 September 1871 in Nevada County, Arkansas, down in the southwest corner of the state. John lived next door in Hempstead and Lafayette Counties with an extended Williams clan, but what was Louisa doing in Arkansas?
By 1870, Louisa’s family had long left Kentucky and migrated to Hopkins County, Texas. They actually moved in 1855. Their travels would have taken them through southwest Arkansas, but many years before Louisa married.
Louisa was still at home, unmarried, in 1870 in Hopkins County:
I have not located John in the 1870 census, but their marriage record shows they were living in Nevada County when they married a year later. Nevada County was formed in March 1871 from portions of Hempstead, Ouachita and Columbia Counties.
I suspect that Louisa made a trip to Arkansas to visit her sister, Mary Catherine, who had married James Burkhart in 1865 in Hempstead County. How Mary found a husband in Arkansas I don’t know, but I’ve answered my question about how Louisa would have met John.
It’s also interesting that Louisa was almost six years older than John. That was a bit unusual, but John must have been quite taken with Louisa and they settled in Hopkins County, Texas, near the rest of the Miller family around 1873, bringing baby son (James) Bennie with them.
John and Louisa Williams and family only appear in one census record together, that of 1880:
Williams Family, Hopkins County, Texas 1880
Williams, John C., 31, born AR
Louisa, 37, born KY
James B., 7, born AR
Louella J., 5, born TX
Minnie M., 1, born TX
However, baby Levi, born in 1877 and who died 8 September 1879, is missing from the family. In addition to the loss of little Levi, Louisa passed away on 22 June 1883, cause unknown. It is certainly possible that she died giving birth to a child who didn’t survive either.
Bennie grew up and spent his life in Hopkins County, marrying Louie B. Snyder, and passing away in Sulphur Springs on 1 April 1936. Louella married Benjamin Hullender in 1899 and they lived in Lincolnton, North Carolina where he died in 1922 and Louella died on 9 March 1937. They would have only been 2 and 4 years older than Minnie here, so definitely not out living on their own. Perhaps Louisa was ill at this time and the older children were living with relatives nearby?
John Williams went on to marry (2) Ellen Connor on 15 November 1883.