I am fortunate to have a number of family photos of various family members, but I chose this one, which is a particular favorite, because my Dad is the little boy in front, Herbert Randell Williams, “Herbie.” He was three years old at the time. His older sister, Lute Odette Williams, “Aunt Lutie,” told me this was taken on Easter Sunday morning. It was she who identified the other family members in the picture for me when I was still very young.
In front: Herbert Randell Williams, “Herbie,” my Dad. He was born on 10 August 1904 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He died on 2 April 1982, in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. He was married first to Emma Scott. They had two sons, Robert Arthur Williams, and Harvey Scott Williams. He married second, my mother, Margaret Lilly Lee. He was inurned at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, on K St. NW, Washington, DC. My Dad told me that he was sitting on his favorite stool that he took everywhere h could. It reminds me that I used to have a favorite stool I took around the house following my Mom or Dad.
Standing just behind and to the right: Charleton Joshua Williams, Sr. “Uncle Jimmy.” He was my Dad’s brother. He was born 13 May 1897 in Live Oak, Suwannee County, Florida. He died May 1978, in Queens, New York. He married Julia Sinkler. 27 May 1917, in Manhattan, New York. They had two sons, Charleton Joshua Williams, Jr. and Earle Williams. Earle was killed by a car when stepping off a curb when he was still a child. His brother, who took on the Earl name, but we called him “Son,” never married or had children. Uncle Jimmy was buried in the family plot at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens, New York. There are several amusing stories about Uncle Jimmy. One I remember is that he loved to walk and could walk great distances. Once he walked from Queens across one of the bridges to Manhattan. At some point a policeman stopped him because the dog looked so exhausted. When the policeman discovered how far they would have to walk to get home, he put them in a cab for the trip, reportedly saying he would lock my uncle up and take the dog away if he saw them in a similar condition again.
Standing Left to Right in the rear:
Iva Mae Williams, “Aunt Babe.” She was the youngest of my grandfather, William Gainer Williams’ (not pictured here) siblings. She was born 10 Feb 1887, in Live Oak, Suwannee County, Florida. She died 22 February 1953, in New York City. She married first Milton Harry Johnson. They had one daughter, Helen M. Johnson, who died young. She married next Elmer Augustus Dade, a vaudeville star and agent. They had one son, Elmer A. Dade, Jr. He was not known to have any children. She is buried in the family plot in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens, New York.
Lute Odette Williams, “Aunt Lutie.” She was my Dad’s sister. She was born on 25 August 1895, in Live Oak, Suwannee County, Florida. She died 13 June 1985, in Jersey City, New Jersey. She was married to Guy Mann. They divorced. She never remarried. She had no children. She is buried with her parents in New York Bay Cemetery, Jersey City, New Jersey. I adored Aunt Lutie. She was the one to first tell me about my Williams-Farnell family history. You can read more about her here.
Jessie Williams, “Aunt Missy.” She was my grandfather’s sister. She was the next to youngest. She and Aunt Babe did everything together. She was born in May 1886, in Live Oak, Suwannee County, Florida. She died 23 Feb 1954, in New York City. She was married first to Benjamin Austin Powell. She married second, Rex Wilson. She had one daughter with Rex Wilson, Norma Wilson, who died young. Aunt Missy was buried in the family plot at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens, New York.
Lela Virginia Farnell Williams, my grandmother. She was born 28 September 1876, in Lake City, Columbia County, Florida. She died 28 March 1914, in Jersey City, New Jersey. She married my grandfather, William Gainer Williams, on 12 February 1893, in Live Oak, Florida. They had four children, Lute Odette Williams (Aunt Lutie), Charleton Joshua Williams (Uncle Jimmy), William Gainer Williams, Jr. (he died in infancy), and my father, Herbert Randell Williams. My grandmother is buried with my grandfather and Aunt Lutie in New York Bay Cemetery, Jersey City, New Jersey. You can read about her autograph book from her years at Florida Normal College (now Florida A & M) and its influence on me here
Charlotte Williams, “Aunt Trim.” She was my grandfather’s sister. She was born 29 March 1881 in Live Oak, Suwannee County, Florida. She died in December 1965, in Elmira, Chemung County, New York. She married first, Sam Hadley, in Live Oak, Florida. They had one son, Henry “Harry” Hadley. She married second, Eddie Hall, in Manhattan, New York. They had no children. She married third, Josephus Silas. They had no children. She married last, Major Stewart, in New York. They had no children. She is buried in the family plot in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens, New York. Aunt Trim loved horse-racing. A favorite activity was to go to Saratoga, New York for the racing season. She reportedly had a picture of her grandmother, Frances Gainer, but when Aunt Lutie went to retrieve it after Aunt Trim died, her husband, Major Stewart, said that he had thrown it out with other old “junk.” Aunt Lutie was heartbroken.