Byron John Bird Williams 2,48,71,168
- Born: Feb 1861, Neath, Glamorgan, Wales 168
- Marriage: Isabella Brown on 4 Dec 1884 in Deloraine, Manitoba, Canada 168
- Died: Nov 1922 at age 61 168
The following was submitted by Ken Williams to the publication " Botany District The First 100 Years":
My grandfather was born at Neath Wales in 1858 and immigrated to Manit oba in 1881. In 1882 he homesteaded the SE ¼ of 10-7-22 and survived s ome difficult times such as carrying supplies from Brandon on foot, li ving in a sod shack that was not much better than being outside, and l ater to lose his homestead when he could not pay for a $30 fanning mil l he had purchased to clean his seed.
Grandfather married Isabella Brown December 4, 1884 in old Deloraine . She had immigrated from Scotland with her parents and lived in Elgi n for a time before her parents lived on section 3-7-22. For some tim e my grandparents lived at various locations. They had a dray busines s in Souris and later in Hartney. Grandfather worked in the brick yard . Two sons were born to them - my father, and my uncle John Osborne, t hree years later. Schooling was a problem and the boys got their educa tion in a variety of places.
In 1894 a new house was built on NW 2-7-22. Later a small house that w as on S.W. 2 was moved and attached to the new house where it still st ands. The family eventually moved on to section two. While living in t he small house, my grandmother was ironing clothes one day and on turn ing around was shocked to see an Indian woman, with the hot iron in he r hand, standing over the baby in the cradle. the baby was my Uncle Jo hn Osborne. The Indians were having problems too at that time and ofte n came asking for food. My grandmother died in 1916 at an early age . I do not remember her. I do have fond memories of my grandfather, wh en, we as kids, would stay at his place. He was an excellent cook an d housekeeper. I well remember the homemade bread and buns, cakes, pie s, and puddings. When it was bedtime he would tuck me in his big bed u pstairs. I guess I wanted his company and remember asking many times w hen he was coming to bed. He always replied "presently", but I never d id find out when that was. These pleasant times abruptly came to an en d by my grandfather's untimely death November 1922. Uncle J.O. William s was left to carry on with the farming which he did until 1966.
Noted events in his life were:
• Immigration: From Neath, Wales, Great Britain, 1881, Manitoba, Canada. 168,1973
• Family History, 1884, Swaffam, Cameron, Manitoba, Canada. 1974 The land directly south of Mr. Williams was held by an absentee owner . who hired J. O. Brown, a homesteader in the Westhall district ten mi les to the south, to break the land for him. There was a sod shack o n this farm and J. O. Brown was living in it when word reached him tha t his mother and two sisters, Mary and Isabel, had arrived in Brando n from Edinburgh, Scotland. He drove to Brandon for them, and they rea ched the sod shack one evening just as rain began to fall. J. O. Brown 's father had, until his death, been a successful artist and portrai t painter in Edinburgh. His mother and sisters were accustomed to comf ort and refinement in their surroundings. They must have viewed the so d shack with considerable misgiving, particularly, as the rain that be gan on the night of their arrival, continued for several days and th e sod-thatched roof dripped water so constantly that they spent most o f their first week inside the shanty under two umbrellas. Before J. O . Brown, his mother and sisters went south to J. O.'s Westhall farm, I sabel met Barney Williams. Within two years she married him an d returned to his farm (10-7-22). She soon adapted herself to the pion eer surroundings and interested herself in her neighbors and their pro blems. Mrs. Williams helped to nurse a Patton girl who was il l with tuberculosis. Barney Jr. recalls that when the girl die d in 1892 her empty coffin was upended and taken to her room on the se cond floor of the house, but the stairs would not permit it to be take n down in a horizontal position so it was removed through an upper win dow before the long funeral procession wound the twelve miles to Souri s for her burial. Mrs. Williams had a sweet flexible voice an d her willingness to sing at neighborhood gatherings endeared her to h er listeners. She was in demand as a soloist not only in her own distr ict, but often in Hartney and other nearby towns. Barney recall s Sunday School held at the home of Henry James on 10-6-22. Mr. Jame s was a Quaker, and was interested in the religious life of the commun ity, especially that of the children. His home, and that of the Barcla y family, where Presbyterian students frequently came to hold services , were social and church centres until the school was built. After tha t, services were held in the school.
• 1906 Census of Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta): Sec. 2, Twp. 7, Rge. 22, W1, 25 Jun 1906, Hartney, Grassland, Manitoba, Canada. 667 Manitoba, Brandon Dist., Glenwood Mun., p. 1, lines 36-40, household 1 0;
Byron, age 46, with wife Isabella M. C., age 39, and children Benjami n B., age 20, and John O., age 17, and servants James Fraser, age 31 , and Emma Fraser, age 29.
• 1911 Census of Canada: Twp. 7, Rge. 22, W1, 1911, Souris, Manitoba, Canada. 1975 Manitoba, Brandon Dist., Glenwood Mun., p. 4, lines 6-9, household 31;
Benjamin J. B., age 50, with wife Isabella, age 44, and son John A., a ge 21, with domestic Thomas Smith, age 30.
• 1916 Census of Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta), 1916, Souris, Manitoba, Canada. 19,75 P. 12, Lines 45 - 46, Household 136, Twp. 7, Rge. 22; Byron, age 59, w ith son John, age 27.
• 1921 Census of Canada, 1921, Glenwood, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. 1976 Manitoba, Brandon, Glenwood Municipality; Sec. 2, Twp. 7, Rge. 22, W1 ; p. 9, lines 40-42, household 90;
Byron, age 62, with son John, age 32, and boarder Charles Cullen, ag e 45.
• Family History: Plum Creek in the Sifton District near, 1884, Souris, Manitoba, Canada. 666 Sod Shanties Leaked; Young
(By G. A. McMorran)
The Following is an excerpt from this story:
In June 1884 a Mrs. Brown with her two daughters Isabella (18) and Ma ry (20) arrived at Plum Creek from Edinburgh, Scotland. They were me t in Brandon by the young ladies' brother, and made the trip to Plum C reek in a wagon drawn by his oxen at a maximum speed of about three m iles per hour, along a winding prairie trail, to a point southwest o f where Souris is today. Their brother was living in a sod shack whil e he broke the virgin prairie with the same oxen with which he had me t them in Brandon. It started to rain shortly after they reached thei r destination. For one whole week they spent the days under a couple o f umbrellas inside the hut; at night they sat or tried to sleep, stil l under an umbrella that protected only a portion of their bed. The yo ung 18 year old Isabella (and perhaps the others too) was so lonesom e and despondent that her tears are said to have all but matched the " tears" of the leaking roof. Two years later she was Mrs. B. J. William s and the mother of "Barney" Williams. Her sister became Mrs. W. T. We ightman. Their brother was J. O. Brown of the Elgin district.
Byron married Isabella Brown on 4 Dec 1884 in Deloraine, Manitoba, Canada.168 (Isabella Brown was born in Mar 1867 in Scotland 667,1975 and died in 1916 168.)