B. B. Williams
(Bef 1840-1919)
Byron John Bird Williams


Family Links

Isabella Brown

Byron John Bird Williams 2,48,70,151

  • Born: Feb 1861, Neath, Glamorgan, Wales, Great Britain 151
  • Marriage: Isabella Brown on 4 Dec 1884 in Deloraine, , Manitoba, Canada 151
  • Died: Nov 1922 at age 61 151

bullet  General Notes:

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 Manitoba in 1881. In 1882 he homesteaded the SE of 10-7-22 and survived some difficult times such as carrying supplies from Brandon on foot, living in a sod shack that was not much better than being outside, and later to lose his homestead when he could not pay for a $30 fanning mill 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 Elgin for a time before her parents lived on section 3-7-22. For some time my grandparents lived at various locations. They had a dray business 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, three years later. Schooling was a problem and the boys got their education in a variety of places.
In 1894 a new house was built on NW 2-7-22. Later a small house that was on S.W. 2 was moved and attached to the new house where it still stands. The family eventually moved on to section two. While living in the small house, my grandmother was ironing clothes one day and on turning around was shocked to see an Indian woman, with the hot iron in her hand, standing over the baby in the cradle. the baby was my Uncle John Osborne. The Indians were having problems too at that time and often 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, when, we as kids, would stay at his place. He was an excellent cook and housekeeper. I well remember the homemade bread and buns, cakes, pies, and puddings. When it was bedtime he would tuck me in his big bed upstairs. I guess I wanted his company and remember asking many times when he was coming to bed. He always replied "presently", but I never did find out when that was. These pleasant times abruptly came to an end by my grandfather's untimely death November 1922. Uncle J.O. Williams was left to carry on with the farming which he did until 1966. 48


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

Immigration: From Neath, Wales, Great Britain, 1881, , , Manitoba, Canada. 151,2169

Family History, 1884, , Swaffam, Cameron, Manitoba, Canada. 2170 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 miles to the south, to break the land for him. There was a sod shack on this farm and J. O. Brown was living in it when word reached him that his mother and two sisters, Mary and Isabel, had arrived in Brandon from Edinburgh, Scotland. He drove to Brandon for them, and they reached 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 portrait painter in Edinburgh. His mother and sisters were accustomed to comfort and refinement in their surroundings. They must have viewed the sod shack with considerable misgiving, particularly, as the rain that began on the night of their arrival, continued for several days and the sod-thatched roof dripped water so constantly that they spent most of 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, Isabel met Barney Williams. Within two years she married him and returned to his farm (10-7-22). She soon adapted herself to the pioneer surroundings and interested herself in her neighbors and their problems. Mrs. Williams helped to nurse a Patton girl who was ill with tuberculosis. Barney Jr. recalls that when the girl died in 1892 her empty coffin was upended and taken to her room on the second floor of the house, but the stairs would not permit it to be taken down in a horizontal position so it was removed through an upper window before the long funeral procession wound the twelve miles to Souris for her burial. Mrs. Williams had a sweet flexible voice and her willingness to sing at neighborhood gatherings endeared her to her listeners. She was in demand as a soloist not only in her own district, but often in Hartney and other nearby towns. Barney recalls Sunday School held at the home of Henry James on 10-6-22. Mr. James was a Quaker, and was interested in the religious life of the community, especially that of the children. His home, and that of the Barclay family, where Presbyterian students frequently came to hold services, were social and church centres until the school was built. After that, services were held in the school.

Family History: Plum Creek in the Sifton District near, 1884, Souris, , Manitoba, Canada. 825 Sod Shanties Leaked; Young
Women Wept
(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 Mary (20) arrived at Plum Creek from Edinburgh, Scotland. They were met in Brandon by the young ladies' brother, and made the trip to Plum Creek in a wagon drawn by his oxen at a maximum speed of about three miles per hour, along a winding prairie trail, to a point southwest of where Souris is today. Their brother was living in a sod shack while he broke the virgin prairie with the same oxen with which he had met them in Brandon. It started to rain shortly after they reached their destination. For one whole week they spent the days under a couple of umbrellas inside the hut; at night they sat or tried to sleep, still under an umbrella that protected only a portion of their bed. The young 18 year old Isabella (and perhaps the others too) was so lonesome 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. Williams and the mother of "Barney" Williams. Her sister became Mrs. W. T. Weightman. Their brother was J. O. Brown of the Elgin district.

1906 Census of Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta): Sec. 2, Twp. 7, Rge. 22, W1, 25 Jun 1906, Hartney, Cameron, Manitoba, Canada. 826 Manitoba, Brandon Dist., Glenwood Mun., p. 1, lines 36-40, household 10;
Byron, age 46, with wife Isabella M. C., age 39, and children Benjamin 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. 2171 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., age 21, with domestic Thomas Smith, age 30.

1916 Census of Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta), 1916, Souris, , Manitoba, Canada. 24 P. 12, Lines 45 - 46, Household 136, Twp. 7, Rge. 22; Byron, age 59, with son John, age 27.

1921 Census of Canada, 1921, Glenwood Municipality, , Manitoba, Canada. 2172 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, age 45.


Byron married Isabella Brown on 4 Dec 1884 in Deloraine, , Manitoba, Canada.151 (Isabella Brown was born in Mar 1867 in , , , Scotland 826,2171 and died in 1916 151.)

bullet  Noted events in their marriage were:

Immigration: From Sotland To Canada: Elgin, , Manitoba, Canada. 151 and then to 3-7-22

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