On This Date: Marriage of John Wesley Laney and Cordelia Paris

John W. Laney and Cordelia Paris were married on October 15, 1877, in Greene County, Missouri.

John and Cordelia Paris Laney were my great great-grandparents.

John Wesley Laney’s father, John Laney–my 3X great-grandfather

John Wesley Laney’s father, John Laney (1817-1894)–my 3X great-grandfather–and his brother, George Marion Laney (1829-1893), had relocated to Greene County, Missouri, from Greene County, Tennessee in 1848. Cordelia’s father, John James Paris (1837-1884) was born in Kentucky, but sometime before marrying Cordelia’s mother–Rebecca Angelina Hampton (1836-1874)–he had moved to Greene County, Missouri. Rebecca was born in Tennessee, but had come to Greene County, Missouri, as a teenager.

The two were married and raised a family in Greene County, Missouri.

Marriage License of John Wesley Laney and Cordelia A Paris(h)

The couple had five children, the youngest of whom was my great-grandfather, Ernest Arthur Laney.

Interestingly, it appears that following John Wesley’s death, Cordelia married his older brother, Rev. Samuel F. Laney, who had become a widower four years earlier.

Rev. Samuel F. Laney and his first wife, Sarah Shockley Laney
The Monett Times – Monett, Missouri – 16 November 1917
Rev. Samuel Laney fought in the Civil War. (His brother John Wesley was too young to serve.) Samuel served the Union Army with the 8th Missouri Cavalry Volunteer Regiment, Company F.

John Wesley and Cordelia Paris Laney are buried together in Maple Park Cemetery in Aurora, Lawrence County, Missouri.

Rev. Samuel Laney and his first wife Sarah are buried together in Concord Cemetery in Ridgely, Barry County, Missouri.

On This Day: Marriage of David Williamson and Anna Young

David Williamson and Anna Young were married on September 26, 1872, in Perthshire, Scotland

David and Anna Young Williamson were my great great grandparents.

Scotland as it would have looked at the time of my great great grandparents’ births.
Map of Scotland – Tallis, John & Frederick (fl. ca. 1846-1850); drawn & engraved by J. Rapkin

David Williamson was born June 27, 1846, in Crawford, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He was one of seven children. He and at least one of his brothers were coal miners. His brother William Williamson, who attended University of Edinburgh, reportedly managed a coal mine for Queen Victoria!

Anna M. Young was born April 11, 1851, in Cargill, Perthshire, Scotland. She was one of eleven children. She married David Williamson in Perthshire.

Post card of mining site – Galena, Cherokee County, Kansas (ca. 1890-1910)

The couple and their five children immigrated to Crawford County, Kansas, in 1887. Their sixth child, my great grandfather, was born shortly after the family’s arrival. David’s brother William immigrated at about the same time. The two brothers worked in the mines of Southeast Kansas.


Anna Young Williamson, surrounded by her children and family dog. Photo taken shortly after the birth of my great grandfather in 1888. He is the toddler, clutching his mother’s skirt.
The Pittsburg Headlight – Pittsburg, Kansas – 12 May 1892

Family lore has it that David had some issues with alcohol (and perhaps owned a saloon at one time?) Local newspaper accounts of the time paint a picture of an immigrant who had money troubles and who ran afoul of the law, serving time in Girard, Kansas, as well as in Leavenworth. It appears he abandoned his home and family on several occasions.

His oldest son appears to have been involved with his father in a scheme of cashing out their business, skipping town, and leaving their creditors in the lurch.

The Leavenworth Times – Leavenworth, Kansas – 22 Jan 1898

At some point, David ended up living with this son and his family in Witt, Montgomery County, Illinois.

The Pittsburg Daily Headlight – Pittsburg, Kansas – 1 Sep 1893

Besides David’s own misfortunes, the brother that had journeyed with him from Scotland to America—William—was tragically killed in a mining accident in Scammon, Cherokee County, Kansas, seven years after the brothers’ arrival in America.

David Williamson died in Illinois in 1908 at the age of sixty-two.

Anna Young Williamson passed away in 1934 at the age of eighth-three.

Whatever unhappiness Anna experienced in her married life, she seems to have been blessed with loving and devoted children who, along with their own children and grandchildren, spent many happy moments with Anna.

Four Generations: Anna Young Williamson, her daughter, Jean Williamson Oliver, her granddaughter Anna Oliver Russell, and her great grandson William Oliver “Bill” Russell

David and Anna Young Williamson are buried in Olivet Cemetery in Pittsburg, Kansas.