Monday, December 22, 2014

Leona May Hagar - Widow of John W. Williams

My G-Grandmother, Leona May Hagar, was born 25-Jan-1862 in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.  She is the daughter of John Arthur Hagar and Ellen Elizabeth Reeves.  She is the G-Granddaughter of Thomas Bilbo; one of the early settlers of Calcasieu Parish for which Bilbo Street in Lake Charles is named.

Before her marriage to James Jefferson “Jeff’ Burnett, Leona was married to John W. Williams. John was born in 24-Mar-1859 in Calcasieu Parish.  John is the son of Isaac Williams and Martha Ann Reeves. 

John Williams and Leona Hagar share the same grandmother, Nancy Anne Bilbo, but not the same grandfather.  Their mothers, Ellen and Martha, were half-sisters making John and Leona half-first cousins.  This could explain why they obtained their marriage license in Orange County, Texas instead of Calcasieu Parish were they resided.  Though Orange County is in Texas, it shares a common border with Calcasieu Parish – just across the Sabine River.  Possibly Louisiana law in the 1880’s did not allow for this close of kin to be wed?

If you look closely at the marriage certificate you will see that Minister G.W. Reeves married the couple. George W. Reeves would someday become Leona’s brother in law – George was married to Jeff Burnett’s sister Melinda.  A copy of the marriage certificate can be found below.

John and Leona had one son, John Edward “Ed” Williams, 03-Jul-1882 to 18-Mar-1975.  Ed Williams never married.  

John W. Williams died 03-Aug-1882 and is thought to be buried in Bilbo Cemetery in Lake Charles.

In 1884 widowed Leona married Jeff Burnett and they raised a family in the Ragley area.  Leona died 27-Jun-1931 and is buried next to Jeff Burnett in Magnolia Cemetery in Ragley.
John William and Leona Hagar Marriage Certificate, on file at Orange County, TX Clerk of Courts
John "Ed" Williams

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