Mary Wilabay Beam, my great-great-grandmother, was born to John W. Wilaby and Rebecca Davidson on January 24, 1855 in Alabama. Mary was their 7th child and 5th girl.
Mary lived a long life. She passed away March 25, 1947, at the age of 92. She was widowed in 1914 and never remarried.
The 1920 U. S. Census shows Mary, as head of household, living with her 80 year old sister, Sarah Willabey, who obviously never married. Mary’s 9th child and 7th son, my great-grandfather, was living next door with his family.
The 1930 U. S. Census shows Mary living with her youngest son. He has a story of his own, too.
She lived with her youngest son until she passed away in 1947.
There are so many different spellings of the surname Wilabay, in Mary’s line, it is hard to distinguish who is who; Wilaby, Wilabay, Willabey, Willabay, and so forth until it came to rest at Willoughby.
Mary was, supposedly, ½ Cherokee, but I’ve never been able to find any records on her, other than the Census’s, which list her as white. I think the real story lies in Mary’s mother, Rebecca Davidson. I will be writing about her tomorrow.
1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 U. S. Census’s
Web: Alabama, Find A Grave Index, 1755-2012