|Francis Williams was born the
first son of Lewis Williams and Frances
Caufield,in the townland of Ballyratten just
outside of Moville, County Donegal, Ireland. The
family were poor even by the standards of the
time and when the famine hit hard in 1847 Lewis
with his wife Catherine took the terrible
decision to take passage for Canada with their
four youngest children Samuel, William, Eliza and
Sarah, leaving Francis and his sister Jane in the
care of their elderly grandparents. The intention
was that when the family were settled in Canada
the two children would be sent for and the family
reunited. Nothing was ever heard of Lewis or
Catherine or the children again.
It is thought
that the family perished in the typhus epidemic
which was raging in the Ottawa Valley at that
time although this has never been confirmed.
Francis after waiting for many years for the
letter which never came,eventually married Annie
Peoples the daughter of a neighbouring family in
Ballyratten and went on to have 12 children
including Lewis Williams my grandfather. They
continued to live and farm on the old homestead
It is to the memory of Lewis and Catherine
Williams my great great grandparents and their
young children Samuel, William, Mary Ann and
Catherine Eliza that I place this memorial.
They lie in a place as yet unknown to me, in a
distant land, but their memory still lives on and
will continue to do so.
Your headstone stands among the rest,
neglected and alone.
The name and date, are chiseled out, in
weather beaten stone.
It reaches out for all to see,it is too late
You did not know I would exist, you died and I
Yet each of us are part of you, in flesh, in
blood, in bone,
And in my breast there beats a pulse entirely
not my own.
Dear ancestor, the space you left those many
Is filled today by all of us, who would have
loved you so.
I wonder if you laughed and loved,I wonder if
That someday I would find this place and come
to visit you.