Imogene PORTER William E PORTER India A BUTLER Maggie Ella MCSWAIN Music Lady PORTERWIFE Mini tree diagram

William James PORTER1,2,3,6,3,4

about 18811,2,3,3,4 - UNKNOWN

Life History

about 1881

Born in Arkansas.1,2,3,3,4

27th Jan 1904

Married India A BUTLER in Arkansas County, Arkansas.3,4

10th Jun 1912

Birth of daughter Imogene PORTER in Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas.12,11

about 1914

Birth of son William E PORTER in Arkansas.2,12

before 1920

Death of India A BUTLER in Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas.6

16th Dec 1928

Married Maggie Ella MCSWAIN in Arkansas County, Arkansas.9,2,3,10

17th Nov 1951

Death of Maggie Ella MCSWAIN in Arkansas County, Arkansas.7,8

after 1952

Married Music Lady PORTERWIFE in Arkansas County, Arkansas

12th Feb 1989

Death of son William E PORTER in West Helena, Phillips, Arkansas.13

Dec 1995

Death of daughter Imogene PORTER.11


Death of Music Lady PORTERWIFE


Died in Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas


Buried in Mt Pleasant Cemetery, Ethel, Arkansas County, Arkansas.5


  • "Will, as he was called, already had a son and daughter from aprevious marriage before he married Maggie.  Will and Maggie had nochildren together."
    --  Shirley Rowland Mitchell, email to Orville Boyd Jenkins, April 07,2015

    I discovered the name of Will's first wife only on 7 April 2015, newsearches revealed a marriage record in 1904 for J W Porter and IndiaLacott.  They are also found in the 1910 census, which had been hidingin the records, undiscovered by Ancestry's indexes untilour new search.  Ancestry continues to improve their indexing, anduser contributions on corrections and family linking of records hashelped hone the accuracy of Ancestry's search algorithms.

    Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957
    J W Porter
    Gender Male
    Age 23, Birth Year abt 1881
    Residence Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas
    Spouse's Name India Lacott
    Spouse's Age 26 [b abt 1882]
    Spouse's Residence Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas
    Marriage 27 Jan 1904 Arkansas County
    Marriage License Date 26 Jan 1904

    Note that Lacott was India's first married name.  Her son Cecil ALacott is in their household in 1910.  They are on a page with relatedfamilies in this genealogy, named McSwain, Criswell, Butler andDavidson.

    1910 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 15 June, PrairieTownship (Ethel), District 13, Page 1A, Hse/Fam #1
    Porter, James W Head M W 29 1st marriage Married 6 yrs AR US US FarmerOwns [b abt 1881]
    Porter, India A Wife F W 34 2nd marriage Married 6 yrs 3 children/2living AR MS MS [b abt 1876]
    Lacotts, Cecil A Stepson M W 12 Single AR AR AR [b abt 1898]

    1920 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 6 February, PrairieTownship, District 16, p 8A, Hse #139, Fam #145
    Porter, William  Head  Divorced  M W 40 AR AR AR Farmer
    Porter, Emma J  Dau F W 8 AR AR AR
    Porter, William  Son M W 6 AR AR AR
    - Hse #139, Fam #146 -
    Cochran, Joseph H  Head  M W 28 AR MS MS (Renting) Farmer
    Cochran, Mildred  Wife  F W 23 AR AR AR

    This William Porter married Maggie McSwain Rowland in 1928 and wasenumerated with her in the 1930 census.

    A record of marriage before his marriage to Maggie McSwain Rowland isvery close to the details for William James Porter.  This would havebeen a second wife, however, since this marriage date is 8 years afterthe birth of Will's son William E with his first wife.

    A marriage record is found in the Arkansas County marriage records forone J W Porter of Ethel and Annie McSwain.  William James' SS recordhas his birth date as 19 March 1882, while J W was reported of an ageto be born about 1878.  This record is so close otherwise and inEthel, so this seems to be the same person.

    Annie's identity has not been established.  This may not be thecorrect identification for the wife of William James Porter.  BecauseWill E was born in 1914, 8 years before the date of this marriagerecord of J W Porter and Annie McSwain.  His birth fits in the periodfolloing the marriage of Inda Lacott above.

    There was also a J W Porter, reported by Shirley Mitchell, who livedinDeWitt and owned a lumber yeard there.  But I have not yetidentified anyone else in Ethel with a similar name.  And Shirleyindicates that J W Porter's family did not seem to be related toWilliam James Porter's family.  This description matches closely ourWilliam James Porter also living in Ethel at that time.

    Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957
    J W Porter
    Gender Male
    Age 44, Birth Year abt 1878
    Residence Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas
    Spouse's Name Annie McSwain
    Spouse's Age 35 [b abt 1887]
    Spouse's Residence Ethel, Arkansas, Arkansas
    Marriage 29 Jan 1922 Arkansas County
    Marriage License Date 27 Jan 1922

    If this J W Porter is the same person as William James Porter, thenhis first wife would have died before 1922.  The Annie McSwain diedbefore Will married Maggie McSwain Rowland in 1928.  I have no namesor dates from other gravestones for any wife of William besidesMaggie.

    1930 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 20 April, PrairieTownship, District 7, p 6B, Ethel & Chute Rd, Hse #111, Fam #112
    Porter, William  Head M W 48 AR USA USA  Farmer
    Porter, Maggie E Wife  F W 53 AR NC NC
    Porter, Emogene  Daughter  F W 17 AR AR AR
    Porter, Jack E  Son  M W 16 AR AR AR Farm Laborer
    Rowland, Edward  Stepson M W 15 AR KY AR

    Edward Rowland, of course, would be Maggie's last child with BenjaminRowland.  Emogene and Jack here are Will's children from a previousmarriage.  Emogene matches the child reported as Emma J age 8 in 1920. Jack E is the right age to be the child reported in 1920 as William(possibly William E).  The name of Hazel Bob McSwain Porter's husbandis William E Jack Porter, as reported in Hazel Bob's obituary (March2008).  This combines all the names in these two censuses.  Jackappears to be a nickname.  Hazel Bob died on 18 February 2008.  Theobituary reports that William had preceded her in death, but gave nodate.

    1940 Federal Census, Arkansas County, Arkansas, 18 April, PrairieTownship, District 1-18, page 9B, Oak Flat Rd, Hse #147 Rents $500
    Porter, Will James Head M W 59 Grade 2 b Ark same place in 1935 Farmer
    Porter, Maggie Wife F W 63 Grade 6 b Ark  same place in 1935Housekeeper
    Taylor, Webster Hired Hand M Neg 30 Grade 6 b Ark same place in 1935Farm Laborer
    Fitzpatrick, Virlon Hired Hand M Neg 30 Grade 4 b Ark same place in1935 Farm Laborer

    Maggie died in 1952.

    "When Maggie died, Will Porter married again.  I met this lady but donot remember her name.  She may have been a school teacher, and shewrote songs and a few were actually recorded and played on the radio."
    --  Shirley Mitchell, email to Orville Boyd Jenkins, 26 July 2013

    I had reported in early versions of this genealogy, until April 2015,that Will died in Amity, Clark County, Arkansas.  At that timesearches turned up for the first time a record for a different WilliamPorter, enumerated in the 1900 census at age 18 with his parents inMontgomery County, close to Clark County, in southwestern Arkansas.His birthday in March 1882 match our William James Porter, born about1881.  This 1900 record and family details were reported by agenealogy for the other Porter family.  The Montgomery County WilliamPorter's father was born in Tennessee, whereas our Will's father wasreported as born in Arkansas.

    William Porter
    Birth 19 Mar 1882 in Arkansas
    Death Aug 1972 in Amity, Clark, Arkansas
    Robert Porter 1850 - 1924
    Elizabeth Catherine Cogburn 1850 - 1922
    Marriage 6 Feb 1902 in Mt Ida, Montgomery, Arkansas to Nancy RoseannePate
    Birth 1890 in Montgomery, Arkansas, Death 1942 in Pike City, Pike,Arkansas
    --  Judd-Grimes-Foshee-Thomas,

    I apologize to all the other genealogies that followed my error inreporting the place of death of William James Porter as Amity, Clark,Arkansas

    A lot of family information is still missing for William James Porter,but this new finding seems to clarify that the individual who died inAmity, Arkansas, was not our William J Porter who was the husband ofMaggie McSwain.  The information that he is buried in Mt PleasantCemetery, in Ethel, where he was born and grew up, indicates that hemost likely lived there till he died.  I have not found a deathrecord.  Thanks to Shirley Rowland Mitchell for the details thathelped clarify Will's life and identity.

    "Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Ethel is where Maggie McSwain Rowland Porteris buried.  I attended this funeral and know that it is hergravestone.  Also her children, Myrtle Allsop, Sarah Elizabeth Jones,and Edward Rowland are buried close to her.  Her husband when she diedwas William Porter and he is buried next to her.  (Also on the otherside of William Porter's grave is another wife he had!)"
    --  Shirley Mitchell, email to Orville Boyd Jenkins, 07 April 2015


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