Although I still do not know the birth family of my gg-grandmother Frances Couch, I know that a 14 year old James M. Smith was living in the home of Frances and her 2nd husband John Smith, as recorded on the 1860 Randolph Co.AL census. James M. Smith would marry Emily E. Couch, the daugther of John Couch and his first wife Elizabeth, in Dec. 1860.
John Couch and his 2nd wife Betheny Dismukes were living in Tallapoosa CO. AL in 1860. A daughter, who they named Frances, was born to them that same year. This makes me think that my gg-grandmother Frances was their child's namesake. This leaves little doubt that there was close interaction between the John Couch and John and Frances Couch Smith families while living in adjoining counties, but how were John and Frances Couch Smith related? I wish I knew!
Even with the clues that have been provided to me by some excellent Couch researchers, I still do not know which Couch family my gg-grandmother belongs to. It appears that she and John Couch were most likely closely related, but what their family link might be remains a mystery.
Are there any Couch family members out there with ties to the John and Elizabeth, or John and Betheny Couch family who can solve the mystery of where my gg-grandmother Frances Couches heritage lies? It appears that she was born between 1825 and 1830? Although the 1850 Randolph Co AL census records her as being age 26 and born in GA. My guess is she was probably several years younger than her recorded age. Either that, or she married later in life than most women of her day. I say this because the eldest of her 3 recorded Williamson sons is shown to be 3 years old.
Here are a few more clues:
Frances Couch was first married to William Williamson and they had 6 children, all 6 children appear to have been born in Randolph Co. AL. Recent research indicates that Frances Couches first husband was the son of William "Zachariah" Williamson of Barbour Co. AL.
For the past 5 generations my family has believed that William Williamson died and left Frances a widow. However, it now appears that he may have deserted Frances and their children and married another woman in Barbour Co. AL in 1852.
After Frances died (which appears to have been circa 1867 and most likely in Randolph or Cleburne Co. AL), her youngest Williamson child, C.W., would have been around age 15 (based on 1860 AL census info where he and his siblings were incorrectly enumerated as Williams while living in the home of their stepfather John Smith). Is Frances' son C.W. the same person as the C.W. Williams who was found living in the home of a Mary Henderson in 1880 Tallpoosa Co. AL? If he is one and the same person, was Mary Henderson related to either of C.W.s parents?