It was awhile back all this happened. I started researching my husband's family when my sons, now 24 and 28 y.o., were young children. We lived in FL, and visited my mother and father in Huntsville and later in Gadsden. There was a rumor in the Willmore family that my husband's grandfather Charles Willmore, long deceased, was from Huntsville, so my Dad made some phone calls before I arrived and I looked at the records at the Huntsville library over Christmas 1988.
As I remember I met Frankie Willmore after that, when she was in her last years, living in an apartment or retirement facility. She seemed quite spry and cheerful, but felt frail like I might do her damage by hugging her too hard when she stood up to greet me. My husband's grandfather Charles Willmore was a half-brother to Frankie, both children of Benjamin Franklin Willmore. Charles was from B.F.'s first wife, and quite a bit older than Frankie, who was one of the youngest, as I recall. Frankie said "We always wondered what became of Brother Charlie. We thought maybe he moved to Kentucky and founded the town of Willmore, Kentucky:" (He didn't.) I don't remember B.F.'s 2nd wife's name (your ancestor), but I found the marriage record in Huntsville. She was from Georgia.
The branch that ended up Wilmore, who first thought they weren't related because of the different spelling, eventually tracked down the provenance of the spelling change. Someone remembered their ancestor was in the war, I am thinking WWI, and his name was spelled wrong in the Army records. Nobody changed it, so now they are the one-L Wilmores. My father-in-law, P. S. Willmore, who worked for the federal government as an immigration officer and judge, always called that "knocking the L out of Willmore."
After my mother and dad moved to Gadsden they were much closer geographically to the Willmores and Wilmores we were able to track down, including Carl Willmore, a veteran descended from one of Frankie's brothers. Mother and Dad became fairly well acquainted with Carl, and I met him with my sons several times. Carl is now deceased, and had (at least) two daughters who married; I don't know their married names. He gave us some tips that led us to property records showing Benjamin Franklin Willmore eventually lived with his family on a large rural mountaintop property, maybe in Etowah, somewhere outside (south of?) Gadsden anyway. The oral tradition in the family was that the patriarch Benjamin Franklin Willmore, of Irish descent, had quite a temper when he drank, which certainly fits with how my father-in-law P.S. Willmore remembers his father Charlie (who married Carrie Halvorsrude, from a Norwegian American family, and settled in Nebraska.) Charlie had one wife, two sons, P.S. and Carl, and three daughters, Hazel, Mattie and Ruby (Barker.) Somewhere along the line the family moved to CA.
A minister named (Roger?) Willmore who had a church in Rainbow City is also a descendant of B.F. Willmore. Another male Willmore we met while my mother and dad lived in Gadsden worked in a manufacturing plant in Gadsden, since retired.
I hope this reaches you, and that it helps. -- ajw
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