Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Rebecca Margaret Williamson, 1844-1926
By Allyson John, Undergraduate, Michigan State University
Mrs. Margaret Williamson was born on March 9, 1844 in the town of New Castle, IN. Her name given at birth was Rebecca Margaret Current, and her parents were Samuel J. and Eliza J. Current. Margaret was the oldest of eight siblings. Those known were George Hobson, William Silas Peter, Annie Eliza, Samuel Wesley, Jose Daniel, and Oscar James. William, Samuel, and Jose died young, none of them reaching beyond age of six. Rebecca Margaret was raised with her cousins Rebecca and Mary Lake; hence, she was referred to by her middle name of Margaret to avoid confusion.
On December 25, 1864, at the age of 20, Margaret married Andrew J. Williamson. Together they had three children and lived in St. Clair County, Missouri with them from 1870-1873 before returning to Indiana and settling in Redkey for the remainder of their lives.
Through her youth and into her adulthood, Margaret was extremely devoted to her local church. She was taught prayer and the Word of God by her mother at a young age, and later went on to be consecrated to God in the year 1883. She spent thirty years in the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society and sixteen years on the Woman's Home Missionary society.
Rebecca and her husband divorced prior to 1900, and at the time, she was living with her children as the head of the household.
Indiana launched its first suffrage association in 1851, one of the first states to do so. Though inactive for a period of time, the association held a convention in 1906 in Kokomo and reconnected to the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Another convention was held in Logansport in 1909 and this same year, Margaret's hometown of Redkey became an auxiliary. In 1912, Logansport again hosted the convention and this year, eleven new societies were added to the state association. In that year, Margaret Williamson was elected as an officer of the State Suffrage Association at age 68. From here, of course, Indiana continued to play a large role in wining the vote in 1920.
As for Margaret, she lived with her unmarried sister, Annie Current, until her death on December 24, 1926 at the age of 82 in Richland, Indiana.
"Anna E Current in the 1910 United States Federal Census." Ancestry Library.
"Chapter XIII. Indiana. Part 1." History of Woman Suffrage: 1900-1920. (1922). [LINK]
Current, Annie. "Rebecca M. Current." Genealogy of the Current and Hobson Families. 1906.
"Rebecca M Williamson in the 1900 United States Federal Census." Ancestry Library.
"Rebecca M Williamson in the 1910 United States Federal Census." Ancestry Library.
"Rebecca M Williamson in the Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011." Ancestry Library.