52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: William H Richmond Jr



I am excited to be moving on to my maternal family, one line has been in the United States since before the Revolutionary War while other lines emigrated to the states in the 1800’s.

William (Bill) Hunter Richmond Jr. was born 17 Aug 1928 to William H. Richmond Sr and Edith M. Walker in Beckley, Raleigh Co, West Virginia. He was the third child of this couple and the first son, with two siblings that followed him. Bill and his family were raised in the coal towns of West Virginia.  Bill married Zedith Marie Lachney (Zeda) on 2 Sep 1948,1 in the home of her parents, in Besoco, Raleigh Co., WV.

Like his ancestors, Bill was a coal miner and his young family lived in the coal camps struggling to survive. Family story tells us that Bill was accident prone and had been injured one time too many at work. The last accident had him on crutches and it was believed that he would not walk on his own again. His boss at the coal mines suggested he find a new line of work before he ended up dead in a coal mine disaster.2 Bill tried finding jobs in different towns that family lived in. At one point he took his family to live in VA where his brother-in-law, Lawrence Lachney lived. Lawrence and Bill would drive into Washington DC to work daily. The area around the White House was too much for Bill and he often got confused with the streets going in circles. One night he got home and told Lawrence he had enough and was taking his family back to WV. That if Lawrence wanted his paycheck, he could have it because Bill refused to drive into DC to get it.

On the right side of the table is Bill in the black suit with Zeda to his right.

Though Bill took the family back to WV, he moved on to Toledo, OH where the balance of Zeda’s family had moved to. Bill spent months there looking for a new job there and luck was never on his side. He finally moved on to the big city of Chicago, where he had a sister and his parents living. He found a job and moved his wife and four daughters to Chicago in 1958.3

Bill and Zeda continued to live in Chicago until Bill passed on 18 May 2000 at Ravenswood Hospital, where he was for outpatient surgery, he never came home. Upon his death, the family was advised that he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It is believed that Bill also had black lung disease from when he worked in the coal mines, though there was never a diagnosis of this.



  1. Richmond Lachney Marriage 

  2. Interviews with Zedith Richmond 

  3. Interviews with Zedith Richmond 



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