Elizabeth Ann Williams (Beth) was born February 18, 1947 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Laura May (Stehly) Williams and Edward Franklin Williams. Her ancestry has been very difficult to unravel because her mother did not want Elizabeth and her siblings to know anything about their grandmother. Her grandmother, Margaret (Yochum) Stehly, was placed in the Allentown Hospital for the Insane sometime between 1921 and 1930 and she remained there until her death in 1963.
Elizabeth’s mother was one of four children, Dorothy (b 1916), Laura (b 1918), Florence (b 1920), and Frederick (b 1921) . When their mother, Margaret, was committed, all of the children except Laura were placed in the Lutheran Orphans Home in Topton, PA. Laura spent her childhood living with her grandfather and her father, Merritt Bainbridge Stehly, evidently serving as a housekeeper and cook. When she was 18 she began working as a waitress in a cafeteria and it was in that capacity that she met Edward Williams who was an engineering student at Lehigh University. They were married June 28, 1942.
Edward enlisted in the military during World War II and afterward worked for the Air Force. Beth’s sister, Susan, Beth, and her brother Edward were born in Pennsylvania. Beth’s father moved the family to Chicago as a result of his work sometime around 1954. They lived in a suburb south of Chicago – Midlothian, Illinois.