William Melvin Faulkner - Cool Adventures


William Melvin Faulkner

William Melvin Faulkner (1908-1979) with wife, Bonnie, and son, Gary Earl

William Melvin, Bonnie and Gary Faulkner, 1950s




William Melvin Faulkner was born on 24 February 1908 in Memphis, Tennessee, the first child of Charles and Lora (Swafford) Faulkner.¹

The family soon moved to Missouri where Melvin's sister, Frances, was born. The family next moved to Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois and were living with Charles' step-father, Philip Taylor,² when William Melvin's brother, Philip was born. 

William and his family moved to Chicago, Cook, Illinois sometime between 1916 and 1918 and were living at 70th Street S on the south side of Chicago in 1920.³   It was the home where his other brothers, Clarence, Ernie and Abe were born.

William married 1st about 1928, his spouse is unknown. It is believed the couple had a daughter, Betty, in 1930.

Betty Faulkner, daughter of William Melvin Faulkner

1940s Betty Lou Faulkner

William married 2nd to Bonnie Virginia Harned on 01 Feb 1939 in Shelby County, Tennessee.⁵ They had one son, Gary Earl, who was born on  11 March 1950 in Shelby County, Tennesse.

By profession, William was a horse trainer in Kentucky and Tennessee, before moving to Florida about 1960. William Melvin died on 8 June 1979, in Hillsborough, Florida, at the age of 71.⁷ He was cremated. 

William Melvin Faulkner obituary

 William M. Faulkner, 71, of Tampa died Friday. A native of Nashville, he had lived in the Tampa Bay area for 20 years.

He is survived by his wife, Bonnie of Tampa, and son, Gary Earl, of Tampa. F.T. Blount Funeral Home.

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Tampa Tribune, 9 June 1979 

William Melvin Faulkner obituary Tampa Tribune 1979

Gary Faulkner obituary

Gary Faulkner obituary, Tampa, Florida 2 Aug 2013

Melvin's wife, Bonnie Virginia Faulkner, was born 20 Mar 1913 and died on 25 Oct 1982.¹⁰

Melvin and Bonnie's son, Gary, died 26 July 2013 in Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida.¹¹

Gary Faulkner obituary

Faulkner Gary, 63 of Tampa, passed away July 26, 2013. He will be dearly missed. Florida Mortuary Funeral & Cremation Services [phone] 

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The Tampa Tribune Tampa, Florida, United States of America Fri, Aug 02, 2013,  Page 57



Narrative by Kimberli Faulkner Hull, niece of William Melvin Faulkner. © Cool Adventures, Chasing Light Media


Memories of William Melvin

"William Melvin was my uncle, and though I never met him, my father spoke of him. My father, his brother, Ernest, called him Melvin. He said he was a jockey when he was young." - Kimberli Faulkner Hull


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Key documents and sources

Faulkner Hull Genealogy #000012a

William Melvin Faulkner: Sources and Documents (attached below)


1. Birth of William Melvin Faulkner. William Melvin Faulkner was born to Charles and Lora Swafford Faulkner on 24 Feb 1908 in Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee. 

Note: 1908 William Melvin Faulkner's application for a delayed birth certificate dated 24 Jul 1941 in Memphis, Tennessee in Tennessee lists aunt, Lois Swafford Harned, age 50 of Collinsville, IL, as a witness. Lois (Birdsell) Harned was Bonnie Harned's mother and mother-in-law to William Melvin Faulkner. She signed William's delayed birth certificate application as his aunt, in the name of Lois Swafford Harned. William's mother was Lora Swafford - there is no evidence Lois was her sister. It is believed she could not attest in person as his mother-in-law (as she would not have been present at the birth) and signed as his "aunt."

Other inaccuracies: Father, Charles, was born in Hopkins County, Kentucky, not Paducah per his own delayed birth certificate.

Document: William Melvin Faulkner delayed birth certificate Transcript: State of Tennessee. Delayed Certificate of birth. 1) Full name: William Melvin Faulkner. 2) Place of Birth: County: Shelby, City: Memphis 3) Date of Birth: February 24, 1908. 4) Sex: Male 5) Color: White. 6) Were parents married: Yes, Father full name: Charles F Faulkner, Birthplace: Paduka, Kentucky. 7) This was the 1st child of the mother:. 8) Mother Maiden Name: Laura Swafford, Birthplace: Marion, Illinois. Date filed July 24 1941. Affidavit: State of Illinois, County of Madison. I hereby certify on oath that I am present 50 years of age, and that I had actual knowledge of the facts as stated in this record of birth at the time the birth occurred, and know them to be true and that I am related to this person as Aunt. Signature: Lois Swafford Harned, Address: Collinsville, Illinois, Subscribed to and sworn before me this 20th day of June 1941. - Dorothy White

Source: State of Tennessee Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Statistics, William Melvin Faulkner, 20 June 1951, Copy in possession of niece, Kimberli Faulkner Hull, Boston, MA.



2. 1910: Following the death of Charles' mother, Fanny, Charles and Lora moved to Cairo, Illinois to live with Charles' step-father, Philip Taylor. On the 1910 US Census, Lora is listed as Flora and widowed, Melvin is listed as Milton, and Charles is not listed at all. Most of the birthplaces are incorrect for everyone.

Document: 1910 Census. Transcript: 1910 United States Federal Census for Philip J Taylor, State: Illinois, County: Alexander. City: Cairo City. Enumeration date: 24 April 1910. Supervisor's District No 16, Enumeration District No 16, Sheet: B 79. Ward of City: Part of Ward 7. 6399. Family number 162. Address: 3303 Park Avenue.

Line 71: Name: Taylor, Phillip. Relationship: Head. Sex: M. Race: W. Age: 48. Marital status: Widow. Birthplace: Ohio. Father's birthplace: Ohio. Mother's birthplace: Ohio. Speaks: English. Occupation: Blacksmith. Industry: On shop. Out of work on April 15, 1910: Emp. Number of weeks out of work in 1909: [Blank]. Read: Yes. Write: Yes. Own or rent: Own. Owned free or mortgage: M. Farm or house: H.

Line 72: Name: Taylor, May. Relationship: Daughter. Sex: F. Race: W. Age: 19. Marital status: S. Birthplace: Illinois. Father's birthplace: Ohio. Mother's birthplace: Ohio. Speaks: English. Occupation: None. Read: Yes. Write: Yes.

Line 73: Name: Taylor, Margaret. Relationship: Daughter. Sex: F. Race: W. Age: 17. Marital status: S. Birthplace: Illinois. Father's birthplace: Ohio. Mother's birthplace: Ohio. Speaks: English. Occupation: None. Read: Yes. Write: Yes.

Line 74: Name: Taylor, William. Relationship: Son. Sex: F. Race: W. Age: 12. Marital status: S. Birthplace: Illinois. Father's birthplace: Ohio. Mother's birthplace: Ohio. Speaks: English. Occupation: None. Read: Yes. Write: Yes

Line 75: Name: Faulkner, Lora. Relationship: Boarder. Sex: F. Race: W. Age: 22. Marital status: Wd. Birthplace: Tennessee. Father's birthplace: Tennessee. Mother's birthplace: Tennessee. Occupation: Saleswoman. Industry: Dry goods. Out of work on April 15, 1910: No Emp. Number of weeks out of work in 1909: 0. Read: Yes. Write: Yes.

Line 76: Name: Faulkner, Milton. Relationship: Boarder. Sex: M. Race: W. Age: 3. Marital status: S. Birthplace: Ill. Father's birthplace: Tennessee. Mother's birthplace: Tennessee. Occupation: None.

Line 77: Name: Faulkner, Francis. Relationship: Boarder. Sex: F. Race: W. Age: 1. Marital status: S. Birthplace: Ill. Father's birthplace: Tennessee. Mother's birthplace: Tennessee. Occupation: None.

Source: "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MKH9-9JW : accessed 30 January 2019), Flora Faulkner in household of Phillip Taylor, Cairo Ward 7, Alexander, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 16, sheet 8B, family 162, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 230; FHL microfilm 1,374,243.



3. 1920: By 1920, William Melvin and his family had moved to 70th Street S on the south side of Chicago. Lora had just given birth to Clarence Charles.

Document: 1920 US Census. Transcript: 1920 United States Federal Census for Charles Faulkner, State: Illinois, County: Cook. Name of Incorporated Place: Chicago. Ward 7. Enumeration date: 10 January 1920. Supervisor's District no 1, Enumeration District No 444, Sheet: 4 A. House number: [Blank], 70th St., Family number 71.

Line 3: Name: Faulkner, Charles. Relationship: Head. Home owned or rented: R. Sex: M. Race: W. Age: 38. Marital status: M. Attended school since 1919: [Blank]. Read: Yes. Write: Yes. Place of birth: Kentucky. Father's place of birth: MS. Mother's place of birth: Kentucky. Speaks English: Yes. Occupation: Distribution circulars.

Line 4: Name: Faulkner, Lora. Relationship: Wife. Sex: F. Race: W. Age: 37. Marital status: M. Attended school since 1919: [Blank]. Read: Yes. Write: Yes. Place of birth: Illinois. Father's place of birth: Illinois. Mother's place of birth: Illinois. Speaks English: Yes. Occupation: None.

Line 5: Name: Faulkner, William. Relationship: Son. Sex: M. Race: W. Age: 13. Marital status: S. Attended school since 1919: Yes. Read: Yes. Write: Yes. Place of birth: Tennessee. Father's place of birth: Kentucky. Mother's place of birth: Illinois. Speaks English: Yes. Occupation: None.

Line 6: Name: Faulkner, Francis. Relationship: Daughter. Sex: F. Race: W. Age: 10. Marital status: S. Attended school since 1919: Yes. Read: Yes. Write: Yes. Place of birth: Missouri. Father's place of birth: Kentucky. Mother's place of birth: Illinois. Speaks English: Yes. Occupation: None.

Line 7: Name: Faulkner, Phillip. Relationship: Son. Sex: M. Race: W. Age: 3. Marital status: S. Attended school since 1919: [Blank]. Read: [Blank]. Write: [Blank]s. Place of birth: Illinois. Father's place of birth: Kentucky. Mother's place of birth: Illinois. Speaks English: Yes. Occupation: None. Note: Clarence Charles, born in January 1920 is not listed.

Source: "United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJ34-5J9 : accessed 30 January 2019), Charles Faulkner, Chicago Ward 7, Cook (Chicago), Illinois, United States; citing ED 444, sheet 4A, line 3, family 71, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 316; FHL microfilm 1,820,316.



4. 1930: By 1930, the growing family had moved to Evans St. and had a radio for entertainment. William Melvin, who was listed as married, Phil, Clarence, and Ernie, were living with Charles and Lora, as was a new granddaughter, Betty Lou (presumed to be Melvin's daughter as he was listed as married and the only son old enough to have a daughter). Abe appears to have been missed on the census.

Document: 1930 US Census Transcript: 1930 United States Federal Census for Charles Faulkner, State: Illinois, County: Cook, Ward: Eighth. Block No: 136. Enumeration date: Apr 5, 1930. Supervisor's District No 29, Enumeration District No 16-341, Sheet: 5 A. Family number 113.

Line 36: Faulkner, Charles. Relationship: Head. Rent or own home: R. Monthly rent: $35.00. Radio: R. Live on farm: No. Sex: M. Race: W. Age: 49. Marital status: M. Age at first marriage: 24. Attended school since 1929: No. Read and write: Yes. Birthplace: Kentucky Birthplace of father: Kentucky. Birthplace of mother: Kentucky. Code A stat or M.T.: 80 Code B Country: [Blank. ]Code C: [Blank] Nativity: [Blank]. Speaks English: Yes. Occupation: Circular Disp. Industry: Advertising. Code: 7782. Class of worker: O. Employment: Yes. Veteran: No

Line 37: Faulkner, Lora. Relationship: Wife. Live on farm: No. Sex: F. Race: W. Age: 52. Marital status: M. Age at first marriage: 24. Attended school since 1929: No. Read and write: Yes. Birthplace: Illinois Birthplace of father: Illinois. Birthplace of mother: Illinois. Code A stat or M.T.: 61 Code B Country: [Blank. ]Code C: [Blank] Nativity: [Blank]. Speaks English: Yes.

Line 38: Faulkner, William. Relationship: Son. Live on farm: No. Sex: M. Race: W. Age: 24. Marital status: M. Age at first marriage: 22. Attended school since 1929: No. Read and write: Yes. Birthplace: Tenn. Birthplace of father: Kentucky. Birthplace of mother: Illinois. Code A stat or M.T.: 81 Code B Country: [Blank. ]Code C: [Blank] Nativity: [Blank]. Speaks English: Yes. Occupation: Mechanic. Industry: Automobile. Code: 7623. Class of worker: W. Employment: Yes. Veteran: No

Line 39: Faulkner, Phillip. Relationship: Son. Live on farm: No. Sex: M. Race: W. Age: 14. Marital status: S. Age at first marriage: [Blank] Attended school since 1929: Yes. Read and write: Yes. Birthplace: Illinois Birthplace of father: Kentucky. Birthplace of mother: Illinois. Code A stat or M.T.: 61 Code B Country: [Blank. ]Code C: [Blank] Nativity: [Blank]. Speaks: English

Line 40: Faulkner, Clarence. Relationship: Son. Live on farm: No. Sex: M. Race: W. Age: 10. Marital status: S. Age at first marriage: [Blank] Attended school since 1929: Yes. Read and write: Yes. Birthplace: Illinois Birthplace of father: Kentucky. Birthplace of mother: Illinois. Code A stat or M.T.: 61 Code B Country: [Blank. ]Code C: [Blank] Nativity: [Blank]. Speaks: English

Line 41: Faulkner, Ernest. Relationship: Son. Live on farm: No. Sex: M. Race: W. Age: 7. Marital status: S. Age at first marriage: [Blank] Attended school since 1929: Yes. Read and write: Yes. Birthplace: Illinois Birthplace of father: Kentucky. Birthplace of mother: Illinois. Code A stat or M.T.: 61 Code B Country: [Blank. ]Code C: [Blank] Nativity: [Blank].

Line 42: Faulkner, Betty. Relationship: Grand-daughter. Live on farm: No. Sex:F Race: F. Age: 4/12. Marital status: S. Age at first marriage: [Blank] Attended school since 1929: No. Read and write: [Blank]. Birthplace: Illinois. Birthplace of father: Illinois. Birthplace of mother: Illinois. Code A stat or M.T.: 61 Code B Country: [Blank. ]Code C: [Blank] Nativity: [Blank]. Source: "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XS2R-LC7 : accessed 30 January 2019), Charles Faukner, Chicago (Districts 0251-0500), Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 341, sheet 5A, line 36, family 113, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 428; FHL microfilm 2,340,163.



5. 1939 Marriage. William Melvin Faulkner and Bonnie Harned married on 01 Feb 1939 in Shelby County, Tennessee.

Documents: Marriage bond receipt and marriage license

Source: "Tennessee, County Marriages, 1790-1950," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKHS-WXPW : 6 November 2017), Wm Melvin Faulkner and Bonnie Harned, 01 Feb 1939; citing Shelby, Tennessee, United States, Marriage, p. , Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville and county clerk offices from various counties; FHL microfilm 1,465,489.



6. Birth of son, Gary Earl. Gary Earl Faulkner was born to William Melvin and Bonnie Virginia Harned Faulkner on 11 March 1950 in Shelby County, Tennessee.

Source: Ancestry.com. U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 2 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Voter Registration Lists, Public Record Filings, Historical Residential Records, and Other Household Database Listings.




7. 1979 Death. William Melvin Faulkner died on 8 June 1979 in Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida.

Document: William Melvin Faulkner Florida death certificate. Transcript: Certificate of death Florida, State File No: 79-047343, Local file No: 02739. 1) Name: William Melvin Faulkner. 2) Sex: Male 3) Date of death: June 8, 1979. 4) Race: White. 5) Age: 71. 6) Date of birth: Feb 24, 1908. 7) County of death: Hillsborough. 7b) City: Tampa. 7c) St Joseph's Hospital. 7d) Emer Rm 8) Tennessee 9) USA 10) Married. 11) Surviving spouse: Bonnie Harned 12) SSN 324-12-1004. 13a) Usual occupation: Horse Trainer. 13b) Industry: Race Track. 14a) Residence State: Florida 14b) County: Hillsborough 14c) City: Tampa 14d) Address: Rt 4, Box 401 Albany Dr. 14e) Inside city limits: No 15) Father's name: Charles Faulkner 16) Mother's name: Grace Swafford 17a) Informant: Bonnie Faulkner 17b) Address: Rt 4, Box 401 Albany Dr., Tampa, Florida 33624 18a) Cremation 18b) Bay Area Facility, Inc. 18c) Pinellas County, Florida 19) FT Blount Co, 5101 Nebraska Ave. Tampa, Florida 33603

Source: Certificate of death Florida, State File No: 79-047343, Local file No: 02739 (1979), William Melvin Faulkner, copy in possession of niece, Kimberli Faulkner Hull, Boston, MA.


8. Find A Grave ( https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/195155162/william-melvin-faulkner), Memorial 195155162, Created by Kimberli Faulkner Hull, 4 Dec 2018.


9. William Melvin Faulkner Obituary.Document. Transcript: William M. Faulkner, 71, of Tampa died Friday. A native of Nashville, he had lived in the Tampa Bay area for 20 years. He is survived by his wife, Bonnie of Tampa, and son, Gary Earl, of Tampa. F.T. Blount Funeral Home.

Source: William M Faulkner obituary, Tampa Tribune, 9 June 1979



10. Bonnie Virginia Faulkner birth and death. 

Bonnie Virginia Faulkner Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 Affiliate CD Number: FDI10 Certificate Number: 86102 Name: Bonnie Virginia Faulkner Event Type: Death Event Date: 25 Oct 1982 Event Place: Hillsborough, Florida, United States Gender: Unknown Age: 69 Race: White Birth Date: 20 Mar 1913 Affiliate File Name: Fdi10-1980.txt Affiliate Line Number: 320288

Source: "Florida Death Index, 1877-1998," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VVV6-HB2 : 25 December 2014), Bonnie Virginia Faulkner, 25 Oct 1982; from "Florida Death Index, 1877-1998," index, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : 2004); citing vol. , certificate number 86102, Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, Jacksonville.



11. Gary E Faulkner birth and death dates

Gary E Faulkner United States Public Records, 1970-2009. Name: Gary E Faulkner Event Date: 01 Nov 1999-01 Jun 2001 Event Place: Tampa, Florida, United States Birth Date: 11 Mar 1950 Address: Tampa, Florida 33615 Address Date: 01 Nov 1999-01 Jun 2001 2nd Address: Tampa, Florida 33626 2nd Address Date: 01 Jan 1999 3rd Address: Tampa, Florida 33615 3rd Address Date: 01 Feb 1990 Affiliate Identifier: 30578616

Source: "United States Public Records, 1970-2009," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KGDF-MX5: 22 May 2014), Gary E Faulkner, Residence, Tampa, Florida, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.



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