Julia Carolyn McWilliams

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Julia Carolyn McWilliams's Geni Profile

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Julia Carolyn McWilliams (Weston)

Birthplace: Dalton, Berkshire, Massachusetts, United States
Death: Died in San Diego, San Diego, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Captain Bryron Weston and Julia Clark Weston
Wife of John McWilliams, Il
Mother of Julia Child; John McWilliams, lll and Dorothy "Dort" Dean Cousins

Occupation: Housewife
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Julia Carolyn McWilliams

Tall, redheaded "Caro" Weston was born into a family of old money, Massachusetts colonial lines, and Congregational habits. Julia Child's mother was a housewife with a cook and maid who could make not much more than baking powder biscuits, codfish balls and Welsh rarebit. Julia was the oldest of three siblings, each so tall that their mother boasted that she had "given birth to 18 feet of children." (1)

At Smith College, Caro was the outstanding athlete, basketball captain, and winner of first place in running, high jump, and sprinting. She had hair more pink than carrot, and a prominent nose, features that led some people to believe she was Jewish. Full-lipped, eyes riding high on her face, she wore her luxurious and wild hair in a mass atop her long oval face. "Slender" and "graceful" were the words her classmates used in their Smith yearbook to describe her striking appearance. The only ungraceful note was her voice, which wavered in the high ranges, never seeming to emanate from her chest. Her strong presence and authority was balanced by her tiny feminine waist, cinched in by a fashionable corset and accentuated by huge puffy sleeves from elbow to shoulder. Her friends noted in their yearbook her "striking individuality," a New England inheritance nurtured by childhood freedom and money, a legacy she would give her two daughters, Julia and Dorothy.

Caro, displaying an early feminist attitude, claimed not to like her father, Byron Weston, because he "wore out" her mother by giving her ten children. Of these ten children born over a twenty-five-year period from 1866 to 1891, three died before they were three years of age and only one lived past sixty. It was the Weston curse: high blood pressure and strokes, despite Caro's parents frequently taking the waters, from California to the Continent. Caro, who would have her first stroke when her youngest, Dorothy, was thirteen, was sixty when she died; fortunately her children inherited the McWilliams longevity. Which is why Caro chose John McWilliams in the first place: she was determined to bring "new blood" into her deep but narrow New England gene pool. She brought in his strength and intelligence and Scotch Presbyterianism as well, while passing to her children her independence and joy. (2)


  1. Julia Child, the French Chef for a Jell-O Nation, Dies at 91 - NYTimes.com
  2. APPETITE FOR LIFE The Biography of Julia Child By Noel Riley Fitch


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Julia Carolyn McWilliams's Timeline

July 25, 1877
Dalton, Berkshire, Massachusetts, United States
August 15, 1912
Age 35
Pasadena, Los Angeles, California, United States
August 29, 1914
Age 37
Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, United States
April 17, 1917
Age 39
Pasadena, California, United States
July 21, 1937
Age 59
San Diego, San Diego, California, United States