"Uncle Will" had a convoluted relationship to the McCulloughs. Nancy Howard Tate Woodward Newland (1804-1881) married Baker E. Woodward before 1824 and by him had two children, Frances Orianna and Joseph Carson.
Joseph Carson Woodward married Julia Ann Garret on March 09, 1850. Their only son died in infancy. Joseph died in 1869 and Julia remarried to William Orr of Illinois. They "adopted" her first husband's sister's son W.J.
After Julia's death (c. 1874), Will married Mary Montgomery. On their wedding trip to Galatia, Illinois they brought back Will's orphaned cousin, Nancy Vianna Smith. W.J. and Nancy fell in love and married, creating the family remembered in the McCullough memoirs.
Will was shot to death in the street outside his home in Alicia around 1905 during a property argument with his neighbor Edgar O'Neil.