John Lea Williamson (1823-1904) of Caswell County, NC, was one of ten children born to Rebecca Slade Lea (1797-1837) and George Williamson (b. 1788). John, or "Gooly" as Dusenbery refers to him, entered the University in 1841, became a member of the Dialectic Society, and graduated in 1843. In 1845 he married Bettie Dickinson (b. 1827) and after her death wed Frances "Fanny" Ann Holt (1837-1918), the daughter of prominent cotton manufacturer, Edwin Michael Holt (1807-1884). Fanny and John had seven children. In 1847 he received the MA degree from the University of North Carolina and the MD from the University of Pennsylvania’s Medical Department. He became a physician and cotton manufacturer.