Benjamin Parker Williams in 1918, Elbert Benjamine in 1920

In September 1918, only two months before the Armistice on November 11 that also marked the opening to the public of the Brotherhood of Light, the group’s leader filed a draft registration listing his occupation as a rivet carrier at Moore Shipbuilding in Oakland who resided at 2514 Bancroft Way in Berkeley.

Moore Shipbuilding where Williams worked as a rivet carrier in 1918

Williams married the former Elizabeth Dorris in 1919 and they jointly filed a petition for a name change on December 22, 1920 as reported in the Los Angeles Times the following day. Shared in December 2020 in honor of the hundredth anniversary of their legal change of surname to Benjamine.

Because one of Elbert’s three sons legally adopted the Benjamine name, there are now descendants named Williams from his sons Ben (1906-1981) and Norman (1917-2006) and others named Benjamine from his son Will (1908-2001), while daughter Zilla’s (Norman’s twin, also 1917-2006) married surname was Shelley and she had one daughter of her own. Daughter Mary Grace (1913-1922) died in childhood.