The Singing Kid Hank Williams Went from Lovesick to Six Feet Under

Named After a Mason

Hank Williams was like a walking book – even his name has a story behind it. As it turns out, he wasn’t born Hank Williams. His mother, Lillie, was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, and his father Elonzo, was a Mason. They actually meant to call him Hiram Williams, after Hiram of Tyre (one of the three founders of the Masons). But that didn’t become his name, either.


Hank Williams and his sister Irene Williams 1938. Source: Pinterest

Hank was born on September 17, 1923, and thanks to a misspelling on his birth certificate, his official birth name was recorded as “Hiriam.” As a child, he was called “Harm” by his family and “Herky” or “Poots” by his friends. Eventually, the name Hank stuck.