The letters of Samantha Ann Smith Currie and
Emma White Woodward both named Pleasant Woodward as the father of
Joseph Woodward. Fortunately, we have two letters containing information
from two different grandchildren who were cousins rather than siblings
to each other. Their letters verify each other. These letters are
the only documentation we have of Joseph Woodward's father. Only one
child of Pleasants Woodward, his eldest son, Christopher, can be proven
by other records. There are no records that prove Christopher's siblings.
Many of the Wake Co. records
and abstracts gave Pleasants Woodward's name as "Pleasant Woodward",
but Christopher Woodward's will written in his own hand as well as
Pleasants' own signature on his marriage bond and the will of Lewis
Jones all used the "s" on the end. Who would know better
the correct spelling than the bearer of the name and his own father?
Although many researchers have recorded his name as Pleasant, I am
recording him as Pleasants because of these records.
Pleasants Woodward was named
third in the will of Christopher Woodward written Aug. 27, 1784 and
recorded Oct. 25, 1785 in Wake Co. He was to receive the mill and
plantation which had been the homeplace of his father. The land was
described in other records as 320 acres on both sides of Middle Creek,
but it actually was not granted to Christopher Woodward until 1789,
four years after his death. By this time, Pleasants Woodward was in
possession of the land.
Many wills, but not all, listed
sons from the eldest to the youngest. That would seem to be the case
with Christopher Woodward's will. Jordan, who stated in his Revolutionary
War pension application that he was born in 1760, was certainly the
eldest son that was named. He was named first in his father's will
and was also designated as one of the executors. Corbell Woodward
was named next, so he was probably the next son born after Jordan.
There were no guardian records for Jordan, Corbell, or Pleasants as
there were for the other children, so these three sons were of age
when Christopher Woodward died in 1785. Pleasants was of age when
he and Jordan witnessed their father's Bladen Co. deed in 1784 and
married in 1786, so he was probably born after 1760 but before 1764.
If Jordan's statement was correct
that he was born in NC in 1760, then probably Pleasants was born in
NC too since he was born after Jordan. However, there are no records
for Christopher Woodward in NC earlier than 1766. The possibility
exists that Jordan was mistaken about his place of birth. So we really
can't be sure where Pleasants was born. His grandson, Andrew Jackson
Woodward, believed that Pleasants came from Jamestown and his father
came from England. From at least 1767 to 1771, Christopher Woodward's
family, including his young son, Pleasants, were residents of Johnston
Co. When Wake Co. was created in 1771, the Woodwards became Wake Co.
Christopher Woodward died in
1785 leaving son Pleasants Woodward the home plantation and the mill.
It stands to reason that Pleasants probably made his living for at
least a few years as a planter and miller. Although his father seems
to have been very successful, Pleasants did not follow in his footsteps
in spite of inheriting the mill and, with it, a wonderful opportunity
to make a good living.
Pleasants Woodward's Wake Co.
marriage bond to Winifred Utley was dated Mar. 6, 1786 with William
Brown serving as the bondsman and Jordan Woodward as the witness.
It is not known what the relationship was between Pleasants Woodward
and William Brown. According to the map of early Wake Co. grants,
William Brown held several pieces of land along Swift Creek near Joseph
Lane, John Bradford, Mary Barnes Tucker, and others. His name seldom
appeared in Woodward or Jones records. He may have been nothing more
than a neighbor.
Winifred died some time after
1796 when her father, Jacob Utley, named her in his will, but before
her mother's will written in 1804. A daughter, Winifred Woodward,
was born about 1798 or 1799. Pleasants Woodward's 1800 census listed
one female age 26-45, so Winifred Utley probably died between 1800
and 1804. There is no evidence that Pleasants ever remarried after
Winifred's death. His daughter, China, may have been able to take
over some of her mother's household chores although she was still
quite young at that time. Surely managing such a large household with
young children would have been more than such a young teenager could
have handled alone. Pleasants did own slaves, and it possible that
the cooking, washing, and cleaning was done by them, but it seems
to me that China was too young to efficiently manage the household,
slaves, and children by herself.
But there were two young women
age 16-25 in Pleasants' home as reflected by the 1800 census. Unless
their ages were recorded incorrectly on the census, these women were
too old to be Pleasants' daughters, and too young to be Winifred Utley.
One may have been Mary Woodward, Pleasants' youngest sister. Perhaps
one was Lucy Sparks who later named two of Pleasants' daughters, Charity
and Winifred, as heirs in her will. China who was born in 1788 and
Winifred who was born about 1798-1799 were reflected on the 1800 census
as one female age 10-16 and one female under 10. Charity's date of
birth has not been determined. Unless Charity was a twin to Christopher,
she must have been younger than China. Christopher was born about
1787 the year following his parents' marriage and was listed as age
10-16. Surely if Charity was his twin, she would have been listed
in the same age frame. There was not time for another child to be
born between Christopher and China, and Winifred accounts for the
female age 0-10. So it seems that Charity was not listed on the 1800
census and was either left out or was born later. The identity of
the females age 16-25 on the census cannot be proven, but they may
have taken over some of the household management duties after Winifred's
death. There were two unidentified males age 16+ in addition to Pleasants
on his 1790 census. James Woodward, who did not marry until 1799,
may have been one of them. Jordan, Corbell, and Richard Woodward were
listed in their own households on the 1790 census. I have wondered
if this other male might have been Joseph Woodward who appeared on
the 1800 census with a wife and 5 children under 10. There are indications
that he was probably related to the Christopher Woodward family in
some way and might have lived with the family until his marriage.
There were also four females listed Pleasants Woodward's 1790 census.
Winifred Utley and China Woodward were certainly two of them. It's
impossible to be certain if Charity Woodward had been born by 1790
or not since there are no censuses after her marriage that reflect
her age frame. It is possible that she was missed on the 1800 census,
so she or an unknown daughter who died young could be the third female.
Winifred Woodward was not born until after this census, so she would
not have been included. The fourth female may have been Mary Woodward,
Pleasants' youngest sister.
The Wake Co. censuses for 1810
and 1820 were lost. Pleasants no longer appeared in the Wake Co. records
after 1822 and had apparently left for Tennessee as stated in the
letters of Samantha Ann Smith Currie. So the only censuses we have
for his family are the ones prior to 1810. These censuses and the
established death of Winifred Utley by 1804 seem to verify that the
six children named by the letters of Samantha Ann Smith Currie and
Emma White Woodward was a complete listing. Pleasants did not marry
until 1786, so in 1790 his own family would have included his wife,
Winifred Utley, and children Christopher, China, and possibly Charity.
The females age 16-25 in 1800 were too old to be his own daughters
if their ages were recorded correctly. However, the boys listed in
the family agree perfectly with Christopher, Joseph, and William;
and the two girls under 16 must have been China and Winifred.
In 1801, Pleasants Woodward
was a witness to the will of Lewis Jones, Sr., the father of Nathaniel
Jones whose daughter, Delia Jones, later married Pleasants' son, Joseph
Woodward. Nathaniel Jones was also the father of an illegitimate child
born to Pleasants' younger sister, Mary/Polly Woodward. This same
Lewis Jones, Sr. had witnessed the will of Pleasants' father, Christopher
Woodward just a few years before. The will of Lewis Jones, Sr. was
not recorded until 1815, fourteen years later.
In 1808, Pleasants Woodward
was named as the administrator for the estate of Burwell Bacon. This
record of the estate sale is the only record I have found for Burwell
Bacon. He did not even appear on the 1800 NC census. It's an interesting
record since the names Bacon and Burwell were both associated with
early Woodward lines descending from George Woodward of Buckinghamshire,
England. Both the early immigrants, Christopher Woodward and Thomas
Woodward, are believed to have descended from this line. More information
on these immigrants will be given separately.
Because so many of the Wake
Co. deeds have been lost, it's impossible to trace the purchase and
disposal of each piece of land. It is known that Pleasants Woodward
inherited the home plantation and mill which had belonged to his father.
The mill had been built by 1781 and was probably located on the 320
acres entered by Christopher Woodward in 1778 which was his home at
the time. (See p. 6) In 1793, Pleasants Woodward listed 322 acres
for taxes. In 1820, he owned a lot in Raleigh which he deeded to his
son, Christopher, and 225 acres near Middle Creek which was sold by
the sheriff to pay debts. At about the same time, Pleasants Woodward
left Wake Co. to join his daughters in Tennessee according to the
letters of Samantha Ann Smith Currie. Since there are no records of
any division of unsold lands at his death, it would seem that all
of his land had been sold before he left Wake Co.
From Wake Co. Deed Book 5 page
142, dated Nov. 1, 1820:
Pleasant Woodward to Christopher
Woodward: "In consideration of the natural love and affection
the said Pleasant Woodward bears to his oldest son Christopher Woodward"
lot 64 in city of Raleigh conveyed to Pleasant Woodward by (unreadable
- possibly Jane Lane) in exchange for other land in Wake Co. Recorded
March 20, 1822, witnesses Lewis Hollowman and James Murray, Jurat.
From Wake Co. Deed Book 5 page
Pleasant Woodward by Sheriff
Samuel Whitaker to Jesse Osborn: By order of writ dated 3rd Monday
of Nov. 1820. $453.28 with intererst a sum of $436 from <?>
day of Aug 1820 adjudged to the State Bank for debt and damages. About
225 acres N side of Brazils Creek beginning at Mill Pond in Young
Utley line thence S 225 poles to a pine thence E 122 poles to a pine
in Etheldred Jones line thence with said line N 255 poles to a maple
in a branch and then W about 75 poles to the Mill Pond. Recorded Jan.
Through the years, the names
of the creeks have been changed and confused. On current maps, Braswell
Creek feeds into Sunset Lake from the west and continues on to the
east as Middle Creek. Basal Creek runs up from the south through Bass
Lake and continues on through Sunset Lake, emptying into Middle Creek.
(See map section) However, the people who live near Bass Lake refer
to the creek which empties out of Bass Lake and feeds into Sunset
Lake as Braswell Creek. A housing development beside Bass Lake bears
the name Braswell. Since the grants map was drawn in relation to modern
landmarks, the creeks were labeled with their modern names. But the
1870 map labeled the creek to the south of what is now called Sunset
Lake as Brazel Creek rather than Basal Creek as it is now labeled.
(See maps section) Describing this land in the 1820 deed as being
on the "north side" of Brazils Creek is confusing. How can
you have a north side to a creek that essentially runs north and south?
Perhaps "north end" would have been a better description.
There is no way that the land described here could be on the north
side of what is now labeled Braswell Creek or even on the north side
of Middle Creek. The land is described as lying south and east of
the mill pond, and that could only be on the south side of Middle
Creek. Apparently the creek that forks south from Middle Creek at
Sunset Lake has been called Brazel Creek, Braswell Creek, and Basal
Creek over the years. The creek to the west of Sunset Lake has also
been called Braswell Creek.
Compare this deed to the later
deed in which son Joseph Woodward purchased land from Jesse Osborn
on the south side of Braswell Creek beginning at Clement's mill pond,
then south and east from that point to Etheldred Jones' line. (See
p. 42) The poles and markers and total acreage don't agree exactly,
but Jesse Osborn was the same person who had purchased Pleasants Woodward's
land four years earlier. Each deed mentioned Etheldred Jones' line.
However, the 1820 deed began at "Mill Pond" and the 1824
deed began at "Clements mill pond".
A comparison of the early maps
leaves no doubt that Clement's Mill Pond was an earlier name for Sunset
Lake. (See maps section) If Braswell Creek was considered the western
extension of Middle Creek, the land could be described as south of
Braswell Creek, south of Middle Creek, or at the north end of Brazel
(or Braswell or Basal) Creek. Again the land was described as south
and east of the mill pond, although the total acreage and landmarks
don't agree exactly. There is no possibility that the mill pond in
either deed could have been Mills' Pond. That mill and pond didn't
exist on the 1870 map. According to Tate Sanders (no relation to the
early Wake Co. Sanders) who oversees the land around Bass Lake, the
dam at Mills' Pond wasn't built until the early 1900's; however, a
pond does appear in the location expected for Mills' Pond on the 1887
map. Since the land was purchased by Joseph Woodward from the same
person who had purchased Pleasants Woodward's land when it was sold
for insolvency, I tend to think that Joseph was trying to recover
what he could of his father's land and the old homeplace. His deed
indicates that he purchased only a part of that land.
Young Utley's home was south
and west of Mills' Pond according to the writings of Rev. Charles
H. Utley. He further stated that Young Utley and probably his father,
John Utley, before him once ran the mill at this pond. John Utley
died in 1807, and Young Utley died in 1849. Rev. Charles H. Utley
believed that John Utley might have built the mill, but could never
find records to prove it. (See p. 195) He said that an old cemetery
with unmarked graves was located at the head of Mills' Pond. If he
was correct about the Utleys running the mill, certainly John Utley
must have been running it for at least a few years before his death
in 1807, and then his son, Young Utley, for a number of years after
that. At some time Woodson Clements took possession of it, and he
is said to have sold it to a Mr. Alford according to the information
published by Joan Brink. The 1887 map labeled the Sunset Lake pond
The office of the Sunset Lake
Development Company was able to provide a little information. According
to their records, Woodson Clements owned the lake around 1822. In
1871, G. B. Alford owned the lake. He drained the lake and rebuilt
the dam. The parents of Mrs. Margaret Lea Parker of Raleigh became
the caretakers of the lake when it was willed to them by the last
survivng member of the family of "original owners" (unnamed)
who had no children.
Mrs. Margaret Lea Parker still
lives in Raleigh and was 76 years old when I talked with her in March
of 1995. She stated that she had lived at Sunset Lake as a child with
her parents, Fred and Ford Lea, who were the caretakers for Mr. B.
T. Poindexter, the owner of the lake at that time. Before his death,
Mr. Poindexter, who she said had owned the lake for only a short time,
gave the lake property to the Leas, and Mrs. Parker inherited it at
her mother's death in 1981. She stated that it was named Sunset Lake
during the 1920's, but was not sure what it had been called prior
to that date. She said that Woodson Clements and Mr. Alford had been
previous owners, but she wasn't sure exactly when and had no idea
who the owners were prior to them. According to her, Wake Forest College
had at one time owned the lake. (Could she have meant N. C. State
College?) She stated that the present dam is the same dam that was
there in the 1930's, but that the city of Raleigh had accidentally
burned the mill while they were pumping water from the lake. Mrs.
Parker also said that when Mr. Alford drained the lake, rice was planted
there until the new dam was built.
The mill that burned was certainly
not the original mill that belonged to Christopher Woodward. Remants
of the burned mill can still be found at Sunset Lake. Probably the
original mill was destroyed when Mr. Alford drained the pond and replaced
the dam, or perhaps even earlier.
Mrs. Parker said that the old
cemetery west of the dam was always known as the Turner Cemetery,
and is now used mostly by Black families. However, it had once been
a cemetery for Whites, and prominent people from Raleigh had been
buried there in the past. It was called the Turner Cemetery for a
Judge Turner of Raleigh. She said that there had once been many markers
at the cemetery covering a large area, and, as I had suspected, there
had been graves in the central area that is now vacant. Some time
during World War II while she and her husband, B. G. Parker, were
stationed elsewhere, the tombstones that had been there before the
war were removed and were never replaced. Since there is now no way
to determine where the old graves were, she suspects that some of
the new graves may be on top of old graves.
Another person who has been
quite helpful is Alfred Brinkley Oliver who was age 73 when I spoke
with him in May of 1995. His great-grandfather, William Brinkley Oliver,
Sr., was the millwright at Mills' Pond at some time after his return
from service in the Civil War. Although he worked at Mills' Pond,
he was buried in the cemetery at Sunset Lake, referred to as the Turner
Cemetery by Mrs. Parker. He said the cemetery was quite old, and that
Joe Ballentine, who was the undertaker years ago, could have taken
you to any grave site there. Mr. Oliver had no idea what had happened
to the old tombstones. He, too, mentioned that rice had once been
planted at the lake. He said that James Slaughter currently has the
old mill stones. Later in the conversation, he said that a Mr. Slaughter
who has ancestors buried there had been researching the cemetery,
but Mr. Oliver couldn't remember his first name. He didn't remember
a Judge Turner, but he said he remembered a Sheriff Turner.
Woodson Clements left his will
in Wake Co. dated 1837. The mill and lake were not mentioned, but
he did leave to son William W. Clements "after the death or marriage
of my wife, all the lands I own on both sides of Middle Creek, including
the land whereon my son Calvin's family lived..." He loaned to
daughter Candis Utley a tract of land bought of Henry Utley which
was to pass to her heirs at her death. He also left to Candis a Negro
girl named Annie. It can't be determined from the will if the mill
was included in the lands on Middle Creek or not, but the 1870 map
has the name W. Clements where the mill was located. The mill must
have been sold before the 1887 map was prepared. At any rate, it was
called Alford's at that time.
Candis Clements was the wife
of Henry Utley, son of Littlejohn Utley and Sarah Walton, and grandson
of Jacob Utley and Phebe -?-. Since Littlejohn Utley was the brother
of Winifred Utley, Henry Utley was a first cousin to Joseph Woodward.
Henry Utley was also the brother of Temperance Ann Utley who married
John White, making him the uncle of Sarah Knowlton White who married
William Joseph Woodward and Delia Estelle White who married George
Washington Woodward. Woodson Clement's son, John Calvin Clements,
married Cynthia Utley, daughter of John "Little Jack" Utley,
in 1830. They had apparently lived on the Middle Creek land owned
by Woodson Clements that was left to son William W. Clements. Between
1841 and 1845, John Calvin Clements and Cynthia Utley Clements moved
to Carroll Co., TN where Pleasant Woodward's daughters, China Woodward
Green and Winifred Woodward Jones, were already living. Penelope Clements,
daughter of John Calvin Clements and Cynthia Utley, is said to have
married a William Green prior to 1859 in Carroll Co., but I have not
been able to determine if this William Green was a descendant of China
There is a major problem with
Rev. Charles H. Utley's story about the Utley land, the mill that
the Utleys ran, and the cemetery at Mills' Pond. Mills' Pond did not
exist until years after Young Utley died. Rev. Utley must have been
confused about the name of the pond. It was once called simply "the
mill pond", then later Clement's Mill Pond, still later Alford's,
and is now known as Sunset Lake. It's not hard to understand how he
could've confused Mill Pond with Mills' Pond. The mill that the Utleys
ran must have been the one that was later called Clement's Mill Pond
and still later called Sunset Lake. We don't know if Rev. Utley visited
the wrong pond and described the land at the head of the pond where
the cemetery should have been, or if he visited the correct pond and
somehow got the name of the pond confused. Since John and Young Utley
could not have run a mill at Mills' Pond, the mill they ran must have
been at Sunset Lake, and the cemetery should have been there. The
old Turner Cemetery is located just west of the dam at Sunset Lake,
but it's not covered with pines as Rev. Utley described. The land
at the head of Mills' Pond is covered with pines, but no one knows
of an early cemetery that was once located there except for one used
temporarily after 1900. I personally believe that Rev. Utley went
to the wrong pond.
Between 1785 when Pleasants
Woodward inherited the mill and homeplace, and 1820 when the last
remaining 225 acre section of the homeplace was sold, there were certainly
some land transactions by Pleasants Woodward for which the deeds have
been lost. At some time during this period, Pleasants Woodward traded
an unknown parcel of land in Wake Co. for a lot in Raleigh which he
later deeded to his son, Christopher Woodward, in 1820. (See p. 33)
That deed has been lost. On July 31, 1789, Pleasants Woodward entered
88 acres of vacant land in Wake Co. on the waters of Middle Creek
bounded by his own lines and the lines of Richard Woodward and Thomas
Driver. This was undoubtedly the same land he was granted on Dec.
19, 1799 described as 88 acres both sides Middle Creek adjoining Richard
Woodward, Thomas Driver, Utley, and his own line. There is no later
deed existing now for the sale of this land, but it would seem to
have been sold, probably before Pleasants Woodward left Wake Co. and
probably before 1820 when he deeded the lot in Raleigh to his son,
Christopher. Possibly all or part of this 88 acres was involved in
the trade for the lot in Raleigh. Since the deeds are lost, we can
only guess as to what might have happened to this land.
What happened to that 88 acres
is not nearly as important as the adjoining land mentioned in the
land entry and later land grant. Compare the adjoining lands in the
1789 land entry to the 1799 grant for the same 88 acres. It seems
that Pleasants Woodward owned land on two sides of this piece of land
in 1789, but in 1799 land on one side that had previously belonged
to Pleasants Woodward in 1789 was in the possession of -?- Utley.
Although we have no deed, this is strong evidence that some of Pleasants
Woodward's land had been transferred to an unknown Utley during the
period between 1789 and 1799. In 1793, Pleasants Woodward was taxed
on 322 acres, which pretty much agrees with the acreage from the land
entry record for Christopher Woodward in 1778 and the later posthumous
grant to Christopher Woodward dated 1789. The grant described the
land as lying on both sides of Middle Creek. But by 1820, the homeplace
seems to have contained only 225 acres that lay south and east of
the mill pond, therefore only on the south side of Middle Creek. What
happened to the other 95 to 97 acres that must have been on the north
side since Christopher Woodward's land inherited by Pleasants Woodward
lay on both sides of the creek? What happened to the mill that was
located on the north side of the pond? Since John Utley is believed
to have run the mill before his death in 1807, the northern part of
the Woodward land on which the mill was built was probably sold to
John Utley after 1793 when Pleasants Woodward's tax records indicate
he owned 322 acres, but before the 1799 grant which indicates that
some of Pleasants Woodward's previous holdings were in the possession
of an Utley.
If the grants map is correct,
Thomas Driver owned the property east of Christopher Woodward's land.
According to Christopher Woodward's will, Richard Woodward was left
land on the "south prong" of Middle Creek, which would seem
to be on Brazel or Basal or Braswell Creek. If the land that Pleasant
Woodward inherited was bounded on the east by Thomas Driver, and bounded
on the south by Richard Woodward, then the two sides bounded by Pleasants
Woodward's own lands in 1789 must have been on the north and west
sides. The land on one of those sides was in the possession of an
Utley by 1799. Since Pleasant Woodward's 1820 deed describes the land
as south of Young Utley's land, the land on the north of the 225 acres
must have been the land that was sold to an Utley. It must have included
the missing property that lay on the north side of Middle Creek. And
since the 1789-1799 records for the 88 acres described that land as
lying on both sides of Middle Creek, the land sold to an Utley must
have been on the west side of that 88 acres. This explains how the
mill which had belonged to Christopher Woodward and was inherited
by Pleasants Woodward became the property of John Utley and later
John Utley did not leave a
will, but since his son, Young Utley, continued to run the mill, probably
the mill passed down to him. Pleasants Woodward's 1820 deed was for
land east and south of the mill pond beginning at the pond and Young
Utley's line. There is no doubt in my mind that Pleasants Woodward
had sold the mill on the northern part of the Woodward property located
on the north side of Middle Creek to John Utley, and the mill and
land later passed into the possession of Young Utley. Rev. C. H. Utley's
statements that John Utley and later Young Utley ran the mill and
the reference in the deed to Young Utley's line is evidence of this.
The date of the sale can probably be narrowed down to between 1793
and 1799 since Pleasants Woodward still owned 322 acres in 1793.
Pleasants Woodward must have
been a respected member of the Middle Creek community as he served
as the Captain of the military district which included Middle Creek
from at least 1802 to 1804 following Augustus Turner who served from
1800 to 1802.
Selling the mill might have
been the beginning of Pleasants Woodward's financial downfall. His
father had apparently made a good living with the mill. It must have
been at least reasonably profitable for John Utley, Young Utley, Woodson
Clements, Mr. Alford, and whoever ran it after them. It is not known
how Pleasants Woodward made a living after the sale of the mill. Since
he owned slaves (which his son William Woodward supposedly took with
him when he left for Georgia) and a fair amount of land, probably
he made his living as a planter. Whatever he turned to after the mill
was sold, he must not have been very successful. Perhaps the death
of his wife shortly after 1800 also affected the outcome of things.
I can't help but wonder how differently our family history might have
turned out if Winifred Utley had lived and if Pleasants hadn't sold
Pleasants last appeared in
the Wake Co. records in 1822 when a guardianship record for Sihon
Utley stated that Pleasant Woodward's security "was returned".
However, this return might have occurred before the 1822 record. Pleasants
also appeared on bastardy records involving two children born to Candace
Stevens sired by his son, Christopher Woodward, dated Nov. 19, 1818
and May 17, 1820. William Woodward, named as a son by Samantha Ann
Smith Currie and Emma White Woodward, was mentioned in one of the
records for the 1820 child, as was an unknown Thomas Woodward.
Although Pleasants Woodward
did lose his land to insolvency, he had been a very respected man
in the community in previous years. The Feb., 1805 Wake Co. court
minutes recorded that he had taken the oath as a Justice of the Peace
and was to take votes at the 1805 elections in Buckhorn District.
The Aug., 1805 court minutes again recorded him as a Justice. The
Feb., 1806 court minutes recorded that Pleasant Woodward, Esqr., Justice,
and James Huckabee and John Green of the Buckhorn District were to
take poll of the elections for the year 1806. The Aug., 1807 minutes
listed the following justices as present: "Worshipfull Redding
Jones, William Armstrong, Pleasant Woodward, Esquires". In addition
to being "Worshipfull", "Esquire", and "Justice",
he had also been known as "Captain Woodward" for a short
Pleasants Woodward is believed
to have joined his daughters, China Woodward Green and Winifred Woodward
Jones, in Tennessee as remembered by Samantha Ann Smith Currie, his
granddaughter. He may have traveled to Tennessee with his daughter,
Winifred. However, she was still in NC in 1826 when one of her children
was born, but was in TN by 1829. Samantha's letter stated that William
was the first to leave Wake Co., but actually China had moved to Tennessee
several years earlier. Perhaps William left before Pleasants and Winifred.
Since there were no records that prove Pleasants Woodward was in Wake
Co. after the 1820 records, I suspect he left for Tennessee about
1820-1822, prior to his daughter Winifred Woodward Jones, and joined
his daughter China Woodward Green. Pleasants' son, William Woodward,
married Lottie Utley in Dec. of 1820 and disappeared from Wake Co.
records. According to Samantha Ann Smith Currie, he left with Pleasants'
slaves, supposedly going toward Georgia. Since Pleasants had no land
left to work, perhaps the slaves were a gift.
Pleasants Woodward's death
date is not known, but may have been after the 1840 census which listed
a male of his age in the Needham Green household in Carroll Co., TN.
Needham Green's father, William Green, had died long before in Wake
Co., so this older male on the Green census could not have been his
father. However, there was no male of Pleasant's age listed in either
the Jones or Green households in 1830, and there are no Tennessee
censuses, deeds, or estate records in his own name. In fact, there
has not been a single record of Pleasants Woodward found in Tennessee.
Samantha Ann Smith Currie was not at all uncertain about him going
to Tennessee, and her letters were very accurate in other respects.
Since Pleasants had lost his Wake Co. property to insolvency, it's
possible he never owned land in Tennessee and therefore had no estate
to settle at his death. His children were:
1) Christopher Woodward
II. Born about 1787 Wake Co., died 1850-1860. Suspected first
wife unknown. Wake Co. marriage bond to Candace Stevens dated Oct.
3, 1826. Children believed to be Sanders Woodward, Julia Woodward,
Winifred Woodward, Christopher W. Woodard III, E. Woodward, and possibly
others. Prior to his marriage to Candace Stevens, he had two unknown
illegitimate children by her who may or may not be included in the
above list. (His curious and confusing history will be detailed separately.)
2) China Woodward. Born
Sept. 23, 1788 Wake Co., died Nov. 14, 1867 Carroll Co., TN. Married
Needham Green, son of William Green and Patience Speight, Wake Co.
marriage bond dated Jan. --, 1805. Children: William Green, Winifred
Green, Pleasant Nathaniel Green, Zachary Green, Sanders Green, Carroll
Green, Alfred Green, Mary F. "Polly" Green, James Green
(married his first cousin, Mariah L. Jones), Needham Green, Jr., China
Green, Martha Green, and Sophronia F. Green. Another child, James
C. Green, was adopted by the family. Needham and China Woodward Green
were in Sumner Co., TN by 1808 and were listed on the 1810 and 1820
censuses there. They were in Carroll Co, TN by 1824.
3) Joseph Woodward (Treated
4) William Woodward.
Born about 1796 Wake Co. Death date unknown. Married his cousin, Lottie
Utley, daughter of Burwell Utley and Sallie Lashley and granddaughter
of John Utley and Mary Cooke, Wake Co. marriage bond dated Dec. 23,
1820. He left Wake Co. very shortly after his marriage. No further
records for him or his wife have been found. Samantha Ann Smith Currie
believed he was going to Georgia. Probably both he and his wife died
since the family had no further contact with them. Utley research
has not found further records for Lottie Utley.
5) Winifred Woodward.
Born about 1798 or 1799 Wake Co., died 1874 Carroll Co., TN. Married
Etheldred Jones, son of William Jones of Wake Co. and Mary -?-, widow
of -?- Matthews, Wake Co. marriage bond dated Feb. 28, 1818, published
as Winifred Williard, bondsman Alfred Jones. Named with her sister
Charity as heir in the will of Lucy Sparks. Children: William Jones,
James Jones, Mariah L. Jones (married her cousin James Green), Laura
E. Jones, Cornelia A. Jones, Theophilus Hunter Jones, Julia Ellen
Jones, Emily "Emma" Snow Jones. Winifred seems to have left
Wake Co. for Carroll Co., Tennessee shortly after 1826.
6) Charity Woodward.
No censuses available. Birth and death dates unknown. Married Alexander
Smith, Wake Co. marriage bond dated Dec. 27, 1816. Known children:
Cinderella Woodward, Bourbon Smith, and Samantha Ann Smith. The Wake
Co. will of Lucy Sparks dated Dec., 1823 named heirs Winifred Jones
and Charity Smith. At Charity's death, her share was to revert to
her eldest daughter, Cinderella Woodward. No other records for Cinderella
Woodward have been found. Lucy Sparks' relationship to the Woodwards
is unknown. Since Charity had produced a child before her 1816 marriage,
Charity may have been one of the females age 16-25 on Pleasant Woodward's
1800 census. But it is not impossible that she was born just after
the 1800 census and still produced this child. The younger females
on Pleasant Woodward's census can be established as Winifred Woodward
and China Woodward by their later censuses. The 1810 and 1820 censuses
were lost, and neither Alexander Smith nor Charity Smith could be
found on the 1830 census. This does not establish that Charity had
died. She may have survived her husband and gone to live with another
family. We only know that she died when her daughter, Samantha Ann,
was "very young".
The descendents of China Woodward
and Needham Green left statements that are certainly inaccurate in
some respects, but may offer avenues for research. Gifford Neill Rhodes,
a descendant of this line, sent me a typed copy of a letter written
by James E. Simmons, son of Sophronia F. Green and Samuel Simmons,
to Ethel Ownby Langford, who was apparently another descendant of
China Woodward and Needham Green.
Sept. 7, 1933
Mrs. R. H. Langford:
You will please excuse me
for not writing you sooner - but I was away from home when your letter
came. Yes, I am the grandson of Needham Green, who was one of the
early settlers of Carroll County. I am giving you the births of the
whole family. Needham Green was born August -- 1783. China Green was
born, September 23, 1788. Grandfather died Feb. 29, 1864. Grandmother
died Nov. 14, 1867.
Grandfather (Needham Green)
and Grandmother (China Woodward) were married Jan. 29, 1805. They
were married in North Carolina. I don't known what county. There were
three of them that came to Tennessee. Uncle Edward stopped some where
in Middle Tennessee. One sister, who married a Harris settled near
Paris, Tennessee - one son, Isham Green Harris was Governor of Tennessee
during the Civil War. Gov. Harris was named for Grandfather. Grandmother
was a Woodward. She and Governors Alf. and Bob Taylor's Grandmother
I don't remember ever seeing
your father - but I have heard my mother speak of him. I remember
see- your mother one time when her sister, Margaret Gassett died.
I was but a small boy - I am seventy four years old.
All of your Grandfathers brothers
and sisters are dead. My mother (Sophonia) was the youngest and China
Ingram was the last to die - she lived some where in Texas. Your mother
and I have but few first cousins living.
Now you will please excuse
my scantest remarks and let me hear from you again. Give your Mother
my best wishes. I would like to see her.
Yours very truly,
J. E. Simmons
China Ingram mentioned here
was China Green Ingram, daughter of China Woodward and Needham Green
and wife of Armistead Dodson Ingram and sister of Sophronia F. Green.
Edward Green, brother of Needham Green, was in Sumner Co., TN where
Needham and China first lived after leaving Wake Co.
Notes made in 1924 by Lucian
Monroe Rhodes, grandfather of Gifford Neill Rhodes, state:
Enoch Morgan....married Winnie
Green, who was the granddaughter of John Green, a first cousin to
General Nathaniel Green of Revolutionary fame. The mother of Winnie
Green Morgan was Margaret Woodard, whose mother was a Taylor and first
cousin to the father of Nathaniel Green Taylor, the father of Robert
L. and A. A. Taylor.
Edward Green, the uncle of
Winnie Green, had a daughter who married John Harris near Franklin,
Tennessee, who was the father of U. S. Senator Isham Green Harris.
Winnie Green who married Enoch
Morgan was another daughter of Needham Green and China Woodward. Winnie's
grandfather (Needham's father) was not John Green as given here, but
William Green. Uncle Edward Green is the same Edward Green who remained
in Sumner Co. Winnie Green's mother was not Margaret Woodard, but
Lucian Monroe Rhodes was the
son of John M. Rhodes and Nannie Jane Morgan. She was the daughter
of Needham Morgan, son of Enoch Morgan and Winnie Green.
Gifford Neill Rhodes researched
the families of Alf and Robert L. Taylor and Gov. Isham Green Harris
and found several contradictory lineages, none of which agreed with
the information contained in the notes and letters above. However,
there might be a shred of information left in these writings that
could be useful in the future if a Woodward/Taylor connection ever
Copyright: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,
2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Date Created: Saturday, 01-Feb-1997, 12:01 AM
Saturday, 20-Oct-2007 9:45 AM