Pleasants Woodward
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. residents.
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.
1790 Wake Co: 3M over 16, 1M under 16, 4F
1800 Wake Co: 2M 0-10, 1M 10-15, 1M 26-45, 1F 0-10, 1F 10-15, 2F 16-25
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 43:
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. 22, 1822.
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 as "Alford's".
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 Woodward Green.
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 Young Utley.
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 the mill.
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 period.
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 separately.)
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.
Hickman, Ky.
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 were sisters.
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 China Woodward.
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 is discovered.

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Copyright: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Date Created: Saturday, 01-Feb-1997, 12:01 AM
Date Modified: Saturday, 20-Oct-2007 9:45 AM