Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Marginia M. Thomas Woody Jones

In my previous post, I wrote about William and Marginia Woody's family and his brief service in the Confederacy that ultimately cost him his life. In this post, I hope to describe some of the information I have obtained on Margie and the children after William's death in May 1862.

In the 1870 Federal census, Margie can be found in Brush Creek Township, Yancey Co, North Carolina. She is listed as 33 years old, W[hite], F[emale], keeping house, born NC [North Carolina]. She has three children listed in her home: Emily, age 12; Matilda, age 8; and Sherman, age 4. I believe this Emily to be Creeney E. as listed in the 1860 census. Matilda is the right age to be a child of William, so I assumed this was their last child together. Based upon her death certificate, that is the case. Matilda was born several months after her father's death. That brings us to the question of who is Sherman? I have searched in subsequent census years to no avail. I have come to the conclusion that he must have been illegitimate and died before 1880. The only other possibility is that he went by a first name other than Sherman and I don't think I'll ever have a way to find him.

I have been unable to locate their daughters, Kisiah C., Harriett L. or Mary Jane anywhere in the Mitchell or Yancey county censuses for 1870. I know that Mary Jane marries Isaac Grindstaff, but I have no idea what became of the other two sisters. Kisiah would have been old enough at 18 in 1870 to have been married, but I suspect that Harriet may have been too young to be married by then.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to share information with a woman named Melody from the Detroit, Michigan area. She was trying to work backwards on a Margie Jones who may have been a Woody before she married a Jones. I was trying to work forwards on Margie Thomas Woody. Our paths collided and we began to share information. It seems that Margie Thomas Woody married a John Sydney Jones, a man over 20 years her senior, on 7 July 1872 in Washington Co, Tennessee. By 1880, John and Margie were living in Sullivan Co, Tennessee with their son, Dick, age 5. As a descendant doing the research, Melody had discovered that Margie may have had an entire family before marrying John Sydney Jones, a fact that was unbeknownst to all of the living descendants of Dick Jones.

According to the Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 database at Ancestry.com, the marriage of John S. Jones and Margie Woody was solemnized on the 7th day of July 1872 by Robert H. J. Hackers [sp?], M.G.

By October 1896, John Sydney Jones had died. I have been unable to locate Margie in the 1900 census. In 1910, she is listed as a boarder in the Thomas Dixon household in Civil District 12, Sullivan Co, Tennessee. She is listed as widowed and born in North Carolina as well as her parents. Unfortunately, it does not list the number of children that she gave birth to or how many are still living. According to the death certificate provided by Melody, Margie died 26 Jan 1914 and is buried with John Sidney Jones in Kingsport, Tennessee. It also lists her birthplace as Mitchell Co, North Carolina and her parents are John Thomas and Sindia [Lucinda] Wilson. In addition to the death certificate, Melody also provided me with a headstone photo, and an old photo that may possibly be Margie. Because I have lost touch with Melody, I won't post them here without her permission.

So was the marriage of Margie and John Sydney a marriage of convenience: he needed a wife to keep house and she needed financial security? Or was it a love match? Either way, why did none of Dick's descendants know of Margie's first family or only have a slight inkling that somehow she used to be a Woody? Was Margie able to keep in touch with her Woody children and her own Thomas family from a couple of counties away? Whatever became of little Sherman and who fathered him? And most of all, how was Margie able to survive after William died in the War?

So many questions and so many answers that probably went with Margie to the grave.

If anyone has information on this branch of the Woody line or more specifically what became of Harriett, Kisiah, Creeney Emily and little Sherman, I would appreciate hearing from you. I have quite a bit of information on my ancestor, Mary Jane, and some on the other sister, Matilda, who went on to marry James P. Thomas and had at least nine children.

And Melody, if you are still out there, please contact me again.

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