The Woodard plantations.

Woodard Family Rural Historic District is a national historic district located near Wilson, Wilson County, North Carolina. It encompasses 29 contributing buildings in a rural area near Wilson. The district developed between 1830 and 1911 and includes notable examples of Colonial Revival and Greek Revival style architecture. Notable buildings include the William Woodard House, built circa 1832; the Woodard House, build circa 1855; William Woodard Jr. House, built circa 1850; and Elder William Woodard Sr. House, built later. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Per the Nomination Form, the historic district consists of a cluster of farmhouses and outbuildings built on land acquired by William Woodard in the 1820s and ’30s. The 550-acre district in eastern Wilson County is located in the fork of Toisnot Swamp and White Oak Swamp. Most of the land is cleared for agriculture, but there is a large timbered section near Buck Branch. The main houses of the district are located along modern Alternate Highway 264, which largely follows the route of the antebellum Wilson to Greenville Plank Road. “Associated with the agricultural prosperity in the eastern part of present Wilson County during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Woodard Family Rural Historic District is indicative of the character and diversity of rural life in the area.”

This rural life, of course, was supported by many dozens of enslaved people and, later, tenant farmers. In 1852, after William Woodard was declared dead years after disappearing during a trip to Texas, his estate went into probate, and his assets were distributed to his heirs. Fifty-five men, women and children, valued at more $19,000, were divided thus:


Their names: Mintas, Siller, Ginny, Rose, Easther, Thain, Dark, Pleasant, Morris, Blont, Ben, Arch, Alford, Tom, Peg, Rody, Silvier, Charlot, Liberty, George, Jonathan, Jim, Rachel, Nancy, Ned, Elizur, Sarah, Cherry, Amy, Harry, Gray, John, Jess, Piety, Edy, Mandy, Little Rose, Mal, Lewis, Lizzy, Sal, Little Mintas, Mariah, Hiliard, Beck, Phereby, Little Ned, Simon, London, Amos, Harrit, Richard, Dennis, Randol, and Venice.

These 55 people did not represent the total of the Woodard family’s human capital however. William’s widow Elizabeth Woodard, for example, had reported 67 slaves in the 1850 federal slave schedule. Her sons William Jr., Warren, James S., and Calvin reported 21, 21, 14 and 18, respectively, in the 1860 slave schedule.


The heart of the Woodard Family Rural Historic District today.

Estate Record of William Woodard, North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line],


  1. this is my families land and I only have been once as a small child and since then my father has passed so I know virtually nothing other than what this report and the PDF file have to say, if you have any more information or pictures it would mean the world to me if you could share them or point me in the right direction , thank you so much!

    1. that land should be split i half for the descendants of the slaves who worked and suffered for free

    2. My name is Albert Woodard,My true Hebrew name is Yisrael Niv Adam’ard.I am wide awake and under no submission to worldly sins and iniquitiesI love all Woodards .only 1 Woodard plantation 1 fam 1punishment from our Abba .let’s become 1.

    3. My great grand mother was part of the Woodard plantation, her name was Eliza Hall which I found on ancestry, she had five kids from the Woodard which was called mullotos.

      1. I have posted several times about Eliza Hall, who bore several children for James B. Woodard. Hall was not enslaved; nor were her children. (I have Hall cousins, by the way — the children of Louis Hall Sr., who married Mildred Henderson.)

    1. What are their first names…. you can tell by the first names? my great great great Grandfather is Jackson Woodard 1844

    2. the Woodard family came orriginally from England to Virginia, eventually splitting some going north to New York while the others went south to the Carolinas

  2. My name is Shonda Woodard-Venson. My family is from Tennessee. I think some are from Kentucky as well. Are these Woodard’s related to us as well? I would love to know more about my family.

    1. I don’t know. The white Woodards, who were a single extended family, migrated primarily into Georgia, Alabama, and the Deep South. Today’s African-American Woodards descend from hundreds of people enslaved by white Woodards and do not constitute a single family. Absent paper records, DNA testing is the only way to determine a link between your family in Tennessee and these Woodards.

    2. Shonda, my family also from Smith county, Tenessee, The children of Williams son John Woodard migraded to Tennessee in 1848 from North Carolina,William is my gr gr gr gr gr grandfather.

      1. Hi Rickey,
        My name is Ashlie Woodard and I am trying to find the father (or parents) of my great, great grandfather William Henry Woodard.
        I traced my fathers line back to Tennessee but it has been a challenge to determine any further due to nicknames like “Willie” or W.H. or Henry T.?

        My grandfather was William Henry Woodard
        born Nov. 6, 1856 in Smith County, Tennessee, USA
        but he and his wife Mary Virginia (Rix/Ricks)Woodard moved after 1910 to Oklahoma. He died in OKC on Sept. 3, 1928.- according to…

        They had 8-9 kids: (The below names might have some typos or the individuals went by a nickname from other research I have found)

        John Henry Woodard b: DEC 1879 in Macon Co TN
        Stephen Edgar Woodard b: 22 JAN 1882 in Macon Co TN
        Alicia Lavada Woodard b: 21 JAN 1886 in Smith Co TN
        Lillian Seay Woodard b: 29 JUN 1888 in Smith Co TN
        William Napoleon Woodard b: 26 NOV 1891 in Smith Co TN
        Alpha Omega Woodard b: 3 DEC 1893 in Smith Co TN
        Walter Webster Woodard b: 30 JUL 1897 in Smith Co TN
        Sina Hula Woodard b: 12 JUN 1900 in Smith Co TN
        ** Smithy Boyd Woodard b: 19 NOV 1902 in Smith Co TN <>

        Just thought I would throw this out in hopes maybe someone has seen one of these names in their family history at some point. 🙂
        Thanks in advance for any insight.

  3. The Black Woodard Family, Sylvester, Floyd, Frederick, Linwood, Pet, Ben, etc were living in Wilson, Black Creek, and other Eastern Wilson locations. These are the men I remember. Sylvester was married to Betty Powell daughter to Elijah and Sarah Tabron (Powell) whose mother was a slave.
    Sylvester (S.V.) Woodard (Pastor, Overseer, Bishop) family has had family reunions for over 50 years. Most were in Wilson. The family is on This could be a start of more research. Sylvester and Betty birthed 14 kids. There were 3 sets of twins; 2boys, 2girls and a boy & girl. 2 births were within 12 months of each other. Yup…. they were busy.

  4. Does anyone have any information on Mariah Woodard or Lizzie Woodard? That is my line of family.

      1. Hi Lisa, maiden name: Lizzie Woodard married Thomas McNeal in Fairfield, South Carolina. Her mother was Mariah Woodard who married William Camps but Lizzie was named after her mom. Mariah parents are
        Frank Woodard and Elizabeth Ford of Winnsboro, South Carolina.

  5. Apparently, Mintus was a relatively common name during the mid-to-late 1800s. My great-grandfather, Mintus Woodard ca. 1867, married Sarah Hayes ca. 1879 in December, 1901 in Wilson County. His parents were James Woodard ca. 1830-1841 (Stantonsburg Twp.) and Caroline Farmer ca. 1840-1848 (Wilson County) They were married in 1866 in Wilson County.
    James Woodard’s mother was Priscilla Woodard ca. 1790-1800 in Wilson Twp.

    In a previous blog, Lisa lists the last will and testament of William Woodard from 1851. It mentions a Mintus ($75) in a lot #1 drawn by Elizabeth Woodard and a Mintus Jr. ($100) in lot #3 drawn by William Woodard.

    Any additional information or direction on this line of Woodards would be appreciated.

Leave a Reply