The ages of the Negroes’ children.


by Hugh Buckner Johnston

Because of the scarcity of surviving records of our black citizens prior to the Wilson County Census of 1870, the first Federal Census that gave the name and age of every individual living within our borders in that year, the discovery of any vital statistics of the Antebellum period represents purest genealogical gold.

The writer learned only a few weeks ago that his 3rd great uncle William Woodard (1795-1847) had inscribed on the rear flyleaves of Volume I of John Bunyan’s WORKS (New-Haven, 1831) “The ages of the Negroes Children,” with their names, to the number of sixty-one.

These families still living in 1865 adopted without known exception the surname Woodard and left descendants who have continued to be numbered among the most respectable black citizens. It should also be remembered that a book in the Wilson County Register of Deeds Office contains the record made in 1865 [sic; 1866] of the earlier marriages of all former slaves who desired that kind of legal protection for their children. (The marriages of both whites and blacks since 1865 have been recorded impartially down to current date in the regular Marriage Registers.)

The names and ages of the blacks belonging to William and Elizabeth Simms Woodard were as follows:

Morris Bornd March 1824

Blunt Bornd August 31st 1825

Ben Bornd April 1826

Peg Bornd May 18th 1826

Win Bornd September 1827

Arch Bornd December 1827

Bishe Bornd February 1828

Willis Bornd October 1829

Alfred Bornd March 1830

Silvire Bornd June 1830

Poity Bornd 26th February 1831

Aga Bornd 10th January 1832

_______ Bornd March 10th 1832

Sarah Bornd 22nd May 1832

Tom Bornd 15th June 1832

Charta Bornd 27th June 1832

Hanner Born 12th May 1833

Jonathan Bornd 31st July 1833

Jim was Bornd 1st August 1833

Liberty Bornd 23rd April 1834

_______ Bornd 8th May 1834

_______ Bornd 23rd May 1834

_______ Bornd Feb. 1st 1835

[N]ed Bornd 27th Sept. 1835

Zilpha Bornd 11th May 1836.

Cherry Bornd 8th March 1837

Rachel Bornd 8th January 1838

Eady Bornd 3rd March 1838

Anna Bornd 31st July 1839

Manda Bornd 7th December 1839

Rila Bornd 2nd April 1840

Gray Bornd May 1840

Harry Bornd 30th May 1841

John Bornd Jan. 1842

Marry Bornd 4th July 1843

Jesse Bornd 30th December 1843

Susan Bornd 30th Nov. 1843

Lewis Bornd January 20h 1845

Mariar Bornd April 30th 1845

Rebecca Born January 16th 1846

Hilliard Bornd June 1846

Sally Born October 27, 1846

Tresy Born 2nd March 1847

London born August 15th 1847

Mintey born December 29th 1847

Lizzy born Jan. 19th 1848

Rose born Jan. 1848

Ned born Nov. 1948

Venice Born Ap 30, 1849

Dennis February 1850

Simon borned March 1850

Richard borned June 1850

Charles Borned August 1851

Adline born Dec. 20th 1851

Louisa Born Sept. 29 1853

John Born May 1853

Nathan Born Sept. 8, 1855

Winney Born March 1856

Edwin Nov. 6, 1856

Jonas Jany 1858

Hat tip to Wilson County librarian Will Robinson, who reprinted Johnston’s undated article on the Wilson County Public Library Local History and Genealogy Blog. 

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