Black River.

Dr. Algeania Freeman recently published Black River, a narrative of the life of her great-grandfather James Woodard. Accordingly to family lore and research, James Woodard was born enslaved in what is now Wilson County about 1850. After his father Amos was sold at auction and his mother died, Woodard ran away, eventually settling in Cumberland County. Dr. Freeman believes she may be descended from or otherwise related to London and Venus Woodard and is searching for proof of that connection. Her family has beaten the odds by maintaining a detailed oral tradition through several generations. Genetic genealogy may hold the key to recovering their Wilson County connection.

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  1. Oh wow! This man is the great great grandfather of two of my cousin’s. Their father was Townsend Ferguson Jr, of Dunn, Harnett County, NC. I had no idea about the Wilson connection. If you’re on ancestry Lisa, I would love for you to check out my family tree.

  2. Hello Lisa, I searching form Info and trying to establish a line of communication with this family.
    Wow! a lot to learn about the Woodard family. From the book “Black River.”

    Black River
    by Algeania W. Freeman, PhD
    As a slave boy working on a plantation in Wilson, North Carolina, thirteen-year-old James Woodard, one of seven children, is somewhat oblivious to life around him. He knows he’s a slave and doesn’t know any other way. But when his father is sent to the auction block and his mother dies, James hears his mom’s voice encouraging him to run. James runs to a place where a Quaker family gives him a second chance at life. He becomes a wealthy businessman and philanthropist who builds a school and church for his community. James amasses more than 175 acres of land which is named Woodard’s Place on the plat maps. Woodard and his son are murdered for the land, and his family’s assets are stolen. Black River tells the story of a former slave who pays the ultimate price with his life for his land, his legacy living on through the lives of his descendants.
    Relationship to me.

    Amos Woodard 1838-
    3rd great-uncle

    Elder London “Buck” Woodard, Sr. 1792-1870
    Father of Amos Woodard

    Elvin Woodard 1823-1880
    Son of Elder London “Buck” Woodard, Sr.

    William “Willie” Woodard 1853-1924
    Son of Elvin Woodard

    Lena Woodard 1889-1985
    Daughter of William “Willie” Woodard

    Pauline Barnes 1922-
    Daughter of Lena Woodard

    Leroy Barnes
    You are the son of Pauline Barnes

    Leroy Barnes

    1. Hi, LeRoy. It is not clear to me that London’s son Amos is the same person as her ancestor Amos. There is no evidence that James B. Woodard sold London’s son Amos away. Also, he was too young to have had a son in 1850, the year James Woodard was born. I will get contact info for you for Dr. Freeman.

    2. This is awesome! I’ve been searching for information for years and never knew this story of my great great grandfather

  3. At the present I pray I found Sheila Woodard Contee # 1-240-375-4641 and I left a message, hoping to hear from her. I will search for Dr. Algeania Woodard Freeman # tomorrow.

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