William Madison French – (1814 – after 1900)

William Madison French was born to William and Elizabeth (French) French on 20 October 1814 in Giles County, Virginia. William’s father, William, died just two years later on 22 July 1816. His mother remarried in 1818 to Joseph Fletcher in Giles County. The family was living in Tazewell County, Virginia during the 1820 census.

William married Rhoda Jane Caperton on 2 January 1839 in Mercer County, Virginia. Rhoda was the daughter of John Stodgill and Margaret (Shumate) Caperton. She was born on 17 January 1817 in Giles County. William and Rhoda had six children between 1840 and 1860.

On 26 August 1864 William signed up for the Confederate army in the 11th Battalion Virginia Reserves. He was in Company D under Captain Paine. A website, New River Notes, mentions a notation on the post-war roster at the Virginia State Library and Archives that reads:

“NOTE: This company was from Mercer Co. now W. Va. and was composed of men between 45 and 50 years and boys between 16 and 18 years old. The company served for some time in the trenches around Richmond in the fall of 1864 – a number of its members were transferred to Co. H, 60th Virginia Infantry.”

William would have been about 49 at the time he enlisted. He may have served for a time, but on 31 January 1865 a muster roll says that he was never paid and that he was “absent without leave.”

William was back in Mercer County, now West Virginia, by 1870. He is listed on the 1870 census with his wife, Rhoda, and three of his children, William O., Julia A., and George W.

Rhoda died of a fever on 13 December 1882 in Jackson County, West Virginia. She was buried in the French Family Cemetery in Jackson County.

On 10 October 1883, William married Matilda (Staats) Perkins. Matilda was born on 18 March 1820 in Jackson County, Virginia to Elijah and Mary Sally (Marvin) Staats. Matilda was married three times before she married William. On 9 December 1841, she married Jacob Hughes, with whom she had three children. She married Benjamin Flowers on 2 February 1854 and had at least three children with him. Matilda married George W. Perkins on 9 November 1882 in Jackson County. George was 75 when they married and he died less than a year later on 8 March 1883.

Matilda applied for a military widow’s pension in 1887 for George W. Perkins. However, there was not a certificate number so it does not look as if it was approved. Matilda died in November 1897. On 4 January 1898, C. J. Baker was appointed by Mason County Probate court to be her administrator.

William was living with his daughter, Sarah, and her family at the time of the 1900 census in Union, Putnam County, West Virginia. Sarah was married to William Woodall. I have not been able to locate any records for William after the 1900 census when he was listed as 85 years old. FindAGrave.com lists William as buried in the French Family Cemetery, but they do not have a specific location for that cemetery.

William Madison French and Rhoda Jane Caperton had the following children:

James Allen French was born on 25 December 1840 in Mercer, Virginia. He died about 1926.

Sarah Elizabeth French was born on 17 March 1843 in Mercer, Virginia. She died on 4 August 1922 in Charleston, Kanawha, West Virginia.

Andrew Jackson French was born 20 October 1846 in Princeton, Mercer, Virginia. He died 4 July 1934 in Liberty, Putnam, West Virginia.

William Overton French was born in September 1849 in Mercer, Virginia. He died 23 October 1930 in Jackson County, West Virginia.

Julia Ann French was born on 22 December 1851 in Virginia. She died 11 Mar 1921 in Jackson, West Virginia.

George William French was born on 28 July 1859 in Virginia. He died in 1914 in Kanawha, West Virginia.

William Madison French and Matilda Staats had no known children.

Notes and sources:

U.S. federal census. Year: 1820; Location: Tazewell, Virginia; p. 554.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1850; Location: District 42, Mercer, Virginia; p. 155B.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1860; Location: Giles, Virginia; p. 864.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1870; Location: East River, Mercer, West Virginia; p. 514B.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1900; Location: Union, Putnam, West Virginia; e.d. 0082, p. 11.

French, Mara. French Family Association. http://www.frenchfamilyassoc.com : 2018

Weaver, Jeff. New River Notes. http://www.newrivernotes.com : 2018

U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Provided by Fold3.com (http://www.Fold3.com) Original data: Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers. The National Archives at Washington, D.C. William M. French, Virginia.

West Virginia Marriages, database and images online. West Virginia Division of Culture and History (http://wvculture.org). Wm M. French/Matilda Perkins marriage, 1883, FHL film #567,218.

West Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1724-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: West Virginia County, District and Probate Courts. Mason County Court, Bonds, Vol. 1-4, 1854-1903. Matilda French.

William Madison French, Memorial #5919029, database and images online. Find-A-Grave.com (http://www.findagrave.com).
Rhoda Jane Caperton French, Memorial #5013230, database and images online. Find-A-Grave.com (http://www.findagrave.com).

 

 

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James Allen French – (1840-1926)

James Allen French was born on 25 December 1840 in Mercer County, Virginia. James was the son of William Madison and Rhoda (Caperton) French. James was a 9-year-old schoolboy living with his parents the 1850 census in Mercer County. In 1860 the French family was listed in the census for Giles County. The family may have been living near the county’s border and may have been recorded in one county in 1850 and the other in 1860.

James enlisted in the Confederate army on 31 July 1861 in Princeton, Mercer, Virginia. He had his own horse and was in the Cavalry in the 8th regiment. In 1863, his regiment was combined with two other regiments into the 17th regiment. On the October 1863 muster roll, he was listed as “absent without leave.” The 29 February 1864 muster roll listed him as having “deserted.” On 11 October 1863, he is on a roll that says that he “took the oath of allegiance and was sent to Ohio.”

James Allen French married Minerva A. Bennett on 1 March 1864 in Meigs County, Ohio. Minerva, born about 1847 in Ohio, was the daughter of James and Sarah (Flesher) BennettJames and Minerva’s first child, a daughter named Willie Evaline French, was born in Ohio on 2 February 1865.

Soon after Willie Evaline was born, the French family moved back to Mercer County, West Virginia. Their son, Ballard Grant French, was born there on 26 November 1866. The family was listed on the 1870 census as living on the East River, Mercer, West Virginia. About 1875 James, Minerva, and their family moved to Jackson County, West Virginia. Minerva died on 11 October 1884 in Jackson County of consumption.

James Allen French married Esther Jane Howell on 5 March 1885 in Jackson County. Esther was the daughter of Edward and Frances (Holliday) Howell and she was born on 20 September 1842 in Meigsville, Morgan, Ohio. Esther had been married twice before she married James. Her first marriage was to Martin Hysell on 20 April 1859 in Meigs County, Ohio. Martin died as a result of an injury in the Civil War on 2 April 1865 in Henrico County, Virginia.

Esther’s second husband was Morris French, who had been the guardian named for her children after Martin’s death. Esther and Morris French were married on 19 September 1868 in Meigs County, Ohio. Morris French died on 24 May 1872 in Scipio, Meigs, Ohio of typhoid fever.

James and Esther lived in Ripley, Jackson, West Virginia during the 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses.

James Allen French probably died early in 1926 as his will was probated on 12 June 1926 in Jackson County. He was buried in the Given Cemetery in Elkview, Kanawha, West Virginia.

Esther Jane died two years later on 5 February 1928 of tuberculosis in Jackson County. She was also buried in the Given Cemetery.

James Allen French and Minerva A. Bennett had the following children:

Willie Evaline French was born on 2 February 1865 in Ohio. She died on 21 August 1906 in Jackson County, West Virginia.

Ballard Grant French was born on 26 November 1866 in Mercer, West Virginia. He died 29 September 1941 in Vinton County, Ohio.

Rhoda Jane French was born on 12 January 1867 in Jackson County, West Virginia. She died 29 January 1921.

John W. French was born about 1872 in West Virginia. He died in February 1886 in Jackson County, West Virginia.

Perry Andrew French was born 8 April 1873 in Mercer County, West Virginia. He died 20 July 1950 in Sebring, Mahoning, Ohio.

Della [or Delia] May French was born on 1 September 1875 in Jackson County, West Virginia.

Dona B. French was born in August 1879 in Jackson, West Virginia. She died 12 January 1960 in Leon, Mason, West Virginia.

Elzena French was born on 28 September 1881 in Jackson, West Virginia. She died 27 Jan 1971 in Mason County, West Virginia.

James T. French was born in June 1884 and he died in July 1884 in Jackson County, West Virginia.

James Allen French and Esther Jane Howell had no known children. However, Esther had three children with her first husband, Martin Hysell. Esther had two children with her second husband, Morris French.


Notes and sources:

U.S. federal census. Year: 1850; Location: District 42, Mercer, Virginia; p. 155B.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1860; Location: Giles, Virginia; p. 864.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1870; Location: East River, Mercer, West Virginia; p. 514B.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1880; Location: Jackson, West Virginia; e.d. 043, p. 463A.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1900; Location: Ripley, Jackson, West Virginia; e.d. 0034, p. 22B.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1910; Location: Ripley, Jackson, West Virginia; e.d. 0052; p. 7A.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1920; Location: Ripley, Jackson, West Virginia; e.d. 61, p. 6A.

U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Provided by Fold3.com (http://www.Fold3.com) Original data: Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers. The National Archives at Washington, D.C. James Allen [or James A.] French, Virginia.

Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958, database, FamilySearch.org (http://www.familysearch.org) Allen French and Minerva A. Bennett, 1 March 1864; Meigs, Ohio, p. 192, reference 386, FHL film #313,454.

West Virginia Marriages, database and images online. West Virginia Division of Culture and History (http://wvculture.org). J.A. French/Esther J. French marriage, 1885, FHL film #567,218.

Ohio County Marriage records, 1774-1993, database online. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. (http://ancestry.com) Martin Hysell/Esther Jane Howell, 20 April 1859; Meigs, Ohio, FHL film #313,453.

Ohio County Marriage records, 1774-1993, database online. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. (http://ancestry.com) Morris French/Hester J. Hysell, 19 September 1868; Meigs, Ohio, FHL film #313,454.

West Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1724-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: West Virginia County, District and Probate Courts. Jackson County Court, Will Book Vol. 4-5, 1916-1945. James Allen French.

West Virginia Deaths, database and images online. West Virginia Division of Culture and History (http://wvculture.org). Esther Jane French, 1928, death register, p. 50, FHL film #567,216.

James Allen French, Memorial #5502940, database and images online. Find-A-Grave.com (http://www.findagrave.com).
Esther Jane Howell French, Memorial #9920647, database and images online. Find-A-Grave.com (http://www.findagrave.com).

William Richard Woodall – (1864-1955)

William Richard Woodall (1864-1955)

William Richard Woodall was born on 13 December 1864 probably in Mason County, West Virginia. (See notes #1 & 2.) He was the son of Obadiah and Mary (Jeffries) Woodall. William was listed in the 1870 census under his parents along with his sister, Jane, and two brothers, Boyd and Benjamin. In the 1880 census, he was listed as 15 years old and going to school.

William Richard Woodall married Willie Evaline French on 31 December 1885 in Jackson County, West Virginia. Willie Evaline French was born 2 February 1865 in Ohio, the daughter of James Allen and Minerva A. (Bennett) French.

William and Willie had seven children over the next eleven years. All but one, Bertha born in 1894, survived and were listed on the 1900 census. Bertha died on 9 May 1897 from whooping cough. In 1900, the family was living in Ripley and William was working as a sawyer, someone who saws wood.

Willie Evaline died on 21 August 1906 in Jackson County, West Virginia. She was buried in the Long Hollow Cemetery in Jackson County, West Virginia.

William Richard Woodall and Willie Evaline French had the following children:

Okey Franklin Woodall was born on 22 November 1886 in Jackson County, West Virginia. He died 17 June 1977 in Putnam County, West Virginia. He was buried in the Buffalo Memorial Park in Buffalo, Putnam, West Virginia.

Lola Ethel Woodall was born on 28 August 1888 in Jackson County, West Virginia. She died on 13 October 1991 at the age of 103 in Worthington, Franklin, Ohio. She was buried in the Leon Cemetery in Leon, Mason, West Virginia.

Cora Belle Woodall was born on 27 October 1890 in Jackson County, West Virginia. She died on 3 April 1984.

Charles Edgar Woodall was born on 2 September 1893 in Jackson County, West Virginia. He died May 1979 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio. He was buried in the Leon Cemetery, in Leon, Mason, Ohio.

Bertha M. Woodall was born on 2 September 1894. She died on 9 May 1897 in Rockcastle, Jackson, West Virginia. She was buried in Long Hollow Cemetery in Jackson County, West Virginia.

Benjamin Ray Woodall was born on 20 August 1895 in Rockcastle, Jackson, West Virginia. He died on 10 December 1980 in Akron, Summit, Ohio.

Edna Louise Woodall was born on 19 September 1897 in Rockcastle, Jackson, West Virginia. She died on 11 August 1988 in Ripley, Jackson, West Virginia. She was buried in the Long Hollow Cemetery in Jackson County, West Virginia.

In the 1910 census, three boarders were living with William’s family. Dona B. and Elzena French were his sisters-in-law and Dorris V. Wolfe was his niece. Dona continued to live with the family through the 1920 census. On 3 April 1921, William married Dona B. French, sister of his first wife, Willie Evaline. Dona was also the daughter of James Allen and Minerva A. (Bennett) French. She was born in August 1879 in Jackson County, West Virginia.

After 1920, William and Dona moved to Pocatalico, Putnam, West Virginia. The 1930 census lists William and Dona living on the “Waters of Bailey Fork.” William was working as a sawyer in a sawmill. In the 1930 census, William and Dona were living in Union, Mason County, West Virginia. William was listed as 76 and Dona was listed as 60 years old. At that time, William was a farmer.

William died on 4 December 1955 in Leon, Mason, West Virginia. He was buried in the Leon Cemetery in Leon, Mason, West Virginia.

Dona died five years later on 12 January 1960 in Leon, Mason, West Virginia. She is also buried in the Leon Cemetery.

William Richard Woodall and Dona B. French had no known children.


Notes and Sources:

Note #1: William’s death records and the 1900 census list his birthdate as 13 December 1864. However, his gravestone has 1865 as his birth year. I have not been able to find a birth record for William. The West Virginia Archives online database only lists two births for 1864. The FHL film #1855007 that contains births from 1853 to 1879 has a large gap from 1859 to 1865. I will be using the 1864 date until further information comes to light.

Note #2: Was William born in Mason County or in Jackson County? Most of the records that I have seen just say “West Virginia.” The 1860 census listed Obediah and his first wife, Mary Jane Jordan, living in District 1, Mason County, Virginia. After Mary Jane died, Obediah married Mary Jefferies in 1862 in Mason County, Virginia. On 1 January 1864, Obediah registered for the Civil War Draft. The index for the Draft listed him as living in Jackson County. If you look at the page, the county name is obscured because of the tight binding of the book. The county could either be Mason or Jackson because all that you can see is the ‘son.’ The 1870 census listed Obediah and Mary living in Union, Mason, West Virginia. So it is probable that the family was living in Mason County from 1860 to 1870. However, the delayed record of the birth of their son, Benjamin Ray Woodall, who was born in Rockcastle, listed the birthplace of his father, William Richard Woodall as Rockcastle, West Virginia.

U.S. federal census. Year: 1870; Location: Union, Mason, West Virginia; p. 35A.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1880; Location: Union, Mason, West Virginia; e.d. 098, p. 362A.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1900; Location: Ripley, Jackson, West Virginia; e.d. 0034, p. 26B.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1910; Location: Ripley, Jackson, West Virginia; e.d. 0114; p. 3A.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1920; Location: Wilkesville, Vinton, Ohio; e.d. 0052, p. 13A.

West Virginia Marriages, database and images online. West Virginia Division of Culture and History (http://wvculture.org). William Richard Woodall/Evaline W. French marriage, FHL film #567,218.

West Virginia Marriages, database and images online. West Virginia Division of Culture and History (http://wvculture.org). William Richard Woodall/Dona French marriage, FHL film #567,224.

West Virginia Deaths, database and images online. West Virginia Division of Culture and History (http://wvculture.org). Mary Woodall death certificate, certificate number 7571.

Willie Eveline French Woodall, Memorial #6053866, database and images online. Find-A-Grave.com (http://www.findagrave.com).

William Richard Woodall, Memorial #6053641, database and images online. Find-A-Grave.com (http://www.findagrave.com).

Donna B. French Woodall, Memorial #6053587, database and images online. Find-A-Grave.com (http://www.findagrave.com).