Obediah Woodall (1837-1924) – Obediah’s First Wife

A few months ago I was researching Obediah Woodall and his family in Virginia/West Virginia. Recently, I found some new information that I’d like to add to his family record.

Obediah was born on 9 November 1837 in Buckingham County, Virginia to James and Mary Jane (McCormick) Woodall. James was listed in the 1840 census in the Southern District of Buckingham County. However, by the 1850 census, James and his family were living in Putnam County, Virginia. Obediah was listed as the oldest son and 13 years old. He had an older sister, Martha, and two younger brothers and two younger sisters.

In the 1860 census, Obidah [Obediah] Woodall was listed in District 1 of Mason County, Virginia, living with Mary, both of them were 22 years old. This “Mary” was unlikely to be the Mary Jefferies that Obediah married on 8 January 1862. So who was the first Mary? I was unable to find a marriage or any other records that mentioned her.

Obediah Woodall, 1860 U.S. federal census

I’ve been adding spouses and children to Obediah’s siblings in the last few weeks. As I was working on Mary Ann, Obediah’s sister, I found that she had married a Norris Jordan. Discovering information about the Jordan family is challenging as the name is spelled variously as; Jorden, Jordan, Jordin, Jordon, and Jourden. Norris, also listed in documents as Morris, was born about 1832 in Virginia. He was in the 1850 and 1860 censuses with his parents, Stanley and Mahala (Jeffers) Jordan. Interestingly, Norris had a sister, Mary Jane, that was born about 1841.

Mary Jane had a death record in the West Virginia archives.[1] She died on 22 January 1861 in Mason County, West Virginia at 20 years old. Her spouse was Obediah Woodall. Her mother was Mahala Jordan and her father was Stanly Jordan. So my missing Mary was found. But she was not the only one. Mary Ellen Woodall was born 17 January 1861 in Mason County, Virginia to Obediah Woodall and Margaret Jane Woodall.[2]

Mary Jane Woodall, Death Record

There was not a death record for Mary Ellen Woodall, but I did not find any further records for her. Obediah later named his second daughter with Mary Jeffries born in April 1864, Mary Ellen Woodall. This Mary Ellen died of measles 15 days after she was born.

After I had Mary Jane Jordan’s name, I was able to locate an entry for her marriage to Obediah. It was on 13 December 1859 in Mason County, Virginia.

Notes and Sources:

[1] One of the reasons that Mary Jane’s death was difficult to find was that she was indexed as Mary Jane Wadall.

[2] This was probably just a clerical error as Mary Jane had an older sister named Margaret.

U.S. federal census. Year: 1840; Location: Southern District, Buckingham, Virginia; p. 372.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1850; Location: District 46, Putnam, Virginia; p. 284B.
U.S. federal census. Year: 1860; Location: District 1, Mason, Virginia; p. 786.

West Virginia Archives, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, database and images online. (http://wvculture.org).

Mason County, West Virginia. Marriages, 1851-1865, Wills, Inventories, 1832-1882. (Charleston, West Virginia: County Clerk, 19–) FHL film 464960. Woodall/Jorden marriage, p. 68.


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