Monthly Archives: July 2017

Obediah Woodall – (ca. 1770 – 1849) – Part 3

When last we visited Obediah, his father, David, had died leaving Obediah about 140 acres on Duckers Creek in about 1830.

In 1840, Obediah was listed in the census in the Southern District of Buckingham County.

U.S. federal census. Year: 1840; location: Southern District, Buckingham County, Virginia; p. 372.

1 male 60 to 69 years old (Obediah 70)
1 female 40 to 49 years old (Mildred 50)
1 male slave 10 to 23 years old
3 persons total

Obediah, now listed as Senior, was noted in 1841 as still owning 120 acres on Duckers Creek. He sold land in 1844 to George Duncan, M.B., and Archibald Gill. Then in 1847, he bought 119 and 1/2 acres on Stage Road from Francis Thornton.

Obediah’s mother-in-law, Sarah (Beasley) Cason, and her family were attempting to prove that William Cason, her husband, was a Revolutionary soldier and that she should receive a pension. This was in accordance with the Act of Congress of the 7th July 1838 that “granted half pay and pensions to certain widows.” Sarah died in 1840 before the case was proved and for a while, her son, Fuqua, continued with the attempt.

In 1846, Obediah signed an affidavit to help with the case.

The affidavit of Obediah Woodall taken
to establish the Pension Claim of Sarah
Cason widow of William Cason Decd.
who states that he lived in the neigh=
borhood of William Cason deceased
in his life time in the County of
Buckingham State of Virginia and
help make his Coffin and bury him
when he died and from the best
of his recollection he believes he the
said Wm Cason died on the
Second monday in March 1816
but does not recollect the day of
the months and the reason why
he recollects it was on the second
Monday is, that he died on
Buckingham Court day which
comes on the second monday of
of the month

Obediah (his X mark) Woodall

State of Virginia Buckingham County SS
The foregoing affidavit of Obediah
Woodall was sworn to and subscribed
before me a Justice of the Peace in
and for the County and State aforesaid
in due form of law. — I further
certify that he is a creditable person
and that his statement is entitled
to full credit — Given under my
hand this the 17th day of January 1846.

Ch M Shimay [initialed]

(See original Obediah Woodall Affidavit, 1846.)

Obediah died in September 1849. The only record I have found of the event is the 1850 Mortality census record. It lists:

Obadiah Woodall, 80 years old, Male, born Buckingham, died September, farmer, died of Palsey

1850 Mortality Census, Obediah Woodall

In 1850, Mildred Woodall sold 119 and 1/2 acres to James Woodall, Obediah’s son.

Notes and Sources:

Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, microfilm publication M804, (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration), roll 495, pension number R1672,  for Sarah Cason, widow of William Cason, Virginia. ( 2017)

Roger G. Ward, Land Tax Summaries & Implied Deeds, Vol. 3 (Athens, Georgia: Iberian Publishing Company, 1994).

U.S. federal census mortality schedule. Year: 1850; location: District 2, Buckingham County, Virginia; p. 126.


Obediah Woodall – (ca. 1770 – 1849) – Part 2

Genealogical research is most often straight forward. You find out where the person lived and then gather records about the person and their family in that area. However, occasionally you run into a search that is hampered by record loss in the research area. That is what has happened with the Woodall family in Buckingham County, Virginia.

On the 26th of February 1869, the Buckingham courthouse burned down with all of its records. Margaret A. Pennington, in her book The Courthouse Burned, mentions that the speculations put forward were that lawyers burned it so that they could gain fees for recording new deeds and papers. Or perhaps it was to prevent the loss of property by those who could not pay their taxes. Whoever it was, they caused mighty problems for genealogists trying to track families through Buckingham County.

Does this mean that there are no records of the Woodall family? Not at all, but the hunt for records can lead to unusual locations and record types.

Returning to Obediah Woodall, after he was listed in the 1800 Tax list he was next found in the 1810 census for Buckingham County. His listing consisted of the following persons:

U.S. federal census. Year: 1810; location: Buckingham County, Virginia; p. 826.

1 male less than 10 years old (Obediah newborn)
1 male 16 to 25 years old
1 male 26 to 44 years old (Obediah ~40)
1 female 16 to 25 years old (Mildred about ~20)
11 slaves
15 persons total

There are some interesting conjectures that can come from this census listing. In Mildred’s death record, it says that she was born about 1790. So she and Obediah were probably fairly recently married in 1810. If so, who was the young man who was 16 to 25 years old? Also, the birth dates estimated for two of Obediah’s sons were 1799 and 1800, which if they are anywhere close to accurate could not be the children of Mildred. So was Mildred Obediah’s second wife? So far no records have shown up with information about a previous wife, but Obediah was 20 years older than Mildred, so it was certainly possible and the young man could have been one of his sons because the age spread is wide enough. And where were Obediah’s sons, James and William?

Obediah owned 11 slaves so he was probably fairly well to do. One other interesting item can be seen when looking at the census page. He is listed directly after his father, David Woodall and before his brother, Isaac. William may have been another brother or possibly an uncle because he was listed as 45 and older.

Woodall family in the 1810 census, Buckingham County, Virginia

In 1815 Obediah was listed as having land adjacent to D.W., possibly David Woodall. Then in 1821, he bought 18 and 1/2 acres in Appomattox from David.

Obediah and David were again listed near to each other on the 1820 census. They were listed as a part of the town of New Canton. Obediah’s listing was for 6 persons.

U.S. federal census. Year: 1820; location: New Canton, Buckingham County, Virginia; p. 118.

1 male 10 to 15 years old (Obediah 9-10)
1 male older than 45 years old (Obediah ~50)
2 females older than 45 years old (Mildred ~30, ?)
1 free colored male 14 to 25 years old
1 free colored female 14 to 25 years old

Part of Buckingham County, Virginia, 1864

David, Obediah’s father, died about 1830 and in 1832 Obediah was listed as owning 140 acres on Duckers Creek, his part of David Woodall’s estate. However, David’s will, if he had one, was probably gone with the courthouse.

Notes and Sources:

Margaret A. Pennington and Lorna S. Scott, The Courthouse Burned (Waynesboro, Virginia: McClung Printing, Inc., 1986).

Roger G. Ward, Land Tax Summaries & Implied Deeds, Vol. 2 (Athens, Georgia: Iberian Publishing Company, 1994).

United States Coast Survey, Krebs, C. G., Lindenkohl, H. & Rusling, J. F. (1864) Middle Virginia and North Carolina. [Washington, D.C.: The Survey] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

Obediah Woodall – (ca. 1770 – 1849) – Part 1

Obediah Woodall was born about 1770 in Colonial Virginia. His father was David Woodall, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. A newspaper article from 1903 in the Farmville Herald mentions the Woodall brothers and an interesting family story.

“… The Woodall’s came to Buckingham about 1775 from Fairfax county on the Potomac river. George Washington, when he was surveying Lord Fairfax’s grant, boarded with the Woodall family and formed a strong attachment to the three brothers, Isaac, Obadiah and Nathan, engaging with them in athletic sports, especially wrestling, during his leisure hours. While wrestling with Isaac one day he accidentally threw him across a rail pile dislocating his hip and thereby crippling him for life.
When Washington was appointed generalissimo of the continental army, Nathan Woodall followed him to the war and acted on his staff as one of his aids. He was killed in the battle of Brandywine. The other two brothers, Isaac and Obadiah, came to Buckingham as aforesaid and settled in a bend of the Appomattox river called Devil’s Elbow. It is west of Fool’s Corner and is a romantic spot. They commenced farming and married, Obadiah leading to the Hymenial alter Miss Mollie Cason, the female Amison of Wood’s mountain, who could throw any of the boys who dared to wrestle with her and could carry fifteen gallons of water on her head in a tub up a steep hill and was the terror of all would be aggressors. On one occasion, after her husband’s death, Sheriff W. W. Forbes engaged with her in a scuffle over a negro girl he had levied, and was reluctantly compelled to draw his pistol in order to rid himself of the difficulty… – Robert Hales, M. D.”

The earliest record that I have found Obediah’s name in Buckingham County is the 1800 Tax List. He paid taxes for one man and two horses.

Sources and Notes:

Daughters of the American Revolution, Genealogical Research System, database ( accessed Jun 2017), David Woodall entry.

“Would-Be Resurrection of the Woodall Pipe,” Farmville Herald (Farmville, Virginia), 27 March 1903, col. 5.

Edythe Rucker Whitley, compiler, Genealogical Records of Buckingham County, Virginia (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1984), 39.