In the 1850 census of Pickens County, SC, James Woodruff and his wife Sarah are listed with daughter Mary, born 1831, twins, Washington and Casandra Woodruff, born 1834; Abby, born 1839, Margaret, 1843 and Harriet born 1845, and again twin daughters Ann and Queen born 1849. By the census James was born circa 1794 in North Carolina and Sarah in 1814, also in North Carolina. The 1860 census of Spartenburg County, SC shows James and his family living next door to his son and daughter-in-law, George Washington and Nancy Wade Woodruff. Listed with them is their son Richard, born 1857 in South Carolina. George and Nancy married 1856 in South Carolina.
The 1870 census shows James and his wife Sarah Ann having moved to Jackson County, North Carolina, and their children Nancy and Della, born between 1860 and 70, still living at home. Our search continues to find Nancy with Richard and his siblings Sarah Margaret and Mary Matilda. Their father, George Washington Woodruff had enlisted during the Civil War and was captured and sent to Camp Chase in Ohio, and died there, a prisoner of war. Maud Woodruff, daughter of Richard shared her memory of what her father told her of the last time to see his dad. He said when he was leaving to join the troops, George told Richard that he would probably never see him again, and those were the last words spoken between father and son. Apparently Nancy remarried after finding out that George had died because we do not find her again until she comes to Roane County, Tennessee and marries Joseph J. Hinds in 1877. She is listed as being Nancy Bowen on the marriage certificate, but it has been proved she was one and the same, the mother of Richard Woodruff. Mary Matilda Woodruff was living at home in the 1880 census and listed as the step-daughter of Joseph J. and Nancy Bowen Hinds. Nancy died May 03, 1898 in Roane County, Tennessee.
Richard Woodruff married Mary Jane Isham, April 20, 1877 in Roane County, Tennessee. He is listed on the marriage certificate as James Richard Woodruff, so apparently he was named for his grandfather. They had Jesse, Charles, Rosey, Lizzie and George. Mary Jane died in 1887; leaving Richard with five young children to raise. He married Sarah Majors on March 01, 1890 and had the following children: Patrick, Taylor, Grover, Lucy, James, Frank and Maud. On April 06, 1900, Richard Woodruff died, apparently from black lung disease from working in the coal mines. Throughout the available census, it is evident that Sarah Majors Woodruff could not take care of so many children, so the older ones, George, Charlie and Jesse, went to work, boarding with various people. George worked in the mines and this took him to Wise County, Virginia where he met Georgia Ann Brown, the oldest daughter of Isaac and Rebecca Jane Calfee Brown. They married July 15, 1917. They had four children, Reba, twins John and Isaac, and Glen. George and Georgia and three of their children (Glen was born 1921) are listed in the 1920 Wise County (Gladeville), Virginia census, living adjacent to Isaac and Rebecca Brown, parents of Georgia. The 1930 Census shows this same arrangement, but George is not living at home and this writer continues to search to find where he was during this timeframe. George enlisted for World War I in Tazewell, Virginia, but records have not been found to show that he served in the armed forces.
John Woodruff is our father, and this is his story …….