Jacob Albert Fox

1849 - 1931

Jacob Albert Fox

Jacob Albert Fox was born on May 16th, 1849, on Davisson Run in what was to become Harrison County, West Virginia. He was a typical countryman and, as such, never had the opportunity to complete his education. Nevertheless, during his life he took the time to prepare a scrapbook and take notes regarding his family, relatives and ancestors.

This material was later transcribed to book form by Glenda Dickens Jenkins. The following are excerpts from Mrs. Jenkins' book and encompass only those individuals who are the direct ancestors of my grandmother, Carrie Lee Woodard.

Again, Mr. Fox was not an educated man and his text is rife with misspelling, incorrect punctuation, and sentences that run together, often forming large paragraphs. These errors actually lend charm to the original text but make for very difficult reading. Because of that I have endeavored to reformat paragraphs, make corrections and add punctuation to sentences without losing the “flavor” of the stories. I have not made corrections to the spelling and, in most cases, left the incorrect punctuation. Again, I left the words as they were written because of their charm.

Jacob Albert Fox died on December 21st, 1931, in the Kincheloe area, Lewis County, West Virginia.

He chiseled the following proverbs on stones on his farm on Kincheloe Creek long ago. I hope they survive today:

    "Forget me not - be honest and true"

    "It's a little thing - dropped in the heart deep well"

    "Do unto all mankind as you would want them do unto you"

    "The good the joy it may bring eternity shall tell"

    "Busy bodies are the worst fools - they are the devils tools"

    "Lazyness and extravainess is a mighty sin - will God let such people in"

WILLIAM WOODARD (My Grandfather - Four Times Removed)

Richard Woodard lived in the city of Doublin in Ireland. He was a rich merchant and a dealer in general merchandise. He owned one of the largest stowers in that city. He was the father of twenty one children by one woman. He had fourteen sons and seven daughters from all the information we can learn. I did not succeed in learning all their names but there was Hannah, Nancy, Matilda, Sara, Varegina, Eleanoer, and sons names as far as I can learn was Fountain, Charles, John, Richard, William, Samual, James, Albert, Scottland, Jennings and this is all the names I can learn of.

This Richard Woodard’s wife’s maiden name was Miss Martha Jennings. She was of rich parents of that city. In those days in that country it was costomary for the Rich to hire theire children nurses till they were able to take care of there selves, by women who followe that business, they were called dry nurses and wet nurses. And this Richard Woodard hired his children taken care of till the were amply old enough to be taken from the breast. William, probably about the 15th or 16th child was born in the year 1710.

At the age of about 14 on day in 1724 stole a ball of his mother’s kniting yourn, and was prepareing it for a game of ball, and in order to scarce it from his Mother he hid him self behind the half open door and was preparing his Ball to suit his notion, when his Mother observed him, asked him what he was doing and his blunt reply was, none of your damned business. It inraged her to think her son would have the audacity to give her such a rude answer and she rose with the intention of chastising him. He ran to the lady’s house that nursed him in his infancy and he implored (seeked) them for protection from his angry Mother. They were at first somewhat puzzled to know what to do with him but finally they decided to secret him in the large cupboard. In after years he often said that he was fonder of that women who nursed him in his early infancy than he was of his own Mother. His Mother came in hasty persuite after him, and after looking some time in vain she abanded her serch and went Home.

When he found his Mother had gone Home he came out of his place of concealment and went to the Sea Harbor and found a ship that was going to take sail for America. That evening he boarded the Ship for America and in process of time he landed on American soil. As he had no money to pay his fare across the ocion as in those days all persons who came to America that could not pay there usual fare were sold to the lowest bidder. That is the one who could pay the bill for them and hold them as servants the shortest time. Now William was put up and cried off by the auctioneer. The first bid was 9 years. The bids came rather slow he said but at last Lord Culpeper bid 7 years so he was the purchaser. So his master took him home with him.

His master made him work very hard and at night had to sleep in the kitchen which had no floor except the earth and that was his bed with a few old rugs and rags for his covering and pillow. He was called up very early every morning to start the fires and remove his bed clothes and be quick about it and be out gathering up the cows and milking them. Feed the stock, chop wood or any thing that needed to be done and after his breakfast, work on the farm. We have no important account of him while working for his master, but he kept an account of his time spent working for his master.

At last, the long wished for day drew near and on the evening of the last day of his bondage he meditated in his wandering mind of his trued condition in life, so just before he retired for the night he decided in his mind he would play a prank, or rather a joke on his master. He brought in his bedroom a mattock and then laid his wery frame down to rest. After he spent a sleepless night he arose ar earley dawn. After he removed his bed clothes he proceeded to stir and soften his bed with the mattock by diging it up.

Just as he had the floor almost dug up his attention was attracted to his master at the door saying hale ho Bill you are up earley this morning at the same time opening the door and steping in and opening boath his eys unuserly wide and with rage and astonishment yeld out “what in the name of god are you doing.” The patient irshmen quickly replied please ye honor sir I am making up my bed sir, I have slept on it seven years without it being stired. Now I will make it up before I leave it”. <

The masters astonishment was turned to amusement and he laughingly replied. “I will take your job off your hands with out any farther trouble on your part”. He said “You had better not spoil your bed for I want to hire you to stay with me and I will pay you wages for your future labor”. William said he was going to leave here, then Lord Culpeper purposed to him he would give him a better berth. The Irishman indignantly replied dam you sir ye can’t give me any better berth than me Mother did sir. Lord Culpeper with renued amusement grined and replied I will give you a better place to sleep in. Well then the Irishman said why dident ye say so in the first place instid of saying so much about the berth me Mother gave me. Then Lord Culpeper said come – come billy. Let us talk business. I will hier you as long as you will work for me and I will pay you good wageous, if you will work for me. Now if you will go in the woods and clear land and rase tobacco. So he consented to work for him. The price of his wages we have no account of. But Lord Culpeper fitted him up with two mattocks, tow axes, two neagrows men and one horse, and ladned the neagrows, himself and horse with clothing, some bed covers and pervision.

Culpeper told him to go west of Fredericksburg and for him to chose his own location so he traveled several miles of trackless road. At last he found a place that suied him about three miles north of where Sperryville now is in Virginia. There he put up a log hut so he commenced his clearing. He was the first white man to take up a Grub in that vicinity. Now this was about the year 1731. He cleared out a right smart Field and he planted a patch of corn and a few vegetable seeds which he had brought with him. He also set out Several hundred tobacco plants which he cultivated with great care. In the following autum he built a tobacco House so he Harvested his crop.

When his Tobacco was cured he put it up in hands, then he split out rough staves about four or five feet long then put up a hogshead which he would pack and tromp it tight with tobacco. Then he would bore a large hole in each end of the hogshead then drive a wooden pin in the hole which would stick out six or eight inches. Then after the hogshead bing nearly covered with thick and heavey hoops he then would fasten poles of shalves to the projecting pins at each end of the hogsheads then hitch a horse to the shalves and as the horse would pull the hogshead would role over and over and this is the way he would convey his tobacco to Fredericksburg, Virginia which was about Sixty miles away, over hills and valleys which was almost a trakless way. Strang as it may apear, never the less it is true tobacco was used as leagle tender to pay both prived and public Depts.

The following year Woodard raised a much larger crop of tobacco then he did the previous year after he had taken a few hogshead of it to market, as his employer directed. In mid winter there was a family came into that vicinity which had no House to go in. Woodard had compashion on him and let him move in the tobacco House, til he could find himself a house. Now there was a man who wished to be very officious and busy hastend to convey the news to Lord Culpeper stating that Woodard hast taken a Family in one of his Houses with out the Proprieters concent. This enraged Culpeper, so he sent word to get out immediately and take his Family with him, so Woodard left and also the Family that had taken refuge in the Tobacco House. The neagrows wandered back to Fredericksburg; when Culpeper learnt the true circumstance of the case, he wanted Woodard to come back, but Woodard was so obstinate he would not heed his Old Master’s request.

The William & James Woodard Home By this time there were several families imiganted in that part of the country, he worked about from place to place , so in prosess of time he married. We have failed to learn who he married, but they rased six childern, four sons and two daughters. The names of his sons was, William, Richard, Fountain and Charles. The name of the daughters was Nancy and Hanah. But his wife died and in prosess of time he married Miss Annie Henon. He had purchased a small tract of land about one mile south west of Thornton’s gap where Sperryville now is VA. We have no account that is to what disposition (his first wife had) but his last wife was as good a woman as ever lived. She worked very hard and she had a good disposition and she was a good finenseer. She rased one child, a son, his name was James. Often she would (work) all day in the field and have her little son gather sticks and pine nots in the day and she would spin and weave till late hours in the night and she would have her son keepe a light with the sticks and pine he had gathered through the day. As for this lady, my Great Grand mother, Woodard, I don’t know where she was born but she died about the beginning of the war of 1812. Her remgint lies about 200 yds north west of the old House on the James Woodard farm, in a grave yard in Rappahannock, Virginia.

Her husband after her death still lived in an old house a distance about 150 yards on the same farm. Here he lived until he was 108 yrs old he was yet very supple and could jump up and crack his heels together twice before he would light on the floor. He would stand in a half bushel with both feet stoop down and take hold of the half bushel with both hands and work both feet out of half bushel and turn a summer sault and light with both feet in same half bushel.

Often the old man Wm Woodard who left his boyhood home in Dubblin Ireland would reflect over his childhood days and would gather his grand children around him and would tell their names in rhyme of his 13 Brothers and seven Sisters in Ireland. This old man Wm Woodard was a great lover of home. When he was 108 yrs old a short time before he died his daughter Hannah by his first wife took sick. She lived a distance of 5 or 6 miles from his home and the old man as old as he was walked all that distance to Visit this sick daughter who had married James Frasure known as Mud Frasure. But as the old man returned to his home he was overtaken by a heavy rain from which he took cold and settled inn his bowels causing flux which resulted in his death as I have afore said in the year 1818. While he was sick in bed all alone his son James worked in a field near the house and when he wanted aid he would churn a heavy cane on the floor to serve as a signal to his son James. At his burial he gave all his possessions to his son James, who burried him South east of his home about – 150 yds distance, this being burried in a different graveyard from his second wife. I do not know where his first wife was burried. Now this William Woodard was the Writers Greate Grand-Father.

JAMES WOODARD (My Grandfather - Three Times Removed)

The daughter of Samuel Young and Eleanor Scott Dearing married James Woodard, the writer’s grand-father. His wife’s parents did a great deel in helping him on in his financiel buisiness afairs, but in prosess of time, those two old folk’s became very feeble so it was absolutely necessary they should be cared for; so James Woodard would allow two of his daughters to go to wate upon them. Theire names was Annie and Matilda. He allowed them to wait upon their grandparents in this way. After they would work very hard in the house or out on the farm all day; then at night one of them just go to theire grandfather’s to do up the work theire; and stay all night to be up earley in the morning and get breefast and do the chores, and hurry back home to do an other days work. Then, the next evning the other must go and do like wise, so that it was the way they had to do about nine years. Those old people lived about one third of a mile east of James Woodard’s house. He was a very selfish man. He seldom allowed his wife to visit her parents. So those old folks jointly made and wrote theire will.

I have not learned all the detailes of the will but as I have been very credateably informed that the land was to be theire daughter’s so long as she lived. That is to say during her natured life then it was to ascend to the heirs of her body. And all the goods and chatels and all the money in hand and all the money that were loned out was to go to Annie Woodard and to Matilda her other daughter for the services rendered by them to them. There old people were remarkably sain as long as they lived.

Late in the fall of 1828 the Old Lady was taken ill very Suddenly. She was taken sick just as the sun was setting; the next day she called Matilda to her Bed, and told her that She wanted her to put her first husbands will and all theathe in her Bosom when she died; as she wanted them Berried with her. Now she had taken particular care of all of her teeth as they dropped one by one, from her mouth, perficly sound, supposed, caused by Eating and drinking hot food and just as the Sun was going down she died being ill just twenty four hours. Just as she died Samuel her husband was taken violently ill and the next day he toled Matilda he believed they were poison in the chocolet and tole her to burn it. Just as the sum was going down, he died also, being sick exactly twenty four hours. Then James Woodard came in to see about having them burried; and as soon as they were laid in theire last resting place on earth, he saught the will and claimed it to be his as the two duaghters was his and in his care. He also seased the all the money and goods and chatels and took full control of all, and intire possesion of the land he clutched it, as with a hungrey and unquenchable appetite; and trampled their will beneath his ruthless feet.

His house had been very poorly furnished up till this time but those old folks had theire house real well furnished in house-whold and kitchen furniture and of the best quality of that day. Notwithstanding James Woodard would perchase peace after peace of land and frequently perchase a neagrow and carried on farming extensatively and at the same time his house was miserabley furnished, and no conveance under heaven for his wife and daughters. But when his father-in-law Samuel Young died he filled his house with theire goods and chatels. After he straitened things out and arainged things to suit himself with his legacy, he walked around observingly with pride and admaration exclaimed to his wife I wish them old folks could get a peepe on my farm and in my house and see how well off I am and how well my house is furnished and at the same time holding boath his hands out and said, these is the machienes that made it all. In after years he oftened used those words and jesturs in time of the sivil war when the northern army was camped near his home. One day a general was talking to him. He exhibeted his hands and exclaimed these is the machienes that made all I have. Yes said the general they are the machienes that used the whip, on your childern and your neagrows. I heard of you a whole days march from hear.

Now Annie his wife which was the writer’s grand-mother was a poor defenceless soul kept bowed down by a hard and tyrannical husband. But we suppose her will would have been to have done right if she would have been aloud to have done so. She was naturaly very hansome her tone and manners gentle and mild her heart soft and tender her complection very fare.

The James Woodard Mills in Sperryville James Woodard, was one of the most independent men that ever did live. I don’t mean that he was the wealthiest man, but almost wholy independent. He produced almost every thing he and his family and neagrows eat drank and wore. He ren an extesive farm, he ren a grinding and saw mill, he ran a tanery, he ren a distillary, he ran a shoe boot harnice and a sadelar shop. He ran a blacksmith shop he made carpenters tools and did his carpenter work, and also cabinet work. He made his farm impliments, he even made the hinges and latches to his house. He also forged all his horse shoe nails he forged many many domestic nails in his business which he used, he also made all the ink he ever wrote with, he made all his pens out of goose quills, he did all his cooper work.

He raised cotton and raised flax, from which served for all theire summer ware, and sewing thread, and shoe thread, and produced bees wax, and made all his shoemakers wax, which he extracted from pine nots. It mite be well said he produced every thing he used from a darning needle the tiney awl to the big plow, and the big strong wagon. If he had any thing to sell he set his price upon it if he could not get his price he would keep it or use it himself if he could not buy at his price he would let it alone.

Theire were born unto James Woodard and Annie his wife eleven childern. Six sons and five daughters. He had a peqular way, or rather fortunate way in getting his work done. His neighbors would tell him if he would play his fiddle at night and let them have a dance at nite, they would work all day. As he was an exelent performer on a violin, of course he did not object to theire perposial. So he would set the day for the gathering, and on the morning of the appointed day, at earley dawn, most of all the guests would be on hand. They would aim to be their on time to get there dram, and their breafast, then boath ladies and gentlemen boath married and single would work hard all day, and many would race most of the time. And so he would have a good dinner, and supper, and plenty of the best old whiskey, brandy, and sider to drink. But he would see that none would have too much to perform lots of good work. So at night he would have his house lighted up with candels, and the house all put in ample order for the dance. And right after supper was over there could be heared the seseete cleare sranes of the violin. At the first sound it seemed to enchant theire hearts with enthusiasm. Theire smiles were pleasant and braud and theire feet seemed to be wholy inconable and they would rush to the ball room filled with estacy and charm.

In those days people dressed diferent to the way they do nowadays. They all wore rough and plain home made closthes and some went bare-footed during warm weather. My mother said there was a young widower who was looking for his second wife that danced at her father’s house, who was dressed well, but he was bare footed. She said he had the longest and broadest foot she ever saw. As he danced he would occasionaly slate his foot on the floor. She said it reminded her of slaping a clapboard on the floor; his foot was so long and thin.

Mr. Woodard would very frequantly make such gatherings and in this way he got an immence of work done after he had aquired a considerable fortion. Times changed to a considerable degree so he norated it around that on a sertain day he would have a corn husking and a ball at night and he would play the fiddle for the last time when the appointed time arrived. The dance being over at nearly dawn he raisd the old fiddle alof and camly and juditously said; ladies and gentlemen this old peace of wood has braught me in thousands of dollars, now I have sawed this bow, upon its strings, the last time. My childern is all married. And transacting buisiness for themselves. Now I am too old to play the fiddle any more. I want to thank all of you for your work you have rendered for me.

By this time he had acquired a considerable fortion. I don’t know how many thousands of dollars his estate was worth but he owned about fourteen hundred acres of land and several neagrows and considerable amounts of other property. Him and his wife was all the white folks that ocupide that home. His poor wife had no white company, and he was not in her company much from hardship and toil and deprived of liberty she languid in body and mind. About the year of 1860 she was as destitude of mind, as a child of one year old. And as helples as a baby she was not aloud any more liberaty, then the ulest and blackest neagrow on the place.

In 1861 Matilda her daughter, which was the writer’s mother went there on a visit but when she saw her mother in such a deploable condition, she decided she would stay with her till she would pass away. She had been so neglected in every respect, she was very thin in flash, and in a mass of filth, from head to foot the room was filled with digusting odor from total neglect. Matilda went to work and cleaned her mother up, and put clean clothes on her, and cleaned the room and prepared such food that she could eat, and fet her like she would a baby. She had not a tooth in her mouth, she wated up on her mother with the greatest care. Poor old soul sometimes seemed to know her daughter and seem to realize her kindness and graduly improved in flash, but her poor sunburnt hands never became white as nature once was, it seemed like the sun had burnt almost to the bone. She had not a glove on her hand.

Matilda Woodard Fox

Since he was married, it is said that James Woodard never imployed a phisicion to doctor his wife or any of his childern. Soon after he commenced keeping house, he perchased a few doctors book’s. He studied them well, so when his wife or childern would fall sick he would doctor them, with tea of roots, barks and herbs, or with his own percription. He would perchase some drugs. He most inverably doctored his family, but in cases of extream illness he would imploy a phisicion for his neagrows. Once a neighbour asked him what was the reason he sometimes would imploy a doctor for his neagrows, but for his wife or children he never did. Oh, God, my negrows costs big money. He was never known to shed a tear on Solemnity but once. That was the time when his favorite neagro boy died with dipthera. I have heard him say dick was the prittiest and the blackest neagro he ever owned. He said he would not have taken ten thousand dollars in the prittiest gold money he ever saw for him.

When the sivil war broke out in 1861 he was in fine circumstanses but when the northern armey invaded that part of the country he met with heavey losses. The souldiers and officers confiscated such property as they chosed and then destroyed good portion of the remainder. Matilda his daughter, had come there on a visit to see him and her mother, as I before said, but before her visit was completed, the passage between her and her home in Harrison Co. W.Va., was completely blockaded by the two opposing armeys. Harrison Co. W. Va. Was called by the south in yankeydon or north, Rappahanock Co. Va. Wa called by the north south or dixey, some called it rebbledom, so at any rate to pass through was impossible so she was necisary compelled to remain there. But it proved a blessing to her father by her econemy and be resisting efforts she saved him thousands of dollars worth of property and perhapse saved his life when the whold place were almost covered with the blue coated soldiers. Horses and wagons almost covered the neighborhood, and the stars and stripes majecticly waved ore his defenceless head. And bitter oathes droped from the mad and threatening soldiers. He often would insult them but she would faithfuly plead in his behalf.

Richard Fox, Matilda's Husband

I will not now undertake to mention in detail the service she rendered in his favor even in those trying day if I knew them all, and undertake to pen it all down. It would be utterly impossible. Language would fail me but I will pass on Richard Fox, Matilda’s husband which lived in Harrison Co. W. Va. Saught dileangantly for an opportunity to get through to Rappahannock Co. Va. To bring his wife home.

So in January 1864 he made his way through and braught her home.

So Mr. Woodard lived all alone except for his neagroes that is the ones thart had not left him yet so he made out some way but we suppose by the very hardest and in 1865 the war closed and in April, 1865 her father he wrote to Matilda Fox his daughter asking her to come and bring Richard and her childern with her and live with him. But as she knew his tricks so well she did not even answer his letter. Then in early January 1866 he wrote again insisting on an immediate answer so she wrote him and trying to excuse herself by relating several surrounding circumstancis. So he wrote a third time still imporeing her and family on coming and said he would live with her and still making flatering promices and wrote so bemoanful Matilda and Richard moved with commiseration on him, so they boath could no longer resist his pleeding. So they sold all they had except theire land, and went there to live. So on the 27 of March 1866 they started with wagon and team for Rappahannock Co. Va. And on the 11th of April they landed at James Woodard’s house. We suppose he thought he had intire advantage of his daughter and family so he was obstinate. They could not stand his treatment, so on Friday september 16, 1866 same year they started for theire old home in Harrison Co. W. Va.

Now we don’t know how he made out the remainder of his life but from hearesay he was attached with flux. There was a phisition imployed. He was very fond of cabbage and called for some broath which the phisition advised him not to drink but at all heards he would have. After he drank of the broath it only added to his suffering at length his illness became almost undurable.At length he said go for Albert and be quick. Achange has taken place. Then he said put me by my mother. His son Albert was sent for immediately but when Albert reached his bed side he was speachliss and it appeared as if his mind had left him. He never spoke again. He died Friday February 14 1872 age 92 years. They buried him by the side of his mother. There was a will produced it was claimed that he wrote, and in this will he used parchality and injustice.

There were a family who lived beyond this graveyard by the name of Billy Smith, who owned a farm and was in great notion of selling it. So this man James Woodard concluded that he would buy this land and there were one Charles Woodard and his father who was a half Brother of James Woodard who sought to buy this same land by undermining the half Brother James, and cautiously crept by the house of James Woodard on their way to Smiths to obtain the land. And this James Woodard followed after them and lisened at a crevice in the wall and heard all the conversation about the land and finally the old lady Smith says to make a short story of it said, I intend for my boy to have this land (ficticiously) meaning James Woodard who was listening at the crevice in the wall. Therefore this James who was listening slipped home and cheerfully played Yankee doodle on his Violin and waited until those haities his father and half brother came by his door, then he slipped after them to listen again, and heard them making threats of how they would have spatted James if he had been there. Then he went home again and repeated the tones on his Violin.

ISAAC WOODARD (My Grandfather - Twice Removed)

Isaac Woodard was the son of James and Annie Woodard. The date of his birth we are not prepared to tell but he was born in Culpeper Co. Rappahannock Co. Va. We suppose he was born about the year 1805. His father gave him a fair education. He taught several schools at the age of about 21 years old. He married miss Henretta Hinerson. He lived on one of his Father’s farms and he taught school after he was married. There was several childern born unto them. We don’t know that we can tell all their names but there was Henry, James, Ann, Francis, Matilda, Daniel, Almira, and Albert.

Isaac Woodard worked fairly well, but he raised a large family of childern and too he seemed to be not a good finensier or at any rate he remained very poor yett they kept a fet kitchen that is to say they eat and drank exuberantly. Yett they didn’t seeme to dress very fine. Perhaps some of his family declined to assist him in his dayley avocation in life.

About the autumn of 1862 or 1863 he purched of his Father James Woodard all the apples that grew on his Father’s lower farm for the price of three hundred dollars. This fruit he purched with the intention of distilling it into brandy. He also hired his Father’s distilary equipments with the intention of turning the purched apples into brandy. When he started home with the distills his Father said to him “now I will expect you to stay with these stills. Under no condition or sircumstanses don’t you leave them, till you bring them safe back to me.” So Isaac took his Father’s distills and set them up and went to work. After he made a few barrels of brandy he took disentary he worked on. His illness grew worse and more painful. At length it turned to bloodey flux in the worst form. He knew what his Father told him when he started with the stills stay with them and don’t you leave them in any ones care, now he was all alone and twenty miles from home. He had contracted cold upon top of cold.

At length he became unable to walk the fire died out at length a passer-by hapend to come in there he found him crouched in a hognes that was lieing on it’s side and its heads out he had crept into it, in serch for protection from the cold. We suppose the man made him as comfortable as were in his power, but at any rate he made all the hast he could command to convey the sad news to his family and to his Father. His Father sent a wagon and two neagro men after him. They found him yet alive they told him that master told them to take him to his house. “no” he said “I don’t want to go there, he has been so hard on me.” So by the time they reached his Father’s house he was so near worn out they thaught best to stop with him as his home was near one mile farther on. Yett he was unwilling to be taken in and it is said that as they entered the door he raised his poor feeble hands and placed them against the door facing and tried to push back to keepe from going in and as they laid him in the bed he said “oh, poor Isaac” then tears burstd from boath his eyes and sobed aloud as his debilitated strenth would permit. They next morning he passed away. The day he laid a corpse an old neighbor came in and as he looked upon his cold dead form with a low but a solemn tone he said “fear killed poor Isaac.” The next day his remaines was laid in a graveyard about one fourth mile east of his father James Woodard’s house.

Henretta, Isaac Woodard’s wife, died with a canser about the year 1869.


Isaac Woodard’s childern we can say but little about them, as they gave (us) no account of themselves and we never formed but little acquaintance with only a part and none of the rest.

Henery we recon the first born, he lived single til he was a batchelor then married we don’t know who, but at any rate in 1888 he lived in rappahannock Co. Va. At that time he was doing fairly well. Was accumulating some more than he consumed and rite well respected by the people.

James G. Woodard we suppose to be the second born. We have more acquaintance with him then the rest of the childern. He married a miss Brown. He is generley known by the name of cotton head Jim Woodard, to distinguish him from some others in that vicinity by the name as his and partley on the account of his very light colard hair. He is a small man and very fair complected. He may well be called a natural historian, notwithstanding he has no education at all perhapse don’t know half the alpabet but he has a wonderful memory. All he ever saw and all he ever heard he never forgets and he ever has an eare lisning to heare something of historical nature and he is a very close observer.

There was born unto them several childern mostly daughters but not much acquainted with any slitely acquainted with his son John know by the name of Johnny Cotton head. I the writer was at his house in 1888. From all appearance they were doing well. It is said that he has a very good wife and I think so myself and is very hard working woman too. And real nice set of childern their names we coould not know but Ann we suppose to be the next. We know nothing of her never saw her nor heard much said of her. Then there is Francis and Matilda. One married a Pullen, the other married a Clark.

We know nothing of them nor never saw them, but it is said they are doing well and well respected by theire acquaintances. There is Daniel (My Great Grandfather) we have but little acquaintence with him but it is said he is married and doing fairley well and rite well respected.

The next we suppose is Albert we have no acquaintance with him what ever. Almira we suppose to be the youngest child we never saw her, but once she was very hansome and appeared to be a nice lady. This was in the year of 1866 since we learned she married a man by the name of Lewis Jenkes it is said she is well respected. In writing the history of Isaac Woodard’s family we are forced to give it in a compendious form as none of them give us any account of themselves and we had but very limited acquaintance with them.
Daniel Woodard on the left with brother Albert

Notes from Daniel Barham, Jr. – February, 2002

The scrapbook and notes of Jacob Albert Fox are great family recollections but they are far more. They are an incredible insight into the hard country life of the nineteenth century in rural America. It must be remembered that these people were extremely hard workers and did not have the time for the simple pleasures that we take for granted today. In fact, I doubt that twenty first century man could survive under those primitive conditions.

Richard Woodard, who ran away from Dublin, is regarded fondly. The story of his “escape” from his mother and subsequent voyage to America is warm and amusing. There is great doubt as to his personal relationship with Lord Culpeper (who only came to Virginia twice) but it is great reading. He was without a doubt a true pioneer and probably was the first man to “take up the grub” in what was to become Rappahannock County, Virginia.

There is obvious resentment on the part of Jacob Albert Fox regarding the treatment his mother and father received at the hands of James Woodard, first while she cared for him and her bedridden and neglected mother and, later, when they moved to James’ home to care for him and his land. There appears to be considerable resentment because he left little or nothing of his estate to them, even though Matilda cared for him for several years during the war. There is evidence that she saved his property and his life on more than one occasion. References to the will of James Woodard imply that it may have been false and that it was rife with partiality and injustice. The complete will is included on the following page. We cannot begin to know the reasons for the distribution of property. It is clear that James had loaned Richard and Matilda Fox $1,200 sometime in the past to help them buy a farm in West Virginia. It is also clear that he forgave the debts in the will. They apparently felt that they should have received more of the estate at James’ death. Whether they should have received more we shall never know.

James was most likely a cruel and uncaring man who did not appreciate his family or the care he received from any of them. That was not uncommon among the extremely hard-working farmers of the era. It is also very likely that he mistreated his family while insuring that his “neagrows”, valuable assets, were strong and healthy. We will never know if he poisoned his wife’s parents to get their property but is an intriguing thought and not beyond the realm of possibility.

James’ grandson (Isaac's son), Daniel Woodard, married Lucy Elizabeth Fincham in 1870. They had five children:

Carrie Lee married Benjamin Franklin Barham 1895 and they had eight children,five of whom lived beyond infancy.

The last Will and Testament of JAMES WOODARD, Gent. made this 24th day of June, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one as follows

I give to the heirs of my son JAMES M. WOODARD, the Bowie Farm situated in the piny woods and adjoining the farm of Walker CAMPBELL and others containing two hundred and nineteen acres more or less.

I give to the heirs of my grandson JOHN FRY two hundred and fifty dollars and a bond I hold on him for two hundred and fifty dollars in all five hundred dollars and no more.

I give to two (of the) heirs of my son ISAAC WOODARD, namely James G. WOODARD and Matilda CLARK that portion of the Brown Farm lying on the southwest side of the road leaving from Miss Mildred Jenkins to Walker Jenkins Mill and no more.

I give to the two heirs of my son Jacob H. WOODARD each five hundred dollars named Annie and Alice and no more.

I give to my daughter, Elizabeth RYAN, all the land purchased of Captain James W. Bragg.

I give to my daughter, Matilda FOX, the two bonds I hold against Richard FOX and Matilda FOX for six hundred dollars each and no more of my estate either real or personal.

I give to the only heir of my son, William C. WOODARD, namely Alberta WOODARD, one thousand dollars and no more.

I give to my son Albert WOODARD, the mills tract of land bounded on the north side by the turnpike leading to Sperryville and the south as follows beginning at the pine hill at a rock planted there thence up the branch with Mrs. Woods line to another rock, Mrs. Woods corner thence a straight line to a Gum south side of the branch thence to the top of the mountain containing about three hundred and twenty acres more or less.

It is my will that the balance of my property not bequeathed in this will shall be equally divided between my daughter Elizabeth RYAN and my son Albert WOODARD and the real estate to be divided by disinterested persons and the personal property to be sold.

If there be objections or anything like dissatisfaction to this, my last will and testament, those that make such objections shall have five dollars paid to them and no more.

I constitute and appoint my son, Albert WOODARD, my executor to this my last will and testament and hereby revoke all other wills by me made.

Witness my hand and seal this day and year above written signed sealed and delivered James Woodard - Seal

in the presence of us,

C.W. Yates

John H. Clark

John W. Cliser

In Rappahannock County Court March 11th 1872. This last will of James WOODARD, Senr., deceased was this day produced to the court proved by the oarhes of Charles W. Yates, John H. Clark and John W. Cliser the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of Albert WOODARD the executor therin named who made oath as the law directs and together with Aylett A. Swindler, Cjarles W. Yates and C. Columbus Hisle, his securities who justified on oath as to their sufficiancy entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of seven thousand dollars conditioned as the law directs certificate is granted the said Albert WOODARD for obtaining a probate of the said will in due form.

Teste A.M. Keterick, clk

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