On July 25, 2012, I wrote about how my cousin Elaine and I finally found the parents of Minerva Warden in census records. For years, we had searched for a family connection through census records on microfilm but came up with nothing. Click here to read that blog post. I finished that blog post with a promise that I would write more about Minerva and her family. Here is what I know so far...
In the blog post mentioned above, I wrote "The William Warden family is enumerated in House #45 on the above census [1850 Marion County, Mississippi]. It is my belief that M. Warden, age 4, is our Minerva Warden because the age stated would be about right, placing her year of birth about 1846. I don't understand why she wasn't listed with the William Warden family on Ancestry, but she could have been mistaken for one of their other daughters, Martha or Mary. I then looked back at the 1910 census record that I had saved for Minerva (Mrs. Menervia Woodard), then listed in Beat 4 of Lamar County (county lines had changed by then)- she was listed as age 64 (supporting an 1846 birth year)."
|1850 Marion County, Mississippi Pg 369, House #45|
I've come to find out that Minerva Warden wasn't the M. Warden, age 4 that I previously thought. That person was Martha Warden. The 1850 Warden household here included William Warden, his wife Martha, daughter Nancy, son James, daughter Martha and son John Wesley. Minerva was born after this census.
|1860 Marion County, Mississippi, Pg 47, Family #317|
The first names were listed on the 1860 census. William Wardin's (Warden) household included his wife Martha and children James, Martha, John W., Mary, Harriet and Daniel. I can't explain why, but I felt certain that Mary, age 6 was the connection to my Minerva.
The next census record that I could find on this family was the 1880 census of Marion County, Mississippi. That census showed William Worden (Warden) as head of household with wife Martha, Harriet, D.J. (David Jefferson) and N.B., an unidentified 18 year old female. I assume that Mary had moved out by then, since she would have been about 26 years old.
Searches for Minerva on the 1870, 1880 and 1900 census records have thus far produced nothing. Family sources informed me that Minerva married Thomas Riley Woodard and he died young, about the year of 1890. Minerva is connected to Thomas by a land record, dated 24 July 1894 whereas she completed payment for 159 acres. The land record recorded "Manery [Minerva] Woodard, widow of Thomas R. Woodard, deceased of Marion County, Mississippi"...
The next census record that I've found with Minerva listed is 1910 Lamar County, Mississippi. That year Mrs Menervia Woodard, age 64, is listed as head of household with son Walter, daughter Mary, boarder W.G. Snelgrove and grandson Robert Parker.
|1910 Lamar County, Mississippi, Beat 4, Sheet #13B, Family #166|
I'm not certain where Minerva was in 1920, but according to the 1930 Lamar County census, she was living with her nephew, John Lee. Other members listed in that household were Susan Sumral (Sumrall), John's daughter, and Arbella Cagles, John's niece. Minerva was listed as 86 years old and that she was 27 years old at first marriage. Using these numbers, she would have been born c. 1844 and married c. 1871. But, using numbers from previous census records, Minerva was born c. 1854 (by the 1860 Marion County census). If she had been born in 1844, she should've been listed on the 1850 census, but she wasn't.
|1930 Lamar County, Mississippi, Beat 2, District 0004, Family #24|
Summary of available information:
Mary "Minerva" Warden was born c. 1854 in Mississippi, USA, the daughter of William M. Warden and Martha Patsy Spikes Warden. She married c. 1871, Thomas Riley Woodard, son of Derias or Jeriah Woodward and Eliza Dubose Woodward. From their union, 6 known children were born:
1. William Riley Woodard, born 7 Sep 1879, died 20 Dec 1960; married Martha Elizabeth Seal on 18 Jul 1904.
2. Harriet Woodard, born 13 May 1883, died 14 Sep 1952; married (1) Simon Peter Smith (2) James El Simmons (3) Robert Johnson
3. Walter Grey Woodard, born 22 Feb 1890, died 29 Nov 1952; married Gertrude Scarborough
4. Mary Woodard, born 22 Sep 1895, died 13 May 1970; married Simon Peter Smith
5. Ada Woodard, no information available at present
6. Annie Woodard, no information available at present
I still don't have any information regarding Minerva's death and burial. There's so many questions that remain about her.
I now wonder if Mary Woodard's (Minerva's daughter) birth date is incorrectly listed on her headstone. Her birth date is listed as 22 Sep 1895, however; we know from the land record that Minerva was widowed by July 1894. That doesn't add up. Looking at census records, Mary's birth year varies from 1892 to 1898. Census information is often unreliable, so Mary's actual birth year remains a mystery to me since I don't have any proof. Just another piece of the big puzzle to be filled.
I'll post an update when more information becomes known to me. If you have information that you believe would benefit my research, please email me- firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!