MICHAEL L. HÉBERT'S Genealogy
John WOODRUFF
1815-1830 Estate File, Northampton County, NC

John Woodruff died probably sometime in late 1814 or early 1815, not long before administration of his estate was granted in March 1815 to William Garner.  Settlement of the estate took 15 years, likely for a variety of reasons.  First, as part of the division of the estate, John Woodruff's slaves were sold on 6-months credit to a couple different parties in Apr 1820.  Both of these parties failed to pay their debt and the ensuing lawsuits dragged on for several years.  Also, the administrator of the estate, William Garner, died in 1824 before the estate was settled.  Thus, the handling of John Woodruff's estate was rolled over into William Garner's estate which was administered by his son, William Garner Jr.  More information may be found regarding John Woodruff's estate in the estate file of William Garner in Northampton Co, NC.

John Woodruff seems to have had five surviving children, although only four are named in his estate documents: Priscilla, James, Susan, and Mary Ann.  The fifth child may have been Howell S. Woodruff who has Alexander Smith appointed as his guardian in Apr 1821 in Williamson Co, TN.  Howell is later appointed agent for Susan (Woodruff) Hill in 1830 to collect her portion of her father John Woodruff's estate in Northampton Co, NC.  Also, as the guardian of James Woodruff, he collects James' share of the estate and files a guardianship report (wherein James is referred to as "a lunatic") on 6 Jul 1830 in Williamson Co, TN.  William Garner's estate file may contain more information regarding the children of John Woodruff since the final settlement would have come from the administrator of William Garner's estate, William Garner Jr.

Amy (Garner) Woodruff, daughter of William Garner, was the widow of John Woodruff.  No marriage record has been located for John and Amy and it is unclear how many of John's children were by Amy.  Mary Ann seems to have definitely been a daughter of Amy since she is mentioned as a granddaughter of William Garner in his 1824 will.  However, none of the other four of John's children are mentioned.  Amy marries Francis Ferguson on 4 Jun 1818 in Northampton Co, NC and dies on 25 Dec 1856 in Greensville Co, VA.  Yet, four of John's children, including Mary Ann, are referred to as orphans when John Garner is appointed their guardian in 1826.  The fact that the 1826 account document stipulates that Amy and Mary Ann did not draw funds from the estate to pay for board, as did the other children, seems to imply that Mary Ann did live with Amy after John's death and the other children did not and were thus probably not hers.  John may have first been married to Susan Smith or Jenny Chambliss, both of whom married a John Woodruff on 13 Oct 1801 and 13 Dec 1801, respectively, in Greensville Co, VA.

Below is a summary of the documents found in John Woodruff's estate file located at the North Carolina State Archives, call no. CR 071.508.228, Northampton Estates 1785-1929, Woodard-Worrell.  Also included are pertinent documents from the Northampton Co, NC and Williamson Co, TN court records.

DateTypeDescription
6 Mar 1815Admin.
Bond
William GARNER granted administration of John WOODRUFF's estate.
Bondsmen: William GARNER, John GARNER, and William MOODY.
Dec 1817
Court
Inventory
&
Sale
of Estate
Inventory of "Sailiable Property" and Account of Estate Sale of John WOODRUFF filed at Dec 1817 Court.  Exact dates of inventory and sale are not given, but they probably occurred sometime in the summer or fall of 1817.
Inventory includes a variety of household items and furnishings.
Buyers at sale: Amy WOODROOF, Robert W. WOODROOF, Wilson WOODROOF, Susanna WOODROOF, William GARNER, William GARNER Jr., Samuel GARNER, Nathaniel GARNER, Milley GARNER, Sebastian SQUIRE, Sterling HARRIS, Harwell NORWOOD, Nathaniel NORWOOD, Saul SCOT, James ROOK, Wilee MOORE.
Research notes: It is uncertain whether the buyer Susanna WOODROOF was John WOODRUFF's daughter or some other relation.  John WOODRUFF's daughter Susan would have probably been under 10 years old at the time.
Dec 1817
Court
Order Ordered that John LOCKHART, William P. INGRAM, Benjamin ROOK, Nathaniel INGRAM, and Roger SQUIRE, or any three of them, settle the accounts of William GARNER, administrator of John WOODRUFF dec'd and make report.
Dec 1819
Court
Order Ordered that William MOODY, esquire, Benjamin ROOK, and Samuel NORWOOD, or any two of them, divide John WOODRUFF's personal estate among his legatees and make report.
7 Jan 1820Current
Account
Paid Out/Due:
   1 Bond1Due to Wm. GARNER255.66
1 Judgement2paid to Ransom CAPEL14.48
1 Ditto3paid to Nathan HARRIS23.35
1 Bond4paid to Samuel GARNER44.80
1 Ditto5paid to Ditto35.34
1 Ditto6paid Samuel NORWOOD31.14
1 receipt7from John B. PULNEY 4.11
1 Account8paid to Saul SCOT5.15
1 Bond9paid Susana PETERS34.45
12paid to Ditto2.
1 Ditto13paid Washington PETERS30.
480.48
To Commissions on $1195.159.75
540.23
Received:
By Amount of Sale102.68¾
4 years Interest on Ditto24.64
By Amount received of George WOODROOF125.
4Y-1M-4D Interest on Ditto30.69
By Amount Thomas JENKINS349.17½
3Y-11M-8D Interest82.34
714.53
540.23
Current balance:174.30

The audit took place at the house of William GARNER on January 7th, 1820.
Auditors: William P. INGRAM, Benjamin ROOK, and Roger SQUIER (signed with his mark).
Filed: Mar 1820 Court
Research notes: It is uncertain if George WOODROOF would have been John's father or brother and why the $125 was given.
7 Jan 1820Division of
Estate
The cover of this document is titled "Report of the Commissioners on the division of John Woodruffs dec'd Negroes."  Benjamin ROOK and Samuel NORWOOD report that they met at the house of William GARNER on Friday, January 7th, 1820 regarding the division of John WOODRUFF's estate.  They say that they could not decide upon a division and recommend the sale of the property for a division.
Filed: Mar 1820 Court
Research notes: A later account document reports the "Sale of Negroes belonging to the Estate" on 3 Apr 1820 for the sum of $1421.50 on six months credit.
3 Apr 1820Promis-
sory Note
William D. BRADLEY and Thomas H. RANEY promise to pay William GARNER, administrator of John WOODROOF dec'd, by 3 Oct 1820 the sum of $273 for value received.
Witness: John GARNER.
Research notes: This was undoubtedly for the purchase of John WOODRUFF's slaves.  This promissory note probably entered the estate file as part of the later legal proceedings of William GARNER against William D. BRADLEY and Thomas H. RAINEY for non-payment.  This document is found in a separate file at the NC Archives labeled 1800 for John Woodruff, probably due to the odd specification of the year written on the document as "1800 and Twenty."
10 Apr 1820Promis-
sory Note
Charles R. EATON and James E. TOMLINSON promise to pay William GARNER, administrator of John WOODROOF dec'd, by 3 Oct 1820 the sum of $671 for value received.
Witness: John PUBLES.
Research notes: This was undoubtedly for the purchase of John WOODRUFF's slaves.  This promissory note probably entered the estate file as part of the later legal proceedings of William GARNER against Charles R. EATON and James E. TOMLINSON for non-payment.
11 Dec 1820Warrant The sheriff of Northampton Co, NC is commanded to detain Thomas H. RAINEY and William D. BRADLEY in order that they appear at the March Court to answer the plea of William GARNER, administrator of John WOODROOF dec'd, that they pay him the $303.50 they owe him plus $100 damages.
Issued: 15 Dec 1820
Research notes: William D. BRADLEY and Thomas H. RAINEY, for whatever reason, must have not paid off their $273 promissory note of 3 Apr 1820 which had come due on 3 Oct 1820 and William GARNER thus filed suit against them for the amount of the note (apparently with $30.50 interest) plus $100 damages.
11 Dec 1820Warrant The sheriff of Northampton Co, NC is commanded to detain Charles R. EATON and James E. TOMLINSON in order that they appear at the March Court to answer the plea of William GARNER, administrator of John WOODROOF dec'd, that they pay him the $671 they owe him plus $100 damages.
Issued: 15 Dec 1820
Research notes: Charles R. EATON and James E. TOMLINSON, for whatever reason, must have not paid off their $671 promissory note of 10 Apr 1820 which had come due on 3 Oct 1820 and William GARNER thus filed suit against them for the amount of the note plus $100 damages.
3 Jan 1821Bond William D. BRADLEY, Thomas H. RAINEY, and Michael VINCENT post $545 bond guaranteeing the appearance of William D. BRADLEY and Thomas H. RAINEY at the March Court.
1 Feb 1821Bond Charles R. EATON, Eaton HAYNES, and Thomas W. JENKINS post $1300 bond guaranteeing the appearance of Charles R. EATON at the March Court.
Research notes: No mention is made of James E. TOMLINSON who was also a party on the 10 Apr 1820 promissory note.
1821-1824Lawsuits More documents relating to the lawsuits against Thomas H. RAINEY and William D. BRADLEY, and Charles R. EATON.
8 Dec 1826Guardian
Bond
John GARNER appointed guardian of Priscilla, James, Susan, and Mary Ann WOODRUFF, orphans of John WOODRUFF dec'd.
Bondsmen: John GARNER, Henry PORCH, William GARNER, all of Northampton Co.
Witness: Matt CALVERT.
Research notes: This guardianship may have been necessitated by William GARNER Sr. dying in 1824.  None of these children were apparently of age yet.
11 Dec 1826Order Ordered that Richard H. WEAVER, William MOODY, William A. SYKES, Robert G. PARHAM, and Nathaniel TUCKER, or any three of them, audit, state, and settle the estate of John WOODRUFF dec'd in the hands of William GARNER Jr., executor of William GARNER Sr. who was administrator of John WOODRUFF dec'd, and make report.
13 Dec 1826Current
Account
Debits:
   1815 Mch 20To Cash pd. Saul SCOT pr Receipt4.00
1816 July 24To Cash paid Susan WOODRUFF pr Receipt75.00
 "  Int. to 13th Dec. 182646.72¾
1817 Apl. 21 "  Cash paid Robert WOODRUFF pr Receipt66.67
 "  Int. to 13th Dec. 182638.58
1826 Sept. 4 "  Cash pd. George E. BADGER pr Receipt10." "
 "  Int. to 13th Dec. 18263.82
 "  Commissions (       ) on Debits & Credits121.87
 "  Balance due the Estate 13th Dec. 18261833.95
$2196.62
[note: debit entries for Susan and Robert WOODRUFF
 are specified as "For Board"]
Credits:
1820 Jany 7By Balance due the Estate upon Settlement
 of Former Commissioners174.30
 "  Int. on Ditto to 13th Dec. 182672.50
        April 3 "  Amt. Sale of Negroes belonging to Est.1421.50
 "  Sold on a credit of six months from this day
 "  Int. to 13th December 1826528.32
$2196.62

The auditors report that they examined the account of William GARNER Sr. with the estate of John WOODRUFF exhibited to them by William GARNER, executor of William GARNER Sr. dec'd.  They find a balance due the estate of John WOODRUFF of $1833.95 by William GARNER Sr. dec'd.  They state that an equal distribution of this balance among "the Widow of the sd. John Woodruff & five children" would be $305.65-5/6.  However, as was admitted by William GARNER Jr. and John GARNER, guardian of the WOODRUFF children, the widow Amy WOODRUFF (specified as now Amy FURGUSON) and Mary Ann WOODRUFF were not paid board and are therefore entitled to a larger share of $343.49 leaving a share of $286.75 for the other children.
Auditors: W. A. SYKES, Richard H. WEAVER, Robt. G. PARHAM.
Filed: Mar 1827 Court
Research notes: This document makes it clear that there are five children of John WOODRUFF still living.  However, only four of these children are explicitly named in the guardianship documents in the file: Priscilla, James, Susan, and Mary Ann WOODRUFF.  It seems quite possible that the fifth child was Howell S. WOODRUFF (see 1830 documents).
3 Mar 1830Guardian
Bond
Thomas HARRIS appointed guardian of Mary Ann WOODRUFF, orphan of John WOODRUFF dec'd.
Bondsmen: Thomas HARRIS, Samuel WORNUM, and Richard CRUMP Jr.
Witness: Matt CALVERT.
Research notes: Mary Ann was apparently still not of age.  Thomas HARRIS marries Mary Ann a couple months later on 8 May 1830 in Northampton Co.
3 Mar 1830Guardian
Bond
William GARNER appointed guardian of Susan and James WOODRUFF, orphans of John WOODRUFF dec'd.
Bondsmen: William GARNER, Richard H. WEAVER, and John GARNER.
Witness: Matt CALVERT.
Research notes: Susan and James were apparently still not of age.  Susan had already married Canstillo HILL on 16 Jan 1830 in Williamson Co, TN.
1830Agent Howell WOODRUFF assigned to act as agent for Canstillo HILL to collect the share of his wife, Susan (WOODRUFF) HILL, in her father John WOODRUFF's estate.
[source: Northampton Co, NC deed records]
Research notes: Susan WOODRUFF married Canstillo HILL on 16 Jan 1830 in Williamson Co, TN with Wilson WOODRUFF as bondsman.
6 Jul 1830Guardian
Inventory
(Williamson Co, TN)
Howell S. WOODRUFF, guardian of James WOODRUFF, files an inventory reporting that he collected $300 cash on behalf of James (referred to as "a lunatic") from William GARNER, administrator of James' father John WOODRUFF's estate.
[source: James Woodruff Inventory, Howell Woodruff, Guardian, Williamson Co, TN court records]
Michael L. Hébert
Geneal [REMOVE.THIS.TEXT] ogyMLHebert.com
Copyright © 2001-2018.  All rights reserved.
Last updated on August 05, 2008.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Michael L. Hebert