George & Posey Woody of 1850 Yancey Co., North Carolina 


Wyatt Woody, the son of Henry Woody and the founder of the western North Carolina branch of this family, was about 76 years old when the 1850 census of Yancey County was taken. Besides his wife Mary and daughter Marinda, two young boys were enumerated.  Posea, age five, and George, age two, were listed.


Perhaps someone knows the parents of these boys, but I donít. So I will attempt to outline what I know about this mystery and suggest some likely candidates. To me, the most likely parent would be Marinda, the daughter of Henry and Mary. She is also found in the 1860 census with George B., age 13, and Posey, age 14, in addition to Mary M., age five. Unfortunately, I can not find these folks in the 1870 census, but George resurfaces in the 1880 census married to Mary Ann and five children are listed, the oldest being P. E., age 17.  Comparing the 1880 census to other data, this young man was surely Posey Evander Woody. Two other sons of George were named Millard Gilmore and James Howell.


But George and Posey could have been the offspring of a deceased son of the abovementioned Wyatt and Mary Woody. The generally accepted sons of Wyatt and Mary are Henry George, Edward, Josiah and John; however, several genealogies of this family contain two other sons, namely Wyatt Jr. and Samuel, both supposedly born c. 1800. I have never found one fact to support the existence of Wyatt Jr. and Samuel, although some of the pre-1850 censuses could support this theory. Given family tradition, it is logical to assume that a Wyatt Jr. did exist; however, I can not find Wyatt or Samuel in any census taken in the 1800s. If they were sons of Wyatt and Mary, they must have been living with their parents or siblings and died or removed before 1850.


It is also a remote possibility that Posey and George were the sons of another Woody, not even closely related to Wyatt. They could have been the children of someone in the branch of Woody's that resided mainly in Madison County, a neighbor of Yancey County.  These Woody's were the descendants of well documented line of William and Sarah Persel Woody. There were several large families from this line in Madison County, so I can not envision any reason for George and Posey to the adopted by Wyatt and Mary; however, Posey Evander and his family did move to Madison County by 1910. Also, the nontraditional names of Posey Evander, Gilmore and Howell hint at this possibility.


It is also an unlikely possibility that George and Posey were the sons of one of the granddaughters of Wyatt and Mary.


I feel strongly that the names of the male children of George and Mary are the best clues relating to the search for the parents of George and Posey. The given male names of Posey and Evander are unusual, but a few of these names are found in early censuses of western North Carolina, as is the surname of Posey. However, I have not been able to connect any of these names to any Woody in North Carolina. Nor can I make a connection to Gilmore or Howell.


I feel that with a little more information we might solve this mystery. Over 150 years have passed since George and Posey were young children in the home of Wyatt and Mary Woody. If you can shed any light at all on this puzzle, I would appreciate your assistance. Any item, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can possibly help.


July 20, 2006 Update: On Jan 24, 1864, Posey apparently enlisted in Co. C, 58th North Carolina Infantry, CSA. The North Carolina Standard later related that Posey was wounded on June 22, 1864 in the Battle of Mt. Zion Church (aka; Kolbís Farm), near Marietta, Georgia. Since I have found nothing more about Posey, I think it is very likely the he died as a result of his wounds.



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Revised Jan 14, 2012