Mary Woolbridge


A distant cousin sent me this picture. On the back it says “Aunt Mary Wooldridge”. The family story is that she had 22 children and that she was my gggrandfather’s sister (may have been half sister). We are pretty sure this is Mrs. William Melton Wooldrdige. Another sister, Jemima, made several trips back to TN and later to TEXAS. This also fits the migration of the family. I have the family picture of The Wooldridge Family and am hoping to find someone with a match for this pic. Also have several other connections to this family and especially Marshall Wooldridge and his wife Elizabeth Ward. Can Marshall be “John Marshall”. Dale, I am also triying to find someone who has the book that traces the land. I am unable to obtain it through Library INterloan. Thanks, Carole Martin Ring in Nebraska.  Photo submitted by: Carole Ring 2009

A second photo was submitted by Evelyn Allen, a descendant of William Melton Wooldridge and his wife Mary Jane. This photo is of the whole family taken about October, 1871.


Top row L to R.
Mary Josephine, Luella Frances, Eliza Jane, Harriet Clay, John Harrison.
Seated L to R, William Melton, Mary Jane, Martha Evans, Sarah Givens, William Thomas, Robert Jackson, with Julia Adaline standing behind him.
In front of Wm Melton, stands Virginia Ella. At his side is Joel Tennessee. Nancy Evelyne is the infant in her mother’s lap.

My husband is the gr gr grandson of William and Mary Wooldridge.  After comparing this picture you have posted to the site with the family picture, I am almost certain that this is indeed Mary Jane Wooldridge.   My husband’s gr grandmother Nancy Evelyne Wooldridge married Albert Lee Grissom, April 15 1890 in Cherry Valley, TN.  They came to Texas, shortly after the birth of thier second child in 1893.  Her sisters and brothers were already in Grayson Co.  Most of them went to Collinsville Texas, some were at Sherman, and one went to Denton Co.

Mary Jane Wooldridge is buried at Collinsville, Grayson Co. Texas along with two daughters and their families and a son.

Albert and Nancy Evelyne Grissom settled first at Van Alstyne Tx where another child was born, After a few years they moved into Sherman Texas and there the twins were born.

Their oldest child was Mary E. Grissom, my husband’s [grand]mother married Charles L. Clarke
at the age of 15, in Ok.  Their oldest child was my husband’s mother Catherine Evelyn
Clark,   She married Ollie Allen abt 1934.

We have been trying to find a family for Mary Jane Heald or Heal for over 20 years. [Heal or Heald was Mary Jane Wooldridge’s maiden name]

Submitted by: Evelyn Allen 05/01/2009

Valley View, TX

Additional information added by David Johnson:

This appears to be the household of Mary with her husband and children. Frederick Miller on the internet also reports some of the children did go to Texas- Denton and Grayson Counties, Texas.

1860 census of Dekalb County, Tennessee, District 5, Smithville, page 119A:


Wooldrige, William 46 M keeper of poorhouse NC
Mary J. 34 F TN

Martha E. 15 TN
Sarah G. 13 TN
John H. 11 TN
Mary J. 9 TN
Luella F. 7 TN
Eliza J. 5 TN
Harriett C. 5 TN
Julia A. 6/12 TN

others- paupers in the household

1870 census of Dekalb County, Tennessee, District 9, Liberty, page 194B:

Wooldridge, William 56 M W Farmer NC
Mary 44 F W housekeeper TN

Sarah 23 F W TN
John 21 M W TN
Josephine 19 F W TN
Luella 17 F W TN
Jane 14 F W TN
Harriett 13 F W TN
Julia 11 F W TN
William 8 M W TN
Robert 5 M W TN
Joel 4 M W TN
Virginia 1 F W TN
[Wooldridge] Martha 82 F W NC [William’s mother?]

11 children in 1870, add Martha E from 1860, add Nancy E. in 1880 = at least 13 children.
1880 census of Dekalb County, Tennessee, District 5, page 137B:


Wooldridge, William W M 67 md Keeper of the poor NC VA NC
Mary J. W F 54 wife md keeping house TN VA NC

Julia A. W F 20 dau TN NC TN
William T. W M 18 son TN NC TN
Robert J. W M 16 son TN NC TN
Joel W M 14 son TN NC TN
Virginia W F 12 dau TN NC TN
Nancy E. W F 8 dau TN NC TN
George H. W M 6 g[?] son TN TN TN

Paupers in the house:
William, Humphrey
[?], Rebecca
Botts, Ellen
Botts, Henry
Bullard, Nancy
William Wooldridge, the head of the household and keeper of the county poorhouse, died Feb. 10, 1885 in Dekalb County and is buried in Aaron Cantrell Cemetery. His mother was Martha Cantrell, daughter of Aaron Cantrell, and she was reportedly buried on the poorhouse property.

There is no Wooldridge found in Dekalb County in 1900.

View the Wooldridge family history page

September 27, 2017