The following is an edited version of a hand-out I did for the Baldy family reunion a few years ago: Moses and Eliza Jane Baldy had four children. A son William died in infancy. Viana, Frances, and James W. lived to adulthood. All three married in Marshall County, Alabama. Frances Fanny married James Merida Parrish. James W. married Rebecca Matilda Corbin. Viana A., also called Annie, married Aris Ambers Woodham. The story is told that when James W. Baldy moved his family to Winston County, the Woodhams were with them, but somewhere along the trail the Woodhams turned and went in another direction. They were never heard from again. The Parrishes also moved to Winston County.
This research began looking for Viana as soon as I knew she had existed. Contact with a Woodham researcher yielded no answers. He, too, had lost them after their 1890 marriage. He did reveal that A. A. Woodham had been married previously and had children---a fact confirmed by my great-uncle Arthur Baldy t one of our reunions.
Years passed without success. I began to wonder if Annie and A.A. had died before 1900. The Woodham researcher had examined all available census indices and not found them.
The advent of the Internet made all sorts of records available to researchers. Last year I found online the California Death Index. Doing a search for persons whose mother's maiden name was Baldy, I found some individuals I could not identify. One was Polly Whisenhunt. Her death certificate revealed her father's surname as WOODRUM and her mother as Annie Baldy! To make an already-long story short, the document was wrong. Polly was a step-daughter to Vianna(Annie) Baldy. Contact wuth Polly's grandson in Los Angeles led to contact with a descendant of another step-daughter in Oklahoma and the story began to unfold.
Family tradition has it that A. A. Woodham was run out of Alabama due to moonshine. He moved his family to Arkansas and changed the name to Woodrum.
This opened all kinds of doors to research. A.A. and Viana are listed in the 1900 census in Polk County, Arkansas. He homesteaded land in 1907 in Sevier County, where he and Viana are listed in subsequent census, 1910-1930. They had three children of their own: Nannie Lou Woodrum, Henry Jackson Woodrum, and William Anderson Woodrum. They were born in Alabama.
Viana Baldy Woodrum died in 1934. She was buried in the Chapel Hill Cemetery in DeQueen, Arkansas. Her tombstone dates are 1860-1934. In the 1870 census, her age was 14. The 1880 census gives her age as 23. In 1900, she was listed as fifty, but in 1910 she was only 52! In 1920 her age was given as 64.
William Anderson Woodrum (1895-1983) never married. He died in Texas but was buried in the same cemetery as his parents.
Nannie Lou Woodrum (1890-1984) married Mack Wilson and raised a family in Grand Prairie, Texas. Her obituary states that she was survived by 22 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. There is an annual Wilson reunion.
Henry Jackson Woodrum (1892-1974) married Rosa P. Ayers and also raised his family in Texas in the Breckenridge area. A Woodrum reunion is also held yearly.
A.A. Woodrum married again after Viana's death and died in 1943. His first wife was Annie Abbot, a fact that led to some confusion because Viana was also called Annie. Viana Baldy Woodrum was step-mother to Robert, Ed, Polly, and Emma. Family tradition also has it there was a baby named Sarah who died young from the first marriage.
My thanks to Joan Baldy, Tom and Denise Whisenhunt, Mildred Caldwell, and John Woodrum who aided in this research and helped resolve a family mystery more than a century old.
GARY DANIEL BALDY
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