Harriett Burnett is my fourth-great-grandmother. Records mentioning her are very limited. I am documenting here what I know so far.
August 3, 1821 – Married Benjamin Woodward in Davidson County, Tennessee.
June 1822 – Oldest daughter Martha Woodward was born. She is my third-great-grandmother.
1840 – According to the census under Benjamin Woodward’s name, Harriett would have been 40 – 49 years old. The couple had 13 children living with them at this time. That means they had AT LEAST 13 children in an 18 year time span!
February 18, 1841 – Daughter Harriett Woodward was born. This appears to be the last child for Harriett. It’s possible she had birth complications. This daughter was also named after her. Daughter Harriett’s birth certificate is blank in the field that asks mother’s name.
1850 – Harriett is not listed with her family on the census.
May 5, 1851 – The will of Leonard Burnett is probated in Davidson County, Tennessee. In it, he lists Harriett Woodward as one of his deceased children. Leonard was married to Mary Clark Williamson.
The family trees I’ve accessed give Harriett a birth and death date. I haven’t found the source, although it’s likely a Bible record or tombstone.
Birth: March 28, 1801
Death: February 19, 1841
If the death date is true, then she did die from labor complications with daughter, Harriett, not long before her 40th birthday.
While researching Harriett’s husband, Benjamin, I found that he had been married once before her to a lady named Susannah Epps who is said to have passed away January 25, 1821. That was only a few months before Benjamin married Harriett. Susannah and Benjamin had five children together; the youngest was Lucretia/Lucrecy who was born and died the same day as Susannah did. Harriett helped raise her step-children.
After Harriett passed away, Benjamin married Elizabeth Prescott only a few months later on July 14, 1841. This was a necessity in those days. Benjamin had many children and young children at that, including a newborn, so he needed a wife to help take care of them. (History seemed to repeat itself for Benjamin.) While my third-great-grandmother, Martha (the oldest child), would have been raised by Harriett, the younger children would have been raised by Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was 25 at the time she married Benjamin (then 59) and it doesn’t appear they ever had children together.
You might find a common theme on my blog: I like to write posts about my female ancestors. I may not know much about them aside from their name, location, birth or death date, but they are all incredibly important to me. Without them, there would be no me!
Women throughout our history typically didn’t have a voice. They married and became one with their husbands. They didn’t own their own land, have jobs outside of the home, have a voice in their community or vote, etc. Often times, I do not find much information about my female ancestors, but I want what I do find to be preserved for future generations. Women like Harriett all have an important part in our history.
Sources from Ancestry.com unless otherwise noted.
Posted June 13, 2018
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.