Aris was born in 1771. He was the son of Unnamed Father Woodham. He passed away in 1881.
Children of Aris Sr. and Rachel Beasley are:
From Michael Roberson:
Aris Woodham, Sr.'s parents named him after an early Christian Leader. In the 1780's he moved with his parents to Darlington Co., SC and settled in in the area of Stokes Bridge and Ashland Communities, in what is today Lee Co., SC. He became one of the most industrious and prosperous members of our family. In 1808, he bought a farm containing 150 acres along with the grist mill from his father. He later bought 2 other farms from his father, covering 125 and 188 acres of land. He acquired other farms from neighbors over the years and the family cotton gin. In addition, he was also a farmer and a Blacksmith.
Later in life, Aris was ordained as a Methodist deacon and eventually as a Methodist minister. Francis Asbury, organizer of the Methodist Church in America, visited Aris' home on January 14, 1807. Some time later, Aris was ordained as a minister by Rev. James Jenkins, the first Superintendent of the Methodist Church of South Carolina. Aris preached his first sermon in 1812 at an "arbor meeting" presided over by Rev. Jenkins (more found below).
(Source: R.E. Woodham, "A Brief History of the Woodham Family of the South", May 1985. Thanks also to Sandra Thompson who shared a great deal of Woodham information and sources.)
In 1808, Aris Sr., bought from his father (Edward Jr.) 150 acres of the farm with, and including, the grist mill (apparently this was the "old home place" on which he lived until he died) and, later, two other farms of 125 acres and 188 acres. He also acquired neighboring farms. He was a blacksmith and manufactured farm tools, wagon parts, wagons, metal implements and other vital equipment.
He left 5 farms (870 acres) to wife, Rachel, and 3 eldest sons; 3 farms (534 acres) to wife and son Asa, to be held in trust for the minor children. Aris Sr. stipulated in his will that all his children would have grain ground and cotton ginned free for life as long as they would help keep the industries repaired. "Prior to his death, he gave his eldest sons, Athanasius and Edward, two farms containing 168 acres each. He stipulated the sale of household goods, farm tools and equipment, cattle and crops, and slaves so that the income could be divided among his minor children, each minor son to receive a share equal to that which he gave his elder sons. Aris, Jr., a minor, received a horse, bridle and saddle, furniture, cattle and income from a slave that was rented out so that the income was given to Aris. The other children also received horses, furniture, cattle and income."
The name, Aris, is said to be taken from a "saint" of the early Christian church. Aris Sr. did become a minister according to Darlington County records although the denomination has not been identified. Four of his sons have Biblical names; one is named after his father, and the sixth son is named after Saint Athanasius, another leader of the early Christian Church.
"A study of Aris' Estate helps [us] understand daily life during pioneer times. The most common consumer goods such as food and clothing required hard physical labor to produce, as attested to by the number of tools, equipment, spinning wheels, and crops in his estate. This family grew everything they ate and made their own clothes." At one of several auctions held to dispose of his estate, the following was recorded: 18 head of cattle sold for $120.00. A clock sold for $2.00. 1 horse sold for $100.00. 25 hogs sold for $40.00. A wagon sold for $75.00. 3 Spinning wheels sold for $5.00. 1 lot of plantation tools sold for $8.00. 1 lot of carpenter's tools sold for $7.00. 2 chests and a writing desk sold for $5.00.
A "bed" was what we call the mattress and the "furniture" was the bedstead. A feather bed and furniture was a highly prized possession. The estate also included such items as: a coffee mill; jugs; bottles; several buffets; a linen wheel; furniture; kitchenware; a silver watch; and a collection of books, all indicating that Aris had achieved a comfortable and prominent standing in the community.
Additional information was provided to Sandra Thompson in the Notes of Bob Woodham (August, 1997). He states: "He (Aris, Sr.) was a Methodist minister and a blacksmith. He preached his first sermon one summer night in 1812 at an "arbor meeting" presided over by the first Superintendent of the Methodist Church of South Carolina, Rev. James Jenkins. Francis Asbury, organizer of the Methodist Church in America visited Aris Sr.'s home on January 14, 1807. Some time later, Jenkins ordained Aris Sr."
Bob Woodham continues... "She (Rachel) continued his (Aris Sr.'s) religious work after his death. she witnessed the will of Moses Sanders, who gave $8,000.00 to the Methodist Church at Darlington. Rachel was probably a founding member of Cypress Methodist Church which was organized before the nearby Hebron Methodist Church." Aris Sr.'s burial in the Old Woodham Cemetery is recorded in "the family Bible." Rachel is buried beside her husband.
(Source: "History of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Lydia, SC: 1789 - 1989", by John Lennell Andrews, Jr., c. 1992 by same; John Lennell Andrews, Jr., c/o Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, P.O.Box 56, Lydia, SC 29079. LCCC Number: 91-67432. The Reprint Company, Publishers, P.O. Box 5401, Spartanburg, SC 29304.)
According to Mr. Andrews, the Family Bible of Ariss Woodham was owned and in the possession of Mrs. Gedelle Culpepper of Lee Co., SC, in the 1980's. That Bible records their marriage on Feb 14, 1791, and Rachel's parentage and birth on March 22, 1773.
Mr. Andrews also cites the Will of Ariss Woodham, dated June 5, 1818, Darlington Co., SC; Probate Records, Darlington Co. Historical Commission, CAse A, Number 695.
In his book, Mr. Andrews tells us of the beginning of Methodism in the Pee Dee River and Lynches River sections of South Carolina. He quotes from the writings of Charles Woodmason, "an itinerant Anglican minister", describing the early settlerws along Lynches Creek.... "their cabins were open and exposed to the harsh winter cold. They wore no shoes or stockings, and their children ran half naked." Woodmason felt that the Indians were better off than these settlers, writes Mr. Andrews.
He continues . . . "Early Methodist ministers often traveled over 100 miles per week on the circuit over poor roads and through unfamiliar territory." Because of earlier influences, tradition says that "in the early years of the Pee Dee Circuit, perhaps 1789, a group of citizens in Darlington County, in the neighborhood of a small stream named Boggy Gully, banded together to form the first Methodist society in the county. It was the custom... to meet in the home of a prominent citizen until the society was strong enough to build a local meeting house. The circuit preachers visited and held services... once every three to four months. It was the responsibility of the members of the local society to hold regular meetings between the visits." Evidence suggests that the Gully Meeting House was in existence before 1800. In a deed, dated Feb. 17, 1809, John DuBose conveys 30 acres of land to Gillis Whiddon . . . "on the South Side of Boggy Gully, beginning at the road leading from McCullum's ferry to Darlington Court House on Elijah Hutson's (Hudson's) line to a Black jack Corner, near an Old Meeting House, . . . "A later deed and old maps indicate the location to be on present-day SC Hwy 34, on the west side of Boggy Gully, about 3/4 mile from present-day Lee's Crossroads."
Keeping this location in mind, my interest turns to Camp Meetings. Mr. Andrews quotes scholars and writers regarding the origins of these meetings. His evidence strongly indicates that these began around NC, Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina, and specifically refer to a revival about 1800 in Logan Co., Kentucky, during which the congregation grew so large that the services had to be moved outside. Services began on Saturday evening and continued until Tuesday morning. The crowd spent nights in crude shelters made with branches, or slept in their wagons. He cites the 1st such meeting in SC as occurring in June, 1802, at Hanging Rock, with 15 Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian ministers and 3,000 people attending. It lasted from Friday evening through Monday morning. Many came to know the Lord.
That same year the first Camp Meeting was held at the Gully, in Darlington District, led by Rev. James "Thundering Jimmy" Jenkins, accompanied by Rev. Thomas Shaw. Rev. Jenkins began and preached until exhausted. He retired to the Meeting House to lie down, and Rev. Shaw took over, preaching through the night. One of those who professed salvation that night was Aris Woodham, who lived "near McCullum's Ferry on Lynches Creek some six or seven miles from the Gully Meeting House." Aris Woodham would become a "prominent local preacher" of the area, a deacon, and eventually an itinerant minister. Jenkins described him as "one of the most industrious and untiring local preachers I ever saw . . . he frequently worked hard all day, and then held one or two night meetings through the week."
No REPO record found with id R-2138944196.
First-hand information as remembered by Tracey Mcpherson, Monday, June 23, 2014.
Thank you to Linda Justice for creating WikiTree profile Woodham-38 through the import of Justice Family Tree.ged on Apr 30, 2013. Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by Linda and others.
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