Elmira Arrowood


Elmira Arrowood Radford & Andrew Radford

As I have mentioned before, every summer I visited the Macedonia Baptist Church at Vein Mountain, North Carolina with my Gran to put flowers on her Daddy’s and grandparent’s grave.  On our journey there, she would tell me the story of how her grandfather gave the land for the church and the cemetery and that most of the people who were buried in it were related to us somehow.  There were only a handful of names represented but I couldn’t figure out how they were linked to the Watkins clan.  Gran and her sisters didn’t seem to know for sure either.

Within the last few months I was researching Gran’s paternal grandmother, Margaret Roxanna Radford Watkins, whose grave we visited there each summer.  I found her death certificate, which named her mother “Mirie Earwood.”   Earwood?  I didn’t recognize the name.  I’ve looked through a lot of censuses and know a lot of names in the small area.  I said the name aloud.  I tried using my best Southern accent.  Ah-ha! Arrowood!!  Minus one syllable.  I have also seen her name spelled Airwood.  So all those Arrowoods buried in the Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery were probably related to us through Margaret and Elmira but we never knew how.

Elmira Arrowood was born in North Carolina about 1825.  In  the 1850 census she and her new husband Andrew are enumerated right below Levi Arrowood and his wife.  Levi is two years older than her.  Right above their family is Zach and Anna Arrowood.  This leads me to believe Zach and Anna may be her parents but so far I have found no birth or other record to link them to each other.  If this is correct and the ages on the censuses are correct, Elmira may have been a twin.  The oldest child still in the Zach Arrowood household is Elisha who is the same age as Elmira in 1850.   I have only seen one person list parents for her and it was someone else but there is no source listed.  I will need to do more research to determine her parents.

Elmira and Andrew had just married within this year.  They took out a marriage bond 9 January 1850.

Miry Arewood and Andrew Radford marriage bond

Miry Arewood and Andrew Radford marriage bond

In 1851, Elmira and Andrew welcomed their first child, a son, Thomas, who, if my hunch about Andrew’s parents is correct, would have been named after Andrew’s father.  In 1855, George Washington Radford was born.  Sarah was born next in 1856.  Again, if my hunch is right about Andrew’s parents, Sarah would have been named after her paternal grandmother.  James was next in 1859.

In January 1861, my great-great-grandmother Margaret Roxanna was born.  Her father left for war in March 1862.  Elmira and Andrew didn’t have anymore children until Zeb Vance was born in 1866.  Andrue Johnson was born 1868.  Ella came last in 1872.

The 1880 census is the last record I have located for Elmira and Andrew to date.  I have found no death or burial records or any other census records for either so far.  I look forward to spending more time in person in North Carolina to do more detailed research as I feel the research I can do online is exhausted.


4 thoughts on “Elmira Arrowood

  1. HEBULL33@aol.com says:

    This is really interesting to me. My grandmother Mitchem was an Arrowood but they were not from that area. She was supposed to be Cherokee Indian so it may not be any connection at all but all of this is so fascinating to me. Thank you for all your hard work.

    • Thanks! I have fun doing it and I’m getting the kids involved too. We learn a lot of history together this way. It’s more enjoyable and it “sticks” more when it’s personal. I just asked someone the other day if they thought the name Arrowood sounded Native American. It kind of does to me but I haven’t gotten far enough back with them yet to see. It’s interesting to know you have heard that. Thanks for letting me know.

      • James Bolin says:

        My mother’s maiden name is Radford. Andrew and Elmira are my great great great grandparents through their son James who had John Maxwell who had my grandfather Paul Aden Radford. Our oral tradition tell us that my grandfather was of Black Dutch and Cherokee ancestry. Arrowoods and Bruner are where I suspect that origin maybe found.

      • Hello James. Good to hear from you. My grandmother’s niece was related to Arrowoods on her mothers side as well and had heard they had Cherokee as well. I have not gotten far enough back to confirm but my DNA result have very little Native American. Though there is some. I plan to blog about the results in the future. Have you done any DNA testing?

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