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Minnie S. Woodson Family Genealogical Collection

Identifier: 091

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of materials collected by Minnie S. Woodson while researching the history of the Woodson family, including items such as clippings, census records, family trees, articles, photographs, correspondence, and newsletters. Of particular interest is information regarding the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society newsletter.


  • Creation: 1842-1994


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Use

No known restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

For many years, the Woodson family has contended that their relative, Thomas Woodson, was the oldest son of President Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Oral tradition and correspondence lent credence to this claim and helped bring it to the attention of the administrators of Jefferson’s estate, Monticello. Although DNA tests were inconclusive, after much research and discussion, Thomas Woodson was added as a potential child of Jefferson. This was due, in part, to Minnie Shumate Woodson’s research and writings.

After graduating from Dunbar High School in 1937, Woodson went on to attend Miner’s Teacher College and George Washington University. She later worked as an elementary school teacher and served as the president of the Washington, D.C. School Board. Minnie became part of the Woodson family when she married John Stanton Woodson, son of noted civil engineer Howard Woodson (the namesake of Woodson High School). She became intrigued by the family stories about Thomas Woodson and Thomas Jefferson. She began research into the family’s history and eventually published two works: The Sable Curtain and The Woodson Family Source Book.


1 Linear feet

2 Boxes


Processed without series. The folders are arranged alphabetically by topic.

Custodial History

John Woodson donated the collection of his wife’s research materials to the DC Public Library in July 1994.

Related Materials

Collection 093, H. D. Woodson and Metropolitan A. M. E. Church Collection.

Processing Information

Basic archival processing procedures were applied to the collection when it was processed.

Minnie S. Woodson Family Genealogical Collection
An inventory of Minnie S. Woodson Family Genealogical Collection at DC Public Library
Finding aid prepared by Ryan P. Semmes.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001