Tree

The Woody Family of Old Virginia
The History and Genealogy of the Woody & Wooddy Family Branches
 with Roots in Colonial Virginia

Dedicated to the Memory of our Honored Pioneer Ancestors

Benjamin Franklin , scientist, printer, diplomat, postmaster, author and beer brewer wrote:
"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest" & "Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn"
Ben was also an avid genealogist and family historian. His quotes apply to successful research and, more importantly, a successful life.

 Created: 2008
Hosted by Dave Woody

 

(A link to the Woody database and pedigrees is located at the end of the historical section below.)

 

Contents

Introduction

Very Early Virginia Land Patents & Headrights
 Parishes, Vestries and Processioning in Colonial Virginia
Virginia Quaker Records
Woody Records Effected by County & Parish Formation and the Civil War
In the Beginning -  The Three Robert Woodys of the Virginia Tidewater Region
James, John & Simon Woody of New Kent & Hanover & John Woody of Goochland
 Henry & John Woody of Hanover, James Woody of Louisa & John Woody of Goochland
The Quaker Connection
John, Micajah & Samuel Woody of Hanover Co., Virginia
John Woody of Goochland Co., Virginia
Henry & William Woody of Bedford Co., Virginia
Henry Woody of Henrico Co., Virginia
Augustine, Benjamin, Henry, Samuel & William Woody of the Lynchburg, Virginia area
James, John & Thomas Woody of Pittsylvania Co., Virginia
David Woody of Person Co., North Carolina
William & Samuel Woody of Loudoun Co., Virginia

  Everett Woody of Maryland, Kentucky & Ohio
Robert Woody of Lancaster, Middlesex & Richmond Co., Virginia
John J. Wooddy of Hanover, Virginia & Jefferson Co., Kentucky
Samuel W. & William L. Woody of Richmond City & Chesterfield Co., Virginia

Henry Talley Woody of Wilkes & Oglethorpe, Georgia
William, Nicholas & Henry Woody of Spartanburg Co., South Carolina
John Woody of Laurens Co., South Carolina & Carroll Co., Georgia
Henry W. Woody of Richmond City, Virginia
Woody Family Roots
Woody DNA Project
Database
Bibliography
Contributors


    

Introduction

            Using primary sources and direct evidence, a number of Woody descendants have traced their lineages back to Virginia in the late 18th or early 19th century. Because of several factors, the extension of these lineages by traditional research is almost impossible; however, results from the Woody DNA Project prove that nearly all participants with such lineages share a Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA). This is the most recent individual from which all of the Woodys in this group of people are descended. These results have encouraged us to extend our research beyond our direct ancestor, Henry Woody, to all the Woodys of old Virginia. Our goal is to use this research, in conjunction with the Woody DNA Project, to sort out the different branches of the Virginia Woody family tree and to extend these lineages back in time. Since many of these proven Woody lineages can be traced to the Blue Ridge region of Virginia, we used this area as a starting point for our research; however, our area of interest has been expanded to the Piedmont of central Virginia, the Virginia Northern Neck, several of the border counties of Virginia and North Carolina and a few more distant locations.
            Considering the very difficult travel conditions of the 18th century and early 19th century, we were quite surprised that the Woody DNA Project has proven that Woodys with the same MRCA as the Virginia Woodys resided in rather unexpected locations in this time frame. In particular, we discovered that the early Spartanburg County, South Carolina Woodys  were very closely related to the Virginia Woodys. This discovery has prompted us to do significant research in the northwest South Carolina and southwest North Carolina areas. The same research situation developed in Jefferson County, Kentucky. Conversely, we were surprised to find that the early Woodys of Person County, North Carolina do not share a male MRCA with the Virginia Woodys. In fact, the Woody DNA project has proven that this group is distinct from the other three yDNA related groups that have their roots in Colonial America. 
            We now think it is highly likely that most of the Woody branches listed below, as well as, the Henry, Thomas and William Woody branches, have their American ancestral roots in New Kent and Hanover Counties, Virginia. Their Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) may have been from Virginia, but, as yDNA has shown, that person may have resided in the British Isles or elsewhere.
yDNA has proven that some of these branches are closely related; however, yDNA volunteers are needed from the other branches. The truly interested family historian should take the time to sort out the DNA (yDNA, atDNA, xDNA and mtDNA) tests that are being marketed and sold today to people supposedly interested in their heritage. Each of these tests may be useful in different ways and they all have benefits, advantages and disadvantages; however, yDNA testing is absolutely the best test for researching the male surname line. This is because of three major reasons: (1) yDNA is passed from farther to son, with little change, virtually forever, (2) in most cultures, like yDNA, the father's surname is also passed from father to son and (3) the surname line is, by far, the easiest genealogical trail to follow and research. 
           The sections below describe most of the early Virginia Woody branches, as well as, several branches with proven roots in Virginia.
These sections only provide an overview of these families: the family details and evidence citations are provided in the Database. We have tried to minimize most of the very complicated details concerning the research evidence and our resulting conclusions as it relates to the early Colonial Virginia Woody family however, some of the overviews and evidence are complex and, at times, difficult to follow. For those that are interested in even more details, the Chronology of Selected Woody Events in Early Virginia page may be useful.
            The early lives of many of the Woodys that migrated to the Blue Ridge region of Virginia after about 1760 are very close to a complete mystery. Reconstructing the movements of Henry Woody, as he migrated from Goochland to Franklin, was accomplished mainly through the use of land records. Recent yDNA comparisons prove that Henry was closely related to some of these "mystery" Woodys. Although there were several notable exceptions, the vast majority of the these Woodys seemed to have been itinerant farmers that moved from place to place searching for the best return for their labor.
For this reason, many of them did not own land, so there are very few recorded land transactions involving Woodys during this period. Besides the above mentioned Henry Woody of Franklin County, the early Woodys that left wills or will equivalents were: James of Pittsylvania County, David of Person County, North Carolina and Simon, Moor, John and Micajah of Hanover County. Woodys were seldom mentioned in other probate proceedings. Before about 1853, vital records are virtually nonexistent. Some of the material presented on this page overlaps with Woody Family Roots, which focuses on the history and genealogy of Henry, Thomas and William Woody and their descendants.

            Many genealogy researchers, both amateur and some professionals, seem not to understand the close correlation of genealogy, geography, history and other factors. By far, the best online source to much of this essential information is the website of Charlie Grymes, adjunct instructor of "Geography of Virginia" at George Mason University: Virginia Places. Also, to understand the scant information that is available, a good understanding of 18th century Virginia county formation is essential.
A very accurate depiction of this formation is available at the Map of US website. Henrico County, an original Virginia shire created in 1634, remained intact for over ninety years until Goochland County was created from western Henrico in 1728. New Kent County was formed in 1654 and remained unchanged until Hanover County was formed from western New Kent 1721. It is important to note that Goochland/Henrico were never part of Hanover/New Kent or visa versa. Equally important is a good understanding of the formation of Church of England parishes in Colonial Virginia. To maximize research effectiveness, it is essential to thoroughly understand the consequences of the rapid formation of counties and church parishes in Colonial America. This was because the Colonial Anglican Church (Church of England) was responsible for performing and recording many of the civic tasks which became the responsibility of the local, state and national governments after the Revolutionary War. For administrative purposes, the Anglican Church was divided into a hierarchy of separate parishes. These parishes typically created two records that are useful to family historians: the Vestry Register and the Vestry Book. The Vestry Register mainly consisted of a record of the parish births, deaths and marriages; however, most of the Virginia parish registers have been lost forever. The Vestry Book was a record of other church responsibilities such as tithes (taxes) and expenditures, road building and maintenance, care of the poor and weak and quadrennial processionings. Processionings are discussed in some detail below. Many of the Vestry Books have survived and have been transcribed. In Colonial America, these parishes frequently did not share the same boundaries as the state counties. Many times, the formation of new counties and parishes did not seem to be coordinated at all. This fact is especially important when attempting to correlate the scant evidence that is available from the Colonial New Kent/Hanover County area, the apparent first home of the Colonial Virginia Woody family. In New Kent County, St. Paul's Parish was created from St. Peter's Parish in 1702. In 1720, Hanover County was created from western New Kent and, in this instance, the county borders coincided with the parish borders, That is, St. Paul's Parish fell entirely into Hanover County and for a short time, this situation remained the same until St. Martin's Parish was formed in 1726 from western and northern St. Paul's Parish. So, any church related events in western and northern Hanover would be found in the St. Martin's Parish records after 1726, In contrast to church civic responsibilities, Colonial land grants were administered by the Commonwealth of Virginia. As a consequence of this situation, the names for some New Kent and Hanover residents that obtained Commonwealth land grants in western and northern Hanover are completely missing from the vestry quadrinal processioning records. Later, in 1742, Louisa County was created from western Hanover and Fredericksville Parish was created from western St. Martin's Parish to serve the new county. This situation created another research problem similar to the one described above. More information concerning these and many other confusing situations are described in the Chronology of Selected Woody Events in Early Virginia page. In addition, Freddie Spradlin has created the concise Parishes of Virginia which shows all the colonial parish formation dates and the counties they served. This page can help sort out some of the confusion that occurs when trying to correlate events related to parish formation and county formation.
            In contrast to the complete geographic separation of Goochland/Henrico and Hanover/New Kent described above, later Virginia county formation and boundary changes resulted in locations that were in two or three different counties in the space of a few years.
 During the latter half of the 18th century, the population of the western frontier of Virginia was growing quickly. This growth necessitated the rather rapid formation of new counties. In 1744, Albemarle was formed from Goochland. In the central Blue Ridge region, Albemarle begat Amherst and Buckingham in 1761 and Fluvanna in 1777. Nelson was created from Amherst in 1808. A little further south, Lunenburg contributed Bedford in 1754 and Halifax in 1766. Pittsylvania came from Halifax in 1767 and Henry came from Pittsylvania in 1777. In 1786, Franklin was formed from Bedford and Henry. These boundary changes, coupled with the lack of records and the nomadic movements of the Woodys, make research very challenging.
            A good example of the effect of county formation on our research is the Byrd Creek home of John Woody. Captain William Bird/Byrd first patented the property in Henrico in 1656. This area became Goochland County in 1728, Albemarle County in 1744 and finally Fluvanna County in 1777.
            In general, decennial census records begin in 1790 and are helpful; however, the 1800 census of Virginia is not extant. Original census records are much more useful than alphabetized copies since they preserve the relative locations of those people enumerated. Pre-1850 censuses only give the name of the head-of-household with the rest of the inhabitants separated into age groups so, at best, they only provide a snapshoot every ten tears. However, post Revolutionary War personal property and land tax records for almost all of the Virginia counties are extant. These tax records start about 1782 and, since taxes were collected each year, the records are very constructive in tracking the movements of individuals from one location to another. Also, tax records usually denote the death of the taxpayer by the words "estate". Some deed records are also extant. As mentioned, only a few Woody deed records have been found, but these few have been very useful. However, the Woodys seemed to be quite adept at avoiding the census enumerators and tax collectors. We have not found a Woody Bible record for this period, but Woodys are mentioned in other Bible records. Marriage bonds and certificates usually provide more information than extracted marriage records. The pension and land warrant applications of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veterans are extremely informative, but very few Woodys lived long enough to apply for these benefits. Vital records for most counties start about 1853; however many people simply did not report births and deaths. From the standpoint of identifying early relationships, death records are especially helpful since the decedent's age, birthplace and parents names were usually, but not always, recorded. However, many years are missing from these records.
           
More than any other state, Virginia has suffered the destructive effects of war in America. Burning courthouses was one of the favorite pastimes of invading armies in the American Revolution, the War or 1812 and the Civil War. However, in every sense, the Civil War created the most destruction to life and property and since many of the fiercest battles occurred in the area surrounding Richmond, the counties of Hanover, Henrico and New Kent were especially effected. The archivists at The Library of Virginia has categorized the " Lost Record Localities". The counties with "catastrophic loss" are Appomattox, Buchanan, Buckingham, Caroline, Charles City, Dinwiddie, Elizabeth, Fairfax, Gloucester, Hanover, James City County/Williamsburg, King and Queen, King William, Matthews, Nansemond, New Kent, Nottoway, Prince George, Richmond County, Stafford and Warwick. The counties and cities with "considerable loss" are Accomack, Albemarle, Bland, Botetourt, Brunswick, Craig, Culpepper, Henrico, Isle of Wight, King George, Mecklenburg, Northumberland, Richmond (City), Rockingham, Russell, Spotsylvania, Surry, Washington, Westmoreland and York. In our area of research interest, examples of courthouse fires that resulted in nearly complete destruction of earlier records are the Buckingham fire in 1869 and the Richmond fire in 1865.
            The common law statutes of primogeniture that existed in Colonial Virginia dictated that, after the widow's one-third dower, the real property of an individual that died intestate (without a will) went to his eldest son. If the eldest son was dead, the real property passed to that person's eldest son. Of course, a will could be used to distribute an estate, but many people of moderate means did not execute a will. By far, the most valuable asset that most individuals could own was real property (land) and
for landowners, their second most valuable asset was their slaves. The specifics of most wills dealt with the division of these two assets. Almost all Woody landowners did execute wills; however, the vast majority of Woodys were not land or slave owners and these individuals did not write wills. Moreover, deeds and court records relating to land transfers form the major portion of the scanty records that have survived and are available to the researcher. Obviously, these types of records do not exist for landless Woodys. A few tithe records have survived, but these are very few and far between. Unfortunately, the primogeniture laws and the severe loss of records have created a situation whereby our knowledge of the Woodys in Colonial America is mainly based on those eldest sons that inherited land. The brothers and sisters of these eldest sons can be virtually invisible.
            The Woodys were not wealthy or famous and many of them were not land owners. Many were
probably squatters that farmed land that was not being cultivated by the owner. Squatting was part of the common land tradition of both the English and Gaelic laboring people. Toby Terrar explains this situation in his enlightening article First in War: Laboring People and the American Revolution as an Agrarian Reform Movement in Amherst County, Virginia and Sumter County, South Carolina:

            "As settlement edged toward the Blue Ridge Mountains, the formation of new counties beyond the fall line extended tidewater institutions into the west. The piedmont frontier was developed less by poor farmers in search of opportunity than by the colony's leading families, such as the Randolphs, Carters, Pages, and Nicholases, who acquired the best acreage along the rivers. The piedmont became an area of immense tobacco estates, some as large as thirteen thousand acres. Much of the colony's land was granted in huge parcels to speculators, such as Robert ("King") Carter, William Byrd II, and William Beverley, but non-Virginians, such as Jacob Stover, of Pennsylvania, and Benjamin Borden, of New Jersey, acquired extensive landholdings in the Valley of Virginia, that fertile region between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghenies explored in 1716 by Governor Alexander Spotswood and his Knights of the Golden Horseshoe. The Amherst landlords estimated they needed 50 acres for each field hand and at least twenty slaves before hiring an overseer. Slaves sold for 30, cost 6 yearly to maintain, and could net 14 in yearly profit in the 1760s and 1770s. Thus the smallest economic unit for capitalist agriculture complete with overseer and slaves was approximately 1,000 acres, considerably larger than the holdings of nearly all Amherst residents in the eighteenth century. Squatter occupancy was one of the reasons that half of Virginia's white population in the 1770s had no recorded land. Even working people who bought or rented, boycotted the magnate-dominated county courts."

            As discussed above, many Virginia counties have suffered a massive loss of genealogical related records. Although many Woodys did not own land, some did and their land transaction records somewhat offset the absence of other records. When available, we make significant use of land records, especially the images of original documents available at the Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys database online at the Library of Virginia. To encourage settlement of America, the English government awarded land grants to ship captains and others who were responsible for the transportation of immigrants from Europe. These rewards were termed "headrights". Many of the names of the immigrants claimed as headrights are noted in early Virginia land grants. The names of the people transported (headrights) are usually named at the bottom of the grant. We also use published deed transcriptions and microfilms of original deeds. In addition to the location of the property, these land transaction records usually mention the names of nearby property owners. Since neighbors tended to migrate together, this information can be used to identify and separate Woodys with the same given names. This information greatly assists in sorting out the Woody lines and their westward movements. However, as mentioned above, a very good understanding of the formation of new Virginia counties in the 18th century is essential maximizing the usefulness of the land transaction data. We use both old and modern maps to try and pinpoint the locations mentioned in the patents, grants and deeds. The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) search capability at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) web site is very useful, since the landmarks mentioned in land transactions usually can be be identified and plotted on a modern Google map.
            Fortunately, the Woodys did associate with a few of relatively well known people of the time. The family histories of most of these people have been documented and some of the evidence presented below comes from this documentation. This evidence is complex and, at times, difficult to follow.

            We are able to get some source material from the Library of Virginia via the Interlibrary Loan System (ILL) and we also have rented many filmed records from the LDS Family History Catalog.
            We are obsessive about details. Many isolated facts concerning the Woodys have been published by the various Virginia genealogical and historical societies. These publications are available in these societies headquarters and in local libraries. When combined with other information, seemingly insignificant small details can be the keys to solving very complex genealogical puzzles. If you have the opportunity to search any of these publications, please pass along your findings.
            While a very few other records have survived from early Colonial Virginia, the three largest and most used record groups are discussed individually below. These are: Very Early Virginia Land Patents and Headrights, Parishes, Vestries and Processioning in Colonial Virginia and Virginia Quaker Records. Each of these groups of records provides different types and levels of information and we have discussed our attempts to correlate these information sources. We also discuss why most of the older records have been lost and the effects that rapid Virginia county and parish formation have on analyzing and correlating these records.
            `We have attempted to memorialize some of our
research in a Chronology of Selected Woody Events in Early Virginia. With regard to the hypothetical lineage, this page analyzes some of the significant factual records that we have discovered, discusses the posits, assumptions and SWAGs we have made. We also try to explain the rational that we have used in developing our view of the family connections of the very early Woodys/Wooddys of Colonial Virginia. Also included is a listing of all the microfilms that we have ordered and analyzed from LDS FamilySearch and the Library of Virginia. We hope this page will aid other researchers in the future.

 

Very Early Virginia Land Patents & Headrights

            When the Virginia Company was abolished in 1624, the administration of land patents (land grants) became the responsibility of the King of England and his administrators; the Virginia governor and the office of the Virginia Secretary of the Colony. To encourage settlement of America, the Colonial government awarded "headright" certificates to ship captains and other individuals who were responsible for the transportation of immigrants from Europe. Almost any transported person could be and were claimed as a headright. This included indentured servants, slaves and children. Even those who died during the ocean crossing could be claimed. These certificates could then be used to acquire land grants from the Virginia government. In addition, these certificates could be bartered, traded and resold to others. Because of loose regulation, lack of oversight and fraud, the headright system led to massive abuses. So, in general, the person that was awarded a headright patent (land grand) might have provided the means for the immigrants transportation to America; however, the headrights can almost never cannot be connected with the land patentee, nor does the location of the grant necessarily have any connection to the location of the patentee or the headright. A Library of Virginia Headright Note states "The presence of a name as a headright in a land patent establishes that a person of a certain name had entered Virginia prior to the date of the patent, but it does not prove when the person immigrated or who was initially entitled to the headright.... Headrights were not always claimed immediately after immigration, There are instances in which several years elapsed between a person's entry into Virginia and the acquisition of a headright and sometimes even longer between then and the patenting of a tract of land." However, many of the names of the immigrants claimed as headrights are noted in early Virginia land grants which have been preserved, imaged, transcribed and published. Because of the extreme lack of other extant records for this region, these headright land grant images and transcriptions have been used by many researchers in the search from their ancestors. Some of these researchers transcriptions differ with the transcriptions of professionals and sometimes the amateurs may be correct.
            The names of the people transported (headrights) are usually named at the bottom of the grant. George Cabell Greer transcribed these names from the originals and published them in 1912 as Early Virginia Immigrants 1623-1666; however, it should be noted that shortly after publication, a scathing book review of the Greer work was published in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.
  This review described many omissions and faulty transcriptions. Several decades later, Nell Marion Nugent, the Custodian of the Virginia Land Archives transcribed these same original land grants and, in 1934, published the highly acclaimed first volume of a three volume set entitled Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants 1623-1800;  however, only the years from 1623 to 1666 are generally be viewed online. Dennis Ray Hudgins has edited an additional four volumes which have been published under the same title. These additional volumes cover the period 1733-1774. Other reference editors have copied from these early transcriptions and individuals have transcribed those names with grants in a particular location or those names in which they had a special interest. For example, Early Virginia Families Along the James River, compiled, transcribed and abstracted in three volumes by Louise Pledge Heath Foley, contains transcribed and abstracted patents from the subject counties from 1624 to 1732. The headrights are also indexed.
            So, it is very possible to find several differing transcriptions of any particular land grant; therefore, we have found that nothing replaces viewing images of the original documents. All of these documents were recorded in the script and custom of the time and some can be very difficult to decipher. Most professional transcribers have experience in reading old handwriting and they strive for accuracy; however, they do not have the deep interest in particular names that the researchers of these particular names have. The professional will not linger long in transcribing a particular name and compare it with other names as a researcher should. On the other hand, the amateur will sometimes let his or her hopes and wishes get in the way of an objective and accurate transcription. The importance of these records and transcriptions cannot be overstated because they comprise the bulk of the extant records pertaining to 17th century Virginia.
Fortunately for the serious researcher, images of these old documents are viewable at the Library of Virginia collection of Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys. We have used these images to confirm, reject and question the land grant transcriptions found in many reference books. Very few of the authors of the reference books actually transcribed from the originals, instead they just copied from other books.
            Among others, the following Woodys have been alleged and published by amateur and professional transcribers: Anthony in 1648, Symon in 1652, Robert in 1656, John in 1674, Henry in 1681 and John in 1701. We hav
e very carefully examined the images containing these names and we can positively confirm two; Robert and  John, 1701. John, 1674, is a maybe. Anthony was Waddy, Symon was  Wady and Henry was most likely Moody. To illustrate the difficulty in transcribing these documents, we have included images of  portions of several of the original grants that contain the name that has been transcribed as Woody.
            The image below, on the left is a favorite of ours. One reason for our favoritism is that the transcription has not been published in many wel
l known reference, yet is easily found in the Library of Virginia Archive. How it was missed is unknown, but we have seen complete pages omitted by transcribers. People make mistakes. The second reason it is a favorite is that it is one of the first records of our ancestor found in Virginia. This image is from the 16 Apr 1653, Lower Norfolk County land grant of Robert Woody for two hundred acres on Daniel Tanner's Creek. This headright patent (land grant) was awarded for the transportation of Robert Woody, Anna Minch, Mary Stanton and Art. Watson. Our second favorite image is the 21 October 1684 New Kent County land grant of John Baughan. James Woody is named as an adjacent landowner three times: first as Mr. James Woody, again as James Woody and again as s'd (said) Woody. Since the images are very clear, the transcription of the name is very easy and difficult to quibble about. The three images are shown below.
                           
This James Woody was transcribed as being processioned adjacent to a John Baughn in the 1689 St. Peter's Parish Vestry Book. St. Peter's Parish was in New Kent County. The straight line distance between New Kent and Norfolk is about 60 miles. In our experience, the close correlation of these two records with the Robert Woody record, direct above,  is a very unusual event.
            Another favorite image is show
is shown directly below. The image shows the three headrights associated with a 1681 Surry County land grant made to Arthur Jordan. The transcription of this land grant has transcribed and published as Henry Woody in Early Virginia Families Along the James River, Vol. 3: James City County - Surry County and several other well known reference books. The transcription has been used by many people to justify their assumption that Henry Woody was the progenitor of the Virginia Woodys and is the basis for an alleged Woody lineage that has been widely copied by many participants of online collaborative constructed lineage web sites, such as Ancestry Member Trees, WkiiTree, Family Heritage, etc. Because of the ink smearing, this name is more difficult to ascertain. We think it is Henry Moody and not Henry Woody. Compare the questionable script W/M in the top line to the obvious M in the name on the right that looks like it might be Maundy and has been transcribed as Maundy by the same transcriber. Then compare the questionable W/M to the script W in the word Whereas below and to the left. It seems to us that the letter in question has some similarities with both of the suggested letters, but we think it is very much more like the M. This image is one of our favorites because of the date of this event and the dates to the two events described directly above it. The very legible name of Robert Woody was recorded in receiving a land grant in 1653. The extremely legible name of James Woody was recorded as an adjacent land owner in a 1684 land grant. The very questionable name of Henry Moody/Woody was recorded as a headright in 1681. We think these image examples speak for themselves.  
            The next image on the right is from the list of some 100 headrights associated with the 20 September 1674 Accomack
County land grant issued to Charles Scarburgh. It may be Wody or Woody, but both Wooly and Wolley are recognized surnames. The backwards curvature of the suspect "d" is a very characteristic example of the "d" script formation of the time. Compare it burgh with the "d"s above and below. The script letter "l" of the time had no such backward curvature. So we think it is a definite maybe that cannot be completely discounted.
            The next image below and right is from headright list associated with the 25 April 1701 Henrico County land grant issued to John Pleasants. This is an example of a very clear entry for John Woody and is probably one of the clearest examples we have found. In addition, the name John Woody is found in other documents of the time. This transcription is confirmed by
Early Virginia Families Along the James River, Vol. 1: Henrico - Goochland, the reference mentioned above. John Pleasants II (1671-1714) was the son John Pleasants (1645-1698), the progenitor of a very wealthy and prominent Henrico Co., Virginia Quaker family that imported large numbers of headrights over many years. The same Pleasants family is mentioned many times in the St. Paul's Vestry Book and the Quaker Henrico Monthly Meeting records discussed below. We do not recognize any of the other headright names nor do we have any clue as to the age of John, so we assume that he was at least 21 or older. So, he would have been born about 1680 or earlier. It record would seem to be very helpful in our research; however, this record creates a rather difficult research situation. As discussed above, headrights were sometimes used as justification for land grants some time after the headright arrived in America; however, we do not know of any way to determine this often very important time lapse. If this headright was granted quite a few years after the individuals arrival, this John Woody could be the the John first found in Goochland. Even though John of Goochland shared the same yDNA as other contemporary Virginia Woodys, their Common Ancestor (CA) could have lived in the British Isles, not in Virginia. John Woody of Goochland was first recorded as a vestry road surveyor in 1738 and seems to have lived until at least 1776. So, if headright John was born about 1680, he does not seem likely to be John of Goochland; however, we have not found another suitable candidate in the records. So, no matter mow much we would like correlate this record with the record of a John Woody we know a little more about, w haven't been be able to make a reasonable connection. That is a disappointment that somewhat detracts from the success we enjoyed with the correlation of  the records of Robert and James Woody, described above. Maybe, someone will figure it all out. The Pleasants family has been very well researched and much of this work has been published. It is a very long shot, but research in this area might pay off. 
            Th
e next image below and left is the the headright list associated with a 1652 Gloucester County grant to Capt. Francis Morgan and Ralph Green and the name has been transcribed by a few researchers as Symon Woody. We think the name is Symon Wady and it is possible that it is Symon Wody; however, it certainly is not Symon Woody. Also, it is transcribed in the Cavaliers and Pioneers reference discussed above as Symon Wady. Additionally, there are several Waddy/Waddey names noted in the Vestry Books of St. Peter's and St. Paul's Parishes. We think this a good example of a very wishful transcription.           
           
The image below and right is from a 1688 land grant to Charles Fleming. The name is not a headright, but is noted in the description of the property boundaries and adjacent landowners. It has been transcribed and published as Samuel Woddy and Samuel Woody. To us, it clearly looks like Samuell Woddy. It is quite interesting because the location of this grant was "in the branches of Mattedequin & Totopotomoy Creeks" which is the exact location that later Hanover County Woodys lived. It is a very good example of evidence evaluation of evidence made more difficult by conflicting information. While reviewing the transcription of the Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish, we noticed that the index contains over a dozen entries for the name of a Samuel Waddy/Waddey and sometimes these entries are in the same processing precinct as a Charles Fleming. In addition, we have never seen the name Woddy used as a confirmed variation of Woody. The name of name Samuel Woody, etc. is mentioned over a dozen times in the Vestry Book, but only between 1745 and 1784. Since the vestry book is a transcription, we have somewhat conflicting evidence; however, we think the examination of all the relevant evidence strongly indicates that the name was very likely intended to be Waddy and is an example of a "lazy" script letter a. On this one, we reluctantly come down on the side of Samuel Waddy.
            Even though the latest "upgrade" to the Library of Virginia "Search" function has made this resource difficult to find and even more difficult to use, every serious early Virginia family historian should investigate the Library of Virginia collection of Virginia Land Office Grants and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys and try transcribing a few that are of interest. Give it a try. Instead of just copying another person's hasty transcription, do the research and make your own decisions.   


Parishes, Vestries and Processioning In Colonial Virginia

            To understand some of the only existing records that remain from early Colonial Virginia, it is necessary to understand the process of "processioning" that the Anglican Church vestries used resurvey landowners property boundaries. In Colonial America, the state General Assemblies created, in addition to counties, geographically defined areas called parishes. The officials of each of these Anglican Church (Church of England) parishes were collectively termed a vestry. These vestries had jurisdiction over many aspects of both church and civil affairs. After the American Revolution, the role of vestries in governmental civil affairs became practically nonexistent. The records of these vestries were mainly kept in two books: the Vestry Register and the Vestry Book. The Virginia Vestry Registers mainly were a record of the parish births, deaths and marriages; however, almost all of these records have been lost. The Virginia Vestry Books were mainly a record of the parish business and many of these books have survived and have been transcribed. The parish business typically consisted of tithes (taxes) and expenses (usually expressed as pounds of tobacco), maintaining civil order, road building and maintenance, care of the poor and helpless and a quadrennial event termed processioning. Processioning involved the process of obtaining agreement among adjacent landowners as to their property boundaries. In Colonial times, property lines where determined by an ancient and time honored surveying procedure called "metes and bounds". The system of metes and bounds used physical features, such as trees, creeks, rocks, roadways, etc. to describe property boundaries. Trees were usually very plentiful and thus were used much more than any other physical feature. As these landmarks disappeared, many property line disagreements occurred among adjacent landowners. To mitigate some of this friction, the processioning process was instituted in Virginia about 1662. The process required adjoining landowners to meet regularly to resurvey and agree on new defining features. Virginia statute mandated that processioning be preformed every four years (quadrennial) under the direction of parish vestries. Typically, the parish was divided into numbered precincts and the vestry would issue processioning "orders" that would name the perceived  landowners in each precinct and assign two freeholders (landowners) the duty of overseeing and coordinating the process for their precinct. These men were termed "processioners". After performing this duty, the processioners would usually provide a processioning "return" which named the current precinct landowners, any changes in ownership that had occurred and any disagreements that could not be settled immediately. If there were still boundary disagreements after a processioning, the vestry decided the matter. Typically, both the processioning orders and returns were recorded in the Parish Vestry Book. Processioning was an important event in the lives of most of the average Colonial landowners. Because of the nearly total destruction of many early Virginia vital (birth, death and marriage) records, the information contained in these processioning records can be quite useful to family historians.
            From 1682-1786, the "processioning" records found in the Vestry Books of St. Peter's Parish and St. Paul's Parish mention a succession of Woody landowners in New Kent and Hanover Counties.  The first St. Peter's Parish Vestry (New Kent County) processioning record to survive is the 1689 record which included James Woody. In 1704, Paul's Parish was formed from western St. Peter's Parish, but was still in New Kent. In 1720, Hanover County was formed from New Kent County and St. Paul's  was completely in Hanover. In  1726, St. Martin's Parish was formed from western and northern St. Paul's. In 1742, Louisa County was formed from western Hanover; however, Fredericksville Parish was formed at the same time to serve the new county. So, after 1726, western and northern Hanover was served by St. Martin's Parish and this situation continued until 1742 when Louisa was cut off from Hanover. Then Fredericksville Parish began and continued westward from the new Louisa/Hanover boundary. This is a quite confusing formation sequence of new counties and parishes, but these events help explain some mysterious omissions in the St. Paul's Vestry records. In any event, the next recorded processioning of interest was the 1708/09 St. Paul's Vestry record which included James and Simon Wooddy in one precinct and John Wooddy in another. The next processioning was held in 1711/12 and included the same names, however, a James Wooddy was also listed with John Wooddy. Usually the processioning records for the uncommon Wooddy/Woody surname are quite straightforward and understandable and this situation is in marked contrast to records for the Johnson surname which was very common in the St. Paul's Vestry. However, the 1715/16 processioning contains a confusing event and the 1719/20 processioning compounds this confusion with an even more unusual event. The excruciating details of these events are included on  at the Chronology of Selected Woody Events in Early Virginia page. Our explanation of these events is really not very satisfying to us, but it is the explanation we we are left with since the entire 1723/24 record is missing, most of the 1727/28 record is missing including the parishes where the Woodys/Wooddys were usually recorded and the 1731/32 processioning is the next such event that seems complete and helpful.


Virginia Quaker Records

            The Colonial Quakers (Society of Friends) were prodigious record keepers. Most of their records have survived and have been transcribed by William Hinshaw and others. The minutes of the Henrico Monthly Meeting record the only Woody Quaker family mentioned in Virginia. In 1722, James Woody was a witness to the Quaker wedding of a couple that were apparently unrelated to him and, that same day, he  provided funds to help build a Meeting House. In 1739, John Woody was a witness to the Quaker wedding of Micajah and Cecilla Johnson. Micajah Woody, his wife Cecilla, their son William and several of their daughters are recorded from 1739 to 1789. Although it is possible that  the parents of Micajah, or other close relatives, may have been Quakers, there is no significant evidence at all to suggest this possibility. Since the Quakers permitted the attendance of non-Quakers at most of their events, the appearance of a name in a Quaker record does not necessarily prove that person was a Quaker. Although there is no record of such an event, the marriage record implies that Micajah converted to Quakerism some time before his marriage. From these records, it is evident that Micajah and most of his family became "lapsed" Quakers during the latter half of the 18th century.
        In the records described above and in the court records of Goochland, Henrico, Hanover and New Kent Counties, the male given names of John, Micajah, Simon, James and Samuel appear quite frequently and sometimes to obviously different men. Henry Woody's name appears only once. The primary research difficulty is the problem associated with determining the relationships of these men. Since birth and marriage records are almost non-existent for this period, these
relationships are extremely difficult or impossible to prove. So, it is left to the family historian to first obtain and then subjectively interpret the meaning of the existing documents and then posit the relationships to the best of his or her ability. Given this situation, it should not come as a surprise that many of these historians disagree on these relationships. These disagreements then lead to differing posited lineages; however, it should be remembered that virtually all of these men were closely related and that all of their descendants had the same progenitor. 


   
Woody Records Effected by County & Parish Formation and the Civil War

        A little knowledge of Virginia county formation, boundary changes and Civil War record destruction is necessary to reach any reasonable conclusions based on the meager evidence available.
        Henrico County, an original Virginia shire created in 1634, remained intact for over one hundred years until Goochland County was created from western Henrico in 1728. Conversely, Hanover County was formed from western New Kent County in 1721. New Kent was formed from York County in 1654 and, in 1642, York was formed from Charles River County, an original shire. So Goochland/Henrico were never part of Hanover/New Kent or visa versa; however, Woody families with the same given names seemed to have lived in both places at the same time.
        In contrast to the complete geographic separation of Goochland/Henrico and Hanover/New Kent described above, later Virginia county formation and boundary changes resulted in locations that were in two or three different counties in the space of a few years. A very accurate depiction of of Virginia county formation is available at the Map of US website. In the early 1740s, John Woody lived in western Goochland on Byrd Creek, a tributary of the James River. In 1744, the Byrd Creek location became part of Albemarle County when it was formed from western Goochland and thus some post-1744 records for this location are found in Albemarle. A further complication occurred in 1778 when Fluvanna County was formed from eastern Albemarle and the Byrd Creek location became part of Fluvanna. So in about thirty-five years, the Woody property was in three different counties and the records (if any) associated with this location and its residents are spread over these three counties. Although the records of the Woodys are found in many Virginia counties, the families did not always move from one county to another. As new counties were formed, the boundary changes give the impression of migration when none occurred.
        More than any other state, Virginia has suffered the destructive effects of war in America. Burning court houses was one of the favorite pastimes of invading armies in the American Revolution, the War or 1812 and the Civil War;
however, in every sense, the Civil War created the most destruction to life and property as many of the fiercest battles occurred in the nearby area counties that were north, east and west of Richmond. The city of Richmond was part of Henrico until 1842 when Richmond became an independent city; however, the physically location of the Henrico County government and its associated records remained in Richmond. When much of Richmond was destroyed in the Civil War, most of the Henrico civil records were also destroyed. Near the beginning of the war, other nearby counties moved many of their civil records to the Richmond courthouse for perceived protection, thus virtually all of the Hanover civil records were lost, as were most of the Goochland and New Kent civil records.
        The statutes of primogeniture that existed in Colonial America dictated that, after the widow's one-third dower, the estate of a intestate deceased went to his oldest surviving son. Of course, a will could bemote means did not execute a will. The Woodys were mostly people of moderate means and the bulk of their estates consisted of real property (land). Deeds and court records relating to land transfers form the major portion of the records that have survived and are available to the researcher. A few tithe records have survived, but these are very few and far between. Thus, our knowledge of the Woodys in Colonial America is mainly based on those eldest sons that inherited land. Their brothers and sisters can be virtually invisible.           
        The Woodys were not wealthy or famous and many of them did not seem to be land owners. Most were probably squatters that farmed land that was not being cultivated by the owner. Squatting was part of the common land tradition of both the English and Gaelic laboring people and  "squatter occupancy was one of the reasons that half of Virginia's white population in the 1770s had no recorded land." Fortunately, they did associate with a number of relatively well known people of the time. The family histories of most of these people have been documented and some of the evidence presented below comes from this documentation. This evidence is complex and, at times, difficult to follow.
        We have seen a lengthy mostly undocumented lineage published and recopied many times on the internet that extends the Henry Woody line back to the 1600s. Although males named Woody are indeed found in the isolated sources provided with the lineage, none of these sources give the relationships of the people, nor do they give any of the birth dates alleged for these people. Indeed, most of these sources
refer to the headright records discussed above. Woody records for this period are very rare; however, many more exist than are cited in these concocted lineages. These additional records contain information that is not mentioned in the lineage and suggest other relationships and lineages. Because the frequent use of the given names of Henry and John during the 1700s, it is very difficult to sort out the relationships. The most perplexing of these additional records are probably the The Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish, Hanover County, Virginia 1706 - 1786, The Vestry Book of Henrico Parish, Virginia 1730 - 1773 and  St. James Northam Parish Vestry Book, Goochland County, Virginia 1744 - 1850. The introductory remarks of the compiler, Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne, were very useful in this research. As the Virginia population expanded and moved west, new counties and new parishes were formed at a rather rapid pace. For instance, St. Paul's Parish begat St. Martins Parish in 1724. In neighboring Henrico County, Henrico Parish beget St, James Northam Parish in 1720. In the same time frame, new county formation was occurring. In most cases, county formation did not coincide with parish formation and this situation can be confusing when attempting to correlate processioning records with land grant and deed records. The omission of Henry Woody in the St. Paul's Vestry record  has been a puzzling problem for us. The given name of Henry was one of the most popular Woody given names and the lineage in question includes three early Henry Woodys. In an effort aimed at solving this perplexing omission, we undertook a detailed study of four additional vestry books that resulted from new vestry formation. This examination revealed some very large differences in the way processioning results were recorded in these four parishes when compared to the St. Paul's Parish records. Although the Woody named is only recorded a very few times in these four parishes, these entries seem to help provide answers to the Henry Woody mystery, as well as, other very important information.  Vestry Books of St. Paul's, St. Peter's, Fredericksville, Henrico and St. James Northam Parishes is a discussion of this research.

 

In the Beginning -  The Three Robert Woodys of the Virginia Tidewater Region

 

             Early Colonial Virginia records that contain the Woody/Wooddy/Woode surname or any other variation are extremely rare; however, as more of these records are digitized and published online, a clearer picture of the very early Virginia Woodys begins to emerge. The first mention of a Woody/Wooddy in Virginia is the Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Court Records: Book "A" 1637-1646 & Book "B" 1646-1651/2 . The transcriptions of these two books were made from films of the originals Journals by Alice Granbery Walter and were published in 1994 and 1978. The author's preface makes it clear that transcribing Book A was incredibly difficult and tedious because of "Holes in the paper, water damage, and various other causes making a lot of the script impossible to read". She does not make an estimate of the amount of mutilated  and/or missing material, but a casual examination reveals that it was considerable; however, considering that the similar records of New Kent and Hanover were virtually completely destroyed, we are very fortunate to have this transcription. The record is the short 31 October, 1649 court filling by Jasper Hoskins against the estate of Robert Woody. This record implies that this Robert died about this time; however, his probable son, Robert, is recorded soon after his father's apparent death. A small portion of this record can be found online in Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vo. 31; Lower Norfolk County 1651-1654 by Beverley Fleet;  however, the complete transcription of interest can be found online in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume III, published in 1896 by the Virginia Historical Society. It is in the "Notes and Queries" section and concerns the Dutch vessel Leopoldus which was confiscated by the English government on June 6, 1652  as it was anchored in the James River near Newport News. At this time, England and Holland were at war. As shown on the image on the left, Robert Wooddy, age about thirty-two (bc 1621), testified in court about this incident on August 15, 1653. We have not seen an image of the actual record; however, we have seen and copied an image of the actual April 16, 1653, Lower Norfolk County patent that granted Robert Woody 200 acres on Daniel Tanner's Creek. Lower Norfolk County was situated on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay in the heart of the famous Virginia Tidewater region. It is alleged that Tanner's Creek is now the Lafayette River. The Lafayette River is a six mile long tidal estuary on the east side of the Elizabeth River at the southern end of the U. S. Naval Station. The image resolution of the grant at the Library of Virginia online archive is not the greatest; however, his name is quite clear as shown on the right and in the discussion of headrights above. This grant was a "headright" award that named himself, Anne Minch, Mary Stanton and Art. Watson as the people he had been responsible for transporting to America. So we are confident that the transcribed record describing seaman Robert Woody's testimony is reasonably correct. Another important transcription is that of the 16 July 1652 Lower Norfolk County will of John Sibsey. The image is shown below left and mentions that the residence of Robert Woody was located at Craney Point. Craney Point is now in Portsmouth, Virginia on the west side of the Elizabeth River and directly across the river from Tanner's Creek. In 1664, Robert and Mary Wooddy witnessed the Tanner's Creek land sale of Edward Wilder to John Minnikin. Likewise, in 1674 Robert Woody witnessed the Tanner's Creek will of Thomas Blanch and in 1680, the widow of Thomas mentioned the adjacent land of Robert Woody in her will. In 1691 Norfolk County was created from Lower Norfolk and in 1704/05, the Norfolk County Court ordered Robert Woody, a law suit defendant, to pay the plaintiff, George Lawson, 50 pounds of tobacco. Since Robert Woody, the seaman, would have been about 83 at this time, the defendant of this suit could have been one of his sons. This possibility seems to be confirmed by the Norfolk County, 16 April 1732 will of Jacob Talbutt of Tanner's Creek witnessed by a Robert Woody. Since this witness could not have been the Robert Woody born about 1621, we are positing that he was Robert Woody III. We are not sure if the location of Tanner's Creek has been misplaced over the years or if Robert Woody lived on Craney Point and/or Tanner's Creek, but since the two locations are within a mile or two of each other, it seems a minor point. We have not yet found a later record for that mentions a Robert Woody after 1732, however, the 1689 St. Peter's Vestry processioning record for James Wooddy fits very well with the above Robert Woody records. Based primarily on the 1689 date, we have posited that James was born about 1654. On the right below is a small section of the 1751 Fry-Jefferson map of Virginia. Norfolk is lower right on the Elizabeth River and near the mouth of the James River and the Chesapeake Bay. Richmond is upper left on the north side of the James River. The straight line distance between Norfolk and Richmond is about sixty miles. So, a Robert Woody would seem to be an excellent candidate for the father of James Woody of New Kent County, Virginia; however, we have only found fairly strong circumstantial evidence to support this supposition. After 1732, Robert's name seems to have disappeared and, more importantly to us, the given name of "Robert" was used very infrequently by later Woodys and not until several generations after James Woody of New Kent. This seems rather odd since the early Virginia Woodys consistently repeated the parents given names when naming their children; however, since early Virginia records are vary rare, more than a few Woody/Wooddys could have gone unrecorded, especially if they were not land owners. It also seems odd that Robert is the only person found the with the Woody/Wooddy surname in about 100 years of Lower Norfolk and Norfolk records. Most importantly, we have not found any connection between the Woodys of New Kent and the Woodys of Norfolk; however, based on the the rarity of their surname in Colonial America and the substantial correlation of dates, we are positing that Robert Woody Jr. was the father of James Woody of New Kent. We also posit that Robert Woody III was the brother of James and probably inherited most of the estate of his father. The statutes of primogeniture would likely have been the reason for this inheritance. So, after 1732, we have not found another Virginia record that mentions the Woody/Wooddy surname, except in New Kent and Hanover. Since virtually all of the early New Kent civil records were destroyed, it is very doubtful that another will be found there; however, there are a few Lower Norfolk and Norfolk records that we have not examined and they might contain more clues. Also, the records of the counties of Nansemond, Isle of Wight, Surry, Charles City and James City should be examined since they border the James River between New Kent and Norfolk. The records of the parishes associated with these counties should also be examined. We are leaving that research to other interested individuals. Good luck.

 

James, John & Simon Woody of New Kent & Hanover Co., Virginia
(St. Peter's and St. Paul's Parishes, near Richmond)

           

            The October 21, 1684, New Kent County, Virginia land grant of John Baughan provides the first undeniable reference to a Woody name in this area. Mr. James Woody was named as an adjacent landowner in the branches of Black and Mattedequin Creeks. The name of Black Creek can no longer be found on modern maps; however, Matadequin and Totopotomoy Creeks are both tributaries of the Pamunkey River which now forms the boundary between Hanover and King William Counties. Both of these creeks run generally west to east and the upper reaches were in New Kent County until Hanover was formed in 1721. They are northwest of Mechanicsville in Hanover and the now independent city of Richmond. In 1689 James Woody and John Baughn were recorded adjacently in the processioning records found in the The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish, New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia (see below) . The quit rent rolls of 1704 New Kent County list three Woodys: Symon, 50 acres; John, 100 acres and James, 130 acres. Early Virginia quit rents were paid by owners or renters of land that had been acquired by government grant (patent). The typical rent for patent (grant) land was one shilling for every fifty acres. (1= 20 shillings). If Symon, John and James did acquire grant land, no record of these grants has been found. We posit that James and John were very likely brothers and that Simon was possibly another brother. If not a brother, Simon was a son of James or John. We also posit that James was bor about 1752. A Samuel Waddy/Woddy has been transcribed in the in the New Kent boundary description of the 1688 grant to Charles Fleming. This entry is especially interesting since the land was described as being "in the branches of Mattedequin and Totopotomoy Creeks", which is exactly where the Woodys were first found in Hanover County; however, as our land grant research has shown (see below), the name seems surely to be Waddy. To reinforce this grant research, a Samuel Waddy/Waddey was processioned many times. In New Kent County, St. Paul's Parish was formed from the western portion of St. Peter's Parish in 1704 and, in 1721, Hanover County was formed from the western portion of New Kent County. In fact, Mattedequin Creek was the dividing line between the two Parish's after 1704.
       
  The "processioning" records found in Protestant Episcopal Church of Virginia Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish, Hanover County, Virginia 1706 - 1786 of the mention a succession of Wooddy etc. landowners in New Kent and Hanover Counties. It is important to remember Hanover County was formed from New Kent County in 1721, so the pre-1721 events described in the vestry book occurred in New Kent County. The names of James, John and Simon Woody/Wooddy are mentioned over one hundred times in this book. The 1708/09 processioning orders and returns both list James and Simon in Precinct 29 and and the order and return lists John Precinct 33. In 1711/12, the order and return lists James and Simon are in Precinct 15 the order and return lists John and James in Precinct 19. Was the James in Precinct 15 the same person as the James in Precinct 19? They probably were, but we are not sure and the processionings of 1715/16 and 1719/20 are perplexing and almost impossible to explain. The complex details of this situation  are discussed at length on the Chronology of Selected Woody Events in Early Virginia page. Our conclusion leaves the door open for a second James Wooddy, but this is almost complete conjecture. In any event, James is last recorded in the Quaker records in 1722, since he was not recorded in intact processioning records of 1731/32. This would mean that James or the two James died before 1731. Based on the only hard evidence we have, we have assumed that only one James Wooddy was record and that he died about 1727.
         We also considered o
ur discovery of two baptismal records in the New Kent Vestry Register: James, son of James and Elisheba Woode on 16 April 1699 and Rebecka, daughter of Simon Woode on 21 Nov 1703. We remembered that in our research on the English origins of the Woody surname, the two syllable pronunciation of Woode was one of the surname variations that latter became Woody. A description of this surname research is at Woody Gleanings. We tested that possibility using all the available surname data of that area and time frame and concluded that Woode had most probably been used as a variation of Woody. This investigation is also detailed in the Chronology of Selected Woody Events in Early Virginia page. We then correlated the baptismal record of Rebecka Woode with the data that is found in the recorded 1734 death record of Simon Woody. Simon left a will that named a daughter Rebecca who seems to have been his first child and this daughter  seems to be a very close match for the Rebecka in the baptismal record. This added to the evidence of the Woode/Woody assumption. Acceptance of this assumption meant that James Woode, baptized in 1799, was probably the son of James Woody, assumed to be born about 1754. This was not an impossible situation, but the alternative added a little to the possibility of a second James Woody; however, we have continued to posit the existence of only one James Woody. Perhaps more research will help clarify this situation.
            The introductory remarks of the compiler of the Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish, Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne, are very useful in understanding composition, importance and validity of this document. As Chamberlayne points out, all of the pre-1754 record is "merely a transcript of an older and long since disappeared, manuscript volume". In fact, we have found several contradictions and transcription errors. Similarly, Chamberlayne's explanation of the appointment of processioning, processioning orders and processioning returns is very informative and useful. Property lines where determined by an ancient and time honored surveying procedure called "metes and bounds". The system of metes and bounds used physical features, such as trees, creeks, rocks, roadways, etc. to describe property boundaries. Because these features tended to change over time, the Virginia Legislature created an act to address the problem in 1662. This act required adjoining landowners to meet regularly to resurvey and agree on new defining features. This process was termed processioning and was an important event in the lives of Colonial landowners. The act also stipulated that processioning was to be preformed every four years under the direction of the parish officials. In stark contrast, The Vestry Book of Henrico Parish, Virginia 1730 - 1773 and The St. James Northam Parish Vestry Book, Goochland County, Virginia 1744 - 1850 do not mention the Woody name one time. In an effort aimed at understanding this anomaly, the records of these and other involved parishes were analyzed and compared with other available records of that time period. This examination revealed some very large differences in the processioning procedures used by most of the parishes. These differences may account for the absence of the Woody name in the Henrico and St. James Northam Vestry Books. Vestry Books of St. Paul's, St. Peter's, St. Martin's, Fredericksville, Henrico and St. James Northam Parishes is a report on this research. Also, it cannot be over emphasized that the records found in vestry books relate almost entirely to freeholders (land owners). Because records found in vestry books, land deeds and land grants provide the bulk of surviving evidence, non-landowners are virtually invisible. There may have been many of these landless Woodys and, in fact, later records provide substantial evidence that this was very likely the case. 
            In addition to processioning records, a number of Hanover and New Kent County land grants have survived from this period. Images of most of the grants can be viewed in the
Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys archive found on the Library of Virginia web site. The wills of two Woodys from this period have survived: Simon and his only son Moor; however, Moor Woody left no descendants.
            In the records described above and in other records of Goochland, Henrico, Hanover and New Kent Counties, the given names of John, Martha, Micajah, Simon, James, Henry, and Samuel appear quite frequently; however, determining the relationships of these people can be extremely difficult. Pre-Civil War birth, marriage and land transaction records are very rare for this period, especially in Hanover County. So it is left to the family historian to first obtain and then subjectively interpret the meaning of the existing documents. Hopefully, yDNA comparisons and analysis will aid these interpretations. Many more details about this branch are in the  Database.

 

Henry & John Woody of Hanover, James Woody of Louisa & John Woody of Goochland
(The long & very complicated story of these men, their relatives & their residences)

            Two Hanover land grants have puzzled us for many years; the 1722 grant to Henry Woody on Turkey Creek and the 1732 grant to John Woody on Poor Creek. The most puzzling aspect of Henry's grant was that Henry was never mentioned once in the St. Paul's Vestry records. Conversely John Woody/Wooddy is found numerous times in the St. Paul's Vestry records; however, we could not understand why the elder John Woody would obtain the grant at this time in his life. Also, his assumed son, John, seemed to be too young for this situation, We now have found a few more Louisa and Albemarle records that have helped us and we think we have a much better understanding of the complex problem of correlating Virginia county records with Virginia parish records. As the population grew rapidly, many Virginians moved westward, mainly in search of affordable land. This population expansion necessitated the rather rapid formation of new counties and new parishes. This dual formation situation was not very well coordinated for the most part making the county and parish boundaries quite confusing in certain instances. A third puzzling event occurred in the early St. Paul's Vestry processionings. We discuss this situation somewhat below and in detail on the Chronology of Selected Woody Events in Early Virginia page.
            To understand our research, reasoning and conclusions, a relatively good understanding of the very complex relationship between Virginia county formation and Virginia parish formation is required. St. Martin's Parish was formed from St. Paul's Parish in 1726. The newly formed St. Martin's Parish covered all the Hanover area lying between the North and South South Anna Rivers together with the area lying west of Stone Horse Creek, a tributary on the south side of the South Anna River. The the headwaters of Stone Horse Creek are very near the intersection formed by the boundaries of Hanover, Goochland and Henrico Counties. Louisa County was formed from Hanover Count in 1742. The new county border was just west of Turkey Creek. At this time, Fredericksville Parish was formed to serve Louisa; however, the area in Hanover between the Louisa border and the western border of St. Paul's Parish remained in St. Martins Parish, as well as, the area of Hanover north of the South Anna River. Complicated? Yes, but necessary to understand the following discussion.
            As we have tried to use the early Virginia land grant written descriptions to find their exact locations, we have encountered a rather significant problem. More than a few of the names of the waterways referenced in the grants are not to be found on modern maps. This should not be surprising, since today's culture seems to insist on eliminating and/or renaming many of the colorful place names that our Colonial ancestors created. After all, what realtor would want to advertise the sale of a home near Licking Hole Creek or Dirty Swamp?  However, Colonial researchers are extremely fortunate to be able to view one of the most important maps of American history in high resolution. In 1751, surveyor's Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson created a very impressive map of Virginia. The publisher, Thomas Jefferys of London, titled the map "A map of the most inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole province of Maryland with part of Pensilvania, New Jersey and North Carolina". This map was made using three linen panels and one of the panel junctions appears on the small map section shown on the right. This 30 x 35 mile section shows the areas of the Woody land grants and deeds that were west of the of the original Woody settlements in eastern Hanover near the New Kent border. Although the map does not include county boundaries, it does show the waterways that were considered significant in 1751. Although other locations are discussed, much of the explanatory material below centers on the area  surrounding the "H" of Henrico on the east side of the map. This is the approximate of the intersection of the bounties of Goochland, Hanover and Henrico Counties. To the east of the "H"  is the untitled Chickahominy River and headwaters. To the north are the headwaters of Stone Horse Creek and to the south are the headwaters of Tuckahoe Creek. Almost all of the waterways discussed below can be found on this map section.
            On 28 February 1722, Henry Woody obtained 400 a acre land grant on the south side of the South Anna River adjoining Edward Trotman, John Glen, Nicholas and Richard Johnson, Capt Thomas Massie and the river. Examination of the adjoining land owner grants reveals that the exact location was on Turkey Creek which is quite close to the now border of Louisa County; howevr, this location fell into St. Martin's Parish when it was formed in 1726. On the above map, Turkey Creek is shown near the center between the "U" and the "N" of County. The next St. Paul's processioning was in 1727; however, the records of the precincts that usually contained Woodys have been lost, as well as, all of the vestry records of St, Martin's Parish. These are the almost surely the reasons why Henry Woody processioning records for Henry seem to be nonexistent. Considering this situation and the nearly complete loss of other pre-Civil War Hanover records, it does not seem very surprising that the next record of Henry is found in a 21 September 1745 Henrico County deed. This deed from Nicholas Pryer of Henrico County conveyed 170 acres at the head of the Drinking Hole Branch in the branches of Tuckahoe Creek to Henry Woody of Hanover County. Pryer/Pryor lived on this land that he had previously purchased from John Martin. We cannot find Drinking Hole Branch/Creek on any map, modern, old or ancient; however, the headwaters of Tuckahoe Creek are shown on the above map just south of the "H" in Henrico. Additionally, deeds of adjacent landowners that this location was near a Chickahominy Swamp. The Chickahominy River is not marked on the above map section; however, the headwaters are shown on just to the north of the "H" in Henrico. The Chickahominy is named in many of the records to the period and formed much of the border between Hanover and Henrico. Although the county borders are not shown on the above map section, this area of closely located river and creek headwaters was also the location the of the intersection of the Goochland, Hanover and Henrico Counties. Also, not far north of the "H" are the headwaters of Stone Horse Creek which marked the boundary between St. Paul's Parish and St. Martin's Parish. Tuckahoe Creek flows generally south to the James River while the Chickahominy flows generally east and south around Richmond and then joins the James River near the Chesapeake Bay. Much of the the land along both Tuckahoe Creek and the Chickahominy was marshy and/or swampy and there are many references to these swamps in Colonial records. The Colonial land grant term for these wet places was usually "slashy ground". On a modern map, this area is located just west of the village of Short Pump and very close to remnants of the historic Three Chopt'd and Pouncey Tract Roads. Using these facts, we conclude that then location of Henry's Henrico land was on the east branch of the Tuckahoe, now called Little Tuckahoe Creek. We also conclude that this Henry was the same person that obtained a 1722 land grand on nearby Turkey Creek in Hanover, Because of the almost total loss of Hanover County records and some loss of Henrico County records, we cannot prove all of these conclusions; however, they are based on facts and seem reasonable.
            On 28 Sep 1732, John Woody obtained a 400 acre Hanover land grant on both sides of Peter's Creek, by Little Creek and the low ground of Poor Creek. Adjoining landowners were John Smething, Capt. Clark and Gilbert Gibson. Later, on 5 Jun 1736, John Smething was granted 1645 acres on both sides of Poor and Peters Creeks on the north side of the Southanna River. This land adjoined the 400 acre grant John had acquired on 5 Jun 1736. Other adjoining landowners were John Woody, Nicholas Meriwether, Robert Netherland, Francis Smething John Burch and Capt. Clark. This location is a little difficult to find on modern maps, but with the help of Google, we seemed to have located it. It was on the north side of the South Anna River in that part of extreme western Hanover that became St. Martin's Parish in 1726 and Louisa County in 1742. It was very close to the boundary of now Louisa and Albemarle Counties. On modern maps, Peter's Creek is now Millington Creek, Poor Creek is now Poore Creek and Little Creek is not shown. On the map above, Poor Creek is located in the extreme northwest corner. Very fortunately, this location has been confirmed by a 1770 Louisa court order that addressed some of the provisions of the 1760 will of Gilbert Gibson, one of the adjacent landowners named in John's grant. If this John Woody lived on this property, he would not have been processioned on this property by the St. Paul's Vestry; however, we we think this person was the John Woody that was processioned in St. Paul's Parish until he died about 1745. It is possible that John sold the property or deeded it to a relative. We have suggested such a possibility in connection with the James Woody of Louisa, who is discussed below. Still another possibility is that this John was the John of Goochland; however, we consider this unlikely.
            We had not found another record of a very early James Woody in Virginia until one is mentioned as a witness, along with Richard Henderson and John Adams, in the 1743 Louisa County deed of William Harris to Stephen Harris. A little later, in 1752 Louisa, a Richard Henderson sold 100 acres on the north side of the South Anna to John Brooks. Also, in 1752, a James Woody was noted as a witness in the Louisa deed of Richard Henderson to John Brooks and later that same year, James Woody apparently sold all his considerable personal possessions to John Brooks. Henderson had acquired his land from the abovementioned William Harris. Other land grants and deeds identify the location of this activity as the "Dirty Swamp" on the north side of the South Anna River. Dirty Creek is shown on the above map east to the east of the junction of the map sections. Poor Creek, the location of the 1722 John Woody land grant, is not far to the west. Still later, in 1769, a court memorandum of Thomas Jefferson shows the suit of John Strange of Albemarle against James Woody and John Brooks. Another memorandum, dated 4 Apr 1769, mentions that James Woody had died leaving a son James Woody of Bedford, a daughter Elizabeth and a daughter Mary and husband John Brooks of Amelia. Again, on 12 July 1770, another  Jefferson memorandum states that the defendant, James Wooddie of Halifax, received the 400 acre Ballenger tract from a patent that his father, James Wooddie, had obtained about 20 years before. Jefferson added that he had not discovered an applicable patent in his search going 50 years back. Our search has not yielded such a patent either; however, James is noted as a resident of Halifax which had been formed from Lunenburg in 1752. Brooks researchers assert that Lunenburg was the location that the John Brooks Sr. family of Louisa moved to in about 1756. All of these related records have contributed to our assumption that that the James Woody found in 1743 Louisa was the same person as the James Woode baptized on 16 April 1699 in New Kent. He was likely the son of  James Woody, the progenitor; however, the early St. Paul's processioning records hint at another possibility. We discuss the details of this possibility on the
Chronology of Selected Woody Events in Early Virginia page.  It seems almost certain that this James Woody and John Brooks were somehow closely related to the David Woody (aka David Books) of Person County, North Carolina. Because of the close connection of David Brooks Woody with James, John and Thomas Woody of Pittsylvania County, we have assumed that these three men were the sons of James Jr. of Hanover and Louisa and that David Brooks Woody was also closely related, probably a half-brother.
            The bottom line to the 1732 land grant investigation of John Woody is that we are still puzzled; however, the above discussion may be related to this grant. This John seems to be the person that was processioned in 1715 and 1719 with a James Woody. This situation may have a bearing on the fact that a James Woody was recorded on Dirty Swamp which is quite close to the Poor/Poore Creek grant of John Woody. We cannot prove this suggestion; however, the connection is a possibility.
            A John Woody is recorded as a headright in the 1701 land grant of John Pleasants, a member of a very wealthy Virginia Quaker family that lived in St. Paul's Parish. The family paid for the importation of many of the people that worked for them and these headrights were used as the basis for land grant claims. There are no other Woodys listed on the grant with John and we do not recognize any of other headrights listed. So we have assumed that this John was at least sixteen and probably twenty-one or somewhat older; however, this is an absolute guess. Using only the recorded names of the early Virginia Woodys, we can find only only one lineage configuration of John that seems to fit the know facts that we have discovered.
            The first proven event associated with John Woody, my direct ancestor, occurred on 20 February 1738 when he was recorded in Goochland in the St. James's Northam Parish Vestry Book as a surveyor for the Mountain Road from Number 20 to Number twenty-six. These numbers were very likely mile markers and probably indicated the mileage from a starting point near Richmond. In Colonial America, the parish officials were in charge building and maintaining roads. The Mountain Road was also know as The Three Chop't Road and The Three Notch'd Road and sections can easily be found on good modern road maps. The "road" followed an ancient Indian trail that had been widened enough for wagons to pass. It was a very rough, unpaved and slightly improved trail that connected the Richmond to the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road near Staunton in Augusta County. Vestry official appointed different landowners to oversee the maintenance of various sections of roads within their jurisdiction, The officials also appointed the tithes of the nearby landowners to assist in this work. These appointments were termed Road Orders and the overseers were termed surveyors although most were not surveyors in the modern sense. Since John was appointed to this position, he must have been a mature, well respected land owner that lived in the area of his road assignment for a few years. This ownership is confirmed by his mention as an adjacent landowner in his 16 September 1740 land grant among the branches of Byrd Creek in Goochland. Byrd/Bird Creek is a tributary of the James River and is shown on west side of the above map section.
            The distance from any of these Woody locations on the above map varies from about ten to twenty-five miles. Not neighbors, but an relatively easy days travel by horse. John Woody of Goochland and his descendants are discussed in detail in Woody Family Roots. All of these locations were relatively distant from the first Woody residences in eastern Hanover. Many Wooddys still reside in this area; however, as we have discussed, primogeniture and cheap land were the prime motivators for westward migration, even short distance migration. We think that the Woodys that moved to the four western Hanover/Louisa locations discussed above resulted from the deaths of their fathers and/or their relative standing as potential heirs. From the available meager evidence, we posit that John of Goochland, Henry of Louisa and James of Louisa were the was the sons of James of New Kent, who seems to have died about 1727 and that John Sr. who died about 1744 was a brother of James Sr. The also suggest that Sion was another brother, although he cold have easily been the son of James Sr. or John Sr. Since we have posited that James Sr. was the son of Robert Woody, born about 1721 and proven resident of Lower Norfolk County, Virginia, this conclusion would mean that John Sr. was also a son of Robert and that Simon probably was the same. In any event, the  early St. Paul's processioning records faintly suggest another lineage. We discuss the details of this possibility on the
Chronology of Selected Woody Events in Early Virginia page.
            In the future, additional evidence may be discovered that may clarify these family connection. Only time will tell. In addition, while an yDNA match can positively prove a male Common Ancestor and an atDNA match may hint at one, advances in genetic DNA testing and computer DNA comparison programs, as well as, the widespread DNA testing of millions of people may help prove some of these family connections.

 

The Quaker Connection


            The Colonial Quakers (Society of Friends) were prodigious record keepers and many of their records have survived and have been transcribed and abstracted by William Wade Hinshaw in the Encyclopedia of American Genealogy. Volume IV of this resource contains the abstracted minutes of the Henrico Monthly Meeting. The regional Monthly Meetings provided a wide range of services for the local (Particular) meetings. The Monthly meetings oversaw the business aspects of the region, but also authorized marriages and dismissals. It is important to note that, besides Henrico, the Henrico Monthly Meeting served the counties New Kent, Hanover Louisa, Goochland, Chesterfield and others. The Henrico Monthly Meeting reports include the male names of James, John, Micajah and William Woody/Wooddy. Also recorded are Martha, the wife of Simon and Cecilla, the wife of Micajah and their children. The Virginia Monthly Meeting records begint in 1672 and the Henrico Parish records start in 1699; however, the Hinshaw abstracts do not include the wedding witnesses. Fortunately, Suzanne Johnston has made complete transcriptions of the Henrico Monthly Meeting records from the LDS FamilySearch film # 0031762. Linda Sparks Starr then included these transcriptions in her Colonial Virginia Connections web site as Henrico County Monthly Meetings 1699-1782.  Suzanne's transcriptions include the list of marriage witnesses which are not part of the Hinshaw abstracts. On 5 June 1722, a James Wooddy was a witness at a Quaker wedding. To our knowledge, the connection between James and the couple is unknown. On the same day, a James provided funds to help build a meeting house. Also, John Wooddy was a witness at the 1739 Quaker wedding of Micajah Wooddy and Cecilla Johnson. The only early surviving Hanover County records are for 1733-1735 and they show that, in 1734, John Woody provided for part of the estate administration bond for Martha Woody, the widow of Simon. A little later, John was named in the estate probate of Moore Woody, son of Simon. Since John was not named in Simon's will, he was almost surely not a son of Simon, so he probably was the brother of Simon. Since John & Simon seemed to be about the same age, that relationship is our assumption. Conversely, Micajah Wooddy, his wife Cecilia, their only known son William and their daughters are noted in Quaker records from 1739 to 1789. Although Micajah's only son William seems to have been enumerated in the 1810 and 1820 Hanover censuses, we have not discovered the names of any of his presumed children. Also, we have not uncovered any significantly sourced research related to this branch of Virginia Woodys and very few lineages have been developed. If you know of other such research, we would appreciate hearing from you.
            Most of the children of Micajah and Cecilia were disowned by the Friends, mainly for marrying "out of unity" (marrying non-Quakers). Micajah and Cecilia also appear to have lapsed before their deaths because the 1771 will of Micajah Woody names the slaves he owned. In 1777, the Friends decided to disown slave holding members and, in 1784, Virginia allowed the Quakers to free their slaves. Because of the slavery issue, most  Friends had left Virginia by 1850. In 1800, when Ceciliah died in 1800, there were only three Friends Meeting Houses left in Virginia. Although Simon Woody is never mentioned in these records, the Quaker  marriages of his daughter's were recorded. In addition, Micajah, Simon and James were all processioned in St. Paul's Parish; however, none of these men were ever appointed as a processioner. This may have been  because they were not members of the Episcopal Church that appointed processioners; however, there were several other reasons for this. In fact, most of the non-Quakers that were processioned were never appointed processioners. In 1689 James Woody was processioned by the New Kent County Vestry and also, in 1699, he also seems to be included in the Register of the Episcopal Church. Based on these dates, we conclude that James and Simon Woody may have been converted to Quakerism between between 1699 and 1722; however, there is absolutely no proof of this and it does not seem to make much difference in our analysis. Although John and Martha Woody (Simon's wife and widow) are both recorded as witnesses in the Quaker marriage of one of Simon's daughters, we think this was because John was the brother of Simon, who was deceased or very ill at the time and anyone could witness a Quaker wedding. John was also recorded as a processioner in the first Hanover processioning in 1708. The processioning returns for 1747 do not exist, but in the processioning order for that year "Saml Wooddy instead of Jno Wooddy" was appointed a processioner. Since this John Woody was never mentioned again, we conclude that he had died or perhaps moved before 1747 and that Samuel, his assumed son, replaced him. The 1751 processioning record is intact and Samuel and Micajah were both processioned and Samuel was again appointed processioner. So, Samuel and perhaps Micajah may have also been recorded in the lost 1747 processioning event.

 

          

John, Micajah & Samuel Woody of Hanover Co., Virginia

            Because Hanover County, Virginia is one of the most difficult Virginia counties in which to do research, we avoided this area for almost twenty years. The Library of Virginia Lost Record's Guide states that "most county records, particularly deeds, wills, and marriage records were destroyed by fire in Richmond on 3 April 1865". However, since nearly all of our research on the Woodys of western Virginia suggests that their ancestors came from Hanover, we are going to try to correlate the scant information that is available.
            The processioning records  found in The Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish 1706-1786 mention Mattedequin and Totopotomoy Creeks many times, along with over one hundred references to the Woodys/Wooddys/etc. that owned land and lived in New Kent and Hanover. The 1763 Hanover tithe records include John Woody, 80 acres; Micajah Woody, 200 acres; and Samuel Woody, 120 acres. On J1766 Samuel Wooddy Newspaper Advertisementune 13, 1766 the Virginia Gazette published an advertisement (image on right) concerning a lost/stolen horse belonging to Samuel Wooddy. On April 29, 1773, the same newspaper published another advertisement concerning John Woody of Hanover. The post Revolution land and personal property tax records for Hanover are extant and start in 1782. The earliest of these tax records list Samuel, Micajah, Cisley, John, Hartwell, Obediah, Lucy and William Woody. The 1782 land tax acreages for John and Samuel are identical to the 1763 records. The 1782 land tax acreage for Sisley (Celilia) Woody, the wife of Micajah, was 190 acres. So we are very confident that these were the same Hanover  families that were taxed in 1763. In addition, John, Samuel, Micajah and Lucy Woody were enumerated in the 1782 Hanover County census. Since there is a surviving will transcript for John and a surviving will abstract for Micajah, we know the names of their children and their death dates; however, Samuel Woody died intestate. John Wooddy Jr. died c. 1786, Samuel died c. 1788 and Micajah died c. 1774. William (c. 1750 - c. 1826) was almost surely the son of Micajah, but we dot know the names of any of his children. These records illustrate how landless individuals can be virtually invisible in this time frame. Lucy, Hartwell (born c. 1777) and Obediah (born c. 1761) were noted in the personal property tax records only and they were probably among those in the households of Samuel and Lucy in 1782, but neither Samuel or Lucy left surviving wills. Obediah is especially interesting because, in 1784, he was charged with a tax on two named slaves that had been charged to Samuel Sr. in 1782. So Obediah appears to have been the son of Samuel Sr.; however, he seems to have to have died about 1794. The identity of Lucy is unknown, but she may have been a second wife and widow of Samuel. She seem to disappeared after 1796. Hartwell was probably the son of Micajah Woody Jr., the son of Samuel and he almost surely died about 1802. Obediah and Hartwell were never taxed as landowners and they left no surviving wills. This is just about all we know about Samuel, Lucy, Obediah, Hartwell and the several other unknown individuals enumerated in the Samuel and Lucy Woody households of 1782 Hanover County, Virginia.
            However, there are other pieces of interesting and complex information concerning the estates of John and Samuel Woody. John's tax records were noted as "John Woody estate" from 1786 until 1800, when the property was conveyed to his widow Ruth as his will directed. Samuel's tax records are noted as "Samuel Woody estate from 1788 until 1797; however, in 1800, the property of Samuel Woody was transferred to his assumed son Micajah Woody Jr. The law of entail was abolished in 1776 and the law of primogeniture was repealed in 1786, so if Samuel died in 1788, these laws would not have been applicable to his estate. However, the years 1800 and 1801 coincide with some other important events. The youngest child of John and Ruth Wooddy arrived at his age of majority about this time about 1800, as did the some of the children of Ann Woody Talley, the daughter of Samuel Sr., so the delay in the estate settlement could the attributed to these events.  In the last Hanover processioning in 1784, Samuel Woody was listed in two different, but adjacent precincts. We think that  these two Samuels were the same person and another Samuel did not appear on the tax rolls until 1801. We suggest that this was the Samuel W. Woody who died in 1856 in Richmond and we posit that he was the sons of Micajah Woody Jr. This assumption is supported by the fact that, in 1802, Samuel Jr. was taxed in Chesterfield County, near Richmond, and made significant land purchases there in 1805 and 1806 (See Samuel W. Wooddy below). Based on the posited 1779 birth date of Henry Talley Woody who moved to Georgia before 1800, but returned to Chesterfield County shortly before 1812 when he died, we also posit that he was a son of Samuel Sr.  Ann, the daughter of Samuel Woody Sr. married Elisha Talley and the middle name of Henry Talley Woody suggests that his father may also have married a Talley. we suggest the Micajah, her brother, might have also done so,  We do not have a verifiable birth date for Samuel Sr., but based on what we know, he would have been 55-65 years old when Samuel W. was born. This assumption is reinforced by the 1809 record of the mail contractor John Woody Jr. in Augusta Georgia. The early 1800 Woody mail contracting business is discussed at Woody/Wooddy Mail Contractors. We have estimated Obediah's birth date from his first taxation in 1784 and he would have been 15-18 when Samuel W. was born. So we have a choice between a rather old father and a rather young one. From our experience with this line, we posit that Samuel Sr. was the father of Samuel W. Wooddy. Since virtually all of the records of Hanover County were destroyed in the Civil War, it seems impossible to prove this assumption; however, the alignment of these facts forms a body of significant circumstantial evidence. The events in the life of Henry Talley Wooddy (see below) are nearly identical to those of Samuel W. Wooddy. Based on these events, as well as, evidence showing
Henry Talley and Obediah Talley, the son of Ann Woody Tally were living in close proximity in Wilkes County, Georgia and Chesterfield County, Virginia and the close association of Henry Talley Woody  with Obadiah Talley, the son of Ann Woody Talley, the daughter of Samuel Wooddy Sr., we have concluded that Henry Talley Woody was another son of Samuel Woody Sr. Although we are quite certain that the funds for the land purchases of Samuel W. and Henry T. Wooddy came from the sale of the land of Samuel Sr., there is the possibility of an intervening generation in the person of Obediah Wooddy (c. 1761-c. 1794). Except for the age of Samuel Sr., there is no evidence at all to support this scenario. If Obediah did inherit the property of Samuel Sr., this event was never recorded in twelve years of tax records. The evidence points to a significant event occurring in 1801 and both Samuel W. and Henry T. reached the age of twenty-one about this time; however, this event would apply to an inheritance from either Samuel Sr. or Obediah.
           Micajah and Cecilia Johnson Woody were Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) and they were married in the Hanover Friend's Meeting House on September 4, 1739. Micajah, Cecilia and most of their children are mentioned in the Friend's meeting records and later, in the Hanover tax lists. Micajah's will was dated September 23, 1771 and he died in 1800/1801. Although Micajah's actual will is not extant, he, his wife and his children were recorded in a 1819 law suit that included a synopsis of Micajah's will. A little known transcription of John's September 16, 1784 will is also extant and names his wife Ruth and ten children. Micajah Woody was a witness to the original document. John Sr. died in 1786. Samuel Sr. died between 1782 & 1787. William Woody was very likely the son of Micajah and Cecilia Woody and is probably the William Woody that, on December 29, 1789, bought 126 acres on Totopotomoy Creek in Hanover from Thomas and Susan Tinsley. By 1850, as family farming was becoming less and less profitable, a migration to the nearby city of Richmond was well underway.
            There are dozens, if not hundreds, of genealogies, lineages and GEDCOMs on the internet that flatly state that Micajah, Mary, Martha and Judith were the children of James and Martha Woody. We have never found any proof that James had a wife named Martha.  We have not found any other direct evidence concerning the children of James. The evidence seems to indicate that James was older than Micajah and that both were Quakers. As is usual, we do not know the original proponent of this story, but some very important, easy to find, primary evidence has been overlooked. In 1734, Simon Woody died testate in Hanover County and his will was probated the same year. He named his wife Martha, son Moore and daughters Mary, Martha, Judith and Rebecca. Unfortunately, his only son Moore died testate later the same year. Moore's will named his mother Martha and sisters Mary, Martha, Judith and Susanna. Simon's widow, Martha, lived until about 1769, when her son-in-law, Nathan Johnson, contested her will (not extant). The Mary, Martha and Judith Woody that married David, Ashley and Nathan Johnson were the daughters of Simon Woody, not James Woody. The complete transcripts (not abstracts) of the original Quaker marriage records can be found online. The marriage record of Micajah seems to imply that he was the son of John Sr. and that he converted to Quakerism sometime before his marriage to Cecelia.
            However, it is interesting to note that neither Micajah or his son William were ever appointed processioners by the Anglican church officials and this was undoubtedly because Micajah and William were Quakers. Likewise, neither James or Simon were ever appointed processioners, so it would seem possible that James and Simon were also Quakers; however, it is our opinion that their physical disabilities were the main reason for this situation.
           
Some of the authors of the abovementioned lineages also assert that this same Micajah Woody married Mrs. Elizabeth Allen, widow of Littleberry Allen, on Aug 15, 1796 in Henrico County. While it is true that such a marriage was originally transcribed and published, Micajah Woody died about 1774, as detailed in the law suit filed by his daughter Sarah, but not settled until 1819. However, the abovementioned suit begins with the phrase; "Micajah Woody, Senr., of the County of Hanover, by his Will, dated Sept. 23d, 1771...". It should be remembered that the term "junior" and "senior" were commonly used to differentiate between two men with the same name and did not necessarily imply a father and son relationship. More recent primary research has shed some light on this puzzle. The minutes of the Henrico County Boar Swamp Baptist Church contain this short note: "Dec 1, 1787, Elizabeth Allen, now Woody - removed".  In addition, the will of Rev. Littleberry Allen, a Baptist preacher, was dated August 20, 1783 and recorded June 6, 1786 in Henrico. His will names his widow Elizabeth Allen and seven children; however, we have not seen the probate record of the Allen estate. The Boar Swamp Baptist Church was located very near the border of Hanover and Henrico Counties and close to the Woody homesteads east of Richmond in Hanover. So, a second Micajah seems to have existed in 1786; however, Micajah is not mentioned as an inheritor in the 1771 will of Micajah Sr. or the 1784 will of John Jr; however, in 1800, a Micajah Woody was assessed a land tax on 120 acres of land was had recently been conveyed to him from the estate of Samuel Woody. Since Samuel died intestate and Micajah's  sister, Ann, had several children, this conveyance delay may have been related to all of Samuel's inheritors reaching their age of majority. Micajah Jr. was also assessed a land tax on this property in 1801 and 1802. Micajah Jr. was recorded in Hanover County processionings 1775 until 1784 and he was also assessed personal property taxes in Hanover from 1786 until 1802. So, from these records, we have assumed that Micajah Jr. was the son of Samuel Woody, who died about 1788 and that he removed or died about 1803. Micajah Jr. probably did not have children with the widow of Littleberry Allen; however, the Hanover tax records strongly suggest that he did have at least two male children with a previous wife. These records suggest that these males were born about 1770 or so. Later tax records name some possible male candidates; however, some of these men were likely other sons of Samuel Sr. The 1775 processioning records suggest that Micajah Jr. was born before about 1754. Since his sister Ann was born about this time, we are positing a birth date of about 1751.  
            An important common thread connecting the early 19th
century Wooddys from King 1824 Woody Mail ContractorsWilliam, Hanover and elsewhere was the mail transportation business. The image at the right is from the "Mail Contractors" section of the 1824 National Calendar and Annals of the United States. Since these businesses probably employed various members of the families, it would seem that the Wooddys of this area regularly visited other 1809 Wooddy Mail Contractors in Georgia News localities, some quite distant. The Wooddys were employed as mail contractors as early as 1809 as the unclaimed mail newspaper advertisement from the Augusta Chronicle shows. Augusta is in Wilkes County, Georgia, the parent county of Oglethorpe County, the home of Henry Talley Woody, discussed below. Henry also used the Augusta post office to receive mail. For a more detailed description of the Mail Contracting business and other Woody/Wooddy Mail Contractors, click here.
            The Battle of Cold Harbor, in Hanover County, was
one of the Civil W1860 Hanover Home of David Wooddy.ar's bloodiest, most lopsided battles. Between May 26, 1864 and June 3, 1864, thousands of Union soldiers were slaughtered in a hopeless frontal assault against the heavily fortified Confederate troops of Gen. Robert E. Lee. For a time, the farmhouse of David Wooddy, about three miles south of Mattedequin Creek, was the headquarters of Union Maj. Gen.  Ambrose E. Burnside. The Wooddy farmhouse still stands and the adjoining property is home to a modern subdivision called Wooddy's Hundred. The nearby Cold Harbor National Cemetery contains the remains of Union soldiers that were originally interred on "Woody's Farm". This 1861 map of Hanover and surrounding counties shows the Cold Harbor area. This June 3, 1864 map of the battle clearly shows the "Woody house".
            Many of the descendants of the Hanover Woodys used the Wooddy variation, so it is relatively easy to locate more recent records. For instance, six Wooddys are buried in the Perrin (a.k.a: Snead, Wooddy) Family Cemetery in Hanover. This cemetery is about two miles north of Totopotomoy Creek. Also, there are Wooddys listed in current area telephone directories. So, Wooddys have lived in this area for at least 320 years.
            Mark W. Wooddy, the grandson of William Samuel Wooddy, has kindly provided us with the full names and exact birth dates of the nine children of James P. Wooddy (1772-1839), one of the sons of John and Ruth Wooddy mentioned above. Many of the Wooddys living in present day Hanover seem to be the descendents of James and his wife Mary Q. Jones Wooddy, who were married in 1795. This data confirms and considerably enhances the research that we have done. William Samuel received this data from his older cousin, Harriet Wooddy Wright. Also, Mark has provided us with several images of his forefathers. These images are here.
            We have been able to find only a very few published lineages or discussions of this line. This seems a little odd to us, but if the reader knows of such information, we will greatly appreciate your assistance.  Also, it would be very helpful to have a Woody DNA Project participant from this branch. Many more details about this branch are in the Database.           

 

John Woody of Goochland Co., Virginia


            On September 16, 1740, John Woody received a land grant for 375 acres among the branches of the Byrd Creek in Goochland County. His neighbors were James Johnson and Francis Baker, but John already owned adjacent land, since the grant description mentions his existing property line. His previous ownership is also confirmed since, on February 20, 1738, he and William Martin were mentioned as surveyors for the Mountain Road. The Mountain Road stretched from Richmond west across the Blue Ridge and was the main east-west thoroughfare of the period. The road was also know as the Three Notch'd Road and the Chopped Road since the bordering trees were blazed with three hatchet marks. Small sections of this road can still be found on modern road maps. Research done by the the staff of the Virginia Transportation Research Council has resulted in the Roadway route depicted on a current Virginia county map. On this map, the upper branches of Byrd Creek are in the northeast corner of Fluvanna County very near the Louisa and Goochland borders.

            John added to his property on December 15, 1741 when he purchased 200 acres on both sides of a large branch of Byrd Creek from Abraham Venable. This tract was part of a 2000 acre parcel that Abraham patented on June 20, 1733. Abraham Venable owned over 10,000 acres in Virginia and most of the residents of the Byrd Creek area purchased their land from him. In 1744, Arthur Hopkins, Gentleman, was charged with the duty of listing the tithables on the north side of the James River from Ballenger's Creek to Lickinghole Creek. (the upper branches of Byrd Creek are a few miles east of Ballenger Creek in present day Fluvanna). Included in his list of some four hundred residents were the consecutive names of Jn Woodey, [torn] Bankes, Wm Martin and Jn Curby. On August 8, 1748 and May 13, 1751, John sold his two plots which were by then in Albemarle County.
 One of the buyers was John Howard of Hanover County. Arthur Hopkins was one of the witnesses on the 1751 deed. The deeds do not mention that John's wife relinquished her dower, so we assume that she had died by then. In 1755, a detailed map of this area was published. This map was based on the surveys of Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson, the father of President Thomas Jefferson.
   
        Will Banks and Elizabeth Martin were married September 15, 1753 in Dover Church, the same church that Henry Woody and Susannah Martin were married January 13, 1761.
William Banks, the neighbor of John Woody, died in Albemarle County sometime before July 26, 1762, when his widow Elizabeth Martin Banks Wilkerson and her new husband Jarrott Wilkerson were appointed administrators of his estate. Among others mentioned in the accounting were John, Henry and Thomas Woody. Thomas was paid for "one years hire". 
           John Woody was mentioned again as a creditor in the probate of the estate of Arthur Hopkins on May 31, 1765. Dr. Arthur Hopkins, Gentleman, was a resident of the Byrd Creek community, a very well know physician, a high sheriff and a justice of the peace. He was also a witness to the sale of John Woody's property on Byrd Creek in 1751.
           The descendants of Henry, Thomas and William Banks Woody have matching yDNA. Additionally, these men were close associated with the Martin and the Banks families and the Martin and Banks names were used as Woody given names. For these reasons and other circumstantial evidence, we have concluded that the wife of John Woody was a Banks and that Henry, Thomas and William Banks Woody were John's sons. We cannot prove the parents of John; however, we think his father was James Woody Jr., who seemingly died about in Hanover about 1727. The details concerning the Henry, Thomas and William Woody branches and their lineages are at Woody Family Roots.

 

 

 

Henry & William Woody of Bedford Co., Virginia
 

            William Woody was taxed for personal property in Bedford Co., Virginia for the years 1782 - 1814. In 1778, he purchased 89 acres on Little Otter Creek and in 1780, he added another 106 acres to his holdings in this area. In 1781, he helped inventory the estate of Lynah Brown and in 1789, he witnessed the will of James Brown, the father of William's wife Margaret Brown. William is one of the only Woodys in this area to own land and leave a will. The will of March 30, 1812 names his wife and his daughter Betsey, who confusingly, had married James Brown, the son of the abovementioned Lynah, in 1794. Betsey and James Brown moved to Kanawha County, along with several other Woodys families from the surrounding counties. Many more details about this branch are in the Database. Interestingly, a William Wooddie was also noted in 1758 as a Private in the the Bedford militia; however, this William may have been the husband of Sarah Percell/Purcell and the progenitor of a completely different line of Woodys that supposedly emigrated from England a rather short time earlier. This family soon moved to northern North Carolina in the mid-1750s and later to South Carolina. To see our analysis of this situation, click here.
             
After moving from Amherst County, Henry Woody was taxed for personal property in Bedford every year between 1782 and 1792. In 1784 and 1785, Henry Woody purchased  233 acres on Camp Branch in Bedford County from the 16,000 acre inheritance of Robert and Thomas Pleasants. Henry and Susanna sold this property to Benjamin Bird  in 1791 and then purchased a farm in Franklin County in 1792. Henry's son, Randolph, was married in Bedford in 1790.
           
  Even more interestingly to us is the 1758 Bedford County  record which Henry Wooddy was mentioned in a letter to George Washington. At this time, Washington was commander of the British forces in Virginia and this communication described a deadly skirmish with Native Americans in southern Bedford County.
            Since we have not been able to ascertain an approximate birth date for William, the husband of Margaret Brown Woody, it is very difficult to even posit his relationship to the other Woodys in the area surrounding Bedford. It is possible that William and Henry Woody might have been brothers; however, the William Banks Woody that was recorded in the Douglas Register with Henry seems to be a much better candidate. Henry and William B. both had a child baptized on March 12, 1764 in Dover Church, Goochland County. Henry and William B. later moved to the adjacent counties of Franklin and Henry.
The details concerning the Henry and William Banks Woody branches are in Woody Family Roots.
            So we are assuming that the later William Woody of Bedford was probably the brother of Henry Woody of Henrico County, described in the next section. A William Woody is mentioned
in the 1766 estate settlement of of Henry of Henrico, but that is the only reference to William Woody that we have found in Henrico in that time frame. This probably indicates that William did not own land in Henrico at the time of Henry's death and may have not lived in that county.
 

 

            On September 21, 1745,  Henry Woody of Hanover paid Nicolas Pryer of Henrico County 40 for 170 acres at the head of Drinking Hole Branch on Tuckahoe Creek in the County and Parish of Henrico. Tuckahoe Creek is a tributary of the James River about twenty miles upstream from Richmond. The deed witnesses were Benjamin Johnson, William Street and Sarah Johnson. The deed for this sale is a very important document since it connects Henry Woody of Hanover to Henrico County. A later deed mentions that Henry lived on this property, so the transaction was not simply land speculation. We have not been unable to locate Drinking Hole Branch on any Virginia map, but the deed descriptions of adjacent landowners suggests the small creek entered Tuckahoe Creek very close to the Goochland border and just north of the Three Chopt Road. The small section of  a Map of Henrico County, Virginia is shown on the left. This map is a landowners map and was published by A. Hoen & Co. in 1901. The forks of Tuckahoe Creek are shown on the far west (left) side of the map, just above the Three Chopt Road. Pouncey Tract Road is also shown on the map and is mentioned in several other deeds about this time. The intersection of Three Chop't Road and Pouncey Road is in Short Pump Village, slightly off the southeast corner of the map. These features can be found on modern maps just south of Interstate 64. The east fork of Tuckahoe Creek is now called Little Tuckahoe Creek. This location is not far south of the the Chickahominy River which forms the border with Hanover County. Smaller creeks are not shown on this map; however, modern topographical maps shows several very small unnamed creeks entering the Tuckahoe and Little Tuckahoe in this area. We think that one of them was Drinking Hole Branch. Several Henley properties are shown on the map and several more are just off the section edges. On 15 March 1744, Leonard Henley was granted 30 acres in Goochland County on Tuckahoe Creek bordering Henrico County. His adjacent landowner was John Martin, On 20 September 1745, Leonard Henley was granted 130 acres in Henrico on Drinking Hole Run. Adjacent landowners and boundaries were John Martin, Robert Hardwick, Johnson, Shoemaker, the Goochland line and said Henley. On March 3 1755, Henry Woody and his wife, Webby, sold property, "being the land said Woody now lives" to William Henley. Their neighbors were John Martin, Leonard Henley and Benjamin Johnson. On  6 September 1762, Austin (Augustine) Woody, the assumed son of Henry Woody was deeded 50 acres in Henrico adjacent to John Martin's patent. All of the above evidence strongly suggest that the area shown on the map section was home to Henry Woody.  A small bit of circumstantial evidence suggests that Henry was the son of John Woody and that he was the same Henry Woody that, on 18 February 1722, received a land grant on Turkey Creek in Hanover County. The headwaters of Turkey Creek are not far from the headwaters of Tuckahoe Creek. We do not know if Henry ever lived on Turkey Creek or not. In 1752, freeholder Henry Woody voted for William Randolph and Bowler Cocke as Burgesses of Henrico County. Another voter was Richard Contrell.  
            Henry Woody died shortly before November, 1766 when his will was proved in Henrico by his widow, Webby* Woody. Security was provided by William Woody and Stephen Spurlock. The court ordered Thomas Ellis, Samuel Shepherd and Richard Cottrell to appraise the estate. Very unfortunately, the will has not survived. Although several other Woodys are mentioned in the Henrico records, William Woody is not one of them. Because of this absence, we think it is probable that this William was the
William Woody of Bedford County, described above. This William did not seem to leave any male descendants.
            The Cottrell surname was almost as rare as Woody in Colonial Virginia. Although none of the Woodys are mentioned in the The Vestry Book of Henrico Parish, Virginia 1730 - 1773, Richard Cottrell  was noted as a processioner several times. Richard Cottrell, Henry Woody and Austin Woody are the links between the Woodys of Henrico County and the Woodys of the Blue Ridge region of Virginia. On September 7, 1785, Samuel Woody married Mrs. Elizabeth Denis in Henrico. Consent for Elizabeth was provided by Mr. and Mrs. Rich'd Cottrell and Henry Woody provided security. Richard Cottrell was the father of Elizabeth and Henry Woody was son of either Henry Woody Sr. or Austin/Augustine. Samuel Woody died about 1809: however, we have identified Richard C. Woody and Pocahontas R. Woody as his and Elizabeth's children. Recently, the research of Barbara Taylor has uncovered an autosomal DNA match that has confirmed that Samuel S. Woody (1788-1860) as another son of Samuel and Elizabeth. In 1843, Elizabeth Cottrell Dennis Woody, then a widow of 87, deposed for the widow, Martha Kirby Woody, on her pension application based on the Revolutionary War service of her husband Benjamin Woody. Elizabeth stated that
"She was well acquainted with Benjamin Woody who was the brother of her deceased husband Samuel Woody...". Our previous research has discovered direct primary evidence proving that John, Austin and Hawkins Woody were sons of Benjamin Woody. Recently, Nancy Woody Whitesell has uncovered direct primary evidence that adds Fleming Woody to this list. We believe that descendants of all of these men are eligible for membership in the DAR and similar organizations.
            Although some of our research is based on circumstantial evidence, we are reasonably sure that two of the sons of Henry Woody moved to Buckingham and Fluvanna counties about 1776. These sons were Austin/Augustine and Henry Woody and their sons were: Benjamin (2), Augustine/Austin, Henry, Samuel
and William Woody. These men were the forefathers of most of the Woodys found in Albemarle, Amherst, Bedford, Buckingham, Fluvanna and Nelson Counties, as well as, the city of Lynchburg, Virginia from the late 18th century until the present time. We are very grateful to Daniel Moore who has provided us with copies of many primary evidence documents concerning the descendants of one of the Benjamin Woodys mentioned directly above. By about 1830, a small number of these Woodys had moved west into Kanawha and Putnam Counties which became part of West Virginia when that state was formed in 1863; however, the vast majority remained in the same general area that their forefathers had settled starting about 1776. We cannot prove the parents of Henry, but we think he was the son of James Wooddy Jr., who died in Hanover about 1727. Many more details about this branch are in the Database.

*Webby Woody was transcribed and published as Westly Woody by a very good transcriber. This error threw us off the track for a while since we tried to find the non-existent Westly. This is a good example of the value of seeing an image of the original document.

 

Augustine, Benjamin, Henry, Samuel & William Woody of the Lynchburg, Virginia Area
(Primarily Amherst, Albemarle, Bedford, Buckingham & Nelson Counties) 

        The Virginia Woodys began their westward movement from the New Kent, Hanover & Goochland County area in the mid-1700s. A very large number ended up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Lynchburg. This area, along with the Mitchell and Yancey county area in North Carolina and the area around Knoxville in East Tennessee still contain the largest concentrations of Woodys in the world. It is interesting that all of these areas are part of the Appalachian Mountain chain. The incredible loss of Virginia records makes it virtually impossible to pinpoint the earliest Woody migrants and their exact arrival dates in the Lynchburg region. The discussion below is primarily based on surviving land, tax and other court records. Most of these records have not been transcribed and are only available from the Library of Virginia and LDS microfilm archives. It must be emphasized that, although the discussion below is based on the actual legitimate sources (facts) mentioned above, the family connections assumed should only be considered as opinions, not facts. That is, almost of the assumed early family connections are based on circumstantial evidence. Some of this evidence is very strong, but much is only average or weak; however, as more unindexed, difficult to read images of original records are investigated by diligent researchers, these assumed family connections can be verified, modified or dismissed.
        These sparse records indicate that Augustine and Henry Woody were first recorded in Buckingham County about 1775. They were probably the sons of Henry Woody of Henrico County. The father of Henry can only be guessed at, but was likely James, John or Samuel Woody of Hanover County. In any event, the sons of Augustine and Henry seem to have been Augustine, Benjamin, Henry, Samuel and William. Another early migrant to this area was William Woody of Bedford County. He may also have been a son of Henry of Henrico, but that is less clear. This William does not seem to have had any surviving sons.
        In the 1840 Virginia census, about 330 Woody (and variations) heads-of-households were enumerated. The majority of these families resided in the Lynchburg area. The 1940 census enumerates about 1100 Woody individuals in Virginia and, although the Woody population was much more dispersed, the majority still resided in the Lynchburg area.
        yDNA has shown that virtually all United States Woodys with Virginia roots are related. Although a discussion of the Lynchburg Woody family lineages is beyond the scope of this page, nearly all can be found in the Database.

 

James, John & Thomas Woody of Pittsylvania Co., Virginia

            On February 28, 1774,  James Woody of Cumberland County purchased 30 acres in Southam Parish, Cumberland County from Hugh Woodson for 45. On December 28, 1778, James and his wife Lewcy Woody of Powhatan County sold this property to Creacher Baugh for 150, a significant profit. Since Powhatan County was created from Southam Parish, Cumberland County in 1777, the property was now in Powhatan County. This event is extremely important since it places James Woody very close to the Buckingham County Woody residences of that time and close to Hanover County, the ancestral American home of the Woodys. The dates also dovetail very well with the first record of James Woody in Pittsylvania County in 1782. No other Woodys are recorded in the early Cumberland County deed books; however, a Henry Woody is recorded as the plaintiff in a Cumberland County lawsuit with Bartlett Thompson in 1784 and 1785. This person was most likely the Henry Woody who signed a petition in nearby Buckingham County in 1779 and was first taxed in that county in 1782 (See Henry of Henrico, directly above). We have checked The Vestry Book of Southam Parish, Cumberland County, Virginia, 1745-1792 (part of Southam Parish was in Powhatan County in 1777-1792) to see if any Woodys are named in the processioning records: however, as with most Vestry Books (See  An Analysis of the Vestry Books of St. Paul's, Fredericksville, Henrico and St. James Northam Parishes), the processioners are named, but the landowners are only recorded occasionally. There is no record of any Woody in the Vestry Book, but Cruther Baugh is named as a processioner in 1779 and 1783. We now think it is quite possible that James Woody of Cumberland and Pittsylvania was a son of James Woody of Hanover and Louisa counties.
            The analysis of the early lineage of this Woody branch is complicated by several circumstances. First, the Pittsylvania Woodys lived in the southeast corner of the county, very close to the county lines of Halifax, Virginia and Person and Caswell, North Carolina. Pertinent records have been found in all of these counties. Also, some of these records present inconsistent, conflicting and puzzling evidence. The most perplexing evidence involves the several of John Woodys mentioned in these records. We now assume that one of these John Woodys was the brother of James Woody of Pittsylvania and the half-brother of David Brooks/Woody of Person Country. North Carolina.
            The 1782 Pittsylvania County, Virginia census includes James Woody with four other white individuals in his home.
As mentioned above, Pittsylvania County was formed from Halifax County in James Woody in 1782 Pittsylvania County Census1767 and many land records have survived from the early days of Pittsylvania. However, it was not until 1780 that John Woody (over 21, thus born before 1759), "son of James Woody of the County of Pittsylvania", bought 235 acres along Sandy and Cane Creeks from the estate of Nathaniel Ayers. The wording of this deed suggests that the document is a copy that was first filed in another county; however, if so, we have not found the original. A little later, on August 1, 1781, Thomas Woody (over 21, thus born before 1760) purchased 100 acres on Sandy Creek from Uriah Owen. On February 13, 1785, William Owen sold John Woody junr 200 acres on the waters of Sandy Creek. Be aware that the term "junior" did not necessarily imply a farther-son relationship. The term was often used to distinguish between between two men with the same names that lived in the same area. In this case, it is proof that the writers of deed were aware of two John Woodys: One was old enough to purchase property (over 21) and one older than the property buyer. Cane and Sandy Creeks are tributaries of the Dan River located in the southeastern part of Pittsylvania County near the Halifax County, Virginia border and also, near the borders of Caswell and Person Counties, North Carolina. We have found Woody deeds along the state border of all four counties.
             James, John and Thomas Woody continued to buy and sell substantial parcels of land in this area for some twenty years. James died intestate in 1818, but the records of his estate settlement name a widow Lucy, sons James Jr., John and Thomas and daughters Frances Woody and Polly Arnett. By the time of James' death, his son John had moved to Georgetown, South Carolina where grandson, John Thomas was born in 1808 and enumerated in the census of 1840. John Thomas later lived in Charleston, South Carolina and, near the time of the Civil War, he moved to Chicago, Illinois with some of his family. In the mid-1850s, several descendants of James Woody Sr. moved to the adjacent Kentucky counties of Logan, Todd and Warren. James Woody Jr. was enumerated in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 censuses of Warren County. Pleasant Woody, the son of James Jr.'s brother Thomas married Permelia Walters on 21 Apr 1826 in Pittsylvania County and he was enumerated in this area from 1840 through 1860. The probate records of Archibald Walters, the father of Permelia, names Wesley Woodie as a grandson. Permelia died in Pittsylvania County when Wesley was an infant; however, he later became the father seventeen children. Wesley was enumerated in Logan County from 1860 through 1880. In 1860, he and Pleasant Woody lived on adjacent properties.
            
            The yearly collection of Pittsylvania County personal property taxes began in 1782. We have viewed these tax records and discovered that James was the only Woody personal property taxpayer in Pittsylvania until Thomas was added to the list in 1807. Thomas' first tax date implies a birth date of about 1786 and this date is supported by the 1820 census birth date range of 1775/1794. If this is the correct birth date estimate for Thomas, the Thomas that bought property 1781 (described above) was a different person. Since James' son John was never assessed for personal property taxes in Pittsylvania, we assume that he was living in one of the nearby Virginia or North Carolina counties; however, the analysis of records is complicated by a second John Woody living in the same area. For example, the 1814 Person County, North Carolina records describe a sale of named slaves by John Woody to his "brother James Woody" of Pittsylvania County. These same named slaves were mentioned in the later estate settlement for James of Pittsylvania.
            Very conclusive primary evidence leads us to conclude that the John Woody that bought land in 1780 Pittsylvania was indeed the son of James. This conclusion has several implications: John was older than his enumerated birth date of 1770-1780 in the 1830 Georgetown, South Carolina census. Since this record of enumeration is a clerk's copy that was made from the original record, it may have been a transcription error. The transcription of the 1780 deed implies that John was at least 21 when he made the land purchase; however, John sold this land in 1801 and this transcript states that the land was a gift from James. So, we are estimating the birth date of John to be 1761. This birth date implies that John's mother was not Lucy and that his father, James, was older than we previously estimated. We now estimate James birth date as being before 1741. The 1785 deed that mentions a "John junr" as a land buyer again complicates the analysis; however, John, the son of James, also sold this land in 1801, so John Jr. was the son of James. Since there were other John Woodys living in the nearby Franklin County, Virginia and Orange County, North Carolina, one of these men could have been the implied John Woody Sr;  however, John Sr. was probably the brother of James mentioned in 1814 Person County slave transaction. We have discovered several land transaction records of John Woody(s) very close by in Halifax County and Caswell County, North Carolina; however, there are no records of land tax assessments in either county. In the Halifax 1794-1804 period, John Woody was assessed personal property taxes five times and, in 1804, he was recorded as John Woody Senr. However, by this time, there was a younger John Woody, son of David, living close by in Person County, North Carolina. The only Caswell personal property assessment was in 1786. So John Woody appears to have lived mostly in Halifax County, Virginia, but participated in real estate speculation in Pittsylvania, Halifax and Caswell.
            We know that James of Pittsylvania had a brother John and we assume that the older Thomas Woody and the David Woody of Person County, North Carolina were likely the brothers or close relatives. Their father/fathers would have been contemporaries of John of Goochland and Henry of Tuckahoe Creek. We have found a James Woody that is a likely candidate for the father of these men in Louisa County in 1743 through 1755. We assume that this James was the brother of John Woody Jr. as they were processioned in the same St. Paul's Parish Precinct from 1711 through 1731. If this assumption is correct, then James Jr. would have been born about 1688.  In 1752, this James seems to have sold considerable personal property from his "plantation" to John Brooks. Apparently, James did not own the land he was living on, since John Brooks purchased this property from Richard and Elizabeth Henderson earlier the same year. John Brooks is extremely interesting since there was a very strong Woody/Brooks connection in Caswell, Halifax and Person Counties. David Brooks, aka David Woody, of Person County, North Carolina We do not know what happened to this James, but we have also found a John Woody in 1757 Halifax County, Virginia. We have assumed that this John Woody was the brother of James Woody of Pittsylvania.
            However, the most perplexing thing to us is the source of money that all of these Woodys seemed to suddenly acquire in the late 1700s. Land ownership provided the major asset of most people at this time and, after the widow's dower, their assets were usually passed on to their children at their death. In fact, inheritance in Virginia was based on primogeniture law and customs until 1785. The result of this situation usually meant that the eldest son of the deceased received the bulk of the estate. Land and slaves were the most important assets in most Virginia estates and only a very few Woodys possessed such assets. We know of only a few candidate Woodys in this area that died owning land. Henry of Henrico died in 1766 and Samuel of Hanover died c.1788 (see above). However, since there are infrequent early Woody records in Hanover and the counties west of Hanover, it is quite possible that the early Pittsylvania Woodys were sons and/or grandsons of James and/or John Woody of Hanover.
            yDNA comparisons show that James Woody was very closely related to the other Woodys of western Virginia. The Woodys appearance in Pittsylvania in 1780 indicates that they arrived at that time or/and they suddenly came into a substantial amount of money at that time. There are several tantalizing clues that might lead to the parents of James Woody and our research continues.
           Our thanks goes to Charles Owen Woody for his excellent basic research and documentation of much of this line, Sharon Petersen for sharing her research on the descendants of Wesley Thomas Woody and Timothy Fisher for sharing information from the Bible of his great grandparents, William and Isadora Woody Fisher. In late 2011, Charles self published his research and family recollections as The Woodys of Fayette County Tennessee. In addition to the descendants of James Woody of Pittsylvania, this well researched book includes the collateral lines of Rodgers, Morris, Baldwin, Chappell, Ivy, Linton, Walker and Lea. 
            Many more details about this complicated branch are in the Database.

 

David Woody of Person Co., North Carolina

            This branch of Woodys is not genetically related to the vast majority of Virginia Woodys; however, the progenitor first appears in Virginia. In addition, most of the research had been completed before the genetic situation was discovered. So, along with the following discussion, David Brooks/Woody and his descendants have been included in the database. Our unproven assumption is that David was the son of an unknown male and a female Woody; however, the virtually identical yDNA of his three tested descendants has not yet been positively linked with any surname in the FTDNA database.
            The story of David Woody, aka David Brooks, (1750 - 1821) of Person County, North Carolina, began with our research on the John & Mary Betts Woody family, first found in the 1830 Halifax County, Virginia census. John was born 1780/1790 and the couple were married December 8, 1817 in Halifax. John & Mary's son Samuel B. Woody married Mary Ann Blackwell and we have been able to uncover a descendant trail for two of their sons: William B. Woody of Texas and Dr. Samuel Elisha Woody of Louisville, Kentucky. This John Woody led us to the excellent research of Dr. McIver Woody, a descendant of John & Mary. Dr. Woody died in 1970; however, his granddaughter, Charlotte, has very kindly provided us with a copy of his unpublished research. During his research, Dr. Woody discovered that the father of John Woody was David Woody of Person Co., North Carolina. David is surrounded by mystery and contradiction.
Person County property tax records indicate that a David Brooks paid taxes on 111 acres from 1793 through 1803. In 1803, the personal property tax for David Brooks was was based on 1 white poll and 3 black polls. In 1804 the exact same enumeration was recorded for David Woody: 111 acres, 1 white poll and 3 black polls. David Woody continued paying taxes on 111 acres until 1817. There are no other land plot of this size in the records, nor has a record of land transfer from David Brooks to David Woody been found. Dr. Woody also posited that David Woody was the David Brooks that married Anna/Ona Gravett, January 7, 1783, in Halifax Co., Virginia.  When David made his will in January 1821, he owned land lying on both sides of the border of North Carolina and Virginia. Dr. Woody also suspected that David was the person that signed a petition with Henry, John and Martin Woody in Albemarle/Amherst Co., Virginia in 1776.
            However, there is also evidence that detracts from some of this story. The David Woody, mentioned above with Henry Woody, was recorded in the 1791-1792 Bedford Co., Virginia tax records, along with Henry Woody. From 1797 through 1803, David paid taxes in Franklin Co., Virginia, as did Henry. Henry Woody did not name David Woody in his will, so we have always assumed that David died before Henry. However, the perfect fit of the Franklin and Person County tax records suggests that David Woody moved from Franklin to nearby Person in 1803/1804. It is possible that David lived with or near Henry in Bedford and Franklin, but was not the son of Henry. We have not found any North Carolina record that names David Woody's wife. Another significant complication is that both a David Woody and a David Brooks, both over age 45, were enumerated in the 1820 Person County census.
            The research documentation of Dr. Woody provides insight into another very interesting connection. In 1814 Person County, a John Woody sold three named slaves to "my loving brother of the county of Pittsylvania and state of Virginia", for "good will and affection" and "one silver dollar". David and Thomas Woody witnessed the bill-of-sale. This John seems too young to be the son of David Woody. The names of these three slaves are also mentioned in documents associated with the James Woody (discussed above) of Pittsylvania. This apparent connection is not surprising since the home of the Woody family near the Dan River in Southeast Pittsylvania was only about 20/25 miles from the home of the Woody family near the Hyco River in northern Person County, North Carolina and the John Woody property on Bold Creek in Halifax County, Virginia. So, it seems that James Woody of Pittsylvania had a brother named John and they are both somehow connected to David and Thomas Woody. This bit of evidence may have become clearer with the recent discovery of the interactions between a James Woody and a John Brooks that occurred between 1745 and 1757 in Louisa County. Also, these interactions seem to be surely connected the memorandum recorded by Thomas Jefferson concerning the 1769 Albemarle legal suit involving James Woody, his son James, his daughter Elizabeth, an unidentified John Woody and his daughter Mary, who was married to a John Brooks at the time. Of course, some of the information related to Jefferson by the plaintiff, John Strange, could have been incorrect, either intentionally or unintentionally.
            In 1781 Caswell Co., North Carolina, Artha Brooks of Caswell sold 250 acres, adjoining the Virginia line, to John Woody of same. In 1785, John Woodde of Caswell sold 250 acres on Bold Branch, adjoining the Virginia line, to David Brooks of same. A neighbor was Arthur Brooks. This John Woody was seems to have been the brother of James Woody of neighboring Pittsylvania County, Virginia. In 1787, David Brooks of Caswell sold 139 acres on Bold Branch to John Tatum of same. On February 1, 1791, Person County, North Carolina was formed from Caswell County. The formation of a new county from Caswell left David Brooks with 111 acres in Person County. This was undoubtedly the same David Brooks that paid taxes on 111 acres in Person County from 1793 through 1803. We now conclude that the preponderance of primary evidence indicates that David Brooks and David Woody were one and the same person.
           Bold Branch no longer appears on maps of Halifax or Person Counties. We strongly suspect that this stream is now called Bowle's Branch, which is just east and south of the Hyco River. In Person County, the highway that parallels Bowle's Branch is called Woody's Store Road.  
           
 Sometime the results of yDNA testing provide surprising information, but that is the nature of yDNA and yDNA surname projects. If we could forecast these results in advance, we would not have much of a reason to do the testing and compare the results in DNA projects.
            We are now very fortunate to have three participants in the Woody DNA Project from this line. Their yDNA results show that they are not genetically related to the three major Woody lines that have been confirmed by the project. Also, they are not genetically related to any Brooks line that has been established by yDNA testing. Although we were surprised by this result, it is not an unusual event in other DNA surname projects. Most of these projects have many genetically unrelated lines and sometimes, a great many. However, one aspect the result seems very somewhat unusual to us: The yDNA of these three men is virtually unique in that it does not match favorably with any other yDNA tested surname in the United States. If fact, the 37 marker yDNA tests of the three Woodys match only two other men in the FTDNA database: one with a Wright surname (GD=1) and the other with a Love surname (GD=30). There are no other matches in the database with any other GD that is recognized as a match. We have done quite a bit of research on the ancestors of both men, but cannot find even a glimmer of a connection with the Person County, North Carolina Woodys. We are aware of this type of event occurring infrequently in other DNA projects, but it is a first for our project. As discussed below, we have very significant evidence that David Brooks purchased property from John Woodde in a part of Caswell County that later became Person County. He sold a portion of this property and was taxed on the remaining 111 acres in Person for several years before being taxed on the same property for several more years as David Woody. As David Woody, he witnessed a sale of property from John Woody to James Woody of Pittsylvania County, Virginia. So the Woodys of Caswell and Pittsylvania seem to have been acquainted and most likely considered themselves "family". Many reasons for this genetic result can be hypothesized, some straightforward and some complex; however, we do not enough evidence to propose a favorite at this time. One very obvious possibility is that the American progenitor of this line was the Robert Woody of Norfolk, who is discussed above; however, this possibility is not supported by any primary evidence at all. In the future, a yDNA match with a non-Woody surname may provide evidence of a likely father and/or ancestor candidate for David Woody/Brooks, but basic research could also produce this evidence. At any rate, we now have four confirmed genetic Woody lines in the project. The details of this surprising outcome can be found on the "Discussion" page of the Woody DNA Project.

            We cannot be sure why David Woody used the surname Brooks for so long. There are several possible reasons for this behavior, but the most compelling to us is that David was an orphan or born out of wedlock. The customs and the laws of that time dictated that children born out of wedlock be given their mother's surname. Later on, David could have decided to use his father's surname.
Recently, one of the Woody yDNA project participants has also taken the FTDNA Family Finder (autosomal) test. The results of this test shows a modest match (4th cousin) with a descendant of Jeremiah Brooks, who was born about 1775 in Virginia and died in 1871 in Person County, North Carolina. To our knowledge, the parents of Jeremiah have not been proven and, since our Woody male does not match any Brooks yDNA, this autosomal match indicates a match with a female ancestor. This evidence reinforces our assumption that the mother of David was a Brooks; however, this female Brooks would have been born at least a generation before Jeremiah Brooks.
            2019 Update: The evidence discussed above concerning the James Woody and John Brooks connection in Louisa and Albemarle leads us to posit that this situation has a direct bearing on David Brooks Woody of Person County, North Carolina. We posit that this James was the son of John Woody of Hanover and the father of James Woody of Pittsylvania and John and Thomas Woody of Pittsylvania and Person. The deed of 1814 Person names this John and James of Pittsylvania as brothers and Thomas and David were witnesses. We posit that the John, James and Thomas Woody named in the deed were sons of James Woody of Louisa and that they considered David Brooks Woody to be a brother or half-brother. We are still not sure of the exact David Brooks Woody connection, but our guess is that he was considered a close member of the Woody family and thought to to be the son of a female Brooks and a male Woody. We think that male Woody was thought to be either John or Thomas Woody, but the yDNA of the descendants of David Brooks Woody does not support this conclusion. There seem to be two reasons for this situation: John or Thomas, for one reason or the other,  was not a genetic Woody or, for one reason or the other, the supposed Woody father was mistaken about the relationship. We have not found out much about John Brooks or his parents. This Brooks line does not seem to have been researched and there is no record of a descendants yDNA or atDNA test. It could be that there are no surviving descendants of John Brooks line or the surviving descendants have not identified John as the ancestor. So David Brooks Woody is still somewhat of a mystery.
           
Many more details about this line of Woodys are in the Database.


William & Samuel Woody of Loudoun Co., Virginia

            William Wooddy was first taxed in Loudoun Co., Virginia in 1799 and in the 1810 census he was enumerated as being born before 1765. In 1804, he was appointed postmaster of Loudoun County and served in that capacity until his death in 1823. His son, William Jr. was a well known and suc1822 William Wooddy Jr Advertisement in Baltimore Newscessful printer in Baltimore, Maryland. The advertisement on the right is from the February 15, 1822 edition of the Baltimore Sun. The will of William Sr. names his 2nd wife Elizabeth, sons William Jr., John, David and James and daughters Mary Jane Wooddy, Ruth Jones Wooddy, Sally Hamerly and Kitty Rose. The sons names duplicate most of those found in the will of John Woody of Hanover County and John's wife was Ruth. John was the likely brother of Micajah Wooddy, who was a Quaker (Society of Friends). Loudoun County had one of the largest concentrations of Quakers in Virginia; however, we have not found any evidence that William Sr. of Loudoun was a Quaker and William's son James was a Methodist Episcopal minister in Florida. On the other hand, we have found some evidence that suggests that William Jr., of Baltimore, was a Quaker or lapsed Quaker. Even though the marriage of William Jr. and Ruth Atkinson took place in the Baltimore First Methodist Episcopal Church, Ruth is recorded as a witness to two Quaker marriages in Baltimore. William Jr. printed some thirty-five books for the Quakers and most of the children of William Jr. and Ruth are buried in the New Elkridge Meeting House Cemetery (Ellicott Graveyard) on "Quaker Hill" in Ellicott City, Maryland. Since the tombstones are engraved, it is not likely that these Wooddys were Quakers, however the Friend's Intelligencer death notice for William III terms him "a member of Baltimore Monthly Meeting".
            The census and tax records of Loudoun and Hanover Counties, Virginia lead us to conclude that William Sr. of Loudoun was the son of either John or Micajah Wooddy of Hanover. This conclusion is reinforced by the Quaker connection of William Jr. of Baltimore. The will of John of Hanover named his son William as one of his estate executors. This William was born about 1760 so he is a good fit for William of Loudoun. However, Micajah Wooddy the Quaker, also had a son named William who was born about 1751 and disowned by the Quakers in 1772. He is also a good fit for William of Loudoun. Neither William seemed to have stayed long in Hanover after John Wooddy died in 1786. The most persuasive evidence to us is the correspondence of the names of the children of John of Hanover and William Sr. of Loudoun. Both had male children named William, John, David and James. The wife of John of Hanover was Ruth and William of Loudoun had a daughter named Ruth Jones Woody. This is especially informative since James P. Woody, another son of John of Hanover, named his first son John Jones Woody. While this is not conclusive evidence, we have assumed that John of Hanover was the father of William of Loudoun. 
             There seem to be living male descendants from this line, so it would be exceptionally helpful to have a Woody DNA Project participant.
            Samuel H. Wooddy is another Wooddy found in Loudoun and Jefferson Counties, Virginia. Samuel H. was bc. 1814, but does not seem to connect to the other Wooddys of this area. Samuel was born in Baltimore, Maryland and married Mary Lott on 29 Jan 1839 in Charles Town, Jefferson County, Virginia. There is family tradition that suggests that Samuel assumed the Wooddy name when he came to Loudoun County as a young man; however, a probably brother, Everett Woody, has been discovered (See below). While this situation does not totally discredit this tradition, it seems to decrease this possibility. Again, there seem to be male descendants of Samuel H. and Everett Wooddy/Woody. The yDNA from one or more of these descendants might help solve this mystery.
Many more details about this branch are in the Database.

 

Everett Woody of Maryland, Kentucky & Ohio       

            Everett and Sarah Locke Woody are first found in the 1850 Lawrence Co., Kentucky census with four children ranging from eight to one. Everett was enumerated as thirty and born in Maryland and Sarah was 28 and born in Virginia. Other documents reveal that Everett was born in Baltimore, Maryland and that Sarah's maiden  name was Locke. Their two oldest children were born in Virginia and the two youngest in Kentucky. Lawrence County is on the eastern edge of Kentucky and is separated from neighboring West Virginia by the Big Sandy River, a tributary of the Ohio River. West Virginia was formed in 1863 after seceding from Virginia and the Confederacy. So it is not surprising to find Sarah in Kentucky, but is astonishing to find a Woody from Maryland with her in 1850. While there were quite a few Woodys in different parts of western Virginia in 1850, virtually all of them came from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the area around Lynchburg, Virginia. Although there were no Lockes recorded in 1850 Lawrence, there were twenty-three in adjacent Carter County, Kentucky. All but one of these was born in Virginia or Kentucky. The exception was Nathan Locke, b.c. 1828, in Maryland. He was with Rachael Locke, b.c. 1791 in Virginia. The other two children with Rachael were born in Virginia. This was Rachael Market Locke, an apparent widow, who had married Neal Locke in Berkeley County Virginia on 9 Apr 1809. By 1860, Everett Woody had moved to nearby Lawrence County, Ohio and, by 1870, some of the Kentucky Lockes had joined him. Among them was Rachel Lock, age 79 and in born in Virginia, who was living with her apparent grandson, William Locke. Everett and Sarah Woody, along with their expanded family, were enumerated on the following census page and Albert Woody, the son of Everett and Sarah was enumerated on the preceding page. By 1880, Everett, Sarah and some of their family had moved to Athens County, Ohio, where Sarah died in 1890 and Everett died in 1892.
            So, we think that that there is virtually no doubt that Sarah Locke was the daughter of Neal and Rachel Market Locke and that she was most likely born in Berkeley or adjacent Frederick County, Virginia. The Woodys probably accompanied Sarah's parents to Kentucky. But what has all this got to do with Everett Woody from Baltimore, Maryland? Well, Berkeley County, Virginia bordered Maryland on the north.
To the east of Berkeley was Jefferson County, Virginia and adjacent to Jefferson was Loudoun County, Virginia, both which also bordered Maryland on the north. Jefferson was formed from Berkley in 1810. Both Jefferson and Loudoun were home to Wooddy families in the early 1800s (See above). The families were probably not genetically related, but this has not been proven. Baltimore is about fifty-two straight line miles from Leesburg, the county seat of Loudoun and about sixty-seven miles from Charles Town, the county seat of Jefferson.
            Based on the following evidence, we conclude that Everett was most likely a brother of Samuel Wooddy, the progenitor of the Jefferson County Wooddys. Samuel was b.c. 1814 and lived in both Loudoun and Jefferson. The 1840 Jefferson census for Samuel shows two males in the 20/30 age range. In the 1850 census, Samuel was the only adult male enumerated. Records show that both Samuel and Everett were shoemakers. In 1965, the Charles Town, West Virginia "Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate" reprinted the very short 1885 death notice for Samuel H. Woody, age seventy. Finally, although Samuel Woody was consistently census enumerated as being born in Virginia, we were fortunate to find the 8 June 1885 "Baltimore Sun" death notice for Samuel that states: "Samuel H. Woody, of Charlestown West Virginia, died last week, aged 70 years. He was a native of Baltimore."
            However, there is an addition possibility. William Wooddy, bc 1758, moved from Hanover County, Virginia to Loudoun County, Virginia before 1800 and was the postmaster of Leesburg for nearly twenty years. His son, William Jr., b. c. 1788, moved from Loudoun to Baltimore about 1815 and became a well known printer in that city. He married Ruth Atkinson in Baltimore on 12 June 1817 and they had four male and two female identified children. It seems that Everett Woody could have been the son of William Jr. or one of his brothers; however, the early Baltimore censuses do not seem to confirm this possibility.

            yDNA from a male Woody descendant of any or all of these men would likely help reveal their ancestral Woody line.
Many more details about this branch are in the Database.



Robert Woody of Lancaster, Middlesex & Richmond Co., Virginia
 (The father of seafarers)

            The tidewater counties of northeastern Virginia are not the place that most researchers would expect to find a descendant of the Hanover County, Virginia Wooddys. The migration pattern of almost all the early established residents of Colonial Virginia was from east to west. There were several reasons for this pattern: colonial tobacco farming techniques depleted the soil of it nutrients and gullied the land; colonial governments offered inexpensive land grants in the west; colonial primogeniture statues encouraged non-inheritors to find inexpensive land on the western frontier. So it is surprising to find the 1813 marriage bond of Robert Wooddy (1792 - 1845) to Polly Corey in Middlesex County on the south side of the Rappahannock River in northeastern Virginia. The bond notes that Polly was the daughter of David Corey, John Wooddy Sr. was Robert's guardian and John Wooddy Jr. provided the security and was a witness. John Wooddy Sr., the guardian, was almost surely the son of John Wooddy (1733 - 1786) of Hanover and the broth1806 John Woody Coach Advertisement in Richmond Newser of Frederick Wooddy, who died in in his late thirties in 1804. John and Frederick Wooddy lived in King William County in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Frederick's children are not proven, but it is reasonable to assume that his brother John became their guardian. On the left is an image of an 1806 Richmond Enquirer advertisement that explains the reason that the King William Wooddys were in tidewater Virginia. John Woody of King William was the proprietor of the stage coach business that provided service between Richmond and Tappahannock, the county seat of Essex County. Essex and Middlesex are on the south side of the Rappahannock River and Lancaster and Richmond Counties are on the north side. The Rappahannock is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay and most of the larger waterfront towns, such as Tappahannock, supported extensive maritime activities in the Colonial period.
            Apparently, Robert and Polly Wooddy lived in Hanover County for a few years after their marriage since Robert paid personal property taxes there in 1814 and 1815; however, Robert was enumerated in the 1820 Lancaster County census and in the 1830 Richmond County census. While living in Richmond County, Robert had at least three sons: Robert C. C. Wooddy, James Parker Wooddy and Frederick M. Wooddy. In 1836, Robert and his son Robert C. C. Wooddy witnessed a will in Hanover County. Both Robert C. C. and James Parker are documented as seafarers. James Parker was a well known and respected captain of a Confederate blockade runner in the Civil War. The only mention of Frederick M. that we have found was as a brother of James Parker in the 1880 census; however, this is an extremely important fact, since one of the sons of John Wooddy of Hanover was named Frederick. Perhaps the absence of this later Frederick Wooddy in the records indicates that he may have been a landless seafarer.
            Significant indirect/circumstantial evidence indicates that Robert Wooddy was the son of Frederick Wooddy and that is our assumption. It does not appear that there are any living male Woody/Wooddy descendants of the Robert Wooddy branch; however, this research has led us to a connection that we had not known before. In 1828, John William Wooddy (1801 - 1856) married Ann Nancy Corey, the daughter of the abovementioned David Corey and the widow of John Herron, in Lancaster County. This may have been the John Wooddy that provided surety and witnessed the marriage bond of the abovementioned Robert Wooddy; however, John William would seem to have been too young to be a bondsman.
Many more details about this branch are in the Database.

 

John Woody of Hanover Co., Virginia & Jefferson Co., Kentucky

            John Wooddy (1801 - 1856) died on February 10, 1856 in Jefferson County, Kentucky. His death record notes that he died at age fifty-five and that he was born in Hanover County, Virginia. John left a Jefferson County will dated January 6, 1837. In the will, he names wife Ann N. Woody and children John, George L. and Ann Jane Churchman. The will was proved March 9, 1857. On Feb 2,1865, his children agreed on the division of the land that they had inherited from their father, John J. Woody. In 1828, John had married Ann Corey Herron in Lancaster Co., Virginia. Ann was the daughter of the David Corey, the widow of John Herron and the sister of the Polly Corey that in 1813 married Robert Woody, mentioned above. yDNA results of two descendants of John J. Woody confirm that he had the same common ancestor as many other Woody DNA Project participants with roots in Colonial Virginia. George Llewellyn Woody was one of the children of John William and Ann Nancy Woody. George had at least three sons that migrated to Texas and there are many living descendants of this branch. The 1830 Pendleton County, Kentucky census enumeration of the household of Sally Woody includes a male & the female in the 20/30 range that may have been John J. and Ann Corey Woody. Sally Woody was likely the Sarah Woody that paid personal property taxes in Hanover Co., VA 1804-1825. This census indicates that Sally was born 1760/1770. The tax record and her birth date make her a perfect fit for the widow of Frederick Woody (1768-1804), who died at an early age. Frederick was the son of John Woody of Hanover and the brother of John Woody, the mail contractor from King William County. Frederick also lived in King William and was the very likely father of the Robert Woody (1792-1845) that married Polly Corey.  This circumstantial evidence leads us to conclude that it is also highly likely that John J. Woody was another son of Frederick and a grandson of John (1733-1786) and Ruth Woody of Hanover County, Virginia.
            Several online lineages contain detailed dates concerning births, marriages and deaths of John J. Woody, his wife and his descendants. The dates for John J. are consistent across these lineages and appear to be based on the same source, but this source is not identified. Detailed dates, such as these, are usually found in a family Bible or written family history.
More details about this branch are in the Database.
 


Samuel W. & William L. Woody of Richmond City
 & Chesterfield Co., Virginia

            Samuel W. Wooddy (1778 - 1856) was recorded in the 1810 Chesterfield County, Virginia census and he was very likely the same person that was taxed in Hanover County in 1801. He was also taxed in Chesterfield from 1802 until he moved to Richmond c. 1817. In 1803, Samuel Woody and Haley Cole had both testified for Obediah Hatcher in his suit against John Salle. This was probably the Samuel Wooddy that was mentioned in a May 11, 1799 Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle advisement concerning unclaimed mail at the Washington (Wilkes Co., Georgia) post office. A similar advisement was published for Henry Wooddy a year earlier in the same newspaper. During the War of 1812, Samuel was a Sergeant in Capt. Henry Heth's cavalry unit in the First Regiment of the Virginia Militia. Henry Heth was also the proprietor of an extensive coal mining operation in Chesterfield, across the James River from Richmond. In 1815, Samuel auctioned 320 acres, including Short's Tavern, near the Chesterfield coal fields between "Black Heth Coal Mines and Sally's Pitts". Samuel had acquired this property from Young William Short* in three transactions in 1805 and 1806. Ownership of this rather expensive property would seem to indicate that Samuel had received an substantial inheritance in the early 1800s. The estate of Samuel Woody Sr. of Hanover County (see John, Micajah & Samuel of Hanover Co., Virginia above) was settled in 1800 and his property was sold. Because Samuel Wooddy reached age twenty-one about this same time and because Samuel made significant land purchases shortly after, we have concluded that Samuel W. was a son of Samuel Woody Sr. and thus benefited substantially from the sale of the estate. The 1830 Richmond census records Samuel with five younger females and two males in the 20/30 age bracket. In 1831, Mary Woody died and her obituary reads "wife of Samuel Woody of Richmond, leaving husband and seven children".  The 1840 Richmond census shows two males in the 30/40 age bracket in Samuel's family, but when his son, Samuel Washington Wooddy, died in 1846 at age 41, his obituary mentions only his father and two sisters as survivors. There were very few Woodys in the Richmond area at this time and the William L. Woody, described immediately below, seems to be a good candidate for another son of Samuel; however, the obituary contradicts this proposition. Samuel lived until 1856 and he and two of his daughters, Amanda and Mary, are in the 1850 Richmond census. Many more details about this branch are in the Database.
            William L. Woody (c. 1809 - 1884) was first recorded in the 1840 Richmond, Virginia census. He was born in Virginia and had married Jane Williamson, a native of Scotland, in 1831. William and Jane had at least eight children, including Thaddeus M. Woody (1840 - 1906), a veteran of the Civil War. One of Thaddeus' grandsons was Thaddeus Braxton Woody (1901 - 2000), Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia. There seem to be several living male Woody descendants of this branch. Many more details about this branch are in the Database.

        * Young William Short was the youngest son of Young Short and the brother of Archibald Short, our direct ancestor. Both Young William and Archibald paid for Ordinary (Tavern) Licenses in Chesterfield County. Young William received much of his property from his father's estate in 1795. He sold this property and moved to Oglethorpe, Georgia in about 1808. To see the history and genealogy of the Shorts/Shortts, go to Short Family Roots.

 

Henry Talley Woody of Wilkes & Oglethorpe Co., Georgia

            On 27 October, 1798, the Augusta (Wilkes Co., Georgia) Chronicle reported unclaimed mail for Henry Wooddy at the Washington (Wilkes County) post office. Samuel Wooddy was mentioned in same type of advisement published by the same newspaper on May 11, 1799. In 1801, Henry T. Woody (c. 1779 - 1812) was taxed in Capt. John Paxton's District of Wilkes County, Georgia. This was Henry's first taxation and indicates that Henry was born c. 1779. Henry Woody married Keziah Jennings in 1803 Oglethorpe County, Georgia. Oglethorpe had been formed from the northwestern portion of Wilkes County in 1793. Keziah's parents were from Henry and Pittsylvania Counties in Virginia. In 1806, Henry sold a 350 acre tract in Oglethorpe to Clement Glenn. Henry had purchased this land sometime after November 18, 1800. In 1808, Henry and his brother-in-law, William B. Culbertson, purchased 230 acres on the county line of Oglethorpe and Elbert.
              On October 7, 1809, Henry T. Wooddy of Goose Pond, placed a notice in the Washington, Georgia Monitor and Impartial Observer newspaper advising that he "being about to remove to the state of Virginia...has appointed George Hudspeth and Stephen Upton... to transact his business during his absence."  When Henry and Keziah sold their inherited land from the estate of Keziah's father, Miles Jennings in 1810, Obadiah Talley was living on the property. Obadiah was the son of Elisha and Ann Wooddy Talley of Hanover County, Virginia. The Talleys had moved to Edgefield District, South Carolina about 1798. Edgefield was just across the Savannah River from Wilkes and Oglethorpe Counties, Georgia, so it was not too surprising to find Obadiah in Oglethorpe. Ann was the daughter of Samuel Woody (c. 1717 - 1788) of Hanover.
            We have also discovered several Henry T. Wooddy death notices that were published in the December 3, 1812 Richmond newspapers. Henry died after "a long and painful disease" at 1812 Henry T. Wooddy Death Notice in Richmond NewsCapt. Haley Cole's Tavern in the coal fields area of northern Chesterfield County, Virginia, some ten miles west of Richmond. At that time, the above mentioned Samuel W. Wooddy was the only other recorded Wooddy/Woody in this area. In 1803, Samuel Woody and Haley Cole had both testified for Obediah Hatcher in his suit against John Salle, so the two men were also acquainted. Additionally, on December 7, 1810 in Chesterfield, a Henry Wooddy petitioned the Virginia Legislature to bring a certain slave William back into Virginia. The petition states that "some years ago your petitioner removed from this state to the state of Georgia carrying with him a family of negroes" and that "about nine months ago your petitioner returned to this state to live having sold in Georgia all his slaves excepting two slaves, William aforementioned ..." These circumstances and dates fit very well with the other details that we have discovered. The Samuel Wooddy in Chesterfield was likely the same person that was mentioned in a May 11, 1799 Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle advertisement concerning unclaimed mail at the Washington (Wilkes Co., Georgia) post office. Additionally, in 1809, John Wooddy Jr. and William Wooddy Jr. were mentioned  in similar advisements as mail contractors. See Woody/Wooddy Mail Contractors.
            In the early 1800s, the lives of Henry T. and Samuel are strikingly similar: they were both young men about the same age and they both purchased significant tracts of land at a young age, soon after the sale of the land of Samuel Woody Sr. of Hanover County, Virginia. In addition, Henry T. and Samuel Wooddy are recorded in close proximity in Wilkes County Georgia and Chesterfield County, Virginia and Henry T. was closely associated with Obadiah Talley, the son of Elisha and Ann Wooddy Talley, who was the daughter of Samuel Wooddy Sr. From this convergence of many facts, we conclude that Henry T. and Samuel W. Wooddy were brothers and the sons of Samuel Woody Sr. of Hanover (see John, Micajah & Samuel of Hanover Co., Virginia above). We also suspect that Henry's mother was a Talley; however, there were many Talleys living in Hanover County near the end of the 18th century. In addition to Elisha Talley, his brothers (or close relatives), Nathan and Caleb, seemed to have moved to Edgefield District, South Carolina about this time. Caleb, Elisha, Nathan and William S. Talley are noted in Augusta, Georgia newspaper advisements for unclaimed mail from 1796 through 1809.
            The only known child of Henry and Keziah was Samuel Rockingham Wooddy (1804 - 1863), who married Lorene Stamps and this couple and their children moved to Chambers County, Alabama about 1836. Here their family grew to at least fourteen.
This Woody branch has been previously well researched and documented; however, it is difficult to determine the original researcher, but it appears to be Will Stamps. There seem to be many living male Woody/Wooddy descendants from this branch. Many more details about this branch are in the Database.

 

William, Nicholas & Henry Woody of Spartanburg Co., South Carolina

            yDNA testing has resulted in one of the most interesting lineage discoveries known to us. The yDNA results of a descendant of William Woody, born about 1800 in South Carolina, have placed him in the Old Virginia Woody group. The northwestern portion of South Carolina has long been known as The Upcountry and, as the Spartanburg historian Dr. J. B. O. Landrum relates, "Many of the early settlers of the up-country were of English extraction and dissenters from the established church of the mother country. They were mostly immigrants from Virginia." Spartanburg is on the North Carolina border and was formed in 1785 from the old Ninety-Six Judicial District which was created in 1769. Directly west of Spartanburg is Greenville County, South Carolina where William and Sarah Persel Woody and many of their children lived for some time. William and Sarah supposedly emigrated from England to Virginia about 1740/1750, then moved on to North and South Carolina after a relatively short period. The story of William and Sarah, as well as, the names of their children and some of their grandchildren are related in the William C. Berry Day Book. So we were quite surprised when we found that William Woody of Spartanburg was part of the Old Virginia line.
            The 1817 Spartanburg will of George Rowland was witnessed by William and Nicholas Woody and mentions a daughter Nancy that William Woody apparently married about 1819. George's only son, Henry Rowland, was bequeathed the Rowland homestead at the death or remarriage of the widow Rowland.
            William and Nancy Woody were enumerated in the 1850 Spartanburg census and their family, at that time, apparently consisted of four sons and three daughters. Nicholas was one of their sons and another was James Madison Woody, who married Elizabeth Balinger. Over twenty years earlier, the Woodys and Rowlands were connected by the 1794 Richland Creek deed of Alexander Keenum which was witnessed by Henry Woody, John Woody and Geo Rowland. Also, the 1795 deed of Daniel White was witnessed by Samuel Woody and also notes Henry Wooddy and Thomas Hatherway as adjacent neighbors. A similar 1809 Spartanburg deed notes Jesse Woody as a witness. In an online message board posting, David Trimmier has referenced a Rowland family tradition alleging that George Rowland travelled from his Henry County, Virginia home to South Carolina in the 1790s and "chose a farm owned by one Thomas Hathaway, situated 10 miles above Spartanburg Court House". This tradition fits the above deed facts perfectly since the name Rowland, or such, does not appear in the 1790 Spartanburg census and a George Rowland was recorded as being taxed for 100 acres in 1782/1783 Pittsylvania County, Virginia and in 1790 Henry County, Virginia. Additionally, the 1780 Pittsylvania will of John Rowland contains a bequeathal of land on Marrowbone Creek to his brother, George Rowland who had a grist mill on this waterway. Marrowbone Creek ended up in Henry County when Henry was formed from Pittsylvania in 1790. This evidence leads us to conclude that it is very likely that the George Rowland of Spartanburg Co., South Carolina was indeed from Henry Co., Virginia as the tradition alleges; however, we do not see how that George the brother of John Rowland could have been this person. George from Henry seems to have been much too old to have had at least nine children the the period of 1790-1810. The will of John Rowland names another George Rowland, the son of his brother Gilbert. This could have been the person that moved to Spartanburg or it could have been another unrecorded George Rowland in this family.
            Unfortunately, we have not found any connection between the Woodys and Rowlands in Virginia; however, we have discovered a Virginia Woody occupation that may help explain the Woody presence in South Carolina. From the early to the late 1800s, the Virginia Woodys  are positively documented as Mail Contractors. In particular, newspaper documentation exists that places Woody mail contractors in Augusta, Georgia in 1809. Henry Talley Woody (see narration above) was born about 1779 and died in 1812 very near Richmond, Virginia; however, he was documented as living in the Augusta, Georgia area since 1798. Henry's Tally relatives from Virginia also lived in the same area at this time. We believe that Henry Talley Woody was born in Virginia and moved to Georgia at an early age and that his move was probably connected to the Woody mail contractor business. This business may have also been the reason that Henry Woody was in Spartanburg County, South Carolina and John Woody was in adjacent Laurens County. To see more about the Woody Mail Contractors, click here.
            The image shown on the right is a very small section of an 1825 Mills' Atlas map of Spartanburg County from the David Rumsey Map Collection. The area was surveyed in 1820 by J. Whitten and the section location is a few miles northwest of the town of Spartanburg. Of particular interest are the Rowland residence, Rowland's Mill, Belinger's Road and Richland Creek, all in rather close proximity. Henry, Samuel, Nicholas, Jesse, John and William Woody were associated with these names and places. Our thanks go to Susan J. Davis for sharing many primary records of Spartanburg and the surrounding area and for her research of William Woody and his descendants.

            On January 28, 1847, William Woody sold 200 acres, on the waters of Richland Creek, eleven miles from Spartanburg C. H. on the main road leading from Spartanburg C. H. to Mills Gap. Daniel White (mentioned above) and H. J. Rowland (Henry the son of George Rowland) were noted as neighbors. This property was almost surely the Woody homestead and the sale probably meant that William had inherited the property. Locating this property on a modern map is a little difficult; however, on the map above, we think that it was in the headwaters of Richland (now Mudd) Creek and fronted on the Rutherfordton Post Road (now Boiling Springs Road/SR9).
            On December 5, 1853, William Woody, Henry J. Woody, Frances Woody and John Laurence and his wife Demitney sold 222 acres in the Town of Spartanburg to E. P. Clements and H. H. Thomson. This "tract was granted to Nicholas Woody and surveyed by warrant for him by J. J. Rowland on 16 Nov 1820". This sale seems to be proof positive that William was the son of Nicholas. Henry J. & Demitney were almost surely the siblings of William. Frances was probably the widow of Nicholas; however, she she may have not been the mother of any of William's children. Unfortunately, we have not yet found a record of the warrant.
            We have also done an analysis of the Woody enumerations in the early Spartanburg censuses and this information is outlined below. The analysis completely supports the conclusion that William was the son of Nicholas Woody. The 1790 and 1800 Spartanburg censuses contain the enumerations for the family of Henry Woody/Wooddy. The 1790 census shows 3 males under 16, 3 males 16 and over and 5 females. The 1800 census correlates very well with 1790: It shows that Henry was born before 1755 and his home contained four males age 16-26 (born 1784-1774), two males age 26-45 (born 1774-1755) and four females age 10-26 (born1790-1774). This enumeration seems very unusual in that there were no children in the age 0-10 range in this large family. It is also significant to note that the given name of Henry was a favorite of the Virginia  Woodys, but was seldom used by the other Colonial Woody lines. Henry Woody was not enumerated after 1800, suggesting that he died; however, a John Woody and family were enumerated in 1810. John & his wife seemed to be age 26-45 and there was an older female suggesting the widow of Henry. Very importantly, only one listing separated John from George Roland. John were not enumerated again and because of his twenty year age uncertainty in 1810, he could have been a son or grandson of Henry. A Nicholas Woody/Wooddy/Woodie (b. 1770-1775) and family were enumerated in the 1820, 1830 and 1840 censuses. In 1830, a William Woody and family were enumerated one residence removed from Nicholas Woodie. Also, it appears that William Woody was part of the Nicholas Woody household in 1820 and 1840. These censuses reveal another unusual situation. Of the seven adult males enumerated in the Henry Woody household of 1800, only Nicholas remained in Spartanburg by 1820. As explained below, we believe that many of the other Woodys may have removed to Georgia.
            From the above deed and census data, we posit that John, Nicholas, Samuel, Jesse and William Sr. were probably sons or even grandsons of Henry Woody. William Woody Jr., one of the subjects of this section, was a son of Nicholas and a grandson of Henry. The deed, will and census data prove that this William was the son of Nicholas Woody.
            None of the abovementioned surnames are noted in the 1779 census of the old Ninety-Six District, the parent of Spartanburg County, so it would seem that these families came to Spartanburg between 1779 and 1790.
           
Since Jesse was such an unusual Woody given name in the early 1800s, we think it is probable that Jesse, a younger Henry and possibly Samuel moved to Georgia before 1820, along with several other adult Woodys. The likely motivation for such a move would have been the eight "land lotteries" that were authorized in Georgia between 1805 and 1833. The 1820 Jackson County, Georgia census shows the household of Jesse Woody containing 1 male over 45 and two males 26-45. Also in Jackson was a Henry Woody age 26-45 with two young males and two young females. A Samuel Woody and the orphans of Henry Woody participated in the 1827 Georgia Land Lottery from Habersham County which was very close to Jackson County and, in 1830, a John Woody with five young children was enumerated in Habersham. Also nearby was Hall County, Georgia, where in 1830, a Samuel Wooddy born 1770-1760 was enumerated with two males born before 1800. If Jesse, Henry, John and Samuel, or any of them, were indeed the Woodys from Spartanburg, then these enumerations would account for many of the males enumerated in the early Spartanburg deeds and censuses and for the relative absence of Woodys in Spartanburg censuses after 1810/1820. Finally, a H. G. Wooddy, et al, sold land in Jackson on 30 Sep 1806. Since Henry Woody seems to have died or left Spartanburg between 1800 and 1810, this person could have been him.
            Although there is proof that William Woody was the son of Nicholas Woody, the father of Nicholas is more difficult to prove. Nicholas was very likely the son of Henry, but because we do not have a solid birth year for Henry, it is possible that there was an intervening generation. The close association between this Henry Woody and George Rowland, who allegedly lived in Henry County before moving to Spartanburg County, South Carolina in the 1790s, invites speculation. Based on the perfect yDNA match between descendants of Nicholas Woody of Spartanburg and William Banks Woody of Henry County, Virginia, it might seem possible that Henry was a son of William Banks Woody; however, if Henry was the oldest person enumerated in the 1790 & 1800 censuses, he seems to have been born at least ten years before William's oldest child, Biddy, who was born in 1765. William died in Lincoln County, Tennessee in 1817 and his lineage is documented in Woody Family Roots. Another candidate for the father of Henry is Samuel Woody of Hanover County, Virginia, whose 1782 household contained seven individuals. Samuel died intestate about 1788 and this event seems like a good match for Henrys arrival in Spartanburg. In any event, it is very hard to understand how Henry went unrecorded in Virginia. Hopefully, future research will result in other connections and an extension of the line.
Many more details about the Nicholas Woody lineage are in Database.           
            Another relative is John A. Woody, first enumerated in the 1850 census of nearby Haywood County, North Carolina. The yDNA of a descendant of John has proven that he was also related to the Spartanburg Woodys. We believe that he was the son of William Woody, mentioned above. John was born in 1826 in South Carolina and was married to Minerva Bradshaw shortly before the 1850 census. John, Minerva and their family moved to Swain County, North Carolina between 1870 and 1880. This is quite intriguing since Sarah Woody Seay (b.c. 1835), the daughter of the abovementioned William Woody of Spartanburg moved from Spartanburg to Swain during the same period. Sarah was the second wife and widow of Wilson Seay, who was died in the Civil War. We think that it would be highly unlikely for a widow with children to leave her home and family and move to a different state without some expectation of family support. In addition, Harriet Seay, the daughter of Wilson Seay and his first wife, later married Western Woody, the son of John A. and Minerva Bradshaw Woody. After the death of Harriet, her half-sister, Frances Elizabeth Seay, also married Western Woody.
            So we conclude that John A. Woody was closely related to Sarah Woody Seay and was almost surely her brother. This conclusion is reinforced by the 1830 Spartanburg census which shows a young male child (0/5) in the William Woody household. A male child of this age was not enumerated in the 1850 census of the William Woody household. So these facts align well with what is known about John A. Woody.
            However, some unknown person has guessed that John A. Woody was the son of Talton/Tarlton and Elizabeth Loggins Woody and this guess has been copied & published by many "researchers". Unfortunately for the guesser and copiers, yDNA has proven this assertion to be incorrect. What is most distressing is that the foremost researcher of this line, Verl F. Weight (deceased), did years of thoughtful research on the lineage of Talton Sr. and even did considerable on-site research with Talton's descendants in North Carolina. He records the ten children of Talton & Elizabeth Loggins Woody in his book A Branch of the Family Tree (A Preliminary History) - A genealogy of the Woodie (Woody) Family of Northwestern North Carolina and the known descendants who have scattered thru out the United States self published November, 1960. John is not one of the children listed by Mr. Weight. Images of this document are online and, instead of guessing, anyone with a serious interest in this family should be able to find it
. In addition, the November 22, 1819 deposition of Talton and Elizabeth Woody concerning their son Tarlton's War of 1812 pension benefits listed their living sons and the name "John" was not included. In any event, the yDNA of one of the many male descendants of John A. Woody has proven that John A. was not part of the William and Sarah line, so the issue has been completely resolved.
            Henry J. Woody, another likely son of Nicholas Woody, was enumerated in the 1850 census of nearby Henderson County, North Carolina. Henry was born about 1827 and married Mary Waldrop of Spartanburg. Henry and Mary had four children, including a Nicholas Woody, before Henry died in the Civil War.
            In addition, the James M. Woody (b.c. 1800), discussed in the following section, could also be related to the Spartanburg Woodys; however, such a relationship would have probably developed with Henry Woody's relatives in Virginia. In the 1820 census, James M. was enumerated in nearby Pendleton County, South Carolina and he seems to have died before 1838 when his widow remarried in Henrico County, Virginia.
            It also seems quite possible that the Spartanburg Woodys were closely related to the John Woody enumerated in adjacent Laurens County in the 1790-1840 censuses (see narrative immediately below). If related, this John could be another son of Henry or a close relative. John Woody married Isabella Dial and, on 1 Dec 1840, John purchased land in Carroll Co., Georgia. This means that, in 1840, John moved to Georgia where he was enumerated in the 1850 census as age 85 (b.c. 1765) and born in South Carolina.
            A very interesting assertion is that a Nancy Ann Woody married John Slatton, born 1739 in Hanover Co., VA and died before 27 Jan 1814 in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. John is alleged to be the son of William Slatton who, with his brothers Abraham and Arthur, lived near the intersection of Lickinghole Creek and the Three Notched Road in Virginia. Some of the Virginia Woody homes were on Bird and Tuckahoe Creeks which were also crossed the Three Notched Road in Goochland and Albemarle Counties. Nancy's 1748 assumed birth date makes her a potential daughter of John Woody of Bird Creek or Henry Woody of Tuckahoe Creek; however, we have not found any other evidence at all to support the assertion.
            The yDNA from a male Woody descendant of John Woody would probably prove his connection to one of the American Woody lines. John, Isabella and their descendants are found in the Database.
            yDNA from a male Woody descendant of any or all of these men would likely reveal their ancestral Woody line.
Many more details about the John, John A., James M., and Henry J. Woody lineages are in Database.

 

John Woody of Laurens Co., South Carolina & Carroll Co., Georgia

            John Woody was first enumerated alone in the 1790 Laurens County, South Carolina census. About 1793, John married Isabella Dial, the daughter of Hastings and Rebecca Abercrombie Dial. Hastings Dial was the son of Captain Henry Arthur and Isabella Hastings Dial. Legends relate that Henry and Isabella had lived at Dial's Landing just below the Great Falls of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia. Hastings Dial was one of the wealthiest men in South Carolina and he served as a Colonel in the British Army during the Revolutionary War. The marriage of John Woody and Isabella Dial is confirmed by the wills of Hastings and Rebecca Dial and the given names of two of the Woody children. Also, on 7 August, 1798, Hastings Dial sold 150 acres on Dirty Creek (a tributary of Rabons Creek) to John Woody. The Abercrombie family also seems to have been well established and rather wealthy South Carolina residents. Several males from both families were enumerated in the 1790 Laurens census. Although no other Woodys were enumerated in 1790 Laurens, a Henry Woody was enumerated in adjacent Spartanburg County (the Spartanburg Woody narrative is directly above). The image at the left is from an 1825 Mills' Atlas in the David Rumsey Map Collection and is a very small portion the Laurens District, South Carolina map surveyed by Henry Gray in 1820. In the the upper right corner is Laurensville (now Laurens), the county seat of Laurens County. Laurens is approximately in the center of the county and about thirty-five miles south of Spartanburg, the county seat of Spartanburg County. The waterway flowing northwestward from the lower right corner of the map is Reaburns (now Rabons) Creek. Notice Abercrombie's Mill on Reaburns Creek and the nearby Madden residence. Two sisters of Isabella Dial married Madden brothers. We believe that the small unnamed creek just west of the Boyd residence is Dirty Creek where John Woody purchased land from his father-in-law, Hastings Dial, in 1798. John Woody was enumerated in the 1840 Laurens census, but in December, 1840, he purchased two 118 acre parcels in Carroll County, Georgia. In 1842 and 1846, he added another 247 acres to his land holdings in Carroll. John and some of  his children were enumerated in the 1850 Carroll County, Georgia census. He was age 85. John Woody signed his will in Carroll County on 22 March 1858 and this will was proved on 6 September 1858.
            As we have explained in the previous Spartanburg Woody narrative, the historic Woody Mail Contractor business may have been the reason that these Woodys were in South Carolina.  To see more about the Woody Mail Contractors, click here.   
            We believe that there is a reasonable chance that John Woody of Laurens was related to Henry Woody of Spartanburg and to the Woodys of Colonial Hanover County, Virginia. John has living male Woody descendants. The yDNA of one of these males might prove this supposition and, if not, it would probably provide a positive paternal connection to one of the other early American Woody families. John, Isabella and their descendants are found in the Database.

             

Henry W. Woody of Richmond City, Virginia &
James M. Woody of Pendleton Co., South Carolina

            On April 10, 1838, Jane C. Wooddy and Thomas T. L. Taylor bonded to marry in Henrico County, Virginia. On June 7, 1841, Jane C. Taylor provided consent for the marriage of her son, Henry W. Wooddy, to Sarah E. Bohannon. On July 23, 1846, Jane C. Taylor, widow of James M. Wooddy, provided consent for the marriage of her daughter, Mary Jane Wooddy, to Will W. Taylor and on June 4, 1842, the marriage bond for Parthenia Woody and Thomas R. Jones names Jane C. Taylor as the brides mother. So it seems that James M. Wooddy died before 1838, when his widow remarried. In later censuses, Jane C. Taylor was enumerated as being born c. 1805 in Virginia; however, her son, Henry W. Woody, was enumerated as being born c. 1820 in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Several of Henry's sons also enumerated the birth place of their father as Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. A search of the early censuses of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina produces a James M. Woody in the 1820 Pendleton County, South Carolina census. Pendleton County was in extreme northwest South Carolina and was created in 1789 from the old Pendleton Judicial District. In 1826 the county was disbanded and Pickens and Anderson Counties were formed. Later, part of Pickens was used to form Oconee County. To the east, Greenville County bordered Pendleton and east of Greenville was Spartanburg. The 1820 census shows that James M. was born between 1794 and 1804 and the rest of the enumeration details seem to be a perfect fit with the few facts that are known about Jane C. and her children in Virginia. The 1830 Henrico County, Virginia census also contains a James M. Woody, born 1790-1800, and the enumeration details are a good fit with the 1820 census and the facts concerning James' wife and children. We have never found a record of James Woody that does not include "M", his middle initial. In a time when middle names and initials were seldom used, it seems that James M. made an obvious effort to insure that records included his middle initial.
            The interment records for Shockoe Hill Cemetery in Richmond show that Henry W. Woody, his wife Sarah and several of their children, were buried in this cemetery. The record also shows that Henry was born in Columbia, South Carolina. Even though Columbia is in central South Carolina, this birth place provides significant evidence confirming our assumption that Henry was the son of the James M. Woody found in the 1820 Pendleton County, South Carolina census. As noted above, there was significant confusion concerning Henry's birthplace. One logical explanation for this confusion is that James M. Woody moved about these states quite frequently. We now propose that James M. was part of the stage coach and mail contractor business that seems to have been started by John Woody of King William County in the early 1800s and continued through the 1880s by other Woodys. As noted above, a James M. Wooddy was recorded as a mail contractor in 1824, along with several other Virginia Wooddys. Because James M. seems to have left home at an early age, we suspect he was the son of Frederick Woody of King William. Frederick was the brother of John the mail contractor and died in 1804 as a relatively young man. Frederick had a son Robert and very probably another son, John W. Both of these men are discussed above and both also left home at an early age. Frederick did not seem to own any land when he died and this situation probably encouraged his sons to look for greener pastures. There seem to be many living male Woody descendants from the Henry W. Woody branch and this situation is a near perfect application for yDNA analysis. Many more details about this branch are in the Database.  

            Recently, the yDNA results of a descendant of Nicholas and William Woody of Spartanburg, South Carolina, have shown that these men were was connected to the Woodys
of Old Virginia. William, the son of Nicholas, was born about 1800 in South Carolina and was probably the grandson of Henry Woody recorded in the 1790 and 1800 censuses of Spartanburg. We know very little about Henry except that he was born before 1755 and had six males over the age of sixteen in his 1800 household. Some of the details of William's lineage are in the section directly above. It seems quite possible that these two families are very closely related.
Many more details about this branch are in the Database.

 

Woody Family Roots

        The results of the Woody yDNA Project have shown that virtually all the project participants with roots in Colonial Virginia have a Common Ancestor (CA). Our previous research was focused on Henry, Thomas and William Woody, the sons of John Woody of Goochland County, Virginia. The results of this research are found in home page and Database associated with Woody Family Roots.  The goal of Woody Family Roots and The Woody Family of Old Virginia web pages is to find the Common Ancestor of  most of the Woody descendants found in these two resources. As more and more genealogical related data is added to the internet everyday, we hope to integrate the information found in the two web pages with the yDNA results of the Woody DNA Project.  The ambitious goal of this research is to extend the lineages of each branch and create an all inclusive family tree.

 

Woody Gleanings

            Woody Gleanings is a discussion of the origin of the Woody surname and its variant forms, a discussion of a the document transcription process and reasons to be cautious when using transcriptions and a detailed listing of the other serious researchers of the Virginia line and the three other American Woody lines that have been identified by yDNA testing.  

 

Woody DNA Project

            The Woody DNA Project was initiated in May of 2007 as a yDNA project and the yDNA results for the first participant were posted at the end of June. yDNA is passed from father to son forever, so yDNA is the basis for all surname projects; however, since the Woody DNA Project was initiated, autosomal DNA (atDNA) testing and analysis techniques have been improved considerably and the price of these products has decreased sharply. Also, since atDNA is inherited about equally from both male and female ancestors, these tests can be utilized by both females and males. The results of an atDNA test includes about 700,000 discrete data points, so there is no way to display these results the way we display the results of yDNA tests; however, we will post a simple lineage chart for atDNA participants that join the Woody DNA Project. Also, we will discuss any "success stories" that are attributed to the analysis of atDNA results. We invite anyone with a close Woody connection to join the Woody DNA Project and order their atDNA (Family Finder) test using the link at the bottom of the page. As part of the project, we have included an extensive page describing DNA, yDNA, mtDNA, atDNA and xDNA, as well as, the procedures used to analyze the results derived from each type of DNA test. Since most people only have a very vague understanding of how atDNA results analysis is accomplished, we have included a very detailed description of this process. To see this page, click here.    
        However, make no mistake about this aspect: An autosomal test does not replace a yDNA test for most people. A yDNA test always provides valuable genealogical information, even if the information is not pleasing to the participant. If the yDNA test is a match for an existing surname line, no other research is necessary to prove this relationship. Conversely and for several reasons, many autosomal tests provide no useful genealogical information at all to the participant. To see a very simple recent case study that proves this assertion, click here.

        Some of the project goals are:
            To determine if the early Woody lines were related.
            To help determine the common ancestors of separate, but related, Woody lines.
            To help extend Woody lines that have reached a "dead end" utilizing conventional research.
         The project progress has been better than many DNA project start-ups and we have posted the results of over forty participants. Comparison of these yDNA submissions has already extended several dead-end lineages, proved the close relationship of many early Virginia Woodys and shown that there were at least four completely unrelated Woody lines in Colonial America. The genealogical benefits of DNA testing are explained in detail at Family Tree DNA; however, we have included an overview of yDNA testing/benefits/results/concerns here.

        Please browse the Woody DNA Project to view the current yDNA results and the Woody lineages that have been posted. For much more information about DNA testing, visit Family Tree DNA Projects, where you may also view some very successful surname DNA projects. These projects are successful because lots of people were willing to invest in their heritage. We are totally committed to this project, but we need your help in making the Woody DNA Project as successful as other DNA projects. If you are a female, please strongly encourage a male relative to join the yDNA project. To find relatives that might help in solving nearer term family history situations, both male and female Woodys, as well as, close relatives of Woodys can utilize an atDNA test. If successful DNA projects can be developed for other surnames, the Woody's can do no less.
        We understand that the expense involved may be a problem for some folks, so here is a suggestion that may work for you. Treat the testing fees like the group expenses of a family reunion. Divide the testing fees between all the relatives of one male. Make it a family project. In addition, most testing fees are substantially discounted when they are ordered at the project home page. 

      Analysis of the yDNA results and lineages of the descendants of Virginia Woodys has led to some interesting conclusions. These results have encouraged us to open a new traditional research project (See below).

 

Database
 

 


 

Includes Lineages, Sources, Attributions & Notes
Updated August 8, 2019

The Woody Family of Old Virginia Database
 Click Here

This database does not include the descendants of John Woody of Goochland Co., Virginia and his sons Henry Woody of Franklin Co., Virginia, William Woody of Henry Co., Virginia and Thomas Woody of Albemarle Co., Virginia. To see this descendant database, go to:
 Woody Family Roots
 

 

 


 

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Davidson, Grace Gillam, Historical Collections of the Georgia Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Vol. 3 - Elbert Co., Georgia, Stein Printing Co., Atlanta, Georgia, 1930

Davis Rev., Bailey Fulton. The Deeds of Amherst Co., Virginia 1761- 1807 and Albemarle Co., Virginia 1748-1763, Southern Historical Press, Easley, South Carolina, 1985
Davis Rev., Bailey Fulton. The Wills of Amherst Co., Virginia 1761-1865, Southern Historical Press, Easley, South Carolina, 1985
Davis, Rosalie Edith. Hanover Co., Virginia Court Records 1733-1735, self published 1979
Davis, Rosalie Edith. Louisa Co., Virginia Deed Book s A & B 1742-1759, self published, 1976

Davis, Rosalie Edith. Louisa Co., Virginia Tithables and Census 1743-1785, Heritage Trails, Manchester, Missouri, 1981
Diuguid Burial Records
Douglas Rev., William. The Douglas Register, transcribed & edited by W. Mac. Jones, Genealogy Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1977
Duncan, Patricia B.  Loudoun Co., Virginia Birth Register 1853 - 1879, Heritage Books, Westminster, MD, 2000
Duncan, Patricia B. Index to Loudoun Co., Virginia Land Deed Books 4O-4V 1840 - 1846
, Heritage Books, Westminster, MD, 2006
Duncan, Patricia B. Loudoun Co., Virginia Will Book Abstracts Books A-Z Dec 1757 - Jun 1841, Heritage Books, Westminster, MD, 2007
Duncan, Patricia B. Loudoun Co., Virginia Personal Property Tax List 1782 - 1850
, Heritage Books, Westminster, MD, 2000, CD3319
Duncan, Patricia B.
Index to Loudoun Co., Virginia Land Deed Books 2A-2M 1800-1810, Heritage Books, Westminster, MD, 2003
Evans, James Arthur. Old Papers from Puccoon, Works Progress Administration of Virginia, 1937
Evans, June Banks. Hanover County, Virginia: Will Book 1, Circuit Court, 1862 - 1895 & Will Book 1, 1862 - 1868, Bryn Ffyliaid Publications, New Orleans, 1997

Evans, June Banks. Men of Matadequin:
Three Hundred Years from New Kent County, Bryn Ffyliaid Publications, New Orleans, 1984

Family History Collection,  Harold B. Lee Library Digital Collection, Brigham Young University
Farmer, Michael Martin. Oglethorpe County, Georgia Deed Books, A-E, 1794-1809, self published, 1999
Farmer, Michael Martin. Oglethorpe County, Georgia Deed Books, F-J, 1809 - 1820, self published, 2000
Find A Grave  
Fleet, Beverley. "Lower Norfolk County 1651-1654", Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. III, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1988

Frain, Elizabeth R. & Hiatt, Marty. Loudoun Co Virginia Death Register 1853 - 1896, Heritage Books, Westminster, MD, 2000
Fluvanna County, Virginia Deeds 1777-1783, TLC Genealogy, Miami, 1991
Force, Peter. The National Calendar and Annals of the United States for MDCCCXXIV, Vol. 5, Davis & Force, Printers, Booksellers and Stationers, Washington City, 1824
Franklin
County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1786-1803, LDS Family History Library, Film #2024540
Franklin County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1804-1821, LDS Family History Library, Film #2024541

GenealogyBank.com
Georgia Marriages 1808 - 1967,
LDS FamilySearch Record Search
Georgia Property Tax Digests 1793 - 1893,
Ancestry.com
Goochland County, Virginia Court Order Books Vol. 1-4, 1728-1741,
LDS Family History Library, Film #31671
Goochland County, Virginia Court Order Books Vol. 5-6, 1741-1749,
LDS Family History Library, Film #31672
Google Maps
Google Books
Google Search
Google News Archive

Greer, George Cabell. Early Virginia Immigrants 1623-1666, W. C. Hall Printing Co., Richmond, Virginia, 1912
Halifax County, Virginia Court Orders 1755-1758, TLC Genealogy, Miami Beach, Florida 1992
Halifax County, Virginia Court Orders 1767-1770,
TLC Genealogy, Miami Beach, Florida 2000
Halifax County, Virginia Deed Books 1778-1784,
TLC Genealogy, Miami Beach, Florida 1992
Halifax County, Virginia Deed Books 1793-1796,
TLC Genealogy, Miami Beach, Florida 1997
Halifax County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1782-1800, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #147
Halifax County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1800-1812, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #148
Hanover Co., Virginia Land Tax Lists 1782-1801B,
Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #137

Hanover Co., Virginia Land Tax Lists 1802A -1817B,  Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #138

Hanover Co., Virginia Land Tax Lists 1818A-1829A,  Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #139

Hanover Co., Virginia Land Tax Lists 1830A -1838A,  Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #140

Hanover Co., Virginia Land Tax Lists 1838B-1847A,  Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #141

Hanover County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1782-1803, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #159
Hanover County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1804-1824, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #160
Hanover County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1825-1840, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #161
Hanover County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1841-1851, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #162
Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790 - Records of the State Enumerations: 1782-1785 - Virginia,
Bureau of the Census, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1908
Henrico County, Virginia Court Order Book 1763-1767, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #68
Henrico County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1782-1814, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #171
Hinshaw, William Wade. Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy - Virginia, Vol. VI, GPC, Baltimore, 1993
Hollowak, Thomas L.  and  Moore,
J. Staunton.  The Annals and History of Henrico Parish, Diocese of Virginia : and St. John's P.E. Church, GPC, Inc., Baltimore, 1979
Hopkins, Walter Lee. Hopkins of Virginia and  Related Families, J. W. Fergusson & Sons, Richmond, Virginia, 1931
Hopkins, William Lindsay.  St.  James Northam Parish Vestry Book, 1744-1850, Goochland County, Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, 1987
Hudson, Frank Parker. Wilkes County, Georgia Tax Records 1785 - 1805, Vol. 2, self published, 1996

Hutchison,  Louisa Skinner,
Index to Loudoun Co., Virginia Wills 1757 - 1850, Heritage Books, Westminster, MD, 1997
Internet Archive
Jackson County, Georgia Deed Index 1796 - 1895, LDS Family History Library, Film 325693
Jefferson Co., Kentucky Death Records 1852-1964, Ancestry.com
Jefferson Co., Kentucky Deed Book 121,  LDS Family History Library, Film #008308606

Jewell, Aurelia M. Loudoun Co., Virginia Marriage Bonds 1762 - 1850, Virginia Publishing Co., 1962, Reprint; Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1997
Obituaries & Funeral Home Records,
Jones Memorial Library, Lynchburg, Virginia

Kanawha County, West Virginia Marriage Records 1794-1875,  LDS Family History Library, Film #521719
King William County, Virginia Land Tax Books 1782-1811, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records Reel #164
King William County, Virginia Land Tax Books 1812-1850, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records Reel #165
King William County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1782-1832, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #198
Kendall, Katherine Kerr. Caswell County, North Carolina Deed Books, 1777-1817, Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1989
Kendall, Katherine Kerr. Person County, North Carolina Deed Books, 1792-1825, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1994
Kendall, Katherine Kerr. Person County, North Carolina Marriage Records, 1792-1868, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1997
Kentucky Death Records 1852 - 1953,  Ancestry.com
King, George Harrison Sanford.  Marriages of Richmond Co., Virginia 1668-1853, self published, 1964
Landrum, J. B. O. History of Spartanburg, The Franklin Printing & Publishing Co., Atlanta, 1900
Laurens County, South Carolina Deed Index 1774 - 1903
LDS Family History Library, Film #007899265
Madison County Alabama Marriage Licenses, Madison County Alabama Records Center
Marriages of Middlesex Co., Virginia 1740 - 1852,
Virginia Genealogical Society, Richmond, 1965
McIntosh,  Charles Fleming. Brief Abstracts of Norfolk County Wills 1710 - 1753, 1922, The Colonial Dames of America, Virginia
McRee, Fred W. Oglethorpe County, Georgia Inferior and Ordinary Court Records, 1794 - 1920, Vol. II, self published, 2005
Middlesex County, Virginia, Marriage Register 1740-1854, LDS Family History Library, Film #32443
Military Records and Resources, online: The Library of Virginia
Missouri Death Certificates
1910 - 1957, Missouri Digital Heritage 
Mosse, James. Virginia Quit Rent Rolls, 1704, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 31, No. 3, Virginia Historical Society, Jul 1923
Myers, Margaret E. Marriage Licenses of Frederick County, Maryland 1811 - 1840, Heritage Books, Westminster, Maryland, 2007
Nance, Joanne Lovelace. "List of Qualified Voters; Halifax County Virginia Voters; 1804, 1808 and 1812", Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 4, November, 1989
Newspapers.com
North Carolina Birth Index 1800 - 2000, Ancestry.com
North Carolina Death Certificates 1909 - 1975,
 Ancestry.com
North Carolina Marriages 1759 - 1979, 
LDS FamilySearch Record Search

Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, Vol. 2, 1666-1695, Virginia State Library, Richmond, Virginia, 1977

Pawlett, Nathaniel Mason & Newlon, Howard H. The Route of the Three Notch'd Road: A Preliminary Report, Virginia Highway and
Transportation Research Council, 1976
325693
Person County, North Carolina Wills, 1807-1815, LDS Family History Library, Film #19593
Pittsylvania
County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1782-1797A, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #271
Pittsylvania County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1797B-1812, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #272
"Pointer's or David Woody's", Old Homes of Hanover County Virginia, The Hanover County Historical Society, Hanover, Virginia, 1983
Pollock, Michael E. Marriage Bonds of Henrico County, Virginia, 1782 - 1853, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1984

Poss, Faye Stone. Wilkes County (Washington), Georgia Newspaper Abstracts 1802, 1805 - 1809, self published, 2003
Post Office Department, Letter from the Postmaster General, Transmitting Statements of Contracts made by the Post Office Department during the year 1826, Gales & Seaton, Washington, 1823

Powhatan County, Virginia Deed Book No. 1,
Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #1
Powhatan County, Virginia General Index to Deeds 1777-1947, Grantors, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel 11
"Records of Hanover County", William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol. 23, No. 1, July, 1914
Reddy, Anne Waller & Riffe, Andrew Lewis.  Richmond City Virginia Marriage Bonds, Vol. 1, The McClure Co., Staunton, Virginia, 1937
Rhea, Gordon C.
Cold Harbor, Louisiana State University Press, 2002
Richmond City, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1787-1799,
Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #363
Richmond City, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1799-1834,
Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #364
Richmond City, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1835-1850,
Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #365
Robert E. Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers' Home Applications for Admission,  online: The Library of Virginia
Rudd, A. Bohmer. Shockoe Hill Cemetery - Register of Interments, Vol. II, 1851-1950, self published, 1962
Sarrett, Paul R.  1779 Census 96th District, South Carolina GenWeb Archives, Aug, 1996
Social Security Death Index, RootsWeb Ancestry.com
South Carolina Online Research, South Carolina Department of Archives and History
Sparacio, Ruth & Sam. Albemarle County Virginia Deed Book 2, 9 Feb 1759 - 12 Mar 1761, The Antient Press, McLean, Virginia, 1988
Sparacio, Ruth & Sam. Albemarle County Virginia Deed Book 3, 12 Mar 1761 - 9 Aug 1764, The Antient Press, McLean, Virginia, 1988
Sparacio, Ruth & Sam. Albemarle County Virginia Wills & Deeds 1748 - 1752, The Antient Press, McLean, Virginia, 1990
Sparacio, Ruth & Sam.
Albemarle County Virginia Wills & Deeds 1752-1785, The Antient Press, McLean, Virginia, 2000
Sparacio, Ruth & Sam. Louisa Co., Virginia Court Orders 1774-1747, The Antient Press, Mclean, Virginia, 1999
Starr, Linda Sparks, et. al. Colonial Virginia Connections
Sumter County, South Carolina, CWP Desktop Publisher, Silver Spring, Maryland, 2001
Taylor, Dwight D. The Family and Descendants of Elisha Talley (1750-1836) of Hanover Co., Virginia and Heard Co., Georgia, self published, 2001
Terrar, Toby. First in War: Laboring People and the American Revolution as an Agrarian Reform Movement in Amherst County, Virginia and
Texas Deaths 1890 - 1976, LDS FamilySearch Record Search
The Heritage of Person County, North Carolina, Vol. I,
Person County Historical Society, Hunter Publishing Co. Winston-Salem, NC, 1981
The Heritage of Swain County, North Carolina,
Swain County Genealogical and Historical Society,
Hunter Publishing Co. Winston-Salem, NC, 1988
The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. III (June 1896),  The Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, VA
The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Oct., 1912), Review: Early Virginia Immigrants 1623-1666
Tombstone Inscriptions from a few Cemeteries in Howard County, Maryland
, Colonel Thomas Dorsey Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Ellicott City, Maryland 1958-1960
Trimmier, David. "
George Rowland, Prince Henry Co, VA 1754",  Rowland Family Genealogy Forum, Dec 19, 1999
United States Federal Census Records
Ancestry.com
U. S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, Ancestry.com
Vehorn, Larry & Pruitt, Albert Bruce . Spartanburg County-District, South Carolina, Deed Abstracts, Book A-T 1785-1827,  
Southern Historical Press, Easley, South Carolina, 1988
Vehorn, Larry. Spartanburg District South Carolina Deed Abstracts, Books X-Z, 1839-1848, Southern Historical Press, Greenville, SC, 2001
Vehorn, Larry. Spartanburg District South Carolina Deed Abstracts, Books CC-FF, 1852-1860, Southern Historical Press, Greenville, SC, 2006
Virginia Deaths and Burials 1853 - 1912,
LDS FamilySearch Record Search
Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys, online: The Library of Virginia
Virginia Legislative Petitions,
online: The Library of Virginia
Virginia Marriages 1740 - 1850
Ancestry.com
Virginia Marriages 1785 - 1940, LDS FamilySearch Record Search
Vogt, John & Kethley, T. William. Fluvanna Co., Virginia Marriages 1781 - 1849, Iberian Publishing Co., Athens, GA, 1984

Vogt, John & Kethley, T. William. Loudoun Co., Virginia Marriages 1760 - 1850, Iberian Publishing Co., Athens, GA, 1985
Weisiger, Benjamin B. Goochland County Virginia Wills & Deeds 1736 - 1742, Richmond, 1984
West Virginia Vital Research Records,
West Virginia Division of Culture and History

White, Anne A. & Leonard, Frances H.  "Records of Georgetown Methodist Church 1811-1897" , The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 61, No.2, April, 1960
Woodson, Robert F. & Isobel B. Virginia Tithables from Burned Record Counties, self published, Sep, 1970
Woody Jr., Charles Owen.
The Woody Family of Pittsylvania Co., Virginia and Logan Co., Kentucky, unpublished research, 2007
Woody M.D., McIver. David Woody, Alias David Brooks and his Agnates, unpublished research, 1970

World War I Draft Registration Cards 1917 - 1918,
Ancestry.com
 

 

Contributors

            For much of the information on this page and in the database, we are indebted to the following individuals, institutions and organizations: Doug Acree, Robert Allen, Steve Allen, Joseph S. Ames, W. P. Anderson, Jeanne Arguelles, Carrie Frances Averett, Linda Ayres, Danny J. Balch, Lucious Barnes Barbour, Edna Barney, Kathy Beals, Martin Blumenson, Mrs. John Bennett Boddie, Andrew Bogema, M. E. Bond, Linda Boorom, Jeraldine Boswell, Eugenia Bradsher, Charles Brasher, Bonnie Breedlove, Leila Bristow, Wanda Brooks, Warren Leigh Brookes, Annie Walker Burns, Theresa Campbell, Wirt Johnson Carrington, Kimball Carter, Betty Cates, Marian Dodson Chiarito, Jean K. Childs, Wayne & Vici Churchman, Cassie Sanford Clark, Helen Carver Clark, John A. Ciaccia, LaVerne Carver Clements, William Ronald Cocke, R. C. Coleman, Tracy Coley, Troy Colquitt, Beverly R. Conolly, Linda Allred Cooper, James W. Cope, Phillip Edward Cottrell, Richard Cottrell, Nancy Jones Crawford, Rhonda Jill Crawford, Vanessa Crews, W. C. Crews, C. C. Culpepper, John Curley, Juanita Mozelle Harpold Cutler, William Bernard Cutright, Pat Dailey, Grace Gillam Davidson, Rosalie Edith Davis, Susan J. Davis, Emma Lou Day, Leonard Dean, Mitzie Deaton, Jack DeBolt, Rick Dent, Sidney Dent, Barbara Dillard, Jim & Gail Dixon, Cindy Dodd, Jordan R. Dodd, Sharon J. Doliante, William Douglas, Patricia B. Duncan, Paul & Ruth Ellis, Elizabeth Prather Ellsberry, June Banks Evans, Becky Falin, Nathaniel R. Featherston, Timothy Fisher, Beverley Fleet, Peter Force, Elizabeth R. Frain, Mamie B. Fraser, Candie Freeman, S. Bassett French, John R. Gallagher, Craig Gathright, Mary Glass, Charity Goodwin, Mildred C. Goss, Robert N. Grant, Pat Green, Kay Haden, Jean Pickett Hall, Embree Garland Hamilton, Charles Ray Harper, Elizabeth Harris, Joyce Harrison, Ann Hennings, Lillian Herrin, Marty Hiatt, Arcilla Henry, Steve Hissem, T. C. Hixson, Brent H. Holcomb, Marsha Lloyd Howell, Richard Hrabowski, Dennis Ray Hudgins, Frank Parker Hudson,  Kathryn Humphries, Louisa Skinner Hutchison, Frances T. Ingmire, George S. Jack, Marilyn Jackson, Edward Boyle Jacobs, Gene Janssen, Aurelia M. Jewell, Eric Johnson, Kathryn Johnson, Suzanne Johnston, W. Mac Jones, D.S. Keeton, Katherine Kerr Kendall, T. William Kethley, George Harrison Sanford King, Okey L. King, R. L. Kirby, Doug Kirk, Randolph Withers Kirkland, Elaine King Kubinski, Ann M. LaDue, Danny Lamberth, J. B. O. Landrum, Roy Laney, Pam Lantrip, Cecil Q. Larsen, Frances H. Leonard, William Terrell Lewis, J. Lester Link, Norma Lee Longmire, James L. Marable, Wanda Marsh, Charlotte Woody Martin, Hu Maxwell, William McCauley, Shirley McCluer, Shirley Brasher McCoy, Mary McGhee, Jackie McInnis, Tina McKie, Jessie McLam, Joan McNeive, Martha Miller, Thomas Condit Miller, Rudy Moe, Daniel Moore, Mary Spradley Morken, Helena Woody Morway, William Munford, Margaret E. Myers, Joanne Lovelace Nance, Sandra Cheatham Nelson, Kathie Noble, Stratton Nottingham, Deborah Parks, Henry C. Peden, Sharon Petersen, Dorothy G. Pilout, Eleanor Poindexter, Phyllis Porter, Faye Stone Poss, Bettie B. Powell, Shirley Pritchett, Christine C. Proctor, Albert B. Pruitt, Forney A. Rankin, Joyce Rash, Anne Waller Reddy, Carl Reed, Emma Barrett Reeves, Joan Renfroe, Melanie Renfroe, Andrew Lewis Riffe, Bernard Rodenhizer, Nelwyn P. Rogerson, A. Bohmer Rudd, Mildred Russell, Ora Lee Sossaman, Paul R. Sarrett, Marshall Satterwhite, Velvet Satterwhite, John Scholes, Brian Keith Scott, Steve Scott, Susie Sexson, Scott S. Sheads, Cindy Wooddy Sherrod, Cynthia Waring Shockley, Ronald L. Simmons, Herk Slutter, Nancy Smith, Haddox Sothoron, Ruth & Sam Sparacio, Pat Sparks, Martha Bradsher Spencer, Will Stamps, Juanita Stinson, Ken Storm, Louise Swerling, Barbara Taylor, Dwight D. Taylor, Julia Ann Taylor, Richard Taylor, Barbara Jean Thomas, Marianne C. Thompson, V. A. Thomson, Charlotte A. Thurston, David Trimmier, Virginia G. Turnbull, Terrylynne Turner, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Kenna Van Meter, Molly Urquhart, Reginald L. Vasser, Larry Vehorn, Nyla Verisario, Patricia G. Viellenave, L. G. Vincent, John Vogt,  Alex Wade, George Calvin Waldrep, Homer Walker, Tom Flynn Walker, Benjamin B. Weisiger, Anne A. White, Nancy Woody Whitesell, Jason Whitt, Dorothy Wilkinson, Harrison Williams, Frederick Neff Wilson, Herbert T. Wilson, Leon & Mary Wilson, Millie Wilson, Barbara Walker Winge, Martha Winstead, Sudie Rucker Wood, Betty Spell Wooddy, Mark W. Wooddy, William Samuel Wooddy, Bobby Eugene Woody, Jr., Charles Owen Woody Jr., Lavalette Tinsley Woody, McIver Woody, Milton F. Woody, Phillip Hix Woody, Shelby Jean Woody, Taylor Woody, Terra Woody, Terry & Kristy Woody, Walter Ruffin Woody, William Bruce Woody, E. Edward Wright, Harriet Wooddy Wright, Artiss Wyatt, the staff of the LDS Family History Centers in Fort Myers, Florida & Knoxville, Tennessee, the staff of the Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, the staff of the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, Knoxville, Tennessee, the staff of the Knox County Public Library System, Knoxville, Tennessee, the staff of the Mid-County Regional Library, Port Charlotte, Florida, the staff of the Fort Myers-Lee County Library, Fort Myers, Florida, the staff of the John F. Germany Public Library, Tampa, Florida, the staff of the Selby Public Library, Sarasota, Florida, the staff of the National Archives, Chicago, Illinois & Washington, D. C. and the staff of the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Any omissions are unintentional.
 

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1990 United States Woody Surname Distribution

1990 U.S. Woody Surname Distribution
click on image to enlarge

1990 U.S. Census: Surname - Population Frequency - Frequency Rank

Smith - 1.006% - #1
Woody - .007% - #1664
Woodie - .001% - #15008
deWoody - .001% - #15538
Woodey - less than .001% - greater than #88799
Wooddy - less than .001% - greater than #88799

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Revised Dec 3, 2019