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Barrett Letter

 

 

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In the following letter, Dr. Barrett has "inserted" her own remarks into the body of the settlement of the "Estate of John Woody" and into the body of the "John Woody Will". For easier reading, I have condensed those to the original (or as close as possible) version immediately following each.

I have also provided some additional remarks following Dr. Barrett’s letter.

Mel

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Letter by Dr. Marilyn W. Barrett, published in the newsletter "A WOODY FAMILY TREE" by Mary Dell Wallace, January 1994

Apparent Confusion as to Colonial New England John Woodys (Because all Woodys name their sons after ancestors and have since they came to America right up to the present day.)

Richard Woody I and wife Mary Ann had four children, John, Isaac, Mary and Richard II

Their son John and his wife Mary Coggin or Cogan had two children John and Isaac

[Their son Isaac and wife Dorcus had eight children, Mary, John, Isaac, Dorcus, Ann, Martha, Thomas, and Richard but this to be. discussed later]

Richard and Mary Ann's grandson John's estate court records say:

"Estate of John Woody of Roxbury, Mass. Debts due his estate etc. Richard Woodde [his uncle listed under Richard and and Mary Ann's children above], Isaac Woode [also his uncle listed under Richard and Mary Ann's children and Edmund Sheffield [the husband of his deceased aunt Mary who is listed as a child of Richard and Mary Ann above) of the late Mary Wooddy, petition General Court. Whereas it hath pleased God by death to remove John Woody, our kinsman [Richard and Mary Ann's grandson, and the son of their child John] the son of John Woody, late of Roxbury, our brother [this series of statement's supports the contention that Richard and Mary Ann's son John had a son John who is being discussed here, their grandson and this grandson has died as has their son John] being next heires unto said John, etc., do therefore desire power of Administration upon the estate 15.8.1657 [August. 15, 1657, the date of the final probate probably of Richard and Mary Ann's grandson John's estate). Mr. Coggan [a relative of Richard and Mary Ann's son John's wife Mary Coggin or Cogan] petitions in their behalf. [He did this previously at the death of Mary Coggan's husband John, the son of Richard and Mary Ann Woody] The estate consisted of a house, part of a mill, the rest in goods and cattle, he having a wife and child [referring to Richard and Mary Ann's son John who died leaving only a minor son John and this child's mother and the elder John's wife Mary Coggin or Cogan]. The court accept [accepted] of Mr. Coggans securitie for 70 lb. as the child's part in that estate, and 7 p ann. until the child comes of age of 21 years,--the house and part of mill being before sold by the overseers--allowed so to do by order of Court--the child dies in his minority [John, the grandson of Richard and Mary Ann therefore died before he reached 21] Question: who in right ought to enjoy the estate of this child, deceasing in his minority? [What Richard, Isaac and Edmond are after is the estate of their deceased brother John's deceased minor son John, their nephew, which apparently was being administered by a relative of their sister-in-law Mary Coggan.] the deputies voted., the child or children of the Woodyes, with reference to our honored magistrates. [The estate of Richard and Mary Ann's grandson John was decided in favor of the child or children of Richard, Isaac or their brother-in-law Edmond, since Isaac, and Dorcus' grandson John of John and Mary Coggan obviously died before he could marry and have offspring].

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***** Unedited Version (or as near as possible) of Above *****

Provided to me by Loren Woody from his "Massachusetts Citations" collection.

New England Historical and Genealogical Register; V7#4, Oct 1853; p 338-9: "Abstracts of Early Wills"

JOHN WOODY of Roxbury.

Debts due his Estate, &c. Rich: Woodde, Isaac Woodde & Edmond Sheffield, husband of the late Mary Wooddy, petition General Court, "Whereas it hath pleased God by death to rmove John Wooddy, our kinseman, the sonne of John Wooddy, late of Roxbury, our brother, being next heires unto said John," &c. do therefore desire power of Administration upon the estate 15.8.1657. Mr Coggan petitions in their behalf The Estate consisted of a house, part of a mill, the rest in goods & Cattle, he haueing a wife & Child. The Court accept of mr Coggans securitie for 70lb. as the Childs part in that estate, and 7p ann. vntill the Childe com to the age of 21 yeares - the house & pte of mille being before sold by the overseer-, -- alowed so to do by order of Court - the Child dyes in its minoritie. Quest. who in right ought to enjoye the estate of this childe, deceaseing in its minoritie? The deputyes Voted, the Child or Children of the Woodyes, with reference to our honored magistrates.

Signed, Samuel Symonds, Eleazer Lusher, Roger Clap.

William Torrey, Clerk. The magistrates Consent heereto. Edw. Rawson, Secty.

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So, we can call Richard and Mary Ann's son John I and His son John II, but he then died so that ended the John numbering for that line BUT

Richard and Mary Ann's son Isaac and his wife Dorcus had a number of children as noted above and THEIR son John is rightfully John I. Isaac and Dorcus' John I had John II born 23 Jan 1688 in Boston and he had three children James, Robert and John III who was born 1715 in Boston and died 1762 in what was then Orange County, NC and is now Alamance Co., NC

Besides using this estate document to elucidate the John controversy, the dates jive:

1. Richard (married Mary Ann) b. 1590 in Kent, England d. 6 Dec 1658 in Roxbury, Mass.

2. Their son John (married Mary Coggan), b. in England but baptized 11 Mar 1650 just before he died of smallpox 23 Mar 1650 in Roxbury, Mass.

3. His son John b. 18 Sept. 1649 in Roxbury, Mass. and died before 15 Aug. 1657 in Roxbury, Mass. [per above estate records, no spouse or issue because he would have only been less than 8 years old]

4. Richard and Mary Ann's son Isaac, b. in England [that is before 1638 when his parents came to America] and baptized 3 Feb. 1650 [I believe this was in the height of a smallpox epidemic in Roxbury since his brother John was baptized 11 Mar 1650 and died about two weeks later-Isaac probably had smallpox but recovered]

5. Isaac married Dorcus Harper in 1656 and their son John I was born 18 Sept. 1659 in Roxbury [it was this Isaac who is a co-petitioner of his nephew John's estate mentioned above sometime after 1657] so the dates are consistent.

The correct John I's will also lends credence to this issue of John numbering:

 

Suffolk, Mass. Probate Vol. 13-14, 1688-1701 584,131-SLC John Woodde Will-2266 9p. 656 printed number, 328 written number)

In the name of God Amen the 4th dat of Feb. Anno Dom. 1692 Annog RR et Regina Gilielmi et Maria nunc Anglia De Secundo. I John Woode of Boston in New England, tailor, being in good bodily health and of sound mind and memory praise be almight God for the same knowing the uncertainty of this preent life and being desirous to settle that outward estate the Lord hath lent me therefor make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and forme following: [date is 1692 so could not have been Richard and Mary Ann's son John or his son John because these were dead per the above estate records by 1657]

1st commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God my Creator..Revoke, renounce and make void wills and testaments formerly made. All debts I justly owe...be well and truly paid...Devise and bequeath brick messuage or tenement with all land thereto belonging and privileges and appurtenances thereof situate lying and being between the house and land of Arthur Mason and the house and land of John Matthews in Schoolhouse Lane in Boston ... as also my piece of land situate--southerly side of Fort Hill in Boston--together with all my other real and personal estate whatsoever either in possession or revertion unto my son John Woodde [here is the real John II-he did exist between John son of Isaac and John buried in Alamance, NC in 1762] and to his heirs and assigns forever. Item-If my son dyes before he attains the age of 21 or be _ [therefore John II was not yet 21 in 1692 and if he was born in 1688 and his son John III was born 1715 this would be consistent since John II would be about 4 years old in 1692 and John II's mother is probably deceased because she is not mentioned as an heir. My bet is that John IIs mother died in late 1691 or January 1692 because if John I were a widower, he would undoubtedly want to provide for the security of his only child. Also John II apparently had no living brothers and sisters because these are not mentioned as heirs, only his aunts and uncles if he should predecease them] then in such case I do hereby give - the use benefit and improvement of all aforesaid estate to my honored mother Dorcas Woode [consistent with his being John I, son of Isaac and Dorcas Harper Woody] for and during the term of her natural life. Item-After her decease I do hereby give _to, my brothers, namely Isaac Woode and Richard Woodde and my sisters Namely Dorcas Hisket, wife of John Hisket, Hannah Billing, wife of John Billing and Martha Woodde [all are listed as children of Isaac and Dorcus except Hannah who was probably Ann because of the birth order listing of John's sisters in the will] and to the heirs of their bodies. 22 May 1695-Prob. 14 Aug. 1695 [Today there is usually a delay of months to several years in probating a will, and since probate of an estate does not occur until the person has died, John I must have died sometime before 14 Aug 1695]

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**Shortened version of above, (with Dr. Barrett’s comments**

In the name of God Amen the 4th dat of Feb. Anno Dom. 1692 Annog RR et Regina Gilielmi et Maria nunc Anglia De Secundo. I John Woode of Boston in New England, tailor, being in good bodily health and of sound mind and memory praise be almight God for the same knowing the uncertainty of this preent life and being desirous to settle that outward estate the Lord hath lent me therefor make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and forme following:

1st commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God my Creator..Revoke, renounce and make void wills and testaments formerly made. All debts I justly owe...be well and truly paid...Devise and bequeath brick messuage or tenement with all land thereto belonging and privileges and appurtenances thereof situate lying and being between the house and land of Arthur Mason and the house and land of John Matthews in Schoolhouse Lane in Boston ... as also my piece of land situate--southerly side of Fort Hill in Boston--together with all my other real and personal estate whatsoever either in possession or revertion unto my son John Woodde and to his heirs and assigns forever. Item-If my son dyes before he attains the age of 21 or be _ then in such case I do hereby give - the use benefit and improvement of all aforesaid estate to my honored mother Dorcas Woode for and during the term of her natural life. Item-After her decease I do hereby give _to, my brothers, namely Isaac Woode and Richard Woodde and my sisters Namely Dorcas Hisket, wife of John Hisket, Hannah Billing, wife of John Billing and Martha Woodde and to the heirs of their bodies.

22 May 1695-Prob. 14 Aug. 1695

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I believe these wills and estate papers strongly support John I the son of Issac and Dorcas Harper Woody, and John II as his son, and John III as John II's [John II's 1692 will was probated in 1695 and discussed above] son.

 

(signed M.W. Barrett)

Dr. Marilyn W. Barrett

11-1-93

 

 

*ADDED NOTES by ME: Although Dr. Barrett makes a fairly strong case that the John III (of North Carolina) was a descendant of the New England Woody’s, she does not provide conclusive proof.

Mary Dell Wallace wrote in her first newsletter "At this point we have some differences of opinion as to whether this John Woody (referring to John II) is the father of John Woody III, as the BOSTON BIRTHS, BAPTISMS, MARRIAGES AND DEATHS shows a John of John Woody who died 17 Apr. 1697. If this is this John Woody II, then he was only 9 years old at death and could not possibly be the father of John Woody III. However, the Genealogical Report by W. P. Johnson shows John Woody II as the father of John Woody III."

The following excerpt from Loren Woody’s "Massachusetts Citations" support this:

A Report of the Records Commission of the City of Boston containing the Boston Births,

Baptisms, Marriages, and Deaths, 1630-1699. Document 130 - 1883; V.9; Gc 97 4. 4 0 2 B 65br V. 9

Deaths 1697 John of John Woody Dyed 17 April. page 237

The following excerpt is from the Ancestry.Com membership data base:

Ancestry.Com "Boston Vital Records, 1630-1699"

BOSTON BIRTHS, BAPTISMS, MARRIAGES, AND DEATHS, 1630-1699

1697.

page 237

Jetta of John Woody Dyed 17 April.

Now, was it a John or a Jetta who died 17 April 1697? Although Jetta is a male name, I suspect the possibly exists that when the information was scanned for Ancestry.Com the "OCR" version came out as Jetta and was never corrected (of course that’s just a theory on my part).

I guess what this all boils down to is that we still do not have positive proof of the connection between the New England Woody’s and the North Carolina Woody’s.

 

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