Friday, October 10, 2014

52 Ancestors: #41, Nathaniel Woodward Sr. and Jr., Father and Son Carpenters

In my Woodward line, I can't really say I have an immigrant ancestor; I actually have two immigrant ancestors: my eleventh and tenth great grandfathers, Nathaniel Woodward and his namesake son.1

Nathaniel Woodward Sr. was born in England, say 1587. Judging from the ages of his sons, he must have married in England around 1610. No details are known about his first wife, who died by 1635, and probably before he came to Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, about 1633. Around 1638, he married Margaret Jackson.

Nathaniel had at least three sons, possibly four, all born in England, by his first wife:
  1. Nathaniel Jr., b. ca 1613
  2. John, b. ca 1615
  3. Robert, b. ca 1618
  4. Ezekiel, b. ca 1622 (parentage not certain)
Nathaniel had one daughter with his second wife Margaret Jackson:
  1. Prudence, b. ca 1638, probably Boston, married Christopher Mosse
He was a carpenter by trade, but also worked as a surveyor running boundary lines, including those between Massachusetts Bay Colony and its neighbors, Plymouth Colony and Connecticut, and was sometimes called a "mathematician." By 1661 he and his wife Margaret had sold all of his property in Boston. It isn't known whether they went to live with one of the sons, or perhaps returned to England, and they don't appear in any records after a deed executed in 18 July 1661.

Nathaniel Woodward Jr. was born in England about 1613 and emigrated to Boston with his father around 1633. His first wife was Mary Jackson of Boston, Lincolnshire, England. It's uncertain whether he married her in Old England or New England, but likely the latter, around 1640, when she was admitted to the Boston church as "Mary Woodward the wife of our Brother Nathaniell [sic] Woodward."

About 1648, they removed to Taunton, Massachusetts. By 1655, Mary had died, and Nathaniel Jr. returned to Boston for a time. By 1664 he had married Katherine ______ and moved back to Taunton.

Nathaniel Jr. had five children with Mary Jackson:
  1. [unknown child], b. before Aug 1642, Boston
  2. Elisha, b. 1644, Boston,
  3. Nathaniel, b. 1646, Boston
  4. Israel, b. ca 1648, Boston
  5. John, b. ca 1650, Taunton
Nathaniel Jr. had one child with Katherine ______:
  1. James, b. say 1665, Taunton
Like his father, Nathaniel Jr. was a carpenter. (It's also possible that he was the surveyor, and not his father, but it's difficult to sort out the records for the two Nathaniels.) Both Nathaniel Jr. and his wife Katherine died sometime after 14 September 1686, when they deeded property to their son James. The deed was acknowledged by the witnesses on 1 February 1694/5, which probably means that Nathaniel and Katherine had both died by that date.

My descent from Nathaniel Woodward, Sr.:
  • Nathaniel Woodward Sr. + ______ ______
  • Nathaniel Woodward Jr. + Mary Jackson
  • John Woodward + Sarah Crossman
  • John Woodward + Deborah [Thayer?]
  • Thomas Woodward + Anne Young
  • Nathaniel Woodward + Mary Brittain
  • Jeptha Woodward + ______ ______ [some uncertainty here – see footnote2]
  • Apollos Woodward + Rachel Runnels/Reynolds
  • Royal W. Woodward + Mary Hawley Sawyer
  • Uriah Sawyer Woodward + Mary Washburn
  • Eva May Woodward + Peter Louis Rabideau
  • Glenna Marie Rabideau + William George Murphy (my maternal grandparents)

(Note: This post is in response to Amy Johnson Crow's "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" challenge at No Story Too Small.)

  1. Most of the details here are from Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, 3 vols. (Boston: NEHGS, 1995), pp. 2061-4, Nathaniel Woodward [Jr.]; database and digital images, NEHGS, American Ancestors ( : accessed 8 Oct 2014). Some of the details concerning Nathaniel Sr. are from a photocopy of several pages of a typescript publication, unidentified but quite likely Harold Edward Woodward, Some Descendants of Nathaniel Woodward Who Came from England to Boston About 1630 (Boston: 1984).
  2. The linkage Nathaniel > Jeptha > Apollos is still somewhat uncertain. It is possible, though not as likely, that Apollos was the son of Nathaniel's son Benjamin rather than Jeptha; it is also just barely possible that Apollos was actually the youngest son of Nathaniel himself. But the line through Jeptha and an unknown first wife (according to family lore, possibly an Indian woman, but I take all such claims with a large fistful of salt) seemed the most likely possibility to my late brother, Marshall Kirk (unpublished research, ca 1998-9).

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