Woody Family Roots

The History and Genealogy of Henry, Thomas & William Woody
 and their Descendants
(including Wooddy, Woodie, Woddy, Woodey, Woode, de Woody, etc.)

Dedicated to the Memory of our Honored Pioneer Ancestors
"History is lived forwards but it is written in retrospect." C. V. Wedgewood

 Created: 1998
Hosted by Dave Woody

A link to the Woody Database is located at the end of the historical section below.
 This database contains over 5300 descendants of Henry, Thomas & William, sons of John Woody of Goochland, Virginia and
may be quite useful in researching Woody atDNA matches found at FTDNA, Ancestry.com, GEDMatch & DNAGedcom.  

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The Immense & Growing Echo Chamber of Genealogically Related Garbage

Robert Wooddy in the Virginia Tidewater

            One of the earliest chronicles of the Woody name in Virginia can be found in court records of Lower Norfolk County which was situated in the heart of the famous Tidewater region. On August 15, 1653, a Robert Wooddy, age about thirty-two, testified about an incident that occurred on a ship anchored in the Elizabeth River on December 15, 1651. This Robert Woody may have been the person that claimed "headright" awards for two people in 1653. A Robert Woody owned lands in Lower Norfolk and Norfolk County until 1704, but the name seems to disappear after that time. Since the given name "Robert" was used very infrequently by latter Woodys, we assume that the Robert Woody line probably did not produce any surviving male descendants.



Very Early Virginia Land Patents & Headrights


            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. 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. These volumes cover the period 1623-1732. Since then, 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 individuals have transcribed those names in which they had a special interest; however, we have discovered that nothing replaces viewing images of the original documents. 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 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 researcher, images of these old documents are viewable at the Library of Virginia  Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys. 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 1681and John in 1701. We have very carefully examined the images containing these names and we can confirm only three: Robert and both Johns. Anthony was Waddy, Symon was almost surely 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 first image on the right is from the 1701 grant to John Pleasants. This is an example of a very clear entry for John Woody. The next image on the right is from a 1652 grant to Francis Morgan and Ralph Green and the name has been transcribed as Symon Woody. The name is at the top of the second column from the left. We think the name is Symon Wady and, for certain, it is not Symon Woody. The third image on the right is from the 1681 grant to Arthur Jordan and the name has be transcribed as Henry Woody. Because of the ink smearing, this name is more difficult to ascertain. We think it is Henry Moody and not Henry Woody. Compare the W/M in the top line to the obvious M to the right and to the obvious 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 comparison letters, but we think it is more like the M. What is even more interesting to us is the the forth image on the right which mentions Samuel Woddy as an adjacent neighbor in the 1688 land grant to Charles Fleming. The location of this grant was "in the branches of Mattedequin & Totopotomony Creeks". This is the exact location where later Hanover County Woodys are recorded; however, Samuel is not mentioned once in the Vestry "processioning records" described below. This probably was because Samuel was not the owner of the property mentioned. This image name has been transcribed by some as Waddy. By searching for the date and grantee name, the complete grant images can be viewed at the Library of Virginia Land Office Grants page.      


 Early Woody Records In Virginia

        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. 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, it was necessary for 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. Typically, processioning was preformed every four years under the direction of the Parish officials. In addition to processioning records, a very few Hanover and New Kent County property deeds and grants have survived from this period. Images of most of the grants can be viewed at the Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys 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 male descendants.
        The Colonial Quakers were prodigious record keepers and many of their records have survived and have been transcribed by William Hinshaw and others. The minutes of the Henrico Monthly Meeting record the only two Woody Quakers mentioned in Virginia. In 1722, James Woody provided funds to help build a Meeting House. Micajah Woody of Hanover County and several of his daughters are noted from 1739 to 1759. Although it is possible that his ancestors may have been Quakers, there is no evidence at all to suggest that Henry Woody, of Goochland and Franklin Counties, was a Quaker. The name Henry Woody does not occur at all in the Quaker records. Also, most Quakers were strict pacifists and Henry was a Revolutionary War veteran.
        In the records described above and in the court records of Goochland, Henrico, Hanover and New Kent Counties, the given names of John, Martha, Micajah, Simon, James, Anthony, Henry, Robert, and Samuel appear quite frequently; however, determining the relationships of these people is extremely difficult or impossible. Birth and marriage records are virtually non-existent for this period, so it is left to the family historian to first obtain and then subjectively interpret the meaning of the existing documents.

Woody Records Effected by County Formation,
 Boundary Changes and 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 Newberry Library Atlas of Historical County Boundaries 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 and since many of the fiercest battles occurred in the area surrounding Richmond, the counties of Henrico, Hanover, New Kent, and Goochland were especially effected.
        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 be used to distribute an estate, but many people of moderate 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 this lineage. 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. Although there are numerous mentions of Woodys in the St. Paul's Vestry Book, there is not one mention of a Henry Woody. Henry was one of the most popular Woody given names and the lineage in question includes three early Henry Woodys. At least as perplexing is the complete absence of the Woody name in the Henrico and St. James Northam Vestry Books. In an effort aimed at substantiating as much of this lineage as possible, we have made an detailed study of the three vestry books. The processioning records in the St. Paul's Vestry Book were analyzed and compared with other available records of that time period. The introductory remarks of the compiler, Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne, were very useful in this research and one very obvious reason for the absence of Henry Woody in the record became apparent. The other two vestry books do not contain one Woody record; however, the Woodys neighbors are known from extant land records, so the neighbor's names were the focus of the examination of the  processioning records in these books. This examination revealed some very large differences in the way processioning results were recorded in the three parishes. These differences may account for the absence of the Woody name in the Henrico and St. James Northam Vestry Books. Henry & John Woody: An Analysis of the Vestry Books of St. Paul's, Henrico and St. James Northam Parishes is a report on this research.

Woody Records in the The Douglas Register

            The Reverend William Douglas became pastor of Dover Church, St. James Northam Parish in Goochland County, Virginia on October 12, 1750 and served until 1777, when he resigned because of his Tory political views. As many ministers were, Rev. Douglas was also a tutor and when Thomas Jefferson was nine he began five years of schooling at Dover Church under Douglas. The Douglas Register, the record of Rev. Douglas' ministry, is one of the few documents that have survived in Virginia's "Black Hole" of genealogy. The vast majority of the records of this area were destroyed during the Civil War. Images of the 1928 W. Mac. Jones transcription of this very important document are online at the Ancestry.com Stories, Memories and Histories section.

            The Reverend William Douglas recorded the following marriages and baptisms:

                • Henry Woody married Susannah Martin
"both of this parish" Jan 13, 1761

John Woodie, son of Henry & Susannah Martin Woodie b. Jan 12, 1765 bap. Aug 28, 1765

Biddy Woodie, daughter of William & Lucy Barnet Woodie b. Jan 21, 1765  bap. Aug 28, 1765
                  (We knew about this dual baptism connection for over fifteen years before we finally discovered
                   the significance of the event.)

            Other Woodys that were recorded in the Douglas Register as being married or baptized:

• Mourning Woody "a young woman" bap. Apr 8, 1772

Mourning Woody married "both in Goochland" Alexr. Ross, Nov 6, 1772

Eliz. Woody married Will. Nichols "both in Goochland" Mar 6, 1774

Edward Johnson, son of Jean Woodie & Daniel Johnson, b. Jan 28, 1760, bap. Sep 8, 1761       

Martha Woody, daughter of Ursley Woody b. Mar 28, 1757, bap. Apr 26, 1761.

Martha Woody indentured to to Nicholas & Sisley Owen until she was 18, Jun 15, 1761



John Woody in the Branches of Byrd Creek

            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 Route of the Three Notch'd Road depicted on a current Virginia county map. On this map, the upper branches of Byrd Creek are in the north-east corner of Fluvanna County very near the Louisa and Goochland borders. We have included a section of a modern USGS topographic map which gives a detailed view of this area.
            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 these 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, the detailed Fry-Jefferson 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.
            One of the first references to William Woody that we have found was June 13, 1759 when he, William Venable and Hugh Lewis Venable witnessed  the deed for a Byrd Creek, Albemarle County property sale. Hugh Lewis Venable was the son of the above mentioned  Abraham Venable. On June 14, 1757, Hugh married Mary Martin in Dover Church. An even more interesting event occurred on May 2, 1761, when Guy Smith sold land on the Rivanna River, Albemarle County to William Banks. William Wooddy and John Robertson witnessed the deed for this sale. A John Robertson was the father of three children that married three of Henry Woody's children in Franklin County. At the 1760 probate of the Capt. Joseph Thompson's estate in Albemarle County, one of the recorded debits was for shoemaking by William Woodie. In 1777, William Woody was among the petitioners to the General Assembly for the separation of Fluvanna from Albemarle County. Fluvanna County was indeed formed that same year and on the 7th of August, William Woody purchased 25 acres where he was living on Burke Creek from John Haden, another of the petitioners. Burke Creek is a tributary of the Rivanna River and is about 10/15 miles west of Byrd Creek. William must have moved on by 1782, since he is absent from the Fluvanna Personal Property Tax Lists which start in that year. This person was very likely William Banks Woody, the brother of Henry Woody. He he is found in the Henry County tax lists from 1782 through 1790.
            Will Banks and Elizabeth Martin were married September 15, 1753 in Dover Church. The probate of the estate of William Banks occurred on July 26, 1762. His widow and executrix was Elizabeth Martin Banks and among the creditors and debtors mentioned were Thomas Woody, John Woody, Henry Woody, William Martin and Henry Martin.
            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.


Henry Woody in a Deadly Encounter in Bedford County


            In 1754, Bedford County was created from that part of Lunenburg County that was south of Albemarle County. This event coincided with the beginning of the French and Indian War which lasted until 1763. Although most of the significant action took place far to the north and west of Bedford, Virginia, this area contributed many of the troops that participated. In 1755, a British force under the command of General Edward Braddock attempted to capture the French Fort Duquesne (now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). In this campaign, Virginia militia Major George Washington, an aide to General Braddock, gained his first fame at the Battle of the Monongahela even though the British suffered a disastrous defeat. Washington was later commissioned commander of all the Virginia forces and, as such, he received many communications from military officers and government officials. One such letter came from John Blair and concerned Indian raids in 1758 Bedford and Halifax Counties. In an attachment to this letter, Henry Wooddy was mentioned as participating in a deadly skirmish with Native Americans near the Pigg River in southern Bedford County. This story is confirmed by a Colonial military roster of "the soldiers of Bedford County who were engaged in warfare with the Indians, French and British before the Declaration of Independence". Henry Woody is noted as a Private on this list.
            Interestingly, a William Wooddie was also noted in 1758 as a Private in the the Bedford militia. This was most likely the husband of Sarah Percel and the progenitor of a completely different line of Woodys that supposedly emigrated from England a rather short time earlier. James Woody b. c. 1753, the son of William and Sarah, named Bedford County, Virginia as his birthplace in his Revolutionary War Pension Applicaton. A less likely candidate is the William Woody that purchased 89 acres in Bedford on Little Otter Creek in 1778 and, in 1780, added another 106 acres to his holdings in this area. William Woody was taxed for personal property in Bedford for the years 1782 - 1814. 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. His 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 Woodys families from the surrounding counties. Many more details about this branch are in the The Woody Family of Old Virginia Database.
            We do not know the relationship between Henry and William Woody of 1758 Bedford County. Although it is certainly possible that they were brothers, we think it is very unlikely. There is much more evidence that supports our assumption that William Banks Woody, described below, was the brother of Henry.


Henry, John, Martin & David Woody: Signers of 1776 Petition


            On November 1, 1776, Peter Martain, Geo Martain, Chas Martain, Henry Woody, Martain Woody, John Woody and David WoodyWoody Signitures on 1776 Petition, along with many other Revolutionary War soldiers and concerned citizens, signed an Albemarle and Amherst County petition that demanded disestablishment of the Church of England and religious equality as part of the revolutionary government policy. This copy of a small section of the petition shows their names as they appear. An exact image of the petition, as well as, several hundred other petitions of the period can be viewed at Early Virginia Religious Petitions. On October 27, 1785, Henry Woody's son, Martain, joined others from Bedford and Henry Counties to sign a petition encouraging the formation of Franklin County. Henry's son Randolph was married in Bedford on November 19, 1792. Henry Sr. and Martin have been recognized as patriots by the Daughters of the American Revolution. At one time, Martin's tombstone was marked, "A Revolutionary Soldier". Congress authorized pensions for Revolutionary War veterans in acts of 1832 and 1844. Henry Sr. was dead by this time, but the pension record of Martin Woody survives. In it, Martin states that he served in the Virginia Militia on three separate occasions. He was with "his excellency, General George Washington", at the siege of Yorktown. His widow was awarded a $25 per year pension.


Henry, Thomas & George Woody in Amherst County

            On February 23, 1770, two separate 53 acre tracts were surveyed for Henry Woody and William Martin in the branches of Davis Creek, Amherst County. Henry Woody obtained a land grant for this property on August 1, 1772 and William's grant is dated June 20, 1772. Henry Woody's grant mentions Angus Forbus as a neighbor. Davis Creek is a tributary of the Rockfish River and is now in Nelson County, about five miles north of the county seat of Lovingston. Lovingston was named for James Loving, another Woody neighbor. Twenty miles to the east is Scottsville, the county seat of Albemarle County before 1761. Davis Creek, Lovingston and Scottsville were near the Rockfish Gap and the Three Notch'd Road which connected Staunton and Richmond. Scottsville was also was the final home of and burial place of Dr. Arthur Hopkins, mentioned above. In August 1782, a suit initiated by the above mentioned Angus Forbus against Henry Woody was abated because Angus had died and, latter that year, Henry moved to Bedford County where he paid  personal property taxes through 1792. Another Amherst neighbor of the Woodys and Martins was William Wright Sr. and his large extended family. On March 23, 1772, Thomas Woody was a witness to the sale of land from Samuel Shannon to Rev. Wm Irvin. This property was in the branches of the Rockfish River, near the Blue Mountains in Amherst County. Thomas Woody was enumerated as the head of a household containing five people in the 1783 Amherst census; however, on June 7, 1784, the estate of Thomas Woody was probated in Amherst and Mary Woody and Wm Wright Jr. were bonded as administrators. So it seems that Thomas Woody died intestate at a relatively young age. The next year, George and Mary Woody were enumerated in the Amherst census living adjacent to William Wright and Col. John Hopkins (husband of Mary Martin Hopkins), a son of Dr. Arthur Hopkins. However, we have not found out how Henry Woody disposed of his property and, much more importantly, the land tax records of Amherst County do not record any Woodys in Amherst County between 1782 and 1805. This evidence supports our assumption that Henry was the heir-at-law of the estate of John Woody. These events demonstrate the close association that existed between the Woodys, Martins, Banks, Lovings, Hopkins, Howards and Wrights. The Woody and Hopkin's connection continued until at least 1850 when Thomas and Mary Woody were enumerated in Nelson County living beside Dr. Arthur Hopkins, the grandson of Dr. James and Ann Sparks Martin Hopkins and the great grandson of the above mention Dr. Arthur Hopkins. This Thomas Woody was born about 1775 and in 1801 he married Molly Loving Bradshaw, the sister of the James Loving mentioned above and the widow of John Bradshaw. Thomas lived to be at least eighty-six and was likely the son of the Thomas Woody that died in 1784; however Thomas Jr. did not seem to have any sons that survived to adulthood. We now believe that Henry, Thomas Sr. and William Banks Woody were the sons of John Woody and that George Woody was the son of Thomas.
            Ninety-seven Woodys were enumerated in the 1930 Nelson County, Virginia census. In addition, some 130 other Woodys were enumerated in Albemarle, Amherst, Bedford, Fluvanna, Franklin, Goochland and Henry counties. Many of these folks were undoubtedly related the Woodys that migrated from Goochland and Henrico counties to the Blue Ridge region of Western Virginia. Male descendants of these 1930 western Virginia Woodys should seriously consider participating in the Woody DNA Project discussed below. Both male and female Woody descendants with any surname can aid in their family history research by having their atDNA tested and evaluated. This participation could help extend this Woody line and add to the Woody heritage.



The Descendants of Thomas & George Woody in
Madison Co, Alabama & Monroe Co., Mississippi


            Unlike his brothers, Thomas Woody did not seem to leave a will. Neither did his son, George Woody Sr.: however, George is documented as a soldier of the Revolution This was probably because both men died at a relatively young age. We do know that the estate of Thomas was probated in 1784 and that his widow Mary married widower James Edmunds July 16, 1791 in Amherst. Andrew Wright, the son of the abovementioned William Wright provided surety. The Edmunds moved to Barren County, Kentucky where Mary died August 20, 1824. Mary's tombstone indicates that she was born in 1749, so she was not likely the mother of George Woody. The will of James Edmund mentions his step-daughter Lucy Woody; however, we can find nothing more concerning Lucy. George Woody, apparently the son of Thomas and an unknown first wife was first mentioned in the 1783 Amherst census. In 1790, George Wooddy provided part of the Amherst County bond for the marriage of Claiborne Howard and Salley Martin, daughter of James. Will Loving Jr. was a witness to this bond. This was almost surely the George Woody those estate was taxed in 1798 in Amherst County. So, like his father, George died intestate at a relatively young age. Nelson County was formed from the northern portion of Amherst in 1807 and it was here that two of the grand daughters of William Wright, Hannah and Matilda, married George Woody Jr. and Robert Woody, sons of George Woody Sr. When Hannah's father, Andrew Wright, mentioned directly above, died in 1816, she and her husband, George Woody Jr., inherited and sold 260 acres on Davis Creek. Another son of George Sr., William W. Woody, married Eliza Wright, a great granddaughter of William Wright. These three families moved to Madison County, Alabama by 1840 and William W. Woody and his family later moved on to Mississippi. The 1850 Monroe County, Mississippi census enumerates a Mary Woody, age 76, born Virginia, in the home of William W. and Eliza Woody. Mary is assumed to be the mother of William W. and Robert Woody. George Woody Jr. was probably the son of the first wife (name unknown) of George Woody Sr.




Henry Woody in Bedford & Franklin Counties

            In 1784 and 1785, Henry Woody purchased a total 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, on June 20, 1792, Henry paid £200 to Edward Choat, Sr. for the Franklin County property that would be his final home. This 517 acre farm was in the branches of Doe Run and on, January 9, 1797, Henry Woody added to his holdings with a 127 acre land grant. Henry Woody was enumerated in the Franklin County Personal Tax Lists from 1793 through 1807. Henry's sons, Martin and John, preceded Henry to Franklin since they were first taxed there in 1787.            
            This small section of the 1786-1886 Franklin County settlement map shows the farm of HenHenry Woody on Franklin Settlement Map
ry Woody, which was located about two miles southeast of Rocky Mount. The map was created by cartographer J. R. Hildebrand for the Franklin County Historical Society in conjunction with the Roanoke Valley Historical Society. Historical researchers for the map were Gertrude C. Mann and George A. Keglay. Copies of the settlement map may still be available from the Franklin County Historical Society. The graves of Henry, Susannah and Martin are maintained by the present owners of the property.
             The will of Henry Woody was dated November 11, 1807 and proved on December 7, 1807. His estate was inventoried on December 28, 1807. In his will, Henry names his wife Susannah and the following children:

Martin Woody, b. Mar 31, 1762, Goochland Co., Virginia, d. Dec 6, 1846, Franklin Co., Virginia, m. Oct 27, 1785, Henry Co., Virginia, Susannah Robertson, b. ca. 1771, Virginia, d. Jul 15, 1852, Franklin Co., Virginia,

John Woody, b. Mar 12, 1764, Goochland Co., Virginia, d. 1844, Gasconade Co, Missouri, m. ca. 1793, Prudence ?,

Randolph Woody, b. ca. 1770, Virginia, d. Nov 23, 1845, Franklin Co., Virginia,  m. Nov 23, 1792, Bedford Co., Virginia, Patience Morgan, b. ca. 1775, Bedford Co., Virginia, d. Aug 2, 1854,

Wyatt Woody, b. 1774, Virginia, d. ca. 1850, Yancey Co., North Carolina, m. Aug 22, 1799, Franklin Co., Virginia, Mary Emily Roberson, b. 1780, Virginia, d. 1850, North Carolina,

Judy (Judith) Davis, b. Virginia, m. Dec 19, 1796, Franklin Co., Virginia, William Davis

Susannah Robertson, b. 1780, Virginia d. 1867, Yancey Co., North Carolina, m. Nov, 1798, Franklin Co., Virginia, George Robertson, b. 1776, Jamestown, Virginia, d. July 7, 1856, Yancey Co., North Carolina,

Rebecca Whitworth, b. ca. 1782 Virginia, m. Feb 4, 1801, Franklin Co., Virginia, Philmer/Philemon Whitworth, b. Feb 17, 1778,

Polly (Mary) Bozzel), b. ca. 1782 Virginia, d. ca. 1860, Appanoose Co., Iowa,  m. Dec 10, 1803, Stokes Co., NC, Thomas Bozzel, b. ca. 1785, d. 1843, Mason Co., Virginia and

 Henry Woody, b. ca. 1784, Bedford Co., Virginia, d. Apr, 1876 Franklin Co., Virginia, m. Nov 6, 1806, Franklin Co., Virginia, Judith Webb, b. ca. 1786, d. a. 1860.

            About 1805, Wyatt Woody and Susannah Woody Robertson moved to western North Carolina with their father-in-lHenry V. Woodyaw John Robertson. Unfortunately, the will of Wyatt Woody names only his wife; however, four of his sons have been positively identified: John, Henry, Edward and Josiah. Also, we have proven to our satisfaction that a fifth son, Wyatt Jr. died before 1850. When he was sixty-eight, John Sparrell and Prudence Woody migrated to Gasconade County, Missouri in about 1832. Accompanying them were their sons and their families, including Henry V., his wife Catherine Hughes and their oldest son Sparrell Walter Woody. To the left is a photo of Henry V. Woody (1802-1878). We know of no earlier photo of a descendant of Henry Woody and Susannah Woody. Our thanks go to Inez Louisa Carver, Hannah L. Biggs Smith, Dorothy Van Orman and Cheri Van Orman for providing this wonderful photo. In 1849, Dr. Sparrell Woody and his brother Tazewell Woody were probably the first descendants of Henry Sr. to reach the West Coast. Martin, Randolph and Henry Jr. remained in Franklin County as did many of their descendants, but as family farming became increasing unprofitable, some migrated to the coal fields of western Virginia and West Virginia. About the time of the Civil War, Texas attracted Woodys from Virginia and Missouri. The Woody name is still common in Franklin and Henry Counties in Virginia and very common in Yancey and Mitchell Counties in North Carolina.


William Woody in Henry County, Virginia
 & Lincoln County, Tennessee

            Adjacent to Franklin County, the home of Henry Woody, is Henry County and it is here that William Woody was enumerated on the Personal Property Tax Lists from 1782 through 1789. Patrick County was formed from part of Henry in 1790 and on September 14, 1793, William Woody deeded property in Patrick to Hugh Anes. On December 16, 1783, William married Jane Small in Henry and, in 1786, two of William and Lucy Barnet Woody's daughters were also married in Henry: Biddy Woody to James Huff and Sarah Woody to Edward Hilton. Before these marriages, on March 7, 1761, Matthew Small, the father of Jane purchased land in the branches of the Rockfish River, the location Henry Woody's property in 1770. We have long thought that William and Biddy were the same people found in Goochland County in 1765 but, until recently, we were never able to locate them again. Volume IV of the 1981 Boone County (Arkansas) Historian contains an extensive article, authored by Roger V. Logan, Jr., entitled "John Wooddy, Veteran, Battle of New Orleans". This well written article relates that John was the son of William and Jane Wooddy of Virginia and Lincoln Co., Tennessee. Roger acknowledged the assistance of T. J. White, Marilyn Metz, Joyce Lindsey, William C. Capps, Jewell Patrick, Ron Patrick, Ottis Green, Vernon Jones and Lee Flood Jones. In his research, Roger found the July 16, 1814 will of William Woody and included a transcription in his article; however, if Tara Painter had not included this transcription on her website, we might never have found it. The work of Roger and Tara helped us find Jeri Davis Lipov's excellent and well documented history and genealogy of some of William Woody's descendants. Many of the source documents that Jeri used were provided by Marilyn Rose, Norene Woody Burden, Lena Woody Hampton, J. T. Davis and Anna Bull.
            Soon after selling his land in Patrick County, William Woody and his family appear to have moved first to Kentucky about 1794, then continued on to the area near Fayetteville,  Lincoln County, Tennessee about 1803. The State of Tennessee was created in 1796 from the "Territory of the U.S. South of the River Ohio", a vast area ceded by North Carolina to the United States government at the end of the Revolutionary War. Beginning in 1783,  Bounty Land Warrants were issued by North Carolina and Congress as compensation for military service and other reasons. These warrants were transferable and this attribute attracted land speculators and created land frauds on a enormous scale. Bounty land also fueled a mass migration to Tennessee. Fayetteville and Lincoln County were formally founded in 1809 in an area that had been the "Cherokee Indian Lands". The murky events and bribery that lead to this land grab are related in "How the Cherokee Lost the Elk River" on the outstanding Tennessee GenWeb site. Located on the Alabama border, Lincoln County was named in honor of General Benjamin Lincoln, the officer that accepted General Cornwallis' sword of surrender at Yorktown. Fayetteville, the county seat of Lincoln County, was named for Fayetteville, North Carolina which was named in honor of
Marquis de Lafayette, one of General Washington's closet aides.

            In addition to his wife Jane, William Woody's will named the following children:

William Banks Woody, b. ca. 1799, Kentucky, d. aft 1860, mc. 1820, Elizabeth Orick, bc. 1799, South Carolina, d. aft 1850.

Jane  Woody, b. ?, d.?

Sarah Hilton, b. ca. 1766, Virginia, d. ? m. 1786, Henry Co., Virginia, Edward Hilton/Helton, b. May 14, 1761, Albemarle Co., VA, d. Aug 1849, White Co., TN.

Biddy Huff, b. Jan 21, 1765, Goochland Co., Virginia, d. bet. 1850-1860, m. 1786, Henry Co., Virginia, James Huff, b. ca. 1765, Virginia, d. aft. 1860, Harlan Co., Kentucky.

Betsey (Elizabeth) Buchanan, b. Oct 21, 1784, Virginia, d. Dec 2, 1861, Washington Co., Arkansas, m. May 25, 1805, Logan Co., Kentucky, James Buchanan, b. Oct 15, 1779, Washington Co., Virginia, d. Dec 4, 1848, Washington Co., Arkansas.

John Woody, August 29, 1792, Virginia, d. Aug 21, 1881, Boone Co., Arkansas, m. Jun 22, 1810, Massy Beaver, b. Jan 16, 1791, North Carolina, d. Mar 11, 1870, Arkansas.

Nancy Fulington (Fullerton), b. Oct 28, 1785, Virginia, d. 21 Dec 1865, Monroe Co., Indiana, m. Thomas Humphrey Fullerton, b. May 31, 1785, Chester Co., South Carolina, d. Apr 17, 1865, Monroe Co., Indiana.

            The will of William Woody was probated May 5, 1817 and some of William's children soon moved to Indiana and Arkansas. In 1819, the children of Thomas and Nancy Woody Fullerton were baptized in the Hephzibah Presbyterian Church, near Fayetteville, Lincoln County and, by 1820, this family had moved to Indiana which had achieved statehood in 1816. The Fullertons named two of their children William Banks Fullerton and Robert Small Fullerton. We believe that these names eliminate the possibility that William Woody of Tennessee was the son of William Woody of Goochland or that Jane Small was the widow of a Banks. The Fullertons were accompanied to Indiana by William Banks Woody Jr. and, probably, John Woody and James and Elizabeth Woody Buchanan; however, by about 1825, the Woodys and Buchanans had moved on to that part of the Louisiana Purchase that had become Arkansas Territory in 1819. They are considered to be among the founders of Fayetteville, Arkansas which was named for Fayetteville, Tennessee. Another link to Tennessee was the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Cane Hill, Arkansas which was founded in 1827 and James Buchanan has been mentioned as one of the first members. Also, Reuben Burrow Woody, the son of John, was very likely the namesake of Reuben Burrow (1798-1868), an early circuit and camp meeting preacher in Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. Reuben Woody became the first of this family branch to reach the West Coast when he moved to Oregon in 1852.




John Wooddy & Andrew Jackson & the Battle of New Orleans

            Although the War of 1812 was officially ended by the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814, news of this event did not reach the combatants in America until well after the Battle of New Orleans had ended on January 8, 1815. By then the British had suffered some 4000 casualties and the Americans 333. This belated victory was one of the very few American successes in the War of 1812 and somewhat mollified the public humiliation associated with the August 24, 1814 burning of the Congress buildings, the White House and the Library of Congress. Andrew Jackson, the little known commander of the American forces, was later propelled to the presidency by his new found fame.
            John Wooddy, the son of William and Jane Small Wooddy, first joined the army of General Andrew Jackson in the fall of 1812 for three months. On September 28, 1814, he reenlisted in Fayetteville, Tennessee and was assigned as a 3rd Lieutenant in Captain John Doke's Company of 2nd Tennessee Mounted Gunman. This outfit of frontiersmen made their way to New Orleans and were positioned on the left flank of Jackson's line of defense for the city. A series of mostly futile British attacks began on December 14, 1814 and lasted until the death of General Edward Pakenham, the British commander. John Wooddy stayed in New Orleans until March 1, 1815 but, by April 27, 1815, he had made his way home to Fayetteville where he was discharged. In 1851 and 1855, after moving to Arkansas, John filled documents to obtain bounty land warrants granted by the September 28, 1850 Act of Congress as partial compensation for military service in the War of 1812.

Wyatt & John Woody - Chair Makers of North Carolina & Arkansas

       Some of the descendants of Wyatt Woody of western North Carolina have been well known chair makers for at least five generations (See the two links below). This craft was surely brought to the region by Wyatt himself when he moved from Franklin County, Virginia. We have no evidence that his father, Henry, was a chair maker, but there is a chair making connection between the Woodys of western North Carolina and the Woodys of northwest Arkansas. Silas Claiborne Turnbo (1844-1925) spent most of his life collecting and recording the stories of the old timers of the Ozarks. One of of these stories came from William A. Eoff and is entitled "A Few Names of the Pioneer Settlers on the Left Prong of Crooked Creek and Vicinity". Mr. Eoff mentioned that among the earliest residents of the Crooked Creek, Boone County, Arkansas area were "Henry Woody and Katie, his wife" and "John Woody who was a chair maker. This man had a son named John whose wife was named Katie". This chair maker was John Woody, veteran of the War of 1812 and son of the shoemaker, William Banks Woody, of Henry County, Virginia and Lincoln County, Tennessee. His son, John, married Catherine Eoff. The two chair makers, John and Wyatt Woody, were most likely 1st cousins.


Henry, Thomas & William Banks Woody Lineage Conclusions

            Recent yDNA analysis has established that Henry, Thomas and William Banks Woody were close relatives. We have concluded that William and Thomas Woody was very likely the younger brothers of Henry Woody and that their father was almost surely John Woody of Goochland and Albemarle Counties. Henry had the means to purchase several tracts of property which leads us to assume that he was the oldest living son at his father's death. Almost of the evidence is indirect and circumstantial, but it is based on many primary and secondary records. The fact that Henry and William had children baptized at Dover Church by Rev. William Douglas on exactly the same day (Aug 28, 1765) provides significant evidence. The documented close association of the Woodys with the Martins, Hopkins, Wrights, Howards and Banks correlates well with the use of two of these surnames as Woody given names (i.e Martin & Banks). From circumstantial evidence, we also surmise that the wife of John Woody was a Banks, probably the sister of William Banks and the daughter of Thomas Bankes. References to Thomas and William are somewhat rare; however, we believe that they was named for Thomas Bankes, the posited father of the assumed wife of John Woody. Thomas Woody died in Amherst in the summer of 1784. His widow, Mary, later married James Edmonds in 1791. We have not found much to estimate the birth date of Thomas, but the records suggest that he was about the same age as Henry. So it is possible that he could have been a younger brother of John. One descendant of William Banks Woody has suggested that Thomas was the father of William, but that descendant did not seem to know about the Woody baptismal connection in Goochland. Also, the name Thomas was hardly ever used by the descendants of William Banks Woody or any other Woody line for that matter. There were other Henry and William Woodys that lived in the same general area as the subjects of this page, but we believe we have accounted for them. In any event, we believe that making these lineage assumptions based mainly on circumstantial evidence and then comparing the atDNA of the lineages descendants provides a way to perhaps prove or disprove the assumptions.  

To be continued


Albemarle County, Virginia Land Tax Lists 1782-1798, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #6
American Memory Collection, Early Virginia Religious Petitions,  The Library of Congress, Washington, DC
American Memory Collection, George Washington Papers, 1741-1799: Series 4, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Amherst County, Virginia Land Tax Lists 1782-1805
, Library of Virginia County Microfilm Records, Reel #17
Beck, Sara. Franklin County Deeds, Franklin County, Virginia Bicentennial, Rocky Mount, Virginia
Bedford County, Virginia General Indexes to Real Estate Conveyances, Grantees, Surnames U-Z, 1754-1929, LDS Family History Library, Film #1941016
Bedford County, Virginia General Indexes to Real Estate Conveyances, Grantors, Surnames T-Z, 1754-1929, LDS Family History Library, Film #1941021
Bedford County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1782-1805, LDS Family History Library, Film #2024472
Binns Virginia County Tax & Tithe Lists
Brock, R. A. The Vestry Book of Henrico Parish Parish, Virginia 1730-1773, Richmond, Virginia, 1874; Reprint: Southern Historical Press, Greenville,  South Carolina, 1995
Carver, Inez Louisa & Smith, Hannah L. Biggs. Life and Genealogy of Henry Woody, self published, Berkeley, California, 1927
Chamberlayne, Churchill Gibson. The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish, New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia, 1684-1786, The Library Board, Richmond, 1937
Chamberlayne, Churchill Gibson. The Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish, Hanover County, Virginia, 1706-1786, The Library Board, Richmond, 1940
Cook, Gerald Wilson. The Descendants of Claiborne Howard; Soldier of the American Revolution, 1960

Crozier, William Armstrong. Virginia Colonial Militia 1651-1776, Southern Book Company, Baltimore, 1954
DAR Patriot Index, Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington DC, 1994
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
Douglas Rev., William. The Douglas Register, transcribed & edited by W. Mac. Jones, Genealogy Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1977
Fleet, Beverley, "Lower Norfolk County 1651-1654", Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. III, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1988
Fluvanna County, Virginia Deeds 1777-1783, TLC Genealogy, Miami, 1991

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
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
Greer, George Cabell. Early Virginia Immigrants 1623-1666, W. C. Hall Printing Co., Richmond, Virginia, 1912
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
Henry County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1782-1830
, LDS Family History Library, Film #2024587
Hinshaw, William Wade. Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy - Virginia, Vol. VI, GPC, Baltimore, 1993

Historical Sketch of Bedford County, Virginia 1753 - 1907, J. P. Bell Co., Inc., Lynchburg, Virginia 1907
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
Lipov, Jeri Davis.
Chips from the Woody Block - The Woody Family Descending from William Woody (1760-1817), Columbia, Maryland, November, 1996
Logan, Roger V. Jr. "John Woody - Veteran, Battle of New Orleans" Boone County Historian, Vol., IV, No. IV, 1981
Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Vol. 44, No. 1; February, 2006, Virginia Genealogical Society
"Martin Woody Pension Record", Publication M804, National Archives, Chicago Branch
McDonnold, B. W., D.D., LL.D. History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Board of Publication of Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1899
Moore, J. Staunton and Hollowak, Thomas l..
The Annals and History of Henrico Parish, Diocese of Virginia : and St. John's P.E. Church, GPC, Baltimore, 1979
Morgan, Ruth. "Hephzibah Reform Presbyterian Church of America", Lincoln County Tennessee Pioneers, March 1978
Nugent, Nell Marion & Hudgins, Dennis Ray.
Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants 1623-1800, Vol. 1-7, Library of Virginia & Virginia Genealogical Society, 1934-1999
Painter, T. K. Capps Family Page
Pawlett, Nathaniel Mason & Newlon, Howard H. The Route of the Three Notch'd Road: A Preliminary Report, Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council, 1976
Pawlett, Nathanial Mason. Goochland County Virginia Road Orders 1728-1744, Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council, 1975
Pawlett, Nathaniel Mason. Albemarle County Roads 1725-1816, Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council, 1981
"Presbyterian Church Migration from Fayetteville, Tennessee to Fayette County, Indiana in 1832" The Hoosier Genealogist, Vol. 40, No. 2, June 2000
Rountree, Helen C.  Pocahontas's People: The Powhatan Indians of Virginia through Four Centuries, University of Oklahoma Press, 1990

Seaman, Catherine H.C. Tuckahoes and Cohees: the settlers and cultures of Amherst and Nelson Counties, 1607-1807, Sweet Briar College Printing Press, 1992

Smith, Eldon Coles.  New Dictionary of American Family Names, Harper Row, N.Y., c1973
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
Speed, John Gilmer & Minor, Louisa H. A. The Gilmers in America, printed for private distribution, New York, 1897

"The Old Settlers of Monroe County, Indiana",  Monroe County, Indiana GenWeb
Turnbo, Silas Claiborne. The Turnbo Manuscripts, Vol. 19,
Springfield-Greene County (Missouri) Library, transcribed from
Fireside Stories of the Early Days in the
The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Oct., 1912),
Early Virginia Immigrants 1623-1666

Ozarks, 1904 and Fireside Stories of the Early Days in the Ozarks, Part II, 1907
United States Federal Census Records, Ancestry.com
Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys
, The Library of Virginia
Virginia Marriages 1740 - 1850, Ancestry.com
Watts, Dorothy Chambers. The Tyree Tree: With Angle, Byrd, Cook, Dillion and Woody Branches, self published, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1978

Weisiger, Benjamin B.  Goochland County Virginia Wills & Deeds 1736 - 1742, Richmond, 1984
Wingfield, Marshall. Marriage Bonds of Franklin County, Virginia 1786-1858, Clearfield Co., 1939

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. Therefore, we are trying to integrate some aspects of genealogical atDNA testing into the Woody DNA Project. 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 and World Families Network; 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 World Families Network, where you may also view some extremely 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).



The Woody Family of Old Virginia

        The results of the Woody yDNA Project have encouraged us to open a new traditional research project. Since yDNA analysis has shown that nearly all Woody descendants with roots in Colonial Virginia are related, The Woody Family of Old Virginia is focused on the large number of related Virginia Woody branches that have not yet been connected to their common ancestor. The project will use tradition research methods to accumulate every available scrap of information concerning these people and attempt to integrate this data with the yDNA and atDNA results. The ambitious goal is to extend the lineages of each branch and create an all inclusive family tree. A database with citations, sources and attributions is included.

Woody One-Name Study
(World Wide Woodys)

The Woody One-Name Study (ONS) is a research project focusing on the world wide occurrences of the Woody surname and variants, as opposed to a particular pedigree lineage or pedigree. The objective of the study is to collect data, information and images that assist in achievement of the goals listed below:

  The origin of the name and early references
  The meaning of the name
  The name's frequency with reference to location and the general population
  The geographical distribution of the name with reference to time
  The identification of the various worldwide branches of the name
  Name variants
  Patterns of immigration and emigration


The links below will take you to Woody lineages:


Over 4700 Descendants of Henry and Susannah Woody
Over 625 Descendants of William and Lucy & Jane Woody
Over 200 Descendants of Thomas Woody
  Includes Pedigrees, Sources, Attributions and Notes
Updated Aug 13, 2017

 Henry, Thomas & William Woody Database Click Here

  (Please send me your additions & corrections)



More Woody lineages

(Please send me your Woody link)

Descendants of William Woody

Descendants of William Woody I

The Woody Family of Wise & Parker Counties, Texas

  Scott-Woody Family Genealogy


Woody Cousins

The Bruce Woody Family Home Page

Johnsons and Woodys of North Georgia

The Woodys -- from 1600 to ..............


Descendant Images

(Please send me your descendant photos)

  Images of Descendants of Wyatt Woody of Western North Carolina

Images of Descendants of John Sparrell Woody of Central Missouri

Images of Descendants of Henry Woody Jr. of Franklin Co., Virginia

Images of Descendants of John Woody of Boone Co., Arkansas



Complex & Thought Provoking

 Who were the parents of George & Posey Woody of Yancey Co., NC, c. 1850?



5-Star Web Sites

The Kanawha County Family Tree Project

Missouri State Archives - Death Certificates

West Virginia Division of Culture & History - Births, Deaths and Marriages

Washington State Digital Archives

Madison County, Alabama Records Center

LDS FamilySearch Record Search

Arizona Genealogy Birth & Death Certificates

California Genealogy and History Archives


 Informative Viewing & Reading

Arval Woody, Mule Ear Chair Maker

  Five Generations of Crafting Tradition

Woody's Chair Shop

 Cabins in the Laurel by Muriel Sheppard (A chapter on the Toe River Woodys)

Woody Gleanings, Including Other Woody Researchers & Lines

Woody Gap

Bob's Genealogy Filing Cabinet
 (Interpreting Colonial Records of Virginia & North Carolina) 


            The original focus of my research was on the descendants of Henry and Susannah Martin Woody of Franklin Co., Virginia; however, this focus has been expanded to include the descendants of William and Lucy Barnet/Jane Small Woody of Henry County, Virginia. We invite other researchers share information and images pertaining to the descendants of the children of Henry and William Woody.  We will gladly acknowledge your contributions and/or provide links to your online data. While most of the work on the descendants of Henry and Judith Woody is my own, We have borrowed extensively from published records, online records and individuals for the genealogies of the other children of Henry and William Woody. Except where the data pertains to our direct line, we do not always attempt to verify the contributions of other researchers. In creating Woody Family Roots and the associated online database, one of my objectives was to provide a comprehensive, documented resource for those doing research on the descendants of Henry and William Woody. Hopefully, this approach will provide a base that other researchers of this line will enhance with their contributions. For much of this information, we are indebted to the following individuals, institutions and organizations:

        Chrissy Adkins, Gerald & Theresa Affeldt, Mary Aishele, Kendrea Aldridge, Robert Allen, Jim Allred, Yvonne Lominac Amico, Nikki Amundson, Lee Anderson, William P. Anderson, Richard Andre, Henry Angle, Marty Appel, Janis Kerr Arnold, Shelly Arrington, Jack Ahble, Gordon Aronhime, Jeannette Holland Austin, Nancy Avis, Kirsten Ayers, Don Ayres, Bernard Joseph Bade, Lloyd Richard Bailey, Roy Bailey, Herman C. Baldwin, Wallace R. Baldwin, Victoria Ballantine, Melissa Banks, Ray Banks, Patrick Barrett, William Barrett, Barbara C. Baughan, W. H. Beaber, Marie Cooke Beckman, Arthur L. Belcher, Kathy Belcher, Robert Bellew, Thomas Kidd Bernard, William Coffee Berry, Lori Shaw Bessemer, Roy Bessire, Stan Bevers, John Biddix, Steve & Yvonne Binns, Maty Bittick, Arzella Blackburn, Charles Blanchard, Teresa L. Blattner, Gwen Bodford, Richard Wade Boggs, Linda Booram, June Baldwin Bork, Jim Boruff, Marie Bost, Howard Boswell, Mrs. Bottoms, Scott Brady, Stanley Branch, Michael Brasfield, David Bridge, Thomas K. Brigham, Melody Brooks, Alexander Brown, J. C. Brown, Dee Dee Bryans, Robin D. Bryson, Paul Dennion Buchanan, Sandra Bucher, Maurice L. Burd, Gwendolyn Woody Burgess, Michael Burleson, Matt Burnett, Todd Burton, Ronald Campbell, Michael Dean Canary, Jason Cannon, William C. Capps, Louis Harvey Carney, Ray Carney, Linda Carpenter, Glen Carter, Louise Carter, Inez Louisa Carver, Nora Jane Carver, Carol Cassidy, Bev Cavender, Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne, James Chandley, Marian Dodson Chiarito, Anthony Chitwood, E. Joyce Christiansen, Diana P. Churchman, Jack Ciaccia, John A. Ciaccia, David Clark, Loren Charles Clark, Ray Clarkson, Juathina Claspill, Goldie Lee Cleek, Wayne Coffey, Payne Coleman, Michael L. Collins, Randy Collins, Lori Compton, Chris Conley, Bonnie Morris Conrad, Lonna Jean Conroy, Gerald Wilson Cook, Joseph Cook, John Cornell, Ray Cossart, Peggy Lee Cox, Mary Crabtree, W. B. Cridlin, Bruce Cramer, Glenda May Crawford, James Cross, Kay Cross, Barbara Cunningham, William G. Cutler, James Michael Dale, Janet H. David, Tonye Davie, Bailey Fulton Davis, David Davis, Frieda Patrick Davison, Javan Michael De Loach, Rick Dent, Sidney Dent, Gloria Dettleff, Trent Deyton, Woody Deyton, Florence Dietz, Danny Dillon, Jordan A. Dodd, Virginia Anderson Dodd, Marjorie Woody D'Olivo, S. Donaldson, Kelly Steinweden Dossett, Judith Ann Douglas, Nancy Dow, Margaret Downey, Joe Downing, Marty DuBoce, William N. Dumar, Louisa St. John Durkin, Ed Duvall, Bob Edens, Twyla Edwards, Pam Elliott, Rebecca Ellis, Jack English, Lewis M. Epperson, D. Estes, Mary Evans, Linda E. Everhart, Dorothy Falk, Rebecca Falzarano,  Donald L. Feazell, Marie Ruth Bagley Fellers, Sandra Allen Fender, Golden Combs Ferguson, Sylvia C. Fuson Ferguson, Judy P. Fisher, Lavonne Fisher-Radloff, Beverley Fleet, Rhoda Fone, Lavinia Ford, Annete Foster, Earl James Frankenfield, Jeremy Tyler Franklin, Mary Jo Freeman, Judy French, Beth Fridley, Shelly Fritz, Randy Funderburk, Ben Gantt, S. Garrison, Mary Traynor Gates, Ryan Gavin, Bill Gawthrop, Johnny Geist, Laretta Geren, J. Germann, Thom Gibby, Maryvaughan Gibson, Beverly Giles-Loffler, Tracy Glatz, Heather L. Gomes, Sandi Goren, Pam Haymes Graham, Sylvia Grand, Marty Grant, Michele Lee Grant, Robert N. Grant, Otis Green, Bill Grimm, Karen Grubaugh, John H. Gwathmey, Nell Hailey, Jerrold T. Haldiman, Ruth G. Hale, Donna Hall, Sharon Hackworth, Emory L. Hamilton, C. Hammitts, Pauline Hammond, Virginia L. Harris, April Davis Harvey, Maria Harvey, Woody Ernce Harvey, Frank Hatton, Gloria Pauley Haun, Jason Hauser, Gary Hawley, Susan Haynes, Dave Heathcott, Ken Hedgpeth, Margaret Heinek, Samuel K. Helm, Terry B. Hendrix, Lil Herrin, Julie Chapman & Sherman Gene Hesson, Tom Hester, Ken Hinds, Rachel Hiott, Jim Hobbs, Shelly Hobdy,  Nadine Hodges, Dale Holdren, Gail Holman, Jamie Hopson, Michele Hosp-Laboray, Marsha Lloyd Howell, Mary Jo Hubbard, Barbara Wine Hudson, Allan S. Humphreys, Desiree R. Huskins, Lisa Jackson-Jimenez, Wesley Jacobs, Linda Jenkins-Wensel, James W. Jessee, Carolyn Johnson, Chuck Johnson, Eric & Kathy Johnson, Paul Johnson, Hurshel E. Johnson, David R. Jones, Elizabeth Hargar Jones, Emily Jones, Lee Flood Jones, Randt Jones, Vernon Jones, W. Mac. Jones, Weymouth T. Jordan, Michael Justice, Ruby Kansler, Richard Keefer, Tami Kelly, Ronald N. Kemp, Janet King, Carol Kinney, Angela Kirklin, Julia Williams Kodak, Patricia Krueger, Dennis Labahn, Larry LaBruyere, Kenneth Lakey, Deb Landauer, Susan Lane, Pamela Shelton Langevin, Janice Michele LaRocca-Byrne, Michaeel B. Lawing, Jesse Macon Lawrence, Mark Lawson, Clara Lechtenberger-Falk, Peggy Jean Ledbetter, Terry D. Lee, Wally Lee, Mary K. Leitner, Lyn Lennon, Ruth Lessley, Robert Libby, Sandra Woody Lichtenberger, Brian Liedtke, Joyce Lindsey, Albia Linthicum, Jeri Davis Lipov, Jennie Livingston, Bruce W. Locke, Roger V. Logan, Susan Woody Logan, Anita Murphy Lotts, Jane Snidow Lloyd, Dennis Lubahn, Eric von der Luft, Juanita Lowrence, Julian Lumpkin, Darrin Lythgoe, Maria Nourse Lyle, Lou Mace, Elizabeth Stone Maddox, Alice Magness, James Daniel Mahar, Sam Maner, Gertrude Mann, Robin Manning, Ray E. Markland, Monroe Marlowe, Helen C. & Timonthy R. Marsh, Joe L. Martin, John C. Martin, Paul Martin, Dianna Hale Mattingly, C. H. Mattoon, Susie May, William Mayfield, John McCartney, Tim McClellan, Margaret Maye McClure, Omar McCourry, Jesse McCoy, Steve McDonald, Kim McEuen, John McGhee, Pamala Jane McLain, Marie Wormington McMahan, Oscar Meadows, Tena Melton, Deane Merrill, Marilyn Metz, JoAnn Miller, Martha Miller, Vicki Miller, Jean Moncier, Merideth L. Monserud, Marla Moore, Vera Y. Jaynes Moritz, Mary Spradley Morken, Melvin Morris, Terry Morris, D. Gail Dunagan Morrison, Linda Moser, Lou Murray, Robert A. Murray, Frank D. Myers, Rich Nallenweg, William Navey, Richard Neal, Stacy Neece, Shari Nees, Don Nickell, Paige Norman, Kari Northup, Nell Marion Nugent, Laura Phillips Nygaard, Deborah Woody Oberst, Joyce Critchfield Oberst, Doyle Ollis, James O'Reilly, Darlene Garner O'Steen, Lea Kate Quesenberry Ott, Sharon Oxley, Steven Page, T. K. Painter, J. Palmer, Ray Parcell, George Parker, Jewell Patrick, Ron Patrick, Helen Patrikus, Daniel W. Patterson, Janet Patton, Nathaniel Mason Pawlett, Tony King Payne, Virginia G. Pedigo, Cleda Perry, Steve Peters, Sharon Petersen, Jim D. Philpott, Betty Pilson, H. R. Pinckard, Kay Pinkston, Robert Powell, Robert Prater, Lesie R. Prey, Chris Price, Warren H. Prichard, Velma Rabon, Maggie Rail, Peter Allen Ramsey, Thomas F. Ramsey, Scott Randolph, Marvin Raney, Becky Rasmussen, Sheila Ratliff, Erwin Record, Charles & Glenda R. Rees, Vera Reeves, Phyllis Reichenbach, Sandra Reid, Marian E. Repice, Joan M. Resk, Sylvia Reynolds, Becky Rhea, Jennifer Richie, David Richards, Allen Richmond, Dorothy Ricker, Angie Riehn, Betty Robertson Riley, Marsha Hoffman Rising, Jennifer Ritchie, James Ritter, Robbie Roberson, Linda Roberts, Harold "Lat" Robinson, Kay Robinson, Ellen Stanley Rogers, John D. Roher, Barbara Rooks, Theodore Roosevelt, Nancy Rosamond, Dianne Rosenfield, Carol Ross, Robin Rowand, Anne Ruddle, Shirley Runnels, Chris Hawley Ruppel, Jane F. Russell, Carol Ryan-Spenande, Lena Yates Sang, Bob Saunders, Fredric Z. Saunders, Will Woody Saylor, Dorothy Schell, Pauline Harris Schwarz, Leslie M. Scott, Shirley Scott, Steve Scott, Candi Seaton, Richard Seaton, Peggy Seidler, Christie Setser, Edward Seufferlein, Ruth Shaff, Bonnie Jean Woody Shannon, Patricia Sowder Shoptaw, Janice Shelton, Muriel Earley Sheppard, Rick Jay Short, Tom M. Short, James D. Silver, Gene Simpson, Richard Slatten, Herk Slutter, Sally Small, Edith Smith, Hannah L. Biggs Smith, Harley G. Smith, Cynthia Smithdeal, Sylvia Smitherman, Gallano & Rhonda J. Snider, Billie Snyder, Harold Solomon, Brandie Sowder, Wilson T. Sowder, Ruth & Sam Sparacio, Gaw Sparks, Sandy Spradling, Jordan Sprechman, Debbie Springer, Gail Staton, Diane R. Stepp, Ronnie Stone, Roy D. Stone, Lydell Story, Clarissa Stuart, James F. Sutherland, Philip Sutton, Justin Swanstrom, Suzie Swatzell, T. F. Swinehart, Steve W. Sykes, Sharon Tabor, Debbie Taff, Jerry A. Taylor, Marla Taylor, Janis Tebow, Sue Terhune, Leslie Thomas, Pam Thomas-Cantrell, Louise Thomas-Miller, Marianne C. Thompson, Nancy Thompson, Ted Thompson, Loftur Altice Thorsteinson, Sally L. Thurber, Dennis B. von Ting, S. Tittrington, Clayton Torrence, Virginia G. Turnbull, Nancy Turner, Sue Twitchel, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Robert F. Tyree, Velma Vabon, Cheryl & Dorothy Van Orman, Janis Duncan Vaughn, Robert W. Vernon, Elaine Via, Charlene L. Viereck, Mrs. John Vineland, Denise E. Vise, Anita Wages,Terri Walker, James Palmer Ward, Leslie Ward, Dorothy Chambers Watts, Jeffrey Craig Weaver, Laura Weekley, Benjamin B. Weisiger, Betty Ann Wells, Francis Woody Werking, Gene Wheeler, Michelle Wheeler, T. J. White, Jason Whitt, Joida Whitter, Leon Wilde, Donna Wilkes, M. M. Wilkinson, Delores Willey, Doris F. Williams, Doris Keefer-Williams, Elaine Humphrey Williams, Howard McKnight Wilson, Kevin A. Wilson, Lorraine Wilson, Randy Winch, Virginia Stone Windle, M. Wolf, Sudie Rucker Wood, Mark W. Wooddy, Audrey Lee Wagner Woodruff, Bobby Eugene Woody, Carolyn M. Woody-Fuller, Charles Woody, Clayton Edwin Woody,  Craig Woody, Cynthia Woody, Cynthia Lynne Woody, Donna Woody, Gail Arthur Woody, Homer Woody, John N. Woody, Joseph Blair Woody, Lee Hardin Woody, Leroy William Woody, Lisa Winkle Woody, Louise McCaffrey Woody, Margaret Fischler Woody, Mark Woody, Mary Ellen Gilliland Woody, Mildred Motley Woody, Mitchell M. Woody, Nicki Woody-Ivey, Ronald J. Woody, Steve Woody, Wayne Monroe Woody, Bayard Wootten, Wendy Pace Wygle, Dennis Yancey, Robert Wayne Yeatts, Brian York, K. W. Young, Perry Deane Young, Peggy Young, Todd Young, Ron Zell, the staff of the LDS Family History Centers in Decatur Alabama, Grand Rapids Michigan, Fort Myers Florida, Green Tree Pennsylvania, Knoxville Tennessee and Naperville Illinois, the staff of the Chicago Branch of the National Archives, the staff of the Newberry Library of Chicago, the staff of the Willard Library, Evansville, Indiana, the staff of the Wheaton Library Genealogy Desk, Wheaton, Illinois, the staff of the New Bern - Craven Co. Library Genealogy Desk, New Bern, North Carolina, the Franklin County Historical Society, the Boone County Historical and Genealogical Society, the Indiana Historical Society, the Roanoke Valley Historical Society, the staff of Franklin County Library, Rocky Mount, Virginia, the staff of the Ft. Myers and Lee Co. Library, Ft. Myers, Florida, the staff of the Mid-County Regional Library, Port Charlotte, Florida, 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 Library of Virginia Interlibrary Loan Desk, Richmond, Virginia and the staff of Bassett Library, Bassett, Virginia. Any omissions are unintentional.

    We are especially grateful to the transcribers of old documents. This is a very difficult task and every serious researcher should try their hand at transcription. Copies of original census records are a good place to start.  Most of the authors of the transcriptions that we have used are included in the above list.

 Email your comments, additions & corrections to the author.

1990 Woody Surname Distribution
(Click on image to enlarge)
1990 Woody Surname Distribution

1990 U.S. Census: Surname - Population Frequency - Frequency Rank
Smith - 1.006% - 1
Woody - .007% - 1664
Woodie - .001% - 15008
deWoody - .001% - 15538
Woode - less than .001% - 53340
Woodey - less than .001% - greater than 88799
Wooddy - less than .001% - greater than 88799



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Revised Oct 22, 2017