Thomas and Rachel Starr Woodward of England and Pennsylvania

Thomas and Rachel Starr Woodward

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Rachel Jane Starr was daughter of James & Hannah Jones Starr of Ireland and Chester County, Pennsylvania. The Starr ancestory is English.

Thomas Woodward was son of Thomas Woodward, mariner, of England and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There are many fascinating stories about Thomas Woodward, mariner, that researcher Ralph Woodward has collected.

  Rachel Jane Starr
born 6/25/1754 Chester Co, Pa
died 9/2/1838 Warren Co, In
burial West Lebanon
Thomas Woodward, Jr.
born at sea (?)
died 1822 Preble Co, Oh

  Married: About 1779 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rachel Starr Woodward was dismissed from Bradford Monthly Meeting, Chester County, on 6/18/1779 for marriage out by a Baptist teacher

Jacob Woodward born about 1780-83, Chester County, Pennsylvania, served War of 1812; married Margaret McCormick, died 1821 Preble Co, Ohio
Polly Woodward married William Hickman, Bourbon Co, Kentucky
Asahel Woodward born 3/24/1791, Rockingham County, Virginia, served War of 1812; married Catherine Hollett; died 1875 Henry County, Indiana
Phoebe Woodward born 8/8/1792 Virginia; married Josiah Clawson, died 1862, Henry County, Indiana
Eli Woodward born 2/16/1794, Virginia, served War of 1812; married (1) Mary Davis and (2) Cathrine Wolfe, died 1876 Warren Co, Indiana, buried West Lebanon
Thomas B. Woodward born about 1795 Fayette County, Kentucky, died Henry County, Indiana
Nathan Woodward born probably 1797, died 4 March 1832, never married, styled as mentally impaired;
Mahlon Woodward born 3/20/1799, died Warren Co, Indian, never married, styled as mentally impaired
Lydia Woodward
Abigail Woodward

(the children are documented in various records but the complete list is from DAR Record #77480.) .

Captain Thomas Woodward

Thomas Woodward, Sr., is well documented in Philadelphia. In 1798 he was living at 236 So. Second Street, in 1802 at 210 Spruce Street, in 1803, 1804, & 1805 at the corner of Pine & 3rd Streets. His occupation is given as Sea Captain in each instance. There are also many maritime records for him from 1798 to 1804 with lists of crews: 1798 Master of Brig Maria for Havana, same brig in 1799 & 1800 for LaGuyra, 1802 ship Wilmington for Lisbon and in 1804 Ship Wilmington for Rotterdam. There was also a notice on 3 December 1792 that Captain Thomas Woodward had married Miss Margaret Houston 24 October 1792 at the Second Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Thomas Woodward is found in N. Market Ward, Philadelphia in 1800: Thomas Woodard, 2 males over 45, 2 males 10-15; 1 female 26-44, 2 female under 10. Ralph Woodward has settled once and for all that he is not the Woodward who died in Pongus Africa as there is an estate settlement in 1805 in Philadelphia that includes a fee for a casket for Thomas Woodward.

Captain Thomas Woodward served in the Revolutionary War. In "Mariners of the American Revolution" by Marion Kaminkow: Woodward, Thomas, Mariner, captured on Little Porgey (or Pegey) committed to Old Mill Prison was there April & January 1782. Taught navigation to other prisoners while there."

(Note: DNA testing of a descendant has recently shown that Captain Thomas Woodward probably had a direct ancestor in England that was also direct ancestor of Richard and Robert Woodward on this site.)

There are several references that make the tie between Captain Thomas Woodward of Philadelphia and Thomas Woodward of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky and Preble County, Ohio. Thomas's Ohio tombstone indicates he was born at sea. "Bowen's History" 1902, states "he was first of his line not to follow the sea." And he was called "Captain" sometimes too, although he never officially earned the title. He is known to have received a large inheritance shortly after the death of Captain Thomas Woodward of Pennsylvania.

We have added a (?) to the "born at sea" given above for Thomas, Jr., even though that information is on his tombstone. Dee Cooper, whose husband is a descendant, located a marriage for Thomas Woodward, Sr. and Mary Gilbert, January 14, 1750 in the Parish church of Stevenage in Hertford County, England. Then there are christenings for Thomas Jr., September 19, 1756 and his known sister Sarah on March 3, 1754, as children of Thomas and Mary in the Parish of St. Mary the Virgin, Little Wymondley, Hertford County. Since these are christening records and not birth records, and since Thomas Sr. led a life on the sea it would still be possible for Thomas Jr. to have been born at sea (if Thomas Sr.'s family accompanied him at sea) and then for a christening to take place in England. Since Thomas's sister was older it is more improbable that the family accompanied Thomas Sr. on sea voyages and the "born at sea" inscribed on the tombstone may simply be from a charming family myth.

Thomas and Rachel Starr Woodward

Thomas Woodward served in the Revolutionary War. "Bowen's History" 1902, calls him a Revolutionary hero. He had learned shoemaking and worked at his trade in Philadelphia. He served in Chester County, Pennsylvania, militia in Colonel Patterson Bell's regiment (verified in Pennsylvania archives). His DAR papers state he was in Captain George Garst's Company. He was captured at Germantown October 4, 1777, but escaped from a rail pen jail. There is family lore that Thomas got involved in Chester County because he visited his brother Jacob there who was a regular soldier in the war. Thomas fought at the Battle of Brandywine September 11, 1777, which would have been directly in the area where the Starr family lived. We know from records of Quaker sufferings that families living in the area were required to billet soldiers regardless of pacifist feelings. This is perhaps how Thomas and Rachel met. There was some strong connection there as T. Woodward owned land directly adjacent to James Starr after the war.

Rachel Starr Woodward received her five pound inheritance from her father about 1786 and it was about this time that the family went to Virginia. Son Asahel's birth in Rockingham County, Virginia, in 1791, is documented in "Hazzard's Military History of Henry County, Indiana" which was written by Asahel's grandson.

"Bowen's History" continues that Thomas and family moved to Kentucky about 1802 and lived in Woodford County at Versailles but lived his later years in or near Eaton, Preble County, Ohio. Thomas actually purchased land in Bourbon County, Kentucky, on 7/23/1800. On the same date land was purchased there by Abel Griffith, the Reverend of the 7th Day Baptist Church in Newlin Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. This might have been the "Baptist teacher" who married Thomas & Rachel in 1779, since ministers often led entire congregations westward for settlement, but if so their place of marriage was probably Chester County and not Philadelphia.

Thomas Woodward is found in the tax lists for Bourbon County from 1800 through 1807. Son Jacob was listed separately in 1806 indicating he had probably turned 21. A Jacob Woodward is found in the tax lists in the 1790's. This may have been Thomas's brother and may have been why Thomas moved to Kentucky.

David Purviance, elder at Cane Ridge Church in Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, went to Ohio in 1807 or 1808 and took part of his flock with him. This probably included the Woodwards as Purviance was the minister who married Jacob's son Eli in Ohio. We know Thomas & Rachel were gone by 1809 as when their daughter Polly married William Hickman in Kentucky, her parents were "out of the state."

From "Early Ohio Settlers- Southwest Ohio 1800-1840": Thomas Woodward purchased Sec 4, Township 7, Range 2 in Preble County on 15 April 1812. The same notation is made for April 12, 1814 (these may have been tax lists and not purchases). Thomas made a two year payment on his land entered in Preble County, Ohio, and two years later also made a double payment. An affidavit from his son Eli in a lawsuit in 1850 in Preble County, says his father received and spent a considerable inheritance. The money was probably spent on the extra land payments.

Will of Thomas Woodward

Thomas Woodward wrote his will in Preble County on October 11, 1821. "In the name of God amen. I Thomas Woodward of the County of Preble and the state of Ohio, being weak in body but of sound mind and memory, do make this my last Will and Testimony in manner following to wit: I do give to my wife Rachel all the profits arising from the plantation on which I now live, the stock of every kind, household furniture and farming utensils during her life, except one Buroe, which I do give to my granddaughter Polly Woodward, at the death of her grandmother, to be deposited in the hands of my son Eli until she comes of age. I do give my sons Eli, Nathan and Mahlon, at the death of my wife, the part of said plantation that lies on the east side of fourmile creek, to be equally divided amonst them. I do give to my son Mahlon the part of said plantation that lies on the west side of fourmile, and one hundred dollars - I do give to my son Nathan one quarter section of land that I own in the Indiana State. At the death of my wife, I do give the stock of every kind, and moveable property to my sons Nathan & Mahlon, except fifty dollars that I give to my son Asahel, and sixteen dollars I do give to my granddaughter Rachel Hickman, which is to be made out of apart of said property.
I do appoint my sons Asahel & Eli to execute this, my last Will and also to take the full guardianship over my sons Nathan & Mahlon, and the full management of their property accompanied with my sincere wish that you will not see them changed in any respect if they or either of them have any lawful issue, I allow them to inherit their estate, and if not, I allow said estate to be equally divided amongst all the grandchildren that I may have at that time, in witness whereof, I here unto set my hand and seal this eleventh day of October, in the year of our Lord 1821 (seal). I do not allow any of the property left in the hands of my sons Asahel & Eli, and desired for the use of Nathan & Mahlon, to be taken for military fines.
/s/Thomas Woodward X his mark (seal)
Test: Audley Taylor and Joseph Smith"

A law suit was filed in Preble County Ohio in September 1850 which contains much genealogical information about the Thomas Woodward Family. The participants in the law suit were Isaac & Rebecca Clawson; George and Rachel Hickman; Stephen and Thirza McWhinney; Evan, Levi, and Eli Woodward vs. Asahel and Eli Woodward; Vienna and Samuel Hazzard; Thomas B., Pyrus, and Franklin Woodward; Andrew G. Clawson; Fidellia and William Wayman; James and Rachel Clawson; Nathan & Assa Clawson; Ezrelda, Josiah, George K., Bethena and Ann Woodward. The deceased, Thomas Woodward was listed as the grandfather of the petitioners.

The old document is very hard to read but the gist of it is that Thomas, "in his lifetime was seized and possessed in fee simple of large real estate and was also possessed of a large amount of personal estate." The document then quotes the will. Apparently the grandchildren were attempting to obtain a share of the estate.

John Laird, a Clawson descendant, also sent us an abstract of the filing of this court case on June 7, 1849. This tells us still more about the relationships: Nathan woodward died in 1832 without issue; Asahel Woodward of Henry County, Indiana, his children - Vienna, wife of Samuel Hazzard, Thomas B. Woodward, Pyrus Woodward, Franklin Woodward, all of Henry County, Indiana; Phebe wife of Josiah Clawson and hr children - Andrew G. Clawson, Delaware County, Indiana, Fidelia, wife of William Wayman, James Clawson, Rachel Clawson, Nathan D. Clawson, and Asa G. Clawson, all of Henry County, Indiana; Eli Woodward of Warren County, Indiana, his children - Ezrquelda, Melissa, Josiah, George W., Bethena, and Ann Woodward, all of Warren County, Indiana. The grandchildren whose parentage is not given above are children of Jacob and Margaret McCormick Woodward: Rachel Hickman (b. abt. 1807), Thirza McWhinney (b. abt. 1809), Evan (born abt. 1810), Levi (born abot 1814), and Eli Woodward.

Pyrrhus and Mary Hawkins Woodward

From County histories we have extracted the following information on Pyrrhus Woodward, son of Asahel and Catherine Hollett Woodward: Pyrrhus Woodward, born 8/1/1822, near New Castle, Henry County, Indiana; married 1/7/1850 in Wayne County, Indiana, Mary E. Hawkins, daughter of Isabel M. and William Hawkins. Pyrrhus died 12/27/1898 in Henry County, Indiana. Mary was born 10/20/1825 and died 1/17/1899 in Henry County, Indiana.
,br>Children were Cordelia J. Woodward; Isabel Woodward Springer; George W. Woodward; Leonora Woodward m. John Hoham; and Charles F.Woodward.

The newlyweds are found in 1850 in Henry County, Indiana: Pyrrhus, 27, Carpenter, born Ohio, Mary E., 24, born In, Nathaniel Carlisle, 20, carpenter, born In.

In 1860 they are found in the NW Ward New Castle, Henry Co, In with his parents: Pyrrhus Woodward, 38, farmer, Oh; Mary, 34, In; Cordelia, 8, In; Isabel, 5, In; George, 1, In; Asahel Woodard, 69, Va; Catharine, 65, Md.

In 1880 Newcastle Henry Co, In; #403 Pyrrhus Woodward, 57, farmer, In Va Md; Mary E 54 wife In SC Ky; George W, 21, farmer, In, In, In; Kate, 22, niece, In In Va; Isabell Elliott 79 m in law Ky Ky Tn. We do not know the identity of the niece Kate.

6/18/2007 Corrected death date and place for Captain Thomas Woodward.