Goodson, Lockhart and Allied Families


Temperance WILLIAMS

Marriage 1 Asa Southern
Married: 15 JAN 1838
Lucy Alice Southern b: 7 JAN 1860 in Yalobusha Co., Mississippi


Sarah Joyce Hanks b: 13 JUL 1769 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Frances Hanks b: 9 JUN 1771 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
George Hanks b: 6 JUN 1773 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Mary Hanks b: 9 JUN 1776 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Moses Hanks , Jr b: 6 JAN 1779 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Elizabeth Hanks b: 9 SEP 1782 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Troy Hanks b: 3 MAR 1784 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Thomas Hanks b: 10 APR 1786 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Anna Jane Hanks b: 1788 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Idella Hanks b: 5 JAN 1788 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Sarah Hanks b: 5 MAR 1790 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Elijah Hanks b: 12 DEC 1793 in Pittsylvania Co., VA

Father: John Hanks b: 24 JUN 1714
Mother: Mary Mott

John Hanks b 1714 Father: William Hanks II b: 14 FEB 1678/79 in Richmond Co., VA, Mother: Hester Mills

William Hanks: Marriage 1 Mary Mott
Joseph Hanks b: 20 DEC 1725 in North Farnham Parish, VA
Moses Hanks b: 15 JUL 1746 in Richmond Co., VA
Mott Hanks b: 1742
John Hanks b: 1745
Epiphroditus Hanks


Sarah Joyce Hanks b: 13 JUL 1769 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Frances Hanks b: 9 JUN 1771 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
George Hanks b: 6 JUN 1773 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Mary Hanks b: 9 JUN 1776 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Moses Hanks , Jr b: 6 JAN 1779 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Elizabeth Hanks b: 9 SEP 1782 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Troy Hanks b: 3 MAR 1784 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Thomas Hanks b: 10 APR 1786 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Anna Jane Hanks b: 1788 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Idella Hanks b: 5 JAN 1788 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Sarah Hanks b: 5 MAR 1790 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Elijah Hanks b: 12 DEC 1793 in Pittsylvania Co., VA

Thomas , Jr DODSON

source for following: FAMILY FILE OF REN NEVILLE Entries: 40980    Updated: Wed Oct 23 22:27:42 2002    Contact: Ren Neville

Also known as "Second Fork Thomas Dodson"

Thomas is thought to be widowed and left two children before he married Mary Neville (new info indicates this is probably incorrect). The is thought to have married Mary Dodson, a cousin, who bore him two children, Ida and George before Mary Dodson expired.

Came to Fauquier Co., VA about 1733, the family lived on the Broad Run of the Occoquan Creek

Agatha Dodson b: 14 DEC 1749 in VA
Alice Dodson b: ABT. 1750 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Elizabeth Dodson b: ABT. 1751 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Fanny Dodson b: ABT. 1752 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Samuel Dodson b: ABT. 1755 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Thomas Jeremiah Dodson b: ABT. 1757 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Winifred Dodson b: ABT. 1759 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Rhoda Dodson b: ABT. 1765 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
William Dodson b: ABT. 1770
Jesse Dodson b: 1770 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Leonard Dodson b: ABT. 1772 in Pittsylvania Co., VA
Susanna Dodson b: ABT. 1774

NOTES FOR MARY NEVILLE: This marriage is probably wrong. Mary Neville, daughter of John Neville was not married when he wrote his will in 1768.

See comments under John, father of subject Mary, Joseph, brother to John and Mary, daughter of Joseph and cousin to subject Mary.

Shirley Wilcox (genealogist) doesn't think there is any record of Joseph (brother to subject John) having a daughter Mary, whether she married Richard Jackman or Thomas Dodson. Looking under Richard Jackman and earlier Mary Neville, b: 1750, dau of John Neville Jr., as printed on page 10 of JB Neville's book, <370> where he states:
On May 2, 1767, just eight days after John Neavill executed his will, his younger brother, Joseph, signed the following note:
Born 1747-1750 as needed consent for marriage (marriage bond 5-2-1767) depending if legal age was 18 or 21, Fauquier Co., VA. Joseph Neville gives consent.

Richard Jackman and Mary Neavil
Bd. Richard Jackman and Thomas Jackman, Jr.
Sir. Let the Barer Richard Jackman have his marage lysons he having my consent. Given under my hand this 2nd day of May 1767...Jos Neavill

Shirley suggests that the Jackman marriage license does not give a relationship and now thinks that this Mary (above) is the underage daughter of Joseph Neville Sr., uncle to subject Mary Neville.

From Michelle Ule: she contacted one Bill Randolph, a Dodson/Hanks genealogist and was told that Mary Nevill did marry Thomas Dodson,and that the infamous 1790 deposition in Hardy County was in reference to land Thomas "second fork" Dodson had purchased in Fauquier County form the Lord Fairfax estates. He thinks that Thomas second fork" was involved in a land dispute with reverend DeButts over some boundaries. He said that "second fork" had a lot of land and he thought it was 1200 acres in this transaction and he gave it to the various kids before leaving for Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties about 1767

Father: John Neville , Jr. b: 1689 in Isle of Wight Co., VA
Mother: Mary Bohannan b: 1689 in Gloucester Co., VA

Entries: 40980    Updated: Wed Oct 23 22:27:42 2002    Contact: Ren Neville

for additional ancestry, please file listed above

Father: Thomas Dodson b: 1700 in Richmond Co., VA
Mother: Elizabeth Rose b: 1706

Thomas Dodson b 1700: Father: Thomas Dodson b: 15 MAY 1681 in Old Raph. Co., VA, Mother: Mary Durham b: 5 JUN 1686 in Richmond Co., VA


Father: William Harris b: in of Southminster, Essex Co., England
Mother: Johanna Cooke


Father: William Waldegrave b: in of Smallbridge, Suffolk Co., England
Mother: Julian Rainesford

Dorothy HARRIS

Marriage 1 Robert Kempe b: ABT. 1567 in of Gissing, Norfolk co., England
Married: ABT. 1596
Robert Kempe b: in of Gissing, Norfolk Co., England
John Kempe b: in of Gissing, Norfolk Co., England
Richard Kempe b: 1600 in of Gissing, Norfolk Co., England
Arthur Kempe b: 1601 in Cricksea England
Edmund Kempe b: 1606
Edward Kempe
Thomas Kempe b: in of Antingham England
Matthew Kempe b: ABT. 1612
Dorothy Kempe
Elizabeth Kempe

William Edward , Sr WOODRUFF

Date of Birth: 24 Dec 1795
Place of Birth: Fire Place SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY
Mother: Hannah Clark
Father: Nathaniel Woodruff
Source: Family Bible of Jane Eliza Mills, wife of William E. currently owned by Arkansas History Commission
Posted By:
Submitter Number: 20996
1.XWoodruff, Frances Frannie C - @
2.Woodruff, Alden Mills - Birth/Chris: 27 Aug 1828 @
3.Woodruff, George Watkins - Birth/Chris: 26 Nov 1829 @
4.Woodruff, William Edward, Jr - Birth/Chris: 8 Jun 1831 @
5.Woodruff, Maria Jane - Birth/Chris: 3 May 1833 @
6.Woodruff, Harriet Maria - Birth/Chris: 31 Jan 1836 @
7.Woodruff, Evelina Walton - Birth/Chris: 21 Jun 1840/1841 @
8.Woodruff, Mary Eliza - Birth/Chris: 17 Apr 1838 @
9.Woodruff, Jane Georginea - Birth/Chris: 23 Feb 1845 @
10.Woodruff, Lizzie Ashley - Birth/Chris: 9 Jan 1848 @
11.Woodruff, Chester Ashley - Birth/Chris: 12 Jan 1850 @
Exert from Arkansas State History,

In 1799, there were approximately 386 white people living in Arkansas. In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was acquired by the United States, and, in 1819, Arkansas was organized as a territory. Its northern, eastern and southern borders were the same as they are now, but to the west, some of what is now Oklahoma was included. In the same year the "Arkansas Gazette", once considered the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi, was founded by William E. Woodruff.

From: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette copyright 1992

Arkansas' past entwined with newspaper's vivid story

The history of Arkansas' newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, begins in the wilderness at Arkansas Post.
     At a clearing in those dense woods the Arkansas Gazette was born in 1819, at a simple frontier time when Arkansas was still a young territory, not yet a state.
     Half a century later the Arkansas Democrat came into being, born of the turbulent politics of the defeated, war-ruined South.
     Together they dominated the newspaper landscape of Arkansas for more than a century. Today they survive and thrive as one -- the oldest continuously published newspaper west of the Mississippi.
     The first days of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette go back to the moment when William E. Woodruff, the young founder of the Arkansas Gazette, landed at Arkansas Post accompanied by his printing press. He had made an arduous journey in flatboats down the Cumberland, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers, changing to a dugout canoe for the final upstream leg to the rustic capital of the new territory.
     Soon after Woodruff's arrival, the first territorial Legislature met. There was an abundance of news and official business to be printed.
     Woodruff's training and equipment were up to date and up to the task. As Henry Bullen wrote in the Gazette's centennial edition in 1919: "There were larger plants in New York City, but the presses and types they used were of exactly the same style and size as the press and types used by . . . William E. Woodruff in Arkansas Post in 1819."
     After two years in the humid, mosquito-infested village, Woodruff moved his Gazette to Little Rock in 1821, following the relocation of the territorial capital there. Through the pages of his newspaper he worked tirelessly to promote new settlement in Arkansas. By 1836, when Arkansas gained the statehood for which the Gazette had energetically campaigned, its population exceeded 50,000. Woodruff could boast of 1,800 Gazette subscribers and $30,000 in advertising, subscription and printing debts owed to him.
     Consistent with the regional enthusiasms of the day, the Gazette campaigned for Texas independence from Mexico and, in turn, annexation to the United States.
     It supported the Mexican War (1846-48), adding its voice to the call for volunteers from Arkansas.
     The 1840s in Arkansas were a time of wild financial speculation followed by a hard crash, and the Gazette's finances suffered along with those of the state.
     Starting in 1836, the Gazette went through a series of changes leading to co-partnerships and three sales to other owners. In 1850, Woodruff repurchased it; but meanwhile, in 1846, he had established a competing newspaper which he called the Arkansas Democrat. During the 1850s Woodruff's two papers were united under the name Arkansas State Gazette and Democrat, but in 1859 he simplified that to Arkansas State Gazette, echoing the one he had chosen more than 40 years before.
     When Union soldiers captured Little Rock on Sept. 10, 1863, the Gazette suspended publication, remaining silent until May 1865. Federal authorities commandeered its presses and used them for their own purposes.
     Woodruff's short-lived Arkansas Democrat has no direct connection to today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A different Arkansas Democrat arose during Reconstruction and its aftermath. First called The Liberal, then The Journal, then The Chronicle, and finally The Evening Star, the newspaper had passed through several hands and several editors by 1875.
     Then, on April 11, 1878, Col. J.N. Smithee, an Arkansan who had served in the Confederate Army, acquired the newspaper, named it the Arkansas Democrat, and took aim on the state's lucrative printing contracts.
     He also immediately launched an attack upon the Gazette over the issue of the repudiation of the state debt. The Gazette struck back, implying that the name Democrat was merely a cover for a resurgent Republican Party.
     Later that year Smithee engaged in a shoot-out at the corner of Markham and Main streets in Little Rock with Maj. John A. Adams, a part-owner of the Gazette.
     Neither man was wounded seriously, although Smithee was hit by two bullets. But soon Smithee was compelled to dispose of his newspaper when the board of printing commissioners implicated him in a conflict of interest because of his other job as state land commissioner. In September 1878, former Arkansas Gazette editor James Mitchell and his partner Gen. W.D. Blocher, former owner of the Gazette, bought the Democrat from Smithee.
     In a remarkable twist of fate suggesting how inbred the newspaper business must have been during this era, the controversial Smithee was named president of the Arkansas Gazette a few years later.
     During Mitchell's first year with the Arkansas Democrat, he successfully backed J.D. Walker for Congress against R.W. Johnson, who happened to be the brother of the editor of the Arkansas Gazette. This was perceived as a great victory for the Democrat and increased its business immensely.
     In the 20th century, both newspapers came under the dominance of two men -- J.N. Heiskell at the Gazette, and K. August Engel at the Democrat.
     After James Mitchell died in 1902, the ownership of the Democrat changed hands three times. In 1926, K. August Engel, who had been born in Luckenbach, Texas, in 1889, and who had joined the Democrat as business manager in 1911, acquired a major interest and became the newspaper's president and general manager.
     Engel controlled the paper for the next 42 years, leading it through a period of great growth. In 1930 he acquired the YMCA building at Capitol Avenue and Scott Street and turned it into a modern newspaper plant. He gained a reputation as a hard-working, shrewd businessman who insisted on running his business on a cash basis. A bachelor, he lived in a hotel a few blocks from the Democrat building.
     He took an active part in the editorial process, even to the point of reviewing proofs of editorials and news pages.
     Under Engel, the Democrat urged reforms at the state hospital, improved election laws, revision of property tax assessments, municipal ownership of city waterworks, improved education and a four-year college for Little Rock.
     In 1954, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville awarded Engel an honorary degree, stating: "You have kept free the news columns of the Arkansas Democrat that they might report in an objective manner the events of the world . . . you have been a faithful watchman for the people and the public good."
     Engel died on Jan. 8, 1968. His nephews, Marcus George and C.S. Berry, were appointed editor and publisher, respectively. The Gazette had this to say about Engel the day after his death: "Except for its occasional ventures in sensational, topical news articles -- a penchant shared by most afternoon newspapers -- the Democrat during Engel's tenure was austere in its makeup and treatment of general news."
     The first half of the 20th century also saw the Gazette consolidating leadership that would carry it to a position of eminence. In 1902, the Gazette Publishing Co. was reorganized and John Netherland Heiskell, a Tennessean by birth, became president and editor-in-chief. He held these positions for 70 years until his death in 1972 at the age of 100. When Heiskell bought the Gazette, its circulation was about 6,000; when he died, it was more than 100,000.
     The Gazette's circulation had reached 100,000 in the 1950s, then dipped to 83,000 because of its editorial policy during the 1957 integration crisis in Little Rock. The Gazette took a strong editorial stand against Gov. Orval E. Faubus' attempts to prevent integration of Central High School. The Gazette was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes in 1958 -- one for meritorious public service and the other to its executive editor, Harry Ashmore, for editorial writing.
     Long before 1957, a highlight of Heiskell's career had been his sustained opposition to Jeff Davis, a turn-of-the-century Arkansas governor and United States senator. The colorful Davis, a stem-winding stump speaker who was unrelated to the Confederate president of the same name, often attacked both Little Rock newspapers. On one occasion he said, "I see the Gazette agent out there in the audience giving out that old red harlot, the Arkansas Gazette. I had rather be caught with a dead buzzard under my arm, or a dead polecat." Another time he regaled his listeners with a story about his young son: "If I find that boy is a smart boy, I will go and make a preacher out of him; if I find he is not so smart a boy, I am going to make a lawyer out of him; if I find he has not a bit of sense upon earth, I am going to make an editor out of him and send him to Little Rock to edit the Arkansas Democrat."
     When Davis died suddenly in 1913, Heiskell, in a sweet bit of irony, was appointed by Gov. George Donaghey to fill his old rival's vacant Senate seat. Heiskell's term lasted only three weeks, so his maiden Senate speech was also his farewell speech. "Maybe we should have more of that in the Senate," said Heiskell, who gained a reputation as a wit through the years.
     A few months before Heiskell's death in 1972, the Gazette opened a new production building at Fourth and Byrd streets in Little Rock. The architecturally notable Gazette building at Third and Louisiana had also been erected during Heiskell's tenure as editor, being dedicated in 1908.
     Hugh B. Patterson, J.N. Heiskell's son-in-law, who had been the Gazette's business manager, became publisher in 1948. He was elected president of the company in 1970.
     Soon afterward, change came to the Democrat. In 1974 Marcus George and C.S. Berry sold the newspaper for $3.7 million to the Palmer group, headed by Walter E. Hussman. His son, 27-year-old Walter E. Hussman Jr., became the Democrat's new publisher.
     What happened in Little Rock in the next several years mirrored trends in the newspaper industry all across the country. Five hundred cities had boasted separately owned, competing newspapers in 1923. By 1953 only 90 cities did. By 1974, when the Palmer group purchased the Democrat, such competition survived in just 34 cities.
     At the start of the 1960s, the two Little Rock newspapers had been neck-and-neck in circulation. In the first quarter of 1960, the Democrat's daily circulation was 88,890, narrowly ahead of the Gazette's 88,152. Owners of the two newspapers on numerous occasions discussed a joint printing plant, but plans always fell through because of disagreements over where to locate the plant and because of the impossibility of printing both Sunday newspapers.
     Most of the newspapers that were dying off in America were circulated in the afternoon. Reflecting this trend, circulation at the Democrat declined substantially throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
     By 1974, the numbers were stark: Gazette circulation was 118,702; Democrat circulation was 62,405. In addition, the Democrat had only about a fourth of the total newspaper revenue in the market.
     For three years after 1974, the Hussmans responded by pursuing a strategy of reducing operating costs and focusing subscription efforts in the city zone.
     This effort was not enough to reverse circulation and advertising trends, so in 1977 Walter E. Hussman Jr. sought a joint operating agreement with the Gazette. Both the specific offer and the basic concept of a joint operating agreement were rejected by Hugh Patterson at the Gazette.
     Hussman concluded he had two options: Either to close the Democrat or to make a commitment to vigorous competition.
     He chose the latter. A hotly competitive 13-year newspaper war ensued.
     In late 1978, the Democrat began an extensive effort to expand its news and classified advertising in order to become the state's largest newspaper.
     Included was a free want ad program that more than tripled the size of the paper's classified section. The Democrat became the only Arkansas newspaper ever to publish more than one million classified advertisements in a single year.
     In 1979, the Democrat switched to all-morning publication -- one of the first newspapers of its size to do so. The transition was done in steps. In January, the paper began publishing a morning edition seven days a week in addition to its evening papers. This late deadline morning paper was initially only for circulation outside Pulaski County. The Democrat published its last evening editions on Oct. 7.
     Since then, the number of afternoon newspapers has declined by 432, while the number of morning newspapers has increased by 234. In 1980 there was more afternoon circulation than morning circulation for American newspapers but today there is 2.5 times as much morning as afternoon circulation.
     Also in 1979, John Robert Starr, former Arkansas bureau chief of the Associated Press, became managing editor of the Democrat. The news staff was doubled in size and the news space increased more than 50 percent.
     As a result of these vigorous new policies, readership increased dramatically.
     Circulation totals showed that the Democrat was the fastest growing newspaper in the United States during 1980.
     Across town at the Arkansas Gazette, 1981 saw big changes too. Robert R. Douglas, Gazette managing editor since 1972, announced his resignation in July and was named chairman of the department of journalism at the University of Arkansas. Hugh Patterson remained as publisher while his son, Carrick H. Patterson, was named the Gazette's managing editor.
     At the Democrat, the changes continued. Dozens of new reporters, editors and photographers had been hired in an effort to ensure the most thorough local news coverage possible. In 1982 the newspaper inaugurated the use of color, using offset lithography printing presses; the Gazette followed in 1987.
     Two other significant developments that would affect the course of the competition occurred in the 1980s. First, the Gazette filed a federal antitrust suit against the Democrat in 1984. Second, the Gannett Corp., the nation's largest newspaper chain, bought the Gazette in 1986.
     The suit accused the Hussman enterprises of trying to put the Gazette out of business. The Democrat responded that it was only trying to remain competitive, and that none of its practices were intended to run the Gazette out of business.
     A federal jury in the court of U.S. District Judge William R. Overton rendered its verdict on March 26, 1986. The Democrat was found innocent of all the allegations leveled against it by the Gazette.
     Just a few months later, on Oct. 30, the newspaper war's biggest bomb was dropped: Gannett was coming to Little Rock. The Heiskell-Patterson family sold the Arkansas Gazette to Gannett on Dec. 1, 1986.
     Wehco Media Inc., the parent company of the Arkansas Democrat, was the largest media company in Arkansas. But Gannett was the largest in the country. Wehco's annual revenues at the time were about $60 million; Gannett's were $2 billion.
     Gannett also acquired a built-in daily circulation lead when it arrived in Little Rock: 131,020 for the Gazette, 78,302 for the Democrat.
     Within five years the Democrat had closed the gap: Gazette daily circulation was 134,027; the Democrat's, 133,753. On Sunday the Democrat was substantially ahead, 241,361 to 225,326.
     Each year, Gannett was suffering increased financial losses with the Gazette, with losses of more than $29 million in its last year of ownership.
     Throwing in the towel, Gannett closed the Gazette after publishing a final edition on Oct. 18, 1991. Later that day the Democrat purchased all the assets, including the subscription list of the Gazette, and renamed the combined newspaper the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette the next day.
     "We survived the greatest competitive onslaught in the newspaper business," Hussman said at the time.
     Since the Gazette closed in 1991, competing newspapers have also closed in Dallas, Pittsburgh, San Antonio and Tulsa, further reducing the short list of competitive newspaper cities in America.
     In April 1992, Paul Greenberg, the Pulitzer Prize winning writer from Pine Bluff, was chosen to be the Democrat-Gazette's editorial page editor.
     On June 23, 1992, less than a year after the long newspaper war ended, John Robert Starr retired as managing editor of the Democrat-Gazette and Griffin Smith, jr., was named executive editor. One week later Smith appointed Robert Lutgen to be the newspaper's managing editor.
     The Democrat-Gazette's circulation for the first quarter of 1994 was 183,835 daily and 302,320 Sunday. As one of the few remaining statewide newspapers in the United States, with circulation in all 75 Arkansas counties, the Democrat-Gazette has higher circulation than newspapers in many larger cities, such as the Tulsa World with 174,520 and the Memphis Commercial-Appeal with 164,809.
     It also has substantially higher circulation than newspapers in cities about the same size as Little Rock, such as the Shreveport (La.) Times (83,415) and the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger (111,794). In fact, measured by penetration in the City Zone -- which consists of the metropolitan area inside Pulaski County -- the Democrat-Gazette's Sunday penetration (total circulation divided by occupied households) is the second highest in the nation: 80.68 percent.
     As Arkansas' newspaper looks ahead to its third century, the Democrat-Gazette aims to continue building, in the great tradition of its predecessors, a fair, thorough, and courageous newspaper of which all Arkansans can be proud.

William E. Woodruff was owner and editor of the Arkansas Gazette during the removal period.  He owned the ferry across the Arkansas used by Chickasaws on their way to the Red River country.

Source: Pope, Judge William F., Early Days in Arkansas, Frederick W. Allsopp, Little Rock, AR, 1895
Mount Holly Cemetery
Little Rock, Pulaski Co., AR

Jane Eliza MILLS

Major Watkins brought with him to Arkansas his wife's niece, 'Miss' Mills.  He was married twice: first to Paulina Thurston, second to Marie Toncre.  Not certain which wife Miss Mills was neice to - probably the second.

see image JaneMills002278.233.tiff

Nathaniel WOODRUFF

may be wrong Nathan - born in SC, yet son born in NY?

Death:  12 Jan Jun 1808 of pneumonia  

1.XWoodruff, William Honest Billy Edward - Birth/Chris: 24 Dec 1795 @ NY
2.Woodruff, Nathaniel Milton - @
3.Woodruff, Jeheil Hildreth Zekei - @
4.Woodruff, Matthew Edmund - @
5.Woodruff, George Brown

Sir Richard Woodruff - an ancestor?
Posted by: Jim Woodruff Date: March 02, 2002 at 14:51:08

Like many amateur genealogists I have been collecting information on my ancestors periodically throughout much of my life. A few years ago I had got to a point in my research at which I had compiled a history of the my Woodruff family dating back to 1508 - fifteen generations, to Thomas Woodruff (also spelled Woodruffe, Woderoff, Woodroof, Woodrove and about 20 other ways). I contributed this information to Delwood Jackson when he was compiling The Family of Moses Woodruff and he included it in his book.

I learned about Thomas in a Branch of the Woodruff Stock by Francis E. Woodruff. This author states that in 1508, at the end of King Henry VII’s reign, Thomas Woodrove was the first Woodruff name to appear on the records of Fordwich, in Kent, England.

Some authors, including Del Jackson, referring to Francis Woodruff’s work, use 1508 as Thomas’ birthday, but note that he says Thomas’ name appeared on the records, not that Thomas was born in 1508. In The Woodruffs of New Jersey, a later work, Francis Woodruff states that he believes Thomas was a grown man by the time he came to Fordwich. This is an important fact when it comes to looking for Thomas’ ancestors.

Looking for ancestors is what it’s all about. Following is my attempt to extend my Woodruff family line back a few more generations beyond Thomas.

Information about (Sir) Richard Woodruff was gathered from Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the reign of Henry the VIII, family data sheets from the LDS Genealogical Library, and the other references cited in the text.

Richard was born about 1647 in Woolley, Yorkshire, England. In 1999, I visited this small village of brown sandstone cottages and an impressive medieval church to see if I could find any remnants of the Woodruff family who had lived there for more than a dozen generations according to Visitations of Yorkshire by William Pavers.

Unfortunately I didn’t find any Woodruff graves there. In fact, I found no legible gravestones in any of the cemeteries I visited in England that dated back beyond the 19th century. This was long after my direct ancestor, John, had left England for America in 1639. There was never another Richard in my line, perhaps because it was Richard III (Remember a horse, a horse my kingdom for a horse in Shakespeare ?), who was defeated by Henry Tudor and named himself Henry VII in 1485, beginning the Tudor line of rulers that lasted through Queen Elizabeth in 1603.

The County of Yorkshire, being not far from the Scottish border, was the scene of constant warfare between England and the Scots for almost 700 years. Richard grew up in a soldierly environment and was well-connected with soldier knights of Yorkshire. Being on the border lands of Scotland offered a double-edged opportunity. A man could become a soldier, fight against the Scots, win recognition - perhaps even knighthood, or be killed or maimed. Richard’s mother was Elizabeth Neville and among his ancestors was Sir Thomas Neville, most likely knighted for victories in battles against the Scots. It appears that Richard had a sister named Elizabeth. Richard’s first wife was Jane Wortley, daughter of Sir Thomas Wortley who was knighted in 1497 (Knights Bachelors,). Richard was also knighted around that time, as a Knight Banneret, in Scotland by Thomas, Earl of Surrey (above reference and Knights of England by W.A. Shaw). Richard most likely received training in medieval warfare from the time he was a child.

It seems that Richard and Jane had no offspring, and Jane may have died before about 1480, when he married Beatrix Fitzwilliam. Richard and Beatrix had four children, one of which, also named Beatrix, who first married John Drax, Esquire, and when he died, married Sir Thomas Wentworth. As I said, Richard lived in high company.

Richard’s first son, born about 1480, was named Thomas. On March 15 of 1511, Sir Richard Woodrof” was exempted from service on juries, etc., (perhaps due to his advancing age). My interpretation of a cryptic note in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the reign of Henry the VIII, is that the decision was made in Greenwich and delivered to Canterbury on March 28 of that same year.

The mention of Canterbury might be significant, for it may indicate that Richard was living in Canterbury with or near his son Thomas. Canterbury and York, in Yorkshire, were the two religious centers of England. Also, in that same reference, grants (not specified) were made by Henry VIII to Sir Richard Wodrof” and to “yoeman Th. Woderoff 1509.  A yoeman usher Thomas Woodroff” was present at the coronation of Henry VIII in 1509. Another entry states Sir Richard Wodrof’s son and heir with 20 men to attend against the Scots. Henry VIII 1512. So Thomas, then about 30 years old, was carrying on the family tradition of fighting against the Scots. Richard died in 1522, apparently in his seventies.

I cite these entries to show that Thomas was apparently a government worker like his father and had responsible duties around 1508 when a Thomas “appeared on the records of Fordwich, Kent, England. Fordwich was the seaport for Canterbury in those days.

This Thomas was a trusted envoy of the town and later a jurat (judge or legislator) involved in the distribution of the St. Augustine Monastery. This just the sort of work that a respectable son of a knight with proven ability would be charged with.

Obviously, it is my contention that Thomas, the son of Sir Richard, was none other than the same Thomas that showed up in Fordwich 1n 1508.

Another clue that Thomas of Woolley may have been the same person as Thomas of Fordwich is that the latter named his first son William. This could have been in honor of his mother’s family, Fitz William. William named his sons William and Robert (after his maternal grandfather, Robert Waterson?), seemingly carrying on a family tradition. The next two generations of Woodruffs were named John, a very common name, but, according to records, John was the name of Sir Richard’s father. I write this because surnames have often been helpful to me in tracing my family line.

In conclusion, I propose that the Woodruff family line from John the Immigrant back through Thomas of Fordwich read as follows:

John Woodrove (about 1330 - ?)
John Woodrove (about 1356 - 1397)
Oliver Woodrove (about 1382 - 1430)
John Woodrove (1416 - 1487)
Sir Richard Woodrove (1447 -1522)
Thomas Woodrove ( about 1480 - 1552)
William Woodrove ( about 1510 - 1587)
Robert Woodrove (about 1540 - 1611)
John Woodrove ( 1574 -1611)
John Woodruff (John the Immigrant) (1604 - 1703)

Note: I have not personally documented Sir Richard’s ancestors, but have taken them from LDS data sheets and internet sources, both of which are only as good as the researchers are thorough in their own documentation. From Sir Richard forward in time I am fairly confident of the accuracy of the data, for it seems well-documented and has stood the test of time.

So I have stated my hypothesis. And the way a hypothesis is proven is to try and prove it wrong. If it cannot be proven wrong, then it must stand as the truth. I welcome all to try and prove my hypothesis wrong.

Jim Woodruff, February, 2002


1.XWoodruff, William Honest Billy Edward - Birth/Chris: 24 Dec 1795 @ NY
2.Woodruff, Nathaniel Milton - @
3.Woodruff, Jeheil Hildreth Zekei - @
4.Woodruff, Matthew Edmund - @
5.Woodruff, George Brown

Jeheil Hildreth Zekei WOODRUFF


On 18 Jan 1828 when Willis was 23, he married Betsey Woodruff, daughter of Jehiel Woodruff Sr & Fanny [Woodruff], in Windsor, Broome Co., NY.26 Born in Apr 1807 in Middle Island, Suffolk Co., NY.26 Betsey died on 13 Jul 1887 in West Windsor, Broome Co., NY.26