Richard Woolsey

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ChartsAncestors of Dora Myrtle Woolsey
Richard M. Nixon - Dora Myrtle (Woolsey) Smith
James Earl Carter Jr. - Dora Myrtle (Woolsey) Smith
Richard Woolsey, son of Thomas Woolsey and Ruth (…), was born at Jamaica, Queens Co., New York, 1697.1 He died at Dutchess Co., New York, between 1779 and 1782, and was buried at Presbyterian Churchyard, Marlborough, Ulster Co., New York.2,3,1

Richard married Sarah Fowler, daughter of William Fowler and Mary Thorne, at Jamaica 24 January 1718.1

Beyond his will, there is not much of record regarding Richard Woolsey. In the records of the town of Bedford we find:
With his parents and brothers he jointly sold 150 acres of the family farm to Henry Dusenbury, 12 Jan 1729/30.4

He witnessed a deed from John Holmes to Joseph Holmes, 12 Nov 1730.5

16 Jul 1740, Richard's land is shown as bounding the east side of a 231 acre parcel in his father's deed of gift to Thomas' son John.6

On 4 Dec 1721, a few settlers appealed the taxes being levied by the town of Rye. Although no specific names are mentioned, Richard Woolsey is probably among them, based on a second petition made in 1722, noted below. The first:
The humble Petition of Joseph Carpenter and Job Wright Inhabitants within the county of Westchester in behalf of themselves and nine others of the new settlers back in the woods between Rye and Bedford showeth that your petitioners about three years ago having with sixteen others purchased from Capt. Robert Walter and coimpany a tract of land contiguous in the back of Rye and within the limit of said township, have at their own very great cost and expense and labors settled themselves thereon, and by their industry and number, they being upwards than Thirty able men, tho' poor, cultivated and improved the same for the subsistence and livelyhood of themselves and their families--a thing very hard to perform by new settlers."

The second petition requested Governor George Clarke to remove Francis Pellem from his position of Justice of the Peace, stating he was a very violent man, oppressing the poor, and much given to drink, of which "his favorite toddy is Punch." Among the signers is "Richard Wooley" and Joseph Fowler, likely Richard's brother-in-law.7

A nephew, Caleb Fowler, kept an account book for his store and tavern in North Castle (now New Castle, Westchester Co.) "Richard Woolsie, Sr." appears in that list between 1754 and 1760.8

Two mortgages were made after his death in which he or his land is mentioned:9

James McDonalds mortgaged land in Bedford, bounded by land late the property of Richard Woolsey, dec'd. and land of Mathew Fountain late dec'd, 28 May 1789.

Gilbert Palmer mortgaged to Jacob Griffin of Fishkill in Dutchess Co., executor for Richard Wosey of Bedford, dec'd., land in Bedford, bounded by land formerly belonging to Josiah Woolsey, dec'd, 16 May 1787.

There are a number of records of a Richard Woolsey in Marlborough in Ulster county beginning in 1755 or so, but these seem to refer to a younger man, likely Richard's son. There's no record yet found that Richard Sr. sold his portion of the farm in Bedford or that he ever removed from there, his will also indicating he was still of Bedford when it was written in 1779.

Richard left a will dated 21 April 1779, and proved 12 Dec 1782:
In the Name of God, amen. I Richard Wolsey of Bedford in Westchester County and State of New York, being Weakly in Body But of perfect Mind and Memory Thanks be given unto God, calling to mind the Mortality of my body and Knowing that it is appointed to all Men once to Die, Do make and ordain this My Last Will and Testament That is to Say Principally and first of all I give and Recommend My Soul into the Hand of Almighty God that gave it and My Body I Recommend to the Earth to be buried in Decent Christian Manner at the Discretion of My Executors Nothing Doubting but at the general Resurection I Shall Receive the Same again by the Mighty Power of God, and as touching Such Worldly Estate Wherewith it has Pleased God to Bless me in this Life I give demise and Dispose of the same in the following Manner and Form: First I make Daniel Wolsey of New Palze and Jacob Griffin of Fish Kills the Sole Executors of this My Last Will and Testament. I give to Sarah My well beloved Wife all My Estate During her life and after her Decease to be Divided in the following Manner: First I give to my Eldest Son Thomas ten pounds New York Money the Rest of my Estate I give to my three Daughters that is Ruth, Sarah and Hannah to be divided Equally Between the three, and I do hereby Utterly disallow Revoke and Disanul all and every other former Testament Wills Legacies Bequests and Executons, by me in any ways Before Named Willed and Bequeathed Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be My Last Will and Testament in Witness whereof I have hereunto Set My Hand and Seal this twenty first Day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Nine. Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and Declared by the Said Richard Woley as his Last Will and Testament in the Presence of us Who in his Presence and in the Presence of Each other have here to
subscribed our names.
Justes Harris
James Clark Richard Woolsey
Bettey Clark.10,11,1,12


Sarah Fowler b. aft. Mar 1698/99, d. abt. 1770
  • Thomas Woolsey+1 b. Nov 1719, d. Feb 1794
  • Hannah Woolsey1 b. 25 Sep 1720, d. 7 Nov 1829
  • Ruth Woolsey1 b. 1723, d. 1783
  • Daniel Woolsey1 b. 1726, d. Aug 1801
  • Benjamin Woolsey1 b. 1729, d. 1795
  • Richard Woolsey1 b. 1730, d. 1811
  • John Woolsey1 b. 24 May 1731, d. 12 Dec 1815
  • Henry Woolsey1 b. 1733, d. 1811
  • Sarah Woolsey1 b. 1736
  • Josiah Woolsey1 b. 1738, d. 3 Oct 1779
  • Mary Woolsey1 b. 1740, d. aft. 1763
  • Joseph Woolsey1 b. 1742, d. Aug 1800
This person was last edited on22 Sep 2015


  1. [S817] Wilford Whitaker and Carolyn Woolsey Wilkerson, Woolsey Genealogy Website, online, Descendants of Richard Woolsey 1697 - 1782. Hereinafter cited as Whitaker and Wilkerson, Woolsey Genealogy.
  2. [S842] C. M. Woolsey, History of the Town of Marlborough, Ulster County, New York From its Earliest Discovery (Albany, New York: J. B. Lyon, Printers, 1908), 305, further cited as Woolsey, History of Marlborough.
  3. [S832] Richard Woolsey Photocopy, grave stone photo, Gregory Cooke, Clarkdale, Arizona; Photographed by Wilford Whitaker, The stone appears to be of a later date, and date of death is before he wrote his will (1779).
  4. [S1766] Publications Committee, Town of Bedford, Westchester County, New York: Historical Records, Ten volumes, subtitles vary, (Bedford Hills, New York: Town of Bedford, 1966-1980), 2:240, further cited as Bedford, Bedford Historical Records.
  5. [S1766] Bedford, Bedford Historical Records, 2:233.
  6. [S1766] Bedford, Bedford Historical Records, 4:42.
  7. [S1816] Daniel H. Carpenter, "Notes and Queries," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 25 (April 1894): 97, at 97, further cited as Carpenter, "Notes and Queries."
  8. [S1814] Field Horne, "Customers and Others in the Ledger of Caleb Fowler of New Castle: 1754-1760," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 132 (July 2001): 171-176, at 171-176, further cited as Horne, "The Ledger of Caleb Fowler."
  9. [S1815] Theresa Hall Bristol, "Westchester County, N. Y., Miscellanea," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 56 (July 1925): 281-285, at 284, 285, further cited as Bristol, "Westchester County, N. Y., Miscellanea."
  10. [S1042] New York Co., New York, Wills and Administrations 1680-1804, Liber 33:413, FHL microfilm 497600, further cited as New York Co. Wills and Administrations.
  11. [S809] Donald C. Hart, A Woolsey Family of America 1623-1975 (Santa Cruz, California: p.p., 1975), 20, further cited as Hart, Woolsey of America. This is a photocopy of the original will.
  12. [S811] James W. Woolsey, The Wolsey-Woolsey Family of America, two parts, (Kansas City, Missouri: Heart of America Genealogical Society, 1981), microform copy: FHL Film/Fiche #1276468, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, further cited as Woolsey, Wolsey-Woolsey Family.