Henry Woodward

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Henry Woodward, son of Thomas Woodward and Elizabeth Tynen, was born probably shortly before his baptism at Much Wolton, Lancashire, England, 22 March 1607.1 He died at Northampton, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts, 7 April 1683.2

Henry married Elizabeth (…), whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), at Dorchester, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts, 4 September 1638.2,1,3

Henry Woodward is said to have shipped over on the James in 1635: the ship reportedly embarked at Bristol on 23 May, finally leaving England on 22 Jun, and arrived at Boston, 17 August. Wilson shows the James of London, William Cooper, master, embarked at Southampton on 6 April, and Henry Woodward is not among those passengers. Wilson does show a Hercules Woodman, Mercer, on his list. Is this a corruption of Henry Woodward? Henry's service as quartermaster is in keeping with a mercer (grocer). It is also possible there was a second James, for Winthrop in his journal records the trials of the ship's crossing:
In this tempest, the James of Bristol, having one hundred passengers, honest people of Yorkshire, being put into the Isle of Shoals, lost there three anchors; and, setting sail, no canvas or ropes would hold, but she was driven within a cable's length of the rocks at Pascataquack, when suddenly the wind, coming to N. W., put them back to the Isle of Shoals, and, being ready there to strike upon the rocks, they let out a piece of their mainsail, and weathered the rocks.

Henry is shown as one of the first members of the Dorchester church in 1639 where next to his name is a blank space where his wife's name would be written if he were married.

On 14 Sep 1659, he and wife Elizabeth made a deed to William Sumner for 8 acres of land in Dorchester for £14.4

About 1653, he and others were granted land in what is now Northampton. He apparently removed there permanently in 1659 and it took a while longer to establish a church there:
28 Mar 1661, "The day abovesaid was dismissed Mr. Eleazer Mather, William Clark, Henery Cunlife & Henery Woodward for to Joyne with some other for the gathering of a Church at Northampton"
1 Sep 1661, "The day abovesaid was dismissed these p'sons: Viz: Sarah ye wife of William Clark: Elizabeth ye wif of Hen: Woodward & Susanna ye wife of Hen Cunlife: for to Joyne to ye Chruch at Northampton."
6 Jun 1669, "ye two yonger daughters of Henery Woodward was dismissed to Joyne to ye Church at Northampton though neither of them are yet in full Communion."

He became an important man in Northampton, where he served on many town committees. He was made a Commissioner to end Small Causes. When the Hampshire Troop was organized, he became the Quartermaster and is often called in the early records, "Quarter Mr Woodward."

In 1665, the county made an agreement with him to "entertain" the Court (have the court held in his house), and he was granted a license to keep an inn and sell liquor. This arrangement was continued until 1681 and most Court sessions were likely held at his house during that time.

He was given various grants of land until he owned many acres. Much of this property later became Smith College. In 1672-3 he contributed eight pounds of flax to Harvard College.

In 1678, Henry was appointed "tithing-man" for the church at Northampton.2,1

The inventory of his estate was presented 7 May 1683 by Elizabeth Woodward and John Woodward, administrators. The settlement is undated, but shows:
These presents declare an agreement between the relict and the rest of the legatees of Henry Woodward, viz. Elizabeth Woodward, widow, Jn. Woodward, Medad Pomery, John Taylor and Jedediah Strong

Widow is to have one third of moveable estate and land in meadow and one half house and homestead, except 10 acres in Swamp next to Capt Cookes land, during her life.

Medad Pomery to have 10 acres of land over the Mill river opposite to Alexander Edwards Homestead on ye West over the Mill river

John Taylor to have 5 acres in Swamp at lower end of a parcel of land as it is abutted in ye Records.

As for Jedadiah Strong his children are to have to them as they come to age 30 pounds a piece which money being paid is as much as they by agreement are to have

This agreement being established by the Countie Court we do acquitt and discharge John Woodward of any more demands &c, the remainder of estate to be his own forever. If any of Jedadiah's children die before coming of age their due is to be divided among surviving children.2


Elizabeth (…) d. 13 Aug 1690
  • Freedom Woodward2 b. Jul 1642, d. 17 May 1681
  • Experience Woodward+1,2 b. 19 Nov 1643, d. 8 Jun 1686
  • John Woodward2 b. abt. 1645, d. 5 Oct 1724
  • Thankful Woodward2 b. abt. 1646, d. aft. 1724
This person was last edited on2 Oct 2016


  1. [S768] W. M. Bollenbach Jr., The New England Ancestry of Alice Everett Johnson, 1899-1986, Memoirs, and Bollenbach Genealogy (Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, 2003), 400-402, further cited as Bollenbach, Johnson.
  2. [S16] Mary L. Holman, Ancestry of Colonel John Harrington Stevens and His Wife Francis Helen Miller(Concord, New Hampshire: Rumsford Press, 1948), 400-402, further cited as Holman, Stevens-Miller Genealogy.
  3. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 1718, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  4. [S1889] William H. Sumner, "The Sumner Family," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 9 (Oct 1855): 297-306, at 301, further cited as Sumner, "Sumner Family."