Thomas Woodford

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Thomas Woodford, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born at England, about 1612.1,2,3,4 He died at Northampton, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts, 6 March 1666/67.4,1,3,2

Thomas married Mary Blott, daughter of Robert Blott and Susanna Selbee, at Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts, 4 March 1634/35.4,1,2,3,5

Thomas Woodford, along with "Edmond Wynsloe" are on a list of men, 7 March 1631/32, to be transported to New England. Ages and ship are not given. He may have come on the William and Francis, for Gov. Winslow made an entry in his journal, 5 June 1632:
The William and Francis, Mr. Thomas master, with about sixty passengers, whereof Mr Welde and old Mr. Batchelor (being aged 71) were, with ther families, and many other honest men . . . all safe, and in health . . They set sail, viz., the William and Francis from London, March the 9th, . . . Mr Winslow of Plymouth came in the William and Francis.

The Rev. John Eliot of the church at Roxbury made this entry:
Thomas Woodforde. a man servant. he came to. N.E. in the yeare. 1632, & was joyned to the church about a yeare after, he afterwards marryed Mary Blott & removed to Conecticott, and joyned to the church at Hartford.

He became a Freeman of the Bay Colony, 4 March 1633/4. At this time, one had to be over 16 and a member of the church to attain Freeman (voter) status, so Thomas was born at least before 1618, and as he was called "Steward Woodford" when he married, he was probably several years older than 16 when he came over.6,7

Records show he was in Harford, Conecticut, before 1 Jan 1639, and became a town officer there in February 1639. On 3 March 1640[16401641?] the town voted:
that Thomas Woodford shall attend the making of Graves for anie Cores Desesed and that no corpes shall be laid less than fower ffoote Deepe non that be above fower year owld shall be laied less then five foote Deepe, non that be above ten shall be laied les then six foote Deepe.
he Shall Resaive ffor giving notics by Riing the bell making the grave and keping it in Comlie Repaier so that it maye be knowne in fewtewer time whear sutch graves have bene mad for the leser sort tooe shilling and six pesnse for the midell sort three shillings for the bigeste sorte three shillings six pense
it is furder ordered that if anie person have lost anie thing that he desireth showld be Cried in a publick meting he shall paie for Criing of it tooe pense to thomas woodford to be paid before it be Cried and the Crier shall keep a booke of the things that he crieth.

On 8 March 1641, the town:
. . . ordered that if ther bee any stray goodes in any mans hands wch are not ther owne they shall carry them unto Thomas Juggs one the south side & unto Thomas Woodfords one the north side betweene this & the first of Aprill or elce they shall bee counted as stolne goods in ther hands.

In 1644, Commissioners of the United Colonies asked for support for scholars at Cambridge. In each town three men were appointed to inquire as to what each family would contribute, and two men were appointed to gather those contributions. Thomas Woodford was appointed to gather for Hartford.

In May 1653 he was "freed from watching during the plesure of the Courte." By this time he owned many parcels of land, and records as late as October 1655 list the lands he owned. However, he sold that land that year and in 1656 he was living in Northampton where he was one of theree men ruling the town that year and where he was elected a Townsman (Selectman) in February 1657/8.

The town did not attract enough settlers, so some of those who owned the land donated a portion to the minister, Rev. Richard Mather, who would dispose " . . . the said landes to such inhabitants as the said mr Mather shall judge . . . needful for the well beeing of the Toune of Northampton . . . ." Thomas Woodford gave six acres. The church was organized in 1661, and Thomas was the third signer. His wife Mary is not on the list and was probably deceased by now, and probably died before the move to Northampton.

On 27 Mar 1666, "Thomas Woodford of North H: . . . was freed from Trayning by reason of his age & weakness."8

Thomas Woodford left a will dated 26 April 1665, and proved 26 Mar 1667:
I Thomas Woodford now Liveing by the providence of God in Northampton for sundry considerations, being weake in body but yet in good & perfect memory, not knowing but that my death may come suddenly & I haveing had divers expiences of it & dayly expecting when it shalbe. . . I doe make this my Last will & testamt in manner & forme following, that is to Say--

After my debts being paid & my funerall expences discharged by mine Executor whom I shall name after, I will thta what soever estate I have eyther given mee by the Town or bought with my money, whether it be house or homelott or the Addition belonging thereto or whatsoever meddow grownd I have besides what I have Sold eyther what I have already in possession or have wright to by givft from the towne as also what So ever estate I have besides in cattle or household Stuffe, I will that after my desease it be given to my three daughters, that is to say I give to my daughter Mary & to her children my Eight acre lott next my son Sheldens lott: I give also to my Daughter Mary my great kettle, only that her two Sisters Hannah & Sarah shall have the use of it till they cann provide one for themselves: I give also to my daughter Mary my Cubbard & my biggest pewter platter & my bedsted whereon I used to lye wth my bolster & one pillow & a paire of sheetes:

I give also to my Daughter Hannah & to her children half my lott in rayn bow & half that I have in Munhan & one acre & a rood in the great Swampe: also I give to my Daughter Hannah my feather bed I used to lye on & a trundle bedstead & one paire of sheetes & one pillow & one pewter platter & my meale trough & my great Chest:

And I give to my daughter Sara & to her children if shee live to have any children liveing after herself I say I give to her half my lott in rayne & half that I have in Munhan: I give also to my Daughter Sarah my little chest & box & iron pot wth ye rest of the small houshold Stuffe:
And for my house & barne & orchard & homelott wth the addition over the brooke & the allowance for that in Munhan wch joyne to it I will it be prized according to the worth of it & that it be deviced equally between my three Daughters, but in case my Daughter Sarah be taken away by Death & have noe children liveing after her that then I will that what I gave to her be given to her two Sisters Mary & Hannah equally:

I will also that my Son Isaak Shelden be my Executr & that mr Williams and Henry Cunliffe be my overseers & witnesses to see this my will fulfilled:

I give also to my Daughter Hannah my new bible: & my other bookes as mr Buttons & Doctor Prestons with the rest & mr Bifeilds I give them equally amongst my three Daughters desireing the Lord that he would give them a heart to make a good use of them:

And that this is also my will I have sett to my hand:
          Thomas Woodford

And in case my Son in Law Nehemiah allin doe build anything for his own conveniency of this own charge upon my houselott before my decease I will that he shalbe paid to the worth of it, if he doe not live there himself; that this is also my willl witness my hand and seale
          Thomas Woodford
wit: Arthur Williams
     Henry Cunliffe


The inventory, taken 12 March 1666/7 totaled £197 19s. 6d. and included £119 in real estate: "a dwelling house, barn, orchard, garden," with land adjoining and with four acres over the swamp, £60; "8 acres of land in the 3d Square," £24; "5 acres of mowing land in the Great Rainbow," £25; "2 acres 1/4 in Munhan," £8. and "1 acres 1/4 in the Great Swamp," £2.9

Family

Mary Blott b. 24 Dec 1609, d. bef. May 1662
Children
  • Mary Woodford+10,1,3,2,4 b. say 1636, d. 17 Apr 1684
  • Hannah Woodford3,2,1 b. abt. 1642, d. aft. 1719
  • Sarah Woodford3,2,1 b. 2 Sep 1649, d. 31 Mar 1713
This person was last edited on2 Oct 2016

Citations

  1. [S16] Mary L. Holman, Ancestry of Colonel John Harrington Stevens and His Wife Francis Helen Miller (Concord, New Hampshire: Rumsford Press, 1948), 407-410, further cited as Holman, Stevens-Miller Genealogy.
  2. [S2281] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I–III, 3 vols. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), 3:2057-60 (Thomas Woodford), further cited as Anderson, GMB.
  3. [S734] Edmund K. Swigart, An Emerson-Benson Saga (Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, 1994), 603-604, further cited as Swigart, Emerson-Benson.
  4. [S762] Joan S. Guilford, The Ancestry of Dr. J. P. Guilford: Volume I: Seventeenth Century–New England Colonials (Orange, California: Sheridan Psychological Services, 1990), 866-870, further cited as Guilford, Guilford: Vol I.
  5. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 1715, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  6. [S1492] Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants: 1607-1660: A Comprehensive Listing Compiled from English Public Records of Those Who Took Ship to the Americas for Political, Religious, and Economic Reasons; of Those Who Were Deported for Vagrancy, Roguery, or Non-Conformity; and of Those Who Were Sold to Labour in the New Colonies (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1987), 100, further cited as Coldham, Complete Book of Emigrants.
  7. [S16] Holman, Stevens-Miller Genealogy, 408.
  8. [S16] Holman, Stevens-Miller Genealogy, 408-9.
  9. [S16] Holman, Stevens-Miller Genealogy, 409-10.
  10. [S767] Clara Pierce Olson Overbo, Ancestors and Descendants of Clark Proctor Nichols and Sarah (Sally) Stoughton in England and America 1620-2001 (Decorah, Iowa: Anundsen Publishing, 2002), 199-200, further cited as Overbo, Nichols.