Hi Rick, I just got around to checking this site after Eric contacted me.I have a copy of the Wooddisse family tree going back to the early 1700's.This tree was compiled by two descendents of the Wooddisse family in 1980.The furthest back that they have been able to locate are Edward Wooddisse, b.?, d. 13 Jul 1765 and Jane Fogg, b. 1721, d. 1776.They were married at the Chapel of the Peak Forest in 1744.
They also found the following Wooddiss's further back but can't make a tie;Raphe Wooddiss, b. 1699, High Needham, Hartington (a farmer) married Ruth ? .Raphe's children were Ralph, b. 1724; Henry, b. 1726; Mary, b. 1728; Ruth, b. 1731; and Edward, b. 26 Oct 1734.
Next there is a Joseph Wooddis who died in 1699
Then a Thomas Wooddiss who died in 1709.
And finally they found a Rafe Wooddis in 1627
They also found a Henry Woodis and Millicent Wooddis (these records refer to the late half of the 16th Century.
As far as the name goes.My side has always spelt the name Wooddisse and pronounced it Wood-i-sea.This is also the way the family of Keith Wooddisse pronounces it in Ontario. My g uncles family in the Western US pronounce and spell it that was as well.
I understand that in England the name is pronounced Woodis as is in many parts of the United States.
The name change must have been coming in the last half of the 19th century.My grandmother said that there were people in her part of Staffordshire pronouncing it Woodis.
I hope that this helps to muddy the water up a bit.
Finally there is a Rafe Wooddis of Huntington in 1627.