Wooldridge is of English origin. According to those who research name origins it comes from the Old English as a personal name, Wulfric, which was common after the Conquest (1066). Wulfric contains the elements wolf (Wulf) + (ric) power. As this name enters the Middle English period it is transposed into Wolrich or Wolfrich. Later it is transposed by the addition of an "intrusive 'd' ... to ease the passage" between the "l" and the "r" giving the name Wooldridge.
There is a reference to a family coat of arms: “Ar. a cross quarter pierced sa. betw. four cresents gu. Crest-out of a ducal coronet or, an ass's head gu.”
There are several derivations of this name. Some are: Woldradge, Woldredge, Wooldreid, Woldridge, Woolridge, Woollderidge, Wolridge, Woolbridge, Wolbridge, Walbridge, Woolrich, Wolrich, Woolrych, Woolveridge, Wulfric and Wulfrich. Some would say that Woolbridge is a separate family, but I believe Woolbridge is only a mispelling of Wooldridge. I am certain that the name Woodbridge is a separate English surname.
In England in 1212 there is a reference to William Wulfric in the Curia Regis for Berkshire, England. I have also seen a reference to Ralph Wolfrich in 1250, Robert Wolvrych in the Sudsidy Rolls for Sussex, England for the year 1296, a Richard Wolrich in 1307 and a Robert Wolryge in 1332. In the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk, England in the year 1524 there is a reference to John Woldrych. The parish registers for Suffolk, England mention a John Woolbridge in 1663.
In Cheshire, England in the year 1636, Ursula Penn, an ancestor of William Penn, names a Richard Wooldridge in her will. She gives him "Richard Wooldridge 10s (shillings) for a ring;". This will was dated 23 Dec 1636. This is of interest as there will be mention made of a Thomas Wooldridge/Woolrich who was involved with William Penn in his venture in Pennsylvania in 1682.
There were at least four distinct immigrants of the Wooldridge name who came to America at early dates. There were several by this name who came later. One of the earlier groups settled in Massachusetts, one settled in Maryland, one settled in Pennsylvania and the other settled in Virginia. There was also an immigrant by the Wooldridge name at an early date in New Jersey. It is not clear if this New Jersey Wooldridge was a separate individual or merely a member of one of these other groups.
There is a reference in The History of Massachusetts The Colonial Period in 1628/29 to “a second and more exteniseve emigration” ... “and now a large company from different parts of the kingdom was ready to embark;”. There were to be six vessels in this emigration; the Talbot,
the George Bonaventure, the Lion's Whelp, "and three others were to follow the above:" the
Four Sisters, the Mayflower" and the “Pilgrim, of London”, commanded by Capt. William Woolridge."
The earliest reference to a Wooldridge I have seen in America is to a John Woolridge/Woolrich in Dorchester, Massachusetts in the year 1630. John Woolridge requested to be made a "freeman" in that year. Under the charter, for the Colony to be considered a member of the political body you had to be accepted as a freeman.
The oath of a freeman was: "I John Woolridge being by the Almighty's most wise disposition become a member of this body, consisting of the Govenor, Deputy Govenor, Assistants and Commonalty of the Massachusetts in New England, do freely and sincerely acknowledge that I am justly and lawfully subject to the same, and do accordingly submit my person and estate to be protected, ordered and governed by the laws and constitution thereof, and do faithfully promise to be from time to time obedient and comformable thereunto, and to the authority of the said Govenor and Assistants, and their successors, and to all such laws, orders, sentences and decrees as shall be lawfully made and published by them or their successors. And I will always endeavor (as in duty I am bound) to advance the peace and welfare of this body or commonwealth, to my utmost skill and ability. And I will, to my best power and means, seek to divert and prevent whatsoever may tend to the ruin or damage thereof, or of any the said Govenor, Deputy Govenor, or Assistants, or any of them, or their successors, and will give speedy notice to them, or some of them, of any sedition, violence, treachery, or other hurt or evil, which I shall know, hear, or vehemently suspect, to be plotted or intended against the said commonwealth, or the said Government established. And I will not, at any time, suffer or give consent to any counsel or attempt, that shall be offered, given, or attempted, for the impeachment of the said Government, or making any change or alteration of the same, contrary to the laws and ordinances thereof; but shall do my utmost endeavor to discover, oppose and hinder all and evert such counsel and attempt. So help me God."
John Woolridge was admitted as a freeman in the year 1634 at Dorchester, Massachusetts. In order for John Woolridge to be admitted as a freeman he would have most likely have had to have been a Puritan.
There was a John Woolrich, believed to be the same person, and mentioned above in Charlestown, Massachusetts. John Woolrich is mentioned in several of the Charlestown land records as having property adjoining to his. This John Woolrich must have been deceased by 1647. In the year 1647 his house was sold. "A sale of house and Land by Richard Willson, Mason, of Cambridge, unto George Hodgshon of Camridge, the House and Land lying and situate in Charlestowne, at the west end thereof, made the 8th day of the 8th Mo: 1647" In this document it states that, "which said Richard bought of Mr. Aier, who married the wife of Mr. John Woolrych, whose house it was formerly".
In 1651 there was a Nicholas Wooldridge and in 1662 there was a Edward Wooldridge in Maryland. This group has not been researched to my knowledge.
In Bucks County, Pennsylvania there was a Thomas Wooldrige/Woolrich who purchased 1000 acres of land in William Penn's venture. This purchase was made in England and in the year 1681 he laid claim to his lands in what would become Bucks County. There were in the records of Bucks County, Pennsylvania copies of a deed dated 22 Mar 1681 for Thomas Woolrich for his 1000 acres. In the History of Bucks County, there is a reference to the list of those to whom land was granted and this list contains, "; Thomas Wooldridge, 1000". It is likely that Thomas Wooldridge was either a Quaker or a land investor. In 1745 there was a Michael Wooldridge who came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as an indentured servant. Michael was from Ireland and was indentured to James Payne, who paid his passage for the period of seven years and five months from 23 Oct 1745. He was to be taught to be a cooper and when finished was to be given two sets of clothing, one of which was to be new. In May of 1746 his indenture was sold to Adam Hoops of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for the remainder of his indenture from 23 Oct 1745. When his indenture was sold, it was stipulated that he be taught the trade of a cooper. The buying and selling of these indentures was considered a money making venture. In 1760-1771 there was a John Wooldridge who captained ships from Philadelphia. In 1760 his ship was the Schooner "Rebecca", in 1766 his ship was the Sloop "Sally", in 1768 his ship was the Schooner "Betsy" and in 1771 his ship was the Schooner "Sidney". He sailed to North Carolina and to St. Christopher.
In 1640 there was a Thomas Wooldridge, a John Wooldridge and a Timothy Wooldridge who held Land Patents in Virginia. This John Wooldridge is not the same John Wooldridge who was in Henrico County, Virginia at a later date. There was a John Wooldridge who came to Henrico County, Virginia as an indentured servant in 1690. He came from Ireland and was a blacksmith. This John Wooldridge married Martha Osborne in 1704 and later purchased lands that would give future generations some extensive coal interests. This branch of the Wooldridge family has an extensive genealogy in existence. They are connected to Lothian, Scotland and named several of their properties in Virginia for this town. There were many Englishmen who moved freely about Ireland and Scotland during the late 1600's and early 1700's. They owned lands there and even intermarried with the Scottish and Irish locals.
In 1680 there is mention of a John Wooldridge in what would become New Jersey. This area at that time was under the jurisdiction of the Govenor of New York. The reference is interesting and is recorded in "Documents Relating to The History of the Dutch and Swedish Settlements on the Delaware River”, and is part of the New York Colonial History Collection.
It contains a letter, James Nevill to Govenor Andros, relating to the proceedings of sundry fugitives from Virginia who pretended to belong to a wrecked "Guineaman". It says, Govenor. About ye 12th ... a person in the habit of a seaman came to this place pretending himself to be mate of a ship called ye "Marygold" bound for "Gynny" and was to touch at New York to leave some passengers there with whom ye Master had conditioned and to have 100 lbs for their passage, which money was on board of ye ship with much goods for ye "Gynny" trade and coming to" Cape May" the ship struck ground and stuck fast; the seaman escaped in a "greenland shallop" that belonged to ye ship, the Master, his son and five passengers were drowned, and that he had left four seaman at "Cohanzy", and the shallop in "Morriss River", he desired assistance with men and boats pretending he could save much goods and rigging, if he could get help. I sent him to ye Magistrates at New Castle who made provission for his aide, but before they were ready, this pretended mate escaped away, they then suspected him, and sent "huy and cry" after him, but hitherto have not taken him; within 24 hours after his escape a person came to New Castle from Virginia, who came in pursuit after this seaman; I having notice thereof sent four men to "Cohazny", apprehended the four men that were there, and sent them to ye high sheriff at New Castle, where it appeared that ye pretended mate with theses four men were servants in Virginia and had stolen a shallop from thence and left her towards the mouth of Delaware River; at ye first report here of ye ship being fast in ye sand as before mentioned; William Maltster; Edward Lumley, Thomas Watson, John Salter and John Wooldridge went down from hence secretly in a great canoe to find out ye afore named shallop at "Maurice River" intending to take her to ye ship and to bring what they could from thence without being accountable to any, but coming where the shallop lay, they found her forepart burnt; they took her cable, grapling and rudder irons and a small "cook-boate" about eight feet by the keel and returned to William Malsters plantation where they had left them until they could make sale thereof; with I having notice of, have secured till thy pleasure be known concerning them; ye cable I suppose to be between twenty and thirty fathom, a large grapling, ye boat is supposed to belong to the shallop; I desire thee send an answer to thy true friend. James Nevill. This letter was written at New Salem ye 26th of ye third month 1680. It was for the Governor of New York.
At first glance this might seem to be an early reference to a Wooldridge in New York but upon closer examination this is not the case. This John Wooldridge was apparently from New Salem which is present day Salem, New Jersey. Cape May is at the mouth of the Delaware River and is in present day New Jersey. New Castle is in present day Delaware; also on the Delaware River. During this time period the Governor of New York was in charge of this part of the settlements along the Delaware River. The Delaware Territory was a dependency of the Province of New York until the arrival of William Penn's deputy and the establishment of the Colony of Pennsylvania from about 1664 to 1682. The relationship of this John Wooldridge to others of that name has not been ascertained.
Of note is a reference I found in a book called The Original List of Persons of Quality 1600-1700. There is a William Wooldridge who is being sent to Barbados in the year 1685. He was from Tiverton, England but was being held as a prisoner at the prison at Bridgewater for being a "rebel". He was sent from Devonshire, England to Barbados on the "John Frigget" on 24 Oct 1685.
There was much religious upheaval in England at this time. Many Puritans came to Massachusetts in the years following 1620. Many seeking religious freedom came to Virgina as
early as 1610. Many Quakers (Friends) came to Pennsylvania as early as 1680 at Penn's urging. It is obvious from the number of the Wooldridge name coming from England/Scotland/Ireland to New England during this time period that they were seeking one of two things; land or religious freedom or possibly both.
Some of those in Pennsylvania by the Wooldridge name were:
Thomas Wooldridge/Woolrich Bucks County 1681
Cuspard Woolrich 1732
Michael Wooldridge Lancaster County 1746
John Wooldridge (Capt.) Philadelphia 1760
Jonas Wooldridge Philadelphia 1800
Robert Wooldridge Philadelphia 1800
*John Wooldridge Clearfield County 1820
William Wooldridge 1820
Robert Wooldridge Philadelphia 1820
Henry Wooldridge Philadelphia 1822
William Wooldridge Philadelphia 1840
James Wooldridge Philadelphia 1840
Hery Wooldridge Franklin County 1850
Mary Wooldridge Philadelphia 1850
William Wooldridge Clearfield County 1850
* John Wooldridge of Clearfield County was the son of William Wooldridge who was born in England. This indicates Wooldridges were still coming over from England in 1820.
**One Wooldridge family from Pennsylvania indicated that they are descended from John Wooldridge who was born 31 Jan 1769 in Sussex County, England. This John Wooldridge married Sarah Watts in Surrey County, England. This John Wooldridge died 08 Jan 1849 in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. This family indicates that a son of this John changed the family name from Wooldridge to Woolridge, dropping the "d". They say that this occured as a brother was an accused horse thief and in order not to be identified with him they dropped the "d" and became know by Woolridge.
There was a large group by the Wooldridge name in the town of Marblehead, Massachusetts. The name there is spelled: Wooldredge, Wooldridge, Wooldrige. These families were associated with the First Congregational Church of Marblehead and a few were associated with the Second Congregational Church. There are records of births, baptism, death and marriages available for 1720-1840s. Some of these early family groups were:
William and Sarah Woolridge. Their children were:
Thomas Wooldridge baptized 1725
John Wooldridge baptized 1727
Robert Wooldridge baptized 1729
Mary Wooldridge baptized 1733
Thomas Wooldridge baptized 1736
John and Mary (Pittman) Wooldridge married 03 Oct 1750. Their children were:
Mary Wooldridge baptized 1751
Sarah Wooldridge baptized 1752
Margarett Wooldridge baptized 1755
Agnes Wooldridge baptized 1756 John Wooldridge baptized 1759
William Wooldridge baptized 1760
Robert Wooldridge baptized 1763
Thomas Wooldridge baptized 1765
Sarah Wooldridge baptized 1767
Anna Wooldridge baptized 1769
William and Margaret (Pittman) Wooldridge married 17 Aug 1747. Their children were:
William Wooldridge baptized 1748
Robert Wooldridge baptized 1750
Sarah Wooldridge baptized 1752
William Wooldridge baptized 1755
John Wooldridge baptized 1756
Thomas Wooldridge baptized 1758
Margaret Wooldridge baptized 1761
Margaret Wooldridge baptized 1762
Mary Wooldridge baptized 1764
Benjamin Wooldridge baptized 1769
Robert and Charity (Foot) Wooldrige married 20 Sep 1774. There is
one child listed:
Robert Wooldrige baptized 1775
Thomas and Elizabeth (Carrel) Wooldridge married 13 Feb 1778.
William and Elizabeth (Barber) Wooldridge married 26 Dec 1778.
*Thomas and Mary (Gale) Wooldridge married 27 Feb 1787. There is one child listed:
Ambrose Wooldridge born 1802
*This may be the same person as Capt. Thomas Wooldridge mentioned later.
Benjamin and Rebecca Wooldridge. Their children were:
Rebecca Wooldridge baptized 1792
Benjamin Wooldridge baptized 1794
William Wooldridge baptized 1797 died 1821
John and Elizabeth Wooldridge. There is one child listed:
Robert Wooldridge baptized 1792
Capt. John amd Tabitha (Pousland) Wooldridge married 11 Feb 1783. Tabitha died in 1833. Their children were:
Tabby Wooldridge baptized 1783
John Wooldridge baptized 1785
Mary Wooldridge baptized 1787
William Wooldridge baptized 1789 died 1813
Thomas Wooldridge baptized 1795
Elizabeth Wooldridge baptized 1797
Elizabeth Wooldridge baptized 1799
Sarah Wooldridge baptized 1802
Robert and Mary Wooldridge. There are two children listed:
Charity Wooldridge baptized 1792
Robert Wooldridge baptized 1795 died 1822
Capt. Thomas and Mary Wooldredge. Their children were:
Thomas Wooldredge born 1787
Samuel Wooldredge born 1791
John Wooldredge born 1795
Mary Wooldredge born 1797
Mary Wooldredge born 1798
William Wooldredge born 1800
Joseph Wooldredge born 1802
Margaret Wooldredge born 1807
William and Sarah (Clark) Wooldridge married 13 Jan 1787. Their children were:
Sally Wooldridge baptized 1787
Othniel B. Wooldridge baptized 1789
Mary B. Wooldridge baptized 1791
Thomas Wooldridge baptized 1793
Hannah Wooldridge baptized 1796
William Wooldridge baptized 1797
Some of those in Massachusetts by the name of Wooldridge were:
Cpt. Thomas Wooldridge 1765
Benjamin Wooldridge 1769
Thomas Wolldreidge Cambridge 1775
John Wooldridge Marblehead 1775
Thomas Wooldridge Marblehead 1775
John Wooldreidg Cambridge 1776
Robert Wooldredge Marblehead 1776
Nathaniel Wooldridge Boston 1777
William Wooldridge Marblehead 1776
*William Wooldridge Hampden County 1790
Samuel Wooldridge 1791
**Benjamin Wooldridge Essex County 1800
John Wooldridge Essex County 1800
Margaret Wooldridge Essex County 1800
Mary Wooldridge Essex County 1800
Rebecca Wooldridge Essex County 1800
Robert Wooldridge Essex County 1800
Thomas Wooldridge Essex County 1800
William Wooldridge Essex County 1800
Samuel G. Wooldridge Essex County 1800
William Wooldridge Marblehead 1822
Elizabeth Wooldridge (wife of Wm) Marblehead married 1822
Thomas Wooldridge Marblehead 1826
Lois Wooldridge (wife of Thomas) Marblehead 1826
Thomas Wooldridge Jr. Marblehead 1826
Sarah Wooldridge (wife of Tom Jr.) Marblehead 1849
William Wooldridge Marblehead 1829
Benjamin Wooldridge Marblehead 1829
Mary Wooldridge (wife of Ben) Marblehead married 1829
William W. Wooldridge (Ben's son) Marblehead born 1836
Thomas Wooldridge Marblehead 1838
Abigail Wooldridge (wife of Tom) Marblehead married 1838
William Wooldridge Marblehead 1837
Massachusetts Wooldridge families cont.:
Elizabeth Wooldridge (wife of Wm) Marblehead 1837
Elizabeth Wooldridge (dau. of Wm) Marblehead baptized 1837
Mary U. Wooldridge (dau. of Wm) Marblehead baptized 1837
Sarah H. Wooldridge (dau. of Wm) Marblehead baptized 1837
William Wooldridge (son of Wm) Marblehead baptized 1837
Harriet W. Wooldridge(dau. of Wm) Marblehead baptized 1840
Martha C. Wooldridge (dau. of Wm) Marblehead baptized 1840
William Wooldridge Marblehead 1838
Amanda Wooldridge (wife of Wm) Marblehead married 1838
William Wooldridge (son of Wm) Marblehead baptized 1840
Thomas Wooldridge (son of Wm) Marblehead baptized 1841
Joseph G. Wooldridge (a seaman) Marblehead 1839
Hannah R. Wooldridge (wife of Joe)Marblehead married 1839
Martha A. Wooldridge (dau. of Joe) Marblehead 1844
John Wooldridge (a shoemaker) Marblehead 1844
Elizabeth Wooldridge (wife of John)Marblehead 1844
Thomas Wooldridge (son of John) Marblehead 1844
Ann Wooldridge (dau. of John) Marblehead 1846
John Wooldridge (son of John) Marblehead 1849
Thomas Wooldridge Jr. Marblehead 1849
Sarah Wooldridge (wife of Tom Jr.) Marblehead married 1849
*This William Wooldridge was born in New York State and is believed to be the father of some of the New York branch of this family.
** Several of this family were reported as lost at sea, indicating perhaps involvement with a sea trade? They are buried at the Pond Street Burial Ground on the Hill of Marblehead, Massachusetts:
Wooldridge, Rebecca, wife of Benjamin, d. March 27, 1800, aged 32 y. 5m.
Wooldridge, Benjamin, lost at sea Sept, 1800, aged 31
Wooldridge, Capt. Thomas. Aug. 20, 1809, aged 44 y., 25 d. Wooldridge, William, son of Benjamin and Rebecca, at sea. Nov. 10, 1821.
Wooldridge, Benjamin, son of Benjamin. Nov. 26, 1852, aged 58 y., 6 m.
Wooldridge, Samuel G., son of Capt. Thomas and Mary, at sea. Aug. 1825, aged 34 y.
It is William Wooldridge who was living in Blandford Town, Hampden County, Massachusetts in 1790 that this writing will focus on. This is the William Wooldridge who
served in the Revolutionary War for Connecticut; who was born in "the narrows" of New York in 1759 and who later died in Cato, Cayuga County, New York on 03 Jul 1838. In 1812 he served in the War for New York and was living near Plattsburgh where he enlisted.
The 1790, 1800 and 1810 census indexes for New York do not have any by the Wooldridge name listed. The early Connecticut and Massachusetts census indexes do not list Wooldridges either but do contain Walbridges.
In Oneida County, New York in 1832 William Wooldridge applied for a military pension based on his Revolutionary War and War of 1812 service. According to these Military Pension Records William Wooldridge was born in the "narrows of New York" in 1759. The narrows was a portion of the Hudson River where it was very narrow. This area is in Dutchess County, New York. William Wooldridge died in Cato, Cayuga County, New York on 03 Jul 1838. William's son Warren lived in Cato, New York in 1840. These records indicated William Wooldridge was drafted for Connecticut for service in the Revolutionary War. He was living in or near New Hartford, Connecticut at that time. In 1790 this William Wooldridge was living in Blandford, Hampshire County, Massachusetts. There is also a William T. Wooldridge who served in the war of 1812 for New York. These are believed to be the same person. In 1799 William Wooldridge was living in Dutchess County, New York, as his daughter was born there. In 1812 William Wooldridge was living near Plattsburg, New York. In 1820 he was once again living in Dutchess County, New York. He lived in Pine Plains, New York, Coxsackie, New York and Annsville in Oneida County, New York.
His recollection (1832) of his record of Revolutionary War service indicates: "In the year 1776 in the spring of that year he was drafted as within stated in Cpt. Pomeroys Company -Lt. Cowdrey-Col. Canfields Rgt-Connt Troops he marched from New Hartford to Horse Neck and continued to serve at Horse Neck and about then until the expiration of his service in the winter following having served the full term & period of Nine Months - The troops were stationed there in houses and barracks and acted as a guard and as patrols through the adjoining country -- Gen Putnam frequently at Horse Neck and a Col Sprauge- " "In April 1777 when Danbury in Conn. was burnt this deponent then being a minute man in a company which a Capt /or Lieut Lymour was connected and marched from New Hartford to Danbury and there served to his best recollection for one month - which time on reflection since he made his annexed declaration is the true time of his service - being called upon as a volunteer militia man." "In July of 1779 at the time Norwalk was burnt this deponent then being a minute man in Capt Lymours Co. of New Hartford aforesaid marched to Norwalk and there served according to his best recollection one month - this on reflection since he made the within; being what he believes is the true & exact time of his then service ... "One of these documents contains the signature of William Wooldridge. It is clear that he included the "d" in his signature even though he is often referred to as William Woolridge.
William Wooldridge married Catherine Phelps on "Thanksgiving Day 1796" according to his application for military pension in 1832 by his own statement. They were married in
"Blandford State of Mass." by "one Mr. Smith Esq.". This is where it gets interesting. Catherine's name is reported as Phelps, Webb, Austin and Huston. In 1857 when Catherine applied for a widow’s pension she was living in Oswego County, New York and was 81 years of age. She stated her name before the marriage was Phelps. She signed with an "X", indicating her name was Catherine Huston. Her daughters, Mynervia Archer and Aurella Elbridge indicated she was Catherine Wooldridge, widow of William Wooldridge and also signed their documents with an "X". At one point in the record the name Phelps is crossed out and Webb is written in. Catherine reports she married William Wooldridge on 28 Nov 1796. Catherine states that "on the 1st day of January 1840 she married one Elihu Austin who died the 23 day of May 1855 that since the said Austins death she calls herself & is known as Catherine Woolbridge". She goes on to state that when they were married she lived in " Blandford Mass. that she lived there only three weeks after her marriage & then moved to Sandisfield Mass. where she resided one year & eight months she then removed with her husband to the town of Amenia, Dutchess Co. N Y to a village called Pine Plains from Pine Plains she moved to Coxsackie N Y that she does not remember the length of time she lived at Pine Plains & Coxsackie from Coxsackie she moved to the village of Gayburgh in the Town of Annsville Oneida Co N Y & while she resided at this place her husband the said William Woolbridge obtained his pension his papers were made out at home Oneida Co N Y she thinks by Judge Hathaway from Gayburgh she moved to Cato Cayuga Co N Y where her husband the said William Woolbridge died in 1838 that her residence is now in the Town of Oswego N Y and that she is now a widow." She goes on to state that " she was acquainted with Wm Woolbridge about one year before she was married to him That she knows of no public or private record proof of her marriage ... and that her oldest child Aurellia Woolbridge was born in August 1799 in Dutchess Co N Y." This document is signed with an "X". William Wooldridge was 37 years of age when he married Catherine Phelps who was 20 years of age. It is possible William Wooldridge was married prior to his marriage to Catherine Phelps and this may be where the reference to Catherine Webb originated.
The document that records William Wooldridge's War of 1812 service reads: "State of New York County of Oswego On this 15th day of April A. D. 1856 before me the undersigned, a Justice of the Peace duly authorized by law to administer oaths within and for the County and State aforesaid, personnaly appeared Catherine Woolbridge aged 78 years, a resident of the town of Oswego in the County of Oswego and State of New York; who being duly sworn by law, declares that she is the widow of William Woolridge deceased, who was a Private in the company commended by Captain Wallace in the regiment commanded by Col. Dolittle in the war with Great Britain declared by the United States on the 18th of June 1812. That her said husband enlisted or entered the service at Plattsburg about the first day of May A. D. 1814; for the term of time indefinite and continued in actual service in said war for the term of five weeks or about the middle of July A. D. 1814. She further states that she was married to the said William Woolbridge in Leyden Massachusetts on the Thanksgiving day of A. D. 1796 by one Squire Smith and that her name before her said marriage was Catherine Phelps" (Phelps being crossed out and Webb being written in it's place) "Webb that her said husband died at Cato, Cayuga Co N Y on the 3 day of July A. D. 1838 and that she is now a widow. She makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the Bounty Land to which she may be entitled on account of said service, under the Act approved the 3d day of March, 1855. She also declares that she has not received a Warrant for Bounty Land, under this or any other Act of Congress, nor made application therefor. She hereby appoints Franklin Hull of Syracuse, N. Y. her true and lawful Attorney, with power of substitution, to prosecute this her claim for land, to receive the Certificate or Warrent when issued, and to do all other acts necessary and proper in the premises to obtain from the proper authorities at Washington, or elsewhere, certified copies of Army or Navy records in which her said husband's service may be recorded, and to procure all evidence necessary to establish her claim." It is signed for her and she made her mark with an "X". It was witnessed: " We, Robert Acker and Clinton Acker residents of the town of Oswego in the County of Oswego and State of New York being duly sworn, do upon our oaths, declare that the foregoing declaration was signed and acknowledged by Catharine Woolbridge in our presence, and that we believe, from the appearance and statement of the applicant, that she is the identical person she presents herself to be." It is signed here by Robert Acker and Clinton Acker. It goes on to say: "The foregoing declaration and affidavit were sworn to and suscribed before me, on this day above written. And I certify that I know the affiants to be credible persons; that the claimant is the person she represents herself to be, and that I have no interest in the claim." It is signed here by John Pilling J. P..
William and Catherine Wooldridge had children:
Aurelius Wooldridge b. 13 Aug 1799
in Dutchess County, New York. She married ... Eldrege.
Walter Wooldridge b. 03 Apr 1801
Caroline Wooldridge b. 05 Mar 1803
Walker Wooldridge b. 10 Jun 1805
Warren Wooldridge b. 03 Mar 1807
Almond Wooldridge b. 25 Mar 1809
Mynerva Wooldridge b. 25 Aug 1815
She married Robert Acker.
Catherine stated that they had 11 children of which 6 were living in 1857. She said four died as infants so one of those above must have died when they were older. There are some conflicting statements in these records. These conflicts are accounted for by Catherine's advanced age, 80 years of age and the fact that the information was being written for her by a clerk. Pronunciations vary and therefore the words recorded may not be exact.
Some of the name of Wooldridge in New York were:
*William Wooldridge "the narrows" 1759
*William T. Wooldridge War of 1812 1812
Charles Wooldridge War of 1812 1812
Who was from Manilus, N. Y.
**George Wooldridge N.Y.C. 1st ward 1820
John Wooldridge Dutchess County 1820
*William Wooldridge Dutchess County 1820
George Wooldridge N.Y.C. 6th ward 1830
Truman Wooldridge Ontario County 1830
*William Wooldridge Oneida County 1830
William Wooldridge Dutchess County 1830
John Wooldridge Chenango County 1830
***William V. Wooldridge 1840
Jacob Wooldridge N.Y.C. 1840
George Wooldridge N.Y.C. 1840
John Wooldridge Chenango County 1840
****Warren W. Wooldridge Cayuga County 1840
John Wooldridge Chenango County 1850
Abraham Wooldridge Oswego County 1850
Charles Wooldridge Onogada County 1850
Elica Wooldridge Onogada County 1850
Warren Wooldridge Oswego County 1850
Warren Wooldridge Oswego County 1850
William Wooldridge Chenango County 1850
William T. Wooldridge Dutchess County 1850
Philo Wooldridge Dutchess County 1850
George Wooldridge Sullivan County 1860
Philo Wooldridge Dutchess County 1860
William Wooldridge Dutchess County 1860
Wilson Wooldridge Oswego County 1860
Amos Wooldridge Oswego County 1860
Henry Wooldridge Fulton County 1860
Warren Wooldridge Oswego County 1860
William Wooldridge Oswego County 1860
William Wooldridge Chenango County 1860
Napoleon Wooldridge New York City 1870
*****Almond Wooldridge Oneida County 1890
* These are believed to be the same person and the movement pattern fits that theory.
** In a book Early New York Naturalizations, there was found, what I believe, is the record of George Wooldridge's naturalization: “Wooldrich, George, mariner, subj. of Emporer of France; rec. by Sebastian Michel, fruiterer - 23 Mar. 1811”. This indicates that George Wooldridge came to New York in about 1811. As it states that he was a subject of the Emperor of France, he may
have come from France but also may have been living in French Canada. There were persons of the Wooldridge name in Canada at an early date. In this same reference there is note of, Wooldridge, John, labourer, subj. of G. B. (England); rec. by John Benham, brewer - 28 Aug. 1813. It also indicates; Christy, Joseph, fruiterer, subj. of G. B.; rec. by George Wooldridge, merchant, and Charles Delvecchio - 25 May 1830. I believe that George Wooldridge is a separate branch of the Wooldridge family who first came to New York City in 1811 and lived most of his life in that city. This family later removed to Wisconsin and then on to California.
***Relatives of William V. Wooldridge report his middle name was Van Rensselaer and that he was the son of Truman Wooldridge.
****It is known that Warren W. Wooldridge was the son of William Wooldridge (1759).
*****It is known that Almond Wooldridge was the son of William Wooldridge (1759). This notation is for service in the Civil War. As Almond Wooldridge was born in 1809, this may be one of his descendants, but could have been he himself?
It is my belief that the Marblehead, Massachusetts Wooldridge families (1720) are descendants of John Woolrich of Charlestowne, Massachusetts (1630) and that John Woolrich was related to Capt. William Woolridge from London (1629). The French and Indian War (1753-1763) caused a number of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania Colonials as well as Englishmen to serve the Crown and take areas of New York, Ohio and even Illinois from the French. I believe the Wooldridges were a part of this confrontation. I feel this is how William Wooldridge (1759) was born in "the Narrows of New York" and why he lived in Massachusetts and Connecticut before returning to New York in 1799.
In 1890 Sarah J. Wooldridge and her brother William H. Wooldridge were married in Hager Township, Berrien County, Michigan. Their parents are recorded as William Wooldridge and Jane Genet, which was later determined to be Jenette Elwell. It is also recorded that they were born in New York. Sarah Wooldridge married Edgar Brackett. In an attempt to link Sarah J. Wooldridge back to her parents in New York I searched several census records for William Wooldridges in New York with limited success. It would however appear that the John Wooldridge family that lived in Chenango County, New York are the most likely candidates. This family group lived in the town of Smyrna in Chenango County, New York. The 1850 census of Chenango County lists:
John Wooldridge age 60 Farmer b. in Vermont
Patience Wooldridge age 42 b. in Vermont
William Wooldridge age 24 Farmer b. in Vermont
This William Wooldridge fits the profile of the future husband of Janette Elwell. It has also been discovered that their daughter Polly Wooldridge was born about 1868 in Chenango County, New York.
The 1810 census of Vermont lists a John Woledge as living in Fairfield, Franklin County, Vermont. This may be the John Wooldridge mentioned above.
There were persons by the name of Wooldridge in Ohio as early as 1850 and it is known
that some of the pioneers in Berrien County, Michigan had moved from New York into Ohio prior to coming to Michigan. There is a William and Jane Wooldridge in Summit County, Ohio as late as 1880 but upon further investigation they were not Sarah J. Wooldridge's parents as they were too old in 1870 to have given birth to her. Sarah J. Wooldridge was in Berrien County, Michigan in 1890 at the age of 20 years and this Jane Wooldridge was 59 years old in 1870. This William Wooldridge also stated he was born in England.
Page 83 of Liber "G" of the Berrien County Marriage Records records the marriage of Edgar L. Brackett and Sarah J. Wooldridge. It states the license was issued on November 01, 1890. On November 03, 1890 they were married and had both been living in Hager Township of Berrien County, Michigan. It reports that Edgar's father was John W. Brackett and his mother was Sarah Brant. Sarah's father is recorded as William Wooldridge and her mother as Jane Genet*. The record also indicates that Sarah Wooldridge was born in New York. The witnesses to the marriage were William H. Wooldridge and Olive Powell. Edgar L.Brackett was 21 years of age and Sarah Wooldridge was 18 years of age.
Page 83 of Liber "G" of the Berrien County Marriage Records also records the marriage of Willaim H. Wooldridge and Olive Powell. William is reportedly 21 years of age and Olive Powell is 18 years of age. Their license was also issued on November 01, 1890 and they were married on November 03, 1890. This was a double ceremony as Edgar and Sarah Brackett witnessed this marriage. William H. Wooldridge's father is listed as William Wooldridge and his mother is listed as *Jane Genet. Olive Powell's mother is listed as Sarah Brant and her father as John Powell. Olive Powell is listed as being from Royalton Township and William H. Wooldridge is listed as being from Hager Township. William H. Wooldridge is listed as being born in New York and Olive Powell as being born in Iowa.
The Justice of the Peace who performed both these ceremonies was, Talma Hendrick. They took place in Hager Township.
Edgar Brackett and Olive Powell were half brother and sister. They had the same mother, Sarah Brant but different fathers.
*The name Jane Genet was in error. It has been found that William H. Wooldridge and Sarah J. Wooldridge's mother's name was Jenette Elwell. Her given name is also seen as Genette.
Page 323 of Liber "J" of the Berrien County Marriage Records records the second marriage of William H. Wooldridge. On 01 Nov 1909 in Benton Harbor, Willaim H. Wooldridge married Mary Chaddock Negus. It would appear from the record that she had also been married before and that her maiden name was Chaddock. William was 42 years of age and Mary was 23 years of age. Willaim H. Wooldridge's father is listed as William Wooldridge and his mother is listed as ... Elwell.
I have searched in 10 states to find William and Jenette Wooldridge with no success. Every William Wooldridge I found did not fit this family’s profile. There were three William Wooldridges in Iowa in 1870 who may provide a link. Edgar L. Brackett was raised in Iowa. His sister Olive Powell was born in Iowa, her father's name was John Powell. There are John Powell families in Iowa in 1870, some in the same counties as the William Wooldridge families.
It is possible that this is where Sarah J. Wooldridge and her brother William H. Wooldridge met Edgar L. Brackett and Olive Powell. Sarah J. Powell, Edgar Brackett and Olive Powell's mother, Sarah Brant Brackett Powell, returned to Michigan and they may have accompanied her. Both the William H. Wooldridge and Sarah J. (Wooldridge) Brackett families lived in Michigan. Their connection to New York, other than through the Elwell family, may remain a mystery.
By 1860 the only Wooldridge listed on the census in Western New York was a William Wooldridge living in Smyrna in Chenango County.
William Wooldridge married Jenette Elwell in New York abt. 1865 and their children were:
Polly Wooldridge b. Nov. 1866, Chenango Co. N.Y.
William H. Wooldridge b. Jul 1867 in N.Y.
Sarah Jane Wooldridge b. Aug 1873 in Michigan
Berton Wooldridge b. Sep 1875 in Nebraska
Isaac Wooldridge b. Apr 1880 in Nebraska
Martha Wooldridge b. Aug 1885 in Michigan
Sarah (Wooldridge) Brackett died on 22 Dec 1926. Her obituary was found in the Benton Harbor News Palladium on 23 Dec 1926 and reads: “New Troy. Dec. 23-Mrs. Sarah Brackett, wife of Edward Brackett, who with her husband, has been a resident of New Troy for 25 or 30 years, passed away Wednesday evening at 9 o’clock. She had been ill and confined to her bed for some time with erysipelas and heart trouble. She was 52 years old. The deceased leaves a son, Walter and a daughter, Mrs. Peter Ferry, both of New Troy, two brothers in Muskegon, and two siters, one in South Haven and the other in Illinois. The Bracketts have been known here where they have resided on the same farm three miles southeast of New Troy for many years. Funeral services will be held Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Brethren church, of which the deceased was a member. Rev. John English, will officiate. Burial is to be in the New Troy cemetery.”
The 1900 census of South Haven in Van Buren County, Michigan shows the Wooldridge family living on Lagrange Street:
Woldridge, Genette b. Jan 1846 in Connecticut who was 54 years of age day laborer
Polly b. Nov 1866 in New York who was 33 years of age day labor
William b. Jul 1867 in New York who was 32 years of age day labor
Berton b. Sep 1875 in Michigan who was 24 years of age Basket Maker
Isaac b. Apr 1880 in Nebraska who was 20 years of age Basket Maker
Martha b. Aug 1885 in Michigan who was 14 years of age at School
Genette Wooldridge was a widow and had been married 34 years. She had six children and all six were living in 1900. Polly had been married for 16 years and had seven children and all seven were living in 1900 but not at this address? According to this record Genette would have married in 1865 or 1866. This record indicates her husband was born in New York State. They were renting the place they were living in. Records indicate Polly Wooldridge married Soloman Hobogart on 02 Jan 1884 in Allegan, Michigan. The Basket Factory in South Haven was the Pierce-Williams Company and they made baskets for the fruit industry around South Haven. Fruit was sent via ship to Chicago from there.
The 1910 census of South Haven shows the Wooldridge family living on Eagle Street:
Wooldridge, William 42 years of age who was born in New York, Engineer, Basket Factory
Mary J. 23 years of age who was born in Michigan
William H. 2 months of age who was born in Michigan
Isaac 30 years of age who was born in Nebraska, Laborer, Basket Factory
Wooldridge, Burton E. 31 years of age who was born in Nebraska, Laborer, Basket Factory
Eva J. 18 years of age who was born in Michigan (his wife)
Woolridge, Sarah 17 years of age who was born in Michigan, “Top Maker” Basket Factory
Sarah was living in the household of Josiah and Justeena Arbogast and is listed as a niece. Looking at the age of this Justeena she could be Justine Elwell, Jenette’s sister. She was born in Connecticut. They had been married 30 years but this is listed as her 2nd marriage. She was 53 years of age in 1910 so she would have been born in 1856. This Sarah Wooldridge appears to be the daughter of William H. and Olive (Powell) Wooldridge. Qlive’s mother was Sarah (Brant) Brackett Powell
This record indicates William had been married three times.
The records of the Lakeview Cemetery in South Haven list the following Wooldridge burials:
Andrew Wooldridge b. 1873 d. 1893
Frances Wooldridge b. 1864 d. 1908
Jennett Wooldridge b. 1849 d. 1916
William H. Wooldridge b. 1867 d. 1910
It is not clear who Andrew or Frances were.
The Van Buren County Clerk’s Office holds the following Wooldridge records:
Liber D page 22 has the Death Record of William H. Wooldridge he was 43 years, 4 months and 25 days old when he died on 26 Nov 1910. He would have been born 01 Jul 1867. He died in South Haven and was listed as a “Fireman”. The record says his father was William Wooldridge and his mother was Jeanette E. Elwell. It also indicates he was born in New York and that he was married at the time of his death.
Liber D page 123 has the Death Record of Eva Wooldridge she was 24 years, 1 month and 23 days old when she died on 05 Jul 1915 in South Haven. She was the daughter of William and Cynthia (Stearns) Chaddock. The name of her husband was not listed but it is known to be Berton Wooldridge.
Liber C page 335 has the marriage record of Martha Wooldridge and Warren B. Abrams. He was 20 years of age and she was 18 years of age. They were married on 31 Oct 1904 by Justice of the Peace Alijah E. Ketchum. Her father is listed as William Wooldridge and her mother as Janette Elwell. This was the daughter of William and Jenette (Elwell) Wooldridge.
Liber D page 375 has the marriage record of Mary Wooldridge and Alfred Leader. She was 37 years of age and he was 56 years of age. They were married in South Haven on 31 Jul 1925. Her maiden name was listed as Chaddock. This was the third marriage for each. It appears she was the sister of Eva (Chaddock) Wooldridge and her husbands name was not found. She was the widow of William H. Wooldridge. They had married in 1909 and he died in 1910.
Record #6840 of the Allegan County Death Records is for Jenette (Elwell) Wooldridge and they have her last name spelled Woolbridge. “Jeanett Woolbridge” died on 09 Jun 1916 in Casco Township. The record indicates she was born in Connecticut, as were her parents. The record indicates her father was “Isaac Elwel” and her mother was “Thankful Wilson”. Jenette (Elwell) Wooldridge was 69 years, 4 months and 24 days old when she died. This record would make her birth date, 16 Feb 1847?
Jenette (Elwell) Wooldridge probably died at the home of her daughter who lived in Casco Township. You can find Burr and Martha Arbrams in the 1910 census there and in the 1920 census they are listed as Warren B. and Martha Abrams. It does not appear that they had any children.
Polly Wooldridge married Solomon Hobogart in Grand Junction on 02 Jan 1884. He was born in Birstol, Indiana and she was born in Shenango (Chenango) County, New York. Polly was 16 years of age at the time of her marriage so she would have been born about 1868. Grand Junction is in Van Buren County today and maybe they were married there but recorded the marriage in Allegan County?
Sarah (Wooldridge) Brackett was born in Aug of 1873 and it is recorded that she was born in Michigan. This family was in New York until about 1870, in Michigan until about 1880, in Nebraska until about 1884 and then returned to Michigan by 1890.
Edgar L. Brackett and Sarah Jane Wooldridge married in Berrien County, Michigan in 1890.
Their son Walter Madison Brackett married Cora Elizabeth Upson in Berrien County, Michigan in 1915.
Their son Harold Earl Brackett married 2nd Arvena Ula Daniel (nee Hambrick) in Berrien County, Michigan in 1947.
Their son William Brackett married Jane Hauch in Lakeside, Berrien County, Michigan in 1970.