Hello to the Wood family members.This is John in California and I am a family history researcher.I was contacted by a Wood family relative in Colorado and asked if I could do some research on the family name and lineage.
So far, I have traced the family from 1459 in Yorkshire England.Through many generations in the Halifax parish, the Wood family prospered.By the 1600s, they had settled in the North Oram and Shelf area and were members of Reverend Richard Denton and his Puritan congregation.
In 1635, Edmund Wood and his children traveled to Salem Massachusetts with Reverend Denton and his congregation.By the 1700s, we find many of them on Long Island as the first settlers of Hempstead.Branches of the family moved to Upstate New York to the Finger Lakes district around Venice in Cayuga County NY.
The land they settled in Cayuga was granted to Lieutenant Jonas Wood of Goshen NY for his Revolutionary War duties as reparations for his services.Captain Daniel Wood was Jonas' brother and also received land for his service in the Revolution.Daniel's son, John would become Governor of Illinois in 1860.
This branch eventually arrived in Colorado and continues there today.
There are many conflicting reports on the Wood's in Yorkshire.While I can't say at this point, which is which and what is what, I have concluded a few thoughts.
The del Wode family of Almondbury in Yorkshire was likely the source of the Yorkshire name.We find them in the 1200s occupying the manor at Almondbury, near Huddersfield.By the 1300s, there are three distinct family branches; Almondbury, Fixby and Sowerby.These branches continue into the 1500s. All are within a few miles of each other.
As for the origins of the family name, I am inclined to be satisfied with the forester label.Sowerbyshire, as well as, the Huddersfield regions contained vast forests in the 1100s.During these feudal times, the Earls needed to protect the lands under their command and so, Forester's were designated to protect these lands from poachers, hunters, firewood gatherers, etc.We often see references in the Manor Court rolls for offenses commited by folks, who stole wood, sheep, deer, etc. from the Earls forest. So, a Forester would have been 'of the Wood' or del Wode.In the Wakefield Court rolls, there are many references to the del Wode as Foresters in Sowerby, Ovenden and Fixby.
There are of course, many other explanations for the name, but for the Yorkshire Wood's, this would be my choice.
I have traced the family from Christopher Wood, born in Ovenden (Halifax parish) in 1459.His descendants includes, Richard (1484-1553) > Richard Jr (1515-1588) > Edmund (1547-1615) > Edmund Jr. (1578-1660).Edmund Jr and his family of 5 children arrived in America in 1635 aboard the ship, James with 100 other Puritans.They migrated from Salem throughout Connecticut and by the 1650s had arrived in Hempstead on Long Island.From here, several branches left the Island and migrated North, West, and South.
If any of the Wood family members are interested in any of these details, just let me know at this forum or at