Woods and Others in Bath County, Va. and Elsewhere

John A. Wood, Jr. [r606]

Introduction.  (2010) Between about 1986 and 1996 I researched my father's family, the Woods of Bath County, in an effort to learn where I came from. I wrote up my findings and self-published them in 1996, in the form of a book titled Woods and Others in Bath County, Va. and Elsewhere. It consisted of 188 pages that were photocopied and stapled together, about 1/2 inch thick. Since that time I have collected a lot of additional material— much of it contributed by interested readers— and I have wanted to get out a more complete edition, but it didn't seem I could expand much beyond a half-inch, because the photocopy shops cannot staple together much more than that thickness. I rejected other publishing options— the so-called "perfect binding" technique, wherein the spine of the stack of pages is dipped in glue, producing a book that begins to fall apart in about 10 years; and traditional bookbinding with signatures and stitching, which is too expensive. The obvious solution, in this age, was to put the book on the internet. So here you see the beginnings of such an effort, a true "work in progress."

Digital publishing has some obvious advantages: the document is free to the reader; there is much more space (almost infinite space) to expand the story into; the pages can include much nicer photos, and more of them, than my photocopied book, in color where a colored image is available; it is fast and easy with hyperlinks to jump between family members, footnotes, and references; and changes can quickly and easily be made when errors are discovered and new information becomes available. Of course there are some disadvantages too: There's no substitute for having a durable book that you can put in your bookshelf; and you might not want your family's history freely available to the world. (If you find anything about your family in this site that you would prefer not to have circulated, tell me and I will instantly remove it.) And, some day I will not be around to maintain the site.

So here are some details. I can't draw a family tree of the entire Wood family, but in Fig. Ia I show a pruned treetrunk that contains the main line of descent of Woods this site focuses on. Note: some of the names in this diagram are on "hot spots"— if you click on the name, it will open that person's web page.

The site consists of a series of articles, usually about a married couple and their children. Many of the names are hyperlinked to other articles about parents, children, etc. In the text, these linked names glow a blue color. All you have to do is click on one of them to be transferred to the related page. Then if you click on your browser's version of "Go back one page," you can return to the last article. The "hot spots" just described do not glow, but the appearance of your cursor changes when you move over one of them.

You can look up the page for a particular person by clicking on "Index of People" at the top of the page (at least for some pages, the most recently installed ones). Several other options are also listed at the tops of pages.

My research has been very rewarding and a lot of fun. I’ve met the Woods of Botetourt County Va. and Randolph County W.Va., who form essential parts of the story. They have been very friendly and forthcoming with information, pictures, recollections, and hospitality. (The Annual Wood Family Reunion in Mingo W.Va. is not to be missed—first Saturday in August, at the Mingo Presbyterian Church.) By now about as much space in the book is devoted to Botetourt County plus Randolph County as to Bath County.

Then why such a Parochial Title for the book and the web site? That is, why relegate those counties to the term “and elsewhere”? Mostly just tradition. I’ve gotten out several editions titled Woods and Others in Bath County and Elsewhere, and it’s hard to change. Also, let’s face it, that’s the particular line I came from and they’re the Woods I know the most about.

Do the R numbers assigned have any Significance? They are grouped as follows:

R250-R280, Descendants of Joseph and Mary Wood
R300-R307, Forebears of Sarah [Gilliland] Wood
R350-R378, Descendants of Edward and Sarah Wood
R400-R408, Forebears of Rebecca [Entsminger] Wood
R450-R458, Descendants of Francis Marion and Rebecca Wood
R500-R524, Forebears of Emma [Burger] Wood
R550-R563, Children of Lewis Edward and Emma Katherine Wood
     and their spouses
R570-R582, Forebears of spouses of [R550-R569]
R600-R605, Descendents of [R550-R569]

Within each of the categories named, numbers are assigned pretty randomly. Some of the R numbers (R020-R024 and R900-R916) deal not with people but with places, situations, and long documents. I have removed most of the deeds that I once had in the R900 group. There are just too many deeds by now to reproduce them, and they aren’t all that interesting anyhow. I have retained wills and the appraisements and sales of property of the deceased, as these are rather interesting.

Sources. The text cites them with numbers like [S123], a reference to paragraph S123 in the section titled References and Endnotes. In these I have tried to credit and thank the many people who have helped with this book. I am truly grateful to them. S references can also consist of little notes, too short for an R900 article but too much of a digression to leave in the main text. “[See S123]” generally means a note rather than a credit.

Conventions. Here are some commonly used abbreviations. b. = born; ch. = children; d. = died; dau. = daughter; div. = divorced; s. = son; ~ = approximately.

Having to do with court house documents, DBx-y means Deed Book x, page y. Where I have omitted mention of which county’s deed book it is, I hope this is obvious. WBx-y stands for Will Book x, page y; SBx-y refers to the County Surveyor’s Book (which contains records of land obtained by patent rather than purchase; i.e., virgin land gotten from the state).

All the maps in this book are oriented so north is straight up. Figure Ib shows where each of these maps fits in the larger scheme of things.

I have used [square brackets] to identify interjections of mine in somebody else’s quoted material.

My original book was a lot of work, and I cannot write it all over again for this web site. So necessarily, most of the material on this site came from the book. This means that much of it is badly outdated, at least in the pages for living people. Time passes so fast. People age, have more children, move, die, divorce, and so forth, and  most of my pages still describe the way things were in 1996. I will try to make this clear by inserting a little date at the beginning of each page— usually "(1996)"— to make it clear when the information was current. Best if you will help me update things, by sending corrections and new information.

And in Conclusion. I’ve had a great deal of fun researching the family. It has mostly satisfied my curiosity (though I wish I could get back before 1750), I enjoy dwelling in the past, and it has been the means of my meeting numerous excellent cousins who I would not have met otherwise. I will appreciate hearing from readers who can supply additional information and pictures, or who can point out and correct the errors that I am sure (alas) are abundant on this site. Almost a generation has elapsed since I began this project, and it is time to install a set of pages for the new people. Please write for me! By the way, I only need to borrow photographs. I can scan them into computer memory in a few minutes, then I promise I’ll return them. Or if you have digital images, you can email them to me.

John A. Wood
71 Langdon Street
Cambridge MA 02138-2501
(617) 661-7628