Husband: Joseph Wood
Born: ~1740
Died: 1816, in Botetourt County, Va.

Wife: Martha (Mary) (Epperson or Apperson) Wood
Father: Francis Epperson [R200]

Married: ~1765 (I assume a year before the birth of their first child). Not
      listed in Marriages of Prince Edward County, Virginia 1754-1810
      [S035]. The marriage is not recorded in Charlotte County either
      [S063], but the County was not formed until that year.

Carlos Wood, 3/14/1766-~8/1828 [R250]
Mary (Wood) Stull, 1/6/1768-? [R259]
Elizabeth Wood, 6/3/1770-1837. Unmarried, appears to have lived with
      her brother Thomas, died at the “old homestead” [S083]
Lucy Wood, 8/22/1772-? Married T. Reyburn (?), died at “old
      homestead” [S083]
     Martha (Wood) Moore, 7/27/1774-? [R260]
     Ann Wood, 7/27/1774-1847. Unmarried, died at “old homestead”
Edward Wood, 2/22/1777-~1848 [R003]
Thomas Wood, 1/5/1780-March 25 1849 [R252]
Sarah (Wood) Rowland, 6/1/1783-1856 [R277]
Joseph Wood, 10/11/1786-6/16/1851 [R254]
Francis Wood, 3/7/1789-? (Died at “old homestead” [S083])
James Wood, 6/20/1790-11/1846 [R253]

(2010) An entry in [S140] says “Joseph Woods (born around 1740, died after 1795): private in a Virginia unit; married to Mary Apperson.” I take this to mean Joseph filed a claim as a veteran of the Revolutionary War in 1795. According to family tradition Joseph was born in England, but this is unsubstantiated.

The Prince Edward County Deed Books record the purchase by Joseph Wood, on 6/22/1776, of 100 acres of land in that county from John Leigh for £12 [S029]. He would have been ~32 then, a reasonable age to have saved enough money to buy some land or at least make a down payment and borrow the rest. The Charlotte County Deed Books record four purchases and three sales of land by a Joseph Wood in the same period (1776-1790) [S068].

Joseph and his family appear to have moved from Prince Edward to Charlotte County about 1779: son Edward was born in Prince Edward County in 1777, but sons Thomas and Joseph were born in Charlotte County, in 1780 and 1786 respectively. However, Joseph continued to invest in Prince Edward County land; on 7/27/1785 he bought an additional 300 acres of land from Samuel Arbuckle for £500 (DB7-198). The deed speaks of him as Joseph Wood “of Charlotte County.” A deed of 162.5 acres of Charlotte County land from Thomas Epperson (see [R200]) to Elijah Clark in 1797 (DB8-68) describes the lot as being “...on the head branches of Dunnivent Creek the tract of land whereas Joseph Woods family lived...” [S077]. One of the Constables of Charlotte County in 1783 was named Joseph Wood [S069]. (However, the 1782 census of Charlotte County lists no Joseph Wood.)

On 7/18/1782, a Joseph Wood patented 250 acres of virgin land on Craigs Creek in Botetourt County (SB1-99). The probable location of the tract is shown in Fig. R002a. In 1788 the Joseph Wood of this section was ~44, eleven of his thirteen children had been born, and his first son Carlos had married (1787). On March 8 of that year Joseph sold 100 acres of his Prince Edward County land, described as “on the Sandy River,” to Thomas Worsham of Amelia County (DB8-69) for £27. About that time he moved his family to Botetourt County, perhaps settling on the Craigs Creek tract. On 9/1/1789 Joseph, now described by the Prince Edward County Deed Book as being “of Botetourt County,” sold 300 acres of land “on the south side of the Buffalo River” to Daniel Boice of Powhatan County for £225 (DB8-160). This appears to have been the last of Joseph’s Prince Edward County holdings. His last sale of Charlotte County property was in 1790 [S068].

In 1802, Joseph Wood bought 454 acres of land in Botetourt County from the estate of Alexander Breckenridge (who had moved to Kentucky before he died; DB8-17). The property consisted of an island in the James River (Fig. R002b) plus a larger amount of land north of the river (tracts I1, I2, and J1-J5 in Fig. R002c). The island was known as Cahogan’s (or Gauhagen’s) Island, but its name then became Wood’s Island, and it is still so labeled on maps. A month after he bought this property Joseph sold tract J4 to his son-in-law Thomas Moore [R260] and tract J5 to George Stull, father of his future son-in-law John Stull [R259]. In time the descendants of Joseph and Martha populated this portion of Botetourt County so abundantly that it came to be called “Wood Town” (Fig. R002d).

The home Joseph built, which was called “Pleasant Hill,” probably stood near the point labeled “Brick Mansion” (reference to a later structure) in Fig. R002c. Judging by the property inventory after his death [R901], Joseph raised corn, livestock, and hemp.

The 1810 Census [S034] records Joseph Wood as the head of a household consisting of 3 white males between 16 and 26 (this would be Joseph Jr., 24; Francis, 21; and James, 20); 1 male between 26 and 45 (probably Thomas, 30, since Carlos and Edward were married by then and probably had their own households); 1 male older than 45 (Joseph Sr. himself, ~65); 3 females between 26 and 45 (this would be Elizabeth, 40; Ann, 36; and Sarah, 27; it’s unclear if or when Lucy, 38, married); no females older than 45 (which appears to mean that Joseph’s wife Martha had died by then); 2 other free persons; and 10 slaves.

Joseph Wood’s will [R900] was written in March 1814 and probated in Botetourt County in April 1816. It named as heirs his children Carlos, Edward, Thomas, Joseph, James, Mary Stull, Martha Moore, Elizabeth, Ann, and Sally. His property was assessed in May of that year [R901]. The inventory shows that he was rather well-to-do, having 14 slaves and a library that included treatises on law, medicine, religion, history, elocution, geography, and astronomy. (However, probably in keeping with the tradition of that time, he did not believe in educating his daughters. The wills of Elizabeth, Ann, and Sarah are signed with “x”s.)

In his will, Joseph divided his property between his sons Joseph and James. He also bequeathed to them 450 acres of “Mountain land adjoining their other land.” I have no idea where this was located. He divided his slaves among all of his children except Lucy and Francis, who are not mentioned [R900].

When Martha died is not known. Two deeds from 1802 in Botetourt County name Martha as Joseph’s wife but Joseph’s will [R900], written in 1814, does not speak of a wife. The place where Joseph and Martha Wood were buried is also unknown. There are no headstones earlier than 1849 in the Wood Family Cemetery near Glen Wilton, where many later Woods were buried [S067]. Antonia Wood McCoy [S083], Joseph’s great-great-great-granddaughter, says according to family tradition there was an older cemetery somewhere between the present Wood cemetery and the James Wood house shown in Fig. R002c, but this vanished long ago [see R023].

Joseph’s will (1814) says “I give...all my household furniture to be for the use of my five Children that is now living with me to be Equally divided...” These were probably Elizabeth (44), Ann (40), Sarah (31), Francis (25), and James (24). Sarah and James would soon marry and make their own lives, but family tradition is that Elizabeth and Ann (spinsters), Lucy (later widowed?), and Francis died at “the old homestead” in later years [S083]. Francis is a puzzle. He was not mentioned in his father’s (1814) or his sister Elizabeth’s (1837) wills, but sister Ann’s will (1847) left him a slave girl named Susan, so he had not died. I speculate that he may have been mentally defective, or otherwise handicapped in a way that prevented him from making his way in the world.

These dependents presumably were inherited by Joseph Wood Jr. [R254] along with the central portion of Joseph Sr.’s farm and the “old homestead.” One wonders about the nature of their relationship with Joseph Jr. and, after he bought the property in 1836, their brother Thomas [R252]. The surprising thing is that Elizabeth’s will [R914] disposes of seven slaves, and Ann’s will [R915] bequeaths no less than 16 of them. Slaves were the most valuable possessions one could have, in dollar value, except for real estate, and it is hard to imagine how Elizabeth and Ann, in their positions of dependency, could have amassed this much wealth, and what use was made of their slaves. In a codicil to her will written after the ownership of the home she lived in had shifted from Joseph Jr. to Thomas, Elizabeth wrote Joseph out of her will because in 1827 he had charged her $222 for ten years of upkeep of her slaves (i.e., since the death of their father). This suggests Elizabeth had not placed the labor potential of her slaves at the disposal of Joseph Jr., who maintained her. (Elizabeth gave Joseph’s share of her estate to Thomas instead.)

Sources: [S017, S030, S031, S032, S077, S079, S083, S156]