John Wooldridge, Grandson of John Wooldridge, Blacksmith of VA

This John Wooldridge, the third John in my husband’s line and the grandson of John the blacksmith and probably Martha Osborne, is the man about which the least is known.

First, it is thought that John was born about 1733, likely in Henrico County, Virginia, being the son of John Wooldridge and Elizabeth Branch.

John would have married about 1758 or thereabouts. However, it isn’t known whether he married once or twice. It is believed that his wife, or one of his wives if married more than once, was a daughter of James Farley who died in Chesterfield County, Virginia in 1779.

Will of James Farley, Chesterfield County, VA 1779

In the name of God amen this ninteenth Day of February in the year of our Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred & seventy nine I James Farley of Chesterfield County being sick & weak in Body but of perfect mind & memory do make % ordain this my last Will & Testament in manner & form following

Item I give and bequeath unto my Son James one Shilling Sterling
Items I give & bequeath unto my Son Henry all my wearing Cloathes
Item I give & bequeath unto my Son David one Shilling Sterling
Item I give & bequeath unto my Son Edward one Shilling Sterling
Item I give & bequeath unto my grand Daughter Elizabeth Wooldridge the feather Bed she lies on while with me & the Furniture that belongs to it also the little Chest & half the pewter that is found mine
Item I give & bequeath unto my Daughter Betty Phillips Hopkins the feather Bed The (other?) Furniture & also the other half of pewter & my great Chest

I Desire that my Estate be not appraised & that my Stock of Horses Cattle Hogs & Sheep & the other part of my House-Hold & Kitchen Furniture be sold at public Sale & after my Just Debts are paid the Money to be divided equally between all my Daughters
I Desire that my Son Henry Farley & Benjammon Hopkins be my Executors of this my last Will & Testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & affixed my seal the Day & Year above written.

James (F) Farley seal
 His mark

Signed sealed & delivered
In the presence of. . .
Julius Hatcher, Josiah Hatcher, Robert Wooldridge, Henry Hatcher} Witnesses

Among those mentioned in his will is granddaughter Elizabeth Wooldridge, who is thought to be the daughter of this John Wooldridge.

I’ve also seen statements that his wife was named Mary, but no mention is made as to whether John married more than once.

John Wooldridge died about 1781 or 1782, reportedly in Bedford County, Virginia, but no record confirmation has yet been found.

An estate inventory for one John Wooldridge is entered into court minutes in July 1783 in Chesterfield County, Virginia:

Inventory of John Wooldridge, Chesterfield County, VA, 1783

Unless there is a battle between legatees, or the estate is particularly valuable, inventories aren’t normally filed when a will has been proven in court.

John’s father, also John Wooldridge, left a will dated 16 November 1780, but I was unable to determine when it was entered into the court records.

This 1783 inventory isn’t very lengthy and makes me think this was John, his son, who then didn’t die in Bedford County, Virginia. No evidence has been found of him residing there.

There are four children attributed to John Wooldridge:

  1. James, born 26 November 1760, Chesterfield County, Virginia; died before 11 October 1839, Prince Edward County, Virginia; married Ann (Nancy) Coleman, c1796. If his mother was a Farley, it could be that he was named for his maternal grandfather.
  2. Elizabeth Branch, believed to be the grandchild mentioned in James Farley’s will; no further record
  3. John?
  4. Sarah?


If you can help fill in any data on these four children, I would certainly appreciate it.

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