Family Sketch of John Woodward & Susannah Grout of Sudbury, MA

Now it is clear that there were two John Woodwards who married two different women in two different towns and only one – John Woodward who married Susannah Grout – is my ancestor.

This branch of the Woodward family tree had difficulty flourishing in terms of descendants. As we saw in the family sketch of John Woodward and Saphira Moore, they lost several of their children at very young ages.

That must have been particularly hard on John because he, himself, had but one surviving brother and no known sisters. Being in a family with only two living children was extremely unusual in the 1600s and even in the 1700s.

John Woodward’s parents were John Woodward, who was born 12 December 1661, in Sudbury, the son of John Woodward and Abigail (Benjamin) Stubbs, who was the widow of Joshua Stubbs when she married for the second time and Susannah Grout, the daughter of John Grout and Sarah Busby.

As was pointed out yesterday, John Woodward and Susannah Grout were the parents of only three known children. (All events in Sudbury unless otherwise noted.):

1. John, born 17 April 1692; died before 5 April 1762, when his estate administration began in Middlesex County; married (1) Saphira Moore, 1 August 1721 (2) Abigail Learned, 10 March 1739/40, Sherborn, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

2. Daniel, born 22 April 1695; died between 11 April 1760, when he wrote his will, and 28 June 1760, when it was recorded in Middlesex County, Massachusetts; married (1) Sarah Goodenow, 21 August 1716 (2) Prudence Vorce, 18 October 1759.

3. Uriah, born 18 August 1701; died 10 May 1703.

Susannah (Grout) Woodward predeceased her husband by almost ten years, passing away in Sudbury on 2 April 1727. John Woodward wrote his will on 2 October 1736 and died sometime before it was probated three months later on 10 January 1736/37 in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

First Page of Will of John Woodward, 1736
Middlesex County, MA Case 25590
Source: American Ancestors

In the Name of God. Amen. the Seacond Day of October Anno Domini 1736. In the Tenth Year of His Majesties Reign etc I John Woodward of Sudbury In the County of Middlesex with in His Majesties Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England Yeoman: Being weak In body but of Perfect Mind and memory. Thanks be Given unto God: Therefore calling unto Mind the Mortallity of my Body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to Dye Do make and ordain this my Last will and Testament that is to Say Principally and first of all I Give and Recommend my Soul into the Hands of God that Gave it and my Body I Recommend to the Earth to beBuried in Decent Christian Burial at the Discretion of my Executors nothing Doubting but at the General Resurrection I shall Receive the Same again by the mighty Power of God And as touching such worldly estate where with it hath pleased God to Bless me in this Life. I Give Devise and Dispose of the same in the following manner and form—-

Imprimis: I Give and Bequeath to my Grand Daughter Susannah Haines when Shee Shall Come to one and twenty years of age all my In Door movealbe Estate also Ten pounds in money To be paid by one of my executors vix. John Woodward with in one year after my Deceas. Allso I Give to my Said Grand Daughter fifteen pounds in money to be paid by my other Executor Daniel Woodward with in one year after my Deceas: all that I have here Given to my Said Grand Child Susanna Haynes for her full portion out of my Estate is with this proviso That Shee Gives a Quit claim of all her Right in a Peace of meadow In Sudbury & on the East Side the River at a place Called oake Bank to her Unlel John Woodward when Shee Receives her Leaciby of him.—- and Like wise That my Said Grand Child Susannah Haynes Gives to her unkle Daniel Woodward a Qit claim of all her right in a peace of meadow in Sudbury on the west Side of the River being part of a Lott of meadow Lyeing at a place Caled oke Bank and all So a Quit claim of all her Right in the one halfe of a Lott of Land in Sudbury caled a new Grant Loot. near to Daniel Woodwards Dwelling hous.— the Quit claim booth of meadow & upland To her Unkle Daniel Woodward when She Shall Receive her Leagicy of him.— and my will is if my Said Grandchild Shall Refuse to Give Quit claims as a bove Exprest. Then Shee Shall have Fourty shillings paid by my Executors which shall be her full portion out of my Estate

Item I Give To my son John Woodward a Loot of Land Scituate Lyeing and being in Weston in th eCounty aforesaid Contaying Ten acres be the Same more or Less— all So a peace of meadow in Sudbury on the East Side of the River att a place Caled oke Bank Containing five acres be it more or Less— all So all my utancels for husbandry—-

Item I Give to my son Daniel Woodward the one halfe of a new Grant Loot Lyeing betwen his own Land— all so a peace of meadow on the west Side of the River being part of a Loot of measdow Lyeing at a place Called oke Bank—Likewise I Give my Quick Stock To be equally Devided between my Two Sons John Woodward & Daniel Woodward—Whom I Likewise constitue make and ordain my Executors of this my Last will and Testament. And I Do hereby utterly Disalow Revoke and Disannul all and every other former Testament & will Legacies and Bequests and Exceutors by me in any ways before named willed and Bequeathed Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my Last will and Testament in witnes where of I have here unto Set my Hand and Seal the Day and year above writt[en]

Page 2 of John Woodward’s 1736 Will

John (his X mark) Woodward

Signed Sealed Published pronounced & Declared by the Said John Woodward
as his Last will and Testament In the presence of us the Subscribers
Ephraim Curtis
Edward Hariman
Jonathan Hariman

Life in the 1600s meant facing death and the loss of loved ones constantly. The father of John (born 1661) lost one wife before he married Abigail Stubbs, who, in turn, had lost her first husband.

John (born 1661) and Susannah likely lost one or two children in between the births of Daniel and Uriah. Also, John (born 1692) and his brother Daniel both lost wives and children in their youth.

The Woodward family is a poignant example of the family losses experienced by many who lived in the 17th century.

There are two more generations of Woodwards to cover – another John and the patriarch of the early Woodwards in Massachusetts, Richard Woodward.

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