John Woodward & Abigail Benjamin, Widow of Joshua Stubbs

John Woodward and Abigail Benjamin are my 9X great grandparents.

When John Woodward and Abigail Benjamin married sometime around 1658, each had already lost a spouse.

John Woodward married (1) Mary (MNU), who died in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts on 8 July 1654. Who Mary was and when the couple married is unknown. It also appears that John and Mary had no surviving children, if any were even born to them.

The will of Ralph Mousall of Watertown was written on 13 April 1657. One of the bequests he makes was to Widow Stubbs, who received 30 shillings. The only identified widow Stubbs in Watertown at that time was Abigail, widow of Joshua Stubbs, so she evidently married John Woodward between April 1657 and late 1658, as in August 1659, when their first known child was born.

Little is known about Joshua Stubbs. He married Abigail Benjamin, born c1624 in England, the daughter of John Benjamin and Abigail Eddy, by 1645, as their first known child was born in 1646. He was made a freeman in Watertown on 2 May 1649 and he died sometime around 1655.


1. Samuel, son of Jossua, born 3 August 1646, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts; no further record. He is not mentioned in the will of John Woodward, as are Elizabeth and Mary.
2. Elizabeth Stubbs, born c1648 who married (1) Jonathan Stimson/Stevenson, 8 July 1669 in Cambridge, Massachusetts (2) Richard Barnes, 12 March 1700, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts and (3) Jonathan Bullard, 23 March 1720/21, Weston, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Widow Elizabeth Bullard died 10 January 1726/27 in Weston. I would question this third marriage, but there is a Jonathan Bullard born 12 July 1647 in Watertown and Jonathan’s 1724 probate file includes a marriage contract between himself and Elizabeth Barns, widow of Richard Barnes of Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts. It appears that Elizabeth and Jonathan did marry in their senior years. John Woodward left a bequest to the children of his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Stimson.
2. Mary, daughter of Jossua, born 2 May 1655, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died after 5 August 1695; married John Traine, 24 March 1674, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. John Woodward left a bequest to daughter-in-law Mary Traine.

Therefore, when John Woodward married Abigail (Benjamin) Stubbs, she was already in her mid 30s and the mother of at least two surviving children of Joshua Stubbs and perhaps of three children.

John Woodward and Abigail Benjamin were the parents of three known children:

1. Rose, born 18 August 1659, Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts; died before 6 August 1695; married Richard Norcross, 14 October 1689, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Richard married (2) Hannah Sanderson, 6 August 1695.
2. John, born 12 December 1661, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died between 2 October 1736 and 10 January 1736/37, probably in Sudbury; married Susannah Grout, c1691.
3. Abigail, born c1663; died 13 April 1683, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Jeremiah Ross, 13 January 1681/82, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

John Woodward died on 17 February 1696 in Watertown. Abigail survived him by several years, dying on 30 October 1704 in Sudbury. She likely went to live with her son, John, after the death of her husband.

Will of John Woodward, 1696
Middlesex County, MA Case 25588
Source: American Ancestors

In the name of God amen.

I John Woodward of Watertown in the County of Middlesex in his Majesties Province of the Massachusetts Bay in N.E. being sick of body, but in sound and disposing Memory, Prasie be given o god for the same, do make this my last will and testament in manner & form following, that is to say first and Principally I asign my Soul into the [   ] full hands of almighty god my Creator assuredly hoping through the  merits of my Blessed Saviour to obtaine pa. . . [torn] and remission of all my sins and my body I commit to the Earth, whence it was taken, bo be decently buried by the discretion of my executor hereafter named and as for the worldy goods & Estate His [  ] hath lent me I dispose thereof as follows.

Imp. I give and bequeath to my deare wife Abigail all my estate in Watertown both housing lands movalbes with in doors and with out for her useand comfort dureing her natural life and in Case the income of my said estate wil not afford my said wife a comfortable maintenance  as her Condition may be then my wil is that my said wife may sell of my out lands to supply [   ] necessary.

2 I give and bequeath unto my son John Woodward after my said wives deces all all that housing and lands in water town aforesaid contayning one Mansion house, barn, and shoop and eleven Acres of land be the same mor or less also two acres of land bounded north with the land of Capt Bond be it mor or less, is bounded, north with the land of Mr. Willm Goddard, esterly with Willm bond s

land Southerly with Charles River and Westerly with the Land of Mr. Loverin, also & five Acres of Marsh = land lying in Cambridge neer the oyster bancks – 11- together with all my outlands be the same mor or less to him and his heirs for ever.

3 I give and bequeath unto the children now living of my daughter in law Elizabeth Stimson, and unto my daughter in law Mary Traine the one Moyotie or halfe part of my Movable estate [    } after my said wives Deces, to be equally Divided Betwen them (as thay Com to age according to law, by my executor to be [   ]

4 I give and bequeath to my Son in law Jerimiah Moss one shilling in Money to be paid him by my executro within one month after my wives deces

5 I give and bequeath to my Son in-law Richard Norcross ten shillings in Money to be paid by my exectuor with in two months after My wives Deces.

6 I give and bequeath to My three grandchildren, viz. Richard Norcross, Samuel Norcross and Abigail Norcross give pounds a peice to every one of them to be paid by my executor when thay shall be of the age of twenty on years, and all the rest and Residue of my estate, lands goods and Chattles, and movables, not herein before bequeathed after My said wives funeral charges and Debts due from sd estate are discharged, I do give and bequeath to my Son John Woodward above sd whom I do make sole executor of this my last will and testament, Revocking al former wills by me hertofore made: In witnesswhereof I have here unto set my hand and Seal e this tenth Day of January one thousand six hundred ninety five six

John Woodward

Signed Sealed, and Published

In the presence of us witnesses
Ch. . .  whitmor?
John Moor
Murings Sacom?

Memorandum ye words interlined (within Doors) was altered before sealing and publishing betwen 2_th lines & 30th

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