Category Archives: Woodward

Richard Woodward, England to Massachusetts, 1634

This is part of a series about my New England colonial ancestors who arrived by during the Great Migration. If you have early Massachusetts ancestry, be sure to check out AmericanAncestors, as the Great Migration Study Project can be viewed there with a membership to the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Richard Woodward was born c1589, England. Rose (MNU) Woodward seems to have been several years older than her husband if her age at death (80 years) is correct. She would then have been born c1582, also in England. They were married sometime before 1619, when their first known child was born.

Richard Woodward and his wife, Rose (MNU), made the decision to leave England and head to the New World in 1634, sailing on the Elizabeth from Ipswich, Suffolk, England.

They settled in Watertown, Suffolk, Massachusetts Bay Colony the same year, where his occupation is noted as a miller. Their English origins haven’t been identified, in spite of online information saying Ipswich or even Lancashire, England. However, Amos Woodward of Colchester, Essex, England left a bequest in his 1665 to children of his uncle Woodward living in New England. That might point to an Essex origin for Richard and Rose, but further research needs to be done.

There are only two known children of Richard and Rose who survived to adulthood. It seems like that they may have had other children who died young in England.

“Rose Woodard,” wife of Richard, died on 6 October 1662 in Watertown, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Richard married (2) Ann (Neave) Gates, widow of Stephen Gates, after they recorded a marriage agreement on 18 April 1663. However, Richard didn’t live long after that, dying in Watertown on 16 February 1664/65. He and Ann had no children together.


  1. George, born c1619; married (1) Mary (MNU), c1640 (2) Elizabeth Hammond, 17 August 1659, Watertown, Suffolk, England.
  2. John, born c1621; married (1) Mary (MNU), who died 8 July 1654, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts (2) Abigail (Benjamin) Stubbs, widow of Joshua Stubbs, after 1654.

Richard and Rose (MNU) Woodward are two of my 10X great grandparents.

My line of descent:

  1. Richard Woodward & Rose (MNU)
  2. John Woodward & Abigail Benjamin
  3. John Woodward & Susannah Grout
  4. John Woodward & Saphira Moore
  5. Robert Wilson & Mary Woodward
  6. Robert Wilson & Dorothy Holmes
  7. Benjamin Parker & Maria Wilson
  8. Daniel Adams & Sarah Ann Parker
  9. Calvin Segee Adams & Nellie F. Tarbox
  10. Charles Edwin Adams & Annie Maude Stuart
  11. Vernon Tarbox Adams & Hazel Ethel Coleman
  12. George Michael Sabo & Doris Priscilla Adams
  13. Linda Anne (Sabo) Stufflebean – Me!

Immigrant Richard Woodward, MA 1634

Richard and Rose (MNU) Woodward are the immigrant patriarch and matriarch of the early Massachusetts Woodward family. They enrolled at Ipswich, Suffolk, England to sail on the Elizabeth in 1634 to Massachusetts.

Their origins are unknown, although in 1665, Amos Woodward of Colchester, Essex, England (only about 20 miles away from Ipswich) mentioned a bequest in his will to “my uncle’s children’s children.” Amos Woodward was born c1625, so Richard Woodward, born c1589, might well be his uncle. Richard had a grandson, Amos, son of George Woodward.

As far as I know, no further research has been done to determine what, if any, relationship there is between Amos and Richard.

Richard Woodward was born c1589 and took the occupation of miller. Apart of the possible ties to Amos Woodward, there are no clues as to his ancestral home or his parentage.

When he and Rose sailed to their new home, their two sons, George and John, accompanied them. Both boys were said to be about 13 years old, but apparently they were not twins and their ages are off just a bit.

The Woodward family settled in Watertown, where Richard was made a freeman in 1635. Rose (MNU) Woodward died on 6 October 1662, aged about 80 years. In an earlier deposition, her year of birth would have been c1582 and she was 50 years old when they left England in 1634. Her year of birth, then, is c1580-1584, but 1584 is likely the most accurate as 1634 is the earliest indication where her age was provided in a document.

There is a Rose West who married Richard Woodward at St. Margaret Pattens Church in London on 13 May 1613, but there is also a Richard Woodward who married Rose Braddin on 13 May 1628 at Sandridge, Hertfordshire. Two children born to some Richard and Rose Woodward are Alice, baptized on 17 March 1629 and Rose, baptized 18 March 1631 at St. Stephen St. Albans.

However, there is no indication that any of these records pertain to immigrants Richard and Rose!

Richard Woodward married (2) Ann Veare, widow of Stephen Gates in the spring of 1663. A marriage contract was written on 18 April 1663 to protect the legacies of the heirs of Stephen Gates.

Richard passed away in Watertown on 16 February 1664/65 with the inventory of his estate taken just five days later.


1. George, born c1619, England; married (1) Mary (MNU), c1640 (2) Elizabeth Hammond, 17 August 1659.

2. John, born c1621, England; married (1) Mary (MNU) (2) Abigail Benjamin, widow of Joshua Stubbs, c1658.

This ends my posts on the Woodward family.

My line of descent is:

  1. Richard Woodward = Rose
  2. John Woodward = Abigail Benjamin
  3. John Woodward = Susannah Grout
  4. John Woodward = Saphira Moore
  5. Mary Woodward = Robert Wilson
  6. Robert Wilson = Dolly Holmes
  7. Maria Wilson = Benjamin Parker
  8. Sarah Ann Parker = Daniel Adams
  9. Calvin Segee Adams = Nellie F. Tarbox
  10. Charles Edwin Adams = Annie Maude Stuart
  11. Vernon Tarbox Adams = Hazel Ethel Coleman
  12. Doris Priscilla Adams = George Michael Sabo
  13. Linda Anne Sabo Stufflebean – Me!




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