Category Archives: Wooldridge

James Wooldridge & Ann (Nancy) Coleman

James Wooldridge, born 26 November 1760 in Chesterfield County, Virginia, the fourth generation of the family in Virginia and son of John Wooldridge and possibly (Mary?) Farley, is the last male generation of Wooldridges in my husband’s line, as he is descended from daughter Rebecca, below.

James married Ann (Nancy) Coleman, c1796. Ann was born c1764, likely in Virginia, and was the daughter of Samuel Coleman and Ann Wright.

As the American Revolution drew to a close, many families in Virginia and elsewhere, made the decision to begin moving westward. Settled land was getting scarce and expensive and sons often had to make the choice to move away from close family members.

Wikimedia Commons

The Wooldridge family first settled in Henrico County, which is the red arrow on the far right. James Wooldridge was born in Chesterfield County, second arrow from right.  He died in Prince Edward County, middle arrow. Daughter Nancy who married Pryor Martin settled in Appomattox County, second arrow from left, son John James Wooldridge moved further west to Tazewell County, far left arrow, while son Samuel headed to Greenup County, Kentucky and daughter Rebecca who married Andrew Bandy removed to Lawrence County, Ohio. Thus, none of James and Ann (Coleman) Wooldridge’s descendants are in Chesterfield or Prince Edward County today.

James Wooldridge served four tours during the American Revolution and was pensioned:

State of Virginia Prince Edward County: SS
Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress of 7th of June 1832. State of Virginia Prince Edward County
To wit On this 21st day of August 1833 personally appeared in open court before the Justices of the peace of the court of Prince Edward, now sitting, James Wooldridge a resident of the County of Prince Edward and state aforesaid, aged seventy-two years, the 26 November last, who being duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed 7th of June 1832.
That he entered the service of the United States as well as he recollects the 1st of April 1775, as a private under the command of Captain James Dixon and Ensign John Roper, he met at Thompson’s run  the Long mountain in Bedford  and marched through the County of Franklin &c, and into the lead mines in the County of Montgomery where Colonel Lynch commanded, he with twelve or eighteen men under the command of Ensign Roper were sent down to Red Island River to guard the powder mill where we remained four or five weeks, he was then ordered back to the lead mines and after our tour of three months had expired, he was discharged, don’t recollect whether he received a written discharge that he left Colonel Lynch there when he was discharged, that in this tour he volunteered. That in the spring of 1776 he again volunteered and marched as a private under the command of Captain Robert Adams and Lieutenant Thomas McReynolds, that he met at Thompson’s in Bedford marched direct along the main Western Road to the lead mines where he joined Colonel Lynch still in command, that he remained at that place three months and was discharged, if he received a written discharge he does not recollect it, that he served a third tour, he volunteered & marched the last of March or the first of April 1777 under the command of Captain James Dixon, Lieutenant Christopher Irvine and James Russell Ensign, that he met at Donelson in the County of Bedford, now Campbell, and marched from thence to Goose Creek in the same County, where we remained a few days until joined by Captain Henry Duiguids Company, and then both Companies marched in company with each other to the Big Island on the Holston River where we joined the main Army commanded by Colonel Shelby, after remaining there a short time Captain Dixon’s company were ordered to the Rye cove on Clinch River, where there was a garrison, and families of the frontier settlers had come in there for protection against the Indians; he here saw Major Martin who had command of the Fort at that place, that they remained at that place until ordered back to the big Island to the treaty and was present at the treaty he saw several of the Indian Chiefs among them Sconsto and the Little Carpenter we remained there until after the Treaty and were discharged after serving a tour of six months, received a written discharge signed by Colonel Shelby which he lost or mislaid. That he served a fourth tour substituted for man by the name of Joel Ferguson, that he met at Buckingham Courthouse as well as I now recollect the latter part of November 1778 and marched as a private under the command of Captain William Duiguid, Lt. John Burke, he does not recollect the name of his Ensign, to the Albemarle Barracks, where Colonel Cole had the command, he served in this tour three months, and was discharged, that he does not recollect whether he received a written discharge, that he was in no engagements, in any of the different tours he served. That upon interrogatories propounded, he states in answer to the first that he was born in the County of Chesterfield and State of Virginia in the year 1760, in answer to the second he states that he has no record of his age that his ancestors informed him of the date of his birth. In answer to the 3rd he states that at each time that he was called into the service, he resided in the County of Bedford, now Campbell, State of Virginia, that he has resided in the same County and state ever since the war of the Revolution until about three years ago, when he moved to Prince Edward County, an adjoining County, where he still resides. In answer to the fourth he states he three times volunteered and one went as a substitute for man by the name of Joel Ferguson. In answer to the 5th he states as before stated that Colonel Lynch, Colonel Shelby, Major Martin and Colonel Cole was with the Troops; In answer to the 6th he states as before stated that he does not recollect receiving but one written discharge; and was signed by Colonel Shelby which he has lost. And in answer to the 7th he refers to the affidavits of Robert Watkins, John Hunter, Oliver Branch and Giles Davidson who have known him ever since the War of the Revolution, and as to his character for veracity as also for the general belief that he was a soldier during the revolutionary war he refers to the Reverend Thomas A. Legrand, Captain William (?), Alexander (?), Captain Thomas Trent and Doctor Joel W Flood &c. That he further states that if any of the officers whom he served under are still living there residence is unknown to him. He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or an annuity except the present and he declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.
S/ James Wooldridge

State of Virginia Campbell County
I do hereby certify that about the latter part of March or first of April in the year 1777 I volunteered my services in Captain James Dixon’s Company, whose Lieutenant was named Christopher Irving and his Ensign, James Russell which company met at New London then Bedford now Campbell County, that we were marched from thence to Goose Creek in Bedford County where we remained a few days and were joined by Captain Harry Buford’s Company –
from thence we marched to the Big Island on Holston River, where we joined the main Army under Colonel Shelby – After remaining there a short time, Captain Dixon’s Company was ordered to rye-cove on Clinch River, where we saw Major Martin, who I think had the head command of a Fort there; we there remained until we were ordered back to Big Island where a treaty was about to be held between the whites and Indians and were present when the treaty was made. I recollect among the Indian Chiefs president of seeing the little Carpenter & Conestoga for a name something like it. After the treaty was concluded we were all discharged by Colonel
Shelby having served a six months tour – James Wooldridge served the whole of this tour in the same company that I was in. I believe the said James Wooldridge to be about 72 years of age
and have known him ever since the revolutionary war.
Given under my hand this 28th day of August 1832.
S/ Robert Watkins, X his mark

State of Virginia Campbell County
This day came John Hunter (a man well known to me) before me Ellis Hunter a justice of the peace for the County aforesaid and made oath on the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God that in one of the years to wit 1775, 1776, or 1777 a company of volunteers was raised in Bedford County (now a part of it Campbell) to march out to the West to the lead mines on New River to guard the said mines against the incursions of the Tories and the Cherokee Indians: the said
mines being employed in making lead for the United States Army at that time – said Company was commanded by Captain James Dixon engaged to serve a tour of three months, which term of service he thinks was performed because he himself served in the said company at the same time and that James Wooldridge was one of the volunteers belonging to said company & he believes served the whole term of three months and that the said company was regularly discharged after their term of service expired. Given under my hand and seal this 11th day of August 1832
S/ Ellis Hunter

State of Virginia Buckingham County
I do hereby Certify that about the year 1778 I served a tour of three months in Captain William Duiguid’s company at the Albemarle Barracks, the Lieutenant in said company was John Burks, the Commandant of the Regiment was Colonel Cole of Albemarle, James Wooldridge served the whole of this tour in the same company. I believe the said James Wooldridge to be upwards of seventy years of age and have known him ever since the revolutionary war. Given under my hand the 7th day of June 1833.
S/ Giles Davison

I do hereby certify that I served a Tour of three months at the Lead mines then Montgomery now Wythe County Virginia under Captain Robert Adams and Commanded by Colonel Lynch and marched from then Bedford County Campbell County Virginia in which company James Wooldridge served a tour of three months and we were
discharged by Captain Robert Adams I do not now recollect the month or the year that we were discharged but it was between the year 1775 & 1777. I believe the said wooldridge to be about
72 years of age as stated by him.
S/ Oliver Branch

James and Ann (Coleman) Wooldridge were the parents of four known children:

  1. John James, born c1797, Virginia; died before 16 July 1842, Tazewell County, Virginia; married Sarah Schrader (1805-1850), 8 January 1824, Tazewell County, Virginia.
  2. Rebecca, born c1799, Virginia; died 28 March 1879, Lawrence County, Ohio; married Andrew Bandy, c1815, Virginia.
  3. Samuel C(oleman?), born February 1803, Prince Edward County, Virginia; died after 1880, probably Elliott County, Kentucky; married Lucy Hannah, 5 January 1830?, Greenup County, Kentucky. Although Samuel is in the 1830 census of Greenup County, the female, like him, is aged 20-30, with a female under 5 at home. No marriage record has been found for Samuel and Lucy. Their daughter Elizabeth’s death certificate gives her mother’s name as Lucy Hannah and lists both her parents’ place of birth as East Virginia.
  4. Nancy, born c1805, Virginia; died between 1850-1860 censuses, probably Appomattox County, Virginia; married Pryor Davenport Martin, c1824, probably Prince Edward County, Virginia. This family lived in Appomattox County, Virginia. Pryor was born c1805; died after 1880.

I’d love to hear from anyone descended from these children.

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.

John Wooldridge & Elizabeth Branch of Chesterfield County, VA

The second generation in my husband’s Wooldridge line is another John, the son of blacksmith John and his wife, Martha (possibly Osborne).

John Junior married (1) Elizabeth Branch, daughter of James Branch and Mary (possibly Ware?). We’ll take a closer look at the Branch family soon.

John Wooldridge was born c1705, likely in Henrico County, Virginia, where his family lived. He married Elizabeth, c1730, probably also in Henrico County. She was born c1710 and died after December 1755, when she witnessed a deed for her mother and brother. When John died in 1783 in Chesterfield County, Virginia, his wife was named as (2) Margaret (MNU).

John Wooldridge left a lengthy will, dated 16 November 1780, Chesterfield County, Virginia.

John Wooldridge is listed in the DAR Patriot Index as having given patriotic service, so likely served in some kind of town office.

Beginning with the third generation of the Wooldridge family, children began to migrate westward, as land was becoming more expensive.

John’s children settled in Bedford and Campbell Counties, Virginia, in addition to Bourbon, Woodford and Henry Counties in Kentucky (not shown on this map, as they formed after 1776.) These were all considered part of Virginia.

It was a time of change and the beginning of the westward migration. John Wooldridge lived to see the independence of the American colonies, but he had been long gone by the time his sons headed to Kentucky.

John and Elizabeth were the parents of ten children. The first six were probably born in Henrico County, with the remaining born in Chesterfield County, which was set off in 1749:

  1. Richard, born c1731; died 1782 (Will Book 1:10), Campbell County, Virginia; married Elizabeth (MNU), c1760. Elizabeth appeared on the Campbell County tax rolls after that time.
  2. John, born c1733; died c1782, Bedford County, Virginia; married (1) possibly a daughter of James Farley, as he named a grandchild Elizabeth Wooldridge in his 1779 will (2) Mary (MNU)
  3. Mary, born c1737; died after 1780; married John Martin, before 1755
  4. William, born c1740; died before 18 February 1817, Bourbon County, Kentucky, when his estate was appraised; married Mary Harrison, c1766.
  5. Elizabeth, born c1745; died after 1780; married (1) John Wooldridge, c1771 (2) William Langston, before 1780
  6. Edmund, born c1748; died between 28 April, when he wrote his will, and September court term, when it was probated in 1791, Woodford County, Kentucky; married Elizabeth Watkins, 22 August 1774, Cumberland County, Virginia. Elizabeth married (2) John Moss, 8 June 1792, Woodford County, Kentucky.
  7. Verlinche, born c1750; reportedly married Daniel Elam, c1766, but I find no further information on this couple except they are said to have had quite a few children: Daniel, William, Robert, Thomas, Peggy, Verlinche.
  8. Phebe, born c1752; died 1792, Chesterfield County, Virginia; married Richard Elam, c1770. Richard Elam died in Chesterfield County, Virginia, between 9 July 1791, when he wrote his will and January 1792, when it was probated.
  9. Robert, born c1754; reportedly died 1801, Franklin County, Kentucky, but he isn’t found in 1790 or 1800; married Susanna Major
  10. Thomas, born c1756; died between 22 October 1840, when he wrote his will, and January court term 1841, when the will was proved, Henry County, Kentucky; married Sarah Ann Barnes, after 1780 (2) Mrs. Agnes Kelly. Agnes survived Thomas, as she is named in his will.

John and Margaret were the parents of two children:

  1. Martha, born c1762; married William Walthall, 29 October 1782 (bond), Chesterfield County, Virginia. She may have died soon as one William Walthall married there in 1787.
  2. Hannah, born c1765; married Richard Elam, 21 October 1784 (bond), Chesterfield County, Virginia

My husband’s line is through this John’s son, yet another John, but for those who are descended from Edmond or Thomas, here are their wills:

Will of Edmund Wooldridge
Woodford County, Kentucky 1791 Will Book  A: 34-35

In the name of God Amen. I Edmund Wooldridge of the County of Woodford do make and ordain this to be my last will and Testament in manner and form following

Viz. My will and desire is that after my just debts is paid that my Executors here after to be mentioned lay out all the money that shall or may be due my estate to the best advantage in likely young negroes and that I lend unto my wife during her life the third part of the negroes so purchased and also the (sance?) part of the negroes I have at present in my possession together with the third part of all my other personal estate, and also one third part of the tract of Land whereon I now live including that part of the plantation lying on the west side of Scotts Road. so as not to include? any of the  Clear? land on (?) east side of the said road I give unto my four Sons, Edmund, Samuel, Watkins and Powhatan four thousand acres of my best Land to be equally divided amonth them agreeable to quantity and quality.—I leave it in the power of my Executors to sell or exchange any part of my estate, Real pr personal as they may Judge necessary for the advantage of my estate. –And all my other estate both real and personal not before given away I desire may be equally divided amony my children both sons and daughters, when my Son Samuel shall arrive at the age of twenty one years or the whole or any part thereof sooner, if my Executors shall think Necessary & my will and desire is that if any of the negroes that my Executors shall think fit to let any of my children have before a division takes place shall die in that case the loss shall be made good to such child or children out of the remaining part of my estate before a General Division is made. It is my will that my Executors bind out each of my sons to some good trade when they respectively arrive at the age of sixteen years. And lastly I do appoint James Watkins Henry Watkins Thomas Wooldridge and Walthall Watkins as Executors of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this 28th day of April in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety one.

Edmund Wooldridge (seal)

Sign’d Seal’d & (Decreed?) to be the
last will & testament of Edmd Wooldridge
in the presence of
Wm (X) Hill
Thos Ray
Pageatten Coleman

Woodford County Sct September Court 1791
This will was produced in Court proved by the oaths of William
and Thomas Ray subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered
to be Recorded
Cave Johnson (?)

Will of Thomas Wooldridge, 1840
Henry County, Kentucky WB 7:284

I Thomas Wooldridge of the County of Henry and State of Kentucky do this day make this my last will and Testament I having Spetial Trust and confidence in my Worthey friend James Hisle I appoint him my executor
2nd I do will and bequeath my son Edward Wooldridge my negro man Jack a Servent for life.
3rd I do will my two daughters Betsy Wingate & Mary (Pliner?) five Dollars in Cash each 4th I do will my beloved wife Agnes Wooldridge all the reside of my estate real & personal consisting mostly of two head of Horses one Cow and Calf together with my Stock of Hogs and Household & Kitchen furniture farming utencisls & together with my present crop of corn and Wheat. In testimony whereof I do set my jand and Seal this 22 of October 1840

Thomas (X) Wooldridge (seal)

George King
James Hisle

Henry County Court January Term 1841

A Writing purporting to be the last will & Testament of Thomas Wooldridge Decd wast this day produced into court and proven by two Subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be Recorded.

Edw Thomas C