Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Woods of Montague

As with all the pictures, click to view full size

The Wood family crest
The motto translates to "Safe on the Waves"

     The Wood name is always credited as a locational or occupational surname, derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "wodu" meaning wood or forest. I was doing a bit of reading and came across another theory. When the use of surnames started about 90 percent of the population lived near or made their living form woodcraft. Wood as a surname would not be particularily descriptive or help distinguish one family from another.

     They propose the name is actually descriptive, from the Anglo-Saxon "Wod" or "Wode", the Germanic storm god. It was used to describe fierce or berserker warriors. "Wod" was used until Shakespeare's time to describe wild or crazy behaviour. We're either woodcutters or wild and crazy, your choice.

The Wood plaid

     Tracing the family has been quite the ordeal. Our forefather emigrated from Ireland, early records burned in an uprising, to Montague, early records destroyed, fragmented by improper storage. Add to that the surname actually being recorded as Wood or Woods depending on the year or type of record, throw in other Wood and Woods families in the area with the same names and .....

     Our Wood family originates in Ireland with James and his wife Sarah, both born around 1776. I haven't found anything that indicates where they came from in Ireland, when they got married or when they emigrated. To search for early Irish records you need the county, parish and townland to be successful, I haven't found any of that as of yet.

       They are not listed in the 1825 Montague census but are in the 1829 so they arrived somewhere in that four year period. They brought along their eleven or perhaps nine children. I have duplicate entries for two of their children so I'm not sure. All the birthdates are approximate.

Sarah 1800
Martha 1802
Alexander 1808-1886  In the 1861 agricultural census he has lot 13 of concession A
James 1796-1861
Jane 1798-1885
Mary 1814
Margaret 1824
William 1805  he has lot 15 of concession A and his wife's name was Elsie (Mom and Dad live on lot 16)
Sarah 1801
Martha 1804
David Dec. 23, 1819-1895 he has lot 14 of concession 1

     There is a will registered to James Woods of lot 15 concession A in 1860, so I'm assuming it is the original Wood homestead even though it isn't what I think of as the original. I believe it is David's lot that has the ruins of the old log house everyone referred to as gr grandma Wood's place.

     The next generation isn't a lot clearer. It starts with the youngest boy David. About 1844-5 he married Maria Dubois. You should see the spellings that name goes through in the records. She was from Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence county, New York. I can't find a record of their marriage in either country and I have no idea how they met. They had thirteen children. I haven't been able to see the original baptism records, only a transcribed index. The baptism date recorded is not necessarily the birthdate and the transcribed names...

Charles Wesley baptised on July 10, 1845
Joseph, possibly James Joseph according to baptism records 1846
Elizabeth  baptised Feb. 18, 1849
Sarah Matilda  baptised Feb. 11, 1851-May 15, 1924
     married Milford Telford Jan. 3, 1872
Susan Jane baptised Mar 22, 1853-1917
     married William H. McCrea, as of 1891 Merrickville census, three children; Belle, Pearl and Mary
James Alexander baptised Mar. 22, 1853-1923 moved to Ogdensburg, NY
     married Sarah Neville no children
Maria Melissa baptised July 1855
Margaret baptised April 2, 1858
Herbert R. Robert 1861-1876
Daniel Edward, baptised as David Edwin Aug. 9, 1863-1890
Harriet Prescilla baptised Dec. 7, 1864
Mary Minnie 1868-1887
Effie 1870

     David died in late 1895 or early1896. His death notice in the paper, Jan 10. 1896, mentions only seven of his thirteen children survived him, Hattie and Effie at home with Maria, Charles, Joseph, James and Mrs. W.H. McCrea(Susan Jane). I don't know who the seventh was, they aren't mentioned.

     David and Maria's son Joseph is next in line and true to form, lots of confusion with his records. He isn't around in the 1871 census but re appears in 1881, married but with no wife actually listed on the form. At some point around 1869-70 he married Fanny Duby(Derby). June 25, 1888, Joseph married for the second time to Caroline Donaghue.

     Joseph had three children.

Charles Albert about 1873 in Jackson, Michigan (according to his marriage certificate)
Edwin L. about 1875 in Ontario
James Merril ?

James Merril is listed as born Nov. 25, 1890 with Joseph and Caroline as parents. The 1891 census lists him as four years old. He is either the last child of Joseph and Fanny, or the only child of  Joseph and Caroline. I can't tell which record is correct. I'm thinking his age was 4 months old at the time of the census and has been transcribed incorrectly.

    I have found no trace of Fanny at all. I don't know if she was from Canada or the U.S., I can find no marriage in either country, no records of their children's birth and only one death for Fanny Wood that lists no details. Michigan recorded deaths by the married name with no details, so I don't know if it is Joseph's wife or not. There is no record of her in Canada at all. The only record I have of her existance is her son's marriage, she is listed as his mother.

     Charles Albert  is next in line. His records are a little more straight forward but only just. His marriage lists his name as Charles Albert Woods and his children are listed with the surname Wood. He married Lorinda Stewart, July 11, 1899. Lorinda was the daughter of Charles Stewart and Elizabeth Dixon of Lombardy. They would be known as "Bert and Lena" in the census records and to everyone who knew them. They had five children.

Bessie Irene July 13, 1900
     married Allan Barr Lumsden Nov. 26, 1924 (last name Wood) had nine children
Bertha May Jan.6, 1903
     married Dan Boyd, had no children
Harold Franklin Mar. 11, 1906
     married Vera Burchill had no children
Carrie Feb 1910 (transcribed as Cassie in some records)
     married Carmen Brighton, had one daughter Reta, was a nurse and died young of tuberculosis.
     married Dorothy, had no children

Lorinda Stewart Wood and Charles Albert Wood in the middle
I have no ID for the people on either side of them

Bessie and her sister Bertha

Harold Wood

Albert " Ab" and his wife Dorothy

Carrie Wood and her husband, Carmen Brighton

The Wood family
Back: Harold, Bessie, Bertha and Albert
Front: Lena and Bert
Carrie is missing, she may have died before the picture was taken

Four generations
Back: Bessie and her daughter Muriel(my grandmother)
Middle: Lorinda and Charles Albert ( Bert and Lena)
Front: Muriel's first born, my uncle Roy Craig

Family gathering of Woods, Craigs and Lumsdens
Front: Roy Craig, Eric Craig, Lena, Bert, and Leo Craig just at the edge
Next row: Lloyd, Shirley, Carman and Phyllis Lumsden
Back row: Bert Lumsden, Ab Wood, Reta, Muriel, Lois, Reta's husband John Shields
Not really sure on all the ID's in the back row

Bessie walking in the 12th of July parade 

Another shot of Bessie

     Bessie was my great grandmother and I remember her relatively well. She took care of her son Lloyd and I remember her visiting with grandma and grandpa Craig. I don't think I made the connection she was my grandmother's mother, she was just grandma Lumsden to me. I also remember her brothers, uncle  Harold and Ab and their wives, Vera and Dorthy. I didn't know Vera was the sister of Georgie, Verna and Harold Burchill who lived beside us when I was a kid.

     Bessie and Allan Barr Lumsden had nine chidren, my grandmother Muriel among them. For pictures and information on their family look at the post for The Lumsden Clan.

     Now for giving credit where it belongs. Thank you Nancy for the pictures. Thanks to James MacPherson, I have no idea who you are but without your information on James and Sarah, and David and Maria, my job would have been even more difficult. Finally thanks to Glen Couch for providing the newspaper clippings etc. that led to so much other information.
     I have lots more work to do on the Wood family. I'm going with Wood because that is how grandma Lumsden's name is listed on her marriage certificate. 

     I don't know any of the current Wood relatives, well other than Bessie's family. Harold and Ab had no children, I never met Carrie or her daughter Reta or Bertha. Please feel free to contact me to get acquainted. It would be great to touch base with "cousins" to see what happened to the family. To get in touch, click on my profile, About Me, on the right and it will take you to an email link.

     Thanks for dropping by, Paul.


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