Sunday, June 22, 2014

not pirates

After cleaning up the office/library, I suddenly felt like I could take some time to reorganize my family tree research and begin new research.  Thanks to a distant cousin who consolidated the work of a  couple of meticulous researchers, I have some more information about one of my early colonial lines.  The Wood family line is a long line of mariners, which led to rumors of piracy (privateering) and slave trade.  I now believe that these rumors are unfounded.  Wood is a common name and there were several unrelated families in the colonies.  My line begins with the man known as John Wood, The Mariner, (my 10th great-grandfather) who arrived on his own ship in 1626.  He was a merchant who worked closely with Gov. Winthrop to outfit the Massachusetts Bay Colony (post-1630).  The British Wood family were established clothiers, so it is believed that John Wood The Mariner shipped clothing among other regular goods. Wheat and tobacco are specifically mentioned as goods that he shipped.  Other Wood mariners (cousins) were known to be whalers.

Family stories indicate that the Wood family were abolitionists.  I have not found any evidence that any Wood in this line owned or trafficked slaves.  My 5th great-grandfather, Reuben Wood, is buried in a Quaker Cemetery. Though some early Quakers did own slaves, the vast majority were known to be abolitionists, especially by the time of the Revolution when Reuben Wood lived.  At this time the Woods had lived in the same place (Rhode Island) for 6 generations and there was a significant Quaker colony in that area.

The next generation, Reuben's son Peleg, moved to New York to begin farming.  They stayed for 5 more generations (3 of them being farmers).

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails