Saturday, April 01, 2017

{genealogy} Wood ancestry part 1 - Ward Palmer Wood

This is a lengthy series following the Wood line. My ancestry is as follows, though note I have a 2nd Wood line due intermarriage among the Shaw and Wood families.

My dad
Ward Palmer Wood – Regina E. Goppert
Palmer Melander Wood – Jennie Mary Ward
Tillinghast Wood – Jemima Burlingame
Peleg Wood – Amy Palmer
Reuben Wood – Ruth Wilbore
Peleg Wood – Ruth Shaw
Henry Wood – Content Thurston
John Wood Jr. – Mary Peabody
John “The Mariner” Wood

Ward Palmer Wood

Heather’s great grandfather

When Ward Palmer Wood was born on February 12, 1884, in Herkimer, New York, his father, Palmer, was 45 and his mother, Jennie, was 40. He was the youngest of seven children. He married Regina Elizabeth Goppert on October 27, 1913. They had three children in 14 years. He died on August 4, 1970, in his hometown at the age of 86.

New York didn’t issue birth certificates back then, but he self-reports his exact birth date many times as we will see in various documents later on.

Here is a wonderful family photo provided by my distant cousin Lisa. Ward is the youngest. Guessing it was taken around 1888, so Ward would have been around 4 years old.

In 1892, New York state had a census, so this is the earliest document I have that shows  the family together by name, and without a birth certificate, this document helps us “prove” that Ward’s parents are Palmer and Jennie. Ward is 8 years old. They are living in Herkimer. Of the 7 siblings, oldest child Rinaldo has moved out of the house already, and a daughter who was born before Ward has passed away.

Here is the family in the 1900 Federal census. They still live in Herkimer. The 1900 census shows birth month and year, birth places, and occupations. I didn’t include this in the screenshot, but they live on 124 North Prospect Street. Ward’s father Palmer dies in December 1900, so this is the last census where we see the family together like this.

If I’m reading Google Maps correctly, 124 North Prospect Street no longer exists. I can’t really get a 3D street view, but if you look up 127 North Prospect Street, that is the old Methodist Church that was built in 1874 and still stands today. I’m guessing house #124 would have been right across the street from that church, but now across the street is a post office and vital records building. The house must have been demolished to add on to those buildings. Just a guess. From future censuses I have been able to figure out that the building is what we might call a duplex today, and that the Woods are just renting the house. Or later, half of the house.

Ward’s father dies in December 1900, and his sister Rose died a few months later. The next census I have is a state census from 1905. They are still living at 124 Prospect St. But now big brother Rinaldo has moved back in, with his wife and daughter. Occupations are listed again. Ward is now 21 years old and working as a bookkeeper. Looks like big sister Mabel is a lawyer, good for her! Rinaldo is indeed an officer in the Army, namely Lieutenant Colonel, and will go on to have quite the military career.

Five years later is the 1910 Federal census. In that one, they still live in the same house, but it’s just a family of 3. Mom (Jennie), Mabel (the lawyer), and Ward. Now he is 26 years old and his occupation is listed as “stenographer”. It is at this point that we can see that they now only live in one half of what must be the duplex, with a separate family living in the other half.

Mom Jennie dies in 1912.

On 27 October 1913, at age 29, Ward marries Regina Elizabeth Goppert. They marry in Utica, Oneida County, New York, where Regina is from. Ward lists his occupation as “clerk”.

Almost exactly one year later, their son (my grandfather) Artemas Ward Wood was born.

We can learn from the 1915 New York state census that they are living at 10 Carlisle Ave, Utica. This address no longer exists either. But we can kind of see it in this photo dated 20 May 1916. Everyone wears a hat in 1916.

On 12 September 1918 Ward registers for the draft for WWI. This document is where he reports his full birth date. We can also see he is back living at 124 Prospect Street in Herkimer again. His occupation is bookkeeper for the Mohawk Dredge and Dock Co. “Rene” is his wife Regina’s nickname. On the 2nd page we see he has blue eyes, brown hair, and “medium” height.

In the 1920 Federal census, Ward, Regina, and little Artemas Ward are the only Woods living at 124 Prospect. But it still looks like the other half of the house is being rented to another family (different one than before). Ward’s occupation is now listed as “buyer” for “Contracting Co.”

In 1923, Ward’s second son Robert Palmer Wood is born.

Here’s the 1925 New York state census. Still at the same address, but now Ward is listed as “General Manager” for the Mohawk Dredge and Dock Co.

By 1930 he has been promoted again, to vice president. And it’s from this census that we finally learn that 124 Prospect Street is being rented, not owned, by the Wood family. That’s why there’s an “R” next to Ward’s name. They have a new baby son, Richard. Unfortunately, Richard dies when he is 3.

“Local Manager and Vice President” “Dredge and Dock”

I think Mohawk Dredge and Dock may have closed during the depression. Although it seems like it was in business in 1930, I haven’t found any documents related to this company after 1930.

23 Nov 1936, Ward registers for a social security number. He now lives at 517 North Main Street in Herkimer, and he’s working for Law Bros. Contracting.

In the 1940 Federal census, Ward, Regina, and son Palmer have moved and are renting at 617 North Main Street in Herkimer. It is not very far (a few blocks) from 124 Prospect.

In this census they ask some new questions of the residents. Highest school grade completed? He says 4th year of high school. How many weeks worked in 1939? He says 26. He’s now a bookkeeper for what looks like “wholesale grocer”.

22 July 1940 – Syracuse Herald Journal reports that Ward is running for re-election for Herkimer Town Council. Re-election? Hm. His obituary does report that he was a town councilman from 1940 to 1945.

In 1942, he registers for what is called the “old man’s draft” for WWII. His address is 527 Renwick Ave, Herkimer. This address is also a very short distance from his previous homes. He’s working for Remington Arms Co, Inc. in Ilion.

This photo would have been taken around 1945. It is Ward and his wife Regina, along with daughter-in-law Jean Rose Durham Wood (married to Artemas Ward Wood), and baby Linda Wood.

Guessing the photo above is late 1940s as well.

Following this date, I don’t find him again until the 1958 Herkimer directory, where he’s listed as office manager for Parks Manufacturing Co, and living on Orchard Terrace in Herkimer. The same info is repeated in 1959. He is now 75 years old. According to his obituary, he would retire 2 years later, in 1961.

Ward passes away at the age of 86, on 4 Aug 1970. His obituary reads:
Ward P. Wood, 86, of 269 N. Bellinger St., a town councilman here from 1940 to 1945, died last night at the Charlotte Nursing Home, Little Falls, after a long illness.
He was born on Feb. 12, 1884 in Herkimer, the son of Palmer M. and Jennie M. Ward Wood. He married Regina E. Goppert on Oct. 27, 1913 in Utica.
Mr. Wood was employed as an office manager and accountant at the Mohawk Dredge and Dock Co., Herkimer; the Maritime Commission in Washington, D.C.; the Law Brothers Construction Co., then of Herkimer, and the Parks Manufacturing Co., retiring in 1961.
He was a member of the Herkimer Masonic Lodge and attended Christ Episcopal Church.
He is survived by his widow and two sons, A. Ward Wood, Fairfield, Conn., and Palmer R. Wood, Scottsdale, Ariz.; one niece, Miss Marjorie L. Wood, Washington, D.C.; one nephew, Palmer W. Gloo, Herkimer, and five grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday from the Fenner Funeral Home, with the Rev. William Muller, rector of Christ Episcopal Church, officiating. Interment will be in Highland Rural Cemetery, Jordanville.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails