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Ancestors of Lyndall J. White (Lynn Mayes)

Generation No. 10

      528. Rowland Ellis, born 1650 in Bryn Mawr, Dyfrydan, Merionethshire, Wales; died September 1731 in Gwynedd, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the son of 1056. Ellis Price Ap Rees and 1057. Anne Humphrey. He married 529. Margaret Owen Bef. 1683 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

      529. Margaret Owen, born Abt. 1661 in Conway, C, Wales; died 1729 in Berks Co. Pennsylvania.

More About Rowland Ellis:
Burial: September 1731, Friends Church Cemetery, Plymouth, Philadelphia, PA
Died at: September 1731, John Evans House
Child of Rowland Ellis and Margaret Owen is:
  264 i.   Thomas Ellis, born May 27, 1683 in Merionethshire, North Wales; died June 11, 1760 in Exeter, Berks Co. Pennsylvania; married Jane Hughes August 31, 1712 in Gwynedd, Montgomery Co. Pennsylvania.

      530. John Hughes, born January 10, 1652/53 in Yspytty, Evan, Denbigshire, Wales; died October 10, 1736 in Exeter, Berks Co. Pennsylvania. He was the son of 1060. Hugh Cadwaler Rhys and 1061. Gwen Ellis. He married 531. Martha Caimot Abt. 1682 in Wales.

      531. Martha Caimot, born Abt. 1660 in Wales; died Aft. 1699 in Exeter, Berks Co. Pennsylvania.

Notes for John Hughes:
John Hughes and his family immigrated from Wales to Berks Co. Pennsylvania circa 1701.

Children of John Hughes and Martha Caimot are:
  265 i.   Jane Hughes, born 1683 in Yspytty, Evan, Denbigshire, Wales; died September 20, 1772 in Oley, Berks Co. Pennsylvania; married Thomas Ellis August 31, 1712 in Gwynedd, Montgomery Co. Pennsylvania.
  ii.   Rowland Hughes, born Abt. 1685 in Yspytty, Evan, Denbigshire, Wales; died May 31, 1752 in Gwynedd, Montgomery Co. Pennsylvania; married (1) Catherine Humphrey October 08, 1708 in Gwynedd, Montgomery Co. Pennsylvania; married (2) Ellin Evan July 31, 1712 in Gwynedd, Montgomery Co. Pennsylvania.
  iii.   Ellis Hughes, born 1687 in Merionethshire, North Wales; died January 11, 1764 in Exeter, Berks Co. Pennsylvania; married Jane Foulke June 15, 1713 in Gwynedd, Montgomery Co. Pennsylvania; born November 10, 1684 in Merionethshire, North Wales; died August 07, 1766 in Oley, Berks Co. Pennsylvania.
  More About Jane Foulke:
Burial: August 08, 1766, Oley, Berks Co. Pennsylvania

  iv.   Mary Hughes, born Abt. 1689 in Yspytty, Evan, Denbigshire, Wales; married Humphrey Ellis.
  v.   Gianor Hughes, born Abt. 1681 in Yspytty, Evan, Denbigshire, Wales; married John Harris.

      640. John Wooldridge, born 1678 in Lothian, Scotland; died 1757 in Chesterfield Co. Virginia. He was the son of 1280. Richard Wooldridge. He married 641. Martha Osborne Abt. 1704 in Chesterfield Co. Virginia.

      641. Martha Osborne, born Abt. 1688 in Henrico Co. Virginia; died Aft. 1759 in Chesterfield Co. Virginia. She was the daughter of 1282. Edward Osborne and 1283. Tabitha Platt.

Notes for John Wooldridge:
Though not documented, family legend has it that the Wooldridges are from Scotland. Laurence B. Gardiner found in the Memphis genealogy library a paper on old homes of Shelby County, Tennessee, which says John Wooldridge Elam named his home East Lothian after the county of the settler's ancestors south of the Firth of Forth in Scotland, and that his brothers named their homes West Lothian and South Lothian. In 1982 L. Gardiner and William C. Wooldridge engaged Mrs. Kathleen B. Cory to search births in the surviving parish registers of Midlothian, Scotland, for the period 1660-1680, but she found no Wooldridges either there or in her survey of available printed indices to Scottish records of the 17th century, with the exception of a family in Edinburgh (Constantine Wooldridge married Margaret Akinstall, Oct. 24, 1644; Constantine Wooldridge painter married Marjory daughter of Patrick Copland mariner, Dec. 18, 1696; George Wooldridge or Woolredge joiner married Isobel Hart, Nov. 20, 1668.)

In the early 1600's, at the same time that Jamestown, Virginia, was being settled, Ulster, Ireland, finally capitulated to England, and England brought in colonists from Scotland and England to colonize and subjugate Ulster. Presbyterian Scots immigrated to Ireland to take advantage of the opportunities there. However, after a brief period of time, the Scotch colonists began to suffer the same discrimination as the native Irish. Presbyterian, they still had to pay taxes to the Church of England (in Scotland they paid taxes to the Church of Scotland, their own Presbyterian Church), which was Anglican. They could not hold political office, have certain jobs, paid extra taxes, and suffered other discriminations. So, in the late 1600's, these Presbyterian Scots-Irish began to immigrate to the New World.

A blacksmith in Ireland did quite well. He would have done the smithing work for about 200 families, covering about an 1800-acre area. All hardware needs would have been supplied by him--he would have been the local Walmart, making all metal kitchen utensils, nails, hinges, wheel hubs, keys, locks, farming tools, and so on. As an ecconomic example, if a housewife needed a spatula, it would have cost her about a month's egg and butter money -- the money she used to run her house. Smithing was a full-time job -- 12 to 16 hours a day, 6 days a week. A blacksmith had no time for nor financial need for farming.


The family story as told by Peg Spencer: There were two brothers born to Richard Wooldridge, of the Scottish Clan Wooldridge, around 1675 and 1678. They resided in the Mid-Lothian region, south of the Firth of Fourth. One was named William: the other was named John. As young men, they apprenticed to a blacksmith, learned the trade, and went to work for the royalty, eventually ending up in Ireland. As one war turned into another, they saw no end to their services and no future for themselves. So, they decided that one of them should go to America, and the other would stay in England; incase the ship went down, the family name would not be lost. John Wooldridge came to America, and William stayed in England, near London.

John Wooldridge, Sr., blacksmith, farmer and founder of a long-lived and farspread family, was born in Scotland about 1678 and immigrated from England to Virginia in the New World, as a young man, in the 1690's, as an indentured servant to Richard Kennon who was improving Brick House at Conjurer's Neck on Swift Creek off the Appomatox River in Henrico Co. Virginia. A headright was claimed for him by another member of the Kennon family years later (1717), and a 1699 reference to wages according to indenture suggests an artisan's contract for passage (artisan's contracts were typically due wages, John was a blacksmith, and agricultural indentures were not). He was thus part of, or at most a generation removed from, the high tide of immigration to the colony after 1650 as a result of which thousands of former servants, their terms completed, faced life on their own in Virginia by the turn of the century. While this background may have implied a family of middling station in Britain, in Virginia it meant starting from the bottom.

In 1717, William Kennon patented land in Henrico for the previous importation (in the 1690's) of John Brown, David Camell, John Whorly, Mary Brown, Cha. Gibson, Fran. Merryman, David Maybank, John Wooldredg, James Pentha, and Matthew Ford. Other Wooldridges were in Northumberland County from the 1670's. An Edward Wooldridge came to Maryland in 1622. Land was patented in York County in the 1640's for the transportation of Thomas Wooldridge, John Wooldridge (another by that name), and Timothy Wooldridge.

The Kennon establishment, Conjurer's Neck, stood on the Appomattox River about five miles from present-day Petersburg. Richard Kennon (also a slave trader) was among the newer class of merchants settling in Chesterfield County and was a factor for one of the large British firms. Kennon, however, did not confine his activities to trade, but was an ardent sportsman, raced horses at Bermuda Hundred, and became a large landowner. His dwelling, known as "Brick House," erected at Conjurors Neck, where he started to build in 1685, is believed to be the oldest house still standing in Chesterfield. The house is two rooms over two rooms, with a central hall will double doors front and back, end chimneys and firelplaces on each floor, and porches on the front and back. The house also has a basement.

A housing development of half-million dollar homes was put on the land in the late 1990's, but the Kennon house, "Brick House," has been preserved and restored as a museum with a good bit of land. The river view from the house is incredible.

Conjuror's Neck is a peninsula formed by the junction of Swift Creek and the Appomattox River. Tradition says the name was given the area because it was the dwelling place of a famous Appomatucks Indian medicine man when the first white man came to Chesterfield. Kennon became a member of the House of Burgesses and active in other colonial affairs. Kennon and John Pleasants, in 1682, were consignees for shipments of Negroes for sale. Richard Kennon died in 1696, and his widow, Elizabeth Worsham Bolling Kennon, then prevailed over the estate.

Indentured service or apprenticeship could be an opportunity; it apparently gave John Wooldridge a trade and a degree of literacy, he comes into the records demanding his due. In the Henrico County, Virginia, Court of March 1699, the "petn of John Woldredg against his Mistriss, Mrs. Eliza Kennon, for wages according to Indenture" was presented, then held through the subsequent three sessions. The petitioner sued in his own name (later Robert Hyde of York County became his lawyer) and was probably near 21 in 1699. The suit is the first record of a new man in that part of Virginia.

John Wooldridge (Sr.) worked as a blacksmith after his emancipation, staying in the Conjuror's Neck area. He was well set enough to marry, at about the age of 27, to Martha Osborne. No record of his marriage survives, but the date is approximated from the dates of birth of the children beginning about 1705; the sons listed in apparent order in his will. He married Martha, daughter of Edward Osborne about 1704 of the more established Osborne family, and began to raise a family.

Martha's grandfather, Captain Thomas Osborne, came to Virginia in 1616 and took over the Coxendale tract abandoned after the 1622 Indian massacre there, and patented additional land on Proctors Creek where years later a town bearing his name was started. The Captain was a burgess beginning in 1629 and two years later took on the added responsibilities of commissioner, or justice. John Wooldridge's association with families like the Osbornes, Wards and Branches points to a connection with people who had been resident much earlier in Virginia and who had already made places for themselves, although their original prominence was going into eclipse. In short, John Wooldridge seems to have made a good marriage, not into the local leadership but into solidly established clans.

John Wooldridge, Jr. was born about 1705, named after his father. Thomas Wooldridge, Sr. was born about 1707, named after his maternal great-grandfather. William Wooldridge, Sr. was born about 1709. Edward Wooldridge, Sr. was born about 1711, named after his maternal grandfather. Despite his growing family, John was able to save money -- blacksmiths were scarce and were able to demand high wages for their work.

The winter of 1709-1710 was a hard one -- the whole colony was swept by disease. And in 1711 tension arose when there were rumors of an impending invasion by a French fleet. John plied his trade and saved his money, and on March 1, 1712, when he was in his 30's, he bought his first land; 100 acres on the South side of the James River, from Bartholomew Stovall for five shillings. The land was bounded by Hugh Ligon and Edward Stratton.

His family continued to grow, and in 1715 his daughter Mary was born. Son Robert was born in 1719.

John Wooldridge, as a blacksmith, had much to offer in his own right. Lamentations over the scarcity of blacksmiths and the high prices they exacted suggest a master of the trade would have no trouble making a living. Smithing in turn brought him in contact in a small way with coal, for that was the fuel used. A colony of Huguenots came to Virginia in 1700, taking up land at Manakin at the western fringe of settlement on the southside of the James River. In 1701 coal was found in the area, as the story goes by a Huguenot youth, in search of a fowl he had brought down with his gun, clambering into a brushy declevity and happening on the black rocks. William Byrd patented land including a "cole mine" within the grant of the French refugees in 1704, and Abraham Salle, a leader of the settlement, patented land by "the cole pit road" in 1715. A contemporary wrote in about 1708 that the Manakin mine was "us'd by the Smith, for their Forges." If not already there, John Wooldridge soon joined the ranks of these "Smiths." Perhaps attracted by the coal, looking westwardly, John patented two 400 acre tracts on March 1, 1725 close up to the boundaries of the Huguenot settlement near Manakin, near the present Chesterfield-Powhatan border. These patents began the Wooldridge coal interests. The first tract lay on the South side of the James River adjoining the lands of Gilbert Gee and Mrs. Hannah Tullet. The second tract lay on the South side of Swift Creek on the Henrico Beaver Ponds. He gave the second tract to John Jr., who came of age about that time, as his own plantation.

THE HUGUENOTS- Up to the opening of the eighteenth century the imaginary boundary between the English settlements and the Indian lands was a line from the falls of the Appomattox River to the Manakin village on the James River at the mouth of Bernards Creek. But on the far frontier of Virginia aggressive French forces with bloodthirsty Indian allies posed such a threat that a buffer was deemed desirable. Consequently a large tract of the wilderness was set aside for a new type of immigrant -- the peaceful religious refugees from France known as Huguenots. Approximately 100,000 acres of land in the old haunts of the Manakins were made available for the placement of families exiled from their French homes by religious persecution. By the end of 1700, 800 Huguenots had settled in Virginia. While the Huguenots were Protestants and nominally under control of the Church of England, even their religious thought was alien to that of their neighbors in many respects. Radically different farming
methods were brought by them, and they showed no inclination to adopt the pattern set by the affluent planters below the falls or to slip into the habits of the small inland farmers. English homes of the period were often one and a half story homes (to avoid the tax on two-story homes) with a central hall and door. The Huguenot homes omitted the central hall and used "double doors" -- an outside door to each room. Yet the adaptability of the Huguenots is evidenced as they left no dialect or accent as a heritage, contrary to the French in Canada or Louisiana, neither did they leave any distinctly French architecture. Soon there were intermarriages and in a remarkably short time little differences in nationalities was seen. Each of the refugee families was assigned 133 acres, and to encourage them in becoming
permanently settled they were exempted by the Burgesses from all taxation for seven years, later extended another year. Upon application in person to a distributing station at Bermuda Hundred, each of the French families was eligible to receive a bushel of Indian meal monthly to tide it over until crops could be made. The necessary monthly travel between the French settlement and Bermuda Hundred converted the old Indian trails into something resembling roads and even encouraged settlers to move into the no longer isolated interior. The Manakins had been reduced to about 30 bowman and apparently
were willing to leave their old hunting grounds peacefully. In 1711 Abraham Salle was one of those who moved south and received a large grant in Chesterfield. Salle's eldest daughter, Magdalene, later married John Wooldridge's youngest son.

Coal in the region preserved its early reputation for smithing, and perhaps a strategic location near good quality coal fostered Wooldridge's success. Certainly it was plentiful; on land he later held in the same area, wagon wheels turned it up in their ruts. There may have been a natural transition from the blacksmith's casual collection of coal for his fire to open pit mining of coal for sale. John's son Robert was involved in one early commercial coal development: John Pankey advertised in the Virginia Gazette to sell pit coal from Robert Wooldridge's pits lying at Warwick on the James River. The business continued in the family until well into the nineteenth century. Except for William Byrd's activities, not a great deal is known about the earliest commercial coal developments in Virginia, and the link between the blacksmith father of the early eighteenth century and the mine operator son of the late eighteenth is suggestive.

Education was curiously random: John Wooldridge the blacksmith was literate, as were his sons John and Thomas, while the younger sons signed with a mark. By mid-eighteenth century, schooling was more readily available, and a higher percentage of the Revolutionary generation was literate. None of his children and few of his grandchildren ever moved north of the James River (or east, or due South): the Southside beginning set the family's course westerly through the Southside Piedmont for several generations.

In September 1729, John elevated his station, being thereafter called Mr. Wooldridge, dropping the assignation blacksmith. After taking a few years to seat his new Manakin lands, he sold his 100-acre tract, where he had lived, "land where Wooldridge lately dwelt," to Joseph Goode for 25 pounds in September 1729. The short move west brought closer connections to the Manakin Huguenots than Wooldridge was ready for, and soon regretted. About 1732 his daughter Mary married one of the detested French Huguenots. Four of his six children married Huguenots.

About 1731, his eldest son, John, Jr., married Elizabeth Branch, daughter of James Branch. Like his father, John married into one of the older and more prominent Virginia families. Christopher Branch had settled in Chesterfield County in the 1620's, and in 1624 his son was listed as the only Virginia born child in Chesterfield County. John Sr. soon became a grandfather with the birth of Richard Wooldridge.

About 1732 his daughter Mary married Jacob Trabue, another at least occasional blacksmith who became interested in coal, but one of the strange thinking and acting Huguenots. John Wooldridge Sr. objected, declaring to the couple that he would give them no help or inheritance.

In 1732, sons Thomas and Edward patented land in Goochland. On January 4, 1733, grandson Joseph Trabue was born to daughter Mary Wooldridge Trabue. About 1733, another grandson, John Wooldridge, III, was born to his son John, Jr. In 1734, John Jr. bought 300 acres of the Beaver Ponds land on Swift Creek, between the two proposed cities. About 1735, a granddaughter, Mary Wooldridge, was born to his son John Jr.

Son Thomas married and gave him another John Wooldridge grandson. Again, the Wooldridges married into an older and more prominent family, although it is not certain that it is the Hatcher girl he married. William Hatcher had received a grant of 1050 acres between Swift Creek and the Appomattox River around 1635.

On Aug. 28, 1735, son Jean/John Trabue was born to daughter Mary Wooldridge Trabue.

In 1736, John Wooldridge, Sr. bought 650 acres on the Buckingham road from Henry Cary for 32 pounds 10 shillings. The land seemingly adjoins his 1725 patent, from Henry Gary (of which 400 were given to his son Edward in 1753); in 1747 he patented 314 more acres, described as "on the French line" in his will. From this period if not earlier, he and his sons were directing their energies to the sovereign weed tobacco. They worked their holdings personally. In 1736 John Sr. had two or three hands and John Jr. one, but sons William and Thomas had none. In 1736, when John Sr. was about 58 years old, he owed quit rents on 800 acres. His son William paid on an additional 100 acres owned by John Roberts, and John Jr. paid on 300 acres just purchased from Samuel Burton. About this time his son William started farming on his own on 100 acres of John Roberts. William married his first wife in the late 1730's.

On Oct. 10, 1737, daughter Mary presented him with another grandson, David Trabue, and son Edward served as godfather. In 1738, grandson Richard Wooldridge by son William, was born, and about 1740 grandson William Jr. was born. On March 23, 1739, grandson William Trabue was born to daughter Mary W. Trabue, and son Robert served as his godfather. About 1740 son Thomas gave him another grandchild, Frances Wooldridge. On March 24, 1742, granddaughter Elizabeth Trabue was born to daughter Mary W. Trabue. In 1743 Mary Wooldridge was also born to son Thomas, and on June 11, 1744, Thomas presented him with granddaughter Elizabeth Wooldridge. About 1743 son Edward gave him another granddaughter. And on Oct. 29, 1744, daughter Mary W. Trabue gave him granddaughter Marie Trabue, and son William, now married to a second wife, Hueguenot Sarah Flournoy, served as her godfather.

Before 1744, perhaps about 1738, son Robert, about 18, married Magdalene Salle, said to be an "old girl." About 1740, son Robert gave him grandson Colonel Thomas Wooldridge. Another son, Abraham? was born to son Robert in the 1740s.

About 1745 the Wooldridge family built the first section of the family home, Midlothian, alongside an old Indian trail, then called Buckingham Road, now known as Midlothian Turnpike. This part of the house, now known as the East Wing, was a one-and-a-half story house with a central hall, outside chimneys, and had steep winding stairs leading to two small loft rooms lit by dormers. A porch stretched across the length of the front of the house. In the latter part of the century, soon after the Revolution, the West Wing was added. This part of the house was also built as a two-over-two but the second story had a gambrel roof, the only such roof in the village, allowing more headroom upstairs. Midlothian has a long history of hospitality to travelers, continuing in some fashion even today as Crab Louis Restaurant, where the owners proudly point out its Wooldridge origins. Midlothian was renamed "The Sycamores" in the late 1800's by the then-owners John J. Jewett and his wife Nancy Jones, who purchased it in 1875.

John Wooldridge had objected 14 years earlier to the marriage of his only daughter to French Huguenot Jacob Trabue but later regretted his decision to disinherit Mary. According to William Lacy, "About the year 1746 John Wooldridge Sr. sent for me to write his will and told me then, when Jacob Trabue married his daughter he was much dissatisfied with the match and he then made a resolve never to make Jacob Trabue the better for anything he was worth, but after he found Trabue to be a good husband he was sorry for his rash promise and had concluded to let his daughter have the use of a Negro girl named Hannah and her increase during his daughter's life and after her death to her son Joseph Trabue. He said, "I will make my grandson equal to my other sons in everything except land," and so I wrote his will. Another will was drawn in 1757, then changed by insertion. The changes made it questionable; it was finally ordered to be probated on May 5, 1759, after the Justices heard "arguments of the counsel on both sides." The real beneficiary was a lawyer, John Fleming, who entered on page 65 of his fee book for October 1757 the sum of 10 schillings for advice on a will and in May 1759, 12 schillings sixpence for "arguing the matter of Wooldridge's will" for Jacob Trabue.

By 1747, at the age of 69, John Wooldridge, Sr.'s holdings peaked at 1764 acres, including 400 long held by his son, John.

John Wooldridge died in 1757. By the time of the Revolutionary War most of his grandsons were of proper age, including one who had looked after him in the last years of his life and been rewarded with a 250 acre legacy, in one way or another took part on the side of the colonies.
Children of John Wooldridge and Martha Osborne are:
  i.   John Wooldridge, Jr., born 1705 in Henrico Co. Virginia; died 1783 in Chesterfield Co. Virginia; married (1) Elizabeth Branch 1730 in Henrico Co. Virginia; married (2) Margaret Aft. 1765.
  Notes for John Wooldridge, Jr.:
John Wooldridge (1705-1783), the eldest son of John Wooldridge, Sr., identified as "heir at Law" on his father's death, married about 1731 a daughter of James and Mary Ward Branch, probably Elizabeth Branch since a granddaugther was named Elizabeth Branch Wooldridge at a time before middle names were common. His first wife died by 1750, and John married another Branch connection, perhaps the Margaret named in his will, though Margaret may be a third wife by whom he had no children. The reason for identifying the second wife as a Branch or Branch connection is her naming a daughter Verlinche: that was a uniquely Branch name, probably a Virginia variation of "Valentia" going back to the Valentia Sparke who married Lionel Branch by 1602.

John lived a long but apparently uneventful life on his farm, and left few records except in connection with his land, seven farm-size tracts totaling 1983 acres. These impressive holdings set John above many of his neighbors economically. His taxable slaves numbered 1 in 1736, 2 in 1756, (Moll and Lucy), 6 in 1777, (Robin, Mingo, Nan, Moll, Luce, Jerey), and 6 in 1783. The apparent continuity of Moll's and Lucy's service, and John's efforts to keep another slave, Cesar, in his family, suggest a stable household. John's will refers to a total of 20 slaves owned at one time or another, a moderately large number for the eighteenth century, when slaves were less numerous.

In brief, John Wooldridge, Jr. acquired his 400 acre "plantation" through his father about the time he came of age around 1725 and lived in the immediate vicinity all his life, although he was licensed to keep ordinary (operate a tavern) in Goochland in 1748, "at his dwelling house in this county," with Henry Wood security. In 1750 he assisted in a survey of the road from Tomahawk Bridge to the County Line. Between 1750 and 1780 as his children married and set up on their own, he partitioned off or acquired and allocated a moderate farm to each of his sons except Robert. Some of them, (John, Edmund, Thomas) were still living on their portions in 1780 when John wrote his will, but others (Richard, William), preferring money, seem to have had their parcels sold for them by their father, who apparently sometimes had title even after relinquishing the land. This was his sons' patrimony: John's will merely confirmed his earlier gifts. The new tracts were scattered through what became the southside Piedmont counties of Powhatan, Cumberland, Buckingham, Prince Edward and Campbell.

Along with land, most sons seem, from John's will, to have received a slave. Daughters also received a slave, perhaps at the time of their marriage, as John's will speaks of them as already in the daughter's possession. One such gift may had led to a row. Mary Wooldridge married John Martin and received "a Negro man named Ceser" whom John Martin gave to his brother in 1755. Perhaps displeased, John Wooldridge bought Cesar back, and still owned him in 1780, when he again gave the man to Mary Martin's daughter Elizabeth Viers. On January 27, 1775, John deeded over three Negro children, Peter, Rose and Cesar (perhaps a son or nephew of the elder Cesar) to his son-in-law Daniel Elam.

Although 70 years old at the coming of the Revolution, John still took enough interest in affairs to sign a petition dated August 20, 1775, to the Third Virginia Convention. It prayed that Chesterfield's Committee of Association be dissolved and reelected, because it had been established without the petitioners' knowing what it was to do. However, "we now conceiving that the Committee are to do business of much Greater Importance, thant we could possibly then conceive," it seemed best to start over that "we may have no divisions amongst us, but all unite and be as one man in this Critical Time in the great and Common Cause." Events had moved so fast that what at first seemed to be one more protest committee by late summer 1775 was taking on the status of a governmental body, and Wooldridge and his neighbors wanted a say in its composition. The Revolution did not come full scale to Virginia for several more years, but when it did, Wooldridge furnished 300 pounds of beef for American troops, to John Robertson, "Commander."

In the last weeks of his life, John deeded one Negro, Bowser, to his son-in-law, William Walthall, and two Negroes, Sue (or Luce) and Juror, to his daughter Hannah Wooldridge. He died between May 20 (date of deed to Hannah) and July 4, 1783 (when his will was probated), rich in years, children (13 lived to maturity) and acres. His son Edward (i.e. Edmund) Wooldridge and son-in-law, Richard Elam, were his executors, and his estate included 6 Negroes, 8 horses, 14 cattle, 14 hogs, 10 sheep, 1 large Bible, a hymnbook, 3 small books, and assorted other household items.

John Wooldridge, Jr., died at the close of the colonial era, and it was the end of an era for his branch of the family in Virginia as well. His descendants who remained in the state became either small farmers, or, after another two generations, farm laborers. Those who emigrated seemed to do better than those who stayed in Virginia, where opportunity was narrowing. His children and grandchildren who remained in Virginia would have had good reason to feel, with many of their comtemporaries, that times were hard and the old days, the eighteenth century, had been better.

  ii.   Thomas Wooldridge, born 1707 in Henrico Co. Virginia; died May 1762 in Cumberland Co. Virginia; married Miss Hatcher-Watkins Abt. 1734 in Cumberland Co. Virginia.
  Notes for Thomas Wooldridge:
Thomas Wooldridge (1707-May 1762) first appears as a witness in a law suit in Goochland in 1730. With his brother Edward, he patented 400 acres in southside Goochland in 1732; later there is reference to the road from Manakintown Ferry to Thomas Wooldridge's place. His tithables were ordered to do road work in Goochland in 1737. His birthdate is estimated on the basis that he and Edward were of age in 1732. Thomas patented 300 additional acres there in 1745, where he subsequently lived. He was still taxed in Henrico in 1736, but did not pay; he may already have moved to the Goochland tract which fell in Cumberland when that county was created in 1749, and, after Thomas' death, in Powhatan. Thomas bought Edward's half of their old patent in 1757. The same year, Thomas Wooldridge of Cumberland bought 240 acres in Chesterfield from Richard and Jean Sumpter of that county for 18 pounds, on the Buckingham Road adjoining Ellisons, Henry Coxe's line, the Manakin Road, Trabue's corner and Falling Creek. Thomas Wooldridge is listed as a Constable in Cumberland in 1753.

From the estimated date of birth of his eldest son John, Thomas would have married by about 1735. The executors of his will, John and Thomas Watkins, might suggest a Watkins connection, but none has come to light. Thomas' land adjoined Henry Hatcher, Jr., and several Hatcher given names not usual on the Wooldridge side---Henry, Daniel, Joseph (=Josiah?), Seth-- are found in Thomas' family (Seth is a grandchild). In investigating Hatchers for a possible father-in-law for Thomas Wooldridge, Henry Hatcher, Sr. (1665-1743) or his son Josiah Hatcher (1700?-1762), whose youngest son Seth Hatcher was associated with Thomas Wooldridge's descendants in Powhatan for years, seemed most likely. Josiah's brother-in-law was guardian for a minor child of Thomas Wooldridge in 1765; on the other hand, Henry Hatcher, Sr., "assigned" land to Thomas Wooldridge not long after Thomas' estimated marriage date.

Thomas left his 300 acre home place to his son Thomas, his Chesterfield land to his son Daniel, the Cumberland patent in two 200 acre parcels to his sons John and Henry, and 70 pounds to Joseph to buy a piece of land. Thus all were provided real estate. A later advertisment in the Virginia Gazette for the home place gives an attractive description of an 18th century Virginia farm only recently carved out in the rapidly developing Piedmont: "To be sold to the highest bidder on Thursday the 27th of November at Meguider's (Magruder's) ordinary in Powhatan County. 300 acres of exceeding good tobacco land whereon is a dwelling house and several other convenient houses, all new, the plantation fresh, and in good order for cropping. It lies about twenty-two miles from Manchester on the main road, formerly the property of Thomas Wooldridge. Also my wife's dower in 186 acres of land lying near Jenitoe bridge on the Appomattox river..... John Cox

John Wooldridge was apparently already of age when his father Thomas died; and Thomas' will instructed that his sons Thomas, Henry, Daniel and Joseph be put to school until of proper age, i.e., about 16, to learn a trade. This is the only reference to school as such among the surviving records of the first three generations; and education was curiously random: John the blacksmith was literate, as were his sons John and Thomas, while the younger sons signed with a mark. By mid-eighteenth century, schooling seems more readily available, and a higher percentage of the Revolutionary generation was literate.

  iii.   William Wooldridge, born 1709 in Henrico Co. Virginia; died 1798 in Elbert Co. Georgia; married Sarah Flournoy Abt. 1750 in Chesterfield Co. Virginia; born 1718 in Henrico Co. Virginia; died 1806 in Elbert Co. Georgia.
  Notes for William Wooldridge:
William Wooldridge (1709-1798) was born in Henrico County, Virginia. He was apparently the second or third son of John and Martha Wooldridge of that county, and as his father's executor and legatee of his blacksmith's tools, may have been the leader of the family after his father's death. He appears in the Henrico records from time to time in various ways but does not hold public office in the county. For example, at the April Court in 1743, together with John Wooldridge, Samuel Jordan and Jacob Trabue, he was ordered to appraise the estate of Moses Ferguson, deceased. The same year, "On motion of William Wooldridge, leave is given to keep an ordinary at Samuel Jordan's home below the mount and Jordan enters himself as security."

William may have started farming on his own on a 100 acres of John Roberts', on which William paid the tax in 1736 (his son Richard married Jane Roberts). Then after his stint of keeping ordinary (operate a tavern) at Jordan's he patented 400 acres in Albemarle in 1748, receiving two years later 2000 acres in the same county, in the part which became Buckingham. His father's will left him 414 more acres in Chesterfield, and it is not known whether he ever lived in the Buckingham section, though a Samuel Jordan did.

William Wooldridge had at least two wives; the name of the first, whom he probably married in the late 1730s, is not known. His second wife, whom he seems to have married about 1750 in Chesterfield County, was Sarah Flournoy, of the noted French Huguenot family of that name. He continued to live on land adjoining his father and brothers in Chesterfield after it was cut from Henrico, and was one of the fairly propsperous planters in that area, owning several hundred acres and some slaves. He appears on the 1756 Chesterfield County tithable list, charged with tax for himself, son William and slaves Frank and James. His oldest son Richard was at that time living with John Wooldridge, Sr., William's father.

After the year 1770, William and Sarah Wooldridge's family, then William and Sarah, decided to move South. While the reason for this move is not clear as none of the rest of the Wooldridges left Virginia at this time. In fact, William was the only one in the second generation to leave the immediate Chesterfield vicinity; some of the Flournoys did, and perhaps Sarah wanted to go with her brothers to the new territory. Beginning in 1771, they began to show up in the records of Surry County, in western North Carolina, though in 1777, William, Thomas and Edward are tithables in one household in Chesterfield and as late as 1778 he is called "of Chesterfield" when selling off his remaining land there. William, or his son William, shows in the Surry County deeds as buying and selling land; in 1777 he is on the venire from which the Grand Jury for Salisbury District is chosen, and in 1778 Captain of militia in his district. He remained in that capacity until the early 1780s, when he decided to move further south. His service in the Surry County militia is considered service in the Revolutionary War. There was plenty for the militia to do because of the Tory element in western North Carolina. John Hudspeth, brother of William's daughter-in-law, Lucy Hudspeth, was killed while serving as a tax collector in Surry.

By the early 1780s, William Wooldridge and part of his family moved on south to Elbert County, Georgia, where he again purchased land and became one of the prominent planters of the county. His land lay on Beaver Dam Creek, and his sons, Gibson and Thomas, owned land that adjoined him for part of the time. He lived in Elbert County for the remainder of his life, signing his will there on December 6, 1797, as a man in his eighties; it names his five sons, two daughters, and wife Sarah, and divides his estate among them, including 24 slaves, two of whom, Phoebe (who was to be manumitted on Sarah's death) and Kate (or their namesakes) had been in the family for 35 years. Sarah Wooldridge signed her will on February 24, 1804, and it was recorded on May 27, 1806. Sarah's will names her three sons and one daughter, as well as the children of a deceased daughter.

  Notes for Sarah Flournoy:
Sarah Wooldridge signed her will on February 24, 1804, and it was recorded on May 27, 1806. Sarah's will names her three sons and one daughter, as well as the children of a deceased daughter.

  More About Sarah Flournoy:
Nickname: Called "Sally"

  320 iv.   Edward Wooldridge, born 1711 in Henrico Co. Virginia; died October 10, 1808 in Chesterfield Co. Virginia; married Mary Flournoy 1740 in Chesterfield Co. Virginia.
  v.   Mary Wooldridge, born Bet. 1712 - 1715 in Henrico Co. Virginia; died 1789 in Chesterfield Co. Virginia; married Jacob Trabue 1732 in Virginia.
  vi.   Robert Wooldridge, born 1718 in Henrico Co. Virginia; died 1794 in Chesterfield Co. Virginia; married Magdalene Sallee Abt. 1741 in Virginia.
  Notes for Robert Wooldridge:
Robert Wooldridge (1718-1794) His birthdate is estimated from his appearance as godfather for his nephew William Trabue (son of Jacob and Mary Wooldridge Trabue) in 1739. He married Magdalene Salle, daughter of Abraham Salle, Jr., before 1744, when Magdalene Wooldridge served as godmother to their niece Marie Trabue. Perhaps the marriage occurred about 1741, as their first son Thomas was old enough to be bequeathed John Sr.'s "wearing clothes" in 1757, but apparently not yet 16 in 1756. Though Robert was a younger son, his descendants were among the most prominent of the family to remain in Virginia, so perhaps the connection with the Salles proved fortunate, socially or hereditarily or both.

Robert Wooldridge bought no land until he was 36; perhaps until then, as the youngest son, he stayed on to manage his father's home place, which he inherited. His name appears in the Chesterfield records of the 1760s and on a 1777 tithes list of Manchester parish with five slaves. He or perhaps his son furnished service or supplies in Chesterfield in the Revolution.

Robert Wooldridge produced coal commercially for sale on the James River at Warwick; he bequeathed "my coal pitts" in his will to his four sons but "In case anyone disagrees concerning the said pitts and premises the coal pits to be set up to the highest bidder allowing 12 months credit" and the proceeds divided among the four.

Long before Robert's death in 1794, his son Thomas had become a Justice of the Chesterfield County Court. The second generation, though prospering, did not hold office but prepared the way for some of the third to achieve more prominence at the county level.

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