Friday, March 27, 2020

52 Ancestors - Week 323: #534 Josiah Wood (1687-1753) of Woburn, Massachusetts

Josiah Wood (1687-1753) is number 534 on my Ahnentafel List, my 7th great-grandfather, who married #535 Ruth Walker (1692-1752) in 1710 in Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

*  their daughter #267 Susanna Wood (1724-1780) who married #266 Nathan Reed (1719-1802) in 1743.
*  their son #132 Simon Gates (1739-1803) who married #133 Susannah Reed (1745-1833) in 1766.
*  their son #66 Nathan Gates (1767-1830) who married #67 Abigail Knowlton (1774-1855) in 1790.
*  their daughter, #33 Abigail Gates (1797-1867) who married  #32 Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825)  in 1817.
*  their son #16 Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) who married #17 Lucretia Townsend Smith (1828-1884) in 1851.
*  their son #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) who married #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) in 1874.
*  their son #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
*  their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)  in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Name:                             Josiah Wood[1–5]    

*  Sex:                                Male    

*  Father:                           Josiah Wood (1658-1741)    
*  Mother:                         Abigail Bacon (1667-1743)  
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                             31 August 1687, Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1–2]    

*  Guardianship:               11 October 1736 (age 49), declared non compos mentis; Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[4]    

*  Death:                           4 January 1753 (age 65), Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1,5]  

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:                      Ruth Walker (1692-1752)    
*  Marriage:                      1710 (about age 23), Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1,3]    

*  Child 1:                       Josiah Wood (1711-1730)    
*  Child 2:                       John Wood (1713-1752)    
*  Child 3:                       Joseph Wood (1715-    )    
*  Child 4:                       Edward Wood (1718-    )    
*  Child 5:                       Ruth Wood (1720-1744)    
*  Child 6:                       Solomon Wood (1722-1790)    
*  Child 7:                       Susanna Wood (1724-1780)    
*  Child 8:                       Mary Wood (1726-1775)    
*  Child 9:                       Phebe Wood (1729-    )  

4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

The Wood family of  eastern Massachusetts was described in "The English Origins and Descendants to the Fourth Generation of Edward Wood of Charlestown, Massachusetts" by Janet Delorey in The Genealogist[1]  However, this Josiah Wood family is not treated in full.

Josiah Wood was born 31 August 1687 in Woburn, Massachusetts Bay, the son of Josiah and Abigail (Bacon) Wood of Woburn, the eldest of seven children[1-2].  He was the third generation with his given name of Josiah.  The birth record in the Woburn town vital record book says:
"[WOOD] Josiah, s. of Josiah and Abigail, Aug. 31, 1687."
Josiah married Ruth Walker (1692-1752) of Woburn in 1710 in Woburn[1,3].  She was the daughter of John and Ruth (Kendall) Walker of Woburn.  They had nine children between 1711 and 1729, all registered in Woburn[2]:

*  Josiah Wood (1711-1730).
*  John Wood (1713-1752), married 1736 Esther Johnson (1715-????)
*  Joseph Wood (1715-????) married 1736 Tabitha Hazeltine (1714-1780)
*  Edward Wood (1718-????), married about 1743 Ruth --?-- (1720-????).
*  Ruth Wood (1720-1744) married 1742 Benjamin Nutting (1711-1749).
*  Solomon Wood (1722-1790) married 1752 Martha Johnson (1734-????).
*  Susanna Wood (1724-1780) married 1743 Nathan Reed (1719-1802).
*  Mary Wood (1726-1775) married 1746 George Reed (1723-1804)
*  Phebe Wood (1729-????) married 1749 William Slack (1726-1790).

Josiah Wood of Woburn was declared "non compos mentis" in May 1736. The records are in Middlesex County Probate Records, Packet #25,489[4]:
*  In May 1736, his wife Ruth and eldest son John Wood declared that "the said Josiah Wood, by the Providence of God is become non compos mentis, and so wanting of understanding as to be uncapable of providing for himself or managing his efforts.  That by reason of the Purchase he made a little before he fell into these his said unhappy circumstances he is considerably in Debt."
*  The Selectmen of Woburn (John Foishe (?), John Russell, Samuel Richardson and James Simonds) declared to the Court that they were of the opinion that "Josiah Wood Junior is so far non compos as that is alltogether uncapable to take any care or to provide for himself or family or to manage his affaires."
*  Consequently, Ruth Wood and John Wood were appointed guardians of Josiah Wood on 11 October 1736.  John Wood and Samuel Wood posted 1,000 pounds as bond for the guardianship and were charged to produce an inventory of the estate of Josiah Wood, Junior, husbandman of Woburn.
*  On 8 January 1736/7, the Debts due from the estate of Josiah Wood Junior totalled 219 pounds, 15 shillings.
*  On 12 January 1736/7, Jonathan Bacon, Samuel Wood and Edward Walker subscribed to the inventory of the estate of Josiah Wood of Woburn, non compos.  The real estate included:
**  His new dwelling house and barn and about 22 acres of land (340 pounds)
**  The House and Land and Meadow he bought of Mr. John Knight about 52 acres (400 pounds)
**  56 acres of Land and meadow and swamp lying at a place called Longmedow (420 pounds)
**  14 acres of Land lying on Longmeadow Hill (70 pounds)
**  4 acres of Land adjoyning to Land that was John Wymans (20 pounds)
The inventory totaled 1,430 pounds, 19 shillings including the livestock, household stuff and supplies.
*  The list of debts and inventory were accepted by the Court on 17 January 1736/7.  A note on the bottom of the page says "would sell the land bought of John Knight - to the value of the Debts, the Personal Estate being necessary to keep house."
*  Ruth Wood and John Wood, guardians of Josiah Wood Junior, non compos mentis, wrote an account dated 17 January 1736/7 that added 16 pounds in cash received of Ruth Wood, 80 pounds in cash received of John Wood that was due from the estate of Josiah Wood deceased, and 20 pounds from Samuel Wood on the Bond account yet due.  The accountants craved allowance in their discharge of debts to George Reed, Thomas Skilton Junior, Sibella Reed, John Knight, Jonathan Hayward, Edward Walker, and Ebenezer Reed;  John Wood requested 60 pounds for his service and for the care of Josiah Wood and family for two years;  for court costs; and for cash to repair the house and barn, and for a pair of oxen, a pair of cows, and for a horse; 90 pounds to Edward Wood for three years service on the place;  53 pounds 12 shillings was received from John Wood for land sold, and 5 pounds 10 shillings for timber sold.  The account was accepted by the Court on 12 December 1741 as far as they had proceeded.
*  On 2 December 1743, Joseph Wood, Nathan Reed, Josiah Johnson, Benjamin Nutting, Thomas Skilton Junior, Edward Wood, Thomas Skilton, Mary Wood and Phebe Wood petitioned the Court to depose John Wood from his office by reason of his unbecoming behavior and place their uncle Edward Walker in his place.  John Wood was summoned on 12 December 1743 to appear before the Judge on the first Monday of January 1743/4 to answer the written complaint.  On 14 December 1743, Thomas Skilton, Thomas Skilton Junior, George Reed and Ebenezer Reed certified, being neighbors, they were well satisfied that John Wood takes advantage by his being Guardian with his mother in the management of his father's estate, noting that he takes produce from the estate without his mother's free consent and to the damage of the estate.  The Judge removed John Wood as a guardian on 9 January 1743/4, appointing Ruth Wood, wife of Josiah Wood, as his sole Guardian.
Josiah's parents died in the early 1740s but there is no probate record for them in Middlesex County.

Josiah's wife, Ruth, died in March 1752.  Josiah and Ruth probably were cared for until their deaths by one of his children.

Josiah Wood died 4 January 1753 in Woburn, Massachusetts[5].  There is no burial record for Josiah Wood, and there is no further probate record for him or Ruth..

1. Janet Ireland Delorey, "English Origins and Descendants to the Fourth Generation of Edward Wood of Charlestown, Massachusetts," The Genealogist, Volume 10, pages 90 ff., page 111, sketch of #16  Josiah Wood (1658-1741) lists Josiah Wood (1687-1753) family.

2. Edward F. Johnson,  Woburn Records of Births, Marriages and Deaths [3 Volumes], (Woburn, Mass.: The News Print, 1893), Births, page 280, Josiah Wood birth entry, 31 August 1687, son of Josiah and Abigail.

3. Edward F. Johnson, Woburn Records of Births, Marriages and Deaths [3 Volumes], Volume 3, page 410, Josiah Wood and Ruth Walker marriage entry, 1710.

4. "Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors ( : accessed 13 August 2017), Packet #25,489, Josiah Wood, 1736 non compos mentis estate papers (14 sheets).

5. Edward F. Johnson, Woburn Records of Births, Marriages and Deaths [5 Volumes], Volume 2, page 210, Josiah Wood death entry, 1753.


NOTE:  In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2020 for a seventh year to 364 Ancestors in 364 Weeks.  The list of 52 Ancestors biographies from my great-grandparents to the 7th great-grandparents (in work) is in

Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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