Friday, April 3, 2020

52 Ancestors - Week 324: #535 Ruth (Walker) Wood (1692-1752) of Woburn, Massachusetts

 Ruth Walker (1692-1752) is number 535 on my Ahnentafel List, my 7th great-grandmother, who married #534 Josiah Wood (1687-1753) 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:                         Ruth Walker[1–4]    
*  Alternate Name:         Ruth Wood [5-6]

*  Sex:                            Female    

*  Father:                       John Walker (1665-1699)    
*  Mother:                     Ruth Kendall (1675-1730)  
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                         4 December 1692, Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1–3]    

*  Distribution:              5 June 1699 (age 6), father's estate administration; Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[4]    

*  Guardianship:           11 August 1736 (age 43), appointed guardian of husband Josiah Wood declared non compos mentis; Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[3,5]    

*  Death:                       March 1752 (about age 59), Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1,6]  

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

*  Spouse 1:                      Josiah Wood (1687-1753)    
*  Marriage:                      1710 (about age 18), Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1,3,7]    

*  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):  

Arthur G. Loring and William R. Cutter wrote "Samuel Walker of Woburn, Mass. and Some of his Descendants," published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, October 1903, Volume 57, pp. 350-356.  The John Walker family sketch starts on page 354.

Ruth Walker was born 4 December 1692 in Woburn, Massachussetts Bay, the first child of John and Ruth (Kendall) Walker[1-3].  

Ruth's father, John Walker (1665-1699) died on 29 April 1699 in a fight with natives at Wheelwright Pond in Lee, new Hampshire, leaving his wife and two young children (Ruth and Edward) without a father.  John left a will requesting that his cousin George Reed be the guardian of daughter Ruth Walker.  However, the will was not proved, and an administration on the estate was opened with wife Ruth (Kendall) Walker and brother John Walker appointed administrators[4].  The real and personal estate was split half to the widow, and half to the children, probably in a guardianship.  Ruth (Kendall) Walker married her husband's cousin, Henry Walker (1679-????) in October 1700, and they had five children.  Perhaps the two children grew up in that household.  

Ruth Walker married Josiah Wood (1687-1753) of Woburn in 1710 in Woburn[1,3,7].  He was the son of Josiah and Abigail (Bacon) Wood. They had nine children born between 1711 and 1729, all registered in Woburn:

*  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[5]:

*  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."

*  Consequently, Ruth Wood and son 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.

*  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.

Ruth and her husband resided in Woburn until their deaths, probably residing with one of their older children. 

Ruth (Walker) Wood died in March 1752[1,6], and Josiah died on 4 January 1753 in Woburn, Massachusetts.  There is no burial record for Ruth (Walker) Wood, and no probate record for her in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

1. Arthur G. Loring and William R. Cutter, "Samuel Walker of Woburn, Mass. and Some of his Descendants," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 57, number 4 (October 1903,  pages 350-356., pages 354-5, John Walker family sketch.

2. Edward F. Johnson,  Woburn Records of Births, Marriages and Deaths [5 Volumes], (Woburn, Mass.: The News Print, 1893), Volume 1, Births, page 267, Ruth Walker birth entry, 1692.

3. 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.

4. "Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors ( : accessed, Probate Packet #23,579, John Walker estate papers, 1699.

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

6. Edward F. Johnson, Woburn Records of Births, Marriages and Deaths [5 Volumes], Volume 2, Deaths, page 210, Ruth Wood death entry, 1752.

7. Edward F. Johnson, Woburn Records of Births, Marriages and Deaths [5 Volumes], Volume 3, page 410, Josiah Wood and Ruth Walker marriage entry, 1710.


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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