John Alexander Woodson (c.1586 - 1644) MP

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Dr. John Woodson of Flowerdew Hundred's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Dorchester, Devon, England
Death: Died in USA
Cause of death: Killed by Indians
Occupation: Physician; graduated in 1604 from Oxford University, Doctor, Medical Doctor, Surgeon to the Jamestown Militia, Physician
Managed by: Steven Patrick Frank
Last Updated:

About John Alexander Woodson

John Woodson is listed as head of household and Sarah Woodson is listed as his wife in the muster for Peirseys hundred (Jan. 1, 1624/1625). The same muster also gives their ship (the George) and their date of arrival (1619). No children are listed.

The Woodson Family

http://www.jcsisle.com/woodson.html

" On May 23, 1609, the London Company was granted a new charter which gave them all the land two hundred miles north and south of Point Comfort and extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, the distance being entirely unknown to the King or any of the Company.

During the year 1609, the London Company fitted out nine ships with five hundred emigrants and a great quantity of supplies of all kinds needed by the Colonists in Jamestown, Virginia. Within the next year a great many of these people died, so that at the close of 1610 there were less than one hundred white persons alive at Jamestown.

         

The council at London had appointed Lord De la War, governor of South Virginia, and he arrived at Jamestown in the summer of 1610 with a considerable number of emigrants and a large cargo of supplies. He immediately assumed charge of colonial affairs. The charter was amended from time to time and new governors frequently appointed, as the terms of service were usually of short duration, owing to resignation, death or other causes of removal.

Emigrants were constantly being sent over from England to Virginia until the white population increased to about one thousand in 1617. The office of governor had changed hands often, sometimes being occupied by men of no talent for leadership; at other times by men of marked executive ability.

When Governor Dale returned to England in 1618, Sir George Yeardley was appointed to succeed him. The colony at that time numbered nearly two thousand men of high character. Many of these men, owing to the law of primogeniture, lived at home under a great disadvantage, and could accomplish something for themselves, only by going to some part of the world where that law was not operative in its strictest construction.

On the 29th day of January, 1619, the ship George sailed from England and landed the following April at Jamestown, Virginia, nearly a year before the more famous ship, the Mayflower, came to Plymouth's shore. This vessel brought the new governor, Sir George Yeardley and about one hundred passengers; among whom were Dr. John Woodson, of Dorsetshire, and his wife Sarah, whom he had married in Devonshire. Tradition has it that her maiden name was Winston, but no documentation has been found to prove this. Dr. Woodson came in the capacity of surgeon to a company of soldiers who were sent over for the protection of the colonist against the Indians.

It was during the administration of Governor Yeardley that the settlements were divided into eleven burroughs, each of which was allowed two representatives. These representatives were called burgesses, and when assembled, constituted the house of burgess’s, which, with the governor and council, formed the general assembly or colonial government. This general assembly convened at Jamestown, June 19, 1619, and was the first legislative assembly to perform its functions in Virginia.

       

Dr. John Woodson was a man of high character and of great value to the colony. He was born about 1586, in Devonshire, England, matriculated at St. Johns' College [part of Cambridge University], March 1, 1604, at the age of eighteen. Like other gentlemen of his time, he, no doubt had a desire to see the new country in which the Virginia Company of London had planted their colony a dozen years previously, so at the age of thirty-three he, with his wife, Sarah, embarked on the ship George.

         

Sometime in 1620 a vessel landed at Jamestown, having on board about twenty negro captives whom the Dutch skipper had kidnapped somewhere on the coast of Africa. These were sold to the colonist as slaves and found to be quite profitable in the cultivation of tobacco which was the staple crop at that time.

        

Dr. John Woodson, at this time or shortly afterwards, bought six of these Africans who were registered in 1623 as part of his household, but no names were given. It was also during this year, 1620, that the London Company sent over about one hundred maids, respectable young women possessed of no wealth but of irreproachable character, who desired to seek their fortunes in the new world. The young men of the colony eagerly sought their hands in marriage.

Dr. John Woodson located at Fleur de Hundred, or, as it was sometimes called, Piersey's Hundred, some thirty miles above Jamestown on the south side of the James River in what is now Prince George County. He and his wife, Sarah, and their six negro slaves were registered at Fleur de Hundred in February 1623 Their two sons John and Robert were probably born at Fleur De Hundred. John was born in 1632 and Robert in 1634. There was also a daughter named Deborah.

      

The colonist lived in constant dread of an Indian uprising against them. There had never been any real peace or confidence between the two races since the great massacre of 1622. On 18, April 1644, the Indians made a sudden attack upon the settlements and killed about three hundred of the colonists. The following account is family tradition and has been passed down through many generations.

When the Indians attacked in April of 1644, Dr. Woodson was among those killed. He was returning home from seeing a patient and he was massacred by the Indians within sight of his home. Sarah managed to hold off the Indians along with a man named Col. Thomas Ligon, b. 1586 Madresfield, England, the cousin of Sir William Berkeley, Royal Governor of Virginia. He served in the House of Burgesses 1644-1645, was a Justice for Charles City County 1657 and was Lt. Col. Militia, Henrico County during the Indian wars. Sarah gave Col. Ligon her husband's gun and set about to find a weapon for herself. Looking for a place to hide the children, she spied a tub nearby; it was the only thing large enough to conceal a boy of ten. She placed John under the tub, and then managed to securely hide Robert in the potato pit.

     

While Col. Ligon found a tree notch to brace the eight-foot muzzle-loading gun, Sarah was back in the house. Two Indians who were in the process of descending inside the chimney met her. She disabled the first with a pot of boiling water and felled the second with a roasting pit. (The reader must accept this account as given, no explanation has been offered as to why the Indians would risk a smoking chimney with a hot fire at the bottom. There has been no account of where little Deborah was hidden during the attack). Col. Ligon had, in the meantime, killed seven Indians as they approached the house. It was not until after the Indians had fled that Sarah and Col. Ligon found that her husband had been killed.

     

Mrs. Venable, of Chicago, gave the eight-foot muzzle-loading gun to the Virginia Historical Society in 1927. She was a direct descendant of the Virginia Woodson’s and felt that the prized relic should be back home in Virginia. The gun bears the name "Collicot" and is said to predate 1625. It is protected carefully from moisture and scarring by the use of a protective blanket. Whether the details of the massacre are exactly as related, the gun stands as a stark testimony of the event and the times.

There is apparently no record of whether John and Sarah Woodson were then living at Peircey's Hundred or whether they had already settled on the north side of the James at "Curles". The Indians under the Powhatan Confederation attacked the English settlements on the outlying plantations, under the leadership of Chief Opechancanough. Under the new governor, Sir William Berkeley, the colonists retaliated decisively and captured the chief. Berkeley also imposed a treaty that brought a guarded peace for a generation.

      

Due to the loss of a great many of the ancient records of Virginia, there is no further record of Sarah and her children. The presence of John and Robert Woodson in "Curles" in 1679 is certainly compatible with the time frame of the preceding events. Robert gave a deposition in June 1680 in which he described himself as being "aged about 46 years". He would have then been born in 1634. It is believed that his brother, John, was the eldest. The surname of Woodson is uncommon enough to believe that they were the same family.

     

There is additional information about the lives of John and Sarah that has been handed down for generations. The Woodson Genealogy, written by Charles Woodson (II), son of Charles and Mary Pleasants Woodson was given to Sarah Bates, the daughter of Thomas Fleming Bates while she was visiting her Uncle Charles. It is thought that Charles (I) the son of Tarleton wrote a part of the genealogy. It was this information that Dr. R.A. Brock used to write his booklet "Descendants of John Woodson of Dorcetshire, England", in 1888. The book originally sold for fifty cents a copy. It was this booklet that has been used as a source material frequently since. Charles Woodson (I) was born about 1711; his father, Tarleton Woodson, born in the 1680's, died in 1763; Tarleton's father died in 1715, but a short time after the death of his father, Robert. It would seem that Charles Woodson (I) would have had an excellent opportunity to learn from his ancestors. His account not only supplied details of the lives of John and Sarah, but the link between them and John and Robert, who were living at "Curles" in 1679.

Later information seems to indicate that Sarah married again, which would surely have been reasonable. There may have been other children, which also seems logical, given the fact that John and Sarah were married before 1620. There is also supposition that there were two Sarah Woodson’s, the first one that came over from England with John and died here, and then another marriage to a Sarah who was the mother of John and Robert. A volume of Henrico County miscellaneous court records, 1650-1807, has been assembled from loose papers from the county records. An inventory for the estate of Sarah Johnson was recorded. It was, in effect, both a nuncupative will and an inventory of her possessions. She was identified as Sarah Johnson, widow, deceased and the date it was recorded was 17 January 1660.

       

The inventory leaves little doubt that Sarah Woodson married a second time to a Mr. Dunwell, and a third time to a Mr. Johnson. Her three husbands all dying before her. It seems unlikely that both John and Robert would have been involved in her affairs, and thus the disposition of her estate, had they not been her sons. Deborah may have been still under twenty-one at the time of her mother's death since Sarah was concerned about providing for her maintenance. Even though a daughter named Sarah was not mentioned as being one of the children that Sarah hid during the fight with the Indians, she could have been pregnant at the time, delivering the child after her husband's death.

Children of John Woodson and Sarah Winston Woodson: 1. John Woodson2 b. 1632 m. 2nd Sarah Browne, d. 1684. 2. Robert Woodson b. 1634 m. Elizabeth Ferris, d. ca. 1707.

Robert Woodson, last known to be living in 1707, Henrico Co., VA. when he made a deed to his grandson, William and Joseph Lewis. He married Elizabeth Ferris, daughter of Richard Ferris, of Henrico, with whom, among others, received a patent, 21, October 1687, for 1785 acres at White Oak Swamp in Varina Parish, in that county. This man was the direct ancestor of Jesse Woodson James, and his brother, Alexander Franklin "Frank" James, the famous James Boys.

Robert2 Woodson married Elizabeth Ferris: son Benjamin3 Woodson, married Sarah Porter; their son Robert4 Woodson (d. 1748/50) married Rebecca Pryor. Their daughter Elizabeth married Shadrach Mims (1734-1777) and became the mother of Elizabeth Mims (b. 1769) who married Robert Poor (1763-1801), a cornet in the American Revolutionary War. Their daughter in turn, Mary Poor, (died 1825) married John James (1775-1827), son of William and Mary (Hinds) James of Goochland County, Virginia. Their son Robert Sallee James, who died in the Gold Rush area of California, married Zerelda Cole and they had sons Frank James and Jesse James. (See: Background of a Bandit, by Joan M. Beamis and William E. Pullen (1971).


Jesse Woodson James, the bandit, married his cousin Zerelda "Zee" Amanda Mims. She was also a descendant of Elizabeth Woodson Mims, who married Robert Poor.

3. Deborah (mentioned in mothers will)."

This information remains the work & property of its author, name unknown to me, who posted it at http://www.jcsisle.com/woodson.html. Our use here is historical and informational, with full acknowledgement and my personal gratitude to the researcher.

_______________________________________________

The following story was sent by William Stephen Woodson:

(please excuse any prejudicial remarks)

"There are many stories told about these Woodson, like the one about Dr. John Woodson and his family in April 1644. There was an Indian uprising during which the savages made a sudden attack on Fleur de Hundred. Dr. Woodson, returning from visiting his patients was killed as he returned home. His wife and two children were alone in the house with the exception of an old schoolmaster. Their only weapon was a huge old- fashioned gun which the schoolmaster used so effectively that at the first fire he killed three Indians and at the second, two. Meanwhile two Indians tried to come down the chimney to the house. Mrs. Woodson seized a pot of boiling water from the fire and scalded the first; she snatched up the iron spit from the fireplace and with it brained the second. The howling savages began to retreat, but the schoolmaster fired a last shot, killing two more of the enemy.

Then the mother called the two little boys from their hiding places: the ten-year old had been concealed under a large wash tub and the twelve-year old crawled out from a hole in which potatoes were stored in winter.

Even today when there is a gathering of Woodsons, a favorite question is, 'Are you a wash-tub Woodson or a potato-hole?'

In the early part of the 16th century, one of Dr. Woodson's ancestors was granted a coat of arms by Henry VIII; along with this privilege came the right 'to bear arms.' Nothing was said about his wife's right, though!" Info:

"John Woodson, from Dorsetshire, his wife from Devonshire, came to Virginia with Sir John Harvey, as surgeon to a company of soldiers in the year 1625"

"John Woodson came to Virginia in the George, which left England January 29, 1619, bearing the new Governor, Sir George Yardley, and about one hundred passengers" (Genealogies of Virginia Families, From the William and Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine, Volume V, Thompson-Yates (and Appendix), Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1982)

Arrived in Virginia on ship "George" in 1619. Survivor of Indian massacre, March 22, 1622 Killed in Indian massacre, April 18, 1644 within site of his own home, (Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, 1976, p3-8)

Flower de Hundred, sometimes called Peirsey's Hundred was on the south side of the James River. Curls (or Curles) was a plantation on the north side of the James River, above Flower de Hundred. (Genealogies of Virginia Families, From the William and Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine, Volume V, Thompson-Yates (and Appendix), Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1982)

--------------------

While no record evidence has so far been discovered to that effect it is doubtless a fact that Robert and John Woodson, Senior , of Henrico County , the two brothers from whom the Virginia Woodsons descend,* were sons or grandsons of John and Sarah Woodson of Flower de Hundred . Robert Woodson was born circa 1634 . The date of John Woodson 's birth is not now known. There are no remaining Henrico County records prior to 1677 (though Henrico County was one of the original eight shires of 1632 ), and the first mention that we have of the Woodsons in Henrico is in June, 1679 , when there was entered "An Account of ye Severall Fortye Tytheables Ordered by this Worll Court to fitt out men, horse, etc., according to Act: viz.:


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Woodson; John Sr. , of Henrico Co. Planter, Will of; To son Robert Woodson in consideration of the three years yt he hath laboured for himself shall possess and enjoy my servant boy Ellis , and my Indian Girl Indea during term they have to serve. To sd. son Robert Woodson , 60 acres of land Joyning unto that land of my Cozen John Woodson , and 100 acres of land lying & being upon the north side of Bagley's Brook , Noe sale to be made of the same or any part thereof but to be kept for the use & benefit of him & his heirs forever. Residue of personal unbequeathed, my wife shall have her full third part, Son Robert one third part; other third to be divided as followeth, one half part to my sons two children named Jane & Samuell and the other half part to my brother Robert Woodson 's four youngest children named Robert, Richd. , Joseph & Benjamin . To Cozen John Woodson small parcell of land whereon his dwelling house & orchard standeth the bounds being known from a Gum standing upon the River Side & soe to a black Oak that is lately fallen & soe away upon a straight line unto his own line. To son John Woodson one hnd. of Tobacco. Son John Woodson full and sole Executor, and for his care and trouble, said John Woodson to have all such part & parcell of land as yett unbequeathed. Aug. 20, 1684 . Witnesses-John Mackneill , George Steward , Thos. Charles . Memd.: before sealing it is ye desire & will of ye testator that his wife shall have all her wearing apparell both linen and woolen. Proved Octr. 1, 1684 . --------------------

Dr. John Woodson attended St. John's College at Cambridge. Sarah was a Quaker, and rather than make her give up her religion, he immigrated with her to the colonies.

Dr. John Woodson's father died in Bristol, England. John was his fourth son.

Children of John Woodson and Sarah Winston are:

2. i. ROBERT2 WOODSON, b. 1634, Jamestown, Prince George County, Virginia; d. 1716, Fleur de Hundred, Henrico County, Virginia; Stepchild.

ii. JOHN WOODSON, JR..

iii. DEBORAH WOODSON.

"It was also during this year, 1620, that the London Company sent over about one hundred maids, respectable young women possessed of no wealth but of irreproachable character, who desired to seek their fortunes in the new world. These young women were not permitted to remain a great while in single blessedness. Their hands were eagerly sought in marriage by the young men of the colony. When a young man had wooed and won the maid of his choice, in order that she might become his wife, he was required to pay in tobacco, the price of her passage across the ocean. "The relations between the Indians and the white colonists appeared to be friendly enough, but underneath the placid surface lay a black plot which burst forth in all its horror on the 22nd day of March, 1622. "While the colonists were engaged in their usual vocations, the Indians suddenly fell upon the settlements and killed three hundred and forty-seven men, women and children in an incredibly short space of time. Of course the Indians were made to suffer ample punishment for this outrage. Every man who could handle a gun, took the field and the savages were hunted down and killed without mercy and driven back into the depths of the wilderness. Then ensued a period of respite from the Indian depredations. In the meantime the colonists extended their settlements further into the interior and up both sides of the James River. "Dr. John Woodson located at Fleur de Hundred, or, as it was sometimes called Piersey's Hundred, some thirty miles above Jamestown on the south side of James River in what is now Prince George county. He and his wife, Sara, and their six negro slaves were registered at Fleur de Hundred in February, 1623. It was, no doubt, at this place that their two sons, John and Robert, were born. [Mary CANNON's mother, Judith Woodson was the daughter of Robert] Robert was born in 1634 and John probably in 1632. 
"After this second massacre, the war with the Indians continued about two years, when their power was completely broken, and in 1646 a treaty was made by which they relinquished the land of their fathers and retired further into the wilderness. At this time the colony was in a very flourishing condition, commerce was largely increased, more than thirty ships were engaged in the carrying trade, and the population in 1648 had increased to twenty thousand. "Many inquiries have been made as to whatever became of Mrs. Sara Woodson, one of the heroines of April 18, 1644, but nothing is known of her since that time. It is but reasonable to suppose that she lived long enough to bring up her two boys in the paths of rectitude and to instill into them the principles of righteousness and the spirit of loyalty and patriotism for which their descendants have been distinguished."   

Dr. John Woodson is the progenitor of the Woodson Line. He is said to have been a physician, having graduated from St. John's College, Oxford, in 1604. A while back I sent an email to the college and received an interesting reply: Dear Ms Martin, I have checked in Joseph Foster's 'Alumni Oxonienses," 1500-1714, a printed register of all those who matriculated (were formally admitted to the University) between those years. There was an entry for a John Woodeson (Woodsonne) which is as follows: Woodeson, John (Woodsonne), of Bristol , gent. He matriculated from St John's College on 1 March, 1604-5, aged 20. He does not seem to have graduated and it is unlikely that we would have any further information regarding John Woodeson in the University Archives. If you would like further information about his time at the College, I suggest you contact St John's as they hold their own records. The Archivist at St John's is Dr Malcolm Vale who can be contacted on vale@fyfield.sjc.ox.ac.uk

Yours sincerely, Jennifer Birnie Archives Assistant

This information is quite interesting. There is something else fascinating about Dr. John Woodson. He appears to have purchased six of the first twenty "slaves" that appeared in Jamestown in the summer of 1619. There is evidence that he purchased them from a gentleman named Piercy. At that time, they were known as "short term indentured servants." In searching out further information, I came across the following article from the Roanoke Times:

DATE: Sunday, January 24, 1999 TAG: 9901250202 SECTION: VIRGINIA PAGE : B1 EDITION: METRO RESEARCHERS DISCOVER WHO FIRST AFRICANS IN VA. WERE 'WHAT WE'RE FINDING OUT IS REVOLUTIONARY' SUMMARY: Evidence suggests that these unwilling immigrants were likely to have been Christians and spoke a common language. In the scant history of forgotten persons, many people are faceless. But few have been swallowed by the dark shadows that obscure the first blacks known to have lived in Virginia. Except for a few passing references from Capt. John Smith and members of the Virginia Company, these 20-odd Negroes left virtually no trace after disembarking from a Dutch ship in late summer 1619. And for nearly 400 years that lack of evidence made it hard for anyone, including many determined scholars, to talk about one of early America' s most historic moments. A recent survey of Portuguese colonial shipping records, however, may have turned up the very vessel in which these unwilling immigrants came to the New World. New studies of the Portuguese African colony of Angola have shed unexpected light on the subject. When I gave a talk on the arrival of the first Africans in 1994, I really had very little to say, said Jamestown Settlement curator Tom Davidson. But in five years the whole story has changed - almost completely. Gradually, we're taking what was the poorest known segment of 17th-century Virginia's population and moving into a realm where we can talk about them as people. Davidson gave a lecture recently that focused on several studies, including two pioneering works that appeared in the scholarly journal William & Mary Quarterly over the past two years. The first revolutionized the field, he says, by pinpointing the name, nationality and port of origin of the ship that carried the blacks from Africa to the New World. Sifting through Colonial shipping records, California historian Engel Sluiter came across a Portuguese merchant-slaver that lost its human cargo to English and Dutch privateers in the West Indies. The timing and description of the attack almost certainly tie that ship, known as the San Juan Bautista, to the Dutch adventurers who brought the first blacks to Virginia. They also link that human cargo to the Angolan port town of Luanda. Before this, we knew nothing about the Africans themselves. We didn't know if they were slaves. We didn't even know if they were Africans or Creoles from the West Indies, Davidson said. Now we have not only a probable origin - the Portuguese ship sailed from Angola - but a specific locale in Angola. And that's enabled us to discover what kind of people these first Africans were. Other scholars, including William & Mary Quarterly editor Philip Morgan, an award-winning author in the field, believe Sluiter's careful work leaves little doubt about the identity of the Portuguese vessel. And that crucial missing link has led to a fast-growing chain of information about the first blacks who landed in Virginia, he says. In 1998, the journal published a study by Pennsylvania historian John Thornton that examined the Portuguese colony of Angola during the early 17th century. Thornton's search through the records of the period turned up not only the region in Angola from which the blacks came, but also the military campaign in which they were probably captured. He also turned up evidence suggesting that these Africans were likely to have been Christians, that they had years of experience in trading and dealing with Europeans and that they spoke a common language. Such traits would have made them better able to adapt to their lot in Virginia than the ethnically and linguistically diverse groups of blacks that began to arrive from West Africa later in the 1600s, Davidson says. Continued trading with Portuguese Angola, he adds, may help explain why the first generations of Africans were so much more successful in working their way out of servitude than those that followed. It may also help scholars understand why attitudes about race hardened in the late 1600s, when the concept of limited-term indenture began to mutate into the institution of lifelong slavery. What we're finding out is revolutionary, Davidson said. Copyright (c) 1999, Roanoke Times I have also found another piece of information. Sarah Winston Woodson was Quaker. I believe that Quakerism was founded around 1650, so Sarah could have been a very early member of the religion, or the history is incorrect. It is said that Dr. John Woodson brought Sarah to the Colonies to escape religious persecution. This is what I received by email regarding slavery in Jamestown from Harry Bradshaw Matthews: Available via interlibrary from the Stevens-Germany Library at Hartwick College (WorldCat Accession No. 37508773) is the 1995 edition of my writing, THE FAMILY LEGACY OF ANTHONY JOHNSON: FROM JAMESTOWN, VA TO SOMERSET, MD 1619-1995 "A Multi-Racial Saga in Black, Red and White: The Negro-Johnson and Indian Puckage Lineage." Several points of note: 1. The transporting of the Africans to Jamestown resulted from the piratical raids of the ship "Treasurer" and cover of its activities by the "Dutch man-of war", both ships owned by the Englishman, Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick.In April of 1619, the Governor of the Jamestown colony, Sir George Yeardley, sent an English ship named the "Treasurer" on a supposed "routine trading voyage." The Treasurer was accompanied by a Dutch (Man of War) ship. The Captain of the Dutch ship was named Jope. In fact, the Treasurer's true purpose was to act as a privateer and raid Spanish shipping and the Dutch ship was to cover its activities. Both ships were owned by the Englishman, Robert Rich, the Earl of Warwick. During their joint voyage, the two heavily armed vessels captured a Spanish slave ship and its cargo of approximately 100 African slaves. The Dutch ship returned at the end of August of 1619 to Old Point Comfort (near Jamestown ) with approximately 20 of the Africans. The Dutch sold most of the Africans to Governor Sir George Yeardley and the colony's wealthiest resident, a merchant named Abraham Peirsey. Smaller vessels smuggled the stolen Africans from Old Point Comfort to Jamestown. The Spanish had considered the Africans to be slaves. However, because slavery had been eliminated as a classification in English law, the Africans had to be classified legally as "indentured servants." Based on a census taken in March of 1619, there were already 32 blacks (15 men and 17 women) "in the service" of Jamestown planters prior to the August arrival of the Dutch ship. There are indications that, after years of servitude, some of the 20 stolen slaves brought to Jamestown eventually obtained their freedom. However, unlike most white indentured servants who voluntarily contracted their services for a specific period of time, these Africans were not given such options and most of them probably remained in servitude for the rest of their lives. Indeed, by 1625, the Jamestown census listed ten "slaves." Over the next decades, the number of African slaves in the colonies would increase by the thousands. Dr. John Woodson died at a young age in an Indian raid. Not a lot is known about him. There are many questions that are unanswered about his history.

In April 1606 King James 1st issued Letters Patent to a few English noblemen giving them land on the Atlantic Coast, resulting in the formation of the two companies the Plymouth and London. The same year the London Company sent three vessels with one hundred and five immigrants to America, and in May 1609 they secured a new charter for land two hundred miles north and south of Point Comfort and from coast to coast. That year their ships brought over five hundred immigrants. History records the various difficulties in forming the new world, but in 1618 Governor Dale returned to England and was succeeded by Sir George Yeardley. In January 1619 the ship "George Yeardley" sailed from England and reached Jamestown, Virginia, April 10, 1619 after a three months voyage. With the new Governor came a hundred passengers, among them Doctor John Woodson of Devonshire, and his wife Sarah (nee Winston) from Dorcestershire, England.

John Woodson was a fifth son, had a patrimony suited to his station in life, and his people were of the Church of England in faith. But John fell in love with a little Quakeress Sarah Winston, and rather than make her give up her religion or distress her people, he forfeited his own inheritance as a Baron and married Sarah. When Governor Yeardley offered him a flattering gift of land holdings in the new world, he accepted the task of ship's surgeon and physician, and came on with the new Governor.

There is well authenticated tradition that enrouted by sea, Lady Yeardley suffered greatly from that malady known as "sickness of the stomach" or "sea sickness" and Sarah, in her kindness of heart, was a faithful attendant on the Governor's wife, which cemented a friendship never broken.

After reaching Virginia under the guidance of Governor Yeardley eleven Boroughs were formed, allowing two representatives each, and assembled they formed the House of Burgesses, and with the Governor and Council the General Assembly was convened at Jamestown July 1619, the first legislative body to function in Virginia. Of this body Doctor John Woodson, a member, is listed in the Colonial Dame Register of Virginia as one of the Historical Founders of the Colony of Virginia.

PROGENITOR OF FAMILY HERE DIED IN INDIAN BATTLE

By Dallas Bogan

Reprinted with Permission from Dallas Bogan. This article was published in the LaFollette Press.

    At this time we shall review a short history of the Woodson family, not going into depth on the genealogy. 
    Dr. John Woodson, progenitor of the Woodson family in Campbell County, was born in Devonshire, England in 1586, and died at Fleur de Hundred, Virginia, some thirty miles above Jamestown, in what is now Prince George County, on April 19, 1644, he entered St. John's College, Oxford, on March 1, 1604. 
    On January 29, 1619, the ship "George" sailed from England, and the following April landed at Jamestown, Va.. This ship brought the new Governor, Sir George Yeardley, and about one hundred passengers, among whom were Dr. John Woodson of Dorsetshire, his wife Sarah Winston. Dr. Woodson and Sarah Winston were married in Devonshire, England.
    Dr. Woodson came as a surgeon to a company of soldiers sent over for the better protection of the colonists from the Indians. In 1612 a vessel landed at Jamestown, having on board about 20 Negro captives, who had been kidnapped along the African coast by the Dutch Skipper. Dr. Woodson bought six of them, who were registered in 1623 as part of his household at Fleur de Hundred. We shall now relate the story of Dr. Woodson and his wife, Sarah, as they entered the harbor of Jamestown, written by Josephine Rich. It goes as such:
     "It was a sunny April morning in 1619. Sarah and her husband, Dr. John Woodson, stood at the rail of the sailing ship, George, as it put into Jamestown harbor. It was the first glimpse of their new homeland.
    "John's arm tightened about his wife's waist as he stood bracing them both against the stiff breeze. Sarah squeezed his hand in answer. At the moment it was the only answer she could manage, for suddenly their adventure in the New World was upon them. 
    "On their three month voyage across the wintry Atlantic, their days and nights had been filled with constant talk of the settlement of Jamestown. But somehow all their talk had not prepared them for the sudden shock of the smallness of it. Jamestown was only a log stockade with plumes of black smoke curling up into the sky from the huts within its protection. Although they could see only one stockade there were ten other settlements behind similar stockade walls, 600 Englishmen in all. Now, for the first time, women were arriving.
    "This was the first time that the London Company had permitted women into the colony. And once they had accepted the importance of women to the new settlers they had gone to extremes about it, or so it seemed to Sarah. For the George carried some 60 women to be sold to the colonists as wives. The price was 120 pounds of tobacco, which was the cost of passage.
    "John Woodson had said that these women would make a difference to the new colonists. And he told Sarah not to wrinkle up her pretty nose at them, she'd be glad enough for their company once she'd sat beside her own lonely fireplace in her prim lace cuffs for a fortnight!
    "He said the women would tame the frontiersmen and put them into Sunday stiff collars and into church pews. They would want lace curtains for their windows and the best schools for their children. Trade would flourish. For profit was the reason for colonizing the new world. But Sarah thought the women looked anything but church going types!
    "Suddenly everybody was on deck. The anchor chains rattled down the anchor. Sail were struck. Sailors scrambled up the yardarms.
    "But it was less the rowdy frontiersmen who came out to the ship to greet their bartered brides than the Indians who rowed them out that held Sara's attention. 
    "They were truly red men and even more furious appearing than any drawings of Indians that had appeared in the British newspapers. Fascinated, Sarah stared down at the fierce, bared-to-the-waist savages in the canoe bobbing in the choppy water below. As if feeling her gaze on him, one of the Indians suddenly glared up at Sarah and she gave a panic-stricken gasp and buried her face in her husband's heavy overcoat. John patted her shoulder and laughed at her fears. He was later to learn that the Indians were not their friends, as he told Sarah, then, so assuringly.
    "As an incentive to colonize America, men received 100 acres of free land when they came to the new world, and that year of 1619, at the first House of Burgess session, Virginia passed a law that wives, too, would receive 100 acres of free land. So Sarah and John chose their 200 acres about 30 miles from Jamestown, across the James River at a place called Fleur de Hundred, now in Prince George County. John and Sarah and their six slaves registered there in 1623.
    "They had lived first in Jamestown and had come safely through the Jamestown massacre of 1622, and after that John said there would be no further Indian trouble. In fact, they did live without Indian incident for several years at Fleur de Hundred. A son was born to them there in 1632 and another son in 1634.
    "The Woodson's, like all settlers, owned several guns. The doctor always carried a gun with him on his medical calls and frequently brought home game in his medical saddle bags. The gun that hung over the Woodson log cabin mantelpiece was seven feet six inches long, and had a bore large enough to admit a man's thumb. How anyone could lift it, much less fire it to kill, Sarah had no idea. But she was one day to learn!
    "The Woodson boys were eight and ten years old on that fateful April 18, 1644. And the boys might have been out in the tobacco fields working that morning, except for the visit of an itinerant shoemaker named Ligon, who was there for his yearly visit to measure the entire household for their year's supply of shoes. Sarah hoped that the doctor would return from his medical call before Ligon the shoemaker had to leave, for the doctor needed a new pair of riding boots.
    "The spring planting had taken the slaves into the fields so that Sarah and Ligon and the two boys were alone in the cabin when the Indians attacked.
    "The blood-curdling war whoops rang out and Sarah froze as she looked through the cabin window and saw the feather headdresses come pouring out of the woods. Automatically, Sarah dropped the heavy cross-bar on the cabin door. Ligon lifted the seven-foot gun down from the mantelpiece.
    "An arrow hit a window ledge. Sara bolted the inside shutters on the windows. At the half-story window above in the sleeping loft Ligon poised the giant gun on the window ledge, ready. A powder horn and extra balls lay within hand's reach, ready.
    "She must hide the boys, Sarah thought. But where? The potato bin hole beneath the cabin floor! It was half-empty and tar-kettle dark! It ought to be safe! She lifted the trap door and told one frightened boy to jump, and not to utter a sound.
    "There was an empty wash tub in the corner of the built-in shed. Eight-year-old Robert might be able to squeeze inside it. He wasn't very big. Sarah told him to squat on the floor. She upturned the wash tub over the boy and then hurried to the hearth to build up the fire under the cooking kettle hanging from the fireplace crane. The kettle held the family's supper soup. She added water to fill it to the top and pushed it over the hottest coals. If one of the demon Indians tried to come down the chimney she had a scalding bath ready.
    "Looking through a chink in the window shutter Sarah counted nine savages in the howling mob about the cabin. Suddenly her husband appeared, riding out of the forest with his gun ready to fire. Sarah saw him before the Indians did. She let out a cry and then held her breath as she watched. 
    "Before the doctor could shoot, one of the Indians turned and saw him. He aimed and shot his arrow. It struck the doctor and his gunfire went astray. He fell from his horse and several of the Indians rushed at him waving their battle axes. Sarah covered her eyes.
    "Ligon's rifle kept cracking. He had gotten three Indians. Sarah watched them fall. Ligon killed five Indians before Sarah heard the noise in the chimney.
    "They had killed her husband. She was ready to die defending the lives of her sons!
    "Sarah stood to one side of the hearth with her hand on the kettle. The water scalding, the coals red hot. the Indian came down feet first. Sarah tipped the kettle and gave it to him in full force. He screeched in agony and lay writhing on the floor.
    "There was more noise up the chimney. Another one was coming down. Sarah grabbed the heavy iron roasting spit. She raised it above her head, holding it with both hands.
    "As the second Indian stooped to come out of the chimney, Sarah brought her weapon down on his head. It sounded like a pumpkin splitting. He fell heavily to the floor, killed instantly.
    "She looked up from the bloody bodies to see Ligon unbolting the cabin door. 
    "'I'm going to fetch the doctor's body,'" he told her. 'The red devils are finished.'
    "Sarah counted seven dead Indians in the clearing. The heavy Woodson rifle had served them well.
    "Although John Woodson had been killed by the Indians, his sons lived to carry on the Woodson name. today, some 300 years later, it is a proud family tradition among theWoodson descendants to be known as either the potato hole Woodsons or the wash tub Woodsons." 

_______________________________________

Descendants of Dr. Alexander Woodson


This information was provided by Garrett Tucker.  You may contact him at Tucker2250@msn.com
                                
Generation No. 1

1. DR. ALEXANDER1 WOODSON was born Abt. 1554 in Bristol, Devonshire England, and died Bef. May 08, 1618 in Bristol, Devonshire England. He married UNKNOWN UNKNOWN.

More About DR. ALEXANDER WOODSON: Burial: 1618, St.Michaels Churchyard, Bristol, Devonshire England Record Change: November 30, 2003

More About UNKNOWN UNKNOWN: Record Change: November 30, 2003

Child of DR. WOODSON and UNKNOWN UNKNOWN is: 2. i. DR. JOHN2 WOODSON, b. 1586, Dorsetshire, England; d. April 18, 1644, Prince George County, VA.

Generation No. 2

2. DR. JOHN2 WOODSON (DR. ALEXANDER1) was born 1586 in Dorsetshire, England, and died April 18, 1644 in Prince George County, VA. He married SARAH WINSTON 1619 in Dorsetshire, England. She was born 1590 in Devonshire, England, and died January 17, 1659/60 in Prince George County, VA.

Notes for DR. JOHN WOODSON: BIOGRAPHY: John went to school at St. Johns College, Oxford, England and graduated a Doctor in 1604. He became a Surgeon working for Sir George yeardley. Just after their Marriage, John and Sarah came to America aboard the Ship "George", leaving England on 29 January 1619. John and Sarah accompanied Sir George Yeardley, newly appointed Governor to the Colonies and his Wife.

More About DR. JOHN WOODSON: Burial: April 1644, Prince George County, VA Record Change: December 06, 2003

Notes for SARAH WINSTON: BIOGRAPHY: *Daughter of Isaac Winston and Mary Dabney.*

More About SARAH WINSTON: Record Change: December 06, 2003

Children of DR. WOODSON and SARAH WINSTON are: 3. i. JOHN3 WOODSON, b. 1632, Prince George County, VA; d. August 1684, Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA. 4. ii. COL. ROBERT WOODSON, b. 1634, Fleur De Hundred, Prince George, VA; d. Aft. October 01, 1707, Varina Parish, Henrico CO.VA. iii. DEBORAH WOODSON, b. 1640.

More About DEBORAH WOODSON: Record Change: December 01, 2003

Generation No. 3

3. JOHN3 WOODSON (DR. JOHN2, DR. ALEXANDER1) was born 1632 in Prince George County, VA, and died August 1684 in Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA. He married (1) MARY PLEASANTS Abt. 1654 in Henrico CO.VA. She was born 1633 in Of Curles Plantation. He married (2) SARAH BROWN Abt. 1677. She was born 1632.

More About JOHN WOODSON: Record Change: December 12, 2003

More About MARY PLEASANTS: Record Change: December 12, 2003

More About SARAH BROWN: Record Change: December 12, 2003

Children of JOHN WOODSON and MARY PLEASANTS are: 5. i. JOHN4 WOODSON III, b. 1655, Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA; d. 1700, Henrico CO.VA. 6. ii. MARY JANE WOODSON, b. Abt. 1657, Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA; d. Bef. August 01, 1710. iii. ROBERT WOODSON, b. Abt. 1664.

More About ROBERT WOODSON: Record Change: December 12, 2003

4. COL. ROBERT3 WOODSON (DR. JOHN2, DR. ALEXANDER1) was born 1634 in Fleur De Hundred, Prince George, VA, and died Aft. October 01, 1707 in Varina Parish, Henrico CO.VA. He married SARAH ELIZABETH FERRIS 1656 in Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA, daughter of RICHARD FERRIS ' OF CURLES and SARAH HAMBLETON. She was born 1636 in Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA, and died 1689 in Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA.

More About COL. ROBERT WOODSON: Record Change: November 30, 2003

More About SARAH ELIZABETH FERRIS: Record Change: November 30, 2003

Children of COL. WOODSON and SARAH FERRIS are: 7. i. MARY4 WOODSON, b. Virginia; d. January 15, 1744/45, Virginia. ii. AGNES WOODSON.

More About AGNES WOODSON: Record Change: December 07, 2003

iii. STEPHEN WOODSON.

More About STEPHEN WOODSON: Record Change: December 07, 2003

8. iv. JOHN WOODSON, b. 1658, Fleur De Hundred, Prince George, VA; d. Henrico CO.VA. 9. v. COL. ROBERTWOODSON, JR, b. 1660; d. February 1719/20, Henrico CO.VA. 10. vi. RICHARD WOODSON, b. 1662, Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA; d. Abt. 1729. 11. vii. JOSEPH WOODSON, b. 1664, Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA; d. October 15, 1734, Goochland County, Virginia. 12. viii. BENJAMIN WOODSON, b. August 21, 1666, Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA; d. 1723, Henrico CO.VA. 13. ix. SARAH WOODSON, b. 1668. x. ELIZABETH WOODSON, b. 1670; m. UNKNOWN LEWIS.

More About ELIZABETH WOODSON: Record Change: December 01, 2003

More About UNKNOWN LEWIS: Record Change: December 01, 2003

xi. JUDITH WOODSON, b. 1673; m. UNKNOWN CANNON.

More About JUDITH WOODSON: Record Change: December 01, 2003

More About UNKNOWN CANNON: Record Change: December 01, 2003

Generation No. 4

5. JOHN4 WOODSON III (JOHN3 WOODSON, DR. JOHN2, DR. ALEXANDER1) was born 1655 in Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA, and died 1700 in Henrico CO.VA. He married MARY TUCKER Abt. 1677. She was born 1660 in Henrico CO.VA, and died Aft. 1710 in Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA.

More About JOHN WOODSON III: Record Change: December 12, 2003

More About MARY TUCKER: Record Change: December 12, 2003

Children of JOHN WOODSON III and MARY TUCKER are: i. JANE5 WOODSON.

More About JANE WOODSON: Record Change: December 12, 2003

ii. SAMUEL WOODSON.

More About SAMUEL WOODSON: Record Change: December 12, 2003

iii. BENJAMIN WOODSON.

More About BENJAMIN WOODSON: Record Change: December 12, 2003

iv. JOSEPH WOODSON, b. Abt. 1680.

More About JOSEPH WOODSON: Record Change: December 12, 2003

v. MARY WOODSON, b. 1686, Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA.

More About MARY WOODSON: Record Change: December 12, 2003

6. MARY JANE4 WOODSON (JOHN3, DR. JOHN2, DR. ALEXANDER1) was born Abt. 1657 in Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA, and died Bef. August 01, 1710. She married JOSEPH WOODSON March 27, 1701 in Henrico Meeting House, son of COL. WOODSON and SARAH FERRIS. He was born 1664 in Curles Plantation, Henrico CO.VA, and died October 15, 1734 in Goochland County, Virginia.

More About MARY JANE WOODSON: Record Change: December 11, 2003

More About JOSEPH WOODSON: Record Change: December 11, 2003

Children of MARY WOODSON and JOSEPH WOODSON are: i. JOHN5 WOODSON, b. Abt. 1704; d. Abt. 1727.

More About JOHN WOODSON: Record Change: December 11, 2003

ii. MARY WOODSON, b. Abt. 1706; m. STEPHEN WOODSON.

More About MARY WOODSON: Record Change: December 11, 2003

More About STEPHEN WOODSON: Record Change: December 11, 2003

iii. JOSEPH WOODSON, b. Abt. 1709.

More About JOSEPH WOODSON: Record Change: December 11, 2003

14. iv. JUDITH WOODSON, b. 1712; d. 1738. 15. v. MARTHA WOODSON, b. 1716, Goochland County, Virginia. vi. TUCKER WOODSON, b. Abt. 1720, Virginia; d. September 21, 1796, Goochland County, Virginia; m. (1) SARAH HUGHES; m. (2) MARY NETHERLAND.

http://genforum.genealogy.com/woodson/messages/1443.html

-------------------- 1619 U.S. and International Marriage Record Name: John Woodson Gender: Male - Birth Year: 1586 Spouse Name: Sarah Winston Spouse Birth Year: 1590 Marriage Year: 1619 ----- 1619 Passenger and Immigration Lists Index Name: John Woodson Year: 1619 Place: Virginia Source Publication Code: 9448 Primary Immigrant: Woodson, John Annotation: In the years from 1925 to 1942, Frederick A. Virkus edited seven volumes with the title, The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy, published in Chicago by the Institute of American Genealogy. Each volume has a section in the main body of the work, co Source Bibliography: VIRKUS, FREDERICK A., editor. Immigrant Ancestors: A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1964. 75p. Repr. 1986. Page: 75 ----- 1624 Virginia Census, 1607-1890 about John Woodson Name: John Woodson State: VA County: Flowerdew Hundred Township: Virginia Pioneer Year: 1624 Database: VA Early Census Index ---- 1619 Roll of Honor James Town, Virginia Added by helenclack1 on 11 Mar 2008 ~ ~ From "America's first Families-Ancestor Roll Of Honor" Dr John Woodson, Virginia (1586-1644)

Dr. John Woodson, the emigrant ancestor of this family, was among the founders of the Virginia Colony. He came to Virginia in the ship "George" which sailed on January 29, 1619 and arrived in Jamestown, Virginia on April 16, 1619 as surgeon to a company of British soldiers.

A native of Dorsetshire. An Oxford student in 1608. He brought with him his wife, Sarah. They settled at Fleur de Hundred, where their sons, John and Robert, were born. Fleur de Hundred, now known as "Flowerdew" Hundred, is probably named after Temperance Flowerdew, wife of Sir George Yeardley, Virginia's first govenor, who came to Virginia in 1619 on the same ship as the Woodsons.

The Yeardley's owned the plantation and 1624, sold it to Abraham Piersey. Flowerdew Hundred had a representative in the first House of Burgesses in 1619 and when the counties were established in 1634, it was part of Charles City County and in 1702, was included in the new Prince Geroge County. Presently, Flowerdew Hundred Foundation, 1716 Flowerdew Rd., Hopewell, Virginia 23860, owns and maintains the plantation as a Public Trust.

Sarah Woodson was a brave pioneer woman. In the absence of her husband during the Indian Uprising of April 18, 1644, aided by Thomas Ligon, she resisted and attack by the Indians, killing nine. She loaded the gun while Ligon fired, and hearing a noise up the chimney, she threw the bed upon the coals, the stifling smoke bringing two Indians down, whom she dispatched. Her sons, in the potato hole, were saved.

Over the years, this story has been passed on from one Woodson generation to the next, and as passed among the various families has varied a bit in details, but not in Sarah's bravery in defending her children. jhendrix80added this on 1 Oct 2010 helenclack1originally submitted this to Woodson Family Tree on 11 ----- Life and Times of Dr. John Woodson Note: Brderbund WFT Vol. 4, Ed. 1, Tree #1649]

Dr. John Woodson was born in the year 1586 in Devonshire, England. He married Sarah Winston, who was born in the year of 1590, also in Devonshire, England.

Dr. John Woodson came to Jamestown as a surgeon with Sir George Yeardly. The young couple embarked on the ship, George, January 29, 1619 and landed in Jamestown, Virginia in April 1619. (This was one year before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts. on the Mayflower.)

ANN clean this up from here forward - you have done it up to here..

Dr. John Woodson located at Flowerdew Hundred (also called Fleur de Hundred, Flour De Hundred, or Piersey's Hundred), which is on the south side of the James River some thirty miles above Jamestown, in what is now Prince George County.

Two Woodson sons were born at Flowerdew Hundred; John born in 1632 and Robert born in 1637. In 1632, Dr. Woodson was listed as the Surgeon of the Flour De Hundred Colony in Virginia.

On April 19, 1644, Dr. Woodson was killed in sight of his house by Indians, who had called him out apparently to see the sick. After killing him, they attacked his home which was successfully defended by his wife and a shoemaker named Ligon. Ligon killed seven of the Indians with and old muzzleloading gun eight feet long, now one of the prized possessions of the Virginia Historical Society. Mrs. Sarah Woodson killed two Indians who came down the chimney; One with boiling water and one with a roasting spit. The boys , John and Robert, were concealed during the attack under a tub and in a potato pit, respectively.

The Indians were led by Chief Opechancano, who was the son of Powhaten and had killed 300 settlers on April 18, the day before. Opechancano had also led the Massacres of 1622 at Martin's Hundred. Several weeks later Opechancano was captured by the colonists and executed. The Indians were permanently driven out of that part of Virginia as a result of the uprisings of 1644.

Dr. John Woodson is the progenitor of the Woodson Family in America. Among his descendants are Dolley Todd Madison, wife of President James Madison and the famous outlaw Jesse Woodson James. Graduated from St. John's College, Oxford, 1604; came to Virginia in the "George", 1619. Dr. John Woodson attended Cambridge. Sarah was a Quaker, and rather than make her give up her religion, he immigrated with her to the colonies.

Dr. John Woodson's father died in Bristol, England. John was his fourth son. "John Woodson came to Virginia in the George, which left England January 29, 16 19, bearing the new Governor, Sir George Yardley, and about one hundred passengers"

(Genealogies of Virginia Families , From the William and Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine , Volume V, Thompson-Yates (and Appendix), Baltimore, Genea logical Publishing Co., Inc, 1982).

Arrived in Virginia on ship "George" in 1619.

Survivor of Indian massacre, March 22, 1622. Killed in Indian massacre, April 18, 1644 within site of his own home, (Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, 197 6, p3-8)

Flower de Hundred, sometimes called Peirsey's Hundred was on the south side of the James River.

Curls (or Curles) was a plantation on the north side of the James River, above Flower de Hundred. (Genealogies of Virginia Familie s, From the William and Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine , Volume V, Thompson-Yates (and Appendix), Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1982)

The following story was sent by William Stephen Woodson: (please excuse any prejudicial remarks) "There are many stories told about these Woodson, like the one about Dr. John Woodson and his family in April 1644.

There was an Indian uprising during which the savages made a sudden attack on Fleur de Hundred. Dr. Woodson, returning from visiting his patients was killed as he returned home. His wife and two children were alone in th e house with the exception of an old schoolmaster. Their only weapon was a huge old-fashioned gun which the schoolmaster used so effectively that at the first fire he killed three Indians and at the second, two. Meanwhile two Indians tried to come down the chimney to the house. Mrs. Woodson seized a pot of boiling water from the fire and scalded the first; she snatched up the iron spit from the fireplace and with it brained the second. The howling savages began to retreat, but the schoolmaster fired a last shot, killing two more of the enemy. Then the mother called the two little boys from their hiding places: the ten-year old had been concealed under a large wash tub and the twelve-year old crawled out from a hole in which potatoes were stored in winter. Even today when there is a gathering of Woodsons, a favorite question is, 'Are you a wash-tub Woodson or a potato-hole?'

In the early part of the 16th century, one of Dr. Woodson's ancestors was granted a coat of arms by Henry VIII; along with this privilege came the right 'to bear arms.' Nothing was said about his wife's right, though!"

From "Adventurers of Purse and Person": JOHN WOODSON and his wife Sarah came to VA, 1619, in the George and settled at Flower dew Hundred, known by Feb. 1624/5, when the muster was taken, as Peirsey's Hundred. They had been fellow passengers on the ship with Governor Sir George Yeardley and his wife Temperance Flowerdew, Lady Yeardley. No further documentary evidence has been found relating to them until 1660. a family account written about 1785 by Charles Woodson (1711-~1 795), son of Tarleton Woodson, however, survives and supplies details which link the first generations of Woodsons and Robert Woodson, John Woodson, Senr., and John Woodson, Junr." who were among the tithables at Curles, 1679.

Tradition states that John Woodson was killed in the Indian massacre of 18 April 1644. His children were very young and Mrs. Sarah Woodson soon remarried (2) ___ Dunwell, who died leaving her with a daughter Elizabeth, and (3) ___ Johnson. As a widow again she left a combination inventory and nuncupative will which was recorded 17 Jan 1660/1. This made bequests to John Woodson, Robert Woodson, Deborah Woodson (apparently under age) and Elizabeth Dunwell (under age). John Woodson was the implied executor. The family record of 1785, with no evidence to the contrary presented during two centuries, has posited this descent: issue: John, Robert, Deborah, left a cow and a feather bed by her mother, not mentioned in the 1785 account.

"Woodsons and Their Connections", Henry Morton WOODSON, 1915 excerpts from that book. ---Lorraine (KWDLAD@aol.com)

"1604-5 1 March, St. Johns, JOHN WOODSONNE; Bristol, gent. f. matriculated age 18". Meaning that our Dr. John Woodson graduated from St. Johns College in Bristol England in 1604 (before coming to America in 1619).

"On the 29th day of January, 1619, the Ship 'George' sailed from England and in the following April landed at James town, Virginia. This vessel brought the new governor, Sir George Yeardley and about one hundred passengers; among whom were Dr. John Woodson, of Dorsetshire, and his wife Sara , whom he married in Devonshire. Dr. John Woodson came in the capacity of surgeon to a company of soldiers who were sent over for the better protection of the colonists; for the Indians about this time were scowling and seemed disposed to resent further encroachments of the white man.

Dr. John Woodson was a man of high character and of great value to the young colony. He was born 1586, in Devonshire, England. Like other young gentlemen of his time, he, no doubt had a desire to see the new country in which the Virginia Company of London had planted their colony a dozen years previously: so at the age of 33 he, with his young wife, Sara, embarked on the ship George and landed at Jamestown, Apr. 16 19.

Sometime in 1620 a black looking vessel landed at James town, having on board about 20 negro captives whom the Dutch skipper had kidnapped somewhere on the coast of Africa. These were sold to the colonists as slaves and found to be quite profitable in the cultivation of tobacco which was the staple crop at that time. Dr. John Woodson, at this time or shortly afterwards, bought six of these Africans who were registered in 1623 as part of his household, and simply as Negars, without giving them any names.

"Dr. John Woodson located at Fleur de Hundred, or, as it was sometimes called, Piersey's Hundred, some 30 miles above Jamestown on the south side of James River in what is now Prince George County. He and his wife, and their 6 negro slaves were registered at Fleur de Hundred in Feb. 1623. It was, no doubt, at this place that their two sons, John and Robert, was born.

"March 1622 was the first attack by indians made on the Jamestown colony killing hundreds. The colonists retaliated and drove the indians deeper into the wilderness.

"Twenty two years had passed and the fire of revenge was still smouldering in the heart of the bloodthirsty chief, Opechankano, who had matured another scheme for slaughtering the whites.

"On the 18th day of April 1644, the Indians made a sudden attack upon the settlements and killed about 300 of the colonists before they were repulsed. "At this time Dr. John Woodson's two sons, John and Roberts, were respectively 12 and 10 years of age. "There is a cherished family tradition that, on the day of this second massacre, Dr. John Woodson, while returning from visiting a patient, was killed by the Indians in sight of his home. The Indians then attacked the house which was barred against them and defended by his wife, Sara and a man named Ligon (a shoemaker) who happened to be there at the moment. The only weapon they had was an old time gun which Ligon handled with deadly effect.

At the first fire he killed 3 Indians, and two at the second shot. In the meantime 2 Indians essayed to come down through the chimney; but the brave Sara scalded one of them to death with a pot of boiling water which stood on the fire: then seizing the iron roasting spit with both hands , she brained the other Indian, killing him instantly. "The howling mob on the outside took fright and fled; but Ligon fired the 3rd time and killed 2 more, making 9 in all. "At the first alarm, Mrs. Woodson had hidden her two boys, one under a large washtub and the other in a hole where they were accustomed to keep potatoes during the winter, hoping in this way to save them in the event the Indians succeeded in entering the rude log cabin in which they lived. "From this circumstance, for several generations, the descendants of one of these boys was called "Tub Woodsons" and those of the other were designated as "Potato Hole Woodsons." "The old gun which rendered such valuable service on that dreadful 18th day of April, 1644, is still in the possession of the descendants of the late Charles Woodson, of Prince Edward County.

Mr. C. W. Venable, late of that county, writing of it says: 'The gun is, by exact measurement, seven feet six inches in length, and the bore is so large that I can easily put my whole thumb into it. when first made it was 8 feet long, but on account of some injury it was sent to England to be repaired and the gunsmith cut off 6 inches of the barrell.'

"As if to commemorate his bravery on this historic occation, the name of Ligon was rudely carved upon the stock. The gun is now (1915) in the possession of Mr. Wm. V. Wilson, a prominant lawyer of Lynchburg, VA." The gun has been proved to have been made in the 1700's. ----- U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications Name: Doctor John Woodson SAR Membership: 97711 Birth Date: 1586 Death Date: 1644 Spouse: Sarah Woodson Children: Robert Woodson

Source: http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=3196-1373&id=I19910 -------------------- http://www.juch.org/woodson/pafg01.asp

Some Descendants of "Dr." John Woodson First Generation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. "Dr." John Woodson 1, 2 was born in 1586 in Dorchester, Devonshire, ENG. He died 3 on 18 Apr 1644 in Fleur de Hundred, Prince George Co., VA.

[Brderbund WFT Vol. 4, Ed. 1, Tree #1649] Dr. John Woodson was born in the year 1586 in Devonshire, England. He married Sarah Winston who was born in the year of 1590, also in Devonshire, England. Dr. John Woodson came to Jamestown as a surgeon with Sir George Yeardly. The young couple embarked on the ship GEORGE, January 29, 1619 and landed in Jamestown, Virginia in April 1619. (This was one year before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Mass. on the Mayflower.)

Dr. John Woodson located at Flowerdew Hundred (also called Fleur de Hundred, Flour De Hundred, or Piersey's Hundred), which is on the south side of the James River some thirty miles above Jamestown, in what is now Prince George County. Two Woodson sons were born at Flowerdew Hundred; John born in 1632 and Robert born in 1637.

In 1632, Dr. Woodson was listed as the Surgeon of the Flour De Hundred Colony in Virginia. On April 19, 1644, Dr. Woodson was killed in sight of his house by Indians, who had called him out apparently to see the sick. After killing him, they attacked his home which was successfully defended by his wife and a shoemaker named Ligon. Ligon killed seven of the Indians with and old muzzleloading gun eight feet long, now one of the prized possessions of the Virginia Historical Society. Mrs. Sarah Woodson killed two Indians who came down the chimney; One with boiling water and one with a roasting spit. The boys, John and Robert, were concealed during the attack under a tub and in a potato pit, respectively.

The Indians were led by Chief Opechancano, who was the son of Powhaten and had killed 300 settlers on April 18, the day before. Opechancano had also led the Massacres of 1622 at Martin's Hundred. Several weeks later Opechancano was captured by the colonists and executed. The Indians were permanently driven out of that part of Virginia as a result of the uprisings of 1644.

Dr. John Woodson is the progenitor of the Woodson Family in America. Among his descendants are Dolley Todd Madison, wife of President James Madison and the famous outlaw Jesse Woodson James.

Graduated from St. John's College, Oxford, 1604; came to Virginia in the "George", 1619.

Dr. John Woodson attended Cambridge. Sarah was a Quaker, and rather than make her give up her religion, he immigrated with her to the colonies.

Dr. John Woodson's father died in Bristol, England. John was his fourth son.

"John Woodson came to Virginia in the George, which left England January 29, 1619, bearing the new Governor, Sir George Yardley, and about one hundred passengers" (Genealogies of Virginia Families, From the William and Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine, Volume V, Thompson-Yates (and Appendix), Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1982).

Arrived in Virginia on ship "George" in 1619. Survivor of Indian massacre, March 22, 1622. Killed in Indian massacre, April 18, 1644 within site of his own home, (Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, 1976, p3-8)

Flower de Hundred, sometimes called Peirsey's Hundred was on the south side of the James River. Curls (or Curles) was a plantation on the north side of the James River, above Flower de Hundred. (Genealogies of Virginia Families, From the William and Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine, Volume V, Thompson-Yates (and Appendix), Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1982)

The following story was sent by William Stephen Woodson: (please excuse any prejudicial remarks)

"There are many stories told about these Woodson, like the one about Dr. John Woodson and his family in April 1644. There was an Indian uprising during which the savages made a sudden attack on Fleur de Hundred. Dr. Woodson, returning from visiting his patients was killed as he returned home. His wife and two children were alone in the house with the exception of an old schoolmaster. Their only weapon was a huge old-fashioned gun which the schoolmaster used so effectively that at the first fire he killed three Indians and at the second, two. Meanwhile two Indians tried to come down the chimney to the house. Mrs. Woodson seized a pot of boiling water from the fire and scalded the first; she snatched up the iron spit from the fireplace and with it brained the second. The howling savages began to retreat, but the schoolmaster fired a last shot, killing two more of the enemy.

Then the mother called the two little boys from their hiding places: the ten-year old had been concealed under a large wash tub and the twelve-year old crawled out from a hole in which potatoes were stored in winter.

Even today when there is a gathering of Woodsons, a favorite question is, 'Are you a wash-tub Woodson or a potato-hole?'

In the early part of the 16th century, one of Dr. Woodson's ancestors was granted a coat of arms by Henry VIII; along with this privilege came the right 'to bear arms.' Nothing was said about his wife's right, though!"

From "Adventurers of Purse and Person": JOHN WOODSON and his wife Sarah came to VA, 1619, in the George and settled at Flowerdew Hundred, known by Feb. 1624/5, when the muster was taken, as Peirsey's Hundred. They had been fellow passengers on the ship with Governor Sir George Yeardley and his wife Temperance Flowerdew, Lady Yeardley. No further documentary evidence has been found relating to them until 1660. a family account written about 1785 by Charles Woodson (1711-~1795), son of Tarleton Woodson, however, survives and supplies details which link the first generations of Woodsons and Robert Woodson, John Woodson, Senr., and John Woodson, Junr." who were among the tithables at Curles, 1679.

Tradition states that John Woodson was killed in the Indian massacre of 18 April 1644. His children were very young and Mrs. Sarah Woodson soon remarried (2) ___ Dunwell, who died leaving her with a daughter Elizabeth, and (3) ___ Johnson. As a widow again she left a combination inventory and nuncupative will which was recorded 17 Jan 1660/1. This made bequests to John Woodson, Robert Woodson, Deborah Woodson (apparently under age) and Elizabeth Dunwell (under age). John Woodson was the implied executor.

The family record of 1785, with no evidence to the contrary presented during two centuries, has posited this descent: issue: John, Robert, Deborah, left a cow and a feather bed by her mother, not mentioned in the 1785 account.

"Woodsons and Their Connections", Henry Morton WOODSON, 1915 excerpts from that book. ---Lorraine (KWDLAD@aol.com)

"1604-5 1 March, St. Johns, JOHN WOODSONNE; Bristol, gent. f. matriculated age 18". Meaning that our Dr. John Woodson graduated from St. Johns College in Bristol England in 1604 (before coming to America in 1619).

"On the 29th day of January, 1619, the Ship 'George' sailed from England and in the following April landed at Jamestown, Virginia. This vessel brought the new governor, Sir George Yeardley and about one hundred passengers; among whom were Dr. John Woodson, of Dorsetshire, and his wife Sara, whom he married in Devonshire. Dr. John Woodson came in the capacity of surgeon to a company of soldiers who were sent over for the better protection of the colonists; for the Indians about this time were scowling and seemed disposed to resent further encroachments of the white man. Dr. John Woodson was a man of high character and of great value to the young colony. He was born 1586, in Devonshire, England.

Like other young gentlement of his time, he, no doubt had a desire to see the new country in which the Virginia Company of London had planted their colony a dozen years previously: so at the age of 33 he, with his young wife, Sara, embarked on the ship George and landed at Jamestown, Apr. 1619.

Sometime in 1620 a black looking vessel landed at Jamestown, having on board about 20 negro captives whom the Dutch skipper had kidnapped somewhere on the coast of Africa. These were sold to the colonists as slaves and found to be quite profitable in the cultivation of tobacco which was the staple crop at that time.

Dr. John Woodson, at this time or shortly afterwards, bought six of these Africans who were registered in 1623 as part of his household, and simply as Negars, without giving them any names."

Dr. John Woodson located at Fleur de Hundred, or, as it was sometimes called, Piersey's Hundred, some 30 miles above Jamestown on the south side of James River in what is now Prince George County. He and his wife, and their 6 negro slaves were registered at Fleur de Hundred in Feb. 1623. It was, no doubt, at this place that their two sons, John and Robert), was born."

March 1622 was the first attack by indians made on the Jamestown colony killing hundreds. The colonists retaliated and drove the indians deeper into the wilderness. "Twenty two years had passed and the fire of revenge was still smouldering in the heart of the bloodthirsty chief, Opechankano, who had matured another scheme for slaughtering the whites.

"On the 18th day of April 1644, the Indians made a sudden attack upon the settlements and killed about 300 of the colonists before they were repulsed. "At this time Dr. John Woodson's two sons, John and Roberts, were respectively 12 and 10 years of age.

"There is a cherished family tradition that, on the day of this second massacre, Dr. John Woodson, while returning from visiting a patient, was killed by the Indians in sight of his home. The Indians then attacked the house which was barred against them and defended by his wife, Sara and a man named Ligon (a shoemaker) who happened to be there at the moment. The only weapon they had was an old time gun which Ligon handled with deadly effect. At the first fire he killed 3 Indians, and two at the second shot. In the meantime 2 Indians essayed to come down through the chimney; but the brave Sara scalded one of them to death with a pot of boiling water which stood on the fire: then seizing the iron roasting spit with both hands, she brained the other Indian, killing him instantly.

"The howling mob on the outside took fright and fled; but Ligon fired the 3rd time and killed 2 more, making 9 in all.

"At the first alarm, Mrs. Woodson had hidden her two boys, one under a large washtub and the other in a hole where they were accustomed to keep potatoes during the winter, hoping in this way to save them in the event the Indians succeeded in entering the rude log cabin in which they lived.

"From this circumstance, for several generations, the descendants of one of these boys was called "Tub Woodsons" and those of the other were designated as "Potato Hole Woodsons."

"The old gun which rendered such valuable service on that dreadful 18th day of April, 1644, is still in the possession of the descendants of the late Charles Woodson, of Prince Edward County. Mr. C. W. Venable, late of that county, writing of it says: 'The gun is, by exact measurement, seven feet six inches in length, and the bore is so large that I can easily put my whole thumb into it. when first made it was 8 feet long, but on account of some injury it was sent to England to be repaired and the gunsmith cut off 6 inches of the barrell.'

"As if to commemorate his bravery on this historic occation, the name of Ligon was rudely carved upon the stock. The gun is now (1915) in the possession of Mr. Wm. V. Wilson, a prominant lawyer of Lynchburg, VA."

The gun has been proved to have been made in the 1700's.

John married Sarah Winston 1 daughter of Winston in 1619 in Dorsetshire, ENG. Sarah was born in 1590 in Devonshire, ENG. She died in 1660 in Henrico Co., VA.

NOTE: Last name not verified by any legal document.

They had the following children:

+ 2 M i John Woodson Jr. was born in 1632. He died in Sep 1684. + 3 M ii Col. Robert Woodson was born in 1634. He died in 1716.

 4 F iii Deborah Woodson was born about 1636.

No proof of her existance has been found.

More about Dr John Woodson 1586 http://webpages.charter.net/pepbaker/woodson.htm

Story or Dr John Woodson http://huskey-ogle-family.tripod.com/ancestorarchives/id47.html

http://www.oocities.org/familyretzlaff/woodson.html

Also spelled Woodsonne. John and Sarah came to America on the George, leaving England on 29 Jan 1619. The George brought the first slaves to America, and John owned 6 of them. John was a surgeon with Sir George Yeardley. The Indians attacked the Woodson homestead on 18 April 1644 and Dr. Woodson was killed. John was graduated on St. John's College of Oxford in 1604. Dr. Woodson, returning from a visit to a sick family, was killed in sight of his home. The Indians then attacked the home which was barred against them. His brave wife and a man named Ligon, a shoe-maker, who happened to be there, killed a goodly number and repelled them, using an old gun as their only weapon. This gun, long in the possession of descendants, is now owned by the Virginia Historical Society. The two sons of Dr. and Mrs. Woodson, John and Robert, had been hidden in a pit made for the purpose of keeping potatoes and were saved. From this incident their descendants for several generations were spoken of as "Potatoe Hole Woodsons." From this time we have no records of John and Robert until 1697 when both are named among the tithables at 'Curles', a plantation on the north side of the James River in Henrico County, a short distance above Fleur de Hundred. Then on June 5, 1727 Tarleton Woodson

conveyed twenty acres on the north side of the James River to William Randolph, the deed showing that the land was conveyed by deed dated June 8, 1674 by Nathaniel Bacon into Robert Woodson, grandfather of the said Tarleton Woodson. Later this place became noted as the seat of the Randolph family. Soon after this date we find the Woodsons active and prominent in the history of Virginia. No doubt, loss of Court house records caused this gap. Framed on the wall of the Clerk's office at Goochland is a remarkable old document. It is the original of the commission to the first justices, dated 1728 and signed by Governor William Gooch. Those named are: Thomas Randolph, John Fleming, William Mayo, John Woodson, Daniel Stonar, R. Salle (Illegible), Tarton Fleming, Allen Coward and Edward Scott. There also is an original bond signed by Peter Jefferson, father of the Author of the Declaration of Independence, and Arthur Hopkins. Among the names of men who served Goochland County in the House of Burgesses we find: 1796, John Woodson; 1769--75, John Woodson; Conventions of 1775 and 1776, John Woodson and Thomas Mann Randolph. When, in 1775, Committees of Safety were organized in various counties, who were to have virtual control of preparation for impending war, Goochland acted promptly and among


the distinguished citizens were named John Woodson, Joseph Woodson and Matthew Woodson. Captain Charles Woodson commanded a Company in the Revolutionary War. Tarlton Woodson was a Captain of the 10th Virginia Regiment in 1776, a Major in the 2nd Regiment 1777, and was taken a prisoner by the British on Staten Island, August 22, 1777. This story has come down through family history: "Lord Cornwallis, on his way to Yorktown, while stopping in Goochland County, made 'Dover' the home of Colonel John Woodson and his wife Dorothea Randolph and their son Major Josiah Woodson, his headquarters. To quiet the mother's fear Cornwallis kissed her baby, Mary Woodson, in her cradle. "Dover" was one of the most imposing homes of Colonial Virginia. One of its most attractive features was the lovely stairway. Many other members of this family have held high places in their communities and government. There have been governors, senators, Judges, doctors, ministers and others in important positions. From generation to generation they have continued to marry into the families of the leading Colonist of that day. With no evidence to the contrary, the family records of the subsequent hundred and seventy years have made this descent accepted.

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Dr. John Woodson of Flowerdew Hundred's Timeline

1586
1586
England
1604
1604
Age 18
1619
1619
Age 33
Devonshire, England
1619
Age 33
1619
Age 33
To America
1624
1624
Age 38
Flowerdew Hundred, VA
1632
1632
Age 46
Piersey's, Prince George County, Virginia, USA
1632
Age 46
Surgeon,Jamestown Colony,Virginia
1634
1634
Age 48
Prince George County, Virginia
1640
1640
Age 54
Henrico County, Virginia