John "the Mariner" Woodbury

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John "the Mariner" Woodbury

Birthplace: perhaps of, Dorchester, Dorset, England
Death: before January 18, 1673
probably on board the HMS Crown
Immediate Family:

Son of John 'The Salem Planter' Woodbury and Joan Woodbury
Husband of Elizabeth Dodge
Father of Elizabeth Balch; John Woodbury; Ebenezer Woodbury; Hannah Dodge; Mary Conant and 1 other
Brother of Pascua Woodbury; Edith Woodbury; Susan Hollingsworth; Joan Woodbury; Humphrey Woodbury, Sr. and 3 others
Half brother of Sarah Woodbury; Hannah Baker; Abigail Hill and Sgt. Peter Woodbury

Occupation: Mariner, the mariner
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John "the Mariner" Woodbury

John Woodbury (John Jr.2, John1) was born about 1629 in perhaps Dorchester, Dorset, England, and died, probably at sea, in the winter of 1672 / 1673.

He was the son of John "the Salem Planter" Woodbury (d 1642) & Annis (probably) Napier, his 2nd wife. Married Elizabeth, who was not Elizabeth Tenney.


John Woodbury married Elizabeth. Elizabeth was born about 1636, died on 6 Jan 1726 in Beverly, Essex, MA, and was buried in Beverly, Essex, MA. Elizabeth was the 2d Wife of John Dodge, See: "The Dodge Family" by Joseph Thompson Dodge (1894) Pg. #17

...Elizabeth, widow of John Woodberry; she died 6th January 1726, aged 94.

Children from this marriage were:

  1. + 29 F i. Elizabeth Woodbury was born on 15 Aug 1654 in Salem, Essex, MA and died in 1698. Married Benjamin Balch.
  2. 30 M ii. John Woodbury was born on 15 Mar 1657 in Salem, Essex, MA and died on 11 Jan 1663 in Salem, Essex, MA. "John, s. John and Eliza[beth], b. Mar. 15, 1657. CT.R. Salem V.R. (Pg. #441)." "John, s. John and Elizabeth, d. 11 : 11 : 1662; CT.R. Salem V.R. (Pg. #343)." DIed young.
  3. 31 F iii. Abigail Woodbury was born on 8 Jun 1660 in Salem, Essex, MA. "Abigail, d. John and Eliza[beth], b. 8: 4 m. 1660 CT.R. Salem V.R. (Pg. #440)."
  4. + 32 M iv. Ebenezer Woodbury was baptized on 3 Jul 1667 in Salem, Essex, MA and died on 24 Apr 1714 in Royal Side, Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts. Married Hannah Dodge.
  5. + 33 F v. Hannah Woodbury was baptized on 22 May 1670 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. Married William Dodge.
  6. F Mary was born 6 Sep 1671 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts. Married William Conant.

Dorcas?, b. 10 February 1671(/1672?) (West Parish, Rowley - now Georgetown) is not of this family.


From Genealogical Gleaning in England:

"John Woodbury of Beverly in New England, mariner, but now resident on his Majesty's Ship "Crown" Aug. 4, 1672, for the remainder of the moneys, it is my will that my wife Elizabeth Woodbury shall have and enjoy, and be sent to her by the first opportunity into New England. I give and bequeath to my said wife, all books and sea instruments which I have now in my chest, and also a cloth coat, which by my will, may also be sent to my wife by the first conveyance."

In April of 1670, John mortgaged land which was presumably a part of his father's estate. From the "Old Planters of Beverly..." by Alice Lapham; pg. 50.

'Indenture...betweene John Woodbery of Salem in New England, marrenor, of the onr pt & John Williams of the citty of Bristoll, march't, of ye other pt witnesseth: that the said John Woodbery, sume of Sixty pounds eighteene shillings...hath sett over unto ye said John Williams...all ye piece or p'cell of land or wood ground, containing by estimation forty acres...scittuat...neere Basse river...and adjoineth to certaine lands & Heridittaments of Benjamin Balch of Salem husbandman on the east side & certaine other lands in ye possession & occupation of Henry Herricke on the west side...from the date hearof for & dureing the full time & terme of one thousand yeares...paying therefore...the yearly rent of one penny, at the feast of St Michaell the Arch Angell...p'vided...that the said John Woodbery doe pay or cause to be paid unto the said John Williams the full sume of sixty four pounds ten shillings at or upon the first day of Maye which shal be in ye yeare of our Lord God one thousand Six hundred seaventy & one, at the comon place of audience, caled the Tolsey of Bristoll, scittuat in Corne Street...according to ye condicon of one obligation bearing even date with these pr'sents, wherein he ye said John Woodbery is become bound to ye said John Williams, in ye penal sume of one hundred & twenty pounds...'

The land went into foreclosure and John Williams drove his stake in 1671.


  • PROBATE: FHL Film#92,307 Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1673, Folio 13, JOHN WOODBURY, In the Name of God Amen: I John Woodbury of Beverley in New England, mariner, but nowe resident on Board his Majesties Shipp the Crowne, being in perfect mynd, memory and understanding, Praised be the Almightie; but sick of Bodie, doe make and ordaine thro my last will and Testament in manner and forme following (that is to say),
  • First I bequeath my Soule into the hands of my blessend and mercifull Redeemer, hoping to obtaine Pardon of all my Synns & thorow the Meritorious death and passion of my blessend Saviour Jesus Christ, and to partake of his glorious Resurrection, And for my Bodie I bequeath to the Christian Buryall;
  • Item I give and bequeath to my welbeloved Friend Mr Daniell Berry of Limehouse in the Parish of Stepney all my Monyes or wages as shall be due for my service or wages in the Shipp Crowne, but to the intent and purpose to pay & satisfie all such just and due debts as are owing unto him the said Mr. Berry to any other person to whome I shall justly stand indebted unto, and for ye Remainder of the monyes, It is my will, that my wife shall have and enjoy and to be sent her by the first Opportunitie into New England, which I desire Mr. Berry to procure safe conveyance of the same.
  • Item, I give and bequeath unto my said wife Elizabeth Woodbury all my Bookes and Sea instruments which I have nowe in my Chest, and alsoe a new Cloth Coate, which my Will is may be alsoe sent to my wife with the first and safest conveyance; Or that if the said Mr Berry shall think convenient to sell or dispose to sale all or any part of my Bookes, Instruments or Cate and to make Returne of the produce of them unto my said wife in money or Goods;
  • Item I give and bequeath unto my loving Friend John Taylor marriner one of the said Shipps Company all my wearing Apparell as well lynnen as woollen to have and enjoy them immediately after my decease:
  • In witnesse whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seale this fourth day of August Anno One thousand six hundred seaventie two:
  • ye marke of John Woodbury, Witnesses: Wm Morris: Edw. Honney.

Decimo octavo die mensis January Anno domini (stylo Angliae) millesimo sex centesimo septuagesimo secundo omararit commissio Daniell Berry fidei=commisaris nominat in Testamento Johannis Woodbury imperde ex Nova Anglia sed in Nave vocata Le Crowne super alto Mare defuncti haventis se ad aministrandu bona jura et credita dicti defuncti juxta sonorem et effectum in Testamenti ipsimo defuncti (Eo quod nullum omnino Executorem in eodem Testmento nominatoris) de bene et fideliter administrando eodem ad sancta dei Evangelia jurat. [Latin Translation -On the 18th day of the month of January in the year of our Lord (English style) one thousand six hundred seventy two do commission Daniell Berry, faithful emissary named in the will of John Woodbury resident from New England but in the Naval occupation on board The Crowne on the high seas as having administered in good law and having nearly completed the performance of the bonds and requests in this very Will (To each and every execution named in this will) in this good and faithful administration as the grace of Holy Lord dictates.]

!PROBATE MENTION: The Probate Records of Essex County, page 18, witness in probate of Nehemiah Hawward of Salem dated 26 Sep 1665, "John Woodbery"



A misreading of 17th century records has led to the thought that John died in London on 18 January 1671 or 1672. He was serving aboard the British privateer Crown when he wrote his will in August of 1672. It was presented at court (on land) on 18 January "1672." According to the Julian calendar that was in use at the time, it was within the same year as August. Since the use of this calendar was not universal, dates in January, February and early March were often double dated (1672/1673) to also acknowledge the Gregorian calendar (which is what we now use). John likely died on the ship, and only possibly on land, perhaps in London. The will was probated in London, but this may have been by default if the ship's home port was London.

Another misreading of 17th century records has led to the thought that John's wife was Elizabeth Tenney. Evidence places her as the wife of John Woodbury, son of Humphrey and nephew of the John of this biography. Also based on existing records, there is little doubt that she was the daughter of William Tenney of Rowley, born in 1643, making her too young to have had children in the earlier part of the 1650s. A daughter of Humphrey married John Tenney of Bradford, likely a cousin of Elizabeth Tenney. Neither Rowley nor Bradford, which are neighboring towns, are near Beverly in 17th century terms. This enhances the idea that Woodbury siblings had the Tenney connection.

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John "the Mariner" Woodbury's Timeline

May 7, 1620
South Petherton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Salem, Essex, Mass
Dorchester, Dorset, England
October 24, 1641
Age 12
Salem, Essex, MA
August 15, 1654
Age 25
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
March 15, 1657
Age 28
Salem, , Essex, Massachusetts, USA,
June 8, 1660
Age 31
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
July 3, 1667
Age 38
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
May 22, 1670
Age 41
Beverly, Essex County, Massachusetts