About Major William Woodford
Major William Woodford was an emigrant to Essex County, Virginia around 1700. His name first appears in 1706 when he is listed as a witness to a deed in Essex County. The designation "Major" may indicate that he was a commissioned officer in the British Army prior to coming to America. He was an officer in the Militia of Caroline County and served in the capacity of County Colonel until his death.
The area of Essex County where Major William settled later became part of Caroline County in 1728. He acquired large land holdings and built an estate named Windsor on the Rappahannock River near present Fredericksburg, Virginia. There he did extensive farming and grew tobacco on a large scale. He was also engaged in the merchant shipping business.
Major Woodford was a close associate of Alexander Spotswood. In the summer of 1716, Spotswood made his famous journey from Williamsburg to the Shenandoah Valley with his "Knights of the Golden Horseshoe". One of the expedition Members recorded in his journal that they spent a night at the home of William Woodford on the way and again on the return. Major Woodford later joined the group at Germanna, a German settlement in the Colony of Virginia, settled in two waves, first in 1714 and then in 1717.
Major William Woodford was married three times. He had no children by his first two wives. He and his third wife, Anne Cocke, whom he married on 2 September 1722, had five sons. The oldest son William, born in 1734, became a Brigadier General in the American Revolution. Major Woodford died in 1755. The exact date is unknown but his will was recorded on June 8, 1755.