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AN EARLY HISTORY OF THE WOODS FAMILY

The persecutions visited upon the dissenters of Ireland during the
 eighteenth century,largly as the result of the bigotry of the English 
prelates, had two marked effects; they rendered life in Ireland 
unbearable to the liberty loving Scotch-Irish, therby driving tens of
 thousands of them to the American colonies, and they helped to fill 
the patriot army in after days with splendid soldiers, when the 
American revolution began. The stream of emigration from the north of
 Ireland began to flow as early as 1698, but it was checked for a 
season. Then, in 1719, it recommenced and continued for fifty years. 
In that notable movement, we find the Woods's and the Wallaces, with 
whom we have to do with in this volume.
    In the year 1724, there came to Pennsylvania from the north of 
Ireland, one Michael Woods, his brother, William, and their widowed 
sister , Elizabeth Wallace, and a number of their children. It has 
been current belief in the Woods family that Michael, William,
 Elizabeth had two brothers , James and Andrew, who migrated with them
 to America. At the date of migration , Michael Woods was forty years 
old, and William was twenty nine. Elizabeth was probably the eldest
 in the party, and about forty two years old, and had with her, at 
least six children by her husband, Peter Wallace, who not long since 
been deceased.
Concerning James and Andrew, we have only the scantist information. It 
is probable that they accompanied their sister and brothers to 
Pennsylvania, but there is no positive evidence that they removed with 
them when some ten years earlier, they migrated to Virginia. It is 
possible they were ancestorsof some of the numerous Protestants 
Woods's in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
When we come to enquire about the parents of these individuals, we 
raise questions, not all of which can be answered fully and positivly 
as we can desire. Some facts are fairly well established

     1.There came to Ireland , a certain English trooper, who was in 
the Cromwellian army of invasion in 1649, by the name of Woods.
     2. This trooper had a son, John Woods , who about 1681, married
 Elizabeth Worsop.
     3. This miss Worsop was born Nov. 15, 1656 and it is assured 
as probable, That John Woods whom she married was born about 1654
not long after his father had withdrawn from the Cromwellian army
and settled down to a private life in Ireland.
     4.  It is probable that John Woods father came from Yorkshire
 , England and then settled in one of three counties, Fermangh,
 Down or Meath.
     5. It is most likely tha the families of both John Woods and 
Elizabeth Worsop were Episcopalian and of pure English Stock.
     6. There are good reasons for believing that the family of which 
John Woods was the head was the only one of protestant faith.
     7. Elizabeth Worsop was, undoubtadly, a lady of gentle birth and
 directly descended from some families of the highest standing in 
England.
     8. Her line is as follows;
 She was the daughter of Thomas Worsop and Elizabeth Parsons.
      said Elizabeth Pasrsons was the daughter of Richard Parsons
and his wife Letitia Loftus.
      said Letitia Loftus was the daughter of Sir Adam Loftus and his
wife , Jane Vaughn.
      said Sir Adam Loftus was the son of Sir Dudley Loftus of county
Dublin by his wife Anne Bengall.
      said Sir Dudley Loftus was the son of Adam Loftus (archbishop
of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland) by his wife , Jane Pardon.
  


Said Archbishop Loftus was born in Yorkshire, England in 1534, and 
was the son of the Right reverend Edward Loftus of Levinshead. He was
ordained in 1559, and having attracted the favorable notice of Queen
 Elizabeth during his examination at Cambridge, he was rapidly 
promoted in the church, being made Archbishop of Armagh when he
 was only twenty-seven years old, and later on, Archbishop of Dublin
 and Lord Chancellor of Ireland.
     Teh said John Woods and his wife, Elizabeth had at least four 
sons and one daughter; Elizabeth, Michael, William, James and Andrew,
 all of whom migrated to North America in 1724 and had attained to
 their majority at the time and  several of them had considerable 
families. When and Where John Woods and his wife died, we have no
 means of knowing, but the probability is that both passed away
 before 1724.
Mrs. Anne Woods Sampson in her book "Kith and Kin", says, Michael Woods
, sister , Elizabeth Wallace and brothers, settled first in Chester
 county, Pennsylvania. They lived there eight years. but on this side
 there was no rest short of Virginia, for in PA's much vaunted
 "asylum" , unfriendly "friends" soon passed restrictive laws against
"up and coming" folks; so they passed on. Tarring only two years in
Augusta county, Michael left there his eldest son, Richard, and his
son Samuel and his oldest daughter Magdalena, already married before 
coming over to John McDowell. She lived to be 104 years old, a very
remarkable women, of whom so many pictureesque tales are told. She
was a prime favorite with all her kindered and "half a hundered" 
namesakes.
Michael built a home "Blair Park" in Albemarle Co., then Goochland Co.
It was near "Woods gap", since called Jarman's gap. It was about 1/4
 mile west of the town of Charlottesville and immediately at the foot 
of the blue ridge mountains. The C&O railroad traverses what was the
 plantation of Michael Woods between the stations of Greenwood and
 Crozet.
Mrs. Anne Woods Sampson, a descendant of Michael Woods , whose father 
Rev. Edgar Woods was the author of "The History of Albemarle County"
and "One Branch of the Woods Family", disagrees with Dr. Neander Woods
in thinking that the Woods's are descended from the cromwellian
 soldier. She says , "In reality the name is not Woods at all it is
DuBois. My father, Rev. Edgar Woods, bred a lawyer, would not admit
to his printed statement anything for which there was not a legal
record. But he knew tradition, and when his professor at college, an 
old Frenchmen, complimented him openly before class as the only one 
who "got the accent" and later asked if he were not of French blood
he acknowledged, of necessity, that so the fathers sasid. Dr Neander
Woods theory about cromwellssoldier is untenable; our own branch knew
they were Scotch and they believed in the Frech origin. Hanna's 
history of the Scotch Irish, gives numerous settlers in Ulster Ireland
from Scotland named Woods. In Scotland the name is less frequently
 found: we all came away! We went ther Du Bois and left Woods's
after a generation or two. So it is probable as we go back from VA
through PA through Ulsater, through Scotland, we also go back to
 France. She says "The father of our Michael, was born in Scotland,
 he, in Ulster in 1684. His name means, the splendor of God, his 
great archangel, and always pronounced here in early Scotch fashion
 in 3 syllables as emphasizing EL, the name of God.
Mary Campbell, Michaels wife was born in Scotland, "of the Argyles"
they did not stay in Ulster long for great hope of freedom to worship
appeared across the sea.


written by Reverend Neander M. Woods
 


 







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