Ancestor 162 William Woodford

A 5th great grandfather and DAR proven ancestor.  According to DAR records Private William Woodford was born sometime about 1730 in England.  Others challenge that date and place and believe he was born about 1745 in Frederick County, Virginia (including SAR).  There have been no records discovered at this time to prove either claim.  He may have been the son of William Woodford Sr from Berkshire, England, and his wife, Ann Cocke.  Berkshire is the location of Windor Castle.  A marriage record in 1732 in Spotsylvania, Virgina, for William and Ann would give credence to a Virginia birth for their son, William Woodford (patriot).

William Woodford married Frances “Fanny” Howe in Shenandoah County VA about 1768.  They had a son William Woodford born about 1771, a daughter Sarah about 1773, and Mary “Polly” Frances Woodford born about 1775.   The DAR records and others give the patriots death as circa 1779 or 1780.  And other children are sometimes given as Frances, Grace and Ruhama “Amy” with births after 1780.  So it bears the question, were the dates incorrect for their births, was his death date incorrect, or did Fanny remarry and have more children?  However, Frances Woodford is single and counted as one person on the 1810 census.

There was also general with the same that has added to confusion over this ancestor and has similar birth and death years so I have no confidence in these dates.  And many have incorrect trees and have mixed them up. The birth of 1730 seems a bit old for a private but it was accepted with previous submission

The first record of this family is the baptism of their children in Beckford Parish, Dunsmore County VA (Now Shenandoah County) VA August 3, 1773.  One can’t help but wonder what life was like in the area during this time.

Several years following, Officials reported to the Beckford Parish Convention of 1820:

“Beckford parish, Shenadoah county. This parish is in an infant state: they have had no Episcopal minister among them since the revolutionary war, except occasional visits, and these only within the last two or three years – the present minister has not resided there long enough to enable him to say with correctness what the prospect is. The parish inclues the whole country of Shenandoah: the few Episcopal families residing in it are much scattered, and the people in general pleased with the doctrines of the church. Marriages five–baptisms two.”[1]

The service records of William Woodford are supported by his daughter Mary “Polly” Woodford, and my ancestor, wrote (transcript):

State of Virginia
Lewis County (now West Virginia)

On this 24th day of November
In the year A.D. 1834 before

Mr John Reger Jr a justice of the peace of this County afford said personally came Mary Lance who being duly sworn doth an her oath, depose and say that she was well acquainted with acertain William Woodford of Rockingham County and State of Virginia and knows that he was regular soldier enlisted for during the Revolutionary War and she dependant says that he the said William Woodford served five years or upwards and then got his discharge on account of a wound that he received upon one of his legs.  She deponent says that he said William Woodford at the time of his services as a soldier he had his with him in Philadelphia and she dependant say that she deponate served with her at the Philadelphia until he received the wound in one of his legs and then returned with them to Rockingham County.  She deponant does not recollect of any of his officers but she thinks and believes that he was under General Wayne and also thinks that his discharge was driven the Col Nickelous.  She deponant further states that she was well acquainted with the said William Woodford for number of years after the war and never knew any other William Woodfor but this except his sun he had but one sun by his wife Fany and his name was William further deponant sayteh not.  Mary Lance x mark

William Woodford of Rockingham County, Virginia, had a robust service as a patriot and served in Captain Richard Campbell’s Company of the 8th Virginia Battalion, commanded by Colonel Abram Bowman from May to October 1777.

He also served in the company of Captain Kirkpatrick in the 4th Virginia Foot, Commanded by Colonel James Wood in June and July 1778.

More complete details of his service were presented in another descendants SAR analysis:

William Woodford, of Rockingham County, Va. Was a soldier in the war of the Revolution.  There is a file in the Archives Dept. of the Virginia State Library, a “Rejected” claim filed by his grandchildren, the children of his only son and heir William Woodford Jr., vist, Jhohn H Woodford, Jacob Woodford, Robert Talbert and his wife Mary, (formerly Mary Woodford) George Woodford and William Woodford.  With these papers are affidavits as to his service etc. signed by John Lincoln, Josepth Parret and Mary Lance etc. in with they make oath to has servies, but did not know the time of his enlistment, or discharge etc five years or until he was wounded and returned to Rockingham County.

However, an examination of original Pay Rolls, (On file in War Dept., Washington, D.C.) as shown by photo state copies in Richmond are as follows:

W.E.178-1- Pay roll of company of Capt. Richard Campbell, 8th Battalion, Va. Forces under Col. Abram Bowman, shows his name, as a private and that he was paid for service from 1 Mch, 1777 for four months.

W.D. 178-6 Pay roll fo Capt John Steed’s company 8th WasReg to Col Bowman, commanding, shows his name with pay allowed for November and December 17777 and January 1778.

Same rolls for February and March 1778 show he was paid for those months.

Similar rolls, same captain, and colonel show he was paid for April and May 1778.

W.D. 313, 1 Pay roll of Capt.Kirkpatrick’s company, 4th Va.Regiment “tours’ commanded by Col.James Wood (later Governer of Virignia) shows he was paid for services as Private for month of June 1778,

W.D. 313-2- Pay roll same company etc. shows he was pay for services in July 1778, and added is statement that he was sick at “Langford”.

The family record and the evidence in the rejected claim affidavits show that he was for a time stationed in Philadelphia guarding British prisoners captured by Gen.Wayne at Stony Point.  Prisoners arrived in Philadelphia in August of 1799.  William was wounded in the knee and later returned to Rockingham County, Virginia.  William’s death is generally accepted as circa 1779 so it is possible that his death was related to the injury.

It seems that Mary’s claim was initially rejected  because she did not recall the names of commanders, the records were later substantiated with payroll records and he became recognized for his long and dedicated service.