Wood Surname Genealogy
someone who lived atte wode or at or by a wood. This
rise to other surnames, such as Bywood, Underwood and Atwood. The
could also be occupational for a woodcutter or forester.
surname root may have been the Old English wod, describing
is wild or crazy. An example of the use of this term is the pun
Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: “And heere am I, and
within this wood.”
main spelling variant today is Woods.
Wood Resources on
- Clan Wood Society Scottish
Wood clan association.
- The Wood Family Famous
potters of Stoke.
- Woods in Glossop
- The Wood Family
Woods from Yorkshire to London.
- Wood Family Tree
Woods from England to Australia.
- The Wood Family
Woods from Ireland to America.
- Wood DNA Project
England. The surname first appeared in England in
the 13th century. Walter de la Wode was recorded in Hertfordshire
and Roger del Wode in Yorkshire in 1274.
The later name distribution has been
more north than south.
Two prominent Wood families came from Yorkshire and
- a Yorkshire Wood line
began with George Wood of Monk Bretton near Barnsley in the mid-1500’s.
Charles Wood of this family, a 19th
colonial administrator, was made Viscount Halifax.
Edward Wood, better known as Lord Halifax,
was a leading appeaser to Nazi Germany in the 1930’s.
started with three brothers in Burslem in the early 18th century,
and Moses. They were prominent in the development of
One Wood family record began with
Richard Wood in Ripon in north Yorkshire in the late 1500’s. This
moved to London in the early 18th century and later bought Melton Hall
John Wood from
Yorkshire made a fortune in the cotton industry
Glossop, Derbyshire in the early 19th century. His grandson
Denis, and great great grandson Peter have all been chairmen of Arsenal
Scotland. One Wood line in NE Scotland may have had Norman
connections with the de Boscos that had moved north into Scotland from
England. The early
spelling of the name was Wod. As the
Woods of Balbegno in Kincardineshire and Bonnytoun in Angus, they were
landowners in the region. William Wood,
a 15th century merchant, came from this family.
His son Andrew
Wood was a
successful sea captain and pirate whose victories over the English,
the Firth of Forth in 1490, made him a Scottish admiral and granted him
Largo in Fife. Wynd
House in Fife remained in Wood family hands.
other Wood descendants, generally strapped for cash,
disposed of these
and relocated themselves to Perth where they prospered.
Many subsequently settled in England. Sir
Mark Wood of Gatton Park in Surrey was
made a baronet in 1808.
Ireland. The surnames Wood and Woods may
have either been an English or Scottish implant or an anglicization of
Gaelic word coill meaning wood. The names have mostly
in the Ulster counties of Monaghan and Tyrone. The Woods spelling
common in Ireland than in England.
John Woods from Yorkshire was in Ireland with
Cromwell and held Dunshaughlin castle in county Meath. One
line of his family later resided at
Milverton Hall, just north of Dublin. Other
Woods departed Ireland for America in the 1720’s.
America. Abraham Wood was perhaps the first Wood to
step ashore in America, arriving at the Jamestown colony in Virginia in
a ten year old boy. He later became a
fur trader and early explorer of what became West Virginia.
James Wood came to Virginia in 1735 and gave
his name to the town of Winchester in Frederick county after his home
in England. His son James was a General in
Revolutionary War and served as Governor of Virginia from 1796 to 1799. Wood county in Virginia was named in his
come to America from Ireland in 1724, settling initially in
Pennsylvania. In 1734 he led a
across the Blue Ridge Mountains through what became known as Woods’ Gap
Shenandoah valley of Virginia. Woods
made his home near Woods Gap where he died in 1762.
His descendants were to be found at various points
south and west in the 1800’s.
early Wood arrivals in New England were:
- Edmond Wood from Halifax
in Yorkshire who came on Winthrop’s fleet to New England in 1630 and
1644, settled in what became Hempstead on Long Island.
- and William Wood from Derbyshire who arrived
in 1638 and was one of the first settlers of Concord,
Woods remained there for more than a hundred years before migrating
Maine in 1774.
Roger Wood was in Bermuda as early as 1622 and was
later Governor of the island. His son
Thomas established the Wood home Bosco
Manor at Spanish Point. This family
was to become merchants and traders across the Americas, from
South America. Richard Wood moved to
Canada in the 1860’s. He built an oil
refinery at Oakville in Ontario, which unfortunately then blew up.
Alexander Wood, a Scottish merchant who came to Ontario in 1793,
remembered in his home-city of Toronto even though he left no
descendants. Wood was tagged with the
nickname Molly Wood
after an alleged rape case in 1810.
There is an area today in Toronto which is known as Molly Wood’s
and forms part of Toronto’s gay community.
There were rumors that Robert Wood, a
timber merchant in Quebec at this time, was the illegitimate son of an
royal prince, Edward, and a French lady.
Family tradition has it that he was given to the prince’s former
servant, Robert Wood, to be raised as his son.
But this Robert Wood really does seem to have been his father.
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
15th century privateer who became Lord High Admiral for Scotland.
John Wood built the PS Comet, Europe’s first commercial
steamship, on the Clyde in Scotland in 1812.
Alexander Wood, a doctor in
Edinburgh, was in 1853 the first to introduce the hypodermic syringe.
first elected in
1854, was one of the most colorful mayors of New York. Sir Henry Wood was a prominent
English conductor who started the annual Proms season.
Natalie Wood was a well-known
Tiger Woods is considered the
Select Woods Today
- 186,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 130,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
- 71,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)
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