Saturday, June 21, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ WOODWARD of Boston and Ipswich, Massachusetts

The Woodward compiled genealogy book (see below)


Ezekiel Woodward is NOT a son of Nathaniel Woodward of Boston, which is often seen in online genealogies and some old genealogy books.  He  died in Wenham, Massachusetts in 1699.  According to the book Some Descendants of Nathaniel Woodward, 1984, page 4 “It is not on record that Ezekiel Woodward was a son of Nathaniel Woodward but he used the names of his stepmother and of his half-sister and of two sisters-in-law for four of his daughters, and his brother Nathaniel had a son and a grandson named Ezekiel.  He was also a carpenter, as was Nathaniel1, and bought land in Boston in 1651.

Before I go on, remember that the daughters of Ezekiel were Anne, Sarah, Margaret, Elizabeth, Prudence, Martha, Mary and Rachel.  These were all common Puritan names.  It also supposes that Nathaniel2 was his brother.  It may point to a kinship, but there is still no proof that Ezekiel is Nathaniel1 Woodward’s son.  An 1894 article in the NEHGS Register, “Descendants of Nathaniel Woodward,” Volume 51, page 172 does not name Ezekiel as a son, and neither does the Great Migration Begins.

In the Gates Dawes genealogy (see below), page 671 there is an interesting story about Ezekiel Woodward:

Ezekiel was married thirdly to SARAH (KNOWLTON?) PIPER, widow of Nathaniel of Wenham,… and thereby hangs a tale, for she had been receiving attentions from one John Poland and may even have been engaged to marry him.  After her marriage to Ezekiel, certain men taunted Poland with having “lost his widow”, asked how “Woodward got along with his new wife”, etc. In order to “save his face” Poland began to peddle lies and on 20 June 1679, Ezekiel brought suit against Poland for defamation, for slandering him and his wife.  The case came to trial in Sep 169, and witnesses testified that Poland had said the widow had a poor bargain with Ezekiel and she repented of it: that Ezekiel did not deserve her, and her friends wondered that she left Poland. Then Poland became intrigued with is subject and claimed that the widow’s brother Knowlton “sayd to me yt shee came to him slaubering & crying & sayd yt she was undone by marrying Woodward: & that shee was very much Troubled that she had wronged me; yt is Poland & That she was not able to see me but watterd her plants at the meeting at the very sight of me & did grately bemone herself that shee should offer so much wrong to Polend & that I derst not goe to the meeting at Wenham for every Time she see mee she is nott able to bare it but is ready for to swound away”

“A verdict was rendered in favor of Ezekiel and Poland was ordered to make acknowledgement of his fault so at this same court he “made open confession in court that he had done wrong to widow Piper, now the wife of Ezekiel Woodward, in speaking the words to which the witnesses testified, and was sorry for it, desiring the court to forgive him” – which seems an easy way out for him!

I like this story because John Poland is my 9th great grandfather, through his first wife, Bethiah Friend.  John Poland married a woman named Margery sometime in 1680.  Sarah Piper married Ezekiel as his third wife sometime after 3 December 1678 when his second wife, Elizabeth, widow of John Solart, died.  Ezekiel Woodward is also my 9th great grandfather.  I descend from two of his daughters by his first wife, Anne Beamsley: Margaret and Prudence. 

Some Woodward resources:

Some Descendants of Nathaniel  Woodward who came from England to Boston about 1630, by Harold Edward Woodward, Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1984. (Ignore pages 3 – 4 which name Ezekiel as Nathaniel’s son, this book is mostly unsourced.)

There is another compiled genealogy about the Woodward family, the Ezekiel (1) Woodward sketch on pages 666 – 676 in the American Ancestry of Mary Beman (Gates) Dawes by Mary Walton Ferris, Chicago: R. R. Donnelley & Sons (privately printed), volume 1, 1931.

There is no article about Ezekiel Woodward listed in Martin Hollick’s New Englanders in the 1600s which lists new research articles and books as possible source information.

If you are lucky enough to see the British BBC version of Who do You Think You Are?  with celebrity Richard Madely, it shows how his ancestor Ezekiel Woodward was a sergeant during King Philip’s War and was in the Great Swamp Fight of 1675.  I haven’t seen this episode yet.  Does anyone know if it is online somewhere?

My WOODWARD genealogy:

Generation 1:  Ezekiel Woodward,  died 29 January 1699 in Wenham, Massachusetts; married first to Anne Beamsley in January 1650 in Boston; married second to Elizabeth Unknown on 20 December 1672 in Wenham, the widow of John Solart; married third to Sarah Edwards, widow of Nathaniel Piper.

Lineage A:

Generation 2: Margaret Woodward, born 24 February 1655 in Boston, died 22 May 1716 in Scarborough, Maine; married on 20 October 1672 in Ipswich, Massachusetts to William Andrews, son of John Andrews and Jane Jordan.  He was born in 1649 and died on 7 February 1716/7 in the Chebacco Parish of Ipswich.

Generation 3: John Andrews m. Elizabeth Story
Generation 4: Abigail Andrews m. Jeremiah Burnham
Generation 5: Abigail Burnham m. Isaac Allen
Generation 6: Joseph Allen m. Judith Burnham
Generation 7: Joseph Allen m. Orpha Andrews
Generation 8: Joseph Gilman Allen m. Sarah Burnham Mears
Generation 9: Joseph Elmer Allen m. Carrie Maude Batchelder
Generation 10: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

Lineage B:

Generation 2:  Prudence Woodward, born 4 April 1660 in Boston, died 9 June 1732; married on 2 November 1677 in Ipswich to Benjamin Marshall, son of Edmund Marshall and Millicent Unknown.  He was born 27 September 1646 in Salem, Massachusetts; died 25 November 1716 in Ipswich.
Generation 3: Benjamin Marshall m. Bethiah Goodhue
Generation 4: Elizabeth Marshall m. David Burnham
Generation 5: Amos Burnham m.  Sarah Giddings
Generation 6: Judith Burnham m. Joseph Allen (see above)

The URL for this post is

Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. I am interested in the WOODWARD line because My line Peter Woodward stops in Ma. With him being married to Judith Getchell and Sarah (Roberts) Mariner they have at least 5 kids from both wives, the 2nd youngest Child from second marriage. I am interested to know who are his parents my info is he was born in Rehoboth, Ma 11-30-1719 d. 2-9-1801 (82y) Small slate stone in new meadows burial grounds in Brunswick, Me settled in Brunswick apx. 1750 Married Judith Getchell 8-13-1718 Brunswick, Me b.4-17-1722 Scarborough, Me Daughter of Capt. John Getchell & Elizabeth Whittaker they had Samuel Woodward b11-22-1749 Brunswick, Me d. 10-12-1832 same town. m. Mary/Molly Coombs 3-18-1768 & had 12 kids 2nd m. Anne Woodside bef. 1793 they had 5 kids. & Peggy Woodward b.4-7-1751 Brunswick, Me d.? M.? (need info) Peters 2nd marriage 5-6-1754 Falmouth, Me w/Sarah Roberts b.4-11-1720 Glouster, Ma daughter of Ebenezer Roberts & Sarah Elwell, produced 3 kids Ebenezer b.8-27-1755 Harpswell, Me & Peter Jr. b.2-25-1759 Brunswick, Me d. 11-16-1897 New Meadows, Brunswick, Me m. Lydia Jones5-9-1778 Brunswick, Me Both are buried in New meadows Burial Grounds, Brunswick, Me (her 1st m. was to a John Mariner 6-19-1737 Falmouth, Me. the last child of Sarah & Peter was Joseph b.11-25-1761 Brunswick, Me d.? M. to Catherine Pierce, not much on this line either. I have a pc of info that said the parents to Peter were Samuel Woodward and Bathsheba? Would like to know if anyone has any info for sure I live in Maine and don't get to Mass at all don't have the geno sites you have to pay for so I am asking for help to find this link to his parents If any one can help it would be wonderful. Thank you,

    1. Hello Heidi, thanks for leaving your message here. Perhaps someone from that line will read it online and get back to you with more information? It has happened many times before this. Fingers crossed for you!

  2. So glad you posted this article on Ezekial Woodward, Heather. I am not related but trying to straighten it out at WikiTree. Yours was the best, and most solid, explanation. Thanks.
    His profile ( in the works ) at WikiTree:

  3. Getting back to Ezekiel Woodward, I don't think he was born in Puddington, Bedfordshire, England! Do you? Thanks again.