Archiver > WOODWORTH > 1999-11 > 0942514249

From: "John H. Brennan" <>
Subject: [WOODWORTH-L] #1 message Resend
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 12:30:49 -0500

Trip Report #1 - Resend Maybe this time you'll all get this!

Hi everyone,

I'm back from England and I have some information and a bunch of
questions. Many more questions than answers. Fortunately, I've been
able to make contacts with several folks over there who are willing to
help get answers.

First, I hunted down George S Woodworth. He happened to be on his way
out to the airport to go to Romania. He did invite me in for a few
minutes to briefly tell me what he knew. Actually, what he knew was not

much. He said he only knew back to his Grandfather, who was born in
Chester, where I was staying. BTW Bill, I also stayed at the Queen
Hotel, overlooking the train station. The trains didn't bother me at
all, but when the pubs closed, it got very loud out on the street.
Anyway, George was not the wealth of information that we may have hoped

After George had to leave for the airport, I took off to find the
Woolton area and look for records. It took me about 2 hours to get
there. Nice little area, friendly people. The people at a pub I
stopped at to ask for directions suggested I stop to their library. I
found the library and they told me all the records were collected at the

Liverpool Central Library. They gave me great directions, but it took
me 45 minutes to get there and find a parking space. The time was 3:45
PM and the library closed at 4:00 PM. Well, at least I knew where to
go. Unfortunately, they are not open on Sundays, so I'd have to wait
until the following Saturday. The other good thing I found out about is

the train from Chester will bring you within about 2 city blocks of the
Liverpool Central Library. The following day (my first Sunday) poured
all day, so I spent most of the day in the hotel room wishing the
library was open.

The next Saturday, I got up early, and went to the Liverpool Central
Library again. The family history records are all on the fourth "hall"
(floor). Upon getting there, the attendant told me that you have to
sign up for time on the microfiche readers and the microfilm readers.
So I signed up for one for what I thought he said 11 to 12 noon (it was
10 am). The machine he assigned to me was empty for 45 minutes, then I
decided to ask if I could start using it early. Then they said that I
was signed up from 10 to 11! I thought english was my native language!
They did help me get a slot later, so I used the time to look up the
areas where I should really concentrate on once I got the machine.

When I did get a machine, I started looking through all the microfiche
records for all the counties there for birth records of anyone with the
last name Woodworth, Woodward, Woodard, Woodword, you name it. I did
find two entries where you can make out the name Woodward, but the rest
was not readable because of the quality of the document as well as the
fact that it was either in latin or old english. The guy next to me
said that they were both males because of the "son of" wording, but he
couldn't make out the rest either because of the quality. The other
unfortunate thing is that once I found something to bring home, I didn't

have a machine that you could print from. I did get a chance to reserve

one that did from 3 to 4, so I do have a photocopy of two pages of birth


The most significant find was a letter I received from Ann Holmes, a
Alexander Woodward decendant who lives in Sheffield, about 1 1/2 hrs
away from Chester. I had emailed her prior to leaving the states about
the Woodworth name. I went to see her last Saturday at her home. The
beautiful countryside between Manchester and Sheffield itself was worth
the trip. You have to go through "Snake Pass", named because the road
winds through the hills like a snake. Ann and her husband Nick are
great folks and made me a very nice lunch (actually it was a dinner at
lunch time!). Ann said that the Woodward family data she has dates back

into the 1400's in Shevington. There was a document, which I have a
copy of, named Woodward of Shevington, a Visitation of Lancashire by Sir

William Dugdale, recorded 17 March, 1664 showing 7 generations of
Woodwards from Henry the Eighth's period to 1664. There are many
Woodwards displayed, but the ones with the most detail are the first
born sons. But keep in mind they are all Woodwards, not Woodworths.

I did do a search of the wills in the Cheshire Records Office on-line
prior to leaving the states. The only record they have for "Shavington"

was a John Woodworth, will recorded 1616. This only left me more
confused about if the name was Woodworth or Woodward. Ann also was
confused, saying that it seems unlikely that two Wood____'s would exist
in such a small area, when the 1666 tax records indicated that there
were only 24 hearths chargable to tax, where no one house had more that
two hearths (fireplaces). This is where I needed to find someone else
who could find out about these records in Cheshire Records office.
Rhoda Hodgett, wife of the GM of the company I am working with in the UK

is in some type of historical society in Chester, so I emailed her as I
left Sunday morning to ask her to look into the woodworth's for us. I
told her about the potential that the name actually was Woodward, and
may have been from Shevington. She has agreed to look for us and in
fact has done some digging already. I will forward her research to the
list after I send this.

The interesting thing that Ann discovered as we flipped through my FTM
printouts were several areas where Walter was named Woodward and that it

was his children that started to use the name Woodworth, apparently
because of a family dispute over Walter's support of Rev. Chauncey, who
was in the middle of a religious controversy. Rhoda's work so far shows

that there was at least one Woodworth (Dorothy) in the Cheshire area in
the early 1600's. Could it be that there are two families with similar,

but different names in the same small area? I also had found in my
notes from some time ago that G. Alan Royce had studied how the Woodward

clan came to england. He talks about how they lived in the manors of
Shoevington and Standish, County of Lancaster. Everything seems to
point in that direction.

Ann told me that at the time, that the Liverpool port only had a ship or

two a year going to america. She thought that it appears that many
people at the time traveled from port to port, chasing a ship to america

to try to get on. This may be why Walter appears to have some
connection to the Liverpool, Hull and Kent areas. All were either port
cities, or very near them. I asked her about the large distance between

Liverpool and Hull and then to Kent, even using today's transportation
methods. She said it was not unusual for someone of wealth to arrange
fresh horses along a long route to get to their final destination. I
guess they could make it in shorter times because they didn't have to
deal with the damn round abouts!

The other puzzling thing is that Walter is not a common name now in
England and was unheard of back then. Does anyone have any idea the
origin of the name Walter? I checked one source and it said Man of the
Woods, or a Army General. Could it be that Walter was a nickname for
"William", the most common boys name in England at the time?

More later...


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