Joseph Wood
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Joseph Wood (1781 - 1853)

Joseph Wood
Born in Gillamoor, Yorkshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 22 Jan 1803 in Kirkby Moorside, Yorkshire, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Helmsley, Yorkshire, Englandmap
Profile manager: Pat Miller private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 9 Dec 2018
This page has been accessed 167 times.



Joseph was born in 1781 in Gillamoor, Yorkshire to parents Joseph Wood and Mary Fisher. He married Jane Wood his first cousin, in the nearby market town of Kirkby Moorside in 1803. The couple had three children and lived on a farm in Sleightholm-dale. Having his own farm gave Joseph the right to vote. He was on the voter's list for 1834. The farm was 230 acres in 1851. Whether it was this size in 1834 is unknown. Their son Jonadab Wood took over the farm by 1841 and Joseph and Jane remained with his family. Joseph was listed as a retired farmer in the 1841 and 1851 census records. He passed away in 1853, most likely in Sleightholm-dale but Helmsley was the registration district and this was recorded on the death index.

Dales, Moors, Limestone Pasture

My introduction to farmers in the Yorkshire Dales was from the television series All Creatures Great and Small (1978-1980, 1988-1990, current Season, 2021) which were based on the veterinarian stories of author James Herriot. As depicted, Yorkshire farmers were extremely hard working, sometimes hard drinking, sometimes poor, humorous, even eccentric, but all had a deep devotion to the place they called home.

Home was a series of dales, or valleys with higher limestone pastures and moors covered in heather, excellent for sheep breeding. Home was small farms scattered about stone villages and hamlets. Home was ruins of monasteries, remnants from the days when Fountains Abbey owned thousands of acres of Yorkshire and over 15,000 sheep. These ghostly structures, especially at dusk, are still remarkable in their crumbled afterlife.

Pastoral farming in North Yorkshire over the last 300 years has been tremendously beneficial. It has allowed landscape conservation, protection of habitats and species and archaeological investigations.

The photo at right of an English hay harvest was quite typical of the Dales. Women and children helped harvest hay to feed the farm's dairy cattle that were housed in the barns over the winter. Recent changes in agricultural practices have now rendered many of these barns obsolete. They are fast becoming reminders of Yorkshire's past landscape, as surely as the monasteries before them.

Sources:, (Anglo-Saxon-Englisc Heritage) and Dissolution of the Monasteries (Pitkin Guide)

John L. Stoddard description of English Farms

"Farming in England is done on so small a scale that to be a laborer on the western prairies of the United States it would seem absurd; yet nowhere in the world does harvesting present a prettier picture. Almost all English landscapes seem to have been finished with a brush and pencil, and even hillsides look well-groomed....Britain's beautifully rounded slopes and the perpetual verdure of its fields harmonize perfectly with the subdued light that filters through its customary canopy of clouds. We must console ourselves for frequent showers here, since it is England's copious rain that renders it thus fresh and green, and makes of it the garden of the world." From Stoddard's Lectures IX by John Lawson Stoddard , book published in 1898.


  • Date and place of birth--1851 England Census, Sleightholm Dale, Helmsley, Yorkshire, JOSEPH WOOD 70, born 1781 Gillamoor
  • England, Select Marriages 1538-1973, JOSEPH WOOD and Jane Wood, 22 Jan 1803 Kirkby Moorside, Yorkshire
  • U.K., Poll Books and Electoral Registers, 1538-1893, Skiplam Parish, Yorkshire, 1834, Christian name and surname of each voter at full length: JOSEPH WOOD, Place of Abode: Sleightholm-dale, Nature of Qualification: Occupier of a farm
  • 1841 England Census, Helmsley, registration district, Kirkby Moorside, sub registration district, Kirkdale, civil parish, Township of Skiplam, PLACE, Sleightholm Dale, Jonadab Wood 35, farmer, Ann Wood 35, wife, Joseph Wood 13, son, Ann Wood 12, daughter, Elizabeth Wood 11, daughter, George Wood 10, son, Tamar Wood 7, daughter, Maria Wood 2, daughter, Mary Wood 1 mo, daughter, Jonadab 4, son, JOSEPH WOOD 60, father, retired farmer, Jane Wood 60, mother, George Wood 30, brother, ag lab (agricultural labour), John Ward 15, ag lab, Henry Rawson 15, ag lab, Margaret Teasdale 15
  • 1851 England Census, Skiplam Township, Yorkshire, Sleightholm Dale, Jonadab Wood 47, farmer, Ann Wood 48, wife, Elizabeth Wood 21, dau, George Wood 19, son, Tamar Wood 18, dau, Jonadab Wood 14, son, Maria Wood 11, dau, Mary Wood 9, dau, JOSEPH WOOD 70, father, retired farmer, Jane Wood 70, mother, George Wood 42, brother, farm labour, John Waind 23, son-in-law, farmer, Ann Waind 23, daughter, Thomas Dunning 21, servant, George Warrener 22
  • England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915, JOSEPH WOOD, Quarter July-August-Sept Helmsley, Yorkshire North Riding, Sept 1853
  • UNLIKELY BIRTH RECORD FOR JOSEPH WOOD INCLUDED IN HIS PROFILE ON FAMILYSEARCH: England & Wales Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1937, 1780, Joseph ye son of Joseph Wood of Morley was baptized and born Aug 5.

While the approximate birth year and name of the father are good, Morley is a market town south of Leeds in West Yorkshire, some distance from the North Yorkshire cluster of villages Kirkdale, Gillamoor, Great Edstone, Sleightholme-dale around market town Kirkby Moorside. In the 1851 Census when Joseph Wood was living with his son Jonadab Wood he listed his birth as 1781 in Gillamoor. His parents were married 3 Feb 1780 in Great Edstone. The FamilySearch record is more likely for a different Joseph Wood, son of a different Joseph Wood.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Joseph by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Joseph:

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Rejected matches › Joseph Wood (bef.1779-bef.1853)

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