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Henry Wood (abt. 1620 - bef. 1670)

Henry Wood aka Atwood
Born about in Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 18 Apr 1644 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died before before about age 50 in Middleborough, Plymouth Colonymap
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Profile last modified | Created 22 Dec 2009
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Henry Wood is currently protected by the Puritan Great Migration Project for reasons described in the narrative.
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: PGM
Because he's been confused with an earlier migrant by the same name, the PGM project is keeping an eye on him.


Disputed Origins

John Atwood and Joan Coleson have been removed as parents of Henry Wood per the source: Williams, Alicia Crane. "Henry Wood alias Atwood of Middleborough, Massachusetts" in The Mayflower Descendant. (1998-2000)[1] For additional information please see the g2g thread found here:


Henry Wood was born in England, sometime by 1620[2]. His origins are unknown but evidence points to the possibility of a close relationship to John and Stephen Wood alias Atwood of Plymouth.[3] Henry was in Plymouth by September 16, 1641 when he and Stephen Wood were granted 8 acres each at "Loute Pond."[4] In 1643, he is listed among the Plymouth men "able to bear arms." (Note that his name appears between John Wood and Stephen Wood).[5]

Henry married Abigail Jenney, the daughter of John and Sarah (Carey) Jenney on 18 April, 1644. In December 28, 1643 Abigail's father in his will names Henry as a suitor of his daughter, but required that she "dwell for one full year with Mr. Chas Chauncey" in order to have his consent to marry.[6] They may have resided in Yarmouth for a time, as some sources report that their first two children were born there. [Thacher papers]

They lived in Yarmouth when his first two children (Samuel and Sarah) were born and in 1649, they returned to Plymouth where in 1665 they settled at Middleborough. Although he was not among the twenty-six original purchasers, he received the share set out for John Shaw, and part of that original homestead remained in the possession of his descendants for over 250 years. He held one share of thirty acres on the west side of the Nenasket River. Henry was admitted a freeman of Plymouth Colony in 1648; was grand juror 1648-56-59-68 and often on other juries. His son Samuel and son-in-law John Nelson were appointed administrators of his estate, October 29, 1670. Children: Samuel, Jonathan, David, John, Joseph, Benjamin, Abiel, James, Sarah, Abigail, Susanna, and Mary.[7]


Husband: Henry Wood[7]
Wife: Abigail Jenney[7]
Married Date: 28 Apr 1644 [7] in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts[8]



  1. Samuel b 25 May 1648 (Plymouth VR) d 3 Feb 1717/18 at Middleboro m bef 1679 Rebecca [Tupper?]
  2. Sarah b? d 4 Mar 1675 m. 28 Nov 1667 John Nelson
  3. Jonathan b 1 Jan 1649/50 d c 25 Feb 1675
  4. David b 17 Oct 1651 d 31 Dec 1717 m 4 Mar 1684/5 Mary (Barker) (Pratt) Coombs
  5. John d 1673
  6. Benjamin d 1690
  7. Joseph m 1 Jan 1679 Hester/Easter Walker at Taunton d before 1692
  8. James b c1660-1665 d bef 21 Dec 1728 m Experience Fuller 12 Apr 1693 at Middleboro
  9. Abiel b 1659 d 10 Oct 1719 at Middleboro m Abijah Bowen 16 Dec 1683
  10. Abigail m c 1675 David Thomas d bef 25 Jun 1718
  11. Susanna m 8 Mar 1686 Josiah Morton at Plymouth
  12. Mary, living 13 April 1673 when named as Mary Wood, youngest sister in brother John's will


by 30 Sep 1670 (Date of inventory) in Middleborough, Plymouth Colony
Burial in Nemasket Hill Cemetery, Middleborough, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States[9]

Henry's inventory was exhibited to the Plymouth court on 29 October 1670 on the oath of Abigail Wood, widow. It was taken on 30 September 1670.[10]

Town of Middleborough, Massachusetts

While many of the towns in the present County of Plymouth, Massachusetts, were covered by grants, the town of Middleborough was purchased from the Indians over several years in the late 17th Century. The first of these was known as the Twenty-Six Men's Purchase in 1661. Henry was not among those men though he received the share set out for John Shaw. In 1664, Henry was one of the proprietors who received land as part of the Little Lotmen's Purchase (also known as "Little Allotment Purchase"). On August 9, 1667, Henry made what has become known as "Wood's Purchase" when he bought land from Tispaquin for the consideration of four pounds. "Wood's Purchase" is in the eastern part of the Town running from what is now known as Tispaquin Pond in the south to north of what is now known as Wood's Pond. [11]


Citations needed for the following; they should also be incorporated into the narrative
1. Probate of his estate calls him "Henery Wood, alias Atwood".
2. Henry was christened in St. Martin, London, London, England.
3. He sailed from Leyden, Holland in company with John Jenny and family. They arrived at Plymouth in the Bark "James", 44 tons, together with the "Ann", brig of 140 tons.
4. On March 4, 1673, four of his children, with his wife Abigail, were summoned into court to dispose of lands that they might contribute to the support of the widow Abigail.
5. 1641 when he bought a house and land from the younger John Dunham for 7 pounds.[citation needed]
6. b 1620 Chancery Lane, London, England

Research notes

Alicia Crane Williams suggests that further research in Leyden might help identify Henry Wood of New England. This Henry Wood is too young to be the Henry Wood of Leyden in 1621, but there might be a relationship: Mayflower Descendant Vol 48 Page 19 (NEHGS Membership required) [1]

  • Will of William Mullins, 21 Feb 1621: "That Forty poundes in the hand of goodman Woodes" [MD:1:231-232]
  • Probate of Samuel Fuller, Mayflower includes list of debts: "Whereas Henry Wood demands an old debt due at Leyden.." [MD1:24-29]. PCPR1:1-3]
  • Leyden 1617: Henry Wood accompanied as his acquaintance Henry Jepson from Warsop (a small town in Nottinghamshire) to Janie Paul from Maldon in Essex.[12]
  • Leyden 1623: Peter Wood sayworker from Staindrop (village in county of Durham), banns with Hester Willet of Norwich were read.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Williams, Alicia Crane. "Henry Wood alias Atwood of Middleborough, Massachusetts" in The Mayflower Descendant (1998-2000). Vol 48 no. 1 pp.13-20; no. 2 pp.135-140 ; Vol 49 no. 1 pp.55-61; Vol 49 no. 2 pp.119-124 . [Note: page links require NEHGS Membership].
  2. Estimate based on assumed age of 21 or older at the time he was granted land in 1641
  3. The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 44 no. 2 (July 1992): 137-142. John Wood alias Atwood of Plymouth, Massachusetts, by Alicia Crane Williams. NEHGS Member LINK
  4. Shurtleff, Nathaniel Bradstreet; Pulsifer, David </span>New Plymouth Colony; Records of the colony of New Plymouth, in New England (New York : AMS Press, 1855) Vol 2, page 26.
  5. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, M.D., List of Those Able to Bear Arms in The Colony of New Plymouth in 1643, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 4 (1850): 255.
  6. Winsor, Justin. Abstract of the Earliest Wills in the Probate Office, Plymouth , The New England Historical & Genealogical Register (NEHGS, Boston, Mass., 1850) Vol 4, Page 174.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Cutter, William Richard. New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial (Lewis Historical Publishing Co., New York, 1913): Vol. 2, Page 903
  8. Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1621-1850 (Online Database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2016). link (membership requied)
  9. Find A Grave.
  10. "Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967," images, FamilySearch ( : 9 March 2023), Wills 1633-1686 vol 1-4 > image 320 of 616; State Archives, Boston.
  11. Weston, Thomas. History of the Town of Middleboro, Massachusetts (Houghton, Mifflin and Co., Cambridge, 1906) map, p.61, p.583, p. 604 and p. 608.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Plooij, Daniel, and J R. Harris. Leyden Documents Relating to the Pilgrim Fathers: Permission to Reside at Leyden and Betrothal Records. Leyden: E.J. Brill, Ltd, 1920.

See also:

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Comments: 37

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Quick question.... why do you call him "alias Atwood" when on the same 1643 list is a separate man named John Atwood? Seems confusing and I would like to understand your source record(s).

Could you share a copy of the "The Mayflower Descendant, vol. 44 no. 2 (July 1992): 137-142. John Wood alias Atwood of Plymouth, Massachusetts, by Alicia Crane Williams" which you use as a reference?

" Henry Wood was born in England, sometime by 1620[2]. His origins are unknown but evidence points to the possibility of a close relationship to John and Stephen Wood alias Atwood of Plymouth.[3] "

posted by Mike Wood
Some notes on his inventory: total amount was £63, 3s, 3d. No real estate is mentioned. I think all the people mentioned also have WikiTree profiles.


posted by Rick Pierpont
Speculated Brothers of Henry. Speculated Sister (Possibly Aunt? John the Gentleman refers to her as his sister in his will.)

posted by Sean Wood
Alicia Crane Williams speculates that John, Henry and Stephen Wood, alias Atwood may be brothers, or at least relatives, but says there is no confirming source. MD:44: 137-8

There doesn't appear to be any speculated relationship that I can find regarding Philip, who came to New England about age 13 - in GM: 1: p. 105

I wasn't able to find any link or speculation to Heman/Herman. The only link to Mary Lee was in the noted will of John Atwood, that says my brother and sister Lee, and their daughters. Can't tell if that means brother or simply brethren?

posted by Chris Hoyt
I've seen many trees lump all these people under John the Leather Seller. Perhaps our Leather Seller is the collector of all wayward Atwood children? Regardless I wanted to group them here for those who want to dive down the rabbit hole with me as I continue to research. Have you by chance come across a link to an actually scanned copy of the original will?
posted by Sean Wood
Will: New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 4: 1850: p. 173-4

If you don't have Americanancestorsorg subscription it is also here:

posted by Chris Hoyt
Hi Sean,

I would be interested to hear what you have found. We know from original source records that the "John Wood, Born 16 Apr 1707 in Little Compton" was a "saddler"... a long shot to say the least, but since trades were often passed from father to son, this is another lead to follow. BR Mike Wood

posted by Mike Wood
Sean, you might consider using a free space page to list the various Wood/Atwood profiles you're looking at. That way you can put links to all the profiles in one place and add notes, sources while you figure things out. I've found it helpful when I'm trying to separate (or connect) lots of records or profiles with similar names.

So this isn't the best example, but you can kind of see that's what I was doing here on my to do list - trying to organize my thoughts around Simon Millers.

posted by M Cole
edited by M Cole
I'm a direct decedent of Henry Atwood/Wood. I would really like to prove he is the son of John Atwood AKA "The Leather Seller". My father has tested on FamilyTreeDNA and has done a Y-DNA test. All of our matches we can Identify, they point to Henry except one who points to Stephen. According to Elijah Francis John's son's Harmon and John were baptized in St. Martins. He stated there was no doubt that Stephen was their brother and little doubt of Henry. In hopes of proving the relation genetically I've created a new project at I'm sure there is all sorts of red tape in Exhuming my ancestors for genetic testing so I I'm relying on this to perhaps do the job. I would encourage all other descendants with an unbroken line to take a Y-DNA test and join the project.
posted by Sean Wood
Sean, I'm going to move this thread to g2g where you can discuss with others more details about the origins of this man.
posted by Jillaine Smith
Replied on G2G
posted by Jillaine Smith
Hi Sean,

The link you provide above shows DNA results which are all over the map... I-P37, M223, R-M269, R-FT..., etc.

Have you, in the last 4 years, been able to further narrow your research?

The John Wood of Portsmouth (I-P37) has seen descendent testing multiple times, including BIG-700, and has identified down to I-Y85503,

BR Mike Wood

posted by Mike Wood

I've actually taken a break from Genealogy as I've been perusing my Bachelors of Computer Science. The project is an open group, so anyone is free to join. Depending on the level of testing, you will see many different Haplogroups. The Haplogroups themselves are broken down by many sub groups as the Y-DNA has branched. When my father first tested with a Y-37 we were placed in R-M269. After upgrading to Big Y we are now in FT36574 which is a much more refined identification. While using Haplogroups to separate relation, it only really becomes effective as you get into the finer sub groups. R-M269 was from 4350 BCE. where as R-FT36574 was branched approximately 1600 CE. R-FT36212 is a sub group of R-FT36574 branched 1700 CE. R-BY172568 branched from R-ZZ11 which was from Approx 2650 BCE so not a close match. I-M223 branched from IJK-L15 which was from approx 44,000 BCE so not a close match. I-P37 also branched from IJK-L15.

I still believe my subgroup to be correct for the Atwoods of Sanderstead Court.

My father has a match to a gentlemen not in the project who tested Y-67 with R-M269 Haplogroup and is descended from Stephen (Henry's Brother).

I'm still hopeful that we will get more Y matches. Genetically speaking so far though, the match with Stephen shows that He and Henry were related.

R-207>M173>M343>L754>L761>L389>P297> M269>L23>L51>P310>L151>P312>Z46516> ZZ11>DF27>Z195>Z198>CTS4188>S14445> Z29704>BY3268>FTB91445>BY139899>BY165849>FT36574

posted by Sean Wood
edited by Sean Wood
Thanks for the update, and best of luck with your Bachelors of Computer Science 👍
posted by Mike Wood
ok, ready for PPP.

parents detached with appropriate notes on the 3 profiles.

Just found the g2g:

Looks like Anne B & Barry agree parents should be detached. source: Alicia Crane Williams.

I'll detach parents with appropriate note on the 3 profiles.

Then this profile needs ppp from leader. Thanks.

Sorry Cheryl; looks like we were on this at the same time. I think because of the likelihood he could be confused with an earlier man by the same name, we should keep an eye on him. However, if the consensus of the rest of the project is to let him loose, I'm fine with that. It's not as if we don't have enough to keep us busy.
posted by Jillaine Smith
oops, I see he has already been made PGM Adjunct. My mistake.
I agree with Deb and Barry. The only record I found was when he purchased land from John Durham on September 16, 1641.

I see no reason for him to be PGM Adjunct. I will remove project box. Michael or a PGM leader will need to remove PGM as PM.


And should we detach the parents here?
posted by Jillaine Smith
Because he's confused with a PGM immigrant, we will give him the adjunct template so we can keep an eye on him and he doesn't get merged with the wrong man.
posted by Jillaine Smith
Exactly, Barry. Which is why I question keeping him as PGM. I believe the 1637 date is based entirely on the court appearance and no other evidence to suggest the husband of Abigail Jenney arrived prior to 1640.
posted by Deb (Lewis) Durham
The only mention in Anderson is the 1637 court appearance in Charlestown. But I mentioned in a comment in the G2G question -- this was a trial of a sailor for assaulting a young girl. It seems they were different men, but they sometimes get conflated.
posted by Barry Smith
I'm still wondering where the source for his inclusion as PGM is. The only reference in Anderson, that I'm aware of, is his marriage in 1644. Is this sufficient?
posted by Deb (Lewis) Durham

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