Col. Robert Woodson

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Col. Robert Woodson

Also Known As: "Potato Hole", "Tater Hole", "Robert Woodson"
Birthplace: Fleur de Hundred Plantation, Charles City Shire, Virginia Colony, British Colonial America
Death: October 01, 1707 (72-73)
Varina, Henrico County, Virginia Colony, British Colonial America
Place of Burial: Henrico, Henrico County, Virginia, British Colonial America
Immediate Family:

Son of Dr. John Woodson, of Flowerdew Hundred and Sarah Johnson
Husband of Elizabeth Woodson
Father of Elizabeth Lewis; John Woodson; Robert Woodson, Jr.; Richard Woodson; Joseph Woodson and 5 others
Brother of John "Washtub" Woodson and Deborah Woodson

Occupation: Farmer/Road Surveyor, 1st - ARW - Continental Troops - is the 5th great grandfather of Jesse and Frank James
Managed by: Steven Patrick Frank
Last Updated:

About Col. Robert Woodson

Robert 'Potatoe Hole' Woodson

Find A Grave Memorial ID # 76792422

Robert Woodson was born about 1634 in Fleur de Hundred, Prince George County, Virginia and died in 1716 in Varina Parish, Henrico County, Virginia. He followed the life of a planter. He acquired both by patent and purchase a comfortable estate of land. His name appears frequently in the extant records as witness to various documents. The only public service recorded of him is that of surveyor of highways in Henrico County in 1685. There's no remaining record of his Will or of the administration on his estate.

Parents: Dr. John Woodson and Sarah Winston.

In 1656 in Curles, Henrico County, Virginia, married Elizabeth Ferris (1638-bef 1689), daughter of immigrant Richard Ferris of Curles plantation and his wife Mary Beaple. The Ferris family descended from a Norman family, Henri de Gascon of Leicestershire, England.

9 children of Elizabeth Ferris and Robert Woodson (5 sons, 4 daughters), all born in Henrico County:

  1. John Woodson, born about 1658, "carpenter" and "merchant"; died before 5 Dec 1715. He married Judith Tarleton.
  2. Robert Woodson born in 1660 and died in Feb 1729/1730. He married, first, Sarah Lewis; second, Rachel Watkins.
  3. Elizabeth Woodson was born in 1662 and died about 1740. She married William Lewis.
  4. Richard Woodson, born in 1662 and died before 4 Mar 1715/1716. He married Ann [probably Smith].
  5. Joseph Woodson born about 1664 and died before 15 Oct 1734, of Henrico and Goochland Counties. He married his cousin Jane Woodson (daughter of John Woodson, Jr., son of John Woodson, Sr.).
  6. Sarah Woodson was born in 1665 and died before 12 Oct 1710. She married Edward Mosby, of Henrico County. (See Mosby Family, ante page 2275.)
  7. Benjamin Lewis Woodson, of Henrico County, was born on 21 Aug 1666 and died before Aug 1723. He married Sarah Porter.
  8. Judith Woodson was born about 1673 and died before Jun 1733.
  9. Mary Woodson was born in 1678 and died on 1 Feb 1766. She married George Payne.

Why they're called the Potato Hole Woodsons

According to Woodson family tradition, the two Woodson sons, John and Robert, were twelve and ten years old in 1644 when the Indian chief, Opechacanogh, led an uprising against the settlement. John Woodson, returning home after visiting a patient, was killed in sight of his house. The Indians then began attacking the cabin which was barred against them. It was defended by Sarah and Ligon, a friend who was visiting at the time. Using an old musket, Ligon managed to kill nine of the Indians. Two others attempted to enter the house by the chimney, but Sarah scalded one to death with boiling water then seized the iron roasting spit with both hands and brained the other. The boys had been hidden away: one under a wash tub and the other in a pit used for storing potatoes. For several generations descendants of these boys were called either Tub Woodsons or Potato Hole Woodsons.

From "Adventurers of Purse and Person":

ROBERT WOODSON deposed, June 1680, that he was "46 years of age or thereabouts," and, 1 June 1696, that he was aged about 61. He married Elizabeth Ferris, daughter of Richard Ferris. On 21 Oct 1687 Robert Woodson, Richard Ferris and three others patented 1780 acres on White Oak Swamp in Varina Parish and the same day he, John Woodson, Sr., and two others patented 470 acres, also in Henrico county. He held 1157 acres in Henrico County, 1704, and died after 1 Oct 1707.


  • be cleared to New Kent Co. (that being his precinct) & with his warrant he do present all persons appointed by him who refuse to assist him. April 1, 1685 . Ibid. p. 182.
  • Robert Woodson, Sr., of Henrico County, deed of gift to his daughter Sarah wife of Edward Moseby, of same place. 100 acres of land on S. side of White Oak Swamp, formerly purchased of Robert Clark & now in possession of said Edward Moseby & adj. lands of Thomas East, Sr. & part of that Patent: Unto the said Sarah Mosby during her life-time & to John Mosby son of Edward Mosby & Sarah his wife & ye heirs of his body if it please God he lives to attain the age of 21 yrs. but if not then to the next surviving heir of said Sarah Mosby: Moreover it shall be lawful for said John Mosby when he has attained the age of 21 yrs. to clear, build & seat upon any part of the said 100 acres of land, not molesting nor troubling the said Sarah, his mother, during her lifetime. June 1, 1689. Recd. June 1, 1689. Ibid. p. 66.
  • Robert Woodson, Sr. , in consideracon of 20 days Carpenter's work secured to be paid, conveys to Edwd. Moseby , 50 acres of land adj. on the West side of 100 acres given by deed bearing date with these present unto Sarah, wife of ye said Edward Moseby: June 1, 1689. Recd. June 1, 1689 . Ibid. p. 67.
  • Robert Woodson Sr. of Henrico County, to John Pleasants. For consideracon in hand received. 150 acres including all land wth out ye bounds wch was laid out for me accdy. to sd. Pleasants & my agreement, being a part of a tract of 300 acres formerly bought of him ye sd. Pleasants, it being part of a tract of land taken up by Thos. East, Wm. Porter , Henry Brown & myself ye part now sold to ad. Pleasants being in Henrico County on N. side of James River & begins upon land of said Pleasants wch. he bought of Henry Bowen & downwards upon dividing line on sd. John Pleasants & myself. Recd. June 2, 1690 . Ibid. p. 131.
  • Under date of October 21, 1687 Robert Woodson, Richard Ferris, William Ferris and others had a grant of land covering 1637 acres, while John and Robert Woodson personally owned 531 acres.
  • Robert lived at Curls, and none of the earlier generation of descendants held prominent offices in the Colony, but served on grand juries, were constables and surveyors. But they were substantial and self respecting citizens of the community, listed as planters owning land and by patent and purchase ran their holdings up to several hundred acres. In these capacities of service they were compelled to have had some education.
  • Robert and Elizabeth had five sons and four daughters: John, Robert Jr., Richard, Joseph and Benjamin; Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary and Judith.
  • In 1707 Robert Woodson made a deed giving land to two of his grandsons, William and Joseph Lewis. This was possibly the last instrument that Robert Woodson signed as he died soon after that in his seventy-fourth year of age.
  • The Woodson brothers were not limited in land holdings, for Robert and John had 531 acres in 1681 and in 1688 their holdings had increased to 1887 acres and in connection with Robert Ferris and William Porter, Robert Woodson had nearly two thousand acres. Much of this was disposed of, however, as the children grew to maturity and married and scattered to various parts of Virginia and other states as well.
  • John Woodson (1586-1633) and his wife Sarah Winston were the immigrants of this family, arriving in Jamestown in 1619 on the ship George. Aboard was the new governor, Sir George Yeardley, about one hundred young Englishmen who would become settlers, and Woodson, a “surgeon” for the company of English soldiers protecting the new colony. He located on land owned by the governor, Flowerdew Hundred (named for his wife Temperance Flowerdew), thirty miles above Jamestown on the south side of the James River.
  • In the 1656, Robert Woodson (1634-1707) married Elizabeth Ferris (1638-1689) the daughter of immigrant Richard Ferris of Curles plantation and his wife Mary Beaple. Robert acquired a large estate and lived the life of a wealthy planter. His name appeared on many of the court records of the time as witness to documents, but his only public service was as Surveyor of Highways in Henrico County in 1685. In some papers he is given the title of Colonel.
  • Robert Woodson Jr. (1660- 1729), Robert's son, was first married to Sarah Lewis (1665-). Sarah was the daughter of John Lewis and his wife, Isobell Warner. She was the granddaughter of John Lewis, an immigrant from Wales who wrote his Will in Henrico County in 1687. She was the mother of Sarah, Stephen, Joseph, Robert, Elizabeth, Mary and Agnes.
  • Joseph Woodson (of Robert Woodson's first marriage) married Elizabeth Mattox, daughter of John Mattox and his wife Margaret Kent. A son, also named Joseph, married Elizabeth Parsons, daughter of Joseph Parsons and Sarah Woodson.Their daughter was Judith Woodson.
  • Sarah died before 1710. In that year Robert Woodson (Jr.) requested to be “liberated” from his Henrico County Quaker community in order to marry Rachel Watkins (1669-1729), who was not of that Quaker community. He requested to be received back into his earlier community of Friends in 1723. His 1729 will named only eight of his ten children, so two may have died before him.
  • Elizabeth Woodson (1711-1784), the daughter of his second marriage, married John Knight. Our family descends from a son, Jonathan Knight. Elizabeth had a brother named Jonathan, born in 1715. A sister, Judith, was born in 1713.
  • Jonathan Knight (grandson of Robert's second marriage) married Judith Woodson (great-granddaughter of his first marriage). Their daughter, Judith Woodson Knight married Willam Amis.


  1. John Woodson b: 1658 in Curles, Henrico, Virginia
  2. Joseph Richard Woodson b: 1664 in Curles, Henrico, Virginia
  3. Sarah Woodson b: 1665 in Curles, Henrico, Virginia
  4. Benjamin Woodson b: 21 AUG 1666 in Curles, Henrico, Virginia
  5. Judith Woodson b: 1667 in Curles, Henrico, Virginia
  6. Mary Woodson b: 1678 in Curles, Henrico, Virginia


  • Birth: 1634
  • Henrico County
  • Virginia, USA
  • Death: 1707
  • Varina
  • Henrico County
  • Virginia, USA

Robert Woodson, son of Dr. John Woodson, and Sara Woodson, was born in 1634 at Fluer de Hundred Virginia.

Robert Woodson married Elizabeth Ferris in 1656 in Curles Henrico County Virginia.

Robert Woodson died between 1707-1711 in Henrico County Virginia.

Robert was known as "Potato Hole" Woodson because his Mother hid him in the potato bin during the Indian Raid that killed his father.

Family links:

Parents:  John Woodson (1586 - 1644) and Sarah Isabelle Winston Woodson (1595 - 1659)

Spouse: Elizabeth Ferris Woodson (1638 - 1689)

  1. Sarah Woodson Mosby (____ - 1716)*
  2. Robert Woodson (1660 - 1729)*
  3. Richard Woodson (1662 - 1704)*
  4. Richard Ferris Woodson (1662 - 1704)*
  5. Benjamin Woodson (1666 - 1723)*
  6. Elizabeth Woodson Payne (1678 - 1766)*
  7. Mary Jane Woodson Payne (1678 - 1766)*
  1. John Woodson (1632 - 1684)*
  2. Robert Woodson (1634 - 1707)
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Unknown

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

  • Created by: Bette Keene Scavone
  • Record added: Sep 19, 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 76792422

Robert Woodson b. 1634 m. Elizabeth Ferris, d. ca. 1707. Last known to be living in 1707, Henrico County, VA. when he made a deed to his grandson, William and Joseph Lewis. He married Elizabeth Ferris, daughter of Richard Ferris, of Henrico, with whom, among others, received a patent, 21, October 1687, for 1785 acres at White Oak Swamp in Varina Parish, in that county. This man was the direct ancestor of Jesse Woodson James, and his brother, Alexander Franklin "Frank" James, the famous James Boys. Robert Woodson married Elizabeth Ferris: son Benjamin Woodson, married Sarah Porter; their son Robert Woodson (d. 1748/50) married Rebecca Pryor. Their daughter Elizabeth married Shadrach Mims (1734-1777) and became the mother of Elizabeth Mims (b. 1769) who married Robert Poor (1763-1801), a cornet in the American Revolutionary War. Their daughter in turn, Mary Poor, (died 1825) married John James (1775-1827), son of William and Mary (Hinds) James of Goochland County, Virginia. Their son Robert Sallee James, who died in the Gold Rush area of California, married Zerelda Cole and they had sons Frank James and Jesse James. (See: Background of a Bandit, by Joan M. Beamis and William E. Pullen (1971).

Jesse Woodson James, the bandit, married his cousin Zerelda "Zee" Amanda Mims. She was also a descendant of Elizabeth Woodson Mims, who married Robert Poor.


@R-2141357129@ Family Data Collection - Births Edmund West, comp. Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001. 1,5769::0 Birth date: 1634 Birth place: Fleur De Hundred, VA, USA 1,5769::4992012


@R-2141357129@ Family Data Collection - Individual Records Edmund West, comp. Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. 1,4725::0 Birth year: 1634; Birth city: Fluer De Hundred; Birth state: VA. Birth date: 1634 Birth place: Fluer De Hundred, VA Death date: 1707 Death place: Henrico Co, VA Marriage date: 1665 Marriage place: 1,4725::4954584


@R-2141357129@ Ancestry Family Trees Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members. This information comes from 1 or more individual Ancestry Family Tree files. This source citation points you to a current version of those files. Note: The owners of these tree files may have removed or changed information since this source citation was created. Ancestry Family Trees


His name does not include "Tater Hole"


Farmer Family History HomeSearchLogin Find Media Info PrintBookmarkColonel Robert Woodson, Sr. Colonel Robert Woodson, Sr.[1] Male 1634-1707 Individual Ancestors Descendants Relationship Timeline GEDCOM Suggest Personal Information |

Notes ===
Farmer Family History

HomeSearchLogin Find Media Info PrintBookmarkColonel Robert Woodson, Sr. Colonel Robert Woodson, Sr.[1] Male 1634 - 1707

Individual Ancestors Descendants Relationship Timeline GEDCOM Suggest Personal Information | Notes | Sources | All | PDF

Suffix Sr. Born 1634 Fleur De Hundred, Prince George, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location Gender Male Died 1 Oct 1707 Varina Parish, Henrico, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location Person ID P753 Ancestry_130429 Last Modified 29 Apr 2013

Father Dr. John Woodson, b. 1586, Dorset, England Find all individuals with events at this location, d. 18 Apr 1644, Fleur De Hundred, Prince George, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location Relationship Natural Mother Sarah Winston, b. 1590, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location, d. 17 Jan 1660, Henrico, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location Relationship Natural Family ID F401 Group Sheet

Family Elizabeth Ferris, b. 1638, Curles, Henrico, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location, d. 1689, James City, Henrico, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location Married 1656 Curles, Henrico County, Virginia, Colonial America

1. John Woodson, b. 1658, Curles, Henrico County, Virginia, d. 5 Dec 1715, Henrico County, Virginia
2. Robert Woodson, b.1660, Curles Neck, Henrico County, Virginia; d. February 1729, Curles, Henrico County, Virginia.
3. Elizabeth Woodson, b.1662, Curles, Henrico County, Virginia; d.1740, Goochland, Goochland County, Virginia.
4. Richard Woodson, b. 1662, Curles, Henrico County, Virginia; d. 6 Mar 1715, Henrico County, Virginia.
5. Sarah Woodson, b. 1665, Curles, Henrico County, Virginia; d.12 Aug 1716, Henrico County, Virginia.
6. Benjamin Woodson, b.1666, Curles, Henrico County, Virginia; d. Aug 1723, Henrico County, Virginia.
7. Mary Woodson, b.1678, Curles, Henrico County, Virginia; d.1 Feb 1766, Goochland County, Virginia,

Notes: Robert Woodson - excerpt from "History of the Woodson Family" Col. Robert Woodson History of the Woodson family

Sources [S-1394731006] Ancestry Family Trees, (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.), Ancestry Family Trees.



Transcription of Will of John Woodson, proved 1 May 1700, Henrico County VA Will of John Woodson of Henrico Co. Dec. 10, 1699 . Proved May 1, 1700 . Will of John Woodson The Valentine Papers, Vol 1-4, 1864-1908 John Woodson, Jr. of Henrico Co. in Virga. Will of;

ìTo wife


Woodson Rifle

Woodson Rifle

Col. Woodson


!BIRTH: Dorothy Holland, CG, "History an

!BIRTH: Dorothy Holland, CG, "History and Genealogy of the Christian Family, 1643-1850," p. 4. 'Joseph Woodson was the son of Robert Woodson, born 1634, Prince George County and died about 1707, and his wife, Elizabeth Ferris, the daughter of Richard Ferris. Robert Woodson was the son of Dr. John Wson and his wife, Sarah Winston.'


Life Sketch

ROBERT WOODSON, 1634, WAS BORN IN FLEUR DE HUNDRED, PRINCE GEORGE CO, VIRGINIA. He was the son of Dr. John Woodson, 1586 of Devonshire, England. He married Elizabeth Ferris, 1634, in Henrico Co. Virginia in 1656.

ANYONE WORKING ON THE WOODSON FAMILY SHOULD BE KNOWLEDGABLE OF THE BOOK " Historical Genealogy of the Woodsons and Their Connections "





ID: I8 Name: Robert Woodson Given Name: Robert Surname: Woodson Suffix: Sr. Sex: M Birth: Abt 1634 in Henrico Co., Va. 1 Note: Jun 1680, deposed that he was 46 or thereabouts (Henrico Wills and deeds 1677-92, pg 132) Robert Woodson, Sr. aged about 61 yr

ID: I8
Name: Robert Woodson Given Name: Robert Surname: Woodson Suffix: Sr. Sex: M Birth: Abt 1634 in Henrico Co., Va. 1 Note: Jun 1680, deposed that he was 46 or thereabouts (Henrico Wills and deeds 1677-92, pg 132) Robert Woodson, Sr. aged about 61 yrs. Deposition of, relative to an affair between Francis Sampson and Thomas East. Sworne in Court June 1, 1695 & recorded. Vol. 1688-97, page 585 Death: Aft 1707 in Henrico Co., Va. Event: Deed of Gift 1 May 1707 Henrico Co., Va. Note: Deed of Gift - recorded 01 May 1707. From Robert Woodson, Sr. to his loving grandsons William and Joseph Lewis .. 450 acres patented by sd Woodson. Robert Woodson to his Lewis Grandsons Note: "An account of ye several ffortye Tythables Ordered by this Wortt Court to fitt out men horse arms &c. according to Act (viz.) Curles -Robert Woodson, 5; John Woodson, Sr., 3; Jno. Woodson, Jr., 2; Mr. John Pleasants, 13. June Court 1679 . Vol. 1677-92, p. 102. Robert Woodson, Sr. aged about 61 yrs. Deposition of, relative to an affair between Francis Sampson and Thomas East. Sworne in Court June 1, 1695 & recorded. Vol. 1688-97 Robert Woodson, Sr., of Henrico Co., of the Love & good Will that I bear unto my Sonn Robert Woodson of the same Co. (Deed of Gift) 250 acres in Co. afsd. on S. side of White Oke Swamp between the Land of Richard Cocke of Old Mans Creek & Edward Mosebey's & being part of a greater divident granted by Patent unto me Robert Woodson, Sr., my son John Woodson, Thomas East, Robt. Oerkee, Wm. Porter, as may appear." Dated 1st 4th month 1694 . Recd. June 1, 1694

HintsAncestry Hints for Robert Woodson

10 possible matches found on

Father: John Woodson b: in Eng. Mother: Sarah

Marriage 1 Elizabeth Ferris Married: Abt 1655 Children Has Children Robert Woodson b: Abt 1664 Has Children Elizabeth Woodson b: Abt 1675 in "Curles", Henrico Co., Va. Has Children Joseph Woodson

Sources: Title: Henrico County, Virginia Records Text: Robert Woodson, Deposition (aged about 46 years) in regard to a horse seen by him. Recd. June 1, 1680/1

Robert Woodson, Sr. aged about 61 yrs. Deposition of, relative to an affair between Francis Sampson and Thomas East. Sworne in Court June 1, 1695 & recorded. Vol. 1688-97 We want to hear from you! Take our WorldConnect survey Index | Descendancy | Register | Pedigree | Ahnentafel | Public Profile | Add Post-em Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version Search Ancestry Search Ancestry Search WorldConnect Search WorldConnect Join Today! Join Today! WorldConnect Home | WorldConnect Global Search | WorldConnect Help, Inc. is NOT responsible for the content of the GEDCOMs uploaded through the WorldConnect Program. If you have a problem with a particular entry, please contact the submitter of said entry. You have full controls Mom over your GEDCOM. You can change or remove it at any time. RootsWeb is funded and supported by and our loyal RootsWeb community. Learn more.


Person note

Robert Woodson escaped an Indian Massacre in 1644 when his mother hid him and his brother, John - one under a large washtub and the other in a hole used for storing potatoes during the winter. For a full account of the event read pg 7 of THE HOUSE OF GOODE in possession of Karon McGill.

birthdate of 1630/1634 in Fleur de hundred and death date of 1716 in same was Info found on family group sheet January 18, 2008 ID# 107918291

pedigree chart on BD 1634 at Fleur De Hundred, Prince George, Virginia DD 1707/1711 Varina Parish, Henrico, Virginia


Colonel Robert "Tater Hole" Woodson 1st - ARW - Continental Troops - is the 5th great grandfather of Jesse and Frank James (1634–1707)

Issue of 3 ROBERT WOODSON2 (John1) and Elizabeth Ferris.

I * 6 John,3 This is the "cousin" (nephew) John Woodson mentioned by his uncle, 2 John Woodson,2 in his will dated August 20, 1684. He was born, probably about 1658, at Curles in Henrico county, was a merchant by occupation and married Judith Tarleton, daughter of Stephen Tarleton of New Kent county. There is a looking-glass which formerly belonged to Charles Van Der Veer Woodson of Prince Edward county, which bears this inscription: "This glass belonged to Stephen Tarleton who was my great-grandfather, and died in the year 1687. I have had the present frame put on it this 14th of December, 1794. Signed, Charles Woodson.6"
"In 1712 Judith Tarleton Woodson relinquished her dower right in land deeded by her husband 6 John Woodson,3 merchant of the parish and county of Henrico. He made his will in 1715 and was dead in 1716." (Wm. and Mary Qtly.) "Burke gives but one family of Tarletons in England; to which belonged Sir Banister Tarleton, the British Ranger during the revolution. They were seated at Lintwardine, County Hereford, and bore for arms, gules, a chevron; erminos between three cinquifoils, or: Crest; on a wreath between two ostrich feathers, arg, a mural crown, thereon a leopard's head. Motto: Post Nublia Phoebus. There is no doubt that it was into this family that Sir Thomas Fleming married before emigrating to Virginia. (Americans of Gentle Birth, V. I. p. 360.)

II * 7 Robert3 was born about 1660 at Curles in Henrico county, Virginia where, he spent his entire life, and died there in 1729. His will was recorded in Henrico Court, February, 1729. In it he calls himself Robert Woodson, Sr., to distinguish himself from his son and three of his nephews, all of whom bore the name of Robert. He also names in the will four of his sons and three of his daughters. As he had ten children, it is likely that the three not named in the will were dead at that time. He was twice married; first, to Sarah Lewis who was probably a sister of John Lewis3 of Warner Hall. John Lewis1 and Lydia , his wife, first settled on Poropotank Creek in 1653. To them were born, probably a number of children; one of whom was Major John Lewis2 who married Isabella . To these last was born, November 30, 1669, John Lewis3 who married Elizabeth Warner, daughter of Col. Augustine Warner and wife, Mildred Read. It is probable that Sarah Lewis, wife of 7 Robert Woodson,3 was a daughter of Major John Lewis2 and Isabella . This family became very prominent in colonial affairs and in the annals of Virginia. 7 Robert Woodson3 married, second, Rachel Watkins. "Various branches of the Woodson family number members of the Watkins family among their ascendants. There are several families of this name found among the old settlers. They are of Welch origin; descending from James Watkins "labourer" who was one of the emigrants in the Phoenix about 1608, and who frequently accompanied Captain John Smith in his adventures and voyages of discovery on the "Chisapeack Bay." Some branches of this old and highly honored family settled in Powhatan, Appomattox, Cumberland and other counties in Virginia. Some of the early members of the family engaged in the occupation of manufacturing trays, and for several generations their descendants were called "Tray makers." "Henry Watkins of Malvern Hill.

III * 8 Richard,3 born about 1662, at Curles in Henrico county, married Ann Smith, daughter of Obadiah Smith. In 1729 he made a deed to James Hambleton, for land in Henrico, being part of a tract granted to his father 3 Robert Woodson2 in October, 1704. As he was about sixty-seven years old at the time of making this deed, he probably died within a few years thereafter.

IV * 9 Joseph,3 born about 1664, at Curles in Henrico county, and died October, 1735. He married his second cousin 18 Mary Jane Woodson,4 daughter of 4 John Woodson,' and Mary Tucker, who was the orphan of Samuel Tucker, Captain of the Ship Vine Tree. Samuel Tucker's widow Jane, was married before 1680 to John Pleasants1 of Curles, and died in 1709. Her will was proved in Henrico county in 1709, and names her grand daughter 18 Jane Woodson,4 and grandsons, 15 Joseph Woodson,4 17 Benjamin Woodson4 and 16 Samuel Tucker Woodson.4 Mary Tucker Woodson, mother of 18 Mary Jane Woodson, died in 1710. In her will, proved in Henrico, August 1, 1710, she names a daughter, Jane, and grandson, 46 John Woodson,4 son of daughter Jane, granddaughter 47 Mary,4 daughter of daughter Jane, and grandson 48 Joseph,4 son of daughter Jane. This seems to establish the fact that the wife of 9 Joseph Woodson' was 18 Jane Woodson;4 though her full name may have been, and doubtless was, Mary Jane Woodson. Mary Tucker Woodson also mentions in her will, grandson, "Sanburne Woodson, child of my daughter Mary, wife of my son Joseph." These last names, no doubt, mean Mary Sanburne, wife of 15 Joseph Woodson.4 And the child Sanburne was 66 Sanburne Woodson6 who married Elizabeth Hughes.' 9 Joseph Woodson' died in Goochland county and his will was proved October 15, 1735. In it he names children; 47 Mary Woodson,4 who married 29 Stephen Woodson;4 49 Judith Woodson,4 who married Charles Christian; 50 Martha Woodson,4 who married 61 John Cannon;4 and 51 Tucker Woodson.4 (See Wm. and Mary Qtly.) It appears that the last three children were born in Goochland; so 9 Joseph Woodson' must have moved to that county shortly after the death of his mother-in-law, Mary (Tucker) Woodson who died in Henrico in 1710.

V * 10 Benjamin,3 born about 1666 at Curles in Henrico county and spent his entire life there. He died in 1723 and his will was recorded in Henrico at the August Court, 1723. On June 2, 1722, he patented 178 acres in Goochland county, on Rocky Run, on the head line of Mr. John Woodson. He was married about 1688 to Sarah Porter.

"The English Porters are all descended from William de la Grande, who came over with William the Conqueror. His son Roger or Ralph, was Grand Porteur to Henry I., whence comes the name. Lands were awarded to William de la Grande by the Con queror, in Kenilworth near Warwick. In succeeding centuries they spread to various
parts of England, and in the seventeenth century joined the adventurous nobles emi grating to America." (Amer. Heraldica.) "The first emigration of the Porters to America were the descendants of John Porter, born 1519, at Wraxhall Abbey, in Kenil worth, Warwickshire, England. John Porter, the first in America, founded Windsor, Connecticut. His son, Samuel Porter, with his wife and sister, Mary Porter, settled in Massachussetts. Mary Porter was married in 1658 to Samuel Grant, ascendant of of Gen'l U. S. Grant of the United States army and President of the United States. "From Samuel Porter came Col. John Porter of the Revolution, who married Abigail Buell. Their son, Peter Buell Porter, became a distinguished man; was member of congress from New York, major general in the War of 1812, appointed chief of the army by President Madison but declined, was secretary of state of New York, was secretary of war of the United States 1828-1829, died in 1844. "The Virginia branch of the Porters, William and John, were large patentees of land in Henrico and Cumberland counties, and some of their descendants were found in Lower Norfolk. They intermarried with the Willoughbys, the Kemps, and through them, with the Herberts and Curtises. Captain Thomas Porter, son of Thomas Porter and Mary Kemp, married Elizabeth Dutoit, daughter of Pierre Dutoit and Barbara Bonnet (Huguenots). Their son, Captain John Porter, Gent., lived and died in Cum berland county (the title 'Gent.' indicating that they were of the nobility). Their daughter, Ann Porter, married Charles Sampson, son of Stephen Sampson and Mary Woodson. This leads to the inference that Sarah Porter, who married 10 Benjamin Woodson,3 was of this family of Porters." (Americans of Gentle Birth, Vol. I, p. 354).

VI 11 Sarah,3 born about 1668 at Curles in Henrico county, was married about 1688 or '89 to Edward Moseley. As stated in William and Mary Quarterly, her father, 3 Robert Woodson2 of Henrico, made a deed in 1689 to "daughter Sarah, wife of Edward Moseley." This may have been a bridal present. The descendants of this couple have not been traced.

VII * 12 Elizabeth,3 born about 1670 at Curles in Henrico county, married William Lewis, who may have been a brother to 7 Robert Woodson's3 first wife, Sarah Lewis. It is believed that Elizabeth died comparatively young, and that her widowed husband married again. In William and Mary Quarterly there is this statement. "There is a nuncupative will of William Lewis, who mentions his two sons 59 William Lewis4 and 60 Joseph Lewis,4 and wife Adding, who was, perhaps his second wife." The names of these children are recorded in the fourth generation but farther than that the line has not been traced.

VIII * 13 Judith,3 born about 1673 at Curles in Henrico county, married William Cannon.

IX * 14 Mary,3 born about 1678 at Curles in Henrico county, was married about 1704 to George Payne of Goochland. "The first Goochland county court was held May 21 to June 1, 1728. The first justices were Col. Thomas Randolph of Tuckahoe, presiding, John Fleming, Allen Howard, William Mayo, 22 John Woodson,4 Tarleton Fleming3 and Edward Scott. To these were added in 1728-9, William Cabell, George Payne and James Holman. In 1732 John Fleming and Dudley Diggs were the burgesses. In 1736, Edward Scott and James Holman. In 1740 Capt. James Holman and Capt. Thomas Randolph. The sheriffs were 22 John Woodson,4 1732-34: George Payne 1734-37: Peter Jefferson 1737-39: Robert Payne 1738: Arthur Hopkins 1739-41: Thomas Turpin 1741-43: James Daniel (who married 58 Elizabeth Woodson4), 1743-44 and Isaac Bates 1744." (See The Cabells and Their Kin.) George Payne died in 1744. His will is dated December 3, 1743, and proved January 15, 1744, in Goochland, and names sons John Payne, George Payne, Josias Payne, and wife, Mary. Also granddaughter Agnes Payne, and grandsons Augustin Payne and Jesse Payne. His widow, 14 Mary Woodson,3 was at this time about sixty-six years old, and probably survived but a few years. The date of her death is not known.

"From the frequent intermarriages of members of the Payne family of Goochland county, with families resident in the Northern Neck (such marriages very seldom taking place in other Goochland families), it would seem very probable that George Payne came from that section of Virginia. It seems very likely that he was the 'brother George Payne' named in the wills of Richard Payne of Lancaster county, 1709; and of William Payne of Lancaster 1726. They were sons of William Payne and wife Susannah Merriman, daughter of Richard Merriman, Gent., of Lancaster." (Va. Hist. Mag., Vol. VI., p. 314, Jan. 1899.)


  1. Tidewater Virginia Families: Chapter 15: The Woodson Family (also Butler Ancestors). Page 404. < AncestrySharing >
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Col. Robert Woodson's Timeline

Fleur de Hundred Plantation, Charles City Shire, Virginia Colony, British Colonial America
Curles Plantation, Henrico County, Virginia Colony
Curles Plantation, Henrico, Virginia
August 21, 1662
Curles, Henrico County, Virginia
Curles, Henrico County, Virginia, Colonial America
Curles Plantation, Henrico County, Virginia, British Colonial America
June 1, 1665
Curles Plantation, Henrico County, Virginia, British Colonial America
Henrico County, Virginia, British Colonial America