The Woodburys in the United States are all descended from John and William Woodbury (brothers or cousins, it’s not clear) who came to Salem, Massachusetts in the 1620′s.
John was first. He was part of a fishing consortium–not a Puritan–and traveled across the Atlantic on the Zouch Phenix in 1624 as part of the Dorchester Company. He settled in Cape Ann, which is basically a barren rock, and then moved north to become one of the five founders of Salem, Massachusetts (along with Conant, Balch, Trask, and Palfrey). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Planters_(Massachusetts)
He then was granted 200 acres in what is now Beverly, Massachusetts in 1635. http://dougsinclairsarchives.com/woodbury/johnwoodbury1.htm
My grandfather was born in Beverly three hundred years later. Not an adventurous bunch, apparently, once they got to Massachusetts. Terrifyingly, I am descended from John and William together FOURTEEN times, through both my mother and father.
One good story is that my umpteenth ancestor, Peter, younger son of John (my main line descends through John’s eldest son, Humphrey, but I descend from Peter too. Twice.) kept a horse saddled in his barn at all times in case anyone needed a quick get-a-way to escape from the Salem witch trials.
“Peter was selectman in 1675 and 76. On Nov. 16, 1686 he was elected Deacon. It was during his incumbency in this office that the witchcraft delusion swept over Salem and it is related of him that he kept his horses saddled to assist the persecuted to flee to New Hampshire out of the jurisdiction of the court.”
Larry Wert has done heroic and exhaustive research of the thousands of Woodbury descendents. For more stories and more information than you could possibly comprehend, see his web page: http://www.woodbury-ober.com/ **note, it no longer seems to be working. Other Woodbury sources are: