Happy Thanksgiving!

Wales has a tradition of religious dissent, dating back to the Dark Ages (see my posts on the Pelagian Heresy and Religious Nonconformity in Wales). Welsh people took advantage of the opening up of the new world very early on, seeing an opportunity for religious, political, and economic freedom that had been closed to them in Britain for centuries. The captain of the Mayflower, Christopher Jones, was Welsh. Puritanism did not flourish in Wales, however, and only small groups of dissenters ever got established. It may be that a significant percentage of Welsh Puritans, Quakers (later in the 17th century) and nonconformists came to the New World (which is one reason America proved so rebellious, since now the rebels were all congregated in one place).  Notable Welsh founding fathers include William Penn and Roger Williams early on, and later Thomas Jefferson, Sam and John Adams, Read more…

Woodbury Genealogy

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 Read more…