The Earliest Universities

My second child graduates from college this year. ¬†I’m sort of stunned that we’re here already ūüôā ¬†But millions of kids have gone before him, dating all the way back to 1088. “The word¬†university¬†is derived from the¬†Latin:¬†universitas magistrorum et scholarium, roughly meaning “community of teachers and scholars”. The term was coined by the Italian¬†University of Bologna, which, with a traditional founding date of 1088, is considered the first university.¬†The origin of many¬†medieval universities¬†can be traced to the Christian¬†cathedral schools¬†or¬†monastic schoolswhich appear as early as the 6th century AD and were run for hundreds of years as such before their formal establishment as university in the¬†high medieval period.” ¬†http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oldest_universities_in_continuous_operation The next three oldest schools are the The University of Salamanca in 1134 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Salamanca), The University of Paris in 1150, and University of Oxford. The dates of all these vary depending upon 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…

The origins of the name ‘Woodbury’

The name ‘Woodbury’ has its origins in the¬†old English word wudu, meaning ‘wood’ and byrig, dative of burh ‚Äėfortified place‚Äô.¬†¬† While not native to Britain (as in, not Welsh), it’s roots are Saxon, and thus¬†the place-name ‘Woodbury’ in Devonshire predates the Norman conquest of 1066.¬†¬† The name was recorded “as ‘Wodeberie’ in the Domesday Book of 1086, and the latter ‘Ve(s)burg’. The derivation of both placenames is from the Olde English pre 7th Century . . . The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David de Wodebir, which was dated 1273, Hundred Rolls Devon, during the reign of King Edward I.”¬† http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Woodberry In 1848, there were three locations in England with the name ‘Woodbury’ (and lots in the US, but that’s another story): “WOODBURY, a hamlet, in the parish of Gamlingay, poor-law union Read more…