Woodbury Genealogy - Sarah Woodbury

Woodbury Genealogy

Woodbury genealogy in the United States is not complicated for the most part. All of us are 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 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/

59 Replies to “Woodbury Genealogy”

  1. Hello. I am trying to track down the supposed connection between my grandmother Helen Marguerite Woodbury to the John Adams (president) or Samuel Adams (president’s cousin) family. My aunt had done years of research in Ancestry.com but she passed away and apparently all those many years of research are locked up and lost in Ancestry.

    1. I would love to find that too, but have not yet. I have the family Bible of Sarah Adams b. 1763 who married Samuel Blake. The family, like the Woodburys, was in Massachusetts, but I can’t find her connection to me or to the president’s family. I’d love to see anything you have if you’ve salvaged any of it!

  2. I am late to the party, but so excited to potentially make a connection with extended family! I am a direct descendant of John Woodbury (originally from Devonshire England). This past weekend a lot of us in my family got together to discuss our genealogy and am excited to find more family here to connect with!

    1. I too was doing some DNA work, which took me back to Woodbury connections now working through the Woodbury in Beverly and Salem, John and Ann/Agnes son Peter is one of my Direct lines.

        1. so the last Woodbury or first in Line. would be Rebecca Woodbury that Married Josiah Lovett at least on this line I also have connections on the William line but not direct line. Which would be my 7th great grand parents. or my grand mothers 5th Great grandparents.


  3. Hi, I am Tammy Woodbury and I also descend from the same line. I had done the research and you are spot on. There are so many of us we should have a family reunion!
    Any one else feel the same?
    If so, please email me at twoodpool@comcast.net and hopefully we can do it. How exciting would that be?
    Im still in Mass as are a lot of us.
    Hope to hear from any or all of you!

    1. Hi from the California Woodburys!
      My husband Albert is a direct descendant of William. In fact, we just visited the cemetery in Beverly last month and prowled among the headstones.
      His first ancestor to leave New England (Maine) was his great-grandfather Francis Chute Woodbury, who came from Sweden, Oxford County, Maine, to San Francisco in the late 1860s.

  4. Hello, I have just started following my family genealogy (Now that I’m retired I finally have the time to do this). I had no idea that there are so many Woodburys. Where I grew up in Connecticut there were just a few all from my grandfather, Roland Standley Woodbury (also descended from Humphrey Woodbury, Sr) who was born in Everly MA but moved to Connecticut (my grandmother Georgia Viola Clark was a lifelong resident of CT). He passed away in 1933 so I never got to meet him. My father Russell Clark Woodbury was his youngest of three sons. He was born in 1918 and I am Russell’s youngest child born in 1951. I am a retired IT professional (who still dabbles with the odd database much to my wife’s frustration). My dad served in WWII and my brother Bruce and I both served in the U.S. Air Force in Viet Nam. I now live in south central Pennsylvania.

  5. Hi, I am happy to find this site. Looks like I have a lot of cousins. I am a Woodbury by way of my mother’s side, from her grandmother who married a Woodbury, to Immigrant John in 1624. I applied to the DAR under Peter (1705-1775), who responded to the call to action by Paul Revere, April 18/19, 1775. While Beverly MA has multiple listings saying this (or did) in their historical info, the DAR says this Peter is questionable due to his age at that time–70, and he died about a month later. Therefore, the DAR connected us through another name that has been more accurately proven (Webber). I would like to prove this Peter Woodbury as a Revolution Patriot. If anyone has records PRIOR to 1900-1930 that state Peter’s participation, I would appreciate knowing.

  6. I am one of the descendants of Forrest Woodbury, who lived in Kansas in the early 1900s. He had only one son – Robert Woodbury Sr. – my grandfather – who also had only one son – George Woodbury Sr. But George Woodbury Sr. had four sons – myself (George Woodbury Jr.) and my brothers Robert, Michael, and Keith. We originate our of a line that settled in Pittsburg Kansas in the late 1800s. So it’s interesting to see the discussion above about John Woodbury – since my grandfather’s cousin always felt we were descended from John Woodbury.
    And professionally, I practice Dermatology with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, Cordova, Tennessee (www.Rheumderm.com).
    PS: I’m 56 years old, and I’ve only met one Woodbury who’s not immediately related to myself – Linda Woodbury – who lives in Memphis – and has connections with the Minnesota Woodburys.

  7. Like you, I am descended from Peter Woodbury through both his daughter Susanna (Woodbury) Trask, and his son Peter Woodbury. Susanna’s son, Josiah Trask and Peter Jr.’s daughter, Mary wed together. Yada, yada, Trask became Peabody, which became Woodcock. The Woodcock line is what I am extremely well-versed in.

    I do giggle a little when I read the awe that anyone from the Woodbury line is related to John Adams. Well of course we are. The families all “kept the lines close”, and Pres. John’s grandmother was Hannah Bass, daughter of Ruth (Alden) Bass and John Bass. All Mayflower folk. Hannah (Bass) Adams’s parents had seven children just on their own, and each begat at least 10 billion kids each. So OF COURSE we’re all close to the Adams line when we go back that far.

    I knew my own link through Hannah (Bass) Adams’s sister, Sarah (Bass) Thayer. Who begat a Richards, who begat a Jones, who begat a….Woodcock!

    But how does the Hannah (Bass) Adams line flow down to Woodbury? I’m assuming one of Peter Woodbury’s kids married a Bass/Adams at about the same time my line diverted to Trask?? Always interested to know.

    Happy to share info in return.

    1. My family has two Adams’ family Bibles (I’m named for one of their owners from 1755, Sarah). But I never managed to trace the connection to John Adams. Could you link to me where you saw it?

  8. Hey, all! My name is Kaitlyn Rourke and I am from Maine. I just recently found out that I’m a direct descendant of Roger Conant! (How exciting!) I’m 15th generation. Also I am connected to the Woodburys through the son William. I’m interested in hearing from the person who said they were related to president Adams, as this popped up in my search as well and I have been having trouble connecting the pieces. Thanks!

    1. We’re cousins both through the Conants and the Woodburys, Kaitlyn. A lot of interesting history in those families.
      –W. Andrews

  9. i have so much to find answers for:first of all my birth is odd. was born exactly 1 month late, the second: the minute i was born my mother died and the hospital began burning up in flames. I lived with my grandparents, have never been excepted by anyone beyond my fathers family, even cousins seemed to spoil me, or avoid all together. I can say I have helped medically those I love from health to death, by touch or over whelming need.

  10. Hi. My grandparents were Sadie and Charles Woodbury of Castleton Vermont. When I looked up genealogy a few years ago I found that we are distantly related to Roger Conant the founder of Salem and Elizabeth Woodbury Balch. She was one of the accusers at the Salem Witch trials. Also I found out that we are distantly related to president Adams.

  11. My wife, Peggy and I had a great time at the Woodbury/ Balsch reunion in Beverly this past September. I am a descendant of John Woodbury and met relatives from Oregon, California, Kansas, Tennessee, and Ma, Also went north to Cape Anne to the spot where John originally landed in 1624. Salem was very interesting as well. I hope to return for the next reunion in 2018. Steve Woodbury, Excelsior, Minnesota.

  12. Hello newly found family from Palm Beach! I’m one of the grandchildren, too! Rebecca Woodbury is my Gr-Grandmother (7th). 🙂
    Corning / Groves / Magill / Kraft family of Long Island

  13. So far as I know, all woodburys are descendants of John Woodbury. I believe William died without progeny. I also believe John Woodbury was a devoted Puritan who landed at Plymouth Rock and lived with the Pilgrims for two years Religious differences between Pilgrims and Puritans caused John and three others to move on and found the city of Salem, Mass. All Woodburys are related and descendants of John Woodbury

    1. All Woodburys are descended from John Woodbury Sr., who never left England and had two sons who came to Salem, MA: William and John. William had children for sure, because I am descended separately from two of his daughters! Here is his genealogy page at Woodbury-ober.com http://www.woodbury-ober.com/individual.php?pid=I3&ged=Woodbury-Ober1.ged&tab=0

      John Woodbury did not land at Plymouth rock and was not a Pilgrim. He was a fisherman for the Dorchester Company, sailing to Massachusetts on the Zouch Phenix in 1624. There’s plenty of documentation to support this.

    2. No, there are many decendants of William, brother or john. They were more adventurous and went out west. You will find thousands since each family had many children-frequently more than 8, most survived.

      1. No, there are many decendants of William, brother or john. They were more adventurous and went out west. You will find thousands since each family had many children-frequently more than 8, most survived. My ggfather Orin Woodbury had 20 children, my grandfather had 17. My parents had 7 and so on.

  14. I have photos of the heavily vandalized gravestone of Lydia Goodridge (maiden name Lydia Woodbury) who married William Goodridge on Jan 7, 1810 and a few months later died in Danvers, MA on May 19, 1810. It lies alone in a field. The grave is so heavily damaged that it no longer has her name on it, but only that of her husband. It says William May 19, 1810 Aet 25 (abbreviation for at age of)

  15. I just found this page. John “the Salem planter” Woodbury is my 12th great grandfather on my grandma’s side. My family didn’t travel far either. I find this fascinating.

      1. Nice to meet you too! I think they do have a Woodbury family reunion in Beverly, MA every few years (not this last year, of course).

  16. I am also a direct descendent from Humphrey Woodbury, 1st son of John Woodbury , the planter. I grew up in Beverly. Mass near the old homestead. If you contact the Beverly Historical Society, they usually know of a Woodbury reunion when the Balch Family has theirs. I have a Woodbury Family Tree on Ancestry.com. I agree that there was a lot of intermarriage. I am another Cousin!

    1. How cool! So nice to meet you! My grandfather was born in Beverly, though his family lost the big house in the depression 🙁 A Woodbury family reunion would be fun–though I’m in Oregon so maybe a bit of a challenge.

    2. Hi, Gail,
      I am now going to contact the Beverly Historical society. I am 13th generation from John the planter and would love to attend a reunion and meet extended family. 🙂

  17. Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated as have rumors of my illness?? I am quite alive, in good health, and available if you need some help. 🙂

    Hope you all have a great holiday season and the best to you and yours!

    Larry Wert

  18. We, too, are in the Twin Cities area. My husband is descended from John Woodbury; his mother recently passed –her spouse, my husband’s late father Osgood Woodbury, was born in Maine.

  19. I have been trying to get in touch with Larry Wert as well. I am also looking for Woodbury reunion info in the Beverly, MA. area. I live in Minneapolis.

  20. I would like to contact Larry Wert. Do you have his email address? Also, if there is a Woodbury reunion please let me know. Thanks

  21. Hi Sarah!

    I just found your site and the message from Mary Garris on March 15, 2013. I’m also a descendant of the Minnesota Woodburys, Bundys and Forsyths (through Charles Wesley Woodbury and his son Benjamin Herbert Woodbury). Would it be possible for you to forward my email address to Mary?

    Linda Woodbury
    Memphis, TN

  22. From another of your cousins, descended from John (my great-8 grandfather) and then Peter. Later my great-2 grandfather, Joseph Franklin Woodbury moved from Topsfield MA to Decatur GA, so not all of them were “not an adventurous bunch,” in your words. By the time of my maternal grandmother, the last with the Woodbury maiden name, the family was in Atlanta, where I was born. I moved back to Atlanta after 10 years in New Brighton MN, not far from Woodbury. I’m glad to read the above comments from you all.

    1. Thanks for commenting! I meant that MY particular ancestors weren’t adventurous. I know that some Woodburys went west with Joseph Smith, too. Mine appeared to have stayed in MA until my father’s generation, when we spread out a bit more 🙂

  23. I have just been reading up on some family history and found a letter from 1931 written by Gertie Bradford to Myra Jacobs Brown that lists their descendants back to John Woodbury. I believe Gertie and Myra were cousins. I know that Myra was the daughter of Clarissa Woodbury, and “Gertie,” or Ella Gertrude, was the daughter of William Woodbury. Gertie concurs with you that John came to the U.S. in 1624, and he was their 6 times great grandfather.

    I’m also a descendent of Humphrey, and John was my 11 times great grandfather, if I’ve counted accurately. My more recent relatives were the Minnesota Woodburys, Bundys, and Forsyths.

    Guess that makes us distant cousins or something!

    Thanks for the info,
    Mary Garris
    Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

  24. Any Woodbury reunions scheduled in New England this year or in upcoming years? The Minnesota Woodburys would like to be on a notification list. Thanks.

    Steve Woodbury
    Minneapolis, Minnesota

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