New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Legends

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Daniel Wood was born on June 30, 1764 (from his tombstone), and moved to New Brunswick in about 1785 when he was 21 years of age.  He called himself a ‘Loyalist’ on one occasion, and he was probably from the United States. I have never been able to locate his origins, however.

I have never seen the following legend written down but previous generations, mostly gone, believed that it was the story of where the Wood family came from:

  • THE LEGEND is that the first Wood arrived in North America in the 1740s. The legend does not reveal where he came from or where he landed, and there are no details of this Wood family for the succeeding forty years. We know that Daniel had a brother Thomas who also came to N.B. The legend corroborates this and notes that there was also a brother John and an ‘old Thomas’.

There is no indication that either Thomas or old Thomas remained in N.B. for very long. John is said to have remained and to have been progenitor of the Wood family of Rusagonis. This is a widely held view, but I have no evidence that the Rusagonis Woods are actually of a different line than the French Lake Woods. It seems to me, instead, that John also disappeared from the New Brunswick scene.

  • ANOTHER STORY is that Daniel was a Seneca Indian from New York. This is because one of his daughters is said to have had a dark complexion.

I never believed this story. Firstly, Daniel’s life generated a lot of official paperwork and it is unlikely that he being an Indian would not have been mentioned. Secondly, a photograph of his son John is unremarkable as to race. Finally, my Y-DNA is said to indicate North-European origins on that line. It would still be possible that Daniel’s mother, or perhas his wife Ann Morgan, had some native ancestry but I see nothing to support this conjecture. I do not know why the story was so specific as to mention Seneca and New York.

In conclusion, we should be keeping the legend in mind when reviewing U.S. Wood records for our lost ancestors.


Written by johnwood1946

August 9, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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