Richard Woodward


Born: Abt 1636 in ?

Died: 7 Dec 1706 in Middletown, Bucks County, Province of Pennsylvania

Father: ?

Mother: ?

Family #1

Spouse/Partner: Jane ? (? – ?)

Married: ? in (unknown)

Child: Richard Woodward ( – ?)

Child: Martha Woodward ( – )

Child: Thomas Woodward ( – )

Child: Edward Woodward ( – )

Child: Sarah Woodward ( – )

Child: Joseph Woodward ( – 1715)

Child: Jane Woodward ( – 1737)

Child: Mary Woodward (1690 – 1790)


Richard and Jane settled in Thornbury Township (Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania) on 230 acres purchased from John Simcock (or Sinnock) on 6 Mar 1687, which was part of 1550 acres John had purchased from William Penn.

The Richard Woodward house is recorded in the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). Photographs of it from August 1958 are currently available at the Library of Congress' American Memory "Built in America" web site ( Search for "Richard Woodward House, Concord Road."

It is not known absolutely, if Richard built any part of the present house. The main section was built c. 1700. A one-and-a-half story springhouse to the northeast (originally not connected) may have been the original building on the land, and was built in the last decade of the 17th century.

The house is also known as "The Beehive" but the origin of this nickname is unknown. Local legend indicates it started long after Richard's death, with one or more generations of the Brinton family, who owned the home from 1787 to 1902. The name is said to be derived from so many children who were continually buzzing in and out of the house.

Richard served variously as constable, juror, grand juror, supervisor of highways and was quite prominent in the community.

On 10 Dec 1698, he transferred this land to his sons Richard (130 acres, including the house) and Edward (100 acres), and moved to 250 acres in Middletown (Buck County?, Province of Pennsylvania), where he died at about 70 years of age.

His will was proved 8 Jan 1706/7, in which he identifies his "well beloved" wife Jane, sons Richard, Joseph, Thomas, and Edward and daughters Martha, Jane, Mary, and Sarah.

Change Date

This data was last changed on 27 Oct 2008, and is stored in datafile B.

Primary and Secondary Sources

(see About Sources)

Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
by John W. Jordon, LL.D. and James Hadden (editors); 3 Volumes. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1912. [applies to death, notes]
Genealogy of the Sharpless family
by Gilbert Cope; Philadelphia, 1887. [applies to name, birth, death, marriage, notes]
Genealogy of the Woodward family of Chester County, Pennsylvania
by Lews Woodward; Wilmington, Del.: Printed by Ferris Bros., 1879. [applies to name, birth, death]
History of Chester County, Pennsylvania
by J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope; Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881. [applies to name]
Web: Library of Congress Historic American Buildings Survey [applies to notes]
Will - Transcribed (Richard Woodward)
Dated 6 Sep 1706, proved 8 Jan 1706/7. [Taken from "Genealogy of the Woodward Family" by Lewis Woodward, M.D., 1879, on pages 11-12.] [applies to name, marriage, notes]

Research Notes (source comments, unreliable information)

There exists a marriage record in Oxford County, England, for a Richard Woodward of Kirtlington, and Jane French of Shipton, on 9 Oct 1673. While consistent with the few known facts I have, it is not known (to me) if this is the same Richard Woodward. It would make Richard about 37 when they married. However, Jane may not have been his first or only wife. [Oxford: - Register of Marriages, 1560-1837; Volume Three 1723 - 1800 Burials; Marriages at Wootton, 1564 to 1837.; Volume 1.]

A Richard Woodward is also mentioned in "A Collection of Sufferings of the People Called Quakers. . ." (V.2, P.71) in which he and several others were accused of meeting in the home of John Watts in Worcestershire and fined. Two (John Cartwright and a Stanley) were sent to prison.

There exists a record of a trial in which several people, including John Sharples[s] and Richard Woodward, were accused of "...High Treason, in tumultuously assembling themselves in Moorfields, and other Places, under Colour of pulling down Bawdy Houses...". The trial was held in Middlesex County, England, in 1668. Richard was acquitted as were several others; I didn't notice a verdict explicitly for John, but it appears he was also acquitted. The rest were found guilty, but the language of lawyers hasn't changed much and the prose is complex. If this turns out to be the same John and/or Richard in this tree, I'll spend more time on it. This information from "A Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings for High Treason and Other Crimes and Misdemeanors from the Earliest Period to the Year 1783, with Notes and Other Illustrations", by T.B. Howell, Esq. F.R.S F.S.A., in 21 volumes (This is entry #227, p.879(?), in volume 6 -- 13-30 Charles II, 1661-1678. It was published in 1816.)

There is also a line of Woodwards in Watertown, Massachusetts who also founded Connecticut and Wyoming branches of the family, as well as lines in New Jersey, and Maryland. (some data from "Genealogy of the Woodwrard Family"). However, I haven't yet done any research to find a connection, if any.

Richard's will was dated 6 Sep 1706 and proved 8 Jan 1706. (Yes, 1706. At this time in England and the colonies, 1707 didn't start until 23 Mar.) It can be found in Philadelphia County Will Book C, page 45.