Woodlief Family : Colonial Virginia

 Much of this information was originally collected by Woodlief researcher, Elizabeth Anne Kerman Taylor. This reflects changes made by John Frederick Dorman and James Hamlin. It is compiled and updated here by Ann M. Woodlief. Please e-mail awoodlief AT yahoo.com if you download or copy or have any corrections or additions.
See also Woodlief Family: British Ancestry and Woodlief Family: North Carolina

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Captain John Woodliffe (Woodlief) (1584-ca. 1637) and Mary Archard

John Woodlief was born at Peterley Manor in Prestwood England. He was christened Dec. 27, 1584 at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul (still standing, relatively unchanged) Dinton, Buckinghamshire, England (as John Woodlefe). He and Mary were married 1/5/1609 at Steventon, Buckinghamshire, England. [There was an Archer/Archard family connected with the Virginia Company, so there is probably a tie there.]

Captain John Woodliffe came to Virginia in 1609 as a member of the London Company (2nd Charter, 1609). He very likely returned to England several times, becoming a partner with Sir William Throckmorton for 1/3 of his share in the Berkeley venture. He signed an agreement on 4/9/1619 to settle an 8000 acre plantation in Virginia to be known as Berkeley Hundred, chosen because of his Virginia experience acting as Captain and Governor, sailing with detailed instructions from the London Company. He sailed from Kingrode, Bristol on Sept. 15, 1619 in the Margaret (47 tons) with 38 settlers, arriving on December 4.  Already in Virginia were his wife, two children, and four indentured servants. On landing they held a Thansgiving service according to instructions (and for perpetual celebration), a service still held on the first Sunday of November (thanks to the work of Pearl Woodlief Blackley). His commission as Captain and Governor was revoked 28/8/1620 because of lack of quick profits and he was relieved by George Thorpe. Thus he was not present at Berkeley when the Indians attacked and killed the settlers at Easter in 1622. He secured a patent from Sir George Yardley for 550 acres in the Great Weyanoke on 20 Dec. 1620 where he established Sion Hill. His land bordered the southern James River between Jordan's Journey on the east and included the present Evergreen on the west. John II was given in 1632 a guardian (Gabriel Holland, Burgess) and Anne [spelled Woodlase in 1624 Census) lived with kinsman Thomas and Adrai Harris from the age of 7 (evidently Mary was deceased).


John II (1614-1676)

Anne (b. 1615 or 1618?) At seven years old, she was left in the guardianship of her kinsman Thomas Harris in 1624 when her father returned to England. She does not appear in later records.


Captain John Woodliffe II (1614-by 1671) and ???

Captain John Woodliffe II patented 550 acres in the Territorie of great Weyanoake bordering e. upon Samuel Jordan's, s. upon main land, n. upon James River from his father (8/1637) and 200 acres for transporting 3 people to colony (7/1638). (See Samuel Jourdan document.) In 1652 he was a Burgess from Charles City. In 1655 he accidentally (?) shot a black sow in the woods belonging to Phillip Lewis. He told a witness that he "thought to have broke halfe a dozen of her legs but supposed he had shot her too high into the guts;" he had to pay Lewis 150 lb. of good tobacco. In 1658 he was taken to court as having "assaulted and threatened Mr. Anthony Wyatt whereby he is in perill of his life;" but the case seems to have been dropped. In 1665 Anthony Wyatt testified about a property dispute with Woodlief; perhaps there was a connection. In 1661 he commanded the County Regiment as Capt Lt. In 1664 he was taken to court for getting his servant Ann Berrey with child and was ordered to pay a fine. He went with John Lanier to ask Governor Berkeley for permission to go against Indians. Being refused and called fools and loggerheads, they took Nathaniel Bacon as their leader and went without commission. He died during Bacon's Rebellion (See Va. Rec. Bk. p. 284-8, Ch City Mil 16, 55-1665. Was in Cp. Francis, Gray's Co)


George Woodlief (1646- before 1701), m. Elizabeth Wallace: Mary, m.-- Carter (d. before 1726). In 1690 George Woodliffe was granted 600 acres for transporting 12 persons, including Sarah Pollard (who married his brother Edward). In 1701 his widow Elizabeth inherited a share of 930 acres in Charles City and is recorded as owning 844 acres in 1704. She was the daughter of James and Joan Wallas (Wallace).

John III (ca. 1650-before 1722), m. Mary Wynne (ca. 1650-ca. 1707)

Edward Woodliffe (b. ca. 1652 VA-9/1718 Prince George Co VA), m. 6/12/1690 Sarah Pollard:
 Edward Jr. (-1759), Sarah (m. Richard Pace, by 1717), John (-ca. 1746), Joseph (ca 1750),Susanna, Mary [Lovse], Ann (m. Joseph Ledbetter), Fanny, James. His will gives land to Thomas Woodlief--is he a son?
Note: For more on the Pace family, check out Bruce Howard's Our Colonial Ancestors, 1619-1799.


John Woodliffe III (ca. 1650-1738) and Mary Wynne (after 1650-after 1707)

John III was called Pastor in Prince George Co VA. His cattle mark was "one smooth cropps on each ear and half moon under left ear" (1689). In 1704, a John Woodlife Sr. is recorded as having 644 acres, John Jr. with 750, and Elizabeth Woodlife had 844 acres.(widow of George above). His will was proven by his son John 11 July 1738.

Mary was the daughter of Col. Robert Wynne (1622-1678) and Mary Frances Sloman [m.1 to Francis Poythress] Robert Wynne (arrived in 1651) had a 600-acre plantation south of the James named Georges. (12 headrights). He was granted to keep two Indians for service. He was Speaker of the House of Burgesses during the Long Parliament, 1662-1674 and lived in Jordans Parish, Charles City County and owned much property in England (5 houses, a farm, and a mill). In his will, 7/1/1675, Robert Wynne left land in England to eldest son and his plantation to Joshua; he left daughter Woodlief a servant of four years and left grandson and godson George Woodlief one filly foal.


John IV (ca 1673-after 1741, VA) m. Mary Poythress: In 1737, John IV was recorded as owner of Sion Hill, the family land on James River in Prince George Co. VA; he willed the land to his eldest son. Mary was daughter of John and Christian Peebles Poythress; John Poythress was the son of Captain Francis and Mary Poythress [Wynne]. So, John IV, grandson of Mary (by Wynne) married Mary, granddaughter of Mary (by Poythress) whose aunt was Jane, married to Thomas Rolfe, son of Pocahontas.

John Jr. ( -1775.)
Peter (-ca. 1775, Dinwiddie Co.): Thomas [m. Elizabeth Hill Eppes: Francis Eppes, m 2. Elizabeth Claiborne: Devereaux J (1806-1854)., Peter William), John, Peter [m. Ann Poythress Bland] [Edward S., Nov 9 1742 to Thomas & Elizabeth Woodlief , in Bristol Parish Register--who is he?]
Thomas (-ca.1791) m Martha Taylor before 1776 [:Patty, Edward]., Edward, John (c.1717-c.1775).

George (before 1675 Charles City VA--ca. 1743 Charles City VA), m. Norah Eppes

Joshua (ca. 1690-ca. 1745):

Robert (--ca. 1756-7)
Susan "Sukey" (ca. 1732-1801 Amelia Co), m. ca. 1750 Samuel Thomas (ca. 1730 Prince George-ca. 1791 Nottoway Co):

Woodlief, Athanatios (Atha), Samuel Spencer, Robert, Joshua, Martha, David, Mary, Elizabeth, John, William
[Researcher of this family line: Woodlief Thomas, Jr., Merriwood@aol.com)

John Frederick Dorham has proposed a somewhat different lineage in the 4th edition of Adventurers of Purse and Person, beginning with the sons of John Woodliffe II. He has George (1646-by 1690) as married to Mary Wynne (b. 1651-1655). He finds their children to be (1) John (c. 1668-1738), m. prob. Rebecca Harrison (sons John, by 1722-1775, and Peter, sons John, Thomas Major Peter, George, and daughter Hannah) and (2) George (c. 1670-by 1701), m. to Elizabeth Wallace after 21 Apr. 1690 (daughter Mary) and (3)Joshua (befo 169--1745): Robert, and Sukey (Susan) m. Samuel Thomas c. 1750. John 3 (c. 1650-by 1716) was first married to (unknown) by whom he had George (d. 1743) who married Norah (Eppes?) His second marriage was to Mary Poythress (b. c. 1676) and they had a daughter who married William Stainback, Jr. He has decided that Edward (c. 1665-1718/9) who married Sarah (Osborne?) was the illegitimate son of John and his servant Ann Berry. Edward had the following children: John, Joseph, Edward, Sarah m. Pace, Ann m. Ledbetter, Susannah, and Mary m. Lovse. Obviously this is complicated by the lack of Prince George County records.


George Woodliffe (before 1675-ca. 1743, Charles City VA) and Norah Epes

George sold 300 acres in Prince George County VA (Martins Brandon Parish), his homeplace on the great swamp, to William Stainback Jr. 8/13/1722 for 30 pounds. Though it is not known if he moved to North Carolina at that time, there is no trace of his sons in Virginia, only in Granville Co. NC in the early 1750s. The will of George Woodlief of Edgecomb Co, NC was inventoried 18 Feb. 1741 by Samuel Williams.

Whether George's wife is an Eppes (Epes) is questionable. One clue may be the name Littleberry, which appears in the Epes and Poythress families. Kerman believes her father was Thomas Epes (m. Elizabeth Poythress). There are numerous Littlebury/Littleberrys to be found throughout Virginia around mid century, but for all it is a first name.


Thomas (-1808), m. ___ Carr

George [Woodliff] (b. Henry Co. VA, d. ca. 1766 Granville Co NC), m. Mary A. Bought land in Granville Co. NC 1756. Around 1765 he willed to his wife a featherbed and furniture and estate. Children were George, Augustine, Elizabeth, Mary, and Martha. Both George Jr. and Augustine fought in the Revolution and George Jr. was killed in Granville Co around 1783. .
Augustine returned to Henry Co. VA after war; m. Mildred Ryan [mother was Obedience Woodlief], d. in Army Hospital in Washington DC about 1814. They lived in Hall Co., GA. Their children were William W. [m. Nancy G. Pearce], John [m. Tabitha Wilson], Littleberry [m. Susy Trublefield], Whitehead [m. Nancy Posey], Mary [m. Jesse Clayton], Lucinda [m. Howell Durham], George Franklin, Jr. [m. Isabella Henderson], and Susan (m. Eli Lofton].
George Franklin Woodliff and Isabella Henderson had the following children: George Franklin Jr. [m. Sarah Elizabeth Boyd], 1834-1897: Walter A. [m. Callive Sullivan], William J. [m. Azalee Sullivan], Julia Isabelle [m. Henry Edwin Sanford], Augustine L. Woodliff [m. Chester Lavenia Law]: Henry, Joe, Bessie, and Thomas Jefferson; Josiah H. [m. Mary Jane Burris]; Nancy Jane Woodliff [m. Col. James A. Green]: William Alonzo, Roxie, James Addison, Sarah Isabella, Lyman Hall, Kate Adelia; Thomas Jefferson [killed at Fredericksburg, 1865); and Oliver Perry.

William (b. VA): Thomas m.1 -- Overton: Cornelius m. Mary Overton, killed Civil War; m. 2 Lucy Parrish, 1844:
Thomas (Berry): John Osborne (1816-1897, m. Martha A Hight, (182-1902), daughter of Harbor Hight::
Margaret Ann (Sept 27, 1843-Apr 14, 1915) m. Duncan M. Keith; Dawson (1845-1892) m. Pattie Perkinson; Meredith (1847-1901), m. Susan Lyman 1874; Blair (1849-1925; Jonah (1851-1927) m. Sissie Rochelles; Toney (1853-1929) m. Paralee Lyman 1876; Laban (1855-1900) m. Marianne Rochelle; Martha Wilson; Laura (1857-) m. Andrew Perkinson Walter (1859-1881); Eugene (1861-1863; Johnnie W. (1864-1942), m. Aralona Thompson [Family Bible]

Littleberry (b. VA): Littleberry Jr. (--1850), m. Rebecca Cook; lived on Ruin Creek 1754: William. Mary Crowder, John m. Mary Woodlief, Martha m. Willis Ward, Mary A. m. Benjamin Phillips, Joseph m. Martha Norman, Littleberry, Rebecca, Sarah), William, Elizabeth m. Turner Johnson, Polly m. Claiborn McGhee 1814

John Woodlief (b. ca. 1725 VA; lived in Edgecomb Co. 1756; d. NC after 1757)