John (6) Woodhurst

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Brief biography

John (6) Woodhurst was born to parents John (3) Woodhurst and his wife Mary Ferris. He was born on September 15th 1804 and christened at St. Dunstan, Canterbury on November 4th 1804 [Parish Register Baptisms 1743-1812, CCA: Film U3/141/1/4]. The record spells his father's surname as Woodes. He is presumed to have spent much of his youth in Eastling where his parents were being supported by Poor Relief payments at least as far back as 1821. A payment of 2-10s-0d was provided on his behalf, for instance, when he broke his arm in early 1824.

He married Ann Susanna ("Susan") Russell at Chatham on July 23rd 1827 [Chatham Parish Register]. The register describes them both as "of this parish" and omits Ann's middle name. She was christened at Milton-next-Sittingbourne on December 3rd 1809 to parents William Russell and his wife Ann [IGI: Batch C024839]. Her parents may have married at All Saints, Maidstone on September 13th 1802 [IGI: Batch M020079].

The christening records of John (6)'s first two (known) children show that in 1830 he was living in Milton-next-Sittingbourne and working as a brick-maker.

The Eastling Parish Overseers' Accounts show that he and his wife and children were receiving Poor Relief payments from 1830 up to 1835.

By 1836 they had produced six children - all born in Milton - of whom two had died in infancy. The following year the family emigrated to America.

A passenger-list manifest for the ship Wellington records the family as sailing from England to New York and arriving there on May 15th 1837. On the manifest, John (6) is described as a farmer aged 32, his wife "Ann Susan" as aged 27 and their children Elizabeth, William, Mary Ann and Hazard as aged 7, 7, 5 and 2 respectively.

The US 1840 Census finds the family in Connecticut in Windsor township, Hartford County. By now they had seven children - the four they had brought from England and three further ones born in Connecticut.

Ann's parents had evidently not emigrated with her to America. The UK 1841 Census finds them still in Kent, both at (rounded) age "55" and living in Love Lane, Milton-next-Sittingbourne where William was occupied as a paper maker. Also present was their son Hazard Russell at (rounded) age "15" and occupied as a shipwright apprentice. They have not yet been found in subsequent censuses.

By about 1844 two further children Daniel Farris and Matilda (2) had been born in Connecticut. The family then moved to Ohio, where Theodore (1) was born, around the late 1840s. The obituary of their son Hazard (1) states that upon moving to Ohio the family had settled first at Walnut Hills in Butler County.

The US 1850 Census finds the family living in Oxford township, Butler County. Theodore (1) was the youngest child present at that time. John (6)'s occupation is not clear from the census record, but appears to be painter (his son Hazard (1) was also a painter by 1860). His age is cited correctly as 46 and his birthplace as England, whilst Ann's age is given as 41 and her birthplace likewise as England. The record includes the initial of Ann's middle name.

The US 1860 Census finds the family living in Wayne township, Butler County, with John (6) occupied as a farmer. By now they had produced one more child - apparently named Violetta. This was probably their last child, as Ann was now aged 51.

He apparently visited England in the 1860s, as he is listed on the 2nd-class passenger manifest of the ship SS Bellona which journeyed from London to New York, where it arrived on May 31st 1867. He is described as a farmer from England aged 63 intending to reside in Cincinatti.

The family subsequently moved to Indiana. The US 1870 Census finds John (6) with his family living in Richmond township, Wayne County in Indiana, living next door to his married daughter Susannah (3). No occupation was cited for him.

He appears subsequently to have returned to Ohio, as he is recorded as farming 80 acres there in an index of persons residing in Greenville, Darke County in 1875 [Darke County Genealogical Researchers website].

The US 1880 Census finds him with Ann in Greenville, living next to the family of his son Daniel Farris. He is described as a retired farmer aged 75 and born in England, and the record misspells his surname as "Wordhust".

An IGI patron submission record states that he was buried on December 2nd 1883.

Ann died the following year. Her death certificate [Bureau of Vital Statistics for Wayne County Indiana: Year 1884, Volume H-20, Page 113, Certificate 1426] names her as "Anna Woodhurst", being a widow aged 75 who died on November 16th 1884. The cause of death was certified by O.P. Baie (presumed doctor) as catarrh. She had been residing at 1114, South "B" in Richmond, Wayne County.

His children by Ann Susanna ("Susan") Russell

  1. Elizabeth (5) Woodhurst
  2. William (12) Woodhurst
  3. Mary Ann (6) Woodhurst
  4. Cordelia Woodhurst
  5. Hazard (1) Woodhurst
  6. Dorcas Woodhurst last child born in Kent prior to family emigrating ...
  7. Martha (1) Woodhurst first child born in America ...
  8. Susannah (3) Woodhurst
  9. Margaret (1) Woodhurst
  10. Daniel Farris Woodhurst
  11. Matilda (2) Woodhurst
  12. Theodore (1) Woodhurst
  13. Violetta Woodhurst - born in 1854 in Ohio
  14. and probably no others ...

The youngest child Violetta in the above list appears in the US 1860 Census. She died in childhood and was buried in Elk Creek Cemetery, Astoria in Butler County. The inscription on her gravestone, which is still in excellent condition, reads "Violetta Dau of John & Ann Woodhurst Died Oct. 17, 1862 Aged 8 Ys & 8 Ds".