Person Page 683

John Woodson1,2,3,4,5,6,7

born 1586, died 18 April 1644

Family: Sarah Winston (born between 1590 and 1595, died 17 January 1659)

Facts and Notes

  • Name:8
  • Anecdote: See person note below9
  • Title: Doctor9
  • Birth: 1586; Devon, EnglandBGO; Henry Woodson, in the Historical Genealogy of the Woodson and Their Connections, also indicated in one passage that John Woodson was from Dorsetshire.9,2,5,7
  • Education: 1 March 1604; St. John's College, EnglandBG9,8
  • Occupation: After March 1604; Surgeon9
  • Marriage: 1619; Sarah Winston; EnglandBGO2,9
  • Arrival: April 1619; Jamestown, James County, Virginia, USABGO; John Woodson and his wife Sara arrive at Jamestown3,9
  • Occupation: 1623; Jamestown, James County, Virginia, USABGO; Surgeon for the Militia10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17
  • Residence: Before February 1623; Fleur de Hundred, Prince George County, Virginia, USABG; Dr. John and Sara Woodson located at Fleur de Hundred, or, as it was sometimes called, Piersey's Hundred, some thirty miles above Jamestown on the south side of James River in what is now Prince George county4,9
  • Death: 18 April 1644; Fleur de Hundred, Prince George County, Virginia, USABG; He was killed in an Indian attack within sight of his home, according to family legend9,5,7
  • Note: Henry Morton Woodson shared the following in anecdote the Historical Genealogy of the Woodson and Their Connections:
    Dr. John Woodson was born 1586, in Dorsetshire, England, and matriculated at St. John's College, March 1, 1604, at the age of eighteen. On the 29th day of January, 1619, at the age of 33, he and his young wife, Sara, embarked on the ship George for the Jamestown Colony in Virginia. Dr. Woodson was aboard in the capacity of surgeon to a company of soldiers who were sent to protect the colonists. The vessel, which also carried the Colony's new governor, Sir George Yeardley, and about one hundred passengers, arrived at Jamestown in April.
    Dr. John Woodson settled at Fleur de Hundred, or, as it was sometimes called, Piersey's Hundred, on the south side of James River some thirty miles from Jamestown. He, Sara, and their six slaves were registered at Fleur de Hundred as early as February, 1623, so it's almost certain that this was the place that their two sons, John and Robert, were born in 1632 and 1634, respectively.
    Dr. John Woodson and about 300 other colonists were killed on 18 April 1644 during an Indian attack on the settlements. According to family tradition, he was returning from a visit with a patient and was killed within sight of his home. The Indians then attacked the house, which was occupied by Sara, 12-year-old John, 10-year-old Robert, and a visitor named Ligon. Sara hid her two boys to keep them safe; one [John] under a large washtub and the other [Robert] in a hole where they stored potatoes for the winter (for several generations thereafter, the descendants of these boys were called "Tub Woodsons" and "Potato Hole Woodsons"). Sara then joined Ligon, who was using an old-time gun to great effect, and they successfully repulsed the Indian attack.
    The old gun that was used by Ligon to fend off the attack became renowned in the local area. One resident of Prince Edward County described it as follows: "The gun is, by exact measurement, seven feet six inches in length, and the bore is so large that I can easily put my whole thumb into it. When first made it was eight feet long, but on account of some injury it was sent to England to be repaired and the gunsmith cut off six inches of the barrel." As if to commemorate his bravery on this historic occasion, the name of Ligon was rudely carved upon the stock. The gun is now in the possession of Virginia Historical Society in Richmond.

    According to one researcher, John Woodson was born in Dorsetshire, England, and educated at St. John's College, Oxford, England in 1604. He was the son of Alexander WOODESON. The researcher lists the following sources: 1) Frederick Adams Virkus' "The Compendium of American Genealogy, ed. 1933" published by the Institute of American Genealogy, Chicago (repub. 1968 by Genealogical Publ. Co., Baltimore; Broderbund CD-200): Vol. VII, p. 1895 Immigrant Ancestors; 2) LDS Family Search: Internet Genealogy Service: AF - Ancestral File (online at; and 3) WorldConnect/Ancestry World Trees (online at


  1. [S436] Woodson, Robert S., Brief Family History of Robert S. Woodson, Woodson, Robert S.. Brief Family History of Robert S. Woodson. Privately held by Mary Jane Reyes, Lorton, Virginia, 2014., Robert Woodson states that Middleton Singleton attended Missouri State University in 1847. However, he probably meant the University of Missouri, which was established at Columbia in Boone County in 1839; Missouri State wasn't established until 1905.
  2. [S367] Yates Publishing, U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900, This unique collection of records was extracted from a variety of sources including family group sheets and electronic databases. Originally, the information was derived from an array of materials including pedigree charts, family history articles, querie., Source number: 210.000; Source type: Electronic Database; Number of Pages: 1; Submitter Code: TSJ, Record for John Woodson
  3. [S488], U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s, Filby, P. William, ed. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2012., Place: Virginia; Year: 1619; Page Number: 502, Record for John Woodson
  4. [S492], Virginia, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1607-1890, Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. Virginia Census, 1607-1890. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes., Record for John Woodson
  5. [S448], U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Record for Dr John Woodson
  6. [S461] Edmund West, comp., Family Data Collection - Births, Record for Col Robert Woodson
  7. [S362] Online database, Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 02 October 2018), memorial page for Dr John Woodson (1586–18 Apr 1644), Find A Grave Memorial no. 67993655, ; Maintained by Bette Keene Scavone (contributor 46920917) Unknown.
  8. [S613], Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886, Foster, Joseph. <i>Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886. Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford, 1500-1714. Oxford: Parker and Co., 1888-1892., Record for John Wooddeson
  9. [S454] Woodson, Henry Morton, Historical Genealogy of the Woodsons and Their Connections, Woodson, Henry Morton. Historical Genealogy of the Woodsons and Their Connections. Memphis, Tennessee: H.M. Woodson, 1915.

    A copy of this book is available on (see, (see, and Google Books (see, Page 20-22
  10. [S746], FamilySearch Family Tree, "Family Tree," database, FamilySearch ( : modified 10 September 2018, 14:41), entry for John Woodson Dr.(PID; contributed by various users. PersonID LYD4-SJY, John Woodson Dr.
  11. [S746], FamilySearch Family Tree, England & Wales, Christening Index, 1530-1980
  12. [S746], FamilySearch Family Tree, Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI)
  13. [S746], FamilySearch Family Tree, Selden and kindred of Virginia
  14. [S746], FamilySearch Family Tree, Genealogies of Kentucky Families from The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Vol. II
  15. [S746], FamilySearch Family Tree, Ancestry Family Tree, Ancestry Family Trees
  16. [S746], FamilySearch Family Tree, Created by: Bette Keene ScavoneRecord added: Apr 06, 2011 Find A Grave Memorial# 67993655, Find a Grave entry for Dr. John Woodson
  17. [S746], FamilySearch Family Tree, The Woodsons and their Connections by Henry M. Woodson published in 1915, page 23., John and Robert, sons of John and Sarah Woodson