Woods Family
[1743- Thomas Jefferson - third U.S. President]

128. Michael Woods born about 1684 in Dunshauglin Castle, Meath County, Ireland, died 1762 in Albemarle County, Virginia, married about 1700 in Ireland.

From a book "Pioneer Strength, etc" page 26 is an account of the early Woods Family.

"The Woods family of Ireland in early 18th century became involved in a time of great movement. The family being dissenters and Presbyterians like many in the same place and time, longed to escape persecution and the religious bigotry of England. To make a new life in the American colonies became the dream in so many minds because it was a promise of freedom.

This particular family named Woods are thought to be of pure English or Anglo-Scotch blood who, prior to 1650 were connected with the English Established Church. Life for them in Ireland was eventually unbearable.

So it was that in 1742 did Michael Woods along with his brothers and sister set sail for the New World."

From "The Daily Progress" Charlottesville, Virginia, 1762-1962.


Michael Woods Led a Band of Settlers

Most of Albemarle's first settlers followed a gradual westward movement from the Tidewater.

Mighty Michael Woods did not.

In 1734 this ancestor of countless local residents and scores of western pioneers brought a band across the Blue Ridge Mountains from the Valley of Virginia.

They had come from Pennsylvania traveling over 200 miles and are believed to have been the first whites to come through Woods' Gap - now Jarman's Gap - by the old Indian trail.

There were 25 or 30 of them. Michael's wife, Mary Campbell, his sons and his sons-in-law and their families.

They took up large holdings from Greenwood to Ivy. In 1737 Woods entered a claim for 1,300 acres on Mechum River and Lickinghole Creek. He also purchased 2,000 acres on the head waters of Ivy Creek.

Woods was born in the north of Ireland in 1684 and came to this country "sometime in the decade of 1720. Landing on the banks of the Delaware, he spent some years in Lancaster County, Pa., thence ascended the Valley of Virginia and crossed the Blue Ridge"

His home was near the mouth of Woods Gap and there he was buried in 1762 in the family burying ground a short distance from the dwelling. His will mentioned six children, three sons and three daughters.

Historians say there is evidence that there were four other children, two sons and two daughters.

Miss Mary Rawlings, in her books "Ante-Bellum Albemarle," wrote that the family was Scotch or Scotch-Irish, a family of education and refinement.

One of Michael's daughters, Hannah, was married to William Wallace who settled on the Piedmont plantation in the Greenwood neighborhood. This land remains in the hands of the Wallace family.

While many of the family descendents remained here, many more joined the westward movement. They went to the other areas of Virginia then being settled, and they went west and south-to Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio-where they were prominent in the early affairs and government of those areas.

Of Michael Woods Home, Miss Rawlings wrote "the original name of the plantation was Mountain Plains, the Mountain Plains Church having been built on a part of the land and named in commemoration.

"With the passing of the property to Chief Justice John Blair prior to 1788, the name of the home was changed and it has since been known as Blair Park."

129. Mary Campbell born about 1690 in Argylshire, Scotland, died about 1765 in Albemarle County, Virginia.


From a book "Pioneer Strength, etc" page 32. "She was descended from a Scottish family of many tribes septs. She was a descendant of the House of the Duke of Argyle. Her father was Sir James Campbell, 5th Baronet of Archinbreck. Her mother was Lady Susan Campbell of Cawder, second wife of Sir James.