Monday, March 7, 2011

Mystery Monday - What happened to the Wood Family of Washara County Wisconsin?

I spent the last day or so reading about the Wood family, starting with Ira Wood my 3rd great grandfather and his descendants. When I started, all I knew was that his daughter Anna Belle married Valois Parker, the rest of the details about her siblings was a mystery. Now I have some more answers and a few more questions.

Ira Wood was born in New York, probably in Gainesville, Wyoming County, New York, in August 1834, to Isaac and Betsy Wood of Vermont. Census records indicate he had at least three siblings, Randell, Ann and Dyer Wood. His family moves to the town of Deerfield, Washara County, Wisconsin after 1850 and Ira is married to Louis Firman October 19, 1856. Louis/Louise/Lois Firman was born in New York state to Benjamin Wise Firman (Furman?) and Abigal Rawley (Rowley/Raleigh?).

Ira and Louis (her tombstone reads Louis) had four children, based on census records from 1860 to 1880. Anna Belle, Andrew, Geneva and Hannah. Anna Belle Wood married Valois D. Parker and that is the line that connects with me and the Brassfield surname. She was my 2nd great grand mother, so I already have quite a few details about her history and descendants.
Anna Belle Wood-Parker c.1905

Louis (Firman) Wood died following a stroke in May 1881, she was buried at Woodville Cemetery, Town of Deerfield, Washara County, Wisconsin. Ira Wood lived with Anna Belle and Valois Parker in 1900 and he died in September 1909. He was buried next to his wife at Woodville Cemetery. Ira also served in the 1st Wisconsin Calvary during the Civil war.

I spent several hours researching Anna Belle's siblings and I found a few interesting details.

Andrew Wood was born in September 1859, he lived with the family until after 1880. He was married, but since the 1890 census was lost in a fire, I can't find what her name was and she died before 1900. Andrew left Wisconsin and moved to Hemen, Barnes County, North Dakota. He had three daughters living with him, Sadie, Clara and Mabel. Interestingly he had two others living with him, Corydon and Sabra Atwood. They are listed as his aunt and uncle, but initially I thought they must be his wife's parents because the census tends to mix those things up. However, the Wisconsin Genealogy Index shows their marriage in 1859. Sabra Firman married Corydon Atwood October 30, 1859. After a bit of digging I found out that Sabra was a younger sister of Louis (Firman) Wood, Andrew's mother, so she was indeed his aunt. Hemen Township has very few residents, as of 2000 there were less than 50 people living there.

By 1910,. Andrew Wood his three daughters and the Atwood's moved on to Wenatchee, Chelan County, Washington and he became a fruit farmer. By 1920, Andrew was living in Canyon Precinct, Chelan County, Washington with his youngest daughter Mabel and his aunt Sabra. By 1930, he was living with his daughter Mabel and his son in law Paul Robar. There might be some distant cousins from Andrew's three daughters living in Washington.

Ira Wood's third child, Geneva married Augustus C. Eighme before 1896 and they also end up in Washington. The had two children in Wisconsin, King and Leta and a third in Washington named Majorie. In 1910, they were living in Malaga, Chelan County, Washington. Augustus died before 1920 and Geneva, King and Majorie were living in Chelan County, Washington.

Ira Wood's fourth child, Hannah, married a Norwegian named Stark S. Urang. Rootsweb has a copy of the wedding notice from the Waushara Argus newspaper. After the wedding, they moved to Svea, Barnes, North Dakota, the same county that her brother Andrew later moved to a few years later. In 1910, Stark Urang is still living in Svea township, ND, but Hannah is no longer his wife. She may have died prior to 1910. He has a wife named Alma from Sweden and a 1 year old daughter named Hanna. They had a number of children, so there may be some Wood's cousins in North Dakota, then again, it looks like less than 100 people live in those two townships in North Dakota.It looks like Stark Urang never left North Dakota, most of his family, including Hannah Wood-Urang, is buried at St. Mary's Church Cemetery east of Dazey, Barnes County.

All this research on distant cousins made for interesting research. Descendants of Isaac Wood crossed the nation moving from Vermont to New York to Wisconsin to North Dakota and on to Washington in the space of 100 years. Kind of a Wood family manifest destiny.

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