I am seeking help in finding additional information about the origins of George Alfred Wood, b. 1805 Camberwell, London and d. 1884 Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa. We know the names of his parents (George Alfred Wood Sr and Martha Wood). But we know little else about them. George Alfred Wood (jr) left England at the age of 14 as an apprentice to Richard Smith who travelled with the Sephton Party on the Aurora, with other 1820 Settlers. Neither of his parents travelled with him. It is presumed that his father had died some years earlier but we have not found specific evidence to confirm that. We are fairly certain that his mother remarried and went on to have 4 daughters with her second husband. We don’t know her maiden name. As things currently stand, therefore, we are not able to explore George Alfred Wood’s (jr) ancestry any further. We are also not entirely certain of the circumstances of his departure for South Africa. It would be wonderful to be able to gain further insights in either of these areas.
Here is my attempt to make sense of the chronology.
1. George Alfred Wood (sr) born around 1780 (George jr’s Will).
2. Martha (maiden name??) born around 1785 (George jr’s Will).
3. George Alfred Wood (sr) and Martha Wood marry around 1803 (by which time Martha would have been 18 and George 23).
4. George Alfred Wood (jr) is born in Camberwell, London in 1805. In almost all the documentation related to him including his Will, he is referred to as the Honourable George Wood, with no mention of Alfred.
5. George Alfred Wood (sr) dies between 1805 and 1814, before his widow Martha marries Henry Pomeroy. We have not yet been able to locate any evidence of George Alfred Wood’s death. Neither are we absolutely certain that his widow Martha Wood is indeed the person who married Henry Pomeroy in 1814. But there is strong circumstantial evidence – see below.
6. Martha Wood marries Henry Pomeroy in St Giles Camberwell on 25 December 1814 (seems an odd day to choose to get married?)
7. Henry and Martha’s first born is Mary Ann Pomeroy born 26 May 1816.
8. William, son of Edward and Fanny WYNNE, was born 16 March 1814 in the parish of St.Andrew, Holborn.
9. Edward Wynne has to withdraw from Sephton’s party (Aurora, 1820 settlers to South Africa) due to death of his wife Fanny but later (presumably much later) travels to the Cape with his children.
10. George Alfred Wood (jr) age 14 leaves his mother and two step sisters to travel with (and apprenticed to) Richard (and Mary) Smith.
11. Presumably the Smiths, the Wynnes and the Pomeroy’s would all have come to know each other through the common experiences of the preparations for Sephton’s party and the departure in 2019.
12. I presume that Edward and his children only moved to the Cape AFTER his son William had married Mary Ann Pomeroy (likely after 1834 by which time William Wynne would have been 20 and Mary Ann Wynne (nee Pomeroy) 18). The alternative, namely that Mary Ann Pomeroy travelled separately and later to the Cape in order to marry William seems less likely?
13. Mary Ann Wynne (nee Pomeroy) is mentioned in the Will of George Alfred Wood (jr), though not with her full names. Nevertheless, we can be fairly certain that it is indeed her because she is said to be the “Testator’s sister and wife of WILLIAM WYNNE, Esquire”. She is granted use during her lifetime of a house near Alice, Eastern Cape as well as an annuity.
14. George Alfred Wood (jr)’s other sisters Elizabeth, Patience and Martha presumably remain in England?
15. It seems possible that George Alfred Wood (jr) name his fifth son Henry Richard (my great grandfather) after his step father Henry Pomeroy?
I would be enormously grateful if someone could assist me in any way.
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10-03-2018, 7:29 PM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2018
Origins of George Alfred Wood, 1820 settler
10-03-2018, 7:54 PM #2
Since doing a little sleuthing for Eric I have added a page on George Wood to the eGGSA site
Despite Martha Wood being described as a spinster rather than a widow in 1814, I am pretty sure that Mary Ann Pomeroy was George Wood's half sister. What I can't find is a definitive first marriage for Martha to George Wood senior. Sources in South Africa say that George junior was born in Camberwell, but I have found no proof of this either way. Martha Pomeroy died in Camberwell in 1843.Sue Mackay
Insanity is hereditary - you get it from your kids
11-03-2018, 2:40 PM #3
Since both his death notice and his obituary list George Wood Junior's birth as around May 1805 in London, I have moved this to the London Forum in the hope that it might attract the attention of some London experts.
You also say that George's will seems to indicate a birth for George Senior in 1780. Sadly at this time middle names were often not used in the parish registers - all the George Alfreds I can find are from the latter part of the 19th century - and George Wood is a common name, but I have found a baptism for a George Wood in 1780 which MIGHT be worth considering.
George, son of Joseph and Eleanor Wood, Charles Street, baptised 22 August 1780 in St.Andrew's, Holborn
I have also found this baptism
Elizabeth daughter of George Wood, sawyer, and Martha baptised 1 November 1809 in Christ Church, Southwark, born Oct 13th
Now I don't know if this was a younger sibling. If it was then she may have died young, as it is unlikely they would have used the name Elizabeth for Elizabeth Pomeroy if she had a half sister of that name still living (though it is not totally unknown!).
Both of the above were found initially via Family Search and did not come up during an index search on Ancestry, but I found them by looking at the original images. If you do not have a subscription to Ancestry then it might be worth using the free access at your local library and going through the original images of the London Metropolitan Archives collection, and scrolling through the various churches in the Southwark and Camden boroughs (initially) for the years around 1805 to see if you can find George junior's baptism. I did have a scroll through Christ Church for that date but couldn't find it, though the registers for that time were not easy to read.Sue Mackay
Insanity is hereditary - you get it from your kids
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