Genealogical and Family History
of the

Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.

New York

[Please see Index page for full citation.]

[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]

[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]


The origin of the surname Atwood is the same as that of Wood, Woods, Bywood, etc., all being originally designations of persons from the location of their homes in or near woods, similar in derivation to the names Hill, Pond, Rivers, Lake, Bridges, etc. The medieval spelling of this surname was Atte Wode, afterwards modified to Atwood and in a majority of cases to Wood, as the prefixes A, Mc, De, Le, etc., were dropped in other surnames. Almost every conceivable wood in England surnamed some family in the tenth, eleventh and twelfth centuries. In Domesday Book the name is found in its Latin for di Silva in county Suffolk.
Some branches of the family have retained the ancient form of spelling to the presernt time, and the name Atwood is common in the United Kingdoma as well as America.
The American families are descended from Philip Atwood, who settled at Malden, Mass., married Rachel Bacheller and Elizabeth Grover and a third wife named Elizabeth, who died April 3, 1688; from Herman Atwood, cordwainer, who came from Sanderstead, county Surrey, fifteen miles from London, to Boston before 1643, deacon of the Second Church, died 1651; and from the sevearl immigrants at Plymouth, many of whose descendants settled upon the spelling Wood. In fact, the Plymouth Atwoods, even the immigrants themselves, used the two spelling interchaneably, to judge from the records.
Mr. John Atwood, gentleman, who settled at Plymouth, was admitted a freeman Jan. 3, 1636; was assistant March 6, 1637-38; one of the referees in the settlement of the Plymouth partnership in 1641; his will, dated Oct. 20, 1643, proved Feb. 27, 1644, mentioned "his brethren"; his widow Ann removed to Boston, where she was admitted to the church Feb. 8, 1651-52; her will was dated April 27, 1650, and proved June 1, 1654; both wills bequeathing to brother Robert Lee and sister Mary Lee, and their children Ann and Mary Lee, and to nephew William Crow.
Another John Atwood, of Plymouth, was called "Wood, alias Atwood," and may have dropped the prefix to distinguish himself from the Mr. John mentioned above, though they were probably related. This John was a proprietor of Plymouth in 1636, juryman 1638, and on the list able to bear arms 1643; married Sarah, daughter of Richard Masterson; his will, proved March 7, 1675, bequeathed all his estate to widow Sarah, to be divided after her death among their children. John, born March 4, 1649; Nathaniel, born Feb. 25, 1651; Isaac, born Feb. 27, 1653; Mary Holmes; Sarah Fallowell; Abigail Leonard; Mercy; Elizabeth; Hannah.

(I) Henry Wood, immigrant ancestor of this family, related closely to the Plymouth Atwoods mentioned above, and described in the records as "Wood, alias Atwood," was proprietor of Plymouth, Sept. 16, 1641. He was on the list of those able to bear arms in 1643. He was soon afterward settled at Middleborough, Plymouth colony. He died before Sept., 1670, the date of inventory of his estate, administration being granted to his widow Abigail. The court records show an order to his son Samuel to deliver to his younger brothers Abiall and James certain lands of the deceased.
Mr. Atwood married, April 25, 1644, Abigail, daughter of John Jenny.
1. Sarah.
2. Samuel, born May 25, 1647, married Rebecca _____; children: Henry, Ephraim, Samuel, Jabez, Joanna, Rebecca, Ann and Susanna.
3. John.
4. Jonathan.
5. David, born Oct. 17, 1651.
6. Isaac.
7. Abial (Abiall), mentioned below.

(II) Abial Atwood, alias Wood, son of Henry Atwood, alias Wood, was born in Middleborough, Mass. about 1660. He married Abiah Bowen. He was a farmer at Middleborough.
Children, b. at Middleborough:
1. Elnathan, born 1686.
2. Abiah, born 1689, died young.
3. Abial, born 1691, mentioned below.
4. Timothy, born 1693.
5. Jerusha, born 1695.
6. Ebenezer, born 1697, married Lydia Lovell.
7. Judah, born 1700.
8. Thomas, born 1703.

(III) Abial (2), son of Abial (1) Atwood, was born in Middleborough, 1691, died at Berkley, Jan. 2, 1785, called eighty-eight, according to the insciption as copied from the gravestone. He settled at Berkley, Mass.
1. Abial, born 1727, mentioned below.
2. Joseph, born 1741, died June 14, 1821; his widow Persis, born 1741, died Aug. 28, 1835, at Berkley.
probably others.

(IV) Lieutenant Abial (3), son of Abial (2) Atwood, was born in Berkley, Mass., 1727, and died there Jan. 29, 1816. His wife Hannah died Jan. 2, 1811, at an advanced age and both are buried in the old graveyard at Berkley. He removed from Berkley, Mass. to Oxford, Worcester county, Mass., in 1777, and settled on Lot H, 133, in North Oxford. He held a commission as lieutenant from the kidn and remained a loyalist through the revolution, though some of his sons were in the American army. In 1800 he sold his Oxford property and returned to his native town, where he lived the remainder of his life.
He married Hannah Babbitt.
Children, b. at Berkley:
1. Abial, born Feb. 9, 1756.
2. Mary, born Aug. 5, 1757.
3. John, born Aug. 5, 1759.
4. Abigail, born May 10, 1761, married (intentions dated April 11, 1778) Captain Ebenezer Reading.
5. Captain Joseph, born Sept. 23, 1762, soldier in the revolution; married (intentions dated May 12, 1787) Mary, daughter of Jeremiah Learned, of Oxford; settled on a farm in Oxford on the Charlton line; operated a furnace, conducted a tavern, was captain of a vessel, a citizen of importance.
6. James, born Feb. 11, 1764, soldier in the revolution.
7. Hannah, born April 30, 1765.
8. Nathan, born Feb. 20, 1767, soldier in the revolution.
9. Samuel, mentioned below.
10. Tisdale, if the gravestone record at Berkley is correct, must have been a twin of Joseph, but he was probably sixty-two, instead of seventy-two, years old when he died, Oct. 21, 1744, "aged seventy-two," according to the epitaph; went with brother David and Stephen Barton, of Oxford, in the Indian war of 1794 and also served in the war of 1812; married Oliver Atwood, daughter of his unlce, Joseph Atwood; she died at Berkley, Aug. 24, 1853, aged seventy-three, according to her gravestone.
11. David died at Oxford Oct. 12, 1831; served three years under General Wayne; married ____ Elder, of Ward (Auburn), Mass.
12. Sally, married Rev. Nathan Mayhew, a Baptist minister.

(V) Captain Samuel, son of Lieut. Abial (3) Atwood, was born at Berkley, Mass., July 6, 1768. Like his brother Nathan, who was a year older, he appears on the revolutionary records at a very youthful age. He enlisted in 1779 and was delivered to Ensign T. Clarke, giving his age as seventeen, though he was but twelve. His height is given as five feet six inches. He appears to have been a boy on some vessel in 1780 and 1781, and was reported captured May 5, 1781. He was on the ship "Protector," Capt. John F. Williams, Oct. 23, 1780.
He settled in Livermore, maine, in 1795, and became a prominent citizen of that town. He was selectman in 1814 and held other offices from time to time. His farm at Livermore was cleared originally by Major Joseph Mills.
He married Hannah Boyden.
1. Nathan, born 1800, mentioned below.
2. Hezekiah, prominent citizen of Livermore.

(VI) Nathan, son of Capt. Samuel Atwood, was born in Livermore, Androscoggin county, Maine, May, 1800. He settled in Buckfield, in the southeastern corner of the adjoining county of Oxford, Maine. He began life as a clerk in a general store of Deacon Barrell, in Livermore, attending the public schools of his native town. He removed to Buckfield when he was of age and worked for a time as clerk in the general store of Mr. Phelps. He entered partnership with Zadock Long, and they conducted a general store in Buckfield. He bought out the interests of his partner and continued the store alone. He sold out to devote his energies to the cutting and sale of wood, but returned to mercantile business and continued his store until his death. He died in Buckfield at the age of forty. Though his career was cut short in early manhood, he had attained a high position in the esteem of his townsmen, an enviable reputation as a business man of excellent judgment, great industry and enterprise. He was upright and earnest in character.
He was a Democrat in politics, a Universalist in religion.
He married Ruth H. Rogers, born in Berwick, Maine, May 17, 1797, died at the age of eighty-seven years.
1. Charles B., mentioned below.
2. Ellen (Helen) M., was the mother of George M. Atwood, one of the proprietors of the Oxford Democrat, Three children died young.

(VII) Charles B., son of Nathan Atwood, was born in Buckfield, Maine, April 9, 1825, died Oct. 6, 1907. He resided at home and attended school until he was in his twelfth year, when he shipped as cabin-boy on board the whaling-vessel "Columbia," commanded by Capt. Thomas R. Hussey. This vessel, fitted for a cruise of two years, sailed from New York, Sept. 26, 1836; was wrecked Dec. 25, 1838, on the coast of Chile, South America, both ship and cargo being a total loss. Fortunately, Atwood escaped with his life, and Jan. 3, 1839, was taken on board the ship "Edward Quesnell," of Fall River, homeward bound, but on May 9, 1839, that ship met the same fate as the "Columbia" on the shore of Long Island, New York, six miles west of Montauk, eleven of the twenty-three soulds on board being lost. Atwood reached home and remained there until 1841, when he shipped as a harpooner on the barque "Minerva," of New Bedford, Capt. Horton, for a whaling voyage in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Returning after a successful cruise of twenty months, he made a voyage to the west coast of South American on board the brig "Samos," of Salem, Mass., Capt. Horton, and after returning with a cargo of guano, he made a voyage to Africa and up the Congo river with Captain Wood, on another Salem barque, "Seamen," on a voyage lasting eight months and a half. His last voyage was made as second mate of the barque "T. O. Brown," Capt. Horton, from Portland, Maine, to Cienfuegos, Cuba, arriving in Philadelphia, on the return voyage, he relinquishing his seafaring life.
He engaged in business at Buckfield, in partnership with his Uncle Ephraim, as proprietors of a general store. After his uncle retired he continued the store alone until 1851, when he joined the adventurers seeking gold in California. He did not remain in California long, returning to maine and engaging in mercantile life. During the civil war he was in retail trade in Chicago for about two years, returning to Buckfield and opening a general store again. In 1867 he embarked in a wholesale flour trade in Portland, Maine, in partnership with his uncle, but in 1870, a year later, sold out, and the next three years was engaged in the drygoods business in Portland. He then removed to Auburn, Maine, where he was in the drygoods business, returning then to Buckfield and resuming in 1884 the general store business, in which he continued the remainder of his active life. He retired from business six weeks before his death.
During his latter years he was associated with his son, under the firm name of C. B. Atwood & Company. The store was prosperous, and Mr. Atwood left a handsome competence as a fruit of his business career. He was a man of unusual energy and business ability. He won a position in the regard of his townsmen, and especially those who knew him best in social and business life. A man of sterling integrity and high character, he was a conspicuouly useful citizen in the community in which he lived.
In politics he was a Republican. He and his wife were members of the Universalist church. He was a charter member of Evening Star Lodge of Free Masons.
He married, Aug. 2, 1847, Emily D. Irish, born in Buckfield, June 27, 1827, daughter of Joshua Irish. Mr. and Mrs. Atwood lived to celebrate their golden wedding.
1. Charles, died young.
2. Horace, died young.
3. Sarah E., born 1851, deceased; married John E. Moore, station-agent of the Maine Central railroad at Buckfield; children: Charles (deceased), Emily M., Sarah, Bessie and Ethel H. Moore.
4. Harold died aged about eight.
5. Fred H., mentioned below.
6. Edwin F., born in 1866, was in partnership with his father in the firm of C. B. Atwood & Company, now in the employ of the Carlton Furniture Company, of Portland.

(VIII) Fred Harold, son of Charles B. Atwood, was born in Buckfield, Maine, July 25, 1861. He was educated in the public schools of Buckfield, Portland and Auburn, Maine, and in G. Boardman Smith's Business College, of Lewiston, from which he graduated in 1880. He began his career as messenger of the Ameican Express Company on the Portland & Ogdensburg railroad, from Portland to Fabyans. He was transferred to the western division of the Boston & Maine. After five years with the express company, he returned to Buckfield and was associated with his father in the general store at Buckfield until 1895. He established himself in the retail grocery business in Rumford Falls in Oct., 1895, continuing there until Jan. 1, 1899. He was appointed postmaster at Rumford Falls by President McKinely, April 16, 1900, reappointed by President Roosevelt, March 24, 1904, and again by Pres. Roosevelt Feb. 27, 1908, and upon changing the name of the post-office from Rumford Falls to Rumford, he was again reappointed April 11, 1908. He was the first clerk of the Buckfield Village corporation.
He is a member of Blazing Star Lodge of Free Masons, Rumford Falls; of Rumford Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Strathglass Commandery, Kngihts Templar, of Rumford; Nezinscot Lodge, Odd Fellows, of Buckfield, and of the Rumford Lodge, B. P. O. Elks. In religion he is a Universalist.
He married Aug. 12, 1882, Margaret, born in Sumner, Maine, daughter of Elijah and Lucy A. Turner, of that town.
Children, b. at Buckfield:
1. Helen F., born Dec. 11, 1883, in Portland, educated in Buckfield and Rumford Falls schools and attended Miss Moody's Business College in Portland; married Newman C. Lyon, foreman of the Continental Paper Bag Company, of Rumford Falls, Maine; he died April, 1905; child: Fred Atwood Lyon, born Aug. 2, 1904.
2. Lucy E., born Dec., 1885, educated in the public schools of Rumford Falls, and now stenographer for the Rumford Falls Insurance Agency.
3. Charles R., born Oct., 1891, student in the Rumford Falls high school.

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