Sunday, September 2, 2012


This is part two in a series of posts on what happened to the Wood brothers after they left Canada.  My ancestor was Charles S. Wood who ended up in Michigan along with his brother, John.  They had a sister, Jane, who married Edward Maycock and went to British Columbia.  Their mysterious brothers were: Alexander, William, James A., George D., and Andrew.

We last left off with the discovery of a Wood family in Missouri which seemed to match the family of James A. Wood, brother of my ancestor, Charles.  Was this the right family though?  Dates and places seemed to match but I was still uneasy.  Since information on Find-A-Grave isn't typically sourced, I needed to find out if this woman really was Anna Brodhagen Wood, wife of James A. Wood.

A search of Missouri Digital Heritage revealed a death certificate which correlates with the information on the headstone, and also does indeed give her maiden name as Brodhagen.  This would seem to "seal the deal" but I wanted more, so went looking for an obituary which would hopefully name some surviving relatives back in Canada.

Lo and behold, I found an obituary for James A. Wood and it was a dilly.  From the 19 Oct 1918 issue of the Kansas City Star, I learned that he died in Denver in a mining accident.  I also learned that at the time of his death he had three surviving children and: "...a sister, Mrs. Ed Maycock, Kerrisdale, British Columbia, and a brother, George D. Wood, Merwin, Mo."

With the mention of Mrs. Maycock in British Columbia, I was certain this was the right James A. Wood.  And, best of all, the obituary gave me my next clue: brother George D. Wood of Merwin, Missouri.

Information on George was surprisingly easy to find.  Census records, a picture of his headstone, even his death certificate.  Like James, George seems to have spent most of his life in Missouri, especially the Kansas City area.  However, it was his time out of state that is the most interesting.

At first I didn't pay much attention to the fact that his two eldest children had been born in New York.  Then, as I was reading the death certificate for George's son, George Albert, I noticed that his birth place in New York was Lockport.  Bells started going off in my mind as I remembered that Lockport was quite close to the Canadian border.  And remember, I still hadn't located all of the Wood siblings yet, there was still brothers William, Alexander and Andrew unaccounted for.

George Albert had been born in New York in early 1892 and his sister, Grace, there a year later.  Since I know the family likely hadn't left the state the whole year, it was a pretty safe bet they were enumerated in the 1892 New York Census.  They were:

The family was in Lockport at the time.  I was curious to know if any other Woods were also there in 1892 so went looking.  Interestingly enough, this family showed up a couple pages before George:

While 'William Wood' is a common name, I chose to again focus on the uncommon: Dora McFadden.  Brother Alexander married a Margaret McFadden who had a sister named Dora.  Could there be a connection?  Is this my William Wood?

Luckily, many New York newspapers are online and one such newspaper proved quite helpful.  Stay tuned...

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