Monday 17 July 2023

The Carved Wooden Busts of John and William Wood


John Wood (11 July 1717 - 30 October 1788), 

His brother William Wood (28 July 1725 - 30 June 1804).

The Family Tree.

(Post in preparation).

Thomas Wood of Branthwaite was born c. 1650, and by 1678 was living at Yew Tree Farm Town End, Wilton, Haile a few miles south of Whitehaven and two miles E. of Egremont.(Whitehaven Archives YDX418/15). 

The House although much altered or rebuilt still exists.

 William Wood, the brother of  Thomas Wood also lived at Wilton.

Thomas Wood married Elizabeth Hall c. 1685.


There are various references to the Wood family from the 1770's at Yew Tree Farm, 

Town End, Wilton, Haile in Whitehaven Archives - I have not yet seen the relevant documents.

John Wood I of Wilton, son of Thomas Wood and Elizabeth Hall, was born in 1676/77 in Haile parish. He was baptised on 12 Feb 1676/77 at Haile Parish Church.

 John Wood I married at Haile Church on 27 Jun 1710 Tamar Nicholson who died in childbirth.

  John Wood I lived, at least initially at Wilton in the parish of Haile.

Tamar Nicholson was born circa 1685.  She died in May 1711 at Wilton, probably in childbirth after the birth of twins, one of whom had died immediately and the other, Ellinor was baptised on the same day on which Tamar was buried.

She was buried on 26 May 1711 in Haile churchyard.

 The children of John Wood I of Wilton and Tamar Nicholson were Ellinor, was born in May 1711 at Wilton.  She was baptised on 26 May 1711 at Haile church her twin had been buried on 20 May 1711. Ellinor died in Jun 1712 at age 1.  She was buried on 15 Jun 1712 at Haile churchyard.

 c.1715 John Wood he married his second wife Elizabeth Kelsick.


Some notes referring to the Kelsick Family.

Richard Kelsick, (1663 - 1720) m. Isabella Benn (1666 - 1722) merchant of Whitehaven, 

His father appears to have been another Richard Kelsick

These Kelsicks are most likely to have been related to Elizabeth.

Richard Kelsick II (1687 - 1740 (

To add to the confusion there seems to be a third d.1760 (mayor of Norfolk, Virg. and fourth  Richard Kelsick d. 1804.

Kelsick Lane is a Whitehaven Street named after one of the 17th century merchants - in this case Richard Kelsick.

Richard Kelsick was a merchant and ship owner who John Lowther encouraged to Whitehaven granting some land at a very moderate rent. 

In return he joined John Lowther in a venture to manufacture ropes.

Peter How was a merchant of Whitehaven  who, with Richard Kelsick son of Richard Kelsick, traded with the Fredericksburg, Virginia, area from the early 18th century. 

"In 1745, Peter How and Richard Kelsick built a store on the corner of Caroline and Hanover streets (Lot 16) Fredericksburg. 

While Kelsick continued to be based on the Northern Neck, Peter How ran the Fredericksburg store, returning to Whitehaven sometime before 1756. The store operation evidently continued, for his ships made the annual voyage into the 1760s.

For the Milam family and Richard Kelsick Whitehaven traders.

see -

These are very useful websites containing much information on the Kelsicks and early ship ownership at Whitehaven and the tobacco trade - I will post more on the subject in due course.


see also -


John Wood II (1717 - 88) the subject of the two busts (above) was a Workington shipbuilder was born on 11 Jul 1717 at Wilton, Haile nr. Whitehaven, Cumberland.


He was baptised on 21 Jul 1717 at Haile church, nr. Wilton, Cumberland. 

The baptismal register reads: John, son of John Wood of Wilton & Elizabeth his wife.

His brother was William Wood (1725 - 1804) (Shipbuilder of Maryport).


John Wood married Sarah Wilson, daughter of Thomas Wilson and Sarah Wood 

(2 marriages), in 1751..   Sarah Wilson was born on 31 Oct 1734.  

Sarah Wilson had been baptised on 7 Sep 1735 at Holy Trinity, Whitehaven, Cumberland.

She died on 3 May 1807 at Maryport at age 72.  She was buried at St. Mary's, Maryport,

Inscription on headstone of her husband John Wood.

Children - 

Wilton Wood, (1756 - 1803).

Thomas Wood (1757 - 1804), shipbuilder, Maryport. 

Rev. John Wood (1762 - 1828).

Captain Kelsick Wood (1771 -1840) shipbuilder of Workington and Maryport. 

Sarah (1751 - 1823).

Ann (1760 - 1820).


Richard Falcon (shipbuilder?) married Sarah Wood 14 Nov 1722 at Workington. Poss related (check this).

Is Sarah Wood the sister of John Wood I?

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