History of the Wood Family Bible

Beginning with the marriage of Joseph Wood and Elizabeth Keith on June 6, 1798 in Logan Co., Kentucky.

Contributed by Stephen Wood

Joseph Wood and Elizabeth Keith Wood lived in Muhlenberg County after their marriage until around 1830. During that time they had 13 children between the years 1799 and 1825. Then, sometime around 1830, they left Muhlenberg County for Edgar Co., Illinois. At that time, they all left. This included their children still at home and their older children who had married and had children of their own.

Joseph and Elizabeth stayed in Edgar Co., Illinois, until around 1840. At that time, they moved to Sullivan Co., Missouri. But this time, some of the family went separate ways. Two of Joseph and Elizabeth's sons moved back to Kentucky. These were Abner Wood and his family and Thomas B. Wood and his family. Abner Wood was the best-known of Joseph and Elizabeth's children in Muhlenberg County. He was a large land holder having acquired the land of his father-in-law, Jacob S. Baker (formerly Jacob Studebaker). He was a businessman and clergyman who performed many marriages in Muhlenberg County. It is likely that there are many of his descendants today in Muhlenberg County.

Over the years, there has been some confusion about Joseph and Elizabeth's children. The Bible record now makes clear all of their names and some of the other relationships.

From the entries in the Bible, it appears that the Bible was acquired around 1825 in Kentucky. It went to Illinois, to Missouri, and then back to Kentucky where it is today. Just exactly in whose possession it was over the years and how it got back here is not known but based on the entries, some guesses can be made about where it was when the entries were made.

All the earliest entries up to around 1825 appear to have been made by the same hand. This leads to the speculation that the Bible was acquired about that time and the same person made the entries which were likely recorded elsewhere.

On the first page of family record entries is the marriage record of Joseph Wood and Elizabeth Keith. This record was likely made while the Bible was in Kentucky.

In the same column of that page are records of George W. Wood. He was a son of Avery Wood, the fourth-born child of Joseph and Elizabeth. The 1850 census shows that Avery and his family were in Sullivan Co., Missouri, and at that time George W. Wood was one year old. All the records regarding George W. Wood were most likely made when the Bible was in Missouri.

In the right-hand column of page one is a pasted-in sheet of notepaper with marriage records of Jacob L. Wood and his three children. Jacob L. Wood was the only child of Thomas B. Wood (Abner's younger brother) who survived to have children. The Bible was likely back in Kentucky when these records were made and they were possibly written in the hand of Jacob Wood. Laura Ewing Wood was a daughter of Jacob L. Wood. Thomas Ewing Wood and Morton L. Wood were sons of Jacob L. Wood.

The birth records on page 2 show the birth dates of all of Joseph and Elizabeth's children. There is also a record of the birth of Nancy Wood who was a daughter of Thomas Wood and his wife Rachael. Thomas was Joseph's brother and Rachael was Elizabeth's sister. The Bible was most likely in Kentucky when these records were made.

Also on page 2 are birth records of a William Atkins, Elizabeth Atkins, and Frances Atkins. Polly Wood, a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth, married William Atkins in Edgar Co., Illinois. Elizabeth and Frances were two of their children. The births of their other two children Henry and Thomas B. Atkins are shown on page 3. All these births were in Illinois so the Bible was most likely in Edgar Co., Illinois, when these records were made. It is interesting to note that in the 1850 census of Sullivan Co., Missouri, all the Atkins children were in the household of William Wood, the third-born child of Joseph and Elizaeth. It is not known what happened to William Atkins and Polly Wood Atkins. No further records of them have been found.

The births of Joseph Wood and Elizabeth Keith are shown on page 3. This was possibly one of the first entries made when the Bible was acquired in Kentucky.

The births of Louisa Jane Langley and Elizabeth Langley are shown on page 3. They were daughters of Isaac Langley and Rachael Wood Langley. Rachael was the oldest child of Joseph and Elizabeth. These records were made in Kentucky.

Also on page 3, there is a birth record of Joseph R. Wood born in 1834. He is believed to be a son of Avery Wood and was born in Illinois. Avery was a son of Joseph and Elizabeth and a brother of Abner.

Some deaths are shown on page 3 in the right hand column. Franky, Prudence, and Nancy Wood were daughters of Joseph and Elizabeth who died at a very early age. These records were made after the Bible was first acquired in Kentucky.

Henry Atkins, a son of William and Polly Wood Atkins, died in 1854. The Bible must have been in Missouri at this time. As noted above, Henry was in the household of William Wood in the 1850 census of Sullivan Co., Missouri.

The deaths of Joseph Wood and Elizabeth Wood, 1855 and 1870 respectively, are recorded on page 3. The Bible was most likely in Missouri when these records were made.

Finally, on page 3, the deaths of Thomas B. Wood and Laura Ewing Wood are recorded. Thomas B. Wood, a son of Joseph and Elizabeth Wood and brother of Abner, was the father of Jacob L. Wood, and Laura Ewing Wood was Jacob L. Wood's wife. These records were made after the Bible had been returned to Kentucky from Missouri.

On page 4, the birth of Thomas Henry Pickens is recorded. He was a son of Elizabeth Atkins Pickens and David Pickens. Elizabeth Atkins Pickens was a daughter of Polly Wood Atkins and William Atkins. The Bible was probably in Missouri at this time.

The remaining entries on page 4 are all made in the same hand. Except for one entry all are records of Thomas B. Wood and his family members. Polly Ann Wood passed away as an infant and Joseph R. Wood passed away while a soldier in the Union Army. (This is not the same Joseph R. Wood who was a son of Avery Wood mentioned above.) Sarah Salome Wood was Thomas B. Wood's first wife and Emmeline Wood was his second wife. The Bible does not record the death of Sarah Salome Wood but it is recorded in another document written in Thomas B. Wood's hand.

It is not known who the Elizabeth Wood is who passed away in 1863 but it may have been William Wood's wife. William was the third-born child of Joseph and Elizabeth.

Saloma (Landis) Wood was Thomas B. Wood's first wife and was a granddaughter of Jacob S. Baker (formerly Studebaker). She passed away in 1844. Emeline Wood was Thomas B. Wood's second wife. They were married in Kentucky in 1854 but by 1870 were living in Sullivan Co., Missouri.

The 1880 census shows that Thomas B. Wood was still living in Sullivan Co., Missouri. The others had apparently moved on or perhaps passed away. The Bible must have come into his possession and perhaps remained with him until he passed away in 1897. At that time it likely came into the possession of Jacob L. Wood who was the only surviving child of Thomas B. Wood. Jacob L. Wood lived in Logan Co., Kentucky, near Lewisburg.

Jacob L. Wood passed away in 1924. The Bible then went to his son Thomas E. Wood of Russellville, Logan Co., Kentucky. It then went to his son Stephen C. Wood of Owensboro, Daviess Co., Kentucky, and then to his son Stephen T. Wood of Owensboro where it remains today.