Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Tracing the Wood line of Sullivan Township, to the Class of 1962 at Mansfield High School
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Article by Joyce M Tice using information collected in her Sullivan-Rutland Genealogy project population study.
Photo: Joan NASH O'Dell, Mary DITTEL Fox, and Joyce M. TICE at the grave of Jonathan Wood in Wood Cemetery, Sullivan Township. September 1994. All are descended from Jonathan Wood and first wife Hannah Whitlock. 
One of the benefits of a massive population study database such as I have developed for my Sullivan-Rutland Genealogy Project, is the ability to then use that information to draw demographic conclusions and demonstrate trends. Presently this project which I started in 1992, includes 80,000 individuals with ties to the pioneer population of Sullivan Township and the surrounding townships in the area, both sides of the Tioga - Bradford county line.  This includes both ancestors and descendants of the early settlers. It is a tool to understand migration patterns and population movement. It makes us aware of relationships that existed prior to migration to this area and helps answer some of the questions of why a particular person or family came here. In short they came because their sister, or brother or cousin, or mother was already here. It also gives us a look into the genetic components of our present day local population that was not possible any other way.  It reveals previously unknown relationships that are a surprise to us all.

Throughout the history of our existence as a species we have lived in small, fairly isolated population groups. Marriages of second cousins or even in some times and places, first cousins, have never been unusual. Those of us who have delved into our own genealogy are aware of this. With the development and growth of cities, more widely spread genetic elements collected in one place giving some diversification and mixing to the gene pool. Both emigration from and immigration to an area help keep the gene pool adequately diverse. In rural areas even today, many members of the local population descend from a small number of early settlers. I have been aware for some time that of my own high school class, many of us are related on genetic lines that go back to the original pioneer settlers of our area. However, the continual influx of new people has kept it from being at all obvious or unhealthy. It was this consciousness that started early in my study that was part of what made me curious enough to develop this project to its present level and to continue to develop it. Once I studied my own genealogy and discovered the relationships of my own family lines to all the others in the area, names I had known all my life, I was very intrigued by it, and continue to be. In small towns you'll always be warned not to talk about anyone because you don't know who they're related to and this is a case in point.

The study in this particular article traces the Wood line of Sullivan Township to the Class of 1962 at Mansfield High School. I could do the same thing for many or most other pioneer name lines in this project, for other High Schools in the area, such as Troy, and for other class years with similar results. If anyone had an equivalent body of information on other areas in the three counties, the same connections could be made linking the present local population to the pioneers.  In every generation many of the children of a family move out of the area, but enough stay to continue the pioneers' genetic presence in the population. As new people move in to the area, marriages occur, the pioneer gene pool continues on, but the names may change. In my study of Sullivan Township over its near 200 years, whenever a new name appears in the township it almost universally occurs because a man marries a woman of the local populace and moves in to her area. I can not tell you how irritated it makes me when I am told that a particular name or worse "family" is extinct in the township. Genealogy is about tracking genes, not about tracing names. If it were that it would be called nameology and not genealogy. The genes of our pioneers are alive and well in the township and county regardless of any "lost names." It's the same mentality as gave rise to the despicable term "daughtered out" that I have heard applied to families with no sons to "carry on the name." Fortunately I have only heard it twice and that's way too often. Horrors. It makes my feminist blood run cold. I can not define family as a word, but as genetic and cultural continuity. But I have gone off on a tangent here.

Conversely to our population inflow we have examples of large number of locals moving west as a neighborhood group and establishing settlements elsewhere with already established webs of kinship.

Jonathan Wood was born in Ridgefield, Connecticut in 1756. He served in the Revolutionary War. His first wife, Hannah Whitlock (1754-1801) was mother to six daughters and one son by Jonathan. After her death in 1801 Jonathan married again, but we have yet to discover either the first or last name of the woman. I refer to her as Wife2. She was mother to a daughter, whose name we have not discovered, and four sons before her death in 1810. In 1810 Jonathan was still present in the Ridgefield census. Shortly after this time he moved to the area that covered the convergence of the present townships of Sullivan and Rutland in Tioga County PA and Columbia in Bradford County. He married again to a woman named Elizabeth who is buried with him in the Wood Cemetery in Sullivan. We do not know if this marriage occurred before or after the migration from Connecticut to Sullivan Township, and we do not know her surname. In any case, most of Jonathan's then twelve children moved with him. A thirteenth, Joseph, was probably born in Sullivan in 1816 (Actually Sullivan was not formed until 1819 so it would have been in Tioga Township at that time.) Many of the children were already married adults with children of their own in Connecticut, but they all packed up and during the few years following joined Jonathan in Sullivan Township. Finding an exact date of migration is difficult for some of these families, as some of the early tax records are no longer existing. I continue to work on that determination.

Over time many of the children of these second-generation families moved west.  Presently my database includes nearly 5500 descendants of Jonathan and his three wives. They live in every state of the nation and in other countries as well. It is far from a complete study and never will be. We all know that genealogy is not a thing one ever finishes. Many descendants on this line remain in our local population and I am more likely to have up to date information on the lines that remained locally or nearly so than on those that emigrated. With the Internet, though, and this massive web site, many find their way to us and are willing to share their present day lines with us thereby furthering the value of this population study emanating from Sullivan Township.

In my 1962 Mansfield High School graduating class of 75 persons, at least sixteen of us are on the Wood -Whitlock -? -? Line of Sullivan Township. That is just one of many pioneer lines for which we could draw similar relationship charts. That makes over 20% of the class and more are added to that as the database continues to reveal more connections. Following is a chart of those people with their line traced back to the common origin. I have added in several people who were with the class prior to graduation but who may not have graduated with us, sometimes because they moved away. I included their lineage here but did not consider them it the 20% calculation I arrived at. You will notice that several have multiple lines of descent from the same source. In fact, I may have two myself, but it will never be known. Elizabeth Wilson, wife of Seth Whitlock Wood, had an illegitimate daughter in 1799, Elizabeth Northrup Wilson, who may or may not be the daughter of Seth. That is one of the secrets the universe will forever keep to itself.  If I add people in classes before and after us, which I may do later just for fun, we will find a similar number of Wood descendants. I expect I could do the same analysis on the present classes at the school and find similar results. Someday I'll do it and it will be interesting to determine if the pecentage of class members with a given genetic commonality has changed. As always, people who had no genetic link to this area have come in and married local people, so their children have the pioneer genes in their DNA as well. When we were in high school we were aware of who were first cousins with whom, and if the surname was the same we were aware of some second cousin relationships. Our knowledge of kinship did not extend back further than that. We also had an aunt-niece combination in the class (Gloria Wilkins and Yvonne Morgan) and an uncle-nephew combinaton (Carl VanNess and Ed Webster.)

I have said ever since I started this project that it is a good thing most of us move away. That's what it's all about - keeping the gene pool stirred up. Most of the people in the Class of 1962 who are descended from Jonathan Wood are in the Seventh Generation from him. At that distance, Jonathan is only one of 128 ancestors in that generation backward. Laura Wilcox is the only one so far identified who is in the Sixth Generation, and a few of us are in the Eighth where Jonathan represents one of 256 ancestors in that generation.  Billy Gee is the only one in the Ninth generation. Of course, this unevenness of the generations depends on whether one is descended from the older or younger siblings in a generation and it compounds the more generations affected.

Given this awareness, it is unfortunate that our schools donít teach more local history, making the students aware of the pioneer settlers of the area who are also their own ancestors. It would be so much more interesting and inspiring than the wars and politics that so frequently are the core of history classes. In a large urban school with a fluctuating population such a curriculum would not be possible. But for the small towns of this area, an incredible rich resource that would be very relevant to the students is being overlooked and wasted.

If I have missed anyone who should be included here, please let me know.  I have often thought that at some class reunion I'd give a little presentation called, "We're All Anna May's Cousins," but truth be told, I think most of my class mates, like the population at large, would be a bit bored. Those of us consumed by the genealogy-history bug sometimes forget that most of our fellow citizens are not as interested in it as we are. I'll content myself with making this available here for those who are interested in the previously unknown kinship we share in the Class of 1962.

As I have cointinued to think about this subject I am reminded that when I visited Milford, Connecticut and Ridgefield, Connecticut a number of years back, I met at the historical societies and libraries local people who were descended from the same Milford and/or Ridgefield original settler lines that I am. Even though Milford's history goes back two centuries earlier than Sullivan Township's, the same phenomena is still evident. Many in the local populace there have roots in its earliest settlement If a person in Milford or Ridgefield wanted to extend the settler lines to the present population, it could definitely be done there just as I have done it here.
 

SRGP ID 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 br* 2 1
79756 Steve Cunningham Marie Dann
John W. Cunningham, Sr.
Ralph T. Dann
Hildred Ford
Thomas Dann
Nettie ???
Orrin M. Dann
Susan ???
James Darius Dann
Elizabeth Daniels
1 Sarah Wood
James Dann
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
1   Joyce M. Tice Leslie M. Tice Mildred Mudge Ruth Holly Mary Wood Solomon L. Wood 
Lydia Gates
2 Seth Whitlock Wood
 Elizabeth Wilson
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
13058     Wendell R. Hitchcock Wendell Wood Hitchcock Katherine Wood Solomon Lemuel Wood Solomon L. Wood 
Lydia Gates
2 Seth Whitlock Wood
 Elizabeth Wilson
Jonathan Wood 
Hannah Whitlock
15316     Elaine Yvonne Morgan George N. Morgan Thomas Francis Morgan Clarinda Wood Thomas Wood
 Harriet Daniels
2 Seth Whitlock Wood 
Elizabeth Wilson
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
13451   Marion Wood *** Victoria Austin Susan B. Wood Clinton R. Wood John B. Wood Thomas Wood
 Harriet Daniels
2 Seth Whitlock Wood 
Elizabeth Wilson
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
15316     Elaine Yvonne Morgan George N. Morgan Alice Rosa Mary Ann Wood Thomas Wood
 Harriet Daniels
2 Seth Whitlock Wood 
Elizabeth Wilson
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
02867 Mary Joan Rice Isabell McConnell Bessie Johns Lucinda Comfort Betsey M. Smith Polly A.Nichols
 Jesse Smith
3 Betsey Wood
 Nathaniel Nichols
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
43238     Beatrice Marie Barrett * Cora Wood Bertha Tongue Betsey M. Smith Polly A.Nichols
 Jesse Smith
3 Betsey Wood
 Nathaniel Nichols
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
13451     Marion Wood *** Leonard Wood Bertha Tongue Betsey M. Smith Polly A.Nichols
 Jesse Smith
3 Betsey Wood
 Nathaniel Nichols
Jonathan Wood
Hannah Whitlock
22926   Sandra Kenyon  Gertrude Clark Blanche A. Wood Burr Euene Wood Hannah W. Smith Polly A.Nichols
 Jesse Smith
3 Betsey Wood
 Nathaniel Nichols
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
88988   Peggy Clark Arthur Clark Blanche A. Wood Burr Euene Wood Hannah W. Smith Polly A.Nichols
 Jesse Smith
3 Betsey Wood
 Nathaniel Nichols
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
1845     J.Harlo Smith Shirley A. Beardslee Carrie G. McConnell Joseph B. McConnell Alma Bryant
 James McConnell Jr.
5 Mollie Wood
 Ephraim Bryant
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
1844     Martha Beardslee Frank Beardslee Carrie G. McConnell Joseph B. McConnell Alma Bryant 
James McConnell Jr.
5 Mollie Wood
 Ephraim Bryant
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
40151     David Charlton Smith Lee James Smith Cora May Cleveland Angeline McConnell Hannah Bryant
Justus W. McConnell
5 Mollie Wood
 Ephraim Bryant
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
78635 Jim Bixby Mary Cleveland Zula Smith Mary G. Cleveland Angeline McConnel Hannah Bryant
Justus W. McConnell
Mollie Wood
 Ephraim Bryant
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
51346     Carol Brooks**** Sylvene Bryant Frank Bryant Isaac Bryant William W. Bryant
Charity Austin
5 Mollie Wood
Ephraim Bryant
Jonathan Wood
Hannah Whitlock
8723   Edward D. Webster Arlene VanNess Jay Nunan VanNess William H. VanNess Louisa M. Wilson Betsey Smith
Samuel Wilson
6 Milly Wood
Silas Smith
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
14153     Carl VanNess Jay Nunan VanNess William H. VanNess Louisa M. Wilson Betsey Smith
Samuel Wilson
6 Milly Wood
Silas Smith
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
19371     Carol Jean Sterling LaVera H.Rose Mary Ann Wilson Emily Smith Sally A. Burton
Tristram Smith
7 Rachel Wood
Halsey Burton
Jonathan Wood
 Hannah Whitlock
77633       Laura Wilcox Viola Wood Dallas Wood Andrew Bush Wood
Alizima Smith
9 Justus Wood
Elizabeth Schoolcraft Rose
Jonathan Wood
Wife 2
13451     Marion Wood *** Leonard Wood Herbert Wood Lawrence R. Wood Jonathan Wood 
Mary Makeley
9 Justus Wood
Elizabeth Schoolcraft Rose
Jonathan Wood 
Wife 2
43238     Beatrice Marie Barrett * Cora Wood Herbert Wood Lawrence R. Wood Jonathan Wood 
Mary Makeley
9 Justus Wood
Elizabeth Schoolcraft Rose
Jonathan Wood 
Wife 2
33707     Anna May Wood Earl Gilbert Wood Gilbert Wood Lawrence R. Wood Jonathan Wood 
Mary Makeley
9 Justus Wood
Elizabeth Schoolcraft Rose
Jonathan Wood 
Wife 2
Don Inscho Cleda Stone Colie Stone Florence Wood Lawrence R. Wood Jonathan Wood 
Mary Makeley
9 Justus Wood
Elizabeth Schoolcraft Rose
Jonathan Wood 
Wife 2
28943 William R. Gee ** Marian Smith Ora Stone Fred Stone Florence Wood Lawrence R. Wood Jonathan Wood 
Mary Makeley
9 Justus Wood
Elizabeth Schoolcraft Rose
Jonathan Wood 
Wife 2
5329     Jack Arlon Stone * Carl Stone Florence Wood Lawrence R. Wood Jonathan Wood
Mary Makeley
9 Justus Wood
Elizabeth Schoolcraft Rose
Jonathan Wood
Wife 2
20531     John Michael Brace Kenneth Brace Harry Walter Brace Pauline Faulkner Sarah Wood
Daniel J. Faulkner
9 Justus Wood
Elizabeth Schoolcraft Rose
Jonathan Wood 
Wife 2
22926     Sandra Kenyon * Gertrude Clark Blanche A. Wood Burr Eugene Wood Burr Wood
Hannah W. Smith
10 Arba Wood
Dollyanne Smith
Jonathan Wood
Wife 2
88988 Peggy Clark Arthur Clark Blanche A. Wood Burr Eugene Wood Burr Wood
Hannah W. Smith
10 Arba Wood
Dollyanne Smith
Jonathan Wood
Wife 2
* br means birth order. I have arranged it by birth order of the second generation
*Jack Stone & Bea Barrett  were with our class through Junior High School
**Billy Gee was with us in elementary school and then moved to Wellsboro
*** Marion Wood was with our class in part of Junior High School
**** Carol "Pinky" Brooks was in our class very briefly, maybe two months or so about sophmore year while she visited her grandparents.
There was also a Joe Wood in our class at one time who belongs on this line, but I do not have his connection clear at this time. I believe he was pretty closely related to Anna May Wood.
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 14 MAR 2004
By Joyce M. Tice
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