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Abinah Belford Wood
1777-1852

Abinah Belford Wood was born on 7 July 1777 in Hopewell Township, Cumberland County, in the colony of New Jersey.

His father, Jonathan, was a presumedly loyalist during the American Revolution and the family lore states that he was subjected to heavy fines because he would not fight against the army of his English King. Records also suggest that he was of English-Irish descent. Reumah was probably a wealthy French woman from New Orleans, Louisiana, as her will suggests. Abinah was their only surviving son of three, though the couple also had three daughters, Hannah, Anne, and Mary. The family was Methodist.

As noted in a biography of his son in law, George McGinnis, Abinah fought in the American Revolution as a tender lad of 14, wearing a suit of homespun linen suit with his childhood friend, Sam Bunton, by his side. However, judging by the fact that the Revolution ended in 1781 with the surrender of General Cornwallis in Virginia, this could not have happened because Abinah was only four years of age in 1781.  More research must be done to determine the identity of Sam Bunton, but the story itself seems to be a fanciful fabrication by a descendant or two to enhance the importance of Abinah.  As a young man he was taught the art of navigation by a man named Morris, who was either an uncle or a close family friend. He also learned ship building and carpentry as a youth.

Abinah married Susannah Humphreys on 17 August 1799 in Cumberland County, New Jersey. They were married by a justice of the peace in what one could assume was a quick ceremony.

Susannah was the daughter of an American Revolution veteran, Lewis Humphreys, and his wife Elizabeth, though some sources suggest Susannah and her mother shared the same name. The former Miss Humphreys was born 12 January 1753 in most likely New Jersey, as her father fought with for New Jersey during the Revolution, but could have also been born in Maryland. Her family was Quaker in denomination, but Susannah converted to the Methodist denomination upon her marriage to Abinah. According to a book written by later generations of her children, she was small in stature, but grand in nature. She was a fastidious housekeeper and like to keep a neat appearance, but was well like by everyone who met her.

The couple would have fourteen children; Emma, Marcella, Ellinor, Martha, Mary, Ruth, Jonathan, Reumah, Elizabeth, Burris, David, Susannah, William and John. Abinah became a sea captain, with a brig named Susannah, and was probably very successful in the trade of ship building and carpentry. He was also giving and generous to a fault, and hated to see his friends in trouble, lending them money when he could. During the War of 1812, he lent about $5000 to a friend, Smith Mott, and had most of his property seized when the note fell through, except for the farm he had inherited from his father. This lead to his discouragement to reside in New Jersey, and in 1820, he packed up his family, sold the farm, and headed west, intending to go to Ohio.

In October 1820, he ended up in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and lived there for three yearly, working hard "mauling out" rails and making little money. He then moved his family to Birmingham, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which is now part of Pittsburgh. It is here that he died 23 September 1852. Susannah would outlive him by four years, dying 16 April 1856 in the home of her daughter, Elizabeth "Betsy" Wood Schaffer, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Both would be buried in Hargey's Graveyard.


Sources:
1 Officers: J.H.Wood, T.R.Wood, P.A.Wood, G.E.Wood, History and Genealogy of the descendants of Abinah Wood and Susannah Humphreys (Andover, Ohio; Press of the Citizen. 1903), A copy is in the personal collection of Kelley Wood; location of original is unknown.
2 Mark Zeller, Mark Zeller's notes on the Abinah Wood Descendants (Gedcom sent to Kelley Wood-Davis in May 2011 via email), Date of Import: 14 May 2011.
3 The Ohio Biographies Project, Muskingum County, Ohio Biographies - McGinnis, Squire Daniel D. (Published 1892. Found online at USGen Web Archives. Transcribed by Tina Hursh, July 1, 1999), http://ohiobios.ancestralsites.com/bios/muskingum/squiredanieldmcginnis2.txt.
4 Ancestry.com, U.S. Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 ([database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.), Volume 88; SAR Membership Number 17464.
5 Edwin E "Gene" Wagner, A Family History - Our Family Genealogy Pages (Last modified 21 May 2009 . http://genelea.net. Accessed 24 April 2011 by Kelley Wood-Davis), Person ID I9460 Tree ID Misc EEE, Family ID F3595.
6 United States, 1850 United States Federal Census (Ancestry.com (database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2005. M432, 1009 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.), National Archives and Records Administration, year: 1850; Census Place: East Birmingham, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_748; Page: 36A; Image: 77.. Listed as Susanah.
7 Ancestry.com, U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), www.ancestry.com, Database online.
8 Ancestry.com, U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), www.ancestry.com, Database online.
9 Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp, New Jersey Marriages, 1684-1895 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001), www.ancestry.com, Film Number: 1289240, Digital Folder Number: 004541245, Image Number: 00429.
10 FamilySearch, New Jersey, County Marriages 1682-1956 ( Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, database (http://familysearch.org) from various county courthouses throughout New Jersey. FHL microfilm, 88 reels,), www.familysearch.org, Film Number: 1289240, Digital Folder Number: 004541245, Image Number: 00429.
11 Ancestry.com, Public Member Trees (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2006), www.ancestry.com, Database online.
12 Mark Zeller, Mark Zeller's notes on the Abinah Wood Descendants (Gedcom sent to Kelley Wood-Davis in May 2011 via email).
13 United States, 1850 United States Federal Census (Ancestry.com (database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2005. M432, 1009 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.), National Archives and Records Administration, ear: 1850; Census Place: East Birmingham, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_748; Page: 36A; Image: 77.
14 Cumberland County Clerk, Record of Marriages, Cumberland County Clerks Marriage Book A (Cumberland County, New Jersey. 1799. Copies sent to Kelley Wood-Davis in 2002 by Joan R. Evans), Original Unknown - copies in the collection of Kelley Wood.
15 Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp., New Jersey Marriages, 1684-1895 ([database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001).
16 Ancestry.com, U.S. Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 ([database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.), Volume 106; SAR Membership Number 21100.
17 FamilySearch, New Jersey, County Marriages 1682-1956 ( Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, database (http://familysearch.org) from various county courthouses throughout New Jersey. FHL microfilm, 88 reels,), www.familysearch.org, Film Number: 1289240, Digital Folder Number: 004541245, Image Number: 00429.

Written 2004 - Revised by Kelley Wood-Davis January 2012

Page last updated by Kelley Wood-Davis 2 February 2012

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