Joel Wood, like his father, kept a family Bible. I have not been able to get a copy of it; however, J.F. Vallentine references it in his 1995 Wood Family manuscript and reports that a copy is filed with the Daughters of the American Revolution. In it, Joel recorded his marriage to Elizabeth Miller (as Ann, marriage bond names her Elizabeth) and the birth of his children. Daughter, Sarah’s birth was recorded as 4 March 1800. He later sells land to Charles Madden, his son-in-law, thus confirming that Joel, husband of Elizabeth Miller, is Sarah (Wood) Madden’s father.
Joel was a busy man. But he was from a large and active family, as was the norm for pioneer settlers in his day. The seventh child of Isaac and Rachel, Joel married Elizabeth Miller in 1797, their marriage bond having been filed on 1 June of that year. He bought and sold land in several counties in Virginia (now West Virginia) before liquidating it all to move to Ohio. He grew up in the days of Indian attacks and counter-attacks, possibly accounting for his frequent moves. The areas where the Wood family made homes were in the remotest fringe of early America and had multiple accounts of altercations between the pioneer settlers and native inhabitants.
Until I can travel to the DAR Library in Washington, DC to put eyes on that copy of Joel’s Bible, I accept Mr. Vallentine’s report that this Bible records the family’s arrival in Ohio as 1811. Though he may have arrived by himself the year prior. He first settled in Fayette County before finally settling in Mercer County.
And here we have another family to record as gypsies in the Rhoades lineage. Many of Joel’s siblings stayed in West Virginia, and their descendants can be found there today. But, as with our long list of patriarchs who were all younger sons of large families, Joel moved west. He raised his own large family, having an estimated 18 children, of which only 14 are recorded. His children stayed in Ohio, and many of their descendants can be found there today. But alas, those grandchildren, whom we descend from, made the next push west.
Joel quickly became a man of some influence; his Fayette County, Ohio neighbors considered him “a man of intelligence” and so made him a Justice of the Peace. Back in West Virginia, Joel’s father and siblings are associated with early Methodist Churches, while in Ohio, in 1821, Joel and his neighbor’s hosted Baptist services in their homes until a church could be organized and built.
It seems he was unlucky in love. Elizabeth died shortly after arriving in Ohio (1813), and he married three more times before his own death in 1834, reaching 55 years of age. It appears he died intestate as his widow (wife number 4) had to file for co-administration with his son-in-law, Henry Bevington.
Joel Wood was born 24 August 1778 in Tygart’s Valley, Randolph County, Virginia (now West Virginia) to parents, Isaac Wood and Rachel Rameh/Ramey.
He married (1) Elizabeth Miller in 3 June 1797 in Pendleton County, Virginia (now West Virginia). She was the daughter of Michael Miller. She was born 1 July 1777 in Pendleton County and died 16 September 1813 in Fayette County, Ohio.
He married (2) Sarah Price on 8 May 1814; (3) Jane Armstrong on 26 December 1824; and (4) Hannah Lillie on 13 April 1826.
He died 7 August 1834 in Dublin Township, Mercer County, Ohio and is buried in Hidy Cemetery in Jeffersonville, Fayette County, Ohio. An interesting note, his headstone inscription is incorrect. His date of birth and year of death has been combined.
Joel and Elizabeth had the following children:
- Solomon, b. 12 September 1798 in Pendleton County, Virginia; d. 18 April 1848 in Logan County, Illinois. Married (1) Phebe Lucas; (2) Rhoda Turman.
- Sarah, b. 4 March 1800 in Virginia (now West Virginia); m. Charles Madden on 9 September 1818 in Clark County, Ohio.
- Amos, b. 19 October 1801 in Virginia. Married Margaret Miller.
- Eli, b. 14 March 1803 in Virginia. Married Elizabeth ___.
- Rachel, b. 15 August 1804 in Virginia; m. Henry Bevington.
- Rhoda, b. 10 July 1806 in Virginia; d. 22 July 1862 in Mercer County, Ohio. Married Robert Wiley.
- Phebe, b. 25 November 1807 in Virginia. Married Charles Joiner.
- Elizabeth, b. 6 December 1809 in Virginia; d. before 1835. Married Hezekia Guy.
- Joel, b. 11 November 1811 in Fayette County, Ohio; d. 1889 in Fayette County, Ohio. Married Jane McKillip. NOTE: Joel Jr. was granted guardian of minor, Harrison Madden after the death of Charles Madden (see 2. Sarah).
- Anna Barbara, b. 16 September 1813 in Fayette County, Ohio. Married Absalom Parker.
Joel and Sarah had the following children:
- Susannah, b. 6 November 1816. Married William Case.
- Martha (Patcey), b. 13 November 1819. Married Robert Major.
- Amariah, b. 25 November 1821; d. 24 September 1822.
Joel and Jane had the following child:
- Jane, b. 1825 in Mercer County, Ohio. Married Jacob Counterman.