• 1846 Homestead Renovation,  Wood

    Treasures from the Wardrobe

    The Treasure Hunt It takes no stretch of the imagination to believe me when I tell you that the house in the photo above was full of nasty trash, furniture, rat droppings and general yuckiness.  How much imagination would it take to believe that we found some really cool stuff as we pawed through every stinking item wearing latex gloves and respirators? Before we threw one thing away, Jerry and I went through every box, drawer, and closet in the house item by item.  Some folks had already come and stolen items from the house and went through things.  Jerry and I were the only ones who could have told…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Indenture Between James Wood and Samuel Candlish and Margaret Candlish 27 May 1866

    Background First, this and the other documents surrounding the estate of Hugh Wood, brother of James Wood, reveal an absolute mess.  Let me try and shed what little light I can on the subject. In a letter written by Hugh Wood to James Wood on 1 April 1852, Hugh indicates the following: James will need money to settle himself and his family.  Hugh states that he will make funds available to James once James decides the best course of action.  Hugh also tells James that if he has proof that he purchased land through Sir Edward Belcher (Colony of Kent), he can be reimbursed for the land price.  All he…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    John Reid Letter to Isabella Wood 29 August 1874

    Background James Wood sold his land in Scotland for $485 an acre and bought land in Texas for 25 cents an acre.  Yes, he paid for the land associated with the Colony of Kent, and yes, he lost all of that money.  After paying for transportation costs to Texas, was he out of money?  I would like to think not, but in his letter to his brother, Hugh tells James that he will provide money to cover any needs James has.  Notice he doesn’t say “I’ll transfer your money to you.”  So my original theory that James left his cash with his brother is kinda shot.  Hugh also states in…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Dr. Hugh Wood’s Letter to His Brother, James Wood 1 April 1852

    Background In this letter, Dr. Hugh Wood writes to his brother about finding a new place to live.  Hugh promises money to pay for whatever James decides to do.  He also indicates that James and his family are to be his heirs.  Unfortunately, when Hugh died, he did not have a will or a will was not produced and James and his family were not the sole beneficiaries.  This caused tremendous financial hardship (according to a letter from John Reid to Isabella Riddell Wood). Hugh mentions the starvation in the Highlands, the transportation of many to Australia, the discovery of gold in Australia, and other bits of news. There are…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    James C. Frazier Letter to James Wood 26 April 1869

    Background In this letter, James C. Frazier asked James Wood if he wishes to sell some land in Erath County.  Kimball, in this instance, is the location from which the letter was written and does not refer to Richard Kimball, the land agent.  James Cason Frazier (1831 – 1917) was the brother of Monroe Frazier who married James and Isabella Wood’s daughter Jane Mason Wood. The Letter Kimball April 26th, 1869 James Wood, Esq. My dear friend, I was up in Erath County last week and I saw a man that wants to buy 160 acres of your land on the Paluxy – he wants half of the part of…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Land Transaction Between James Wood and Richard Kimball 25 March 1858

    Background Evidently, James Wood purchased land in Erath County from Richard Kimball (the land agent).  I have letters between Monroe Frazier and James Wood about selling land in Erath County, but I don’t know if this is the same property or not.  Other letters indicate that Monroe and Jane Wood Frazier lived in Erath County for a while before the outbreak of the Civil War. The Record Filed March 25, 1858 Richard B. Kimball Deed To: James Wood Filed in my office for record March 25 at 10 o’clock a.m. 1858 W.W. McNeil Clerk, C.C.E.C. Filed for record June the 1st A.D. 1870 at 10 o’clock a.m. and was duly…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Hugh Wood Letter to His Sister, Isabella 19 May 1858

    Background Again, this letter is written by Hugh Wood to his sister, Isabella.  It appears that Isabella’s friend, Ell, is Hugh Wood’s sweetheart.  It is a heartbreakingly sweet letter.  I don’t know who Ell is…yet.  Still searching for her in letters and census reports. The Letter Camp Scott May 19th 1858   Dear Sister, I pen these few lines as a token that you are still remember by your brother.  I hope it is the same with you.  May the distance that separates us never alienate our affections for each other.  I wrote to Ell last __________________ with deepest regret that I think of that time and distance that separates…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Hugh Wood Letter to His Mother, Isabella Dated 15 May 1858 Camp Scott, Utah Territory

    Background It is sad to me that we were told that Hugh Wood left home and was never heard from again.  This is untrue and paints an unflattering portrait of the young man.  What I have found, is that he loved his family.  He had hopes and dreams for his future.  Hugh had a sweetheart back home in Texas who he hoped to marry.  While his end was tragic, Hugh’s letters show how much he cared for and longed to be with his family and how strong his faith in God was.  He was a beautiful soul. This letter tells of his initial time in the Utah Territory.  Upon writing…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Wood

    Hugh Wood’s Letter to His Mother, Isabella Dated 13 May 1857

    Background Not long after arriving in Texas, James and Isabella’s eldest son, Hugh, left home in search of either adventure or work or possibly both.  In this letter, he is in New Orleans waiting to go to Nicaragua as a mercenary.  He never went to Nicaragua as the action there ended before he could leave New Orleans.  When I transcribe a letter, I leave dashes if I can’t make out a word, and I try to leave the original spelling…but sometimes spell check corrects it anyway. The Letter New Orleans May 13, 1857 My Dear Mother, I write once more to you from this place and it is uncertain when…