Families bearing this name were found at early dates in all parts of Great Britain, most frequently however in England and Scotland. One of the first of them to emigrate to America was William Wood who came with his brother, John, from Derbyshire, England in 1635 and settled in Concord, Mass. Descendants spread to practically every state in the Union and have aided as much in the growth of the country as their ancestors did in the founding. The Anglo-Saxon name of Wood or Woods was of local origin, derived from the residence of its first bearer living in or near a wood.
John Wood was born about 1650, in Derbyshire, England. He married Johanna Hackleton (Heglington) Jan. 12, 1682. Four children of John Wood are listed in the Kingston Dutch Register, and are as follows: Margriet, married Peter Van Luwen of Marbeltown, June 30, 1700; John, married. Hannah Ward before Dec. 25, 1721; William, married. Anna ----- ; and Edward, married Susanna Schot, or Scott June 17, 1722, and Marjorie Wilden or Wilding.
Edward, son of John, had a family of ten children among whom was Daniel Wood. Daniel married Margaret Turner Feb. 2, 1762 and in their family of nine children was Henry Wood. In the year 1800 Henry Wood and his family were living in Ulster County, New York where his parents and grandparents were born. He married Elizabeth DeMilt or DeMille, and they raised a family of fourteen children. Their second son, Daniel Wood married Mary Snider, and they were the parents of Harriet Wood who married Hiram John Yancey Jr. Nov. 22, 1863.
Henry Wood and his family were called Loyalists. He moved his family across the Canadian Border, then called upper Canada, to the little town of Ernestown. The land in that territory was divided by the English Government into what was called land grants and given to the people who would come in there and settle and till the soil. They lived at this place about five years when they moved to Loughborough, a little town near Sidneyham, situated north of the Great Lakes. Here Henry and his wife reared their family of nine boys and six girls making it a point to start their sons out with 40 acres of land, one yoke of oxen, two cows and ten sheep.
Elizabeth DeMilt (or DeMille) was the daughter of Garret DeMilt and Magdalena Emigh (Amey). She was born in 1779 in Duchess Co., N.Y. Garret DeMille was the son of Benjamin DeMille and Elizabeth Garret and was born about 1748, Prob. Duchess Co., N.Y., and died 1826, Coalsville. Brooms Co., N.Y. Benjamin was the son of Anthony Demille Chr. 1685, and Maria Provost. Anthony was the son of Isaac DeMille and Joosten Van Sysen. Isaac was the son of Anthony DeMille and Elizabeth Van Der Liphorst, who were md. 1653 and came to America from Holland in 1658. Anthony was a baker by trade. He died 1689.
Daniel Wood was three years old when the family moved to Canada. He was the second son and the second child in the family. It was in the town of Loughborough that he met Mary Snider, daughter of John Snider and Elizabeth Amay (or Emigh) who also had lived in N.Y. Mary was born in Earnestown on Nov. 25, 1803. Daniel Wood and Mary Snider were married March 9, 1824, and started out with the apportionment received from Daniel's father. They prospered in this place for eight years and three of their of children were born here.
All of the Wood family were staunch Methodists.(2) One day two Mormon missionaries came to this little town to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Daniel was so impressed by the Doctrine that he could not forget it or pass it by. These missionaries only preached a few times but left the people in the little village with a strong desire to investigate and be baptized. Daniel became so convinced that he should be baptized, that he requested it of a Methodist Minister. Shortly after this, Brigham Young and his brother, Joseph Young came to preach and explain the order of the Church more perfectly and had the privilege of leading the little prepared band down into the waters of baptism. Daniel and his wife were baptized Feb. 17, 1833, by Brigham Young.
Daniel was ordained an Elder and remained and preached until the summer of 1834. They sold everything they could not take with them and left for Kirtland, Ohio. It was hard for them to leave their nice home, but they were happy in their new religion, and felt by the prompting of the Lord that they were doing his will.
When they arrived at Kirtland, they were welcomed by James Lake whose family they lived with until they bought a farm about four miles from Kirtland. They prospered and built up a nice home. But by the spring of 1837, their enemies drove them from their home. They went to Missouri, arriving in Davis Co., Mo., on June 11th where they took up a new farm. They were unable to remain on this farm because of the mob. About the 1st of October they went to Far West and moved into a house with three other families. Food was very scarce as they had to leave all they had raised in Davis Co. Daniel went in with the mob, called soldiers, and with the rest gave the number of his family and received his rations. They were not aware that he was a Mormon.
About the first of February, they left for Nauvoo, Ill. They had a team of oxen and a cow to pull their wagon. After traveling for some time, they sold their cow and bought a yoke of steers and a dress for his wife. The month of February, was fine weather so they made their beds on the ground. Daniel always taught his family to never deny that they were Mormons for fear of persecution.
Since leaving their home in Canada they had suffered most everything but death. Daniel bought forty acres of ground about 18 miles from Nauvoo. Here the mob followed and his son stood guard night and day while his mother was sick and unhoused.
In Nauvoo, Daniel became acquainted with an orphan girl, Peninah Cotton, and married her in 1846 Peninah S. Cotton was part Indian.(3) She joined Daniel in the trek across the plains in 1847. Daniel's history tells of her great worth to the pioneers: "Peninah was a God-send to these people, as Sacagawea, the indian maid, had been to Lewis and Clark's expedition. She knew the berries and plants that were good for food and medicine. And she made moccasins, gloves and clothing from skins: and from cloth she wove herself. She also had to drive one of the wagons."
It was not long until the Saints were organized into companies for the great move west.(4) They arrived in Salt Lake in the fall of 1848 after many weeks of travel. Looking down over the valley in joy and gratitude, they were happy to be at their journey's end. They soon learned that the bounteous crops had been devastated by the crickets. For the next twelve months, they lived like the rest of the Saints on thistle and sego roots and cooked raw hide.
After arriving in the valley, they immediately went to Bountiful (ten miles from Salt Lake City) and built the fourth house in that settlement. It was the first on Mill Creek. In about two years he had a 180 acre farm. Four years later he undertook the mammoth task of building a large adobe house and completed the main part and soon added the back rooms. This was the largest and best house in this part of the country at that time.
His family being quite large, he started school in his own home. His wife, Emma, taught and as soon as possible he employed a male teacher. The school continued the greater part of the year, his own children faithfully attending. He obtained good support from the outsiders. Thus his school was a good start for the new country a thousand miles from civilization.
In 1860 he built a family meeting house about 20x30, one story with a basement and belfrey from which came the welcome chimes of his $70.00 bell. To this beautiful building he moved his school. Meetings were held every Wednesday night and on other special occasions. He had a choir and a string band, in his own family. He was not sanctimonious to have a jig even at his family meetings.
One evening when Joseph Young was present, the band started up and Daniel jumped to his feet and showed those present how nimble he was. The general public was invited, and they responded well as he often had good speakers from the City and elsewhere.
Every Christmas while others were feasting, his family was fasting and having a meeting of prayer and making right the little misunderstandings and disputes of the year.
Daniel was in Canada when the Utah Central Railroad was put through his ground. The family wrote him the particulars which did not please him, and when he came home, it was at night and when the conductor awoke him by announcing the name of the station, Woods Cross, he replied, "Yes, and damn Cross too."
Daniel was a great worker in his day. Even at the age of 75, he could take a hand with most of the younger men. He lived to be a good old age, ninety-two, and his eyesight was good enough to read the Testament and Doctrine and Covenants, and these were the only books he read. His firm frame might have been seen plodding along the street only a few weeks before his death. The day before he took sick, he sat in his little private cemetery on his farm where he had twenty-five of his family laid and showed his daughter where he wanted to be put away to rest. This little treasure was his main one of late and he kept an old arm chair in it in which he passed many hours.
He left a large family to mourn his loss as he had ten wives, thirty-two children, and about a hundred grand children. His funeral services were held in the East Bountiful Tabernacle at 2 p.m. P.G. Sessions, Richard Duerden, E. Page, David Stoker, Joseph F. Smith and Heber J. Grant were the speakers.(5)
One passes this family cemetery on the highway a short distance north of Bountiful, Utah. It has an iron fence set in a cement base. In the center stands a monument to Daniel Wood. Most of the head stones have fallen away. This cemetery was re-conditioned by Woodies in 1950.
An outstanding characteristic of Daniel C. Wood was to own, supervise, conduct, and operate his own personal properties for the education and religious training of his family. He owned his own schoolhouse and church which his family attended. His own cemetery(6) was located in West Bountiful, Davis County, Utah, where he and his wives and several members of his family were buried. During the massacre of the Indians there were many Indian children left orphans. Daniel Wood adopted three Indian children. They, too, were buried in the Wood Cemetery. The cemetery plot was laid out in approximately 1852. It was customary for the Wood families to meet at the cemetery each year on Memorial Day, where fitting and sacred services were held in honor of Daniel Wood. Many of the original grave markers were of his own design, standing as a monument to his memory and to his loved ones who were resting there. The cemetery plot was an endeared spot to Daniel Wood. In one corner of the lot he planted several trees, under which he placed two or three rocking chairs for the family's and friends' comfort when visiting there, and there he spent many hours in meditation. His most ardent desire was expressed many times to his sons before his death that the cemetery should never be moved.
1. Yancey Tolman Family Book of Remembrance - Genealogy with Allied Lines, Compiled by Leonidas DeVon Mecham, December 25, 1952, "The Wood Family", p 260.
2. Ibid, "How They Became Mormons", p.260.
3. Church News, Week Ending July 5, 1997, "Indians to settlers: 'We must help one another', p. 12
4. Yancey-Tolman Family Book of Remnerance - Genealogy with Allied Lines, Compiled by Leonidas DeVon Mecham, December 25, 1952, "Migrated to Zion", p. 261.
5. Ibid,"Taken from the "Davis County Clipper" of Bountiful, Utah, Friday, April 29, 1892." P. 261,
6. Pioneer Heritage Library, Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 20, p.137, D.U.P. Files