Can’t See the Wood for the Family Trees

by Mark

Yes, the Wood family name does originate from the forest. It began its life as a topographic name describing someone who worked, or lived in, a wood. Derived from the Middle English word ‘wode’, which means wood. This would be ‘wudu’ in Old English. One of the earliest recorded examples of this name was de la wode in Hertfordshire, England in 1242. The Latin version of this name is de Bosco, with Bois meaning wood in Old French. Variations of this name are Woode, Woods, Woodard, Woodburn, Woodby, Woodcock, Woodforde, Woodham, Woodly, Woodamn, Woodruff, Woodstock, Woodvine, Woodward, Woodson and Wooding. Can’t see the Wood for the family trees, because all those Woods are so numerous.

Wood is a very popular surname in most Anglo-Saxon countries. In Scotland you have the Clan Wood. The original Woods were Normans and they emigrated to England after the Norman Conquest in 1066. They descended from Ernald de Vosco, a Norman knight, and held lands in Thorpe Arnold under the earl of Leicester. They then moved to Dumfriesshire in Scotland and held a family seat from 1150.

Can’t See the Wood for the Family Trees

George Wood was an English convict from York and he was transported to New South Wales on the “Almorah” in 1817. John Wood from Middlesex, similarly, was transported to NSW in 1820 aboard the “Agammenon”; as was Joseph Wood. William Wood, a convict from Surrey, was transported to NSW via the “Asia” in 1822. James Wood from York was transported on the “Albion” in 1823; and he ended up settling in Van Diemen’s Land.

Annamaria Wood of Sydney, who recently clocked up twenty years of service looking after disabled people in the Macarthur region. As CEO of Disability Macarthur she is making a big difference to the lives of those around her. Helping children with disabilities and their families makes lives more fulfilling and less onerous for these people. Good things, then, do sometimes emerge out of the forest.

Other notable woods are, of course, Eldrick Tont ‘Tiger’ Woods, the golfing superstar; who unfortunately let his libido lead him into immoral pastures. Natalie Wood was the famous actress who died in suspicious circumstances, drowning after being on a boat with husband Robert Wagner. The Australian actor John Wood is a favourite with television soapie audiences in this country. Can’t see the Wood for the family trees; but those Woods are all ‘good sticks’ in the main.