History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index




DR. ISAAC NEALL WOODMAN, of Morrisville, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, was born in Buckingham township, Bucks, county, 8 mo. --, 1869, and is a son of Henry and Margaret M. (NEALL) WOODMAN, and grandson of Henry and Mary (SMITH) WOODMAN, who settled in Buckingham in 1828.

            Edward WOODMAN, the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Chestertown, Maryland, on Christmas day, 1749.  His parents were natives of England; his father, a sea captain, died at sea before the birth of his only child, and the widow landed at Chestertown, where Edward was born.  His mother died also while he was yet a child, and the orphan was left to the care of his guardian, William CLAYTON, of Chestertown.  His guardian died when Edward was in his thirteenth year, and he remained with the widow and family until fourteen years old.  Mr. CLAYTON owned a coasting vessel that traded between the Barbadoes (sic) and points on the American coast, and it was still owned and run by the widow and heirs.  Witnessing its arrival and departure at Chestertown, young WOODMAN had felt for some time a longing for a life on the sea, and in 1764, by the connivance of some of the crew, succeeded in secreting himself on board until the vessel was out at sea.  He went with the ship to Barbadoes, after which they brought a cargo to some port in Virginia, where they took on a cargo of contraband goods for the use of the French, with whom England was then at war, and sailed for Halifax.  Shortly after leaving the port they were captured by a vessel in charge of buccaneers, or a species of pirates that were preying on the merchant vessels off the coast of Virginia and the Carolinas, and their cargo seized, and young WOODMAN was carried off by the pirates, with whom he was forced to remain for four years.  While their ship was laid up for repairs in a North Carolina port he succeeded in making his escape, and found employment among the planters near Hillsborough, North Carolina, where he remained until the breaking out of the Revolutionary war.  At the first organization of the soldier yeomanry he joined a military company under Colonel CASWELL, and was drilled in the art of war as a mounted minute man. Early in 1776 Colonel CASWELL summoned his men to join him at Fayette, North Carolina, and they hastily marched to join General MOORE, who was ordered by the committee of safety to intercept a force of fifteen hundred Tories under Brigadier General MacDONALD and Major General MacCLOUD, who were marching to join Sir Henry CLINTON’s fleet at Wilmington.  Col. CASWELL and his command met the Tories at Moore’s Bridge, one day’s march from Wilmington, and completely routed them.  From this time on Edward WOODMAN was with the American army.  He assisted in building Fort Moultrie, and in the defense of Charleston, after which his regiment was ordered to join General Washington near New York, and marched the whole distance, arriving in time to participate in the disastrous battle of Long Island.  Private WOODMAN remained in the army until 1782, participating in the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Germantown and Brandywine, and other engagements, in all twenty-four battles, and suffered the hardships of the camp at Valley Forge.  While at the latter place he was detailed to assist Abijah Stephens, a Quaker farmer residing near the camp, in caring for the sick and wounded.  Friend Stephens possessing some skill at surgery and the concoction of simples, did much to relieve the suffering troops.  Through this association he became acquainted with the family of Friend Stephens, whose daughter he eventually married.  His first invitation to the Stephens home was due to the fact that he had known William THOMAS, the brother of Mrs. STEPHENS, when a resident of New Garden, North Carolina.  During on of the winters of Trooper WOODMANS service in the north, under General SULLIVAN, he was one of a small scouting party who were surprised and surrounded by British cavalry, and on orders of the captain they scattered and ran each one for himself.  WOODMAN escaped through the lines and after a night in the woods found shelter in a farm house with the family of an American soldier who was serving in a distant army.  He was persuaded by the helpless women and children to remain with them until hostilities opened in the spring, and spent the remainder of the winter in cutting firewood and fencing and caring for the family, believing that his comrades thought him dead, and that he could be of more use there than in the winter quarters of his command.  In the spring he rejoined his command, and obtaining a personal interview with General SULLIVAN, told his story, and was received kindly.  He served with the North Carolina Line until August, 1782, when, the term of his second enlistment having expired, he was, with a number of his old neighbors, honorably discharged, while in the neighborhood of New York, and they started on their homeward journey to North Carolina.  Being badly worn out from the privations of the long war, and miserably clad, having received but two pairs of shoes in his seven years’ service, he suggested that they go by the way of Valley Forge and rest for a time with their old friend Abijah STEPHENS.  Arriving there they were warmly welcomed and supplied with homespun clothing, and remained for some weeks in the neighborhood assisting the farmers in threshing wheat, that they might earn sufficient money to defray the expense of their homeward trip.  When they were ready for their homeward trip, Mr. WOODMAN was taken sick with camp fever, and was left behind to be nursed back to health by the kindly Quakers.  On his recovery he remained in the neighborhood and found employment among the farmers.  On January 1, 1789, he married Sarah STEPHENS, daughter of his benefactor, Abijah STEPHENS.  She was of Welsh origin, a descendant of Evan ap EVAN, who was the original owner of the Valley Forge tract, on which she was born.  Abijah STEPHENS conveyed to the young couple thirty acres of land, part of which was in Tredyffryn township, Chester county, and part in Upper Merion, Montgomery county, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Edward WOODMAN was killed by a fall from a mow in his barn, December 23, 1820, and he was buried at the Valley Friends burying ground on his seventy-first birthday.  Edward and Sarah (STEPHENS) WOODMAN were the parents to seven children: William, Ruth, Abisha, Rebecca, Henry, Edward and Mary.

            Henry WOODMAN, the fifth child, was born December 20, 1795.  He obtained the rudiments of an education in an old log school house near King of Prussia, and at the age of fourteen entered Benjamin Moore’s boarding school, where he was taught surveying and the higher branches of mathematics.  Two years later he began teaching school, which he followed for three years, and then went to Philadelphia, where he was employed for five years, and then returned home.  On 9 mo. 12, 1827, he was married in Wrightstown Meeting House, Bucks county, to Mary SMITH, daughter of Benjamin and Mary (WORTHINGTON) SMITH, and granddaughter of Benjamin and Sarah (EASTBURN) SMITH, who had settled on a five hundred acre farm in Buckingham, along the Wrightstown line, just east of Wycombe, part of which has remained the property of his descendants to this day, and was the birthplace of the subject of this sketch.  Henry WOODMAN had joined the Society of Friends prior to his marriage, and at the age of twenty-four entered the ministry and continued a recommended minister of Wrightstown Meeting during his long life.  He followed surveying and conveyancing in connection with farming.  He was an intelligent and prominent man in the community, and a great friend of education; was a member of the first board of public school directors of Buckingham, and served as its secretary for many years.  He died on the old homestead in Buckingham December 24, 1879, at the age of eighty-four years.  The children of Henry and Mary (SMITH) WOODMAN were: Benjamin S., born 8 mo. 22, 1828, residing In Middletown, near Langhorne: Edward, born 8 mo. 19, 1830, died at the age of twenty-two years; Mary S. born 3 mo. 29, 1833, unmarried, residing at Rushland; Henry, Jr., born 8 mo. 16, 1835 (see forward): William, born 7 mo. 24, 1838, a merchant and postmaster Buckmanville: Comly, born 12 mo. 30, 1840, a farmer in Buckingham; and Wilson M., born 10 mo. 3, 1845, residing on a portion of the old homestead.

            Henry WOODMAN, Jr., born on the old homestead in Buckingham, August 15, 1834, was educated in the public schools of the neighborhood.  He was a man of quiet, studious habits, and a deep religious nature.  He was reared on his mother’s farm, and on his marriage purchased an adjoining farm, part of the original SMITH homestead, and lived thereon until 1895, when he took up his residence with his son, Dr. WOODMAN, at Morrisville, where he died in the spring of 1904.  He was a school director of Buckingham township for sixteen years, ten of which he was secretary of the board.  He was also a trustee of Wrightstown Friends’ school, of which meeting he was a consistent member.  In politics formerly a Republican, he was for the past ten years a Prohibitionist, but seldom voted a “straight ticket.”  He married, 3 mo. 13, 1862, Margaret NEALL, of Philadelphia, daughter of Isaac and Rebecca (MILLER) NEALL, by whom he had five children; Edward A., residing on the old homestead: Agnes, wife of Professor GREGG, of Lincoln, Virginia; Isaac N., the subject of this sketch. Lewis S., deceased; and Edith Roberts.

            ISAAC N. WOODMAN, M. D. was born on the old homestead in Buckingham, and received his education at the Concord public school, Langhorne Friends’ school and Doylestown English and Classical Seminary, after which he taught school in Warwick and Warminster townships.  He entered Hahnemann Medical College, from which he graduated in 1893, and located at Morrisville, where he has since practiced his profession.  He was a member and secretary of the Morrisville board of health for five years, when he resigned on account of the press of his professional duties.  He is also a member of the Morrisville school board, in which position he has served for seven years, four years as the president of the board.  He is a member of Wrightstown Friends’ Meeting, and was for many years active in First Day school work there as a teacher and superintendent.

            He married, on August 1, 1896, Matilda BLAKER, daughter of Achilles and Rachel Anna (TWINING) BLAKER.  Her father died when she was three years old, and her mother fifteen years later married Stephen TRIPP, of Atlanta, Nebraska.  She was educated at the Wrightstown Friends; school, Doylestown Seminary, and West Chester Normal School, and taught school for several years, beginning at the age of sixteen years.  They are the parents of four children, all born at Morrisville, viz.: Henry, Jr., born April 30, 1897: Rachel Anna, born November 21, 1898; Isaac Neall, Jr., born December 9, 1900; and Agnes Gregg, born March 4, 1902.

            Margaret M. (NEALL) WOODMAN, the mother of Dr. WOODMAN, was born in Easton, Maryland. One of her brothers, Isaac J. NEALL, was a member of the Pennsylvania legislature before he was twenty-two years of age.  He was also captain in Colonel BAKERS cavalry regiment, and died while district attorney of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Another brother, Alfred, was also a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, and died while collector of the port of Philadelphia.  Another brother, James was a magistrate in Philadelphia for twenty years.  Two sisters, Annie WOOLSTON, and Lidie R. SMITH, were residents of Bucks county.  Another sister, Fanny MOOR, lives in Tacony.


Text taken from page 548 to 550 of: 


Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed September 2006 by Joan Lollis as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published September 2006 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/


Page last updated: May 14, 2014



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