The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

January 22, 2012

Family research strikes gold

To the uninitiated, genealogy can seem like a dry indexing of birth, marriage and death dates. But it can be a thrilling treasure hunt, too.

For instance, I recently learned that on May 29-30, 1795, a squirrel hunt was held on the Kentucky farm of my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Archibald Woods Sr.

When the shooting stopped, 5,589 squirrels lay dead. Yes, 5,589 squirrels.

I learned that through an odd chain of events: My cousin wanted to join the Daughters of the American Revolution, so she asked me to help document her direct descent from Archibald Woods, a soldier in the American Revolution.

I knew about Capt. Archibald Woods, and I have visited his grave in Richmond, Ky. I sent my cousin the information she needed.

A week later, a friend mentioned a website with links to hundreds of hometown newspapers. I clicked on Kentucky, then The Richmond Register.

Incredibly, on that very day the Register posted a column by local genealogist Fred Engle that told the story of Archibald Woods. It was Part Two of a series on the Woods family. I learned more about them in 15 minutes than I had ever known.

What are the chances?

Engle got most of his information from a story written in January 1900 by Clarence E. Woods, editor of The Richmond Climax.

Aside from the bloody squirrel hunt, I learned that Archibald Woods was born in Albemarle County, Va., in 1749, married in 1773, served as a captain in the Virginia militia, then served in the Continental Army. He and his men marched 200 miles to relieve Fort Watauga, in what is now eastern Tennessee, and returned with information that the Shawnees had begun hostilities.

He spent the rest of the war supervising frontier defenses.

Woods, a lawyer, moved to what is now Kentucky in 1781. By 1783 he had a farm in what is now Madison County, Ky. Records show that he traded a “rifle gun” for 1,000 acres, but when a spring guaranteed to be “everlasting” went dry, he got his rifle back.

Text Only
Local News
  • Library shows after-school film

    April 23, 2014

  • Westville council reaffirms departments

    Village trustees approved Mayor Mike Weese's appointments for the next fiscal year which begins May 1.

    April 23, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    April 23, 2014

  • Committee OKs chicken ordinance research

    DANVILLE - A proposed chicken ordinance for the city already has its supporters. Resident Ed Strahl said he's more concerned about dangerous dogs than chickens. "I don't see much wrong with it (chickens in residents' backyards), if contained right,"

    April 23, 2014

  • New arrest in Friday's triple shooting DANVILLE -- Police have made a second arrest as part of the investigation into a triple shooting last week. Joquin Washington, 19, of Danville, was booked at the Public Safety Building jail around 9:20 p.m. Monday on preliminary charges of aggravated

    April 23, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include: Danville Sunday: Domestic battery along East Main Street. Disorderly conduct in the 900 block of East Madison Street. Property damage in the 500 block of Highland Park Road. Monday: Retail theft at Mach 1, 510 N.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls: Friday, 9:23-9:36 a.m. -- A carbon monoxide check in the 1300 block of Harmon Street. Friday, 11:50 a.m.-12:08 p.m. -- An illegal burning in the 1600 block of North Gilbert Street. Friday, 12:28-12:45 p.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fire destroys mobile home DANVILLE -- A leaf fire cost a local man his home Tuesday afternoon west of Danville. A total of seven fire departments, led by Kickapoo Fire Protection District, responded to an out-of-control leaf fire at 16930 Vermilion River Lane. Kickapoo Assist

    April 23, 2014

  • shoes1.jpg Men urged to 'walk in her shoes' at fundraiser TILTON — To understand the issue of sexualized violence against women, men need to take a walk in their shoes — both figuratively and literally.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kindergarten pre-registration set

    April 22, 2014 2 Stories

E-edition
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County
Must Read