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
  • Run to benefit camp

    April 16, 2014

  • Digital checkout limit increased

    April 16, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    April 16, 2014

  • Hoopeston council hears water project update

    Mike Streff, Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC, updated city council members Tuesday on the continuing progress of the ground and elevated water storage tank project.

    April 16, 2014

  • Trojans get past Ramblers

    STAFF REPORT ATTICA, Ind. -- Regan Foster hit a home run and drove in three runs as the Covington softball team defeated Attica 8-5 on Tuesday in Wabash River Conference action. Andi Taylor had three hi

    April 16, 2014

  • Mayor looks for fire committee members by Labor Day DANVILLE - Now with budget discussions done for the time being, Mayor Scott Eisenhauer is looking for people to serve on a committee to analyze the fire division and its future. He'd like recommendations from the committee to the city council by Labo

    April 16, 2014

  • Salary talks go on at meeting DANVILLE -- Few members of the Vermilion County Board came out strongly for or against the issue of salaries for county offices and positions. Members of the Vermilion County Board discussed the issue of salary increases for offices up for election i

    April 16, 2014

  • Hoopeston group discusses economic development

    Economic growth was on the agenda Monday night in Hoopeston as about 50 people gathered at St. Anthony's Parish Hall to discuss an economic development strategy for the city.

    April 15, 2014

  • Covington Middle School students win at Purdue Science Fair

    Eighth-grader A.J. Kline and seventh-graders Shiley Claypool and Diana Shelby told school board members about their science fair projects Monday night. They competed at the Lafayette Regional Science and Engineering Fair at Purdue University last month.

    April 15, 2014

  • Oakwood sells its water and sewer systems

    Village trustees are faced with a responsibility many small towns would love to have — what to do with $2 million in cash.

    April 15, 2014

AP Video
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
Must Read