Author Topic: Antigua - Frederick William Wood (b ca 1836) & Sophia Maria Laidley m 1864  (Read 33 times)

Offline baz201

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Looking for further information on Frederick William Wood b ca 1830-1840, England (poss. Kent) and Sophia Maria Laidley b ca 1836 either Antigua or England.
They married in St John's Cathedral, Antigua, 8 Nov 1864. Two children from the marriage: Louisa Mirriam Isabel "Minnie" Wood b 11 Oct 1868, Montserrat and Annie Maria Amelia Wood b 9 Jun 1869, Antigua.

This is some oral history from a late grandaughter (in italics):

Fredrick Wood died ca. 1883 just before his wife and daughters left the islands (They eventually went to New London, Connecticut, it would appear, via Nova Scotia); Sophia Wood (nee Laidley) died two years later in 1885 in New London. Frederick was a sailor, and had left England when he was but thirteen years old. He was born in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, England [note: this is hearsay - his family may have lived there at some point]. Frederick's father wanted to apprentice him as a tailor. He did not want this so he ran away to sea and became a "cabin boy" on a sailing ship. [We think he sailed on the American clipper "Comet" as there is a Merchant Seaman's record of a "Frederick Wood", "aged 20", "born in Kent", sailing on that ship arriving in the UK in 1856 on two separate occasions]. He went around "The Horn" several times. He worked his way up from cabin boy and would have been captain in his own right in another year.. but he married my grandmother (Sophia) instead. She made him promise to leave the sea if she married him. This he did.

They continued to live in the British West Indies Islands, moving from one island to
another to find work. He worked for the Government as Superintendent or Overseer on projects such as building roads, government buildings, etc. He must have made a good job of it as I believe they named a street after him, on one of the Islands (Wood Road or Street). I do not know which island. He was also Superintendent of the jail on one of the Islands. This is just a little history my Mother told me at different times so I really do not know much about it.

end of oral history

We cannot find any formal documents /details about his occupation/s apart from that he was listed as a "watchmaker" on his daughter, Annie's birth certificate from Antigua. We cannot find a grave or death certificate details, nor can we ascertain his birth date as there were many Frederick William Wood's born in England in the time frame. If anyone else has details about Frederick William Wood or Sophia Maria Laidley or their families, please get in touch.