Greenwood Genealogies, 1154-1914 (Chapter 9)

By Frederick Greenwood, East Templeton, MA — 1914


Two books of exceeding interest are in the hands of Francis A. Thayer, 38 Park Row, New York City. Both are of old print and have come down from the sons of Thomas-1 Greenwood to the present generation. One of these books is entitled, "Commentaries on the Lamentations of Jeremiah," London, 1602, in which is written the autograph avowedly of "Rev. Thomas Greenwood, his book, 1714." and under "John Greenwood, 1720" and on another fly leaf -- "Jno Greenwood's ex Doro patris" without date. The autographs are in a handsome hand. There is also written: "Noah Greenwood, 1786."

Another book, "The Sermons of Christian Religion Delivered by Zacharias," has written on the fly leaf: "Abiah Carpenter, his book the 25th April 1659." "Jno Greenwood, his book, bought of Capt. Butterworth, Jan'y 8, 1724." (Same fine hand as the other book.) "Oliver Greenwood, his book, January 1783." (In an uncultured hand.)


The Rev. Thomas-2 Greenwood made his entry on one of this parish registers at Rehoboth, Mass.:

"My hon'rd father Dyed (Friday) Sept. 1st, 1693, In ye evening."

In March, 1770, there was a tide waiter named Thos. Greenwood, in Boston, who fired on the populace from a Custom House window at the time of the Bloody Massacre. He was accused of having killed Crispus Attucks, but the jury decided that soldiers of the 29th Regiment were the guilty parties. It is not learned that this Thomas was a New England resident.

There are 33 towns in the United States and Canada bearing the name of Greenwood. They derived their names from the woodland or forest that were prominent where the places were located.

The word Boisvert, which means greenwood (bois -- wood, vert -- green) is in very common use in France as a surname and where ever the French language is spoken.

Among the Germans there is a word written Gruenwald, which is used as a surname and the word has the same significance as the family name Greenwood.

It is remarkable with the Greenwood family how the Christian names James, John, Thomas and William were maintained and have been passed down from one generation to another. The Greenwood wills recorded at York are alive with these names, while the church registers at Heptonstall and all other public documents are so full that positive identification of individuals bearing these names is difficult. Even Thomas Greenwood, who settled at Newton, Mass., 1665, gave his own four sons these same names. In the parish church registers at Heptonstall, the in the list of marriages, we find, July 15, 1641, a Thomas Greenwood married Sarah Crossley; Oct. 15, 1641, a Thomas Greenwood married Ellen Wood and then Apr. 30, 1642, a Thomas Greenwood married Sarah Sutcliffe. Here is further illustration of the frequency of that one name Thomas: In 1700, in the Wragby parish register, a Thomas Greenwood is mentioned as curate. In 1703 a Thomas Greenwood was curate of Lightcliffe; 1706 a Thomas Greenwood was curate of Luddenden; 1712 a Thomas Greenwood, A.B., was curate of Heptonstall and held that position until 1744. In 1711 a Thomas Greenwood was pastor of the Baptist Church at Rodhill End, in Heptonstall. The latter was a man of some means and in 1737 gave the use of a building he had purchased to the church society. Among the trustees of this church was a John Greenwood of Hawksclough in Sowerby, yeoman, and William Greenwood, of Stone Slack, in Heptonstall. This Thomas Greenwood died 1742.

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