Facts and Events
John Walker Woods name and early history
In a biography of Alexander Woods (~1845-1931) it was said: "He [ Alexander Woods ] was born November 14, 1845, and traces his ancestry back to his great-grandfather, John Walker, who was born in Nova Scotia and was there pressed into the English service, coming with the British soldiers into the United States during the Revolutionary War. His sympathies, however, were with the Colonial army, and the first opportunity that presented itself he deserted from the British army by knocking down the guard, taking forcible possession of his pass and assuming his name of Woods. He succeeded in reaching the American lines, and enlisted in the Patriot army just before the battle of Long Island, in which he participated. After the war was over he removed to Cleveland, in which city his son John, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born."
In a biography of Robert Woods (1817-1906)it was said: "Our subject's [ Robert Woods ] paternal grandfather was John Walker and the changing of his name to Woods was occasioned by the following curious incident. At the time of the breaking out of the Revolutionary war he was living near Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was pressed into the British army, but two days before the battle of Long Island he deserted to join the American forces. While on his way he was stopped by a man who claimed to have authority to arrest him and when the man began to fumble in his pockets for his papers the grandfather of our subject knocked him down and took his papers, which were made out in the name of John Woods. As a matter of precaution Mr. Walker took that name as his own lest he should be captured and put to death. He served throughout the struggle for independence under the name of John Woods and when success at length crowned the efforts of the colonists he sent for his family to join him in the United States, locating in Jefferson county, Ohio. At the age of ten years his son John, the father of our subject, dropped the name of Walker and also took that of Woods."