Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mother of Fourteen Children – Freedom Woodward

B.  about 1642 in Dorchester, Massachusetts
M. 18 Nov 1662 in Northampton, Massachusetts
Husband: Jedediah Strong
D. 10 May 1681 in Northampton, Massachusetts

Many women in the Puritan colonies had large families and Freedom Woodward was an example of that. Freedom was born in about 1642 in Dorchester, Massachusetts to Henry Woodward and Elizabeth Mather. She had two younger sisters named Experience and Thankful, and a brother John. Freedom was said to be a first cousin of Increase Mather, an important figure in the Massachusetts Bay colony.

The Woodward family moved to Northampton in 1658. On November 18, 1662, Freedom married Jedediah Strong. The first of her children was born on June 9, 1664; this would be followed by 13 more over the next 17 years. Her children were Elizabeth, Abigail, Jedediah, Ford, Hannah, Thankful, John, Sarah, Lydia, Mary, Experience, Preserved, John (again) and a baby who was unnamed. Of the children, four were known to have died as infants and another died at age 17.

In spite of having so many children, on May 31, 1674, a man in Northampton tried to kiss Freedom on the street. The man was brought to justice and fined 8 shillings for his act.

Freedom's 14th child was born on May 10, 1681, and she died a week later on the 17th. Her husband Jedediah remarried twice and lived a long life, dying at the age of 96.

Famous descendants of Freedom Woodward include Nathan Hale, 19th century fur trader Jedediah Strong Smith, First Lady Lucy Hayes, Princess Diana, and Princes William, Harry and George.

Children:
1. Elizabeth Strong – B. 9 Jun 1664, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 17 Feb 1691; M. Ebenezer Wright (1663-?), 16 Sep 1684

2. Abigail Strong – B. 9 Jul 1666, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 24 Jul 1689; M. Thomas King (1662-1711), 17 Nov 1683

3. Jedediah Strong – B. 7 Aug 1667, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 12 Oct 1709; M. Abiah Ingersoll (1663-1732), 8 Nov 1688

4. Ford Strong – B. 2 Sep 1668; D. 1 Nov 1668

5. Baby Strong – B. 11 Oct 1669; D. 1669

6. Hannah Strong – B. 3 Feb 1671, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 20 Mar 1762, Coventry, Connecticut; M. Benjamin Carpenter (1663-1738)

7. Thankful Strong – B. 15 Apr 1672, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 16 Apr 1742; M. Thomas Root (1667-1756)

8. John Strong – B. 15 Nov 1673, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. Nov 1673, Northampton, Massachusetts

9. Sarah Strong – B. about 1674, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 25 Dec 1726; M. Thomas Cushman (~1670-1727)

10. Lydia Strong – B. 9 Nov 1675, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 16 Jul 1718; M. David Lee (1674-?), 5 Sep 1795

11. Mary Strong – B. May 1677, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. young

12. Experience Strong – B. 19 Aug 1678, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 16 Sep 1678, Northampton, Massachusetts

13. Preserved Strong – B. 29 Mar 1680, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 26 Sep 1765; M. Tabitha Lee (~1677-1750), 23 Oct 1701

14. John Strong – B. 10 May 1681, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 21 Apr 1699

Sources:
The history of the descendants of Elder John Strong, of Northampton, Mass., Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight, 1871
jfredpeterson.com
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]
Genealogies of Connecticut Families‬: ‪From the New England Historical and Genealogical Register‬, Volume 1, ‪Genealogical Publishing Com‬, 1983

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