Cumberbatch Family History

Abraham Wood

Male 1699 - 1799  (100 years)


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  • Name Abraham Wood  [1
    Born 1699  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 1799  Llwyngwril, Merionethshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried 12 Nov 1799  Llangelynnin, Merionethshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I9012  Cumberbatch
    Last Modified 15 Jul 2016 

    Children 
     1. William Wood
     2. Valentine Wood,   b. Abt 1742,   d. Apr 1818, Merionethshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 76 years)
    Last Modified 15 Jul 2016 
    Family ID F2141  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1799 - Llwyngwril, Merionethshire, Wales Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 12 Nov 1799 - Llangelynnin, Merionethshire, Wales Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • WOOD, the surname of a tribe of Welsh gipsies; there are of course other tribes of gipsies in Wales, such as the Ingrams, the Boswells, and the Lovells, but the Woods deserve special mention, for two reasons. In the first place, the tribe is so large and wide-spread that the expression ‘Abram Wood 's family’ (in some places called ‘Alabama's family’) became a generic term in the rural areas for gipsies as such; e.g. in Twm o'r Nant 's Pleser a Gofid ‘Sal o'r Sowth’ claims that she is related to Abram Wood. Secondly, for nearly two centuries this tribe provided Wales with a remarkable line of harpists. The principal source of the history of the tribe is the Journal of the Gipsy Lore Society, and above all the articles contributed by John Sampson (1862 - 1931), late librarian of Liverpool University. His views on the tribe are followed in the present article; opposite p. 200 of the J.G.L.S. for 1934 there is a detailed and complicated table of the Wood family prepared by Sampson, and based chiefly on the oral traditions of the tribe, the dates being in some cases confirmed by entries in the parish registers. Some of the writers in the J.G.L.S. have gone astray by assuming that every Wood in Wales was a member of this tribe, e.g. the Woods who were settled in Llanbryn-mair from 1500 on (one of them was a churchwarden in 1697), Woods who were respectable merchants at Carmarthen as early as 1630, even the Londoner, colonel Wood, who was Member of Parliament for Brecknock (see under Williams families of Gwernyfed).

      It used to be thought that ABRAHAM WOOD ( 1699? - 1799 ) and his family came to Wales from Frome (Somerset), but it is now accepted ( J.G.L.S. , 1931 , 171-87) that the man from Frome was not the same Abraham Wood. According to his great-grandson, John Roberts, the Newtown harpist (1816 - 1894), who spoke Romany fluently, our Abram came to the Severn region (Llanidloes, Llanbryn-mair, Machynlleth) ‘some 200 years’ before the time at which John Roberts was writing. But, according to Robert Roberts 'the great scholar' (1834 - 1885), the Woods were to be found round about Flintshire in 1765-8 (Roberts' autobiography 31-6). Abram was a fiddler and not a harpist - it was in Wales that his family learned to play the harp. He is said to have been 100 years old at the time of his death. The date is well known, for he died on the roadside near Llwyngwril, and was buried at Llangelynnin, 12 Nov. 1799 - the entry in the parish register being ‘Abram Woods, a travelling Egyptian.’ He is known to have had three sons, Valentine , William , and Solomon (the ‘great scholar's’ grandmother spoke of Tom and Robin), and a daughter, Damaris, who married an Ingram from north Cardiganshire. This article is concerned with only two of the sons, and those of their descendants who became well-known harpists . As has been already indicated, the family was very numerous - and, as is customary among the gipsies, there was a great deal of inter-marriage among the various branches of the family.

  • Sources 
    1. [S76] Internet Website, (Name: World Wide Web;), http://wbo.llgc.org.uk/en/s-WOOD-SIP-1500.html.