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John Atwood (Wood) and Joan Coleson

John ATWOOD. Called Johanem. [Familytree].
Born in 1582 at Sanderstand, Surrey, England; son of Nicholas ATWOOD and Olive HARMAN. (S3).

John seems to be often confused with this brother, also named John. I believe our ancestor John to be the younger brother, often called Johanem. The difficulty is to separate out the two and to determine which records refer to which John. This is what I believe to be the truth.

Christened as Johanem on 4 February 1582 at Gatton and Sanderstead Parish, Sanderstead, Surrey, England. (S1,S3).

He married Joan COLESON on 25 July 1612 in St Martin in the Fields, London, Middlesex, England. (S1,S2,S3,S4).
Two of their children were christened at St. Martins. (S3).
They apparently moved to Chancery Lane in London about 1614-1615. (S2).

He was a leather merchant of London. (S1,S2,S3).

In 1631 he sued his brother Harman for lands thier father Nicholas had settled on his younger brother Richard. Richard had died, so John, now being the youngest living son, saw a chance for himself to obtain the lands that hand gone to Richard. From this comes the various Atwood family traditions of being disinherited, or having best right to estate in England but never claiming it. (S2,S3).

John Atwood is mentioned in legal proceedings in England in which his half brother, Oliffe (Oliver) Buck claimed that both John Atwood and Harman Atwood (JOhn's borther) attempted to defraud him. Oliffe maintained that John owned him money, but that the two brothers comspired to hide John's assetts so they could not be collected. The case also mentions that John Atwood becamed decayed in estate, was sued and cast into prison. Harman Atwood claimed he was innocent and that others had attempted to defraud Oliffe. (S1). It is not clear which John this is, but it is presumed to be John the younger. It is probably these legal proceedings that prompted to move to New England.

They emigrated to New England, aparently in 1635 (S1).
John was a passenger on the Hopewell in 1635. (S3).
He apparently had contact with colonists in Plymouth before he left England, because in 1633 Walter Harris signed a contract with him in London to become and indentured servant. In the contract Walter was expected to go from England to Plymouth colony, and then work for a colonist named John Doane. John Doane became an Assistant Governor in Plymouth in 1633. (S1). Again, it is not clear if this is John the elder or John the younger.

He was at one time trustee for Henry Sewell of Newbury, New England. In the settlement, part of the property went to John Herbert, and it is noted that William Crowe's sister married a John Herbert. (S2).

Thomas Roberts is mentioned as being a servant to John Atwood in 1637, as are John Long and Richard Clark on 24 October 1638. (S1). It is probable that this was the elder brother John.

It was apparently the elder brother who worked with Governor Bradford and his Plymouth Colony partners, and who is mentioned prominently in colony records. Not much seems to be know about John the younger brother, and his activ ities in New England.

A tentative connection is noted with his sister Alice. She probably married William Mullins, about 1595. William was of Dorking, Surrey, England. William Mullins, in his will in 1621, left forty pounds in the hands of Goodman Wood, Alice's brother John (the younger). William Mullins dealt in boots, shoes, etc.; so it would have been natural for him to have been an associate of John Atwood, the leather merchant of London. William and Alice emigrated to New England on the Mayflower. Her daughter Priscilla married John Alden. Alice died on 15 March 1621 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts. (S2).

It is not known precisely when he died. (S1).
He died on 27 February 1644 at Plymouth, Massachusetts; and was b uried in 1644 in Plymouth. (S3).

Joan COLESON. [Familytree].
Born (about 1570)(between 1570 and 1587-S1)(about 1585-S3) in (Surrey)(Boston, Lincolnshire-S3,S4), England; daughter of Francis Coleson and Phillipi Bullock.
She married John ATWOOD on 25 July 1612 in St Martin in the Fields, London, Middlesex, England. (S1,S2,S3,S4).

She died on 1 June 1654 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. (S1,S3,S4).



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