By Chuck Rose

My great-great-grandfather was Calvin Woodard, baptised at the Lutheran St Paul's Church, Minden, Montgomery County, March 13, 1813. His parents were listed as Calvin and Maria Woodert and witnesses Conrad Ruff and Elizabeth Haus. Calvin married Mary Burns Smith in Ionia MI, March 8, 1840 and he d. February 13, 1865, cause/place unknown.

Henry Woodard was also baptised at St. Paul's December 24, 1810, parents listed as Calvin and Marie Woodard. Witnesses Heinrich Baum and his wife Catharina. Presumably young Calvin and Henry were brothers.

This Woodard family was associated and in some way related to Henry House who was born in Minden in 1765, died June 26, 1834 in Springfield, Otsego County. He served in the Rev War. To wit:

Henry House was married to Nancy House(?), on February 15, 1789 at Minden and they had a daughter named Mary who married James Sprague about 1808.

Mary and James Sprague had a daughter named Nancy, b. June 30, 1809, in Minden or Danube, NY.

Nancy Sprague was married to Hamilton Colman of Springfield and Richfield Springs, November 24, 1825 Otsego Co., NY. (Notice the proximity of Springfield to Minden and Danube.)

I have two letters written by Hamilton Colman to my g-g-gramma, Mary B. (Smith) Woodard. One in 1865 in which he expresses synpathy for her loss at the death of her husband Calvin and mentions that his brother Henry died the same way of or for or by the same cause. Colman refers to Calvin as "brother" and extols the virtues of Calvin, who had lived with he and Nancy in earlier tiles. He refers to Nancy as his sister.

In another letter written in October, 1868, Colman writes:

"Write us fully about your family. Nancy and myself are both getting old. I passed my 65 birthday on the 7 of this month. Write soon,
From your Brother, Hamilton Colman.

P.S. Nancy wishes me to add, that her & Calvin's Mother died on the 15th of April last. You have probably heard of it.

She also wishes me to write you that there is some prospect of getting a large fortune from Holland that belong to the Heirs of the House family, in conjunction with the Maybie family who emigrated from Holland some 200 years ago. Calvin's Great Grandmother was a Maybie.

The rumor is that $15,000,000 have been deposited with the Holland government, for Maybie & House heirs. The House and Maybie families are very numerous, therefore each heirs cannot expect many thousand Dollars.

The report may be true & it may be false. It is being investigated. Will write again as soon as I get any news. H.C. "

There seem to be a lot of clues in all this but I cannot find another thing about the Woodards in all this. I have been unable to define the relationship between Calvin/Henry Woodard and the Spragues or Houses, especially between Nancy (Sprague) Colman and the Woodards. This is my "brick wall"!

In some way the names Woodard, Sprague, House, (or Haus) Colman, and Mabie, all link together. They center around the corner where Montgomery, Otsego and Herkimer counties adjoin. I cannot figure it out even with all these clues.

I have been looking at thousands (it seems) of Woodards for years but can make no connection between mine and any others. This leads me to conjecture that perhaps the name was not really Woodard in any of it's common (English) forms such as Woodward/Woodard/Woodert etc., but perhaps a Dutch or German name that when spoken in those languages could be interpreted as we know it.

I am hoping you might add another clue or in some way, by some means be able to offer some advice or commentary on this scenario.

Chuck Rose

NOTE: 8/22/11 - Chuck, if you see this, please check in with a current email address.

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Created 8/8/01
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