Place of migration:
Migrated to/Born in Australia

William WOODS was born in Dublin IRELAND in 1854 to John WOODS a joiner and Mother unknown.

He was orphaned at an early age and was sent to live with a relative who owned boats. Research and DNA results have shown the relative was probably John WOODS a boatman of Westport Quay, County Mayo who may have been William's cousin. Around 1870 William ran away to sea, working as a stoker on steamships- ILLIMANI 1878; LIGURIA 1878; ACONCAGUA 1881 and ORIENT 1885. 

He settled in Birkenhead ENGLAND where he married Margaret Jane KENNA on 30 January 1882 at St Werbergs Catholic Church.  

Margaret was the daughter of James KENNA a dock labourer (b c1830 d 12 Dec 1879) and Margaret GRADY (b c1838 d 19 Apr 1908) who had been born in Ireland but eloped to England, marrying in Ormskirk on 6 Nov 1858. 

William and Margaret Jane had a daughter in Birkenhead- Sarah Ellen (known as Nell) and their son Thomas James (known as Dick) was born in Poplar, London the following year.

On his travels around the world, William decided to move his family to Sydney, Australia. While on shore leave from the ORIENT in August 1885, he secured a job at the Australian Gas Light (AGL) in Mortlake, returning in December 1885 to take up his new position working as a stoker on the gas retorts. 

On 5 March 1886 William paid a 2 pound deposit towards the cost of the voyage for his wife and two children, who arrived per PORT VICTOR on 23 Jan 1887. 

William worked at the gasworks for twenty years before his eyesight began to fail him. He became the licensee of the WELCOME HOTEL in Rozelle in May 1906 but lost his hotel license the following year after Margaret sold beer to a patron on a Sunday (illegal in those days). 

In 1906 William and Margaret became proprietors of a mixed business/general store a at 6 Unwins Bridge Road which they ran for seven years. 

In 1913, at the age of 59, William became the proprietor of the HARP HOTEL in Corrimal Street, Wollongong. The hotel license was held in the name of his eldest son, Thomas James WOODS.

In 1917, William was the prorietor of the CARRIERS ARMS HOTEL in Market Street, Muswellbrook. The hotel license was held in the name of his second son, Billy WOODS. 

In 1918, William became the proprietor of the TERMINUS HOTEL in Harris Street, Pyrmont. The license was held in the name of his fourth son, Phillip WOODS.

The Woods family ran the TERMINUS until 1929, selling it to retire. The proceeds bought them a house and two semis in Wareemba Street, Five Dock. William and Margaret lived at No 42, renting out the two semis across the road, which provided them with income for the remainder of their lives. 

William WOODS died on 13 November 1939 at Wareemba Street, at the age of 85. He is buried at the Catholic Cemetery Rookwood and is also commemorated on the Welcome Wall at the Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour. 

William WOODS and Margaret Jane KENNA had twelve children-

1. Sarah Ellen (Nell) b 27 Mar 1884 Birkenhead d 15 Apr 1974 Sydney m George PYNE

2. Thomas James (Dick) b 29 Nov 1885 Poplar ENG d 19 May 1971 Cape Town, South Africa, single

3. William (Billy) WOODS b 1888 Mortlake d 9 Aug 1949 Five Dock, single

4. Francis (Frank) WOODS b 1890 Mortlake d 24 Feb 1894 Mortlake

5. Phillip (Phil) WOODS b 1892 Mortlake d 25 Aug 1941 Camperdown m Kathleen Mary BUCKLEY [no issue]

6. Cecelia (Cis) WOODS b 26 Jul 1894 Mortlake d 3 Jul 1955 Petersham m Wilfred Aubrey HAYNE

7. Annie WOODS b 30 Oct 1896 Mortlake d 10 May 1986 Strathfield m Leo Joseph MCENALLY

8. Mary (Molly) WOODS b 1900 Mortlake d 26 Feb 1978 Leichhardt m William Patrick WOLOHAN

9. Philomena Mary (Lena) WOODS b 14 Jan 1902 d 31 May 1989 Darlnghurst m Michael Joseph RYAN

10. Agnes WOODS b 17 Jan 1904 Mortlake d 5 Jul 1987 Auburn m Tobias James O'TOOLE

11. John (George) WOODS b 18 Oct 1906 St Peters d 15 Jun 1995 Five Dock, single

12. Bridget Veronica (Dorrie) WOODS b 26 Jul 1909 St Peters d 14 Apr 1995 Strathfield m John Francis (Jack) HOARE




Additional Information
Date of Birth 1854  
Date of Death 13th Nov 1939  


Communities Associated with this Ancestor