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|smaller ports on the New England coast.
We can only conjecture that he came here to try to improve his situation.
In Wood's letter of 1858 to his brother in England, he requested that mail be sent to him care of William Robinson, Machinist, in Lowell. Research has revealed that William Robinson was married to Ann Spencer, one of three daughters born to Sarah Spencer, John Wood's sister. Sarah had immigrated to Lowell sometime after 1842. John appearently found employment with the Merrimack Corporation and was able to stay temporarily with his sister and her family From reading his letters, we can see that he was sending money home on a regular basis for his children's support. We do not yet know what happened to Margaret.
In September of 1861, while living in Lowell, John married Mary Rock, who had immigrated from Canada. In 1862 and 1863 there is no record of John and Mary Wood living in Lowell. It is possible that they went to Canada, where her family was living. During the Civil War years, life in Lowell was quite grim with regular work very difficult to obtain.
From 1864 to 1866, John was living at North Franklin Court and was listed as a carpenter in the Lowell City Directory Edwin Wood, his only son, was listed as living with him in the 1865 Census and 1866 City Directory. John's wife Mary died of dropsy in February of 1866. Edwin disappeared from the area soon after and his whereabouts were unknown. In 1868, John was boarding at 220 Merrimack Street and working as a cabinet-maker at 135 Central Street.
The Tragic and Untimely Death
In his letter of May
1859, John gave his nephew Mark the following advice. Unfortunately,
overburdened and distraught, these words of wisdom were not able to carry
him through his own series of tragedies:
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