WOODCOCK, WILLIAM, of Mechanicsburg, Sangamon County, is a brother of John R. Woodcock, a sketch of whom appears in this work. He was born at Docking, Norfolk, England, July 21, 1845, a son of Robert and Martha (Maddar) Woodcock, natives of Norfolk. The father was a manufacturer of fruit baskets for the trade in England. He died in England, aged seventy-one years, and his widow when she was eighty years old. Of their family William and John R. Woodcock, of Sangamon County, are the only representatives in America. Two of their sisters are living in England, Mrs. Mary H. Land, wife of a baker, at Wells, Norfolk, and Mrs. Harriet Stonex, wife of a carpenter and wheelwright, in Fieldgaling, Norfolk.
William Woodcock attended school in England and at twenty-one had completed a seven years' apprenticeship to the basketmaker's trade with his father. He worked at his trade in England till 1869. Then he took passage on a steamship from Liverpool to New York and was two weeks making the voyage. He came west to Buffalo, Sangamon County, and has since farmed continuously, having followed his trade of basketmaker occasionally, and has lived in the vicinity of Mechanicsburg for forty years.
October 18, 1875, Mr. Woodcock married, at Springfield, Miss Mary De Sousa, who was born in that city April 18, 1859, of parents who were natives of Portugal. The De Sousas came to Springfield so early that some of their neighbors were Indians and they lived there during all their after years. Mrs. Woodcock had a sister who has passed away. To Mr. and Mrs. Woodcock have been born nine children, seven of whom are living; the eldest, Agnes, is the wife of John Hiner, and lives in Springfield; William is a citizen of Mechanicsburg; Emma, wife of Mayo Dragoo, lives in St. Louis, Mo.; Hattie, widow of Hugh Law, lives in Springfield; Theodosia is in California; Henry B. and Bertha are members of their parents' household. Mr. and Mrs. Woodcock have three grandchildren. They are useful and influential members of the Methodist church.