Walter Woodhouse was born in about 1490 of Wombourn, Staffordshire. He married Joan.

Walter and Joan and their family were listed in A List of Families in the Archdeaconry of Stafford, 1532-3 in Wombourn:

Walter Wodhows, Joan, uxor eius, Alice, Isabel, John, John, Margaret, Humphrey, Edward.

This listing shows Walter, Joan his wife, and their children Alice, Isabel, John, another John, Margaret, Humphrey and Edward. The list shows all children, living or dead, so the first John most likely died as a child. The census was taken in Wombourn as the "Paroche of Wombum the Tysday on Wytson Weyk" in 1532, or the Tuesday of Whit Sunday week.

Walter died before 1562. Joan died in about 1563, leaving a will dated 23 Dec 1562, proven 30 Nov 1563:

Joan Woodhouse will

Will of Joan Wodhows of Wombourne, dated 23 Dec 1562, proven 30 Nov 1563

In the name of God, Amen, the xiiith day of December in the yer of our Lorde God xxxxxxij, I Jone Wodhows late the wyffe of Walter Wodhows dycessed, in the countie of Stafford, and in the parysh of Womburne, widow, wholle in mynde non the leese sikcke on my bodye make my testament as thys maner and forme folowyng, first I bequeath my soole to Allmyghty God, my redemer, and my bodye to be buryed in the churche yard of Seynt Bennet of Womburne. Item, I bequeath to Elynor Smyth daughter to Robt Smyth of Womburne the best kow that I gave a matter in, a canvas, a covlett, a bolster, a payre of sheep, a plat or ___. Item, I bequeath to Jone Smyth my goddaughter a plat. Item, I bequeath to the childurne of Robt Smyth my sonne in law, every of them xiijs iiijd. Item, I bequeath to Marget my daughter a fynehete, a garnest jyrdelt, the byest that I have. Item, I bequeath to Bennet my sone, my best panne, my second potte, ij wheespys, a fatte, my best ___ borde, a mattosone, a payre of shets. Item, I bequeath to the children of Bennet Wodhows my son every one of theym xiijs iiijd. Item, I bequeath to Anne my daughter my byest thoroke, a sheppe, a fatte, my byest napper, a malttersone, a payre of sheip, a jyrdelt, the resedue of my goods un byqueathed, and my detts payed, and I ___ whom I gyffe and bequeath to Edwarde Wodhows my sonne the rest. Edwarde I do make my wolle executor, and Bennet Wodhows at the Wodhows my over seer to see my wyll and testament be well and truly pformed and kept, these beying wytnesse Thomas Hadsar, Clarke, Bennet Wodhows, John Broke, Thomas Turner with others mad the daye and yer above wryttyn.

Joan also left an inventory:

Joan Woodhouse inventory

Inventory of Joan Wodhows

Thys inventorie made the seconded daye of Marche in the yer of our Lorde God xxxxxxiiij of the goods and cattells of Jone Wodhows wydowe in the pyrish of Womburne, decessed, praysed by Bennet Wodhows at the Wodhows, John Robyns, Gye Smyth, John Sugar
Imprimis, iiij oxen the prised  
Item, a kow, ij calvys the prised
Item, a horse and a colt the prised
Item, the sheppe the prised
Item, for corne in the barne and on the grounde groyng the prised    vijs viijd
Item, for heyth the prised
Item, for brasse and pewter the prised
Item, for coverlet, beddyng, shets and other lynen ware the prised xls
Item, for burdys formys vysells , ___ ___ with other woddyn ware the prised  xiiijs iiijd
Item, for geese, hennys and a calfe the prise   iiijs iiijd
Item, for a payre of ___, a brohe with other yrenwere ___ in the howsse  xiijs iiijd
Item, for ij gyrdelle the prise  xijs viijd

Walter and Joan had the following children:

1. Alice

2. Isabel

3. John (may have died young)

4. John

5. Margaret, born in about 1520 of Wombourn; married Robert Smyth; mentioned in mother's will of 1562; buried 19 May 1594 in Wombourn.

6. Humfrey, married Yssabell; died in 1557, leaving a will naming wife Yssabell, Edward his brother, and Walter his father.

7. Edward, born in about 1530; married Margaret; mentioned in mother's will of 1562; died 26 August 1610 in Wombourn, left a will dated 3 April 1611.

8. Bennet (Benedict), married Joyce; mentioned in mother's will of 1562; died in 1572, leaving a will mentioning Joyce his wife, sons Humfrey, Walter, Edward, John, and Thomas, his godson Robert Smith, and Robert Smith and Edward Woodhowse as witnesses to the will.

9. Anne, mentioned in mother's will of 1562.

SOURCES: Will of Joan Wodhows of Wombourn, 1562 on; A List of Families in the Archdeaconry of Stafford, 1532-3; will of Edward Woodhouse, 1611; will of Humfrey Woodhouse, 1557.


The Woodhouse family has a long history in Wombourn: "The estate which takes its name from the house known as The Wodehouse originated between 1176 and 1189 when the lord of Wombourne, William son of Guy de Offini, granted William the cook land in Wombourne formerly held by Roger Brown. Between 1194 and 1206  the tenant in chief, Ralph de Somery, granted William the cook two assarts, one bordering the fields of Wombourne and the other adjoining the present Wodehouse Road. In or before 1206 William's son Nicholas acquired from Bernard of Frankley, lord of Trysull, another assart in Wombourne or in Wombourne or Trysull. Between 1224 and 1241 Alan or Orton, lord of Wombourne, granted or confirmed to Nicholas an assart on 'Ouhul', the later Owen Hill, which Nicholas had enclosed. All three grants were in return for cash payments and money rents. Nicholas was succeeded by his son William some time between 1241 and 1243. William, known as William Wood, married Sibyl, daughter of Walter of Bradley, lord of Bradley in Bilston; he acquired more land in Wombourne and bought freedom from suit of court at Trysull. He was still alive in 1272 and was succeeded by his son Walter, who became known as Walter Woodhouse (de la Wodehouse or atte Wodehouse). Walter was succeeded by his son Thomas, probably before 1290. Thomas's son William succeeded him, apparently between 1313 and 1315. William's son William had evidently succeeded by 1336.

The descent is then obscure. In the 1320s and 1330s there were at least three or four households of the Woodhouse family in Wombourne. A Thomas Woodhouse occurs in 1379 and 1384. A Thomas Woodhouse the younger is found in 1391, in 1401, when he was described as of Orton, and in 1403; he was probably the Thomas Woodhouse who was alive in 1438. A John Woodhouse, son of the late Thomas Woodhouse, occurs in 1442 and, as John Woodhouse of the Wodehouse, in 1457. He was succeeded in 1523 by his son Stephen (d. 1527 or 1528). The Wodehouse then passed to Stephen's son Benedict. Benedict died in 1586 and was succeeded by his son Walter (d. 1610). Walter was followed by his son Francis (d. 1643) and he by his son John (d. 1651)." (A History of Wombourne, Bobbington and Trysull)  The house passed out of the family in the early 1700s.

The family of Stephen Woodhouse is the only other Woodhouse family found in the 1532 census known as A List of Families in the Archdeaconry of Stafford, 1532-3.

Stephen Wodhows, Margaret, Alice, uxores eius, John, Elizabeth, Joan, Henry, Philip, William, Benet, Joan, John.

The entry shows Stephen, his current and deceased wives Margaret and Alice, and his children. This is possibly the Stephen mentioned in the history above. If so, then Stephen died after 1532. Stephen inherited the Wodehouse. Walter's entry is not adjacent to Stephen's, but they are both in the same small town (there were 33 families listed in the town), and are the only Woodhouse families. Perhaps Walter was a cousin or younger brother.