Religion played a large part in the lives of people on Woody Island. According to the Newfoundland census, most of the people on the Island were Protestants with a few Catholics. In 1935, there were 18 Roman Catholics on Woody Island.
Edgar Williams was the first Mayor of Woody Island along with councilors being Beaton Williams, Cecil Oliver, Alec Lockyer, James Lockyer and Wilson Williams. The council meetings were held in the basement of Alec Lockyer's home.Alec played a major role in forming the Community Council, which was welcomed by many but opposed by few.
Most of the early settlers of Woody Island came from England. Samuel Williams, who was born on Woody Island in 1901 said his great-grandfather Samuel came to Woody Island around 1820 with his brother. It was around this time also that other Englishmen were settling on the island. One of these was Robert Barrett, who became a very prominent figure in early Woody Island.
The first merchant on Woody Island (as far as we can determine) was Robert Barrett, an immigrant from England. His business is thought to have been situated on Barrett's Point and was a barter system with fish being the main commodity. Besides being a businessman, Robert Barrett owned a lot of land and kept cattle and servants. He also owned two small boats, which he used to fish for cod and herring. Once when a young man named John Williams owed him money, but could not repay him, Mr. Barrett took John's land from him.
Most men on Woody Island were not businessmen, but fishermen. Cod was plentiful and considered a staple food for locals on Woody Island. All of the early settlers also grew potatoes, cabbage and a few other vegetables. The land and sea provided food as birds, rabbits, trout, caribou and berries supplemented the diet. People on Woody Island commonly raised horses, cows, goats, hens, and lambs. Many of the animals has various purposes, hens were not solely used as a food resource, their feathers were also used for pillows and mattresses for people living on the island.