Old Woodruff Family Homestead: Witness to American History

View Near Elizabethtown, N. J., oil painting by Régis François Gignoux, Honolulu Museum of Art (Wikipedia - public domain)

View Near Elizabethtown, N. J., oil painting by Régis François Gignoux, Honolulu Museum of Art- 1847 (Wikipedia – public domain)

The city of Elizabeth, New Jersey’s birthplace and a crossroads of the American Revolution, celebrates its 350th anniversary this year. The GoElizabethNJ website is dedicated to the city’s 2014 celebrations which appear to culminate in an historical reenactment in October. They hope to attract to their celebrations many of those whose roots hail back to that era of New Jersey’s history. There are millions of us out here, and you may be one of them!

As I read about the celebration plans, I was reminded of an article we have about the home of Timothy Woodruff (1715-1798; DAR record #A128744) whose ancestors, hailing from Fordwich, Kent Co., England, were among the city’s founders. For some reason, the house is absent from the GoElizabethNJ‘s map of county historic sites, although they do include the Woodruff House and Eaton Store Museum, which was built on land owned by John Woodruff (1637-1691), a great-grandfather of Timothy. (For a map of Elizabethtown at the time of the Revolutionary War, click here.)

The Woodruff House at 866 Salem Avenue - present day

The Woodruff House at 866 Salem Avenue – present day

The Timothy Woodruff house article was published in the Elizabeth Daily Journal on 21 November 1964. In the event you are a Woodruff descendant, I am including it here. Published almost 50 years ago during Elizabeth’s 300th anniversary year, the article is probably hard to dig up online. So I will save you a trip to the Elizabeth library :-), where it is no doubt available in their archives. At the time the article was written, the house had been out of the Woodruff family for four years. Its last owner, my 2nd great grandfather Francis Woodruff’s niece Carrie Woodruff (89 yrs old in 1964, daughter of Ogden Woodruff and Phebe Bonnell, and a sister of Rev. Frank Stiles Woodruff) had moved out and gone to to live in a rest home in nearby Cranford.

For the benefit of my immediate family members who may read this, our descent from Timothy is as follows:

1-Timothy Woodruff b. 1715, d. 26 Apr 1798, Elizabethtown, NJ, bur. First Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ +Elizabeth Parsons b. 1712, East Hampton, Long Island, NY, d. 16 Sep 1776, Elizabethtown, NJ, bur. First Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ

2-Enos Woodruff b. 1749, Elizabethtown, NJ, d. 5 Dec 1821, Elizabethtown, NJ, bur. Stone 0599 (missing), First Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ +Charity Ogden b. 19 Aug 1753, d. 5 Sep 1828, Elizabethtown, NJ, bur. Stone 0598 (missing), First Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ

3-John Woodruff b. 27 Feb 1795, Elizabethtown, NJ, d. 6 Aug 1857 +Mary Ogden Earl b. 3 Jan 1794, Connecticut Farm, NJ, d. 24 Jul 1878

Francis Woodruff

Francis Woodruff

Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff

Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff

4-Francis Woodruff b. 30 Oct 1820, Elizabethtown, NJ, d. 8 Aug 1883, Conant Street, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, bur. 10 Aug 1883, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ +Mary Jane Trowbridge b. 20 Sep 1821, New Providence, Essex Co., NJ, d. 27 Feb 1883, Lyons Farms, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, bur. 1 Mar 1883, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, Union Co., NJ

Wm Earl Woodruff & Wealthy Ann Angus

Wm Earl Woodruff & Wealthy Ann Angus

5-William Earl Woodruff b. 4 Oct 1848, Elizabeth, NJ, d. 18 Oct 1928, Elizabeth, NJ, bur. Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, Union, NJ
+Wealthy Ann Angus b. 5 Aug 1850, d. 27 May 1927, bur. Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, Union Co., NJ

It goes without saying that there is much to glean from an article like this. I hope you will find it of interest, and if you have anything to add or share, please do. (For some links to online material pertaining to the Woodruffs, visit my Links page and scroll down to the bottom.) Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

The Daily Journal, Elizabeth, NJ, 21 November 1864, p. 1.

The Daily Journal, Elizabeth, NJ, 21 November 1964, p. 1.

The Daily Journal, Elizabeth, NJ, 21 November 1864, p. 1.

The Daily Journal, Elizabeth, NJ, 21 November 1964, p. 1.

The Daily Journal, Elizabeth, NJ, 21 November 1964, p. 1.

The Daily Journal, Elizabeth, NJ, 21 November 1964, p. 1.

The Daily Journal, Elizabeth, NJ, 21 November 1964, p. 1.

The Daily Journal, Elizabeth, NJ, 21 November 1964, p. 1.

The Daily Journal, Elizabeth, NJ, 21 November 1964, p. 1.

The Daily Journal, Elizabeth, NJ, 21 November 1964, p. 1.

Categories: Anniversaries, Elizabeth, Union Co., Family Homes, Revolutionary War, Woodruff | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Old Woodruff Family Homestead: Witness to American History

  1. I am a descendant of Timothy Woodruff. It is so wonderful to see pictures of his home. I am in DAR and he is one of my Patriots

    Like

  2. HOW DO I GET A PICTURE OF THE 350 YR OLD WOODRUFF HOUSE ?
    Seth Woodruff is my ancestor

    Like

  3. After reading your blog, I got the geni bug, which bites me more often than not…I, too, am a Woodruff Descendant; “Your” Timothy was my 2nd Cousin, as was his wife, Mary Baker (so we are cousins two times over–Mary descends from my Melijn line)! I still live in the area of what was at one time covered in the acreage of Elizabethtown (although today is not part of modern day Elizabeth). It was shocking to me to learn that the very land I live on was first called home by my uncle as Clinker Lot 149 of the West Fields of Elizabethtown ca 1698-1701, and then turned over to cousin Jonathan Woodruff, and known as Woodruff Plantation! But I digress (although so easy to do when it comes to genealogy)…I threw the address of your Timothy and Mary Woodruff’s home in my GPS and took a ride one night, exploring all around the neighborhood of what is now known as the border of Hillside and Elizabeth. Sadly, it is surrounded by a fairly seedy area today, but it is not difficult to see the beauty of the home as it once was!
    So, dear cousin…if you’d be interested in pictures of the home, any photos or research done at nearby Everygreen Cemetery, where most Woodruff’s of this corner were buried, or of either St. John’s or First Pres Churches in Elizabethtown, feel free to let me know!

    BTW: here’s my line:

    We branch off at John the Elder Woodruff & Sarah Ogden:

    I further descend from their daughter, Hannah, who married Benjamin Ogden (yes, she married her uncle!). Hannah was your John’s brother. John married Sarah Cooper and from their son, Timothy, you descend (to be technical, John and Sarah’s son, Timothy, Jr. is your forefather). If I have this right, William & Wealthy Ann were my 6th cousins, so calculate where you descend from there and then you’ll have us!

    Have a remarkably wonderful day!

    Valeri

    Like

    • Wow–I can’t believe niece married uncle!

      This is all interesting, Valeri, and, of course, I am interested in whatever material you’d like to share on the house, Evergreen, etc. (My email by the way is chipsoff at gmail dot com).

      Quite a few Woodruffs in Evergreen are on Find a Grave. I’ve put my line on there (e.g., William Earl Woodruff memorial# 40586515) but have not yet linked them all the way back to the initial Woodruffs. I’ve also done some work on the Ogden and Phebe Woodruff family (memorial# 90131770). Ogden and William’s father Francis were brothers.

      You have a great day too! Lucky you to be located so ‘close to the action’!

      Like

  4. Another thought…may I copy this article to my Woodruff family on Ancestry.com?

    Like

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